The young Venezuelan political party Voluntad Popular, coordinated by the also young political leader Leopoldo López, is setting an example to the country in the true exercise of participative democracy.
The thing about these elections that breaks with tradition thus far is that anyone on the Permanent Electoral Roll will be able to vote to choose Voluntad Popular’s officers, regardless of whether or not he or she is a party member.
Throughout Venezuela’s history, the exercising of democracy has been flogged to death and made a mockery of by political organizations, in particular by the United Socialist Party of Venezuela, whose representatives are supposedly appointed by means of a second level election but end up being chosen by the President, who also is the PSUV’s top honcho, for life.
Another unprecedented feature of these elections is that equality of the sexes has been established as a requirement for proposing candidates for the party’s 3,338 posts. An equal number of men and women make up the total of 7,834 candidates who have been selected by the party’s members to run at these elections.
The elections will have the technical support of the National Electoral Council, which will make it possible for the entire process to be automated, both the voting itself and the counting of the votes.
Fingerprint verification machines will not be used, however, and the voting books “will be safeguarded by Voluntad Popular’s election committee and they will be destroyed after the election,” according to statements to the press by Leopoldo López.
VenEconomy considers that this is an important political-electoral experiment that could provide useful lessons not only for Voluntad Popular but also for all the other political organizations and for the country.
This exercise will allow Voluntad Popular to gauge voter support for its leaders; and, in these times of uncertainty, this participation by a sizeable segment of the population will also provide the Coalition for Democratic Unity with a true idea of what is needed in terms of organization and commitment for holding its primaries and of who should represent the opposition at the regional and presidential elections to be held in 2012.
These party elections could become an icon of electoral transparency and set a positive example in terms of the speedy publication of final election results.
Originally published July 8, 2011 by VenEconomy
Read the original article at laht.com