Thursday, January 31, 2008


Nicholas Kristof writes in today's New York Times about an issue ("The Dynastic Question") that has troubled me. Here's his comparative politics angle on Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy:

We Americans snicker patronizingly as "democratic" Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Singapore, India and Argentina hand over power to a wife or child of a former leader. Yet I can’t find any example of even the most rinky-dink "democracy" confining power continuously for seven terms over 28 years to four people from two families. (And that's not counting George H.W. Bush's eight years as vice president.)

On the other hand, at least the countries Kristof mentions--except for Singapore--have had female presidents or prime ministers. The United States lags behind much of the world in this respect.