Saturday, December 24, 2016

"North Carolina's Democracy Is As Dysfunctional As Iran's," The Week

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Alan: It is now apparent that the rhetoric describing the lunacy of American conservatives is not rhetoric.

In the words of Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the GOP "has gone batshit crazy." 

And most non-partisan conservatives have gone beyond batshit crazy into a realm where accurate nomenclature has yet to be devised. (How does one trump Trump?)

It is increasingly likely that Trump's term in The Oval Office will degrade America's vestigial political integrity to the point of no return, and -- lacking a war of indeterminate proportions between Uncle Sam as ruling hegemon and China as emerging hegemon -- the primacy of the United States in world affairs is coming to an end. (To be clear: if there is a war, the world - in any humanly recognizable form - comes to an end.)

Loss of primacy is not necessarily a bad thing. 

Following their imperial collapse, Spain, Holland, England and Italy (derived from ancient Rome) have become some of the most convivial, heartwarming civilizations in the world 

Even so, America's upcoming demotion as ruling hegemon is a momentous turn of events -- the most significant "about face" in geo-politics since England began its century-long loss of primacy after the colonists won The Revolutionary War.

"My Party Has Gone Batshit Crazy." Republican Senator Lindsey Graham | "My Party Has Gone Batshit Crazy." Republican Senator Lindsey Graham | image tagged in lindsey graham,republican party,gop,crazy,lunatic,unhinged | made w/ Imgflip meme maker
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North Carolina's democracy is as dysfunctional as Iran's

The Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) is a joint effort between Harvard University and the University of Sydney that grades nations' election processes to understand "why elections fail and what we can do about it." This year, the EIP also graded all 50 states by the same metric, assigning each one a score on a scale of 1 to 100.

North Carolina scored a 58, a ranking that puts the state on par with "authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia, and Sierra Leone," explains EIP adviser Andrew Reynolds, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. And it gets worse:
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.
Indeed, North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project. [The News & Observer]
To be fair, North Carolina is not the only state to score so poorly on the EIP scale in 2016. Arizona scored a 53, and most states east of the Mississippi didn't fare much better. But North Carolina is the only state whose outgoing Republican governor just signed a law stripping his successor, a Democrat, of powers he himself enjoyed in office — a shady move even if one agrees those authorities ought to go. And as for those voting district boundaries, the Tarheel State's gerrymandering was legendarily complex until a court order redrew its districts earlier this year. Bonnie Kristian

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