There is a quote from Calvin making the rounds that he didn’t really say, although it isn’t an inaccurate estimate of his thought:
“When God wants to judge a nation, He gives them wicked rulers.”
What he did say is:
“that they who rule unjustly and incompetently have been raised up by him to punish the wickedness of the people;”
“I shall proceed no farther until I have added some sure testimonies of this thing. Yet, we need not labor to prove that a wicked king is the Lord’s wrath upon the earth [Job 34:30, Vugate.; Hos. 13:11; Isa. 3:4; 10:5; Deut. 28:29], for I believe no man will contradict me; and thus nothing more would be said of a king than of a robber who seizes your possessions, of an adulterer who pollutes your marriage bed, or of a murderer who seeks to kill you. For Scripture reckons all such calamities among God’s curses.” (Both quotes can be found in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, Battles translation, vol. 1, pp 1512-13; “Vulgate” is a Latin translation of the Bible).
If I may paraphrase to apply this to our times of modern democracies,
“When God wants to judge a nation He gives them exactly what they vote for.” Corrupt and hypocritical politicians are the peoples’ choice.
If we want a better quality of leader, we need a better quality of voter. If we want a better quality voter we need voters who are regenerate. Politics is “downstream” from religion. Show me our elected leaders and I will show you our religion.