To assess whether democratization process is successful in a country, simply observe a single voting process is not enough. The most important thing is the confidence of the public to such system, and whether they believe this system can help to resolve conflicts in a long run.
Citizens want to choose someone they like doesn’t mean that they trust democracy. They are not the same thing. The basis of democracy is not how to choose someone you like, it is how to face the consequences of someone you don’t like being elected.
If the extent of confidence of the citizens of a country is larger on the leader than their confidence on the democratic system, they may deny this system when their beloved leader fails to get elected.
Therefore, it is more logical to use party alternation as the yardstick to measure the success of the democratization process. After two times’ party alternations, all the citizens in the country should have experienced their beloved leaders got kicked out for at least one time. If they can accept the failure of their beloved leaders under such system without developing into violence or anti-democratic thinking, democracy can be said to take root in this soil.
It is, of course, not necessary for all the people to be like this. If two times’ party alternations free from coup d’etat or massive violent conflicts, democracy can be viewed as taking root. I expect those who oppose this view may say: many who cannot accept the result will vent their angers in Internet forums. I will say, this is perfectly normal in a democracy for verbal arguments. No physical violence, no problem.
No matter how hard you fight in the Internet as a keyboard fighter, there will be no coup d’etat. Everyone focuses on how to win the next election, which means they start to follow the rules of the game. In this case, democracy takes root.
Democracy does not come from a totalitarian ruler giving up his power. It comes from the awareness of the citizens to be responsible to their country. Democracy is not a right; it is a responsibility.
Everyone shares the responsibility of the country once they have democracy.