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How to reverse low voter turnout in internal elections?

How to reverse low voter turnout in internal elections?
How to reverse low voter turnout in internal elections?

The internal elections They harvested the stake lowest in history, with 36% turnout at the polls, reopening the debate on whether the event should be mandatory and even the possibility of modifying the electoral calendar to make it shorter.

The distancing of many people from politics is a global phenomenon and the lack of interest is growing, as shown by the downward trend in attendance at the polls. Uruguayans. Taking these variables into account, some leaders and specialists dared to point out the assistance to the 2024 elections as a good sign and “an interesting number.”

He Director of Factum, Eduardo Bottinelli, He admitted in dialogue with Ambit that the discussion is recurrent due to the downward trend in participation and contrasted: “We are accustomed to mandatory regimes in national and departmental elections and even those of the authorities BPS and university courses for students, teachers and graduates. The only exception is this one and participation is falling.”

Bottinelli called for “thinking about the regime as a whole,” focusing on “what these elections define and what system we want.” obligation should be discussed to consider why people do not participate and how much compulsory voting can make people more interested,” he said.

In this sense, the master’s degree in Sociology and consultant pointed out that “when there is an obligation, people try to be more interested in what is chosen and look for information.” “The voluntary vote This means that less politicized people have less incentive to learn more about the issue,” he said.

Strengthening the tools of democracy

The Director of Cifra, Mariana Pomies, considered that the debate on the obligation of the internal “It is relevant, but not urgent,” and he called for “listening to the different perspectives, the consequences and discussing it again in the near future,” stating that compulsory voting “helps participation.”

At the same time, he urged “to understand that the internal elections stage is part of the cycle that will take place in November” and proposed “to completely change the name, because they are not party primaries, they are elections of presidential candidates in each party.” He even recalled that “one is not obliged to vote in the party one is affiliated with and, if I am not interested and I am worried that a candidate from another party could win, I can vote in another internal election.”

In dialogue with Ambit, Pomies called for “strengthening democratic tools and involving people in decision-making,” mentioning “a distancing of people from political activities.” “Many Uruguayans They do not feel that what is decided in the Executive power or the Parliament affect their lives,” he warned and insisted that the political system must “show that what is resolved in government spaces impacts people’s lives.”

While acknowledging that Uruguay “It is one of the countries with the best assessment on the state of the democracy”, He warned that this indicator “has been systematically declining” and called for work to avoid “a deterioration like in other countries, which is now far away.”

“He risk “What would happen if tomorrow we made general elections compulsory? We would move towards a democracy where the most educated vote and those with less education or worse information move away. Then it happens that I don’t feel represented, I don’t care and I don’t care or believe in democracy,” he warned.

Flags of the parties for the 2024 elections.jpg

Financial sphere

Due to wear and tear and lack of connection, 36% may be “a positive number”

To its turn, Victoria Gadea Tiscornia, Member of Agora, He considered in statements to this medium that “the low participation can be seen in reverse, as a “high participation” and argued: “Let us consider that no specific public policy is defined because there is no winner, it is only the internal disputes of the parties, which is how they are going to position themselves for October.”

“However, more than 35% of the population participated. If we think about the wear and tear and the lack of connection with the political parties, “It seems to me to be a positive number rather than a negative one,” analyzed Gadea Tiscornia.

The political scientist of the Udelar He said that the fact that the primaries are open without party affiliation seeks “to make defining candidates as easy as possible plural possible and resembles the preferences of the national ones”, giving as an example what happened in the Broad Front, where the greater the number of voters, the greater the difference in Yamandú Orsi on Carolina Cosse.

Meanwhile, Gadea Tiscornia said that the obligation to participate in the general elections “may be in question in reverse, pointing out that it is an incentive of a type “coercive” and added: “Instead of generating positive incentives for participation, we are telling citizens that if they do not comply, they will have some kind of punishment. penalty”.

For all these reasons, the specialist considered that “there are issues to review,” but “the participation was not so low because there was no dramatic fall, beyond the trend.” “Perhaps the alarms went off too intensely and not with the focus where they should be, which is to think about what the parties are lacking to engage people and get them to vote,” she concluded.

Can the electoral calendar be modified?

One of the perceptions of analysts points to the fact that the duration of the electoral cycle is extensive. “For example, in Argentina the PASO, the national elections and the second round will be resolved in 3 or 4 months. Uruguay, From June to November is 5 months and adding the campaign we end up having a whole year of national elections,” he warned. Bottinelli.

And he added: “In May of the following year we have the departmental and that means that the electoral cycle started in January/February 2024 and ends in May 2025.”

For Gadea Tiscornia, “Moving the dates is much more complex because they are established in the Constitution” and, regarding the internal ones, he observed that “on other occasions they fell when it was cold, or near the Winter Break or with football matches.” “I think these are pretty minor things,” he said.

Source: Ambito

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