Democracy Turns Off Millennials. It Doesn’t Have To.

Leonid Bershidsky: “More than two thirds of American millennials do not consider it essential to live in a country that is governed democratically. About a quarter of them consider a democratic political system a ‘bad’ or ‘very bad’ way to run the country. At the same time, support for authoritarian alternatives is rising. In 1996, only 1 in 16 Americans said it would be good if the military ruled the country. By 2014, it was 1 in 6. Only 19 percent of millennials say it wouldn’t be legitimate for the military to take over if the government proved incompetent or unable to do its job. A growing share of young people is in favor of a ‘strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with parliament and elections’ and a government of ‘experts’ rather than politicians.”

“It may be that all that’s needed to revive faith in democracy is to reform the electoral systems to be both more inclusive and more meritocratic, shifting attention from candidates’ personalities and private lives to policies and issues. The rule changes needed for that don’t have to be particularly drastic: something as simple as ranked-choice voting could lead to progress.”

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