Why Democracies Need the Right to Vote “No”

To Boost Participation and Promote Compromise, Taiwan and Berkeley May Let Citizens Cast Ballots Against Candidates

If we want our civic life to be more positive, we might need to vote in the negative.

That’s the compelling case that Sam Chang, a retired banker who lives in Taipei, was making as I rode BART with him between meetings with California election experts. Chang is the improbable leader of a global effort to establish what is called “the negative vote” or “the balanced ballot.” And he has started with concurrent ballot initiative campaigns to add the “negative vote” to the election system in Taiwan and the city charter …

Why Taiwan Would Be Better Off Neutral

A Citizen of Switzerland and Sweden Argues That a Stance of Non-Aggression Can Protect Small, Vulnerable Democracies

How can Taiwan best defend its democracy from the explicit threats of mainland China—and the security machinations of great powers in the Pacific?

Neutrality might be the answer.

You may opt …

Can Taiwan Teach California How to Thrive Under an Authoritarian Power?

The Island Nation Knows How to Navigate Beijing's Threats. The Golden State Could Do the Same With Washington.

Is California becoming another Taiwan?

In asking that, I don’t mean that earthquakes will turn California into an island. Instead, what California and Taiwan share is a problem—the predicament of the …

Can Anyone Really Rule the South China Sea?

East Asian Powers Jockey for Islands and Atolls in an Ocean that Defies Man-Made Boundaries

Wherever you go in the Philippines, the sea is never too far away.

I spent summers as a child laying on sunny beaches and playing in the waves. Sometimes we …

Pizza and Politics in Taipei

The Taiwanese Need to Decide if Their Government Can Function as Beautifully as Their Civil Society

“A table for three,” says my host at a basement entrance.

We’re at an Italian restaurant in central Taipei, Taiwan’s capital. Within a few seconds, we are seated by a …