Articles on Democracy

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Pamphlets for participatory budgeting processes in New York , a system that does back to ancient Greece. Daniel Latorre/Flickr

When citizens set the budget: lessons from ancient Greece

Politicians assume that voters cannot face the financial truth. To democracy experts this is just wrong. Involving voters results in better budgets as shows history from ancient Greece.
The January 30 address at the State of the Union reveals a lot about the American leader’s excessive character. Nicholas Kamm/AFP

What Donald Trump’s State of the Union address says about his autocratic tendencies

The State of the Union address, a traditional exercise for US presidents was marked this year by a great divergence on tone and words, showing the clear dictatorial style of the American leader.
The 2014 Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong against ‘Chinese-style democracy’ laid bare democracy’s contested meanings. Studio Incendo/flickr

If democracy is failing, why do so many lay claim to it?

Uncertainty is built into democracy, but we are seeing more talk of crisis and more attempts at redefinition. So where does this leave citizens who want to have a meaningful say in how they live?
In clinging to power, Nicolás Maduro, Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, is steering Venezuela’s once-rich democracy to autocracy. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Is Democracy Dead or Alive? What democracy exactly are we supposed to nurture?

Democracy takes many forms, some of them democracy in name only. Confusion and misappropriation complicate the public struggle for the democracy to come, but this challenge is always unending.
Election workers count votes by the light of candles and a kerosene lamp at a polling station without electricity in the Yoff neighborhood of Dakar, Senegal in 2007. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

Empowering the powerless: Let’s end energy poverty

Distributed-energy technologies are a disruptive force that can improve the quality of life for the world's most disadvantaged and poor.
President of Ontario Federation of Labour Chris Buckley addresses protesters outside a Tim Hortons Franchise in Toronto last week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young

Democracy, freedom and cheap stuff: Can we pay more for our coffee?

Do businesses have to act like businesses? Or could we pay slightly more for goods, like coffee, and recognize that stability for working people is essential to a robust economy.
Venezuela’s crisis has been terrible for years. But if President Maduro is re-elected, things could actually get worse. Marco Bello/Reuters

Why an election won’t topple Venezuela’s Maduro

The Venezuelan government has just announced that it will hold a presidential election by the end of April. Despite pervasive hunger and discontent, democracy still doesn't stand a chance.
While some are declaring that democracy has had its day, others see this as a time to develop more truly democratic ways of living. Gustav Klimt, Death and Life, 1910

Is Democracy Dead or Alive? Democracy has a future, if we rethink and remake it

Is it really time to eulogise democracy, or are we rather on the cusp of a new phase in its long and varied life?

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