• Democratic values and institutions
• Civic society
• Definitions and quotes
• Electoral Process

Democracy quotes

Democracy was invented as a device for reconciling government with liberty.

Bertrand Russell

I believe in democracy, because it releases the energies of every human being.

Woodrow Wilson

The ultimate failures of dictatorship cost humanity far more than any temporary failures of democracy.

Frank Delano Roosevelt

Democracy is the least bad of all of the systems of government produced out of human experience.

Winston Churchill

Democracy does not guarantee equality of conditions – it only guarantees equality of opportunity.

Irving Kristol

Democracy is a process by which the people are free to choose the man who will get the blame.

Laurence J. Peter

Everybody's for democracy in principle. It's only in practice that the thing gives rise to stiff objections.

Meg Greenfield

In true democracy every man and women is taught to think for himself or herself.

Mohandas K. Gandhi

The Electoral Process

  • Political pluralism = condition for a constitutional democracy.
  • Citizens have the right to vote starting with the age of 18, age reached until election day.
  • In order to be able to run for the Chamber of Deputies and Local Public Administration, the minimum age limit is 23 years old; for the Senate - 33 years old and for President - 35 years old.
  • After the E.U. adhesion, we have the right to elect and be elected for European Parliament.

Voting technique
  • You can only vote using your ID.
  • You have to present your ID to the polling station staff. They will search for your name in the polls.
  • If they don't find you there, they put your name down on an additional list, but only if you have the right polling station.
  • After they found your name/put it down on the list, you receive a ballot and the VOTED stamp.
  • You have to check if the ballot has the polling station's control stamp on its back.
  • Sign the poll, next to your name.
  • Walk into the voting booth ALONE. Apply the VOTED stamp only one time and only in one square. If you make a mistake, you can ask for another ballot, but only one time.
  • You fold the ballot in a way that other people can't see your vote but the polling station's control stamp still remains on the outside. You insert the ballot intro the urn, without it opening.
  • You return the stamp to the polling station staff. You take back your ID. You have to make sure that it has been stamped or that the sticker has been applied.

The electoral process concept
  • The free and fair elections define the elective mechanism that can be referred to as democratic.
  • If the elections aren't carried out in a free and fair manner we can't talk about democracy, even though the elective mechanism has been put into motion and is working.
  • Any attempt at obstructing the governors' change through existing democratic mechanisms or modifying their functionality in order to maintain power is undemocratic.

The majority based elective system
  • Implies that the winner of the mandate is the one who gets the most votes in that specific constituency(absolute or relative majority!), based on the "winner takes all" or "first past the post" principle.
  • The result is that the people who didn't vote for the winner remain unrepresented, even if they are more than 50% of the total amount of voters.
  • Is really competitive, but it hardly responds to the representativeness principle.
  • The power belongs entirely to the candidate (party) that obtains the majority of the votes in the constituency, even if it's relative majority.
  • Another disadvantage of the majority based elective system is the distortion of the results, reflected through the Parliamentary overrepresentation of the winners (bigger parties) and the underrepresentation of the losers (smaller parties).

The unanimous vote
  • Implies that in every constituency a single mandate is disputed, and the individual can only vote one time. Considering the type of majority that is necessary in order to win the mandate, this type of ballot can be organized in only one turn.
  • Is a direct way to elect individual candidates and not designate a previously complied list, based on more or less transparent principles by the party.
  • By using it, we try to really personalize the vote, so that the voters can choose between nominal applications and not lists that are compiled without any input from them and in which unknown or unappreciated people can be involved.
  • The more direct connection that it established between the voter and candidate, is therefore an answer to the social representativeness of the political class crisis.
  • It is believed and hoped that the individual election on Parliament members will generate an increase in the candidate's responsibility towards the electorate, will make them much more visible and involved in solving problems for different social groups.
  • It is considered that the unanimous vote will allow a more exact quantification of the performances and achievements of the elective engagements, so that the public control and the representatives' sanction will be direct.
  • A direct voting mechanism of individual candidates and not the designation of a previously determined list, elaborated through intransigent principles by a party.
  • Disadvantage: The unanimous vote system does not guaranty that the vote is well represented in the end.

Euro elections
  • Starting with 2007, the Romanians will be called to the urns, every five years, for another type of electoral exercise - the election of European Union Parliament's representatives.
  • The present Romanian elective system is subjected to reform pressure, that has been getting stronger lately.
  • Romania has the right to 35 European Parliament representatives.
  • The European Parliament is one of the two branches of the European Union's legislative power.
  • The European Parliament is elected through direct vote, with proportional representation for each of the member countries, over a five year mandate.

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