Gideon Rachman considers the problems, as he sees them, with the idea of a league, or concert, of democracies. The idea is associated with the name of Ivo Daalder and has been taken up by John McCain. One of the problems Gideon points to is that many of the democracies themselves aren't keen on the idea:
Almost all of America's closest democratic allies have deep reservations about a league of democracies. The Europeans are committed to the UN and would be loath to join an alliance that undermined it. They are also suspicious of America's democratic evangelism. Talk to senior French and British policymakers and you will find a rare unanimity on the league of democracies. A French diplomat calls it a "really bad idea". A British diplomat scoffs: "How are you going to decide the membership? Is it going to be like a football league, where you are going to have promotion and relegation at the end of the season?"There are different elements here and they aren't all of equal weight. If the proposal cannot win the support of a majority of democratic countries, then it's obviously a non-starter. But the suggestion that criteria of membership present an insuperable obstacle is less compelling; a small working party, suitably composed and working intensively, should be able to sort that one out in a matter of months. Then, such a body doesn't have to be seen as undermining the UN - though it should be seen as acting as a beneficial influence upon it. The UN is not, after all, an organization so unblemished that one should want to protect it from the pressures that a concert of democracies might exert. Finally, that the creation of a concert of democracies wouldn't be well received by the non-democracies surely can't be taken as an overriding objection: the exclusion of these latter is remediable by them. And it is especially odd for some of the democracies themselves to lend weight to this objection by worrying about the sensibilities of undemocratic regimes.
America's democratic allies in Asia - wary of antagonising China - are unlikely to be any more receptive.