In the last forty years, periods of economic growth, stagnation, and recession have occurred in equal measure irrespective of which party held the power. An examination of these economic periods reveals that any one political party's influence is no more or less beneficial than any other. (...)
One consequence of Portugal's "tribalism politics" is that the current politics disproportionately focuses resources, including political energy, on short-term policy goals that can be implemented within the potentially shortened timeframe between election cycles. Uncertainty about term length and the desire to maintain political favor within a shorter timespan undermines the development of sustainable long-term goals (...)
There are at least three observations that illustrate the failures of Portugal's political system in developing sustainable, long-term goals. The historical regularity of political-economic crises, which in recent times are occurring with greater frequency, is one such observation. From 1974 to 2003 Portugal faced negative growth in 9-10 year intervals (1974/1975 - 1983/1984 - 1992/1993 - 2002/2003). After 2003, however, the negative growth time interval occurred at the fifth year (in 2008/2009). Secondly, since 1976, all major institutional innovations adopted by Portugal originated from without the country. The principle examples include, the initiation of negotiations with the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1977, the intervention by the IMF in 1978 and 1983, the full adoption of EEC regulations in 1985, adoption of the EURO in 2002, and another IMF intervention in 2011. Finally, the widening of the income inequality gap as illustrated by the fact that in 1976 the richest 0.1% gathered 1.3% of the country's income, but three decades later (2005) this value had already nearly doubled to 2.5%. (...)
If key development variables are indifferent to political parties' differences, it follows that the political process should be based on a non-confrontational, cooperative process grounded in elevated political ethics of the common--not the tribal--good.
Deste "Four Decades after the 'Third Wave of Democratization' and the Irrelevance of Political Parties' Differences in Portugal: 1974-2014"