Coordinated by Aurelian GIUGĂL

 

Internal election manipulation practices in Romanian political parties

 

Ion BOBOC

Lumina –The University of South East Europe

                                                            

                                                             

Abstract: This article is devoted to the analysis procedures used in fraudulent internal elections in a small political party and it was already a classic repertoire for fraudulent people, which reproduce, on a smaller scale, practices that are characteristic for all the political parties in Romania. The study investigates in research – action, concrete practices for the handling of internal elections in Liberal Democrat Party in its first phase of establishment, in the District 1 of Bucharest. It has been found so that there is a “manipulators team”, which organized and directed the elections, so those around this team to lead the party and to serve its personal interests. First of all this study tried to identify the involvement of young people from the Romania capital in such manipulations, they finally finding that they are used only as a “mass of maneuver”, this fact determined them to quit the party, stating that they would be no longer willing to enlist in other parties.

 

            Keywords: political parties, elections, fraudulent internal elections, electoral manipulation, political power games.

 

 

1.       INTRODUCTION

 

Political manipulation is a part element of that which is considered by Robert Goodin as “a hideous face of power”[1]. Although manipulation techniques are prohibited and attacked by law when they are being used, they can be frequently observed in Romania, especially during internal party elections, some of them ending up as scientific evidence for further study. In the political history of other countries, such situations have become case studies. Thelma Coulter from Canada studied in the 1990s “the live manipulation” of extremist parties towards their members[2] and a French Political analyst Maurice Duverger studied the internal manipulation during elections within the French Communist Party[3]. Hélène Combes researched within internal electoral frauds, carried by the Party for Democratic Revolution in Mexico[4]. “Oligarchic arrangements” during the historical Brazilian oligarchic regime has been studied by Paolo Ricci & Jaqueline Porto Zulini[5]. Bjorn Erik Rasch showed his preocupation for the faction manipulation of party votes in the Norwegian Parliament[6]. Isabelle Nazare-Aga found aut an interest in every kind of psychological manipulation in inter-individual manner also referring to a  “personality manipulative file”[7].

Liliana Popescu-Bârlan wrote a theoretical analysis on political manipulator problems[8]. William Cross şi Lisa Young investigated among 3,962 youngsters from Canada, members of the Liberal Party, as well as members of the Party for New Democracies and the Quebecoise party in various interest groups apart from their parties, because the latter mentioned are less interested in society restructuring and moreover in order to continue with the firstly thought hierarchies and dominating elite classes[9]. Belgian researchers Hooghe Stolle & Stouthuysen investigated youth in the local administration from which they found out about their disappointment due to the weakness of internal democracy in Flemish parties[10] etc. Hélène Combes describes, in detailed manner the way in which manipulation is performed in elections at a new party, but in which “the classical songs in the concert” are “played” at a lower level specific to the former party such as fake reports, false registers with those whom subscribed as members or, even the opposite filling the lists of the subscribed instead of reducing the number and other forms which mark the border between “manipulation and simply material irregularity”. “Because the register of militants had not been updated, and the number of subscribed members is way bigger than the one of the militants /or voters the line which offers the ones unsubscribed to vote is huge”[11].

Instrumental manipulation of competitional (external elections) inter-political parties in Russia has been described by K. Wilson[12], G. Golosov[13], E. Bacon[14]. But, manipulation in internal elections in world political parties occupy a relatively modest place in political science (Alberto Simpser)[15]. However no matter the way and wideness in which manipulation is being spread, either at an individual level or in various organizations, a conclusion can be obviously drawn: “Unlike people, whom can or not be condemned according to the functionality of their influence, manipulation always has to face moral or judiciary sanctions”[16].

Although incorrect practice of internal elections in the Romanian parties are being recognized, there has not been any known study with such data until this moment. The aspects to be pointed out bellow are part of an Research Action[17] in which the author is one on which manipulation has been directly focused within the actions of LDP District 1 Bucharest.

 

 

            2. SHORT PRESENTATION OF LPD AND THE ORGANIZATION IN BUCHAREST OF DISTRICT 1 BUCHAREST

 

            At a national level LPD has always been a personalize party constructed around the personality of Theodor Stolojan, the second former Prime Minister of Romania after the 1989 revolution, former president of the National Liberal Party – PNL (Partidul Național Liberal, the forth PNL president since August 2002 to August 2004) and former presidential council member at the start of the first Traian Băsescu mandate in the Romanian Presidency ending up as a co-member of the Parliament.

