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Addicted independents

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Autor: Claudiu Saftoiu 23 Mai 2008 - 00:00

According to the data from the Permanent Electoral Authority, there are 805 independent candidates for the 2008 electoral elections in Romania: 55 for the big cities, 84 for the towns and 666 for the communes. I believe there are people interested in the fate of the independent candidacies in Romanian politics so I will evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and threats that appear after starting the run for a political position as an independent candidate in Romania.



According to the data from the Permanent Electoral Authority, there are 805 independent candidates for the 2008 electoral elections in Romania: 55 for the big cities, 84 for the towns and 666 for the communes. I believe there are people interested in the fate of the independent candidacies in Romanian politics so I will evaluate the advantages, disadvantages, opportunities and threats that appear after starting the run for a political position as an independent candidate in Romania.

The most overwhelming and deceiving advantage is the extraordinary appetite of the citizens that have the right to vote for independent politicians. In all the polls, the communities that had enough of the local political games of the parties vote for other candidates that don’t come from the same filthy place. "Vote for an independent person like yourself!” – was the slogan of an independent candidate in Tirgu-Mures four years ago, who ended up as a local councilor by the way. We have to say that the will to vote for an independent is rather a reactive impulse than a pro-active reaction from the citizens, as some might believe. People look for independent candidates in order to get rid of the old politicians, but not because they are convinced that the independent candidate can turn the old political schemes in the community he comes from upside down.

The great disadvantages of an independent candidacy are the small chances that the Romanian laws offer to an independent candidate. If an independent doesn’t win the electoral race, he cannot slide to a position in the administration. If he gets into the second round and loses, the independent loses absolutely everything. He gets nothing after an entire campaign he financed himself. In exchange, the political candidate that loses in the second round gets a list of councilors of the party and a position of vice-mayor. Another major disadvantage of the independent candidate is represented by the formation of the team of independent councilors. Since they are recommended by parties with a certain representation in the local political structure, the independent councilors of the independent candidate don’t know the number of positions that they would obtain after the elections. Moreover, they will have to gather their personal signatures in order to team up with the independent candidate. Therefore, we won’t have one gathering of signatures, but tens of such actions, one for each independent councilor. Because they cannot be placed on only one list for which the people to vote. Imagine the promotion costs for each councilor. They should reach the same sum as the one of the independent candidate.

In Romania, the opportunity of an independent candidacy is rather seen from the political perspective than from the one of the citizen. The parties with uncertain results in the polls throw "independent rabbits” in the fight. They get some of the votes for other candidates and abandon the ship on the way or get back in the party they deserted. The rare exceptions are appraisable, but I don’t think there is anyone I could think of for that at the moment.

The threats that come with an independent candidacy are offered by the weak terms of the Romanian laws regarding the independent candidates. If or after they win, the independent candidates cannot do anything without the agreement of the local council. A political council that is highly influenced by certain parties.

"All or nothing!” – is the major addictiveness of the independent politicians in Romania. However, it is not impossible. Someone has to break the ice.
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