Four decades ago, people in Latin America cheered as one after another dictatorship fell and gave way to democratic systems, with free elections, uncensored expression, and increasingly independent institutions. That transition, a part of the third wave of democratization, transformed Latin America and the Caribbean from a place of oppressive military regimes into the most … [Read more...] about What Can Restore Latin Americans’ Faith in Democracy
Economic performance has long been considered key to voter behavior. "It's the economy, stupid," said a campaign strategist for Bill Clinton, cementing a view that a government's economic record is what voters care most about. But too much emphasis on the economy may be missing other, no less consequential, factors. A recent study by George Ward of the Massachusetts … [Read more...] about Does Happiness Sway Elections?
Boosting skills is essential for entering the ranks of the richest nations. Better education and skills, most economists agree, generate the innovation and productivity that lift countries from middle-income to high-income levels such as those enjoyed by the United States and the wealthiest nations in Europe and Asia. Indeed, along with rule of law and well-functioning markets, … [Read more...] about What Do Voters Want: Help or Skills?
When allies of President Horacio Cartes tried to force an amendment through Paraguay's congress last year to allow him to run for a second term, rioters took to the streets and set fire to Congress, illustrating in particularly dramatic fashion the sharp divisions around term limits. Cartes eventually decided not to run again, but he may have been the exception. In recent … [Read more...] about Do Term Limits Benefit Voters?
Little more than half of the respondents captured in the latest regional survey of Chile-based Latinobarómetro thought democracy was the best form of government – a ten-year low that indicates weakness in Latin America's democracies. But does this mean citizens are losing their interest in voting, democracy's most sacred right? In a recently published study, Carlos Scartascini … [Read more...] about How the Right to Vote Sparks Political Interest