            The mentioned party s birth date was stated as the 7th of December 2006, when Theodor Stolojan decided to form this party which thus broke the PNL. He was closely followed by Valeriu Stoica (the third PNL former president, within the Congress of this party between the 17-18th of February 2001 and until the 24-25th of August 2002) then came Gheorghe Flutur (former minister of Agriculture in the first Tăriceanu governing) both of them being excluded from PNL having chosen to be part of the “project platform” initially set by Theodor Stolojan.

            Among the most known initiators of the new party there were former PNL members such as Raluca Turcan, Cristian Boureanu, Mircea Cinteză and over 20 local leaders and parliament involved PNL staff.

            Still, the official LPD birth date, was the one inscribed in the legal formation document, as in the 1st of March 2007. At the Court Registration date it had 64.000 members who declared their belonging and were to establish local organizations themselves. 

            Last, in May 2007 it obtained 3 european parliamentary mandates so that by the end of the same year it bounded with the democratic party thus forming the Democrat and Liberal Party of Romania (PDL – Partidul Democrat Liberal).

According to its status, the party declared itself a middle rightist one and thus claimed accomplishment of its objectives: “it follows the values and principles of the rightist liberalism, and in its political action, LPD supports the universal care for human freedom, respecting the traditional values of the Romanian population as well as implementing pure justice in its actions”.

Its mission is “to create a modern capitalist society within Romania, based on financial development and the principle of solidarity” (http://www.platformaliberala.ro).

            LPD declared itself against the oligarchy in liberalism (as formerly observed in PNL, parasite by the Patriciu “petro-liberal group”), starting from the premise that ”no one could use political institutions of a state in illegal manners such as to promote the interests of a group or an individual”.

The local organizations of the LPD had the following ruling mechanisms: the General Gathering of the Organization and the Local Executive bureau of the area, of the town or of the city.

LPD at the level of the Bucharest based organization started its activity way before it grew to a national level, following the initiative of a first group of dissidents excluded from the PNL, as they signed a petition in which they mentioned loyalty to the activist group formed by Stolojan – Stoica – Flutur and in which they mentioned they were against the oligarchy and manipulation that was ongoing in their former organization.

Until LPD formed itself at a central level, organizing LPD at the level of District I Bucharest took place, with a fact which had to be of impact towards the future activity of the organization. “the throne and the crown” were taken by R. G., former leader of the National Peasant and Christian Democratic Romanian party (PNȚ-CD – Partidul Național Țărănesc-Creștin și Democrat), later having been part of PNL, then with the help of former senator R.F.A.

A. having underwent through the Democratic Party (PD – Partidul Democrat), then being part of PNL and in the end considering himself as the founder of the new Liberal and Democratic party. They initially teamed up with the group of PNL dissidents, but shortly turned into the main master manipulators in the election process which took place on the 23rd of May 2007.

The number of members, especially youth, grew significantly until the LPD congress elections (the branch being the only one which organized internal elections, on the 25th of May 2007).

 

 

            3. WHO WERE THE YOUTH INITIALLY SUBSCRIBED AS ACTIVE   MEMBERS IN LPD DISTRICT I BUCHAREST?

 

Right after LPD had declared itself as a party, youth showed great interest in being part of this new structure, the majority of them having declared, in the admission interviewws (all of which the author of this article had witnessed in person, being himself an interviewer in the majority of cases), that they follow liberal ideology, but they did not subscribe in PNL because “they found out from the media” or former “LPD activist friends told them” that PNL is a structure based on oligarchy which uses incorrect ways of political promoting (a huge part of what the youth declared related to the media was based on the declarations of the former PNL members and the new activists of the new party).

The youth who subscribed for LPD in the first activity months were way more abundant in number than the other age categories in the party, which showed the interest, and even the enthusiasm of young people who wanted to be active in political life.

There were two main “waves” of young people who came especially to enthusiastically stand by Stolojan ( and obviously by president Băsescu as well, whose friend Stolojan claimed to be, a friendship which the president also declared in public) and his new team who declared themselves as fighters against oligarchy and for democracy.

Both “waves” are dated before the first elections for power on the 23rd of May 2007 and are represented bellow, compared to the general subscription “waves” at the District I Bucharest level (Figure 1).

