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PS 335 DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS LECTURE SERIES:

R.S. DAMIAN

DEMOCRATIC ELECTIONS AND ELECTIONS WITHOUT DEMOCRACY LECTURE By RESPICIUS SHUMBUSHO DAMIAN
Are all elections democratic? Some say yes, but.Think of Gaetano Mosca-Rules, Joseph Schumpeter-shaping the choice of electorates Question: Is it possible to have elections without democracy? Is it possible to have democracy without elections?

Democracy without Election Elections alone are not guarantors of democracy. Scholars like Levitsky and Way (2002) have suggested that even dictators use elections to justify their legitimacy in multiparty states. When this happens in a multiparty state, it is called Competitive Authoritarianism. Under competitive authoritarianism, dictators and authoritarian leaders use state resources to tempter with elections so that they retain their stay in power. Michael Bratton argues that we can have elections without democracy, but we cannot have democracy without elections. Democratic elections are therefore fundamental components of healthy democracy. The same, the holding of elections, which are undemocratic, suggest that there might be elections without democracy. We therefore need to explore the value and features of democratic elections and undemocratic elections. To be called democratic, elections must be free and fair. The assumption is that, development efforts cannot succeed without a legitimate and democratically elected government that is responsive and accountable to its citizens. Therefore, free and fair elections provide an important means for advancing democratization and encourage political participation for citizens. Free and fair elections can also be a primary tool to foster political openings and encourage political harmony. In is only through the electoral processes where political parties and civic groups have chance to mobilize and organize supporters and share policy alternative with the public through political debate and dialogue. Free and fair elections are vital since they allow people in representative democracies to determine future political directions, they allow for smooth power transfer.

PS 335 DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS LECTURE SERIES:

R.S. DAMIAN

Scholars have used different factors, models, and concepts to explain which elections may become democratic and which elections may exist without democracy. Guy Hermert (1978), Elections without Choice-State Controlled Elections Guy Hermert (1978:3) uses three criteria, namely; freedom of voters, competition between candidates, and the effect of elections on government policies. On basis of the criteria, he identifies two types of elections. Classical elections: allow for freedom of voters, allow the competition between candidates, and have significant effect on government policies. In most cases result in alternation of government and shifts in policies is possible. Non-classical Elections: Do not allow for freedom of voters, competition between candidates, and have no significant effect on government policies. These may also be sub-classifies as Non-Classical Semi-Competitive, and Non-Classical One Party Elections. Neo classical elections in both one party and multiparty systems may be differently competitive or restrictive (but not like classical elections) depending on the extent to which they respect freedoms of voters and encourage competition between parties and candidates. According to Guy Hermert, the opportunity that the voter has (voter freedom) determines whether the elections should be regarded as controlled elections or free elections. These opportunities include (i) having his franchise recognized through registration, (ii) right to vote without segregation, (iii), casting ballot without external hindrance, (iv) deciding how to vote, even spoiling a ballot without external pressure, (v) expecting his ballot to be counted. Andreas Scheduler (1964), In Elections without Choice: The Menu of ManipulationHe argues that there is a continuum of choices between Electoral Democracy and Electoral Authoritarianism. He argues that along the chain of democratic choices, there are normative premises of democratic choice, which fall under different dimensions of choice (purpose of choice, range of choice, formation of preference, choice agent, and aggregation of preferences, expression of preferences, and the consequence of choice). At the other side, there are strategies that electoral authoritarianism use to

PS 335 DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS LECTURE SERIES:

R.S. DAMIAN

manipulate elections and violate norms (of democratic elections). Each of the norms under the continuum of choice can be manipulated as shown in his Continuum of Choice- The Menu of Manipulation.

Stephen Levitsky and Lucan Way (2002), Election without Democracy: The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism In their article, the terms The Rise of Competitive Authoritarianism to describe the violation of democratic rules in elections held by modern multiparty states (which claim to be building democracy). He argues that these states view formal democratic institutions (including elections) as a means of obtaining and exercising power where incumbent regimes often violate rules that the regimes lack minimum standards to qualify them as democracies. In that case, the rising is competitive authoritarianism.

