The mothership, The Journal of Democracy, reminds its readers that 2022 marks the 20th anniversary of Steven Levitsky and Lucian A.Way’s important series Elections without Democracy dealing with the rise of competitive authoritarianism. For the student of opposition parties, their lesson is a bit different than intended. In short, power is a competitive pursuit with or without free and fair elections. No matter how authoritarian a government, somebody will seek to grab what they have. The opposition has a choice of defining itself by its principles or by its behaviour as just another pit bull in the ring. A cynic would easily come to conclude few governments see democracy as anything but a nuisance to be imitated but not followed. For the Opposition to take the same stance is to surrender, indeed lose, an important advantage. Even at a cost, the Opposition is expected to hold to a higher standard.
Opposition International’s message is that a democratic victory matters more in the long run than simply pyrrhic winning. There is no road but the long road.
The Sermon on Mount Obvious finished for today.