Articles on Democracy

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Public bikes are meant to complement a city’s existing mass transit network, so the location of docking stations is critical. MusikAnimal/Wikimedia

Chicago, New York discounted most public input in expanding bike systems

Under 10 percent of new Citi Bike and Divvy bike docks are sited where residents suggested using interactive online maps, a new study shows. But that doesn't mean city officials weren't listening.
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban addresses supporters after the parliamentary election in Budapest, Hungary, April 8, 2018. RREUTERS/Leonhard Foeger

How Viktor Orban degraded Hungary’s weak democracy

Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has transformed from a liberal into an authoritarian leader who uses the tools of democracy to attack civil society. Hungarians are protesting in the streets.
A woman casts her ballot at a polling station during a runoff presidential election in Bamako, Mali on Aug. 12, 2018. Reuters/Luc Gnago

Competitive elections are good for democracy – just not every democracy

Elections are supposed to hold politicians accountable: Officials who fear losing their seat will work harder for voters. But in some countries, political competition actually makes government worse.
President Joko Widodo (second right) and his vice-presidential running mate, Ma'ruf Amin (right), and their rivals, presidential candidate Prabowo Subianto (second left) and running mate Sandiaga Uno, pose with the electoral numbers that will represent them in next year’s presidential election, during a draw at the General Election Commission office in Jakarta in September. Bagus Indahono/EPA

Incumbent Jokowi versus Prabowo – who will win Indonesia’s presidential election?

Incumbent President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo may have won hearts among potential voters by building roads, airports and ports, but his opponents can still bring him down with other issues.
The Wisconsin State Capitol. Wikipedia/RAHurd

Wisconsin GOP’s power grab is a danger to democracy

Democracies survive if political norms and traditions are upheld. So the recent actions of GOP legislators in Wisconsin and other states to hamstring incoming Democrats put democracy at risk.
The Parthenon is visible for miles around from the Acropolis (citadel) on which it stands. Shutterstock

Blowing up the Parthenon: the power of a symbol

The Parthenon has been seen as central to the history of Western civilisation. But the building has a troubled past that is somewhat at odds with our ideas of democratic values.
Days before their Oct. 28 presidential election, Brazilians protested news that supporters of right-wing front-runner Jair Bolsonaro had used WhatsApp to spread false information about his opponents. Reuters/Nacho Doce

WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, proving social media’s danger to democracy

Facebook retired its 'Move fast and break things' slogan – perhaps because, as new research from Brazil confirms, democracy is among the things left broken by online misinformation and fake news.

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