Referendum in conditions of dictatorship is club against people in dictator’s hands
12:52, Valer Kostka, Belarusian Partisan — Politics
People are the main source and medium of power, this is objective and this is accepted by the international community, whatever someone has to object.
People delegate the office to those, whom they elect, and allow them to manage socio-political and socio-economic relations in the society on their behalf.
In the democratic form of governance people voluntarily delegate their competences to those, who is open competition in even conditions proves to be better prepared for carrying out managerial functions and people’s interests. One’s professional, moral and intellectual qualities count in that. The electing procedure is open, fair and transparent. Public control over the electoral process is unlimited at all the stages of elections. The results of the voting and the announced results correspond. The essence and the form meet the notion of free elections.
In the dictatorial form of governance people’s authority is seized, usurped in a criminal way either by fraud (cheating, bribery, falsification) or by force (intimidation, coercion, by the means of management reserves). Most of the times the whole bunch of illegal methods are used. They are illegal, because they contradict national laws and constitutions. Neither the international community, nor the people of the country recognize the authority, obtained illegally. That is why all the efforts of dictatorships are aimed at the form, the external decoration of political campaigns with the purpose to make it look democratic. This means that a scenario is necessary ensuring the likelihood of a democratic process, actor, clown and party-managers are needed, informational coverage is needed etc.
Via “puppet parliaments” and their “laws” dictatorial regimes deprive civil society and their political opponents of any control over the electoral process and always ensure the result they need.
It is only possible to change a dictatorial regime for a democratic one peacefully by the means of creating equal conditions for competition and the open, transparent and fair nature of the whole political process with overarching public control at all the stages of elections. The longer is a dictatorship’s length of service, the less there are chances for such conditions to be created.
In democracy political opponents compete, who suggest their own way of the country and society’s development. People choose the way and the political force, ready to fulfill their promises. They receive credentials for ruling from people.
In dictatorship there is no competition between opponents, there are no options for the way of development and there is not right of the people to choose. In dictatorship the line of battle goes between the dictator, who has illegally usurped the power, and people, fighting for restoring its constitutional right to elect and be elected.
The issue of political force’s participation in election by the rules of dictatorship is a test question for them. If the political opponents set the goal of coming to power and carrying out the needed reforms, they will necessarily put forward the condition of creating the necessary and equal opportunities for fair competition. The right to elect belongs to people, this is what democracy is.
If the political opponents claim, with no preliminary conditions being put forward, that they will participate in the elections by the rules of dictatorship, then it is obvious that they have no goals of coming to power and their function boil down only to ensuring the external visibility of a “democratic process”. Legally speaking this is called complicity.
A dictatorial regime deprives people of the right to elect and be elected and their opponents - of the slightest chance of winning. In this situation (whether consciously or not, it is not important) the people deprive the dictator of power by not coming to polling stations. In this case the power seizure by fraud does not take place, since there is nothing to falsify. The dictator is deprived of the right to issue orders and decrees, demand of the citizens to fulfill their duties. The authorities stop being authorities. A boycott does not bring victory to anyone, but a boycott deprives the dictatorship of power and equalizes all political forces in their rights.
Whatever one may want, the number of boycott supporter will be increasing among voters from one political campaign to another, because a boycott follows objective rules, not subjective wishes.
The issue of a boycott is not a test for voters, but for politicians. Who are you with – people or the regime? The regime is afraid of a boycott. Using administrative leverage the regime tries to stop this protest, this people’s civil disobedience. Even if some administrative responsibility is established for boycotting or sabotaging the political campaign known as “elections”.
For the real opposition, for all the supporters of changes (there is a good chance for a peaceful resolution) it is a favorable time to present the authorities with an ultimatum and actually unite under the slogan “democratic elections or a boycott to pseudo-elections”, even more so that the majority of voters have settled on a boycott. The choice is for the politicians to make. For the authorities it is a painful, but not deadly choice. Negotiations and a compromise are always better than a war and blood. A “public referendum” should be postponed until the democratic times in order not to make the uneasy life of Belarusian people even more complicated.
Valer Kostka, Belarusian Partisan