Wednesday 13 December 2017

Drastic reform of dysfunctional US electoral system is crucial - and not just for Americans

Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters
Donald Trump. Photo: Reuters

Niall Holohan

With the imminent arrival of the era of President Donald J Trump, it is perhaps appropriate to review the role of the US as the oldest and greatest democracy in the world.

One can refer back to the ancient Athenians or even Iceland's medieval Althing parliament but, for all intents and purposes, modern Western democracy as we know it was founded by the American colonists when they overthrew British monarchical rule at the end of the 18th century.

The democratic freedoms won at the time did not, of course, apply to slaves or women - but they nevertheless represented a major step forward in mankind's progress towards a greater level of justice and social cohesion.

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