Home WestNet.ca WebMail

              

How Autocrats Can Triumph in Democratic Countries - The New York Times


Posted: Sun-Jul-2017



Unscrupulous leaders can manipulate the political environment, making it more likely that they will win future contests and gain false legitimacy.

Photo
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey, center right, waved to supporters as he left a polling station in Istanbul. Turks voted on Sunday to expand presidential powers. Credit Associated Press

The recent referendum in Turkey, in which President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed a narrow majority of votes to expand his presidential authority, is the latest example of a puzzling phenomenon: Democratically elected leaders who triumph in elections even as they move toward autocracy by undermining checks and balances and consolidating power.

Today, the most common way for a democracy to collapse is through the actions of an elected incumbent, not a coup or revolution. Hugo Chávez, elected to four terms as president of Venezuela, used his time in office to dismantle the institutions of Venezuelan democracy and expand his own authority. President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has so thoroughly concentrated power in his own hands that many observers now refer to Russia as an “elected dictatorship.” And in Turkey, Mr. Erdogan appears to be following that well-trodden path.

This phenomenon, which experts call “authoritarianization,” highlights a deep vulnerability built into the structure of democracy itself. Once in power, unscrupulous leaders can sometimes manipulate the political environment to their own benefit, making it more likely that they will be victorious in future contests. By winning those elections, they gain the stamp of democratic legitimacy — even for actions that ultimately undermine democratic norms.

Manipulating and winning elections has become a kind of exploit in the rules of political legitimacy — a way for would-be autocrats to hack the system.

Why would-be autocrats love elections

People around the world have become so attached to the idea of democracy that elections have become a de facto requirement for government legitimacy, said Milan Svolik, a Yale political scientist who studies authoritarianism and democratization. That has helped spread democracy across the globe.

Continue reading the main story

Other Headlines:

Trump Russia: US Congress reach deal on fresh sanctions
A new bill would allow fresh sanctions against Russia and curb President Trump's powers to lift them. ... read more

Brexit: Liam Fox sets election deadline for EU transition
Liam Fox says he would not want any interim arrangement after Brexit to "drag on" beyond 2022. ... read more

Poland court reforms: Hungary vows 'solidarity' as bill approved
Viktor Orban expresses support for Poland as its court reforms are approved, despite EU criticism. ... read more

Tour de France 2017: Chris Froome set to clinch fourth yellow jersey
Britain's Chris Froome effectively seals his fourth Tour de France win after finishing third on the penultimate stage of the race in Marseille. ... read more

Erdogan says Germany cannot scare Turkey with threats
Turkey's president says Germany should "sort itself out", as Berlin vows to review their arms deals. ... read more

Dali's moustache 'intact at 10 past 10', exhumation finds
The comments by the painter's foundation come after his body was dug up to settle a paternity case. ... read more

China in Baltic navy drill with Russia
Three Chinese warships will practise with the Russian navy off Kaliningrad. ... read more

Greece-Turkey earthquake: Two killed on island of Kos
At least 100 are injured on the Greek island of Kos after the 6.7-magnitude quake in the Aegean Sea. ... read more

Five Ukraine troops die in fierce clash with Donetsk rebels
The US says it was the most serious fighting in eastern Ukraine so far this year. ... read more

Girl, 5, fined £150 for lemonade stand
The young girl burst into tears after Tower Hamlets Council issued a fine for selling 50p drinks to festival goers. ... read more

Princess Diana's belongings to be displayed at Buckingham Palace
Belongings on show will include her school lunch box, ballet shoes and cassette tapes. ... read more

Couples take part in Belarus wife-carrying race
Couples take part in Belarus wife-carrying race ... read more

Turkey and Greece earthquake: CCTV captures people fleeing cafe
The moment a 6.7-magnitude quake hit parts of Turkey and Greece has been captured on the CCTV of a cafe in Bodrum. ... read more

Reality Check: Is Brexit inevitable?
How the law, politics and practicalities could affect the process of the UK leaving the EU. ... read more

Meet Boaty McBoatface's Swedish cousin
The public voted, and this time the name will stick. But what is it? ... read more

Gay Germans' joy and angst
Equal marriage will be celebrated at Gay Pride Berlin, but adoption is still a thorny issue. ... read more

