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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Are you angered by politicians who tell lies, accept favours, crush dissidents, steal elections, or abuse powers? Then fight back by nominating them for openDemocracy’s monthly Bad Democracy award. Each month, Tom Burgis profiles six of the world’s illiberals, despots and do-no-gooders and asks openDemocracy readers to cast their ballots. Be you blustering baron or blithering bigwig, prepare to be exposed!

A Loong and winding road

A year and seventy-two nominees later, openDemocracy readers vote for and against the world's primary Bad Democrat. Tom Burgis opens the envelope.

Democracy bites

The Bad Democracy award for October – the last before openDemocracy's grand poll for the year's worst democrat – became the object of Hungarian passion and the target of the country's hackers, reports Tom Burgis.

All hail the Sun King

Rupert Murdoch has been voted winner of opendemocracy's tenth Bad Democracy award. What shameful ingratitude, says Tom Burgis.


Asked to choose the month's worst democrat, openDemocracy's readers voted for the G8. That'll be a first, says Tom Burgis.

The skewed pride of the IDF

The justifications for the Israeli Defence Forces' bombardment of Lebanon bulge with doublethink and muddled excuses. Small wonder, reckons Tom Burgis, that openDemocracy readers voted to give it the ninth monthly Bad Democracy award.

North Korea's Dr No

He may be a basket case, a depraved decadent, an unparalleled genius or a combination of the above. Either way, North Korea's colourful dictator Kim Jong-il has scooped our latest Bad Democracy Award.

Singapore's phoney democracy

Singapore's increasingly hard-pressed people deserve better than the electoral charade offered by their prime minister Lee Hsien Loong, the recipient of the seventh monthly "bad democracy" award.

Who's the daddy?

Alexander Lukashenko's brutal brand of paternalism has won him openDemocracy's sixth "bad democracy" award. Tom Burgis examines the Belarusian batka’s parenting methods and finds the kids are revolting.

Clerical errors

Abu Laban, the Danish imam at the centre of the apocalyptic row over cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, is the recipient of openDemocracy's fifth monthly "bad democracy" award. Tom Burgis explains the accolade.

Meles unveiled

A smooth operator and consummate diplomat, he was hailed in the west as one of Africa's democratic messiahs. But as Ethiopia's prime minister scoops the fourth "bad democracy" award, Tom Burgis asks if Meles Zenawi was ever anything but an autocrat.

George W Bush's nemesis

He’s got power, rich friends, and God on his side. But not Tom Burgis, who explains the selection of the United States president as January winner of the "bad democracy" award.

Howard's way

The Australian prime minister has seen off a gallery of rogues and murderers, to claim the second "bad democracy" award. Our readers’ choice shows how democratic indignation works and exposes the underbelly of John Howard’s premiership, finds Tom Burgis.

The Berlusconi brief

openDemocracy readers found Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi a worthy winner of our first monthly “bad democracy” award. Tom Burgis commends your choice and responds to the lively criticisms the award has provoked.

Bad Democracy!

Are you angered by politicians who tell lies, accept favours, crush dissidents, steal elections or abuse powers? Then fight back by nominating them for openDemocracy’s monthly “bad democracy” award! Tom Burgis explains how it works, and names the first six candidates for shame.
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