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Special Elections in Romania: Parliamentary elections in Romania – overview

We publish this Special on forthcoming Elections in Romania thanks to the precious support of George Popescu at Csop

by Emanuele G. - Wednesday 19 November 2008 - 1864 letture

This year the elections in Romania are offered in a new package: UNINOMINAL VOTE.

All people, including politicians have no clear idea how to approach this. My opinion is based on the fact that the new electoral system is quite complicated and only few of actual candidates have some thoughts about what they should do related to local issues.

This uninominal round of elections represents only a small step ahead toward true uninominal elections. The condition for a candidate to be elected directly based on “uninominal vote” is to win at least 50%+1 vote. The rest of the votes are redistributed at local (county) level to lists of political parties who obtained more than 5% at national level.

The rest of these rests (fractions not distributed in first stage) are redistributed at national level also on lists. You can see that for normal people is difficult to understand how one candidate could obtain 49% of the votes in his college and is far before competition, but is not elected. Same time, another on the list, in same county, even he was not participated directly, as uninominal candidate, will be elected at county level.

This complicated system was built for the parties, which can keep a strong control over own candidates and can include in the lists candidates which will not “fight”. Also some analysts say that this system may lead to a massive absenteeism in these elections, due to the fact that people are not sure who will be elected – the voted candidates or the “protected” ones on the lists.

Major change in the electoral system brings another issue for political parties: they must find candidates with some national or, at least, local awareness. Until now, no problem! The parties fill the electoral lists with all people they want and those were elected. As consequence, only few citizens can say who represents them in Parliament and know what these representatives are doing there.

So parties must change the tactics. You need awareness, where to find it? They struggled to bring celebrities from media, sport, music, etc. and succeeded to enroll enough people from this category. We shall see the effects, because the next problem is related to the understanding of role of Parliament members for local voters.

Even politicians have difficulties to explain in a clear manner what they will do for the people in their college, why they should be elected to help local community. They are ready to promise everything, at national and local level, including things which are in local authorities competences. Politicians try now to show that they are close to the people, having same habits or similar problems, temporary driving old cars (not their brand new 4x4) and doing unusual actions. Important politicians demonstrated on TV how they know to clean the floors in schools, how they know to iron a shirt and other such “manual” occupations. It is interesting to see the President of the Chamber of Deputies ironing, in a political way, but I think that this is not what people expect from him. What people should expect from candidates? What they can promise to be elected? How they will touch the heart of electorate? These are really difficult questions for every politician in all countries. Same time they must indicate the means which they will use to realize promises, having in mind that they must charm local people who have local and personal problems.

Romanian politicians, if they don’t know what to do, they attack each other, showing how corrupted is one or another, how the “others” are “the bad” and they are “the good” (a never proved assumption), how same “others” are doing nothing and they are ready to do everything, all usual political stuff.

Still a single doubt for the people: why this happens only in these 30 days campaign? The politicians had until now 1430 days from their 4 years mandate to solve these issues and to prove who the best is.

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