Mapping the world's opinions

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This is a place to read about and contribute to discussions about politics. Discover the controversies surrounding the world of national elections, democracy and current political issues.
Welcome to Politics
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Can incrementalism work?

Incrementalism is when changes occur gradually. Most often referring to the policy of social change happening in degrees. The use of the term incrementalism is first attributed to Lindblom (1959) and then Wildavsky (1964). According to them, people break down complex problems into manageable steps. They simplify the process. From its inception, there has been a debate on whether incrementalism wo...

Is our society becoming egalitarian?

Egalitarianism is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equality, prioritizing it for all people. It is generally the idea that all humans are equal in fundamental worth or moral status. Society is changing... and we ask the question: are we becoming more egalitarian?

Is taxation theft?

Taxes have been raised for over 5,000 years. Without tax, so it claims, the state cannot maintain its functions and support its citizens. But some libertarians claim all taxation is immoral: the state stealing the money of the individual. Where does taxation cross the line between legitimate representation and legal plunder?

Should felons be allowed to vote?

According to the Sentencing Project, an estimated 6.1 million Americans have lost their voting rights because of felony disenfranchisement laws as of 2016. Lawmakers are divided about its implications: what constitutes human rights and what justifies taking them away, especially given a justice system that disproportionately imprisons minorities and the poor?

Mapping the world's opinions.

Is Donald Trump racist?

As the President of the United States, Donald Trump should act as chief citizen, and representing all Americans of every race, culture, or background. But many of his words and actions suggest a racial bias that has him failing to protect non-white Americans. We are left to ask, is Donald Trump racist?

Should Catalonia become independent?

Catalonia is a region in the northeast corner of Spain and is home to Barcelona, the region’s capital. The question of Catalan independence has been a part of Spanish politics for at least three centuries. Since the 1970s, Catalans have been in conflict with the Spanish government and within themselves about becoming an independent country. The question of Catalan independence is central to Spain’...

Should there be a united Ireland?

The status of Northern Ireland has been the subject of intense debate and decades of violence known as the Troubles, which started in the 1960s. Though Northern Ireland has been at peace since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, the question of whether Northern Island should remain in the United Kingdom or join the Republic of Ireland remains a source of contention. Should there be a united Ireland...

What are the pros and cons of Populism in politics?

2016 established the ascendancy of Populist parties. The UK Brexit vote was soon followed by the election of former property magnate Donald Trump to the US Presidency. In the years since, this political trend has become an even more powerful force. Especially in European democracies. Newer parties are being elected on anti-establishment platforms that threaten the post-war liberal consensus. Whet...

Is Western liberalism obsolete?

In a 2019 interview with the Financial Times, Russian President Vladimir Putin called Western liberalism "obsolete". He is not alone. The death of the West's ideological mainstay, is being discussed by everyone, from former Trump adviser Steve Bannon, to Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban, and high-profile journalists including Edward Luce and James Traub. Authoritarian China is ascendant. Fr...

Is a world without any borders a good idea?

Nation-states maintain borders for safety, maintaining political jurisdiction. Yet, some forms of open borders exist between nation-states: the Schengen Agreement in the European Union, borders between India and Nepal, Ireland and the U.K., and the CA4 Border Control Agreement in Central America. Most nation-states maintain strict border controls, restricting travel between countries and barring e...

What are the implications of Kanye West running for President?

On Saturday 4 July 2020, billionaire rapper Kanye West announced he was running for President. In a Tweet to his 29 million followers, West wrote: "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION." This is not the first time West has announced a bid for Presidency. But many believe...

Monarchy or Republic?

A monarchy and a republic distribute the power and agency of the country’s leadership very differently. Which of the two is more beneficial?

Are political protests effective?

A protest is a public demonstration that expresses disapproval towards something. Political protests focus on objecting policies or actions by governing bodies. Some of the political protests that have occurred in the past year include the George Floyd protests, the 2019-2020 Hong Kong protests, the Philippines’ Anti-Terror Bill protests, and the 2019 Venezuelan protests.

