Browsing articles from "September, 2010"
Sep 29, 2010
Center for Democracy and Civil Society


It’s hard to defend an authoritarian regime that discourages domestic charities because it doesn’t want competition in helping to address important social needs.

Sep 29, 2010
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

The system

If Afghanistan created Karzai rather than the other way around, then getting rid of the man will not solve the problem.

Sep 26, 2010
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

Technology is not the problem

Poverty is rarely a technical problem. More commonly it is a political one. Why this is so hard to understand is not clear to me. To take an obvious example, a USAID food security project will not be effective at preventing famine if the president of a country induces them in order to punish people who do not support him.

Sep 24, 2010
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

Afghanistan Election Watch pt. II: Actual Results May Vary

It was easy to be impressed with some of the things we witnessed in Panjshir Province on Election Day last week. After waking up at 4am, driving to a region beyond the reach of the only paved road around, and then hiking 30 minutes into the mountains, we arrived at our first polling center (comprised of one station each for men and women). My male colleague and out male interpreter were not permitted to enter the women’s station, so I walked alone into the small earthen mosque to observe how well this remote polling station would follow official opening procedures. Continue reading »

Sep 21, 2010
Center for Democracy and Civil Society

Plurality Vote

I’m always happy to see electoral reform brought up in the news because, well, our country really needs it. It’s for this reason that I’m glad former Congressman Mickey Edwards took to the Atlantic to address what he feels is a problem with our system – the lack of an absolute majority required for winning congressional races.

I do have a quarrel with a system that allows for the election of members of Congress (or governors or other officeholders) to whom most voters are opposed. Ben Quayle received 22.7 percent of the votes cast in his congressional primary; more than 77 percent of the Republicans who voted in that primary wanted somebody else to be their congressman. Quayle received just over 14,000 votes; more than 48,000 voted for somebody else, despite the fact that Quayle was the best known and most visible of the candidates. Running in a heavily Republican district, he will almost certainly become a member of Congress in January, representing a community that did not want him in that job.

Continue reading »

Founded in 2004, Democracy and Society is a biannual print journal published by the Center for Democracy and Civil Society at Georgetown University. The D&S Blog provides web-only content, including special reports and investigative series, on issues relating to democracy and development.

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