Are we approaching the autumn of the Arab Spring?

The symbol of a revolution ... Crowded squares like Cairo's Tahir initiated a movement that has trespassed frontiers.

The initial euphoria caused by the Arab Spring is now giving way to a more sober assessment of the situation. Is democracy finally going to succeed in the Arab world?

To prosper, a democracy requires a society where political and economical differences are not extreme and where citizens know that responsibility and respect always come before freedom. Alas, this rarely is the case in places where “revolutions” have just happened, as they often require a deep economic transformation and a cooling-down of all rancor. And this is a long-term, intergenerational project, say Kristian Coates Ulrichsen and David Held at openDemocracy.

The course of events since the dramatic ousting of Presidents Ben Ali and Mubarak from power in Tunisia and Egypt, and subsequently Colonel Gaddafi in Libya, suggest that we may be witnessing a transition of elites rather than a democratic revolution. (…) As spring and summer turn to autumn, the progression of the Arab Spring appears very uneven and likely to produce highly differentiated outcomes, but should nevertheless be seen as a transformative first step in a long-term process of change.
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Dawning Digital Democracy

Although electoral laws are rarely modified, there is an ongoing debate about the most convenient electoral system. But how can digital communications contribute to this debate? According to political reformist -and former Nirvana bassist- Krist Novoselic, new technologies will eventually mean an end to the U.S. two-party system, giving way to a plural, multi-party electoral system.

The 21st century is about communication. The convergence of technology and our democracy makes space for more voices. As voters try to make the jump from digital democracy to our 18th century electoral system, they should see the gap. Proportional voting is here to accommodate the movement towards real choices and new voices.
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Do you agree with Mr. Novoselic? Can digital communications lead to an election reform? Can they alter what Novoselic calls “strategic voting” – i.e. that voting for an alternative might spoil the election for one candidate or another?

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