US Opinion and Commentary

“VOA will present the policies of the United States clearly and effectively, and will also present responsible discussion and opinion on these policies.” — VOA Charter

Showing Archived Posts

Democracy in the Crosshairs

Posted April 19th, 2016 at 10:54 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Modern communications, higher voter education and the power of the internet are colliding with outdated methods of voting and participation to produce a system badly in need of reform. The result is a democracy that is veering off course, increasingly reflecting the will of powerful activist groups and the political extremes, and not of the […]

Venezuela on the Brink — Again

Posted December 4th, 2015 at 12:37 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

In the past, the Pinochet dictatorship in Chile and the Fujimori dictatorship in Peru were ousted by peaceful means by a fed-up electorate. The people of Venezuela are poised to do the same.

Liberals Losing the Culture Wars?

Posted November 6th, 2015 at 9:34 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

There is clearly a “passion gap” between the secular left and the religious right. The conservatives are mobilizing, spurred by an increasing liberal authoritarianism since the last presidential election, as the left puts “religious liberty” in scare quotes.

Turkey’s Erdogan: A Mixed Blessing?

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 2:34 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

Turkey is often viewed by the West as an island of stability in a sea of turmoil. For the United States, there is no question that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is a leader it needs badly to help stave off more tumult, and maybe even deliver a decisive blow against the Islamic State. On Sunday, Erdogan’s ruling party regained its majority in parliamentary elections, sparked by a hung parliament in June’s general elections. Not content to give up 13 years of AKP rule, critics say Erdogan stoked a nationalistic atmosphere that led his party to victory. And there is ample evidence that Erdogan has become ever more repressive of Turkey’s democratic institutions. As one blog put it: “Dealing with Erdogan is now, for his Western partners, much like holding a wolf by the ears: risky, but the alternative seems much worse.”

In Turkey Vote, a Window on Common Identity

Posted November 2nd, 2015 at 8:16 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

For all their divisiveness, elections are a window on a country’s ability to form a civic identity, one that rises above creed, tribe, race, or ethnicity…. Turkey is now the place to watch in this global trend toward binding a particular people along shared principles of governance.

Why Turkey Voted Against Authoritarianism

Posted June 11th, 2015 at 9:18 am (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

In a turnout of more than 86 percent, voters denied President Recep Tayyip Erdogan the majority he wanted to rewrite the constitution and give himself more executive authority. The result affirmed the stabilizing power of democracy and the wisdom of an informed electorate.

A Victory for Democracy in Turkey

Posted June 8th, 2015 at 1:04 pm (UTC-4)
Comments are closed

By Barbara Slavin His name was not on the ballot. But Sunday’s parliamentary elections in Turkey were all about President Recep Tayib Erdogan and the results revealed growing disenchantment with his authoritarian, divisive rule. Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost its majority in parliament and with it, Erdogan’s bid to revise the constitution to […]