A Letter from the Virgin Islands: Where a U.S. Territory Can’t Get Its Own Constitution

A Self-Serving Legislature Drives the Plot in a Story of Democratic Failure

What are the obstacles and opportunities facing democracy today? Zócalo is publishing a series of letters to highlight how the world’s democratic ideals are faring in practice. From the Virgin Islands: democracy expert J.H. Snider reports on why the U.S. territory does not have a constitution of its own, despite its citizens’ wishes.

This series is presented in tandem with tonight’s Zócalo event in Mexico City—“Are Elected Presidents Bad for Democracy?,” presented in partnership with Democracy International and Metropolitan Autonomous University for the Global Forum for Modern Direct Democracy 2023.

If you’re …