Well researched and reasoned Economist piece on the failures of democracy — and what can be done to support it worldwide. Also take note of its beautiful web-friendly, multimedia layout:
"All this has demonstrated that building the institutions needed to sustain democracy is very slow work indeed, and has dispelled the once-popular notion that democracy will blossom rapidly and spontaneously once the seed is planted. Although democracy may be a “universal aspiration”, as Mr Bush and Tony Blair insisted, it is a culturally rooted practice. Western countries almost all extended the right to vote long after the establishment of sophisticated political systems, with powerful civil services and entrenched constitutional rights, in societies that cherished the notions of individual rights and independent judiciaries."
There’s a great piece in Politico by Rebecca Burns about the actual causes of the Atlanta snowstorm fiasco. It’s not that Southerners can’t drive in snow. Instead, she argues, the traffic and safety nightmares resulted from a mix of suburban sprawl, a patchwork of local governments that don’t work together, poor public transit, and a lack of investment in forward-thinking public transit.These policy hurdles have been around for years, and they’e not going away anytime soon (a referendum to support transit improvement failed to pass the public’s muster in 2012). My hometown might need to get used to this.