Jul 21, 2017

East Timor’s democracy is flourishing, but economic hard times will test its resolve

To suggest that East Timor's democracy is "consolidated" or somehow a permanent feature of the political landscape might reflect a blinkered understanding of what it takes to retain a viable democracy.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

East Timor goes to its fourth parliamentary elections tomorrow in a process that for many observers describe as the consolidation of its young democracy. East Timor has done a remarkable job of building its democratic processes, not least from its near meltdown of 2006-07.

But the idea that a democratic process can be "consolidated", i.e. "locked in", assumes that the inherent fragility of democratic processes can somehow be permanently guaranteed. In short, it cannot. A commonly agreed political process is a relatively recent political phenomenon and one that has not worked especially well outside of a handful of countries.

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3 thoughts on “East Timor’s democracy is flourishing, but economic hard times will test its resolve

  1. Xoanon

    Sensible comments with cautionary words, but it’s good to hear the positives too. Good luck to our near neighbour.

  2. Charlie Chaplin

    Thank you Damien.There’s one policy difference right there major enough to convince me to vote for Labor next election.

  3. Woopwoop

    “There are some minor ideological or procedural differences between the parties, but their key distinctions revolve around personalities and, in a couple of cases, what amounts to historical vendettas. ”
    Then this is hardly the way democracy is meant to operate, is it?

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