As a society we define as a democracy the act by which our representatives are elected by secret ballot and by majority of the same in a process that is completely transparent in the eyes of all of us, in what we might know as a mutual agreement between each and every one of the factors that are part of the system in an active and efficient way.

Today we live in a world that is full of falsehoods and omissions in the democratic act, is something that is not seen everywhere but obviously is reflected in the Mexican society from many points of view that go from the simple to the complex.

The democratic disenchantment current is a fact previously stablished, inscribed with evidence in a story made of unfulfilled promises and betrayed ideals, as mentioned above. Part of the problem certainly involves the flaws and shortcomings of political men and women, often isolated from society, very concentrated in their careers and sometimes even corrupt. in fact, there are structural and profound causes underlying the contemporary phenomenon of democratic disaffection. I would like to stress here in one of them, at the heart of the problem: the decline in democratic performance in elections.

I believe that my position in this subject lies in a Kantian ethic, based on duty and the norm to be respected. I have this position because the main antagonist of democracy is corruption in all its splendor. I fervently believe that respect for the norm and the duty before the society make the difference in the democratic field, in the election of our representatives and in the consultation of the people before the decision making for projects will have an impact in the life of these last.

In spite of everything, it is sad to mention that the current situation and decades ago that our country lives are the reflection of a decadent democracy that is forgotten on the same day that it declares its independence; it is not that I want to say that there are only acts that threaten the democracy and sovereignty of our country, but the reprehension and decay of society are the vivid reflection of the strong blows we have taken over time.

And is that if it is that this scenario is not a reality, we are closing our eyes to the truth, but I think that the system is not failing, but society itself, as the former president Santa Anna said: "That I sold half of Mexico? Jesus! When these little Mexicans will learn that if the ship sank it was not only for the helmsman's faults, but for the laziness and clumsiness of the rowers". (Bautista, 2009).

To be able to measure the nature and scope of this phenomenon, we must first remember what the classical theory of choice was. If we take the whole of the historical justifications of the elections, we can see that they are expected to comply with the five essential democratic functions and in a listed way:

  • Function of representation, by designating representatives who express the interests and problems of the different social groups. (Rosanvallon, 2007)

 

  • Function of legitimization of political institutions and governments. supported by the previous consensus and consent of the people. (Rosanvallon, 2007)

 

  • Function of control over the representatives, which involves the prospect of a re-election that puts pressure on them to fulfil their commitments and carry out their programmers. (Rosanvallon, 2007)

 

  • Function of citizenship production, by giving consistency to the principle of "a person/a vote" that defines universal suffrage (and thus contributes first to the production of a equalize society’s, retaking the formula of Alexis de Tocqueville, founded on the condition of equality shared by all; the exercise of the right to vote expresses in effect a condition of equality for all as they fulfil a function). (Rosanvallon, 2007)

 

  • Function of animation of the public deliberation, historically expressed by the mode of organization of the elections that rested on the participation in electoral assemblies in which one could exchange arguments. (during the French revolution, the citizen was defined as member of a primary assembly). here we must remember that the individual vote, expressed by the passage through a dark room (called Australian ballot) was not spread until the beginning of the XX century. (Rosanvallon, 2007)

If they fulfilled each one of these functions these functions, the elections in fact could be considered as the democratic instrument par excellence. However, it soon became apparent, from the first experiences of universal suffrage, that these five functions were far from being fulfilled automatically.

As a second variable we have is that elections have also become less effective in legitimizing powers, although it remains clear that the minimum characteristic of a democratic system lies in the election of governments by the governed (the village). This founding statement has covered from the outset an important approximation: the practical assimilation of the general will to the majority expression.

At last the project to build a society of equals was at the heart of the founding revolutions of the XVIII century, both in the United States and in France, and the right to vote had been considered one of its most obvious symbols. It was often spoken of the elections as festivals of democracy, a dimension that was validated by its connection to the deliberative assemblies. This dimension was revived at the beginning of the XX century, in a perverse and degraded way, with the notion Schmidtian of acclamation democracy. it also reappeared more recently with the populist ideology of the referendum conceived as an immediate and sensible manifestation of the people.

For these reasons the democratic performance of the elections has declined. No doubt they continue to play an essential role. They have an essential and necessary regulatory function when constituting a last-word power. But this is not enough to fill the unsatisfied democratic expectations. That's why what today we are looking for a post-election democracy.

In 1789, the declaration of the rights of man and of the citizen stated emphatically that "Ignorance, forgetfulness or contempt for human rights are the only causes of public calamities and corruption of governments". The accuracy it is essential: the quality of democracy depends on the permanent presence in the public life of the realities that citizens live and the memory of their rights. Democracy does not mean only popular sovereignty, public deliberation, designation of representatives; democracy also means attention to all, explicit consideration of all conditions.

I would like to end by mentioning that the ideal of democracy, and the fact whether it is important to live relapse in all the above mentioned and considered to carry out this essay, it can only progress democracy more complex, both its institutions and its procedures and the modalities of expression of society. On the contrary, the powers of simplification are those that tend to corrupt that ideal by pretending to complete it. Thus, we have the simplification of the representation by the pretension of the incarnation and the cult of the leader, the simplification of the exercise of the sovereignty by the sacralization of the referendum, the simplification of the idea of general will by the omnipotence of the fact majority and the rejection of other figures of expression of the generality. Democracy must more than ever be defined as the regime that does not stop questioning itself. It must remain a living and demanding experience and not be fixed on a model.

Concluded that the fact of approaching the subject from the perspective that manages the Kantian ethics would help in the way to the good advent and improvement of the democratic processes in our country and in those that also need of them; I believe that with rigid monitoring programs behavior of the government exercise, more strict transparency, among other variables, this problem will be solved little by little; I believe that the education, the voice and the union of the human being are the most powerful weapons to fight any ethical problem that arises. I hope that Mexico will stop being the country of tomorrow (which leaves everything for tomorrow), and become Mexico today, and that the reflection of society before the whole world will completely change the paradigm of democracy in the country and be demonstrated because it is important to live in democracy.

 

 

 

References:

Rosanvallon, Pierre. (2007). La contrademocracia: La política en la era de la desconfianza. Manantial, Buenos Aires.

Bautista, Óscar D. (2009). Ética para corruptos: una forma de prevenir la corrupción en los gobiernos y administraciones públicas. [Electronic Resource]. Bilbao, Spain: Desclée de Brouwer.

Orts C., Peces-Barba A., et. al.(2000). Corrupción y ética. [Electronic Resource].  Bilbao, Spain: Publicaciones de la Universidad de Deusto.

Casar, Amparo M. (2015). México: Anatomía de la Corrupción. [recurso electrónico]. México: Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas A.C. (CIDE) y el Instituto Mexicano para la Competitividad A.C. (IMCO).

COE. (2017). Democracia. Council of Europe. Retrieved from: https://www.coe.int/es/web/compass/democracy

SIL. (2010). Democracia. Sistema de Información Legislativa. Retrieved from: http://sil.gobernacion.gob.mx/Glosario/definicionpop.php?ID=67

Ansaldi, Waldo. (1986). La ética de la democracia: Los derechos humanos como límite frente a la arbirtrariedad. Buenos Aires. CLACSO.

 

Karen Fernanda Albarrán Rendón

 ITESM Querétaro

Undergraduate

 

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