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Thread: DR Election Watch - 2006

  1. #1
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    Default DR Election Watch - 2006

    My wife and I voted shortly after 12:00 noon, at the voting center installed in the premises of Instituto San Juan Bautista, behind Bella Vista Mall, in SD. I was expecting lengthy lines of voters, and a stay of at least an hour. To my amazement, the place was practically deserted of voters, however, it was teaming with electoral officials and political party representatives.
    We were out in less than 10 minutes.
    My wife Altagracia was unsure about voting, she did not know who to vote for. This is understandable, in our home politics is not a frequent or even a serious topic of conversation. I told her I was voting for the government party, both for Congress and City Mayor. I gave her my reasons. The Congress should have a membership more evenly balanced between the PRD and PLD, and the Síndico (Mayor) should always belong to the same party as the President, for more efficient city management.
    Over a late lunch, talking about the experience, it occurred to me the following:
    1) In each election booth, at least one of the 10 to 15 election officials and party representatives, should explain to voters that request it, how to vote. The voting process is not straightward or friendly to most voters.
    2) Voting should be compulsory, with appropriate sanctions for those who don't vote.
    3) Instead of distributing between RD$600-1000 million between the major political parties, for promotion and propaganda prior to elections, the government should give each voter, at the poll's exit, a non-tranferable certificate worth RD$500, redeemable anytime within the next four years, as payment for any government service (passport fees, drivers license, school fees, public hospital services, etc., etc.).

    ...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirador
    My wife Altagracia was unsure about voting, she did not know who to vote for. This is understandable, in our home politics is not a frequent or even a serious topic of conversation.
    It's interesting that someone that has expressed such strong political opinions on DR1, doesn't discuss politics at home.

  3. #3
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    Mirador I am surprised that a person such as yourself doesn’t talk politics at home. Unlike you I had to watch, listen and learn through the years to understand that so many Dominicans have no idea as to how the democratic system is supposed to work. As the system is not taught in school it seems only logical that people such as yourself should be teaching those that don’t know and it seems that this should start in the home.

    I firmly believe that nothing will ever really change in this beautiful country until the bad, uncaring politicians are replaced and this can only be accomplished by the vote.

    In a democratic society you can’t have a mandatory vote or a sanction against those that don’t vote but your idea as to an insinuative to get out and vote by the giving of a voucher would be a very good idea. Because of the monies spent I think the amount should be $1,000 pesos. The thought of receiving $1,000 pesos for voting would cause a mass turnout of voters and if they understood that the voucher would be good regardless of which party they vote for then the opposition could not cry foul because the ruling party is the one handing the vouchers out.

    Because of the way elections are financed here all that money belongs to the people as it is their tax dollars (pesos) at work and the idea that all voters are getting the same amount would further enhance the turnout without animosity between voters.

    Now if we only had people such as yourself running for public office then the possibility of having a better government and the passage of sound ideas like you stated could become a reality.

    Rick

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    the /ocurrence' from Mirador seem to be good, compulsory voting should include a method for those who do not want to vote for anyone, a check mark to make sure they knew what they were doing.

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    Question Get paid to vote? Get paid not to vote?

    Mirador has an extremely profound point, in the very subjective judgment of this American former political science major:

    * Is it in the interest of society to reward people financially who vote? Who is more likely to vote only if being "paid", ie financially rewarded? Do we, assuming I am a Dominican, want them to vote? Why? Why not? I use the noun "society" deliberately; meaning not the incumbent nor minority party of the moment. Accepting my definintion, how would "society' be better or worse off over a 20 year period if all who vote are paid to vote? Does this violate the Dominican Constiturtion? Intelligent speculations welcome? Perhaps this question is unanswerable? Mirador raises an excellent point. How would this policiy work in the USA? Same questions.

    * Should the parties, or any candidate whomsoever, be permitted to pay people selected by the specific party not to vote? With cash? Is not this a better expenditure of private, not public, donated funds? Is this not preferable to spending millions of dollars or Pesos on nearly useless, numbingly repititous, & nearly pointless political advertising? Would the poor benefit? Would the result simply being the super rich controlling the outcome of "popular" elections? Who would be harmed? Food for thought! Mirador, . . right on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mirador
    1) In each election booth, at least one of the 10 to 15 election officials and party representatives, should explain to voters that request it, how to vote. The voting process is not straightward or friendly to most voters.
    Very risky. In many cases "how to vote" likely to be just that, in other words, which candidates to vote for.

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    I think the voucher system is a good idea.

    What about the 'appropriate sanctions'? I know that in countries where voting is compulsory (like Venezuela) you have to be able to show that you voted in the last elections in order to get certain official things, but how effective is this?

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    Judging by Venezuela's last congressional elections, it must not be very effective since there was a low voter turnout and I don't think people suffered any consequenses.

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    Maybe voting is no longer compulsory there. It used to be at one stage, I know that.

    Sure enough:
    There are also examples of countries such as Venezuela and the Netherlands which at one time in their history practiced compulsory voting but have since abolished it.

    See this site for more details. In fact it mentions the DR as a country where voting is compulsory but that the law is not enforced.
    Last edited by Chirimoya; 05-18-2006 at 07:27 PM.

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    what's the latest - who won what?

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