A Simple Proposal for Elections
A Simple Proposal for Elections
REGINA COYULA, La Habana | Marzo 16, 2015
I always heard Ricardo Alarcon repeat, during his time as President of
the National Assembly of People’s Power, that the Cuban electoral system
was the most democratic in the world. The truth is that the weighted
advantages of this system not only have never been demonstrated, but it
finds itself under challenge with the announcement of a new electoral law.
Democracy is not only the government of the people and the enormous role
of the citizenry in moving forward, to later discover that a
Nominating Committee chosen by the Party or the Government has included
a series of names which, not by coincidence, are the figures who lead
Democracy is also the aspiration for a good government of the people,
and not this almost forty-year-old institutionalized formula in which
the people are subject to the government and must carry out its will.
Instead of a head of state-constituent relationship that is only
practiced through voice and show of hand “debates,” what needs to be
done is to submit a referendum to the ballot box.
Cubans interested in politics are following the issue closely, because
over the years the limitations of our electoral law – which restricts
the right to vote of Cubans who live outside the Island – have become
clear. In addition to the political fidelity of a candidate, people want
to know his or her abilities and proposals to improve government
management; and democracy also includes the right to elect via direct
and secret vote the top leaders of the nation. These and other
modifications are leading a process of discussion and approval that
apparently will culminate in a new electoral law planned for 2018.
As pointed out by civil society and the citizenry with regards to
modifications of the electoral law, parts of the law need to be repealed
and new measures need to be implemented, even with impacts on the
Constitution; thus, in the upcoming April elections, nothing new will
happen. But there is an action that can be taken without need for
amendments, one which would speak to transparency which has always been
questioned in the People’s Power elections.
Such action has to do with the results of the voting, which citizens
learn through the consolidation published in the press and from the
immediate data in their electoral college.
The proposal is simple: starting from these elections publish a tabloid
with the detailed information by precinct or electoral college,
circumscription, municipality or province, up to the consolidation of
national information. In this way any citizen can know the vote totals
for any electoral college in the country. This tabloid can be sold on
newsstands and offered to subscribers. It can also appear on the digital
site of the National Bureau of Statistics and the National Assembly of
It would be an act of transparency on the part of the government, which
has always handled with absolute secrecy the breakdown of the numbers,
and it would allow everyone to compare what they observed on election
day voting in their electoral college with the published results. Nobody
could speak subjectively, since the figures would speak for themselves.
Taking care to previously verify one’s name and details on the voters list.
Source: A Simple Proposal for Elections –