Are California Elections a Triumph of Democracy—or a Defeat? 

The Golden State Keeps Making It Easier to Vote, and Harder to Understand What to Vote For

It was the best of California elections. It was the worst of California elections.

Consider the paradox, if you will, of this moment of democratic triumph, which is also a moment of democratic defeat.

It has never been easier to vote in California than it is right now.

And it has never been harder to figure out what to vote for.

In one sense, the March elections in California represent the culmination of several years of herculean efforts to extend Californians’ voting rights. Not long ago, California had one of the lowest voter …

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 …

Here’s Your California Democracy. Would You Like Fries With That?

My Trip to a Wendy's in Colton Shows Why the Golden State Treats Law-Making Like Fast Food

One recent Sunday night, I stopped by a Wendy’s in Colton, a gritty San Bernardino County logistics crossroads (pop. 52,000) best known as home to one of America’s oldest and …

Why Older Voters Are Prone to Nationalism

Nostalgia, Risk Aversion, and Economic Priorities Foster Parochial Loyalties Among the Elderly

Just a few decades into the latest wave of globalization, the “nation-state” is striking back with a vengeance. From the United States and the Russian Federation, to Hungary, the Philippines, …

How the Suffragists Used a Few Good Men to Help Get the Vote

Lampooned as Hen-Pecked Wimps, Male Supporters of Crusading Women Reinvented Themselves as Dashing Trophy Spouses

The early rap on men who found themselves married to hard-working, hard-core suffragists must have been downright humiliating. Cartoonists portrayed them as gents in tie-and-starched-collared misery, shirtsleeves up, infants in …