The Peaceful Transition Of Power

Andrew Sullivan —  Jan 21 2013 @ 6:22pm

Dylan Matthews is unimpressed by it:

It’s probably fair to say that the U.S. has had an unusually long run, in both number of transitions and length of time those transitions have spanned. But between Robert Walpole and David Cameron, the United Kingdom has gone through 74 changes of prime minister, all without bloodshed. How democratic UK elections were in the early 18th century is a matter of legitimate debate, but they weren’t that much less democratic than early American elections, restricted as they were to white, property-owning free men.

Jonathan Bernstein counters:

It is a big deal — a very big deal. And while other nations have gotten the hang of it, the US was very much a pioneer. Yes, we could argue about the Brits vs. the US, but either way when Jefferson replaced Adams it really was something amazing and rare in world history.