The 'Problems with Republicans' thread has taken on a life of it's own and maybe we should look at the bigger picture. First, a definition of liberal democracy. It is not the 'libtard, loony left' that some think it is.\n\nLiberal democracy - Wikipedia\nLiberal democracy is the combination of a liberal political ideology that operates under an indirect democratic form of government. It is characterized by elections between multiple distinct political parties, a separation of powers into different branches of government, the rule of law in everyday life as part of an open society, a market economy with private property, and the equal protection of human rights, civil rights, civil liberties and political freedoms for all people. To define the system in practice, liberal democracies often draw upon a constitution, either codified (such as in the United States) or uncodified (such as in the United Kingdom), to delineate the powers of government and enshrine the social contract. After a period of expansion in the second half of the 20th century, liberal democracy became a prevalent political system in the world. \n\nLiberal democracy probably has the widest left\/right range on the political spectrum, straddling the centre. I think I sit right on that centre line. In some areas I may lean left, in others to the right. But, I don't tend to stray very far from the centre - the "mushy middle" if you will. I have voted for all three of Canada's main political parties in different elections over the last forty years. I have also spoiled my ballot when I've been unhappy with all parties\/candidates, but I always vote. \n\nI believe in civil rights and civil responsibilities. Sure, I like freedom as much as the next person. I also recognize that enjoying that freedom comes with some moral obligations. I will never cheat on my taxes. I want my society to look after the less fortunate and that shouldn't be left to charity. I want us to respect each other's rights. Sometimes those rights conflict and that's where liberal democracy gets messy. It will never be perfect and we need to be comfortable with that ambiguity. A bit of empathy goes a long way. \n\nThe promises of the doctrinaire left and right are utterly empty. When they appeal to our most base instincts, we must resist the urge to submit to them. A classic example is Brexit. Everything will be wonderful, its proponents said. The reality is an utter poop pageant.\n \nOver the past few years - and the last two or three in particular - I have become more and more alarmed at the health of liberal democracy in, for lack of a better term, the "western world". Francis Fukuyama was clearly wrong when he wrote "The End Of History". In it, he predicted that after the end of the Cold War, the collapse of Communism in eastern Europe, opening up of trade with China, the future would be assured for liberal democracy being the default form of government. That has clearly not been the case. \n\nThese are just a few of my thoughts - disordered and incomplete as they may be. I just thought it would be an interesting topic to discuss.