Bulgaria's Major Political Parties Consider Electoral System Reform

Politics | January 30, 2008, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 6
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Major Political Parties Consider Electoral System Reform President Parvanov put forth his ideas for a mixed electoral system at a press conference on Sunday dedicated to the review of the first year of his second term. Photo by Yuliana Nikolova (Sofia Photo Agency)

The parliamentary group of the rightist United Democratic Forces (UDF) coalition invited all parties represented in parliament to consultations on Thursday regarding changes to the electoral laws.

"The political model in the country is seriously flawed and this was evident from the last local elections. That is why we need changes to the electoral system", stated Nadezhda Mihailova, a former leader of the Union of Democratic Forces, which is the leading party in the UDF coalition.

She stressed that as early as 2003 the UDF proposed decreasing the number of the MPs (currently 240) and increased majority rule in order to make the deputies more accountable to the voters.

Last Sunday Bulgaria's President Georgi Purvanov and former leader of the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) presented to the public ideas for electoral reform at a press conference. On Tuesday the leadership of the BSP went on to create an experts' group to craft a package of legislative reforms.

When asked if the Union of Democratic Forces agrees with President Purvanov's proposal for a mixed electoral system, Mihailova said "Apparently he agrees with us, which is a good thing.

The leader of the rightist Democrats for Strong Bulgaria and former PM in 1997-2001, Ivan Kostov, also declared that the political parties need to debate on the political system in order to reform it.

Most political parties stated that the ideas for electoral reform are not new, and that they are ready to discuss them. The UDF MPs expect that representatives from all political parties will be present at the meeting on Thursday.
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» To the forumComments (6)
#6
CreepyS - 1 Feb 2008 // 21:32:56

I think the Bulgarians vote for change since 1991 and for personalities since 2001. As the electoral system doesnt take the fact that people want to vote for personalities (whatever they worth) and not for party lists, it would be a good thing to have an electoral reform.

btw we practice CHANGE a lot more than the Americans, both when it makes sense and also when it doesnt make sense - with every minister and with every government actually. Way to go, Obama.

#5
viking - 1 Feb 2008 // 21:01:08

Kolega,

I think I disagree with you on "Change".
Coming from the state (Minnesota) that voted in a showman wrestler (Jesse the Body) as Governor, I think Bulgarians were also voting for change when they voted in the Ex-King!
Did not work out as planned, but then it never does!

Don

#4
Kolega - 1 Feb 2008 // 20:51:55

OK, seriously, this is the key:

In an established democracy/market countries, like the US, the way to get votes is to convince the electorate that you are different from your opponent.
That's because "change" in those places is considered positive, given the near zero likelihood of it.

In a up and coming country like BG, where stability and continuity is much more crucial than "change", which is still a real possibility, and not always welcomed, the way to get votes, seems to be by convincing the electorate that you are not that different from the other guy, just perhaps more competent, or less corrupt or both.

#3
CreepyS - 1 Feb 2008 // 10:38:59

JKS,

Kolega is just repeating what Alex Bivol wrote in Barometer some time ago that seems to be true, namely that BG parties, especially those in power, dont care about platforms and are willing to try about everything to clinch to or get the power no matter whether they are thought to be left or right.

Hense most important BG parties have no distingushable face and voice, they only have a distinguishable enemy and are pretty hameleoinic. The only consistent thing is that parties out of the parliament or out of the government blame the government folks for about everything and the government folks blame factors beyond their control.

So I think BG parties dont have platforms and principles in the sense the Reps and the Dems in the US.

#2
JKS - 31 Jan 2008 // 19:41:11

Question for Bulgarian political types.

Kolega was observing that there was not much difference between the Socialists and the right wingers.

Does anyone know if the Bulgarian Parties have platforms like the American ones.

For example everyone knows that Republicans are in theory for smaller taxes, anti abortion, blah, blah, blah
And Democrats are in theory for government social programs, higher taxes on the rich, blah, blah, blah

Does any one know if something like this exists? I haven't been able to find it in English, and my Bulgarian is not sophisticated enough yet.

#1
Kolega - 31 Jan 2008 // 04:58:32

"When asked if the Union of Democratic Forces agrees with President Purvanov's proposal for a mixed electoral system, Mihailova said "Apparently he agrees with us, which is a good thing."

I am having a hard time seeing the difference between Right and Left in BG which IS a good thing, because they both sound very Right.

As JKS said - no ideologies in BG...

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