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posted by janrinok on Monday January 27 2020, @05:46PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Political polarization among Americans has grown rapidly in the last 40 years—more than in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia or Germany—a phenomenon possibly due to increased racial division, the rise of partisan cable news and changes in the composition of the Democratic and Republican parties.

That's according to new research co-authored by Jesse Shapiro, a professor of political economy at Brown University. The study, conducted alongside Stanford University economists Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow, was released on Monday, Jan. 20, as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.

In the study, Shapiro and colleagues present the first ever multi-nation evidence on long-term trends in "affective polarization"—a phenomenon in which citizens feel more negatively toward other political parties than toward their own. They found that in the U.S., affective polarization has increased more dramatically since the late 1970s than in the eight other countries they examined—the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

"A lot of analysis on polarization is focused on the U.S., so we thought it could be interesting to put the U.S. in context and see whether it is part of a global trend or whether it looks more exceptional," Shapiro said. "We found that the trend in the U.S. is indeed exceptional."

Using data from four decades of public opinion surveys conducted in the nine countries, the researchers used a so-called "feeling thermometer" to rate attitudes on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 reflected no negative feelings toward other parties. They found that in 1978, the average American rated the members of their own political party 27 points higher than members of the other major party. By 2016, Americans were rating their own party 45.9 points higher than the other party, on average. In other words, negative feelings toward members of the other party compared to one's own party increased by an average of 4.8 points per decade.

The researchers found that polarization had also risen in Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland in the last 40 years, but to a lesser extent. In the U.K., Australia, Germany, Norway and Sweden, polarization decreased.

More information: Levi Boxell et al, Cross-Country Trends in Affective Polarization, (2020). DOI: 10.3386/w26669


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  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:18AM (1 child)

    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:18AM (#949688) Journal
    I don't see how McConnell and others who have said that they have already made up their minds before the trial begins are allowed to sit as jurors in the trial.

    They stated publicly that they would vote against impeachment, then took an oath to listen and consider all evidence before coming to a decision. Justice Roberts has no ball and no integrity - any judge getting a whiff of this sort of behaviour from a potential juror, and moreso one who has been sworn in, would be hauled before the bench and given a lecture that would make them crap their pants, be dismissed for cause, and if they actively promoted this among other jurors, charged with corruption of justice.

    Not to mention the lesser charge of contemp.

    But of course they don't want an impartial fair trial.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:54AM (#949709)

    Apparently one big failing of the US system is no impartial application of law to politicians. You are 100% correct, but without the judge ruling against them we have no recourse. Part of it is that the impeachment trial is not a standard legal trial, so there is a lot of tradition and rule setting that seems to occur.

    The silver lining is that we've had our structural problems really well highlighted. A new round of updates are in order to close these stupid loopholes and provide punishments for abuses of power. The POTUS can not deny congressional subpoenas, any statement made by an elected official that violates their oath shall result in removal and incarceration, etc.