Why are dictators bad
Vote worldwide - How do dictators legitimize themselves
Imagine it's choice and no one goes. Sounds bad. And now imagine it is a choice and everyone goes, but hardly anyone goes to vote. Sounds impossible? But it is not, because the solution is compulsory voting and has given dictators unbeatable success and international democratic legitimation. This tactic was invented in South America, where generals put to power in the 1970s and 1980s were repeatedly confirmed “democratically” over the decades. The simple trick was to impose draconian fines for not participating in elections, but to keep it open to everyone whether you wanted to register as a voter at all.
Until a few years ago, for example, every voter in Chile was threatened with a noticeable fine if they failed to cast their vote on election day. The reasons for this were of course completely irrelevant - whoever registered once had to either appear at the ballot box or report to the local police on the same day to report the ID card as lost - the only acceptable reason for an absence. Sometimes the queues in front of the barracks were longer after 6 p.m. than before in front of the voting booths, because if you didn't make it in time - e.g. B. because he had to work, was allowed to queue there. Then of course I had to apply for a new identity card, which was ten times cheaper than the fine.
Especially in the poor population, the attitude: “I'm not stupid and register” was therefore widespread - rich families, on the other hand, were no longer interested in the punishment. Even independent election observers were able to determine “free, fair and democratic” elections and a high turnout in this way. However, elections are only given real legitimacy if the entire responsible population can participate without having to fear any consequences.
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