Argentine elections and "Testimonial Candidates"

sergio

Registered
Some of the readers of this website may be interested in knowing about the recent phenomenon of “testimonial candidates” for seats in the House of Deputies. I am not an expert in Argentine politics, so someone like Fedec may want clarify my comments.

In Argentina voters elect candidates from one party only. There is something called a “lista sabana” - a list of candidates who have been chosen by the party. Voters can not deviate from this list. They vote for the entire list chosen by their party; there is no vote splitting.

When elections are over votes are tallied and a formula is followed to determine how many seats go to each party.

In the current elections the Peronist Party has implemented something new – Testimonial candidates. These candidates appear on the ballot because they are popular names but they are not expected to actually take office. Their purpose for being on the ballot is to attract voters to the party. If they get elected they will immediately resign and the winner's designated substitute will take office instead. For example, the governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, Daniel Scioli appears as a candidate for the lower house of Congress. It is common knowledge that he will not step down from his position as governor to assume a lesser post. Scioli appears on the ballot as he is popular due to his past history as a motor boat sportsman. This inventive practice has really frustrated opposition parties and angered many people who think it is undemocratic.
 

Fettucini

Registered
It's unbelievable what the Kirchners get away with. I wonder if things will ever get any better here. Seems though that Kirchners have done a good job at targeting the un-educated to vote for them.
 

soulskier

Registered
Fettucini said:
Seems though that Kirchners have done a good job at targeting the un-educated to vote for them.
That's what the republican party did in 2000 and 2004, back in the empire! It's a good model, even Hugo does it!
 

fedecc

Registered
In Argentina voters elect candidates from one party only. There is something called a “lista sabana” - a list of candidates who have been chosen by the party. Voters can not deviate from this list. They vote for the entire list chosen by their party; there is no vote splitting.
Sadly, candidates for an election are not even chosen by the party but by the inner circle of the party boss. Internal or primary elections are extremely rare now a days, only the UCR have internal elections but only for the lesser positions.


When elections are over votes are tallied and a formula is followed to determine how many seats go to each party.
The number of seats each party gets is calculated thorugh the d'hont system in diputados. In the senado all provinces get the same number of senators (3), which is not very representative since Tierra del fuego with 100k population gets the same representation than BA with 15 million. Two senator go for the first majority and the other one to the party that came second.

In the current elections the Peronist Party has implemented something new – Testimonial candidates. These candidates appear on the ballot because they are popular names but they are not expected to actually take office. Their purpose for being on the ballot is to attract voters to the party. If they get elected they will immediately resign and the winner's designated substitute will take office instead. For example, the governor of the Province of Buenos Aires, Daniel Scioli appears as a candidate for the lower house of Congress. It is common knowledge that he will not step down from his position as governor to assume a lesser post. Scioli appears on the ballot as he is popular due to his past history as a motor boat sportsman. This inventive practice has really frustrated opposition parties and angered many people who think it is undemocratic.
This is basicaly it.

This happened beacuse the government did't have any candidates for on the BA province other than Nestor himself. So K made Scioli, Massa and many intendentes (mayors?) run for the election without the intention to actualy take office.

In the case of Scioli, the constitution is very clear, a governor can't have another postion, he can't be a legislator. In a normal country this should be enough to prevent tactics like the one we are discussing. But nothing is impossible in Argentina, so Scioli argues that the law does't say he can't run for elections it only says he can't have both position. And he might assume as a diputado and quit the governmetn of BA, or he might not....he'll see...

Of course the "everything thats is not forbiden is allowed" argument only applies to civil rights where liberty is the main goal. But in matters of government and institutions it's the exact opposite. The hole idea of the constitution is to limit govenrment and power so they can't get away with, well the things they are getting away with now.

The correct thing to do for the judicial power would be to ask for Scioli to quit the BA government if he wants to be a candidate, otherwise he just shouldn't be allowed to compite in the elections.

But Argentine justice doen't realy have the custoum of going to much against the executive.
 

nikad

Registered
As an Argentine I feel embarrassed by these dirty practices that contradict the spirit of our Constitution.
 
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