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Why is the US rated as a ‘flawed democracy’?

(AP Photo/Matt York, Creative Commons Photo/Gage Skidmore)

The Democracy Index measures the state of democracy in 167 countries. Compiled by the U.K.’s Economist Intelligence Unit, it is based on 60 indicators measuring aspects of pluralism, civil liberties and political culture.

While we like to think of ourselves as a full-fledged democracy, our ranking has been slipping in recent years. We score lower than 24 countries (but do barely edge out Cape Verde, Portugal and Botswana).

Paul Johnson and Terry Goddard are both former Phoenix mayors who unsuccessfully ran for Arizona governor. More importantly, both are uniquely qualified to comment on these trends. Each has been involved in efforts to restore aspects of our democracy and make our elections fairer and more meaningful.

Together we discuss the impact on democracy of such things as selectively purging voter rolls, unreasonable ID requirements, preregistration requirements, holding elections on a work day, felon disenfranchisement, unlimited corporate cash in campaigns, keeping the sources of that cash hidden, contrived means of making citizen initiatives more difficult, monkeying with polling place locations, gerrymandering, and the failed attempt to monkey with the U.S. Census to deliberately undercount Hispanics.

The Think Tank airs on KTAR News 92.3 FM on Sunday at 1-2 p.m. and repeats at 9-10 p.m.

Podcasts are available after each show is broadcast.

The Think Tank

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