The fall of communism in Russia in 1989, and the advent of democracy in many formerly communist states has brought a rare situation to the global scene: more than 80% of the world’s population now enjoys some form of self determination, what someone described as “all of the world’s voices singing on the same page of the same songbook.”
We wish that it were so. Democracy has resulted not in rich harmony but in a remarkable level of cacophony, as every voice has decided that it must have its say, and wants to shout down and drown out every other voice. There are two consequences of this: Electoral politics have now become a year-round phenomenon – there’s always an election going on somewhere – and electioneering has become a multi-billion dollar business around the world, which is placing an increasing strain on developing world economies. The following list will be updated monthly. If an election is particularly important, we’ll tell you why it matters.