One would not think that it would be difficult for the rich to understand that enabling kleptocrats with little respect for the rule of law in an attempt to fend off democratic waves of social democracy is very unwise: Harold James: Ten Weimar Lessons: "The collapse of the Weimar Republic and the emergence of the Nazis' Third Reich in the early 1930s still stands as one of modern history's most powerful cautionary tales...

...Its lessons are as relevant today as ever.... Economic shocks... are challenges to all governments, everywhere and always.... Under extreme economic conditions, proportional representation (PR) can make matters worse.... Eight further lessons....

  1. Referenda are dangerous, especially when they are rarely used and the electorate has little experience with them....
  2. Dissolving parliaments prematurely when the law does not require it is risky....
  3. Constitutions don’t necessarily protect the system....
  4. Business lobbyists can play a baleful behind-the-scenes role in undermining agreement between parliamentary factions.
  5. A political culture in which leaders demonize their opponents erodes democracy....
  6. The president’s family can be dangerous....
  7. An insurgent group does not need to have an overall majority to control politics, even in a PR system....
  8. Incumbents can survive by buying off a discontented populace for some time, but not forever....

It is often assumed that countries with majoritarian electoral systems like those in the United States or the United Kingdom are more resilient than countries with PR systems. After all, America and Britain’s democracies are older, with more deeply entrenched cultures of political civility. In reality, though, these systems can still become vulnerable...


#shouldread

Comments