Stability and Stir
Citizens and elections
If Romanians were to breathe life into their democracy they should have to fathom its most important process: elections. The practice of voting emerged out of the degree of familiarity with procedures and the stakes involved. The merits of the contest emerged out of the hopes and interests people placed in it. The teleology was nigh unanimous that voters would cast a ballot as part of a process they value, trust and understand. The reality was variegated.
In absence of value attached to the vote, mistrust of the procedures and lack of understanding the stakes, the process of designating representatives through elections fails to reach its purpose (Elklit, 1999; Lehoucq, 2003; Lehoucq and Molina 2002; D’Anieri, 2005; Schedler, 2006). Consideration, trust and understanding of the vote and its procedures confers legitimacy to the democratic process (Banducci and Karp, 2003; Atkeson, Alvarez, and Hall, 2010), encourages participation (Bratton and van de Walle, 1997) and builds self-confidence of the citizens (Claasen, Magleby, Monson, and Patterson, 2008). In addition, elections are probably the process in which ordinary citizens have the most competence to assess the political procedures and the role of political players (Birch, 2008).
After decades of electoral pampering, choice-control and party-state fabricated and enforced opinions on the electoral processes, in December 1989, the Romanians became overnight, at least presumably, electoral grownups able to evaluate for themselves the processes in which they were involved. This chapter explores the opinions on the procedures, outcomes and efficiency of...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.