Did nationalism predate nation states?

Today, we are used to both the nation-state and the idea of nationalism. However, it may be possible to have one without the other. Authors have written about nationalism for centuries, but the nation state as we know it has existed a relatively short amount of time. So, did nationalism predate the nation?

Was Twitter correct in fact checking Trump?

On May 28th, Twitter added a fact check to a Trump Tweet about mail in ballots. The President has argued that this is a type of political censorship. Is Twitter a public square or private forum? Does a fact-check limit free speech? Was Twitter correct in fact-checking Trump's tweets?

How do we think about the UK lockdown debate?

The coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented isolation measures throughout the world. One effect has been the creation of ideological blocs across traditional party lines, lobbying for different approaches to containing the virus. UK lockdown came into effect on March 23, shutting down non-essential business and movement outside the home, bar a single daily outing for exercise. Critics variou...

Is Universal Basic Income a good idea?

Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a type of program in which all people receive a regular sum of money unconditionally, regardless of employment or current wages. Proposed UBI programs vary across the world, allowing different UBI programs to align with both progressive and conservative goals. Several UBI pilot studies have been tried throughout the world, and the interpretations of results vary wid...

Is BDS anti-semitic?

BDS stands for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. It is a non-violent, Palestinian led political campaign that advocates for and promotes various forms of finanical protest against the state of Israel. The objective of BDS is to pressure Israel into abiding by international law, which includes ending the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip, granting Arab-Palestinians Israeli citize...

Who should be the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee?

The Democrats are preparing to beat Donald Trump in the 2020 US Presidential election. While united by party, the contenders are divided on how they plan to take the US forward. So, who are the possible top candidates? What are their policies and what do they represent? And could they beat Donald Trump in an election?

What are the pros and cons of capitalism?

Capitalism is an economic system in which the four factors of production (entrepreneurship, capital goods, natural resources, and labor) are owned by private entities with the aim of generating a profit. Capitalism requires a free market economy driven by supply and demand. There is a lack of government intervention. Competition helps keep prices moderate and production efficient. This stands in o...

Would a Mars colony need a fixed government?

Advanced Space capabilities are in all likelihood coming rather soon, with SpaceX’s next generation rockets at the forefront. However, exploration of how a colony will fit into the global stage has only been explored by fiction authors thus-far and not decision - makers.

#CakeGate: can you refuse service on the basis of faith?

The cake that Colorado baker Jack Phillips refused to bake was the kindling that lit a nation-wide discussion in the USA. Can a business deny service to an individual on the basis of their sexual orientation? As the Supreme Court came to a verdict in favour of the baker, the narrowness of the ruling still left the question unanswered. The baker was quickly followed by others who stood up in solida...

Is India a global superpower?

A world superpower is usually defined as a country that is capable of projecting its power and influence on a global scale. India's broad range of quality of life among its citizens and booming economy have put the country in a unique position in the world. It competes with leading superpowers in creating new technology and defense, yet most rural areas are still underdeveloped. Impoverished citiz...

Is the BJP dangerous?

Founded in 1950, modern India is a federal parliamentary democratic republic, with 28 states and 8 union territories. At the 2019 election, almost 614 million people voted, a record 67.1% voter turn out. The Bharativa Janata Party (BJP) was re-elected with a single-party majority, the first since 1971 to do so. With its alliance partners in the National Democratic Alliance, it won 353 of the 543...

What caused the American Civil War?

The American Civil War (1861-1865) officially began with the battle of Fort Sumter on April 12th-13th, 1861 and fundamentally shifted the trajectory of American history. Arguably the first instance of modern total war for the United States, the war impacted virtually every facet of American society. However, different perceptions of its origins and legacy persist across regions and demographics i...

Were Indian police complicit in the Palghar lynching?

On 16 April 2020, two Hindu priests and their driver were killed. This happened after the men were stopped by a crowd of men at a checkpoint amid coronavirus lockdown, accused of being thieves or child kidnappers, and then taken away and killed. The presence of the police at the scene has raised questions about their involvement. Did they do enough to try to stop the killings? Or did they let it t...

