Disappointingly, though perhaps not surprisingly, voter turnout in Portugal has collapsed from 91.5 percent in 1975, the year of the first democratic elections, to 58.1 percent in the 2011 parliamentary elections.
Last week, the Prime Minister of Portugal announced the end of the third intervention of the International Monetary Fund in the country since 1978. But the challenges Portugal faces in building a flexible economy will continue.
A number of analysts and scholars of the Middle East have argued that the revolutions and uprisings taking place in Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Syria are the first of their kind to take place in the region.
There are lots of reasons why China invests in authoritarian regimes. And if any of the world's toughest dictators passes away in 2013, we may be able to see how much China's financial investments pay off in political influence.
The point isn't that you have to believe the positive and ignore the negative. The two sides are intimately linked and inescapable. But you can align yourself with the positive side. The vote is cast at the level of consciousness.
For Libyans who have risked their lives in the name of democracy, the fates have engineered a beneficent reversal as radical as any in history. It's unclear, however, what the ultimate outcome of the allies' intervention will be for democracy.
It's time for Israel to stop wavering between the theory that it needs to rely on autocratic regimes in the Arab world. Betting on democratization is the only viable choice -- despite the uncertainty involved.