The updated graph can be seen here.
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Famously in the 2000 Presidential Election George W. Bush was elected over Al Gore. There's a lot of finger pointing as to the reasons why: The Supreme Court stopping the recount, the butterfly ballot in Florida, Ralph Nader's candidacy, etc. This fact is not in dispute Al Gore had 500,000 more popular votes than Bush but Bush won the Electoral College 271-266 (one Gore elector abstained and could have voted for Bush). Only 51% of the voting age population participated.
Even now there's tons of opinions on the right and the left on how to do so. In the state of Wisconsin for the last week thousands of protesters have been camping outside the state capitol building against Governor Scott Walker's budget which takes public employee's and teacher's unions right to collective bargaining away. He has refused to meet with opposition groups or even take their phone calls but he did take a call from a man pretending to be right wing billionaire financier David Koch to discuss ways to sneak the bill through the legislature. This is discussed in the clip below:
8) How exactly did they measure this? They use data from the Polity IV data project with this definition - it examines concomitant qualities of democratic and autocratic authority in governing institutions, rather than discreet and mutually exclusive forms of governance. This perspective envisions a spectrum of governing authority that spans from fully institutionalized autocracies through mixed, or incoherent, authority regimes (termed "anocracies") to fully institutionalized democracies. The "Polity Score" captures this regime authority spectrum on a 21-point scale ranging from -10 (hereditary monarchy) to +10 (consolidated democracy). The Polity scores can also be converted to regime categories: we recommend a three-part categorization of "autocracies" (-10 to -6), "anocracies" (-5 to +5 and the three special values: -66, -77, and -88), and "democracies" (+6 to +10); see "Global Regimes by Type, 1946-2006" above. The Polity scheme consists of six component measures that record key qualities of executive recruitment, constraints on executive authority, and political competition. It also records changes in the institutionalized qualities of governing authority. The Polity data include information only on the institutions of the central government and on political groups acting, or reacting, within the scope of that authority. It does not include consideration of groups and territories that are actively removed from that authority (i.e., separatists or "fragments"; these are considered separate, though not independent, polities) or segments of the population that are not yet effectively politicized in relation to central state politics. It's complicated I know.
We human beings love to quantify intangible things like democracy or intelligence or a variety of other things and then we treat these measures like they are gold standards such as height or weight. It is comical sometimes. Gapminder is a good source of information for global statistics but it is easy to accept a lot of it as bible truth.