Economics and democracy: Democracy’s depressing descent into division

Posted: December 7, 2015 in economy
Tags: , ,

BACK in 1935, George Dangerfield wrote a book about the pre-1914 period called "The Strange Death of Liberal England". In this, he pointed out that Edwardian Britain, often portrayed as an Arcadian era before the horrors of the Somme, was in fact marked by violent protests – over women's suffrage (hunger strikes and bombs), workers' rights (frequent strikes) and Irish home rule (the threat of mutiny and civil war). The cracks in the system were already apparent.The high point for liberal democratic triumphalism is often seen as the fall of the Soviet Union and the publication of "The End of History and the Last Man", Francis Fukuyama's 1992 influential book. A quarter of a century later, and democracy looks a lot less healthy, an argument I have returned to often in this blog (and a book). Voters have become disillusioned with the parties of the centre-left and the centre-right and a good chunk of them have been on the hunt for something new. This proportion of the electorate is around a quarter to a third, and the impact of extremist parties very much depends on the vagaries of the electoral system. But first-past-the-post systems create only temporary respite, as it is possible for the leadership of mainstream parties to be captured by the far-left and far-right, as has already happened in Britain and may be happening in America, with the rise of Trump, Carson and …

via Economic Crisis http://ift.tt/1HQFpHI

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