No secrets
In Norway, anyone can find out how much anyone else is paid, and it rarely causes problems, writes Lars Bevanger. ... read more

School battle
Meet Bosnia's pupils who are fighting against a deeply divided education system based on religious lines. ... read more

Fined £6 for protesting
Andrey Osipov has been put on trial twice for participating in a protest in March. ... read more

Man who migrated twice
What is life like for those involved in Europe's great migration? ... read more

30 others hospitalized; truck driver taken into custody
Eight people were found dead in the back of a tractor-trailer parked at a Walmart lot in San Antonio, authorities said early Sunday.
... read more

Can Trump stop Mueller?
Robert Mueller's appointment as special counsel to lead the Russia probe in May caught President Donald Trump by surprise.
... read more

Spicer: 'SNL' skits went from funny to mean
Former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer discusses Melissa McCarthy's imitation of him on "Saturday Night Live."
... read more

Are German car companies running a cartel?
Antitrust officials confirmed Saturday that they are investigating claims that the country's major carmakers may have been operating a cartel since the 1990s, colluding on everything from vehicle development and engines, to suppliers and diesel emissions systems.
... read more

Opinion: Singer's death may help male sex abuse victims speak up
Many fans are shocked and heartbroken over the loss this week of Chester Bennington, the fierce lead singer for the rock band Linkin Park. Police say they are treating his death as a possible suicide, which would make the pain even harder to bear.
... read more

90 hospitalized during Chance the Rapper concert
More than 90 people were hospitalized in Connecticut during a concert headlined by musician Chance the Rapper, authorities said.
... read more

Paralyzed ex-Olympian walks wife down aisle
... read more

'Wonder Woman' sequel is a go
... read more

Colorado dad arrested in connection with son's 2012 death
The father of a missing Colorado 13-year-old was arrested Saturday in connection with the boy's 2012 death, the La Plata County Sheriff's Office said.
... read more

Calls for UN meeting as clashes continue in Jerusalem and West Bank
Clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces broke out again across Jerusalem and the West Bank on Saturday, with the mood tremendously intense around Jerusalem's Old City.
... read more

Mayor silenced by angry protester
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges was holding a press conference on when protesters interrupted and called for her resignation.
... read more

Owner bags $1.8M with moon pouch sale
The savvy owner of Neil Armstrong's moon dust bag has made a profit of $1.8 million on the canvas pouch.
... read more

These numbers should make Democrats uneasy
There's plenty of good news for Democrats and bad news for Donald Trump in an avalanche of new polling released this week.
... read more

Cillizza: Jeff Sessions had a totally terrible week
Everyone knew President Donald Trump wasn't happy with Attorney General Jeff Sessions' decision to recuse himself from the FBI investigation into Russia's meddling into the 2016 election. No one -- until this week -- knew just how unhappy he was.
... read more

Trump tweets that he has 'complete power to pardon'
President Donald Trump mentioned his presidential pardoning powers and condemned intelligence leaks in a string of tweets Saturday morning, a day after The Washington Post reported that Attorney General Jeff Sessions spoke about the Trump campaign in meetings with the Russian ambassador last year.
... read more

Congress defies Trump over Russia sanctions
The House and Senate have struck a deal that could send a new bill to President Donald Trump's desk before the end of the month that would slap Russia with new sanctions and give Congress new veto power over easing sanctions against Moscow.
... read more

Scaramucci apologizes for bashing Trump
Anthony Scaramucci once called then presidential candidate Donald Trump a "hack politician" who is "anti-American." Now he is the Trump administration's communications director.
... read more

Starbucks customer takes on armed robber
A Starbucks customer in California tried to stop an armed robbery with a metal chair. The suspect was found bleeding nearby and was arrested.
... read more

Teens could face charges after drowning
A Florida police chief said he will recommend criminal charges be filed against five teenagers who taunted a drowning man while recording his death from afar.
... read more

Navy commissions new $13B aircraft carrier
Perched 50 feet above the USS Gerald Ford's massive flight deck, Petty Officer 1st Class Jose Triana has a clear view of the horizon from his padded captain's chair in the pilot house of the world's most advanced aircraft carrier.
... read more

