democracy

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People Aren't Smart Enough to Pick Smart Candidates

Democracy often results in mediocrity, say researchers

(Newser) - When it comes to choosing a leader, we may simply be victims of our own ignorance. Researchers say that voters can't be trusted to choose experts on topics they themselves know little about—meaning, for instance, that we can't pick the candidate with the best tax policy without...

US Becoming &#39;Democracy in Name Only&#39;
US Becoming 'Democracy
in Name Only'
paul krugman

US Becoming 'Democracy in Name Only'

Income inequality threatens 'whole nature of our society': Paul Krugman

(Newser) - A new CBO report tells the same old story, writes Paul Krugman in the New York Times : The very rich are getting much richer at the expense of everyone else. Cue the think tanks and "obfuscators" who say it ain't so for all kinds of reasons. They're...

Libya After Moammar Gadhafi: Can Democracy Work?
 Libya Post-Gadhafi: Now What? 

Libya Post-Gadhafi: Now What?

Tribal society faces barriers to unification

(Newser) - Libya is finally getting a shot at democracy—but experts expect growing pains as a divided tribal society makes the shift from decades of authoritarianism. Historically, such transitions have not gone well, political scientists tell the Christian Science Monitor . “We would actually feel fairly pessimistic about the prospects for...

Clinton: Assad Is 'Running Out of Time'

Says Syria needs democratic reforms, or there will be more violence

(Newser) - Syria's President Bashar al-Assad and his allies are "running out of time," and need to begin democratic reforms, said Hillary Clinton today, or else his government is “going to see increasingly organized resistance.” Clinton was speaking at a democracy conference in Lithuania when she targeted...

10 Things That Need to Go Away
 10 Things That 
 Need to Go Away 
OPINION

10 Things That Need to Go Away

We would all be better off ditching engagement rings, tipping, and more

(Newser) - In the spirit of spring cleaning, the Washington Post asked 10 writers to nominate one thing “we'd all be better off tossing out this spring.” Their ideas:
  • Engagement rings: “Here's a secret that the folks at De Beers don't want young people to know:
...

Chinese Artist Missing After Cops Raid House

Authorities cracking down in fear of Mideast-style protests

(Newser) - Internationally renowned Chinese artist Ai Weiwei remains missing, more than a day after police stopped him at the Beijing international airport, raided his home, and questioned his wife and assistants. Ai—best-known as a consultant on Beijing's famous "bird's nest" Olympic stadium—has been an outspoken critic of China's...

'Egypt Is a Mess' &mdash;but It's a Good Mess
 'Egypt Is a Mess' 
 —but It's a Good Mess  
Nicholas Kristof

'Egypt Is a Mess' —but It's a Good Mess

Nicholas Kristof: Young democracies are always bumpy

(Newser) - Nicholas Kristof checks in on Egypt weeks after the fall of Hosni Mubarak and pronounces it "a mess." Protesters are still taking to the streets, the military-backed government is making noises about crackdowns, and army thugs are still beating up critics. "Yet for Americans, what is unfolding...

Paul Krugman: Wisconsin Union Battle About Power, Not Budget

 Wisconsin Battle 
 About Power, 
 Not Budget 
paul krugman

Wisconsin Battle About Power, Not Budget

Gov. pushing oligarchy as unions seek democracy: Paul Krugman

(Newser) - Wisconsin’s battle over union rights shares a key element with the protests in Egypt: In the end, it’s all about power, writes Paul Krugman for the New York Times . Gov. Scott Walker’s team is trying to make his state, and eventually the entire country, "less of...

Mideast Scrambles as Protests Spread

Some use carrots, other sticks to respond to growing unrest

(Newser) - Mubarak has stepped down in Egypt, but other states around the Middle East and North Africa are scrambling to keep the lid on their simmering populations, trying combinations of reforms and crackdowns, reports the Los Angeles Times . Algeria responded to protests Saturday with thousands of police officers, and Iran has...

US Foreign Policy in Arab World Needs Overhaul
 US Foreign Policy 
 in Arab World 
 Needs Overhaul 


NICHOLAS KRISTOF

US Foreign Policy in Arab World Needs Overhaul

Better intelligence needed, less realpolitik, fear of Islamism

(Newser) - With Hosni Mubarak finally out of power in Egypt, "It's a new day in the Arab world," writes Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times —and hopefully here, as well. "The truth is that the United States has been behind the curve not only in Tunisia...

