Democratic governments everywhere are in trouble. In Britain, the Labour government is tottering. In Japan, defeat looms for Prime Minister Taro Aso’s Liberal Democratic Party. In Italy, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is clinging on amid a sea of scandal. In France, hyperactive President Nicolas Sarkozy is attracting growing contempt and criticism.

Even U.S. President Barrack Obama is coming under a barrage of attacks as the American economy enters its predictable double dip and inflated expectations collapse like a punctured balloon.

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