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The impact of #COVID19 on democracy, a #thread. There is a lot of discussion of this but some is a bit simplistic. We need to distinguish different mechanisms through which this works. I can see at least three. (Anyway wants me this up just DM me) 1 #COVID2019 #protectdemocracy
The most obvious mechanism is that authoritarian leaders use #COVID19 to ban rallies and protests, and in some cases cancel elections, eg by declaring states of emergency. We might call this the covid *sleight of hand*, which is used by authoritarian regimes in trouble 2
A less obvious mechanism is that authoritarian leaders simply do more oh what they have always been doing in the knowledge that no one is paying attention. In other words for these leaders #COVID2019 represents a good period to bury bad news. These are *corona opportunists* 3
Those two mechanisms are employed by what @brianklaas calls “counterfeit democracies”. But the third mechanism is more universal and less intentional, at least on the short term. The assumption of emergency powers by governments creates long-term problems 3 #COVID2019
This is because these powers - and the new technologies developed to respond to crises - are rarely fully reversed when the crisis over. Consequently, measures designed to protect is slowly erode our freedoms. This is the *ratchett effect* and it is far more insidious 4 #COVID19
Distinguishing these mechanisms is essential because they occur in different political settings and we need to fight each one in a different way. The most obvious problems may be in Hungary or Malawi, but the less obvious ones in places like the UK also need our attention 5
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