Originally posted on TED Blog:

Ivan Krastev

What’s going wrong with democracy?

Iavan Krastev is a political scientist to speak about crisis in Europe. Not, in his words, an inspiring topic. And he’s here to talk about some of the problems with openness, in contrast to most of the talks. “You people in the church of TED,” says Krastev, “are very optimistic. You believe in complexity, but not ambiguity.”

He asks us to imagine a rainy election day in any country. No one goes to vote before 4pm, then suddenly everyone comes — but three-quarters of the people vote with a blank ballot. That paralyzes the government and the opposition. They know what to do with protesters, but not this. So they hold it again, and this time 87% cast a blank ballot, to say they have no one to vote for.

That is the opening of a Saramago novel, but for Krastev it captures the problem of democracy. People…

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