Abraham Lowenthal makes a great point about Latin American elections in an op-ed:
I try to hammer these very points home in my classes. U.S. policy, of course, focuses squarely on elections as if they are an end rather than a means. Honduras is just the latest of countless examples.
Elections are worthwhile as a means of popular consultation and participation. They can and should also be important as a means of helping to achieve accountability, by comparing incumbents and their parties with the promises on which they were elected.
Elections are important, and their regular occurrence in Latin America, rarely interrupted now by military intervention, is just cause for regional celebration.
It is nonetheless important to recognize that elections alone -- however free, clean and fair -- are never enough to solve the hard questions that face most countries, questions often ignored or papered over during political campaigns.