democracy

Nicaraguan Democracy: Successes & Challenges

Thursday, December 29, 2016 - 08:00

Nicaragua held its presidential elections last week, and current president Daniel Ortega was elected unanimously for the fourth time, garnering 72% of votes with his wife, Rosario Murillo, as his running mate (Wroughton & Pretel, 2016). The next closest competitor, center-right candidate Maximino Rodriguez, only managed to amass 14.2% of the vote (BBC, 2016). This was no surprise, as in previous months, the courts blocked the main opposition coalition from participating in the election. Mr.

Venezuela Ousts Three U.S. Diplomats Amid Protests

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 14:15

Claims of conspiracy and sabotage, ones all-too-familiar for Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, resulted in the expulsion of three U.S. diplomats from Venezuela on February 16th. As might be expected, the decision was made after the U.S. State Department articulated its concerns over the perpetual discord throughout the nation, most evident in the February 12th protest that gained international attention. The Venezuelan Foreign Ministry was quick to issue a statement critiquing the U.S.

Protests in Venezuela: A Repeat of 1989 or 2002?

Friday, February 21, 2014 - 14:00

On February 12th Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez called on opponents of the socialist Venezuelan government to take to the streets and support student groups that had been protesting the overwhelming problem of violent crime in Tachira State the week before. Ever since protests have continued on an almost nationwide scale.

Impressions from Venezuela Institutional Deterioration, Violence and Social Unrest

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 - 14:00

Venezuela is an incredibly dynamic country. After several decades of stability, the country has been shaken by major political realignments, economic shifts and policy changes since El Caracazo took place in 1989. In that year, the population rose up violently in response to the government's economic reforms that included increases in the price of gasoline and transportation.

Voluntary Voting in Chile: A Better Democracy?

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 13:15

On January 31st, 2012, Chile passed a law changing the vote from compulsory to voluntary, while at the same time expanding the register, allowing every citizen over the age of 18 to vote automatically, without the need to be registered. This contrasted with the previous mechanism, a registration system that was voluntary, but once citizens were inside they were forced to vote in every election, albeit under a weak threat of a pecuniary sanction.

Bachelet's Inauguration: Promise for Change Under Permanent Climate of Status Quo

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 - 13:15

As tradition mandates, every 11th day of the month of March following the election of a new president, Chile celebrates the inauguration of its new Chief Executive. In 2014, Michelle Bachelet becomes the first president to be inaugurated for a second time since the return of democracy in 1989. She  takes the reigns back from Sebastián Piñera, who governed the country for the last four years.

Colombia, Political Exclusion, and Delegative Democracy

Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 13:45

On December 9th, 2013, then mayor of Bogotá Gustavo Petro was dismissed from his post and subsequently banned from holding public office for 15 years.1 Petro was a former M19 guerrilla and longtime opposition leader who was known for being the highest ranking former guerilla in Colombia. The man who made the decision to fire Petro due to ‘gross mismanagement’ was Inspector General Alejandro Ordóñez, who has a reputation for doing away with leftist politicians.

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