Monday, November 10, 2014

Tunisia vs. Turquia

Why is Tunisian democracy succeeding while the Turkish model is failing?, por

In an influential book in 1991, Samuel Huntington established the “two-turnover” test to distinguish between emerging and consolidated democracies. For a democracy to be consolidated, according to the test, free and fair elections must twice have led to the peaceful handover of office between an incumbent and a successful challenger. As Huntington notes, this is a very difficult test. American democracy was not consolidated until Jacksonian Democrats lost the presidency to the Whigs in 1840.

The secularist Nida Tunis’s defeat of the moderate Islamist Ennahda in Tunisia’s elections last week brought the fledgling democracy a big step closer to passing Huntington’s test. The elections also strengthen the embattled forces for democracy throughout the Middle East and Muslim world. Tunisia’s successful democratic experiment despite rising extremism and a weak economy trumps Turkey’s already bogus claim to being the model for democratizing Muslim countries. In reality, Turkey has never been a viable model for Muslim democracy, since it was never a free or liberal democracy in the first place. (...)

If there is any model of Muslim democracy post-Arab Spring, it is Tunisia, not Turkey. (...)

While Turkey has descended down this authoritarian spiral over the past two years, Tunisia has achieved the most impressive democratic transformation in the history of the region. Tunisia had its first free elections in October 2011 after the fall of the Ben Ali regime. Ennahda won a plurality of seats (41 percent) and soon reached a power-sharing agreement with two secular parties in the Constituent Assembly. One of the things Tunisians got right was the rejection of presidentialism in favor of parliamentary democracy. Tunisians recognized the dangers of presidentialism in a country with a weak democratic tradition and historic lack of checks and balances. Tunisians also chose proportional representation with a zero-percent national threshold, giving the greatest possible representation to different voices in parliament. Turkey headed in the opposition direction. The AKP government tried unsuccessfully to use its majority to change the country’s parliamentary system into a presidential regime and to switch from the current PR-based electoral system to a “first-past-the-post” majoritarian system, which could give the AKP a supermajority while denying smaller parties’ representation. Turkey has one of the highest and most undemocratic electoral thresholds (10 percent) in the world; but the lack of representativeness of the electoral system has never been a real concern for the AKP elite.
 A respeito do sistema eleitoral turco, um artigo de 2007 (é velho, mas penso que não houve grandes mudanças): Is Turkey’s electoral system democratic?, por Matthew Shugart.

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