Study: Republican control of state government is bad for democracy
Vox reports on a study by a political science professor at the University of Washington, with the findings that state governments run by Republicans restrict democracy and are less well run compared to states run by Democrats.
That doesn't surprise me. Minoritarian government benefits from voter suppression and other manipulation, and a party that in general denigrates government ends up performing badly when in power, "proving" that government failures.
- voter suppression measures
- pre-emption of local government action ("Do legislators want to do your city’s job? These preemption bills suggest they do," Miami Herald, Google search, "Gun groups' success blocking local firearm controls leaves towns desperate to stop massacres," USA Today)
- and how more and more state governments pass legislation promoted by conservative and business interests that is hawked by the American Legislative Exchange Council ("COPY, PASTE, LEGISLATE: You elected them to write new laws. They’re letting corporations do it instead," USA Today).
Professor Grumbach's extends the work by the Vdem Institute, which looks at how parties function at the national level, to the sub-nation level within the US. (The Vdem study finds that the US Republican Party is amongst the most authoritarian in the West, "Republicans closely resemble autocratic parties in Hungary and Turkey – study," Guardian.)
The paper, by University of Washington professor Jake Grumbach, constructs a quantitative measure of democratic health at the state level in the US. He looked at all 50 states between 2000 and 2018 to figure out why some states got more democratic over this period and others less. The conclusions were clear: The GOP is the problem. ...Grumbach’s State Democracy Index (SDI) is the first attempt to use a V-Dem-style approach to measure the more subtle ailments afflicting democracy in the United States. Metrics include the extent to which a state is gerrymandered at the federal level, whether it permits same-day voter registration, and whether felons are permitted to vote. He also includes criminal justice indicators, like a state’s Black incarceration rate, that are designed to measure state coercion.