On North Carolina and Democracy

Andrew Reynolds, professor of political science at the University of North Carolina:

In 2012 Elklit and I worked with Pippa Norris of Harvard University, who used the system as the cornerstone of the Electoral Integrity Project. Since then the EIP has measured 213 elections in 153 countries and is widely agreed to be the most accurate method for evaluating how free and fair and democratic elections are across time and place.

When we evolved the project I could never imagine that as we enter 2017, my state, North Carolina, would perform so badly on this, and other, measures that we are no longer considered to be a fully functioning democracy.

In the just released EIP report, North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table — a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world.

This is not left versus right. This is not politics as usual. This is not something both sides do. This is about a party — the Republican Party — that no longer believes in democracy.

Update: I do believe that what is going on in North Carolina is utterly anti-democratic, but the study cited here looks like complete garbage.

Friday, 23 December 2016