In first, US added to annual list of ‘backsliding’ democracies

Authored by and submitted by epostman

The report by International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance says ‘visible deterioration’ began in 2019.

The United States has been added to an annual list of “backsliding” democracies for the first time, the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance NGO has said, pointing to a “visible deterioration” that began in 2019.

The Stockholm-based organisation makes its annual assessment using 50 years of democratic indicators. It places about 160 countries into three categories: democracies, including “backsliding” democracies; “hybrid” governments; and authoritarian regimes.

Globally, the report said more than one in four people live in a “backsliding” democracy, while two-thirds of the world live in either a “backsliding” democracy, “hybrid” or authoritarian regimes.

“This year we coded the United States as backsliding for the first time, but our data suggest that the backsliding episode began at least in 2019,” said the report, titled: Global State of Democracy 2021.

“A historic turning point came in 2020-21 when former president Donald Trump questioned the legitimacy of the 2020 election results in the United States,” the report said, referring to a campaign by the former president and his allies to overturn the 2020 US election results, which culminated in Trump’s supporters storming the seat of the US legislature on January 6.

The report also cited growing polarisation in the US, as well as state voting laws “disproportionately affecting minorities in a negative way”.

IDEA Secretary-General Kevin Casas-Zamora called the “visible deterioration of democracy” in the US “one of the most concerning developments” in the 2021 report, according to the AFP news agency.

He warned of a knock-on effect, noting: “The violent contestation of the 2020 election without any evidence of fraud has been replicated, in different ways, in places as diverse as Myanmar, Peru and Israel.”

The report said the number of backsliding democracies in the world had doubled in the past decade.

In addition to “established democracies” such as the US, the list includes European Union member states Hungary, Poland, and Slovenia.

Two countries that were on the list last year – Ukraine and North Macedonia – were removed this year after their situations improved.

Meanwhile, Turkey, Nicaragua, Serbia, Poland, and Brazil were rated as having the most significant democratic declines over the last decade.

The report says in 2020 there were 98 democracies in the world, 20 “hybrid” governments, including Russia, Morocco, and Turkey, and 47 authoritarian regimes, which include China, Saudi Arabia, Ethiopia, and Iran.

The trend towards democratic erosion has “become more acute and worrying” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report added.

“Some countries, particularly Hungary, India, the Philippines and the USA, have [imposed] measures that amount to democratic violations – that is, measures that were disproportionate, illegal, indefinite or unconnected to the nature of the emergency,” it said.

deathtotheemperor on November 22nd, 2021 at 16:16 UTC »

"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?-- Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."

-Abraham Lincoln

joeybagofdonuts80 on November 22nd, 2021 at 15:36 UTC »

“I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time -- when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness...

The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30 second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance”

Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark

Ratmatazz on November 22nd, 2021 at 14:11 UTC »

Anti-intellectualism is a disease.

Edit: I’m enjoying the comments on this, thanks everyone! Please keep your curiosity alive and try to learn every day. Make it fun for you and those around you.