Developing a Party System and Democratic Consolidation
The stability of a democracy depends on the extent to which electoral competition between political parties is institutionalized. Robert Dahl has claimed that political democratization of authoritarian regimes consists mainly in institutionalizing the opposition party’s participation and competition in the political arena.1 There is no question that the opposition plays an important role in ending authoritarian rule. To maintain short-term political stability and effective governance, authoritarian regimes usually try to repress or restrict the scope of political competition. Even when saddled with rigid regulations and harsh restrictions, however, electoral competition provides the opposition with opportunities to mobilize and organize. Periodic elections or campaigns institute a linkage between the opposition and the masses, providing ample opportunities for grass-roots activity. As a result, electoral competition contributes to the development of political opposition and the weakening of authoritarian regimes, leading to their transition to democracy.
KeywordsAuthoritarian Regime Party System Democratic Progressive Party Local Election Electoral Competition
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