Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Conclusions and Limitations

Academic journal article Southeast Asian Affairs

Conclusions and Limitations

Article excerpt

This discussion of the "Prisoner's Dilemma" model is not intended to provide a definitive account of the CPP victory in the 1998 elections. At best, it suggests a possible explanation for the actions of some voters, while raising some key issues regarding the climate of fear surrounding the election campaign. The CPP did, however, have its good points --- heavy investment in rural infrastructure and schools, for example --- so that fear may not have been the only relevant factor.

This analysis is also a critique of the opposition strategy of reliance upon secrecy as a weapon in an atmosphere of intimidation. Secrecy is not always benign --- open discussion can build the momentum necessary for risk averse voters to take courage and rebel, as the post-electoral demonstrations showed. The "Prisoner's Dilemma" illustrates how lack of knowledge of other individuals' resistance inhibits risk-averse individuals from resisting in isolation.

The ideal-type liberal democratic election combines a period of discussion, participation and openness, with secrecy in the polling booth. …

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