30 Mar '15, 12pm

The Lee Kuan Yew Conundrum

Washington, D.C., is fast becoming an acronym for “Dysfunctional Capital.” Singapore, in contrast, has become the poster child for “the concept of good governance,” to quote the Financial Times ’s obituary for the country’s longtime leader, Lee Kuan Yew, who was laid to rest on Sunday. For Americans in particular, this contrast presents a conundrum. On the one hand, Americans hold as a self-evident truth that their democracy is the best form of government. On the other hand, they see mounting evidence daily of Washington’s gridlock, corruption, and theatrical distractions, which makes their system seem incapable of addressing the country’s real challenges. In assessing the quality of national governance, international rankings often focus on three related baskets of indicators: first, a nation’s level of democracy and civic participation, and the degree to which citizens e...

Full article: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/03/...

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