See also: Election (homonymy)
The election is designation, by the Vote voters, people intended to occupy a political office, economic or social: elected officials.
Whatever the philosophical approaches, it acts on the concrete level of a legal document of collective nature, of a political contract. The population concerned transfers, by the vote of its majority, with representatives or constituents chosen, a legitimacy to exert the power allotted to the function thus occupied.
Aristocratic concept with a democratic method
Taking its source in the political institutions of the cities of antiquity, the practice of the election is in the beginning an aristocratic concept; the choice of the members of the people for the exercise of the function of magistrate (of “commander”) being normally carried out by drawing lot and not by vote or election.
Thus, at the time aristocratic the Athenian King was “the elected official of the big families”. At the time democratic, the archontes forming the equivalent of the executive of our governments as well as the members of the Héliée (the popular court) were drawn with the fate. Only the specialized magistrates, chosen within the big families, were elected. It was then a question of electing “the best” in a specialized field (for example construction of a naval fleet). In Greek the aristocracy indicates “the government of best”.
The aristocratic design of the election will perdura until the modern time, and partly explains the tradition of the election of the Emperor by the princes of Saint Empire Romain Germanique.
It is only with the advent of the Libéralisme in its multiple forms (philosophical, political, economic etc) that the concept of election could be worked again and comparable as one of the practices at the base of the democratic institutions.
This mode of nomination is widespread in many organizations of all sizes for the person in charge nomination: board of directors, Municipality, associations, political parties, churches (Conclave joined together for the designation of the Pope, chapter designating the abbot…), etc
One also proceeds to elections in the companies to name the staff representatives (professional elections).
Example: Presidential elections, to designate a person at the station of President of a country, the European elections simultaneously organized in 25 Country for the election of the the European Parliament.
The behavior of elections was criticized on several occasions:
- the prospect for the re-election would push the elected officials to take the measurements demagogic and disconnected from reality, so that certain countries limit the number of re-elections of their presidents (the United States, Mexico, France, etc);
- the economist William D. Nordhaus has advanced that they were sources of economic instability.
Democratic alternatives to the electoral system
It is seen that the election, as mode of nomination is generalized. She is thus considered to incarnate, paradoxically, what is called usually now “democracy”. It is there that certain disputes appear:
- some regard the election as an aristocratic concept , since it aims at indicating “the best” ( nob );
- of others, without entering this value judgment, considers that to avoid drifts such as for example the political Carriérisme, the Démocratie can (and even must) function without election, only or partly by Sortition (drawing lot of the representatives) or by decision of the whole people (référenda…).
See tooelected official
List of elections in 2007
- Aristocracy, Democracy
- Political party, reserved Seats, Vote for all, Voting system
- Vote, Sociology of the vote
- Election per year, Election by country
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