Policy Research: Forecasting the Instability of Democratic Elections

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This article delves into the complexities surrounding the efficacy of electoral systems in accurately representing the will of the people. From historical perspectives, including Athenian direct democracy to contemporary representative democracies, the article contends that elections, despite being a primary medium for voicing public opinions, grapple with inherent flaws that impede the realization of authentic popular will. The first major consideration is the multifaceted nature of the collective will, affected by factors such as misinformation, evolving societal perceptions, and dynamic geopolitical events. The second pivotal factor is the electoral system, which significantly influences the outcomes of elections. The article argues that no electoral system is ideal, with each posing trade-offs between majority representation and diversity protection. The analysis encompasses case studies, historical shifts in public opinion, and the impact of electoral systems on election outcomes. Despite acknowledging the imperfections, the article concludes that, among alternative systems like technocracy or dictatorship, democratic elections remain the most effective means of embodying the will of the people, playing a crucial role in the constant political evolution of democratic societies.

Main Author: James Wu, Zhuangyan Shi

Co-authors: Seth Jessoo Kang

Research Paper Type: Big-data Risk Prediction Paper

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