Two Diverging Political Systems
In the early 1990s, an examination of the democratic map of Asia would show that most “part free”, semi-democratic and “free”, fully democratic, countries, although with diverse historical and cultural backgrounds and even more different levels of economic development, had some basic common functional democratic institutions, such as relatively open, fair and competitive elections for political leadership and fairly active, competitive, and functional two- or multi-party systems. Among those countries that were regarded as semi-democratic in the late 1980s, such as Singapore, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand and the Philippines, some of them had become democratic, although not all of them stable democracies, by 1994.1 Periodic elections for the parliaments and presidents were held and indeed institutionalized, and party systems, although with the opposition parties not always fighting on a level playing field, had become a permanent fixture and were frequently actively, and sometimes even raucously and violently, involved in elections and other political activities.
KeywordsPolitical Culture Liberal Democratic Party Political Reform Opposition Parti Authoritarian Rule
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- 2.For the Singapore election, see N. Balakrishnan’s reports, Far Eastern Economic Review (29 August 1991) pp. 21–2; (12 September 1991) pp. 10–12.Google Scholar