 Figure 1. General subscription and youth subscriptionwaves

                                                                      

 

ü   1st wave: After the 7th of December 2006, date in which Stolojan announced the forming of PDL, until the 17th of January 2007 (when the temporary governing was selected for then it was observed that even on a temporary level the lack of democracy could be seen in the party governing council general organization), meaning the initial principles had been abandoned from the start by the main leaders;

ü   The 2nd Wave: One months and a few days before the actual election day proposed for the 23rd of May 2007 as well as before the voting day for suspending president Băsescu (the 19th of May), after that the youth mostly abandoned the District I section of LPD. At the 23rd of May 2007 party gatherings young people were very few that remained standing in the party, refusing to militate, even though they were asked to take part in central level publicity campaigns for DPL promotion.

            The January “wave” formed thankfully to the publicity about the start of a new liberal party, lead by a person whom the public opinion referred to (all statistics of the past 15 years state that) as able and uncorrupt, but it was also generated by the trust that youth could more easily be promoted in a new democratic and liberal party.

            The April “wave” had at least three causes, two of which are based on elections: sustaining the campaign against the president s suspension and against 322 members of parliament, the vast publicity in Bucharest, made by the newcomer youngsters in the political party, set for the European parliament possible elections, internal elections which were to take place within the organization and possibly to encourage the development of a new department for youth.

Further, we shall be pointing out the social and occupational characteristics of youth, as to identify a possible “profile” of the youngster wishing to be active in politics, but who quits being part of this life just as fast.

We firstly come across something like a “half-half” proportionality between the young and elderly people recruited by LPD District I Bucharest, something which is rarely seen, even in mature governing parties (where it is supposed that the attention of young people willing to have a political career should be drawn to for the reason of their high level).

 

Table 1. Age and Gender Criteria

Age

Gender Criteria

Total

Male (M)

Female (F)

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Total youth of which::

59

40.4

39

45.4

98

42.2

- 18-24 years

24

16.4

12

14.0

36

15.5

- 25-35 years

35

24.0

27

31.4

62

26.7

    > 35 years

87

59.6

47

54.6

134

57.8

General total

146

100 total M (63% of total members)

86

100 total F (37% of total members)

232

100

 

             Within the large group of young people who did not stay as to reform their own organization there was a representative subdivision of high school and university students (a quarter of the total youth ) and among them more than 90% were under 25 years old).

 

Table 2. Age and gender criteria of the subdivision

 

Age

Gender Criteria

Total

Male (M)

Female (F)

No.

%

No.

%

No.

%

Total students of which:

22

37.3

10

2.6

32

32.7

- 18-24 years

19

32.2

10

2.6

29

29.6

- 25-35 years

3

5.1

0

0

3

3.1

Youth total  

59

100

39

100

98

100

 

This group could be the avangard of the party, as most of the students were part of the Engineering University or Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine in Bucharest they having come because some of their colleagues had already been subscribed, but also having received the suggestion from other people who did not have other needs from them apart from the election votes which they wanted to receive, as we shall further see.

The fact that the new group which came in the section was a valuable one from the “social occupational” criteria can also be observed by other characteristic means, which we point out bellow but also as they were coming with a “new energy” few of them having had previous political experience compared to their elderly colleagues, a quarter of them coming from other parties such as PNL, PNȚ-CD, the Social Democratic Party (PSD), PD and one of them from the Great Romania Party – Partidul România Mare (PRM, the latter also becoming organization leader in a District).

 

Table 3. Party experience

Political provenience

from other parties

Total of members

Only Youth

No.

%

No.

%

- PLD as their first party

172

74.1

85

86.7

- ex-PNL

40

17.2

5

5.1

- ex-PNŢ-CD

5

2.2

3

3.1

- ex-other parties (altogether)

15

6.5

5

5.1

Total general

232

100

98

100

 

I also noticed that none of the students who had subscribed had not had former party experience.

From the total of youth subscribed through a period of one year since founding, until their departure 43% of the youth had come as I previously mentioned through intermediary people but even more out of their own initiative (57%).

 

Table 4. Youth Party Member Professions

Gained professions through studies

No.