PS 335 DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS LECTURE SERIES:

R.S. DAMIAN

Democratic regimes have four criteria; i. Executives and legislatures are chosen through open, free and fair elections ii. All adults possess the right to vote, iii. Political rights are broadly protected, and iv. Elected authorities possess real power to govern In competitive authoritarian regimes, these criteria are violated. Instead of building competitive democracy, these states are building competitive authoritarianism. Features of Competitive Authoritarianism/Why no democracy despite elections i. Violation of four criteria of democracy (mention above) is common and frequent and thus create uneven field between government and opposition ii. Incumbents routinely abuse state resources, deny the opposition adequate media coverage, harass opposition candidates and their supporters, and in some cases manipulate election results (gerrymandering). iii. The governments in power attempt to restrict contestation in the electoral arena (other arenas are the legislature, the judiciary, and the media). In competitive authoritarian regimes may restrict electoral contestation through Non existence or non contested elections Election competition eliminated either de jure (formal) or de facto (not formal). iv. Opposition doesnt present electoral threat to the incumbent and elections are non competitive v. Elections are regularly held, but bitterly fought, characterized with frauds vi. Media use by oppositional parties is restricted. It may be state owned, heavily censored, systematically repressed, or punished due to criticizing the government and thus constraining both freedom of speech, expression, and information. vii. The governments subordinate both the independent EMBs and independent judiciary (through several ways including extortion and cooptation) on matters related to elections. Features of Democratic/Free and Fair elections

PS 335 DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS LECTURE SERIES:

R.S. DAMIAN

The term free and fair has become a catchphrase that is used by election observers to rate the democratic quality of elections in modern electoral processes. However, sometimes the accreditation of elections as free and fair may not reflect what has been happening on ground during elections. Freeness of elections means the situation where both the electorate choice is not constrained. It means a free ballot where all the adult people are able to exercise their choice. Equally, all voices and political views are freely represented at the polls without intimidation or any restrictions that may interfere universal suffrage. According to Guy Hermert (1968), it implies that any external physical or psychological forces should not impinge the decision of an individual during voting. An individual is free to vote for a candidate, or party s/he wants, not to vote, or even spoil his/her vote. Equally, on the side of candidates and political parties, free elections require that all qualifying adults are free to be voted for and hold political office regardless of the gender, economic or social class, and any factor that could unfairly exclude a person from accessing public office. Fairness of the election means existence of a free playground for candidates and political parties competing for public offices. Fair elections require that all the candidates and political parties have equal access to resources that allow them to stand for the competition. This includes the access to finance, media, security, public facility, or any other resources that determine competitive powers during elections. The Key Features of Free and Fair Elections (May Need to Read Hague Rod and Martin Harrop (2001) There are two categories of Features/Criteria (1) Related to freeness (freedoms and rights of citizens and candidates) ii. Every qualifying citizen has a right to vote in elections without any discrimination (electoral suffrage) iii. Every citizen has a right to register as a voter and run for public office iv. Secret ballot-voters have freedom to vote in secret v. Freedom of voters to complain, to refrain from voting, and even spoil the vote vi. There must be free sources of information for the electorate to receive unbiased information-including free press vii. Every citizen who qualifies for public office has a right to be nominated and compete for public office viii. Freedoms of voters including freedom of speech, association, and assembly should be protected by law

PS 335 DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS LECTURE SERIES:

R.S. DAMIAN

(2) Related to Fairness of Elections, or Level Playing Field ix. There should be a free and impartial, and non partisan Election Management Body (EMB) x. Electorate Equality expressed in terms of one man one vote xi. All parties and candidates should have equal and unlimited access to the media xii. There must be fair electoral laws well protected by the constitution-laws must not be prohibitive e.g. in terms of requirements to access electoral race xiii. Accessibility of the polling stations xiv. Balanced reporting of policies and campaigns by different candidates and political parties by the media xv. Open and transparent counting and tallying of election results xvi. Equitable, and non-coercive treatment of parties, candidates, and voters by the government and its institutions such as the police, military, and judiciary. Question: Where does Tanzanian Elections sit in terms of ensuring democratic progress?