The US isn't close to becoming another Poland or Hungary - yet | View

By On September 13, 2018

The US isn't close to becoming another Poland or Hungary - yet | View

Professor R. Daniel Kelemen from Rutgers University answers Euronews' questions on the rule of law in Europe and in the USA.

In a recent Op-Ed article, Paul Krugman wrote that the United States is “close to becoming another Poland or Hungary” with regard to the rise of illiberalism. Do you share his warning?

Professor Krugman is right to be concerned given President Trump's ongoing attacks on democratic norms in the US and the Republican party's complicity in those attacks, but I don't agree that we are close to becoming another Poland or Hungary. In Hungary, the Orbán regime has dismantled democracy - eliminating checks on government power, undermining judicial independence, limiting media freedom, restricting the activities of civil society organizations, distorting electoral rules so much that while elect ions remain nominally free, they are so unfair as to practically ensure victory for the ruling party. The corrupt Fidesz party-state has also captured significant sections of the economy. Clearly, Orbán has replaced democracy in Hungary with a system political scientists would label "competitive authoritarianism". In Poland, the PiS (Law and Justice) government is moving quickly to replicate the Orbán model, but the battle is still ongoing and there is still a chance democracy could be saved before PiS extinguishes it. While Trump might be eager to install a similar regime, it is much harder to do in the US context. Given the fragmentation of power programmed in to US political institutions (above all because of federalism) and given the sheer size of our country and economy, it is simply far harder in the US to concentrate power in one leader's (or one party's) hands to the extent that has occurred in Hungary and Poland.

Source: Google News Poland | Netizen 24 Poland

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