Is Tony Blair a war criminal?

In 2017 the official investigation into former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair's invasion of Iraq was finally published. Known as The Chilcot Inquiry, it concluded that the invasion was unnecessary and undermined the United Nations recommendations. This blatant disregard for international law has led many to argue that Blair is a war criminal, and should be tried in an international court for war cr...

Is Anarchism possible?

Anarchism describes a diverse range of political and philosophical beliefs, ranging from the individualism of anarcho-capitalism to the communitarianism of anarcho-syndicalism. However, they hold in common a belief in the primacy of freedom: the individual's ability to act according to their conscience, without coercion from or subjugation to an oppressive authority. Often, this authority is iden...

Would Britain become chaotic if biscuit production stopped?

A few years ago, the McVities biscuit factories were flooded in the wakes of Storms Desmond and Eva, and biscuit production in the UK was halted. Great Britain had to have emergency biscuit supplies flown in from the EU. What would happen if this happened again after a hard No Deal Brexit? Would Britain descend into chaos without biscuits?

Should we boycott Facebook because of Cambridge Analytica?

Cambridge Analytica is a British political consulting firm. In March, allegations broke that CA obtained private information from an estimated 50 million Facebook users without their permission. This data was then shared with third parties, including Donald Trump’s presidential campaign during the 2016 US Presidential Elections. The issue has raised concerns about privacy in the age of Big Data, a...

Was Trump justified to try to buy the rights to a COVID-19 vaccine?

The American President made his mark on the world in business. Hotels, golfing resorts, universities, casinos, TV production, you name it...So is it any surprise the former reality television star offered a 'large sum' for exclusive rights to the Coronavirus vaccine? In a global economy built on the sale of goods and services, this move was hardly extraordinary. Yet, the pandemic has now reached ...

Has the Trump administration responded well to COVID-19?

Government responses to emergency situations like the coronavirus outbreak can have a critical impact on the health and wellbeing of the public, and on the economy and society at large. So how have President Trump and his team responded? Will the American people benefit from or be hurt by the actions of the Trump Administration?

What is the future of NATO?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) was formed in 1949 as a Western military alliance to deal with the growing threat of the Soviet Union. However, since the break-up of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, it has struggled to define itself in the 21st century. This has led some to speculate whether the military alliance has a future?

Who killed John F. Kennedy?

On November 22, 1963, in Dallas, Texas, U.S. President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. Decades later, his death is still considered one of the biggest mysteries of American history. Despite the Warren Commission concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald assassinated JFK, there is still a conspiracy surrounding whether or not he was the actual assassin, and if he was working alone. Who actually assassin...

What are the solutions to the Syrian crisis?

The Syrian crisis is part of a wider conflict the origins of which can be traced back to the Arab Spring of 2011. The dissatisfaction of some of the countries in the Arab world with their corresponding governments had led to many anti-government protests demanding a better standard of living in countries such as Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt. Some of these countries were successful in creating signifi...

Is coronavirus aggravating Islamophobia in India?

As covid-19 hit the headlines and became a national emergency in India, Islamophobia surged. On Twitter, furious posts poured out of the nation with the gruesome hashtag #CoronavirusJihad. The inference was clear: many Indians were using the pandemic as an excuse to victimise its Muslim population. Critics claim its government has done little to stop this, while others say the threat is exaggerate...

Should the UK have remained in the EU?

Now that Brexit has happened, the UK has officially left the European Union. As the transition period continues and the effects of the decision to leave the EU begin to be felt, we will begin to be able to evaluate whether it was the right choice. Is the UK really stronger upon leaving the EU? Or would it have been better off to remain united?

How will the coronavirus affect globalisation?

World leaders now describe Covid-19 as the 'silent enemy'. Several have called the pandemic a 'war'. For the first time in history, every nation on Earth is battling a common foe. What this will mean for globalisation remains unknown. Global connectivity is, on the face of things, being eroded, as free movement stops and people 'stay and shelter'. Yet, the world is also increasingly united, as t...

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