Bypassing the voters

“THE people have spoken. The bastards.” Dick Tuck’s reaction to defeat in a Californian state Senate race in 1966 is not that far from the attitudes of the authorities since the 2008 financial crisis. They have tended to act first, and hope that voters approve of their actions afterwards. Often this has involved the introduction of improvised measures that the people might not have favoured, and the use of bodies that were free from democratic constraint.

The unpopularity of the Bush...

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