I love that Niall Ferguson mentioned Thomas Kuhn's The Structure of Scientific Revolution in his blog post Turning Points: 2012 In Review. That's especially true, since it was only one of two science books that I "got" in college. The other was the text for my non-science-student science class, Physics of Light.
But I question his conclusion that seems to be based so much around elections, especially for the United States. The majority of "eligible voters" stayed home. But most significantly, there is finally such a clamor of libertarianism, freedomitis, and general dissatisfaction with government that the paradigm shift in political thought has happened despite the polls. We are in a new age, and once again politicians are set to follow. I wish I could contribute the quote referencing the civil rights era in the U.S., but it was said about civil rights that the great "leaders" like Kennedy and Johnson were just following what the people wanted. That's debatable depending on what "peoples" you speak with, but it is a "new" axiom that rings true.
The populous, not only in the U.S., wants their rights to be honored. We want our rights to be further codified. I want my rights to come first. Because they are natural, universal, and damn right.
My contention is that the paradigm shift is outside the state-sponsored election system. The paradigm shift is a ground swell that is fueled by freedom. The libertarian ideals do threaten the status quo of the state through direct challenges in the established electoral and political system, but freedom and freenecks will rock the world.