%

Without a job (school and university students) 

32

32.7

Economists

21

21.4

Clarks (without higher education)

13

13.3

Engineers

9

9.2

Legal practitioners

7

7.1

Social political and administrative science specialists

7

7.1

Free workers (with higher education) 

4

4.1

Teachers

2

2.0

Other jobs

3

3.1

Total

98

100

           

The majority of economists legal practitioners and engineers were working in the private sector (except for those who had no job, as well as the 10 young female clerks who were working for a state institution as the Official Monitor of Bucharest City and who were obliged by their general manager to subscribe in the party as to vote for her as vice-president at the LPD District I Bucharest).

 

Table 5. Working Places of the young party members

Workplace

No.

%

Without a working place

44

44.9

Working for private companies

36

36.7

Working for the Official Monitor of Bucharest

10

0.2

Working for state or private health units

3

3.1

Working in state or private school and Universities

2

2,0

Working in other places

3

3,1

Total

98

100

 

Table 6. Key Functions of Young party members

Working Place

No.

%

Without a key functions (jobless students)

56

57,2

Operational Manager status

12

12,2

Intermediary manager status

11

11,2

Top manager status

8

8,2

Support staff status

2

2,0

Technocratic and external consultancy status

5

5,1

Would not mention their position

4

4,1

Total

98

100

  

Table 7. Age coefficient in functions for PLD District 1 Bucharest

District  1

District 2

District 3

District 4

District 5

34.0 years old

32.8 years old

45.0 years old

22.0 years old (*)

35.6 years old

Age coefficient of bosses between Districts: 33.88 years old

Age coefficient at the Executive bureau level (BEx): 39.63 years old

 

Mentions: 1. It was only referred to the “executive” functions (5 at every District and 16 at the BEx), it was no reference to the supplementary staff.2. * From organizing District 4 I took one of the members out of consideration, who was 89 years old (the oldest member of the party who later on retired forever from the job).

            This last table is important as it can stand as an argument for the “gerontocratic positions” of the top party management, taken over along eighth the help of the youth who realized that they were called in either for voting for the elderly candidates, or for electing their younger friends who were recommended as it was scheduled beforehand through manipulation (we shall point out an example, with documented arguments and individual names, for whom we shall only use the initials however with the cases from Districts 3, 4 and 5, all cases taking into consideration youth manipulation for elections firstly in the District and secondly at the level of the whole party. 

There is another important mention to be added regarding District 4 (apart from the retired army staff) the age limit here was truly lower (29 years old for the president, 19 years old vice president, who was also a student, 20 years old secretary who was a student of the university, the other members were 21 years old). Truly, the status gained by the youth in this District section and also for the other Districts, have proven themselves as totally irrelevant apart from the president function at the District level (who was called to the meetings of the Executive Bureau).

Using these statuses for some favorites, the manipulators changed them into advantages not for the growth of the organization, or for modernizing it and thus obtaining general trust, but only so that the ones who had such functions could use their right to vote “higher”, and give their vote to the ones “who were sharing the status”. This is thus, an operational definition of the patronage in a new party or “the recruitment through patrons” as a manipulation technique.

 


4. WHY DID THE YOUTH ABANDON THE PARTY?

 

As it can be seen by the graphics and tables above,  the youth had represented at the start, a force in the party, they would subscribe with enthusiasm for the defense of a cause they believed in or for making sure of future career stability, all these till the day of “the election arrangements”.

As I have previously shown, the Master Manipulator and its designer (ironically having the job of a film director in real life, job which he gained through advanced studies) was one of those who declared themselves the LPD founding members, who was a former PD then PNL senator followed by a Helping Youngster (Deputy Manipulator, former deputy in PNȚ-CD)  aged only 23 when he became a member of parliament, and then went to LPD his former education granting him as a legal practitioner) there was also need of 4 Tools.

For scientific reasons (but also for reasons suggesting the manipulation issue), we shall not use the real names of the ones who have been manipulated nor of those who were part of the founding circle of manipulation we shall use the conspiratorial names which we gave them, according to the role they played (and the Bucharest District limited by the Executive committee temporarily established by the LPD), in which the scenes took part:


Figure 2. Manipulation Scheme of the District 3, 5 and 4 organizations

 

ü   By stating Tool no. 1 we shall identify the former secretary and temporary coordinator then having become the first vice-president of the section (he was used so as to ”play” the elections of the first District);

ü   Through Tool no. 3 we can identify the former secretary coordinator of females later being chosen as a vice-president of the section ( she was used to “play” the elections of District no. 3) formerly chosen as well as vice-president (it is to be noticed that we have no tool for District no. 2, since the manipulation in that District were monitored by the director himself along with his deputy) both of them being members of the same organization;

ü   By stating Tool no. 4 the interested ones can easily identify a circle formed by the “mother, the son and the family friend doctor” (the mother becoming vice-president in the section, the son had become a local secretary at the section, and the friend got promoted as District vice-president (they had “played” the District 4 elections);

ü   Finally, as Tool no. 5 we can identify the female owner of a videoconference private company, who simply transferred her female employees to the LPD office in District 1 on the election day, after which they did not return however leaving their boss in the position of District President no. 5.

