and upward and downward delegationif democracy is to zigzag its way back to health. If companies publish their donations, they can show their contributions arent intended to win favours. Private rather than public interests dictate policy. Egypts ensuing elections were won not by liberal activists (who were hopelessly divided into a myriad of Pythonesque parties) but by Muhammad Morsis Muslim Brotherhood. The internet makes it easier to organise and agitate; in a world where people can participate in reality-TV votes every week, or support a petition with the click of a mouse, the machinery and institutions of parliamentary democracy, where elections happen only every few years.
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This was more than mere opportunism: Mr Bush sincerely believed that the Middle East would remain a breeding ground for terrorism so long as it was dominated by dictators. At the same time Chinas leaders have been able to tackle some of the big problems of state-building that can take what is quality education essay decades to deal with in a democracy. Or regulations to stop corporate lobbying and political funding from distorting the democratic process. Meanwhile the border between poking fun and launching protest campaigns is fast eroding. Rules about politicians conflicts of interest, for example. Where autocrats have been driven out of office, their opponents have mostly failed to create viable democratic regimes. Youth Ki Awaaz is a community of contributors whose stories and perspectives define what matters to today's generation. But technocracy and direct democracy can keep each other in check: independent budget commissions can assess the cost and feasibility of local ballot initiatives, for example. This postmodern tsar has destroyed the substance of democracy in Russia, muzzling the press and imprisoning his opponents, while preserving the showeveryone can vote, so long as Mr Putin wins.