19 C
Bucharest
May 23, 2022
EDITORIAL

When does the electoral campaign start and when it ends

“Law No. 115 / 2015 for electing authorities of local public administration, destined to change the Law of Local Public Administration No. 215 / 2001, as well as to modify and complete Law No. 393 / 2004 concerning the Status of local electees
Section 7 – Electoral campaign
Art. No. 64
The electoral campaign belongs 30 days before the date elections would be held on and ends on the Saturday that precedes the date of elections, at 7 AM.”

We have not established it clearly yet, despite of 26 years of democracy filled once in two years (statistically speaking) by electoral campaigns, when they actually start and when they end.

If, before 1989, our own experience failed to enlighten us on what was democracy, what was a campaign and what the act of voting meant, well, from the ’90s on, with the endless number of political parties that overwhelmed Romanian political life, we are also confronted with an oversaturation of political campaigns. Campaigns that go on and on, campaigns we are so used to witness around us, that we stopped asking the natural and logical question referring to their deadline and to the legal, and last, but not least, moral manner they are conducted in.
Each time, at least one year before the start of the campaign for local elections especially, the media starts leaking names, circulating candidates, promoting, apparently accidentally, various figures who, according to sources, could be official candidates of a party or another.

The same way, each time, long before the start of the electoral campaign, parties start to promote, accidentally or not, various persons who become fierce communicators of the political group and, even more than that, figures throning on banners in the cities and villages of our country, under the pretext of presenting an essential project for the community.
Therefore, just in Bucharest, we have the examples of at least three candidates who are already known for sector mayoralties or the general mayoralty, whose banners and tents are already faded by the sun light, and now, by snow.

You will say it is the right of every party to promote themselves as they can and as they see fit, avoiding any stipulation of the law that might be unfavourable to them. Yet, besides the ethical and moral discussions that, as we are all aware, have absolutely nothing to do with politics, I would wonder if, nonetheless, it would be perhaps the case that electoral laws would contain stipulations as clear and as specific as possible concerning the limits of political promotion for obviously electoral purposes in the time legally established as not being a campaign.

In 2012 we had had two electoral campaigns, just like we do this year. Hardly did they end, with their negotiations for governing, the battle and arrangements for appointments in various positions, that other discussions immediately followed about potential candidates to European Parliament elections and the grand and long awaited national debate about who would run for president in Romania.

Presidential elections ended. Then came attacks, fights, negotiations and confrontations inside parties or between parties, between alliances and inside electoral alliances that have already gained the executive power, fully seasoned, and more, obviously organized simultaneously, as a warm-up for the start of local and parliamentary elections.

These things occurred in the last four years. Dividing the last 26 years in all these electoral and pre-electoral cycles, the thing that results is a hallucinatory, crazy, chaotic landscape, translated in a never ending regime of electoral campaign, and it is natural that the majority of the population has had enough of it and is completely against all such phenomena, or has lost all perceptive sensitivity on this matter. How else could you adapt to something that is always there, in your visual space, and even more?

The general condition of anyone of us, that turned into the perfect field of maneuver for political parties and the more than ideal frame for any election to end with the result wanted by the same political parties, obviously not by us.

The issue we should still pay attention to, as we are once again in an actual electoral year, not in a merely suggestive one, consists precisely in identifying these slides that have been going on for so long, right before our eyes, and that have always, to a smaller or greater extent, misguided us in our options concerning the political class and everything related to it.
And it happened precisely because the result, when we will draw the final line of this electoral year in November, would not create us anymore the feeling or the conviction that we have been deceived (again!), manipulated and subdued to the unilateral force of people involved in politics.

Moreover, I would love to add, one should not leave out or omit aspects concerning our vigilance as citizens with a right to vote on the candidates the parties would soon introduce as official, after having presented them for several months unofficially. This attention should be focused though especially on their quality, on their career path and on their way of approaching and treating all the issues we have presented above.

Because it is not enough for us to want to change things, if we do not pay adequate and real attention to whom and what we want to change.

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