Two key differences emerge when comparing the US and democracies that are leading in female representation. The first is that many countries have implemented gender quotas, a mechanism that is unconstitutional in the US. The second is that countries using proportional representation systems often have higher female representation.
It sure was discouraging to see those election returns coming in and realizing that the Republicans have gained such major ground. I mean, the first thing I thought was that government regulations would start to go out the window, paving the way for a disastrous oh my God I am having so much fun with this new iPhone 6.
Democratic strategists have been segmenting the electorate and seeking individual self-interest-based issues in each electoral block. The strategists also keep suggesting a move to the right. This has left no room for the Democrats to have an overriding authentic moral identity that Americans can recognize.
Pity the American people for imagining that they have just elected the new Congress. In a formal way, they of course have. The public did vote. But in a substantive way, it's not true that they have chosen their government. This was the billionaires' election, billionaires of both parties. And while the Republican and Democratic Party billionaires have some differences, what unites them is much stronger than what divides them, a few exceptions aside. Indeed, many of the richest individual and corporate donors give to both parties. The much-discussed left-right polarization is not polarization at all. The political system is actually relatively united and working very effectively for the richest of the rich.
When historians look back at the movement to end the war on drugs, they might very well point to the 2014 election as the moment when it all got real. With marijuana legalization measures passing in Oregon, Alaska and D.C., there's no longer any denying that drug policy reform is a mainstream -- and quite urgent -- political demand.