Democracy

Tomorrow (3 November), millions of Americans will use their collective power to write the next chapter in the history of the USA. After a year of tremendous upheaval, it has been described arguably as the most consequential election in the country’s history.

It will be the 59th presidential election in the nation that was founded on a vision of democracy – a system where the people have the authority to choose their government.

According to the 2019 Economist Intelligence Index, 57% of countries now have some kind of democracy. But its future is uncertain. The report states that the global democracy score is now the lowest it has been since the records began in 2006.

Among the 167 countries surveyed, only 22 were deemed “full democracies”, with Norway, Iceland, and Sweden the top three. With a lower rating – coming in at 21 on the world list – the US is technically in the “flawed democracy” category. More than a third of the world’s population, meanwhile, still lives under authoritarian rule.

Back in 1947, Winston Churchill claimed: “It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government, except for all those other forms that have been tried.”

But is democracy in crisis? If so, what might replace it?

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What will happen if Joe Biden wins? This report from the Economist discusses the Democratic candidate’s chances given the US’s political climate in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Activities

  1. Imagine that you are the leader of a new country. Pick what type of political system you want to follow and make a list of laws and policies for a post-Covid world.
  2. Choose a country that is not your own and write a fact file about its political system. Has it changed over time?
  3. Write a persuasive, two-minute speech in response to the statement: “The voting age should be 16 in every country.” To what extent do you agree with this idea?