Lustration after communism in Eastern Europe

Elections in Czechia are coming up and someone with proven contacts with the former secret police is projected to be the next prime minister.[1] (And a fresh Slovak supreme court ruling should make it impossible to sue archival institutions which hold secret police files.[2]) I've been thinking about…

Understanding the 2016 vote: Democratic turnout

Why did the election in 2016 turn out the way it did? One story is the that too many Democrats stayed home. Soon after the vote, articles like this one (“Don’t blame minority turnout for Clinton’s loss. White Democrats in key states just didn’t vote.”) went up.…

Twitter use by politicians

Andreas Jungherr, a professor at the University of Konstanz, summarizes existing research on how Twitter is used in election campaigns. Selected insights: Twitter is not a dialogue-enabling tool. Social media has (mostly) not change power dynamics between parties and candidates. Active Twitter use does not imply electoral success. Key moments…

Cynicism in America

Is the economic system "rigged"? Several presidential candidates claimed they believed it was -- and that they'd clean it up, if elected. "It's not just the political system that's rigged, it's the whole economy", Americans were told by Trump last summer. But was the cheering at…

Economic situation in Europe: almost back to 2007

In most of Europe, 50 to 90% of people judge the current economic situation as bad. This chart is based on the data collected for the Eurobarometer in November 2016: The picture is mostly unsettling, but the changes since early 2016 are generally encouraging; the EB report states that "…

Some memorable aspects of #USElections2016

State of the American democracy Just 43 to 52% of respondents say they would be willing to support the next president: These numbers makes me deeply uneasy about Wednesday morning in America. From latest WSJ/NBC poll. pic.twitter.com/G9tUmxyZX7— Niall Ferguson (@nfergus) November 6, 2016 Paul Krugman:…

Some good news this October

Civic values in America Almost all Americans say that paying taxes is the right thing to do: Paris climate agreement #ParisAgreement to enter into force as EP agrees ratification (good that happened during #skpres) https://t.co/0X4WjSXG9H #EU— Andrej Matisak (@matisaksk) October 4, 2016 Great news: #EU Parliament…

Sexism in reporting - some examples

Business In February 2013, Yahoo’s new chief executive, Marissa Mayer, ­announced that the company was eliminating its full-time work-from-home policy because she wanted her employees to interact more closely. There was an explosion of criticism as columnists and commentators decried her move, claiming it was particularly hostile to working…