“To read the headlines, one could be forgiven for thinking that democracy is in terminal decline around the world. Yet for all the challenges we face, 2024 is set to be a historic year for elections. Nearly 100 countries are scheduled to hold electoral contests, and more than half the global population lives in countries that will go to the polls.
“No election is perfect, but billions of voters turning out to hold their leaders accountable and elect new ones represent a compelling case that autocracy is not the wave of the future.
“Not all of these elections will be free or fair. Some, in countries such as Russia and Iran, will be outright shams. But this volume of electoral activity is a testament to the very real progress that has been made in advancing political freedom worldwide. Indeed, the fact that more people will be voting in Asia than live in China is a reminder that Beijing’s totalitarianism makes it an outlier even in its own region.
“This is not to understate the serious threats facing the free world. Authoritarian aggression is on the march, from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine to the Hamas-Iran assault on Israel to China’s menacing of Taiwan. Autocrats are also playing offense by deploying economic coercion and sophisticated campaigns of political interference against free societies. …”Top