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+ - Statistical analysis of US politics: bedtime for democracy 2

Submitted by erikkemperman
erikkemperman (252014) writes "Opinion pieces at BBC and the New Yorker, among many others, have discussed recent statistical analysis by Princeton and NorthWestern profs, leading them to report:

"In the United States, our findings indicate, the majority does not rule—at least not in the causal sense of actually determining policy outcomes. When a majority of citizens disagrees with economic elites and/or with organized interests, they generally lose. Moreover even when fairly large majorities of Americans favor policy change, they generally do not get it."

The authors conclude that:

"Americans do enjoy many features central to democratic governance, such as regular elections, freedom of speech and association, and a widespread (if still contested) franchise. But we believe that if policymaking is dominated by powerful business organizations and a small number of affluent Americans, then America’s claims to being a democratic society are seriously threatened."

I was not aware of this kind of statistical methods to exploring how politics functions in practice. So rather than just finding out just how obvious you think their results are, I would ask: Does their approach seem sensible? Has similar analysis been done for other nations?"

There are two major products that come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence. -- Jeremy S. Anderson