The New York TimesThe New York Times

The world's democracies ask: Why can't America fix itself?

By Damien Cave

08 Nov 2022 · 7 min read

Editor's Note

As we await the final results of the U.S. elections, The New York Times shows how America has gone from a beacon of democracy for many around the world to a cautionary tale of democratic decline.

TAIPEI, Taiwan — Lin Wei-hsuan was just a child when he observed his first Taiwanese election almost two decades ago. His parents took him to watch the vote-counting, where volunteers held up each paper ballot, shouting out the choice and marking it on a board for all to see — the huge crowd of citizens inside, and many more watching live on television.

The open process, established after decades of martial law, was one of several creative steps that Taiwan’s leaders took to build public trust in democracy and to win over the United States, whose support might deter China’s aim of unification.

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