By Birgitta Ohlsson, Director Political Parties, National Democratic Institute (NDI)
Putin’s attack on Ukraine has done more to unite the world’s democracies than anything since the end of the Cold War. It’s impossible to imagine a stronger, more convincing and more important game-changing story in modern times about why democracy matters. If a brutal authoritarian regime in Russia attacking the young democracy of Ukraine doesn’t make the case for freedom … what does?
Democratic political parties are in the midst of a perfect storm of populism, extremism, nationalism and authoritarianism. Even before the war started — when COVID brought the world to its knees — authoritarian political parties, governments and leaders were on the rise. Corruption, indifference to voters and opaque party organizations have undermined public confidence in political parties, fueling democratic instability and weakening global institutions.