Inspired by Egypt, Algerians Take to Streets

Demonstrators demand political reform; hundreds arrested

(Newser) - From Tahrir Square to Algeria's May 1 Square: Thousands of demonstrators inspired by Egypt marched in Algiers today despite an official ban on protests and a huge police presence, reports AP . Estimates of the crowd ranged from 10,000 to 30,000, and rights activists say at least 400 have...

Democracy's Bad Now? Beck Illustrates Right's Split

Essayist: Some conservatives championed Mideast freedom, only to fear it now

(Newser) - The demonstrations in Egypt have Glenn Beck on a tear, even by Glenn Beck standards. He's warning that "radical Islam" could take control and, what with one thing leading to another, eventually "destroy the Western way of life," writes Michelle Goldberg in the Daily Beast . But wait,...

Burma Opens First Parliament in 20 Years

Heavy security in the capital reported, with police manning roadblocks

(Newser) - Burma's first parliament in more than 20 years opened under tight security today, with armed police manning roadblocks on all routes leading to parliament and checking all buses carrying representatives for bombs. Delegates wore traditional attire, but were banned from carrying mobile phones, cameras, computers, and other electronic devices into...

Hey, America, This Is Good News in Egypt
 Hey, America, This Is 
 Good News in Egypt 
OPINION

Hey, America, This Is Good News in Egypt

Salon essayist: Don't let 'racism against Arabs' ruin the celebration

(Newser) - The protests in Egypt are threatening to transform and democratize the entire region. So why all the "grim faces" on American news channels? Because a free Egypt will mean less American power in the Middle East and expose American and Israel hypocrisy, writes Philip Weiss in Salon . "The...

Anti-Putin Rally Rattles Moscow
 Anti-Putin Rally Rattles Moscow 

Anti-Putin Rally Rattles Moscow

Critics worry he wants to be president, again, in 2012

(Newser) - Some 500 people gathered in a rare demonstration in Moscow this weekend to demand Vladimir Putin's resignation. The demonstrators are determined to head off Putin's possible plan to return to his old job as president in 2012, the Telegraph notes. "Our task is to free Russia from this awful...

Fist Fights, Hunger: Miners Shed Light on Life Below

Democracy ruled, says foreman; others cite depression

(Newser) - Majority rule was key to the survival of the trapped Chilean miners, their foreman told the Guardian in one of the first accounts of their two months spent trapped underground. “Everything was voted on,” said Luis Urzúa from a hospital bed. “You just have to speak...

NAACP to Slam Tea Party 'Racists'

Tea Party leader calls NAACP 'racist'

(Newser) - The Tea Party movement harbors "racist elements" that are a "threat to democracy" the NAACP is expected to declare in a resolution at its annual convention in Kansas City today. The "movement is not just about higher taxes and limited government, but something that could evolve and...

Fix US Democracy or China Wins
 Fix US Democracy 
 or China Wins 
OPINION

Fix US Democracy or China Wins

Conservatives are a bad advertisement for American way

(Newser) - The conservatives chucking wrenches into the works of American democracy have apparently failed to notice that there's a rival superpower out there again, warns Harold Meyerson. The Senate's efforts to thwart majority rule, and the Supreme Court's decision to allow corporations to make unlimited election donations are fueling Chinese arguments...

Right Believed Its Own Hype on Health Care
Right Believed Its Own Hype on Health Care
OPINION

Right Believed Its Own Hype on Health Care

And now it's having a nervous breakdown

(Newser) - Unable to deal with the passage of health care reform, the GOP noise machine has suffered a complete nervous breakdown this week, literally declaring this the end of America as we know it. Why the hysterics? Because the right wing “made the mistake of believing their own hype,”...

McCain: Let's Slow Down the Iraq Withdrawal

Don't blow fragile democracy by decamping, he argues

(Newser) - In a bit of campaign deja vu, John McCain is pumping Iraq’s not yet counted March 7 election as “a triumph for Iraq—and for the United States”—and saying the US shouldn't be in a hurry to leave the country. In an op-ed piece in today’...

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