Elections and Democracy in the Americas
Without holding universal, free, fair, and periodic elections there is no democracy. It is an irrefutable truth nowadays, but one that for a certain period, half way through last century, even the most progressive people of our region came to doubt, distinguishing between "formal" democracy and "real" democracy. Formal democracy referred to electoral democracy, freedom of expression, fredoom of press, and political parties, things we took for granted. Real democracy was the one that went to help citizens satisfied their basic needs.
The horrible experiences lived during the last decades of the past Century, during which different types of dictatorships ended up drowning almost every possibility of citizen expression in our continent, showed that there is no such difference between formal and real democracy. We were taught that democracy is only one, that its first component is free, fair, and competitive elections in a climate of complete freedom and full respect for human rights, and that it is also integrated by freedom of expression, political parties, freedom of press and all those freedoms lost for years, and that took us so long to recover. Complete article
The Invited Pen
At the beginning of the Nineties, the political panorama of the Latin-American countries began to enjoy a positive transformation, consistent in the exhaustion of the dictatorial or autocratic governments and the rise of democratic states. For the consolidation of these processes, it was necessary that the elections, which in some nations had fallen in disuse, were carried out in an inclusive, clean, competitive way, and they were the suitable instrument for the access to the main public offices.
In accordance with such principles and in accordance with the aims and objectives that in this matter the OAS has drawn up, was created within what today is the Secretariat for Political Affairs of this multilateral organization, the Department of Electoral Cooperation and Observation, commonly known as DECO. Complete article
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The electoral registry and the territorial criterion
Years 2006 and 2007 constituted an intense period of organization and implementation of electoral processes in Latin-America. This period also discovered the diverse aspects of the administration of electoral processes over which is convenient to reflect to further guarantee an adequate exercise of the right of suffrage of the citizens.
One of such aspects is related to the electoral registries, the same that provide the electoral roll, which constitutes a basic element in the electoral processes, defining who has the possibility to vote. Complete article
Editorial (Spanish version)
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The growth of the presence of the political parties in the electoral campaigns in the Internet has been global and fast since its origins in the elections of the North American congress in 1994, with some candidates inaugurating their Web pages (which at the time were no more than simple showcases with a copy of some pamphlet or poster).
The slogan "yes is possible" was invented by a publicist of the campaign of the Colombian president Belisario Bethancour. From Colombia it travelled to Panama for the campaign of the current President Martin Torrijos, and from Panama it curiously travels to the United States to be used in the electoral campaign for the presidency of the democratic candidate Barak Obama. Complete article