After some 15 years writing about Central and Eastern Europe, I have concluded that there is one — and only one — major political difference between this region and places like Western Europe and the United States. It’s not corruption, or experience with democracy, or wealth, or the sophistication of the population. It’s expectations.
Central and Eastern Europeans have low expectations for government. This leads to a self-fulfilling prophecy whereby low expectations lead to poor results, which then reinforce low expectations. People everywhere distrust politicians, but Central and Eastern Europeans are unique in that they also demand very little.