Sanders Says His Wife Did Nothing Wrong. What's This About?
Sen. Bernie Sanders is getting asked a lot about a 2010 land deal involving a Vermont college run by his wife, Jane. Why? It's under federal investigation. ... read more

Eight Suspected Migrants Found Dead in Packed, Overheated Tractor-Trailer
A security guard at a Walmart in the city received a tipoff from an unknown individual that the truck was full of migrants. ... read more

GOP Legislative Agenda Stalled Amid Ideological Divides
Republicans came into power with an ambitious agenda on health care and other issues but their agenda has stalled amid intra-party differences. ... read more

Meet Colombia's First Legally Recognized 'Throuple'
Three men living in Medellín have become Colombia's — and maybe the world's — first legally recognized polyamorous couple. ... read more

Saving a Spaceman from Drowning
An astronaut's helmet was flooding with water. Lucky for him, his crewmate Karen Nyberg was there to help. ... read more

Trump Immigration Crackdown Straining Courts, Advocates Say
President Trump's promised crackdown on illegal immigration has resulted in temporary reassignments of about one-third of the nation's immigration judges ... read more

Staff at Hospital Treating Sick British Baby Charlie Gard Recieved Death Threats
"In recent weeks the GOSH community has been subjected to a shocking and disgraceful tide of hostility and disturbance," said the hospital's chairman. ... read more

How Sean Spicer Went Horribly Wrong
Sean Spicer fought on two fronts each day: With the press and with President Donald Trump. In the end, he didn't win with either. ... read more

Congress Reaches Deal on 'Strong' Russia Sanctions Bill
Rep. Steny Hoyer said lawmakers had settled lingering issues with the bill, which also includes stiff economic penalties against Iran and North Korea. ... read more

Ex-Escort Gets 16 Years for Trying to Have Husband Killed
Former Florida escort Dalia Dippolito was sentenced Friday to 16 years in prison for trying to hire a hit man to murder her newlywed husband. ... read more

'Home Alone' Actor John Heard Found Dead in Hotel
Heard also appeared in "Big," "Beaches," "Gladiator," and on TV in "Miami Vice" and "The Sopranos," for which he won an Emmy nomination. ... read more

Police Seek to Charge Teens Who Filmed Drowning Man
Florida officials say the death of Jamel Dunn, 31, earlier this year is disturbing because the teens failed to help him as he drowned in a pond. ... read more

Popular Venezuelan Violinist Bloodied During Protest
Clashes ensued for several hours as hundreds of masked youths hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at National Guard troops firing tear gas from motorbikes. ... read more

Trump Calls New Carrier USS Gerald Ford Symbol of Power
President Donald Trump at the commissioning of the USS Gerald Ford said "everyone will know that America is coming and America is coming strong." ... read more

Frozen in Time: What Glaciers Have Entombed Over the Years
The frozen bodies of a couple who went missing 75 years ago found in the Alps this week is just one of many secrets glaciers have revealed as they melted. ... read more

A New Veneer: Inside Trump's Communications Shakeup
Hallie Jackson takes readers inside the White House communications shakeup that led Sean Spicer to turn in his resignation. ... read more

Russia's Lavrov Says Trump May Have Met Putin More Times
"They might have met even much more than just three times," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told NBC News' Keir Simmons in an exclusive interview. ... read more

NBC News Launches 'Stay Tuned,' a Snapchat News Show
'Stay Tuned,' the first daily news show to appear on Snapchat, is being launched today by NBC News. ... read more

Got a News Tip? We Want to Know About It
Do you have a story to share with us? Did you witness something you think should be reported? Reach out to our journalists by sending in your news tip. ... read more

Meet Anthony Scaramucci, Trump's New Communications Director
Anthony Scaramucci, the president's new communications director, is a Wall Street hedge fund manager and a top Republican fundraiser who's known as "The Mooch." ... read more

Calgary News Releases

Copyright 2014 WestNet-HD Action News

Email this story to a Friend!
Your Email :

Friend Email Address :












westnet-hd-sq.png
Copyright 1996-2014 WestNet-HD Action News. A Division of WestNet Continental Broadcasting.
News Desk