When a Violent Mob Stormed Rome’s Capitol

Over 2,000 Years Ago, a Losing Politician Incited His Followers to Riot. It Ended in Death, Destruction, and Civil War

A politician-incited, post-election riot at a Capitol, seeking to block the result of a peculiar voting system, is not news. Ancient Romans witnessed something very similar.

On December 9, 100 B.C., Romans assembled to vote for the two consuls who would serve as the Republic’s top magistrates for the coming year. The election promised to be momentous. Gaius Marius, the dominant political figure in the Roman Republic for the previous decade, was finishing his fifth consecutive consulship. Once an extraordinarily popular figure, Marius had only won his most recent consular term …

Here Are Two Voting Reforms That Could Counter America’s Hyperpolarization

When Used Together, 'Ranked Choice' and 'Top Two' Elections Would Strengthen Major Parties and Favor Moderate Politicians

Political polarization has spread across the globe. The ensuing ideological purity might make each warring faction appear stronger, but in reality, hyperpolarization weakens parties by making them less appealing to …

Why We All Need to Leave the Country After This Election

Traveling Abroad Would Help Politicians and Voters Fix America’s Troubled Democracy

Now that the election is over, are you leaving the country? If not, you ought to reconsider.

I’m not kidding. Yes, a handful of our fellow Californians—prominent citizens from Samuel L. …

I’ll Vote, But First, Let Me Take A Selfie

Snapping and Sharing a Photo of Your Ballot Is Good for Democracy

Voting, James Madison once wrote, is fundamental in a constitutional republic like America. Yet “at the same time,” he noted, its “regulation” is “a task of peculiar delicacy.”

Madison was talking …

Take It From a Poll Worker, the System Isn’t Rigged

The People Who Staff Voting Precincts Put Aside Their Opinions So That You Can Express Yours

Recently, Donald Trump issued a typically bombastic call for supporters to go to polling stations and watch for voter fraud, strongly suggesting that the only way he would lose the …

The Philippines Election was Corrupt—and a Victory for Democracy

In the New President, Some See a Demagogue but Others See a Much-Needed Reformer

The Philippines is a sports-loving nation—from boxing to basketball. Seven years ago, the government even named the martial art known as Modern Arnis as our national sport.

But the country’s actual …