After a set of attentive investigations, lasting for more than three months  with a stack of justified documents as well as the declarations of the ones who very well realized the direct manipulator process, we managed to point out many actions of youth attraction while using a huge arsenal of methods and techniques, some of them based on sub tile persuasion ( the techniques analyzed above could be watched over again) but most of them  implemented without a shame, in a direct manner, through the unfair manipulation of elections.

As I had formerly stated, we shall only show three examples of three organizations where young people had been dragged through a dirty game “obviously conducted”.

Part of the youth voluntarily played the game, considering it to be normal and that all the elderly are doing it anyway. Actually it could have been what politics refer to as “lobby”, some of them even gaining functions, later realizing that these were of no use, as they were left completely ignored after the elections, even persecuted for not being activists for the others as thus the higher administration complained.

Other young people (most of them) simply witnessed an electoral masquerade, without believing what was going on (as they declared to me during the feedback interview), and they ended up by being disgusted by such a manipulative show.

The most obvious and unpleasant form of using youth for manipulation could be seen at the District 4 organization. Here, Tool no. 4 (“the mother, the son and the doctor family friend”), under the coordination of the Deputy Manipulator and with a tacit agreement from the Master Manipulator, managed to obtain the “greatest result” among all the other Tools.

Making use of the fact that her son is a student of the Faculty of Electronics in the Engineering Universitary School in Bucharest and that her friend is a doctor, tool no. 4 arranged a fruitful strategy (which is schemed at the semi oval representation on the right-hand side of figure 2).

The son, the doctor family friend and the 8 colleague students of the engineering school, as well as the two doctors who were colleagues of Tool no. 4’s friend (12 people in total), became from simple delegates to the general gathering of the section (3), obvious voters of  Tool no. 4  as a vice-president of the executive bureau, and as a coordinator of public policies[18].

The doctors and the Son of Tool no. 3, together with two students, also became high in the executive bureau of District 4 (vice-president, secretary, 2 members and 2 substitutes).

Here it is to be considered that the manipulation method of Tool no. 4 has been to us un conspiratorial (partially, the manipulated persons having been later on identified) by the tool herself, as she herself (a 52 year old economist) also played a double game, in the right way of saying, in order to make sure she would be a winner alongside one of the parties who were newly forming and gathering “voting power”. 

Thus, Tool no. 4, the Son and the Doctor Friend, having been “fully transferred” next to the side of the manipulating circle coordinated by the Master Manipulator and his Deputy Manipulator ( privileged with experience and good positions within the party factions against the opposition) and assisted by a group of students managed to win the battle, at the District elections then the ones at the section elections, against a promised “voting group of war survivors” (exactly like that), that could not be gathered the opposing faction, although they were promised with a set of conditions (one of them being majoring their pensions and the ones of war widows, but here we shall not insist over this aspect as it is not linked to the youth).

In the case of organization no 3 the scenario had been differently thought and implemented (as it can be checked in the semi sphere on the right-hand side of figure 2), here the vice-president who was coordinating the women s activity (temporarily until the elections following the PDL Congress, former member of the PSD, between 1997 and 2003, 37 year old whom I have named Tool no. 3) , especially brought into the LPD District 1 by the Master Manipulator, really gave the others “work to do”, but she did not give in work to all of them (and not in an honest manner), as there was work only for the ones whom she had brought in from the Official Monitor of Bucharest (MO), where she worked as a general manager, doing this for the obvious manipulation of the elections, wherever there was a possibility.

She simply sent the entry requests of the majority of her MO female employees (this being a proof as she did not even bother at least to register that majority of requests, in the register dedicated for such a reason), until the election day, after which they disappeared.

If we check figure 2 once more we shall observe that of those 14 employees brought through “bus voting” from the Official Monitor, 10 of them were young until 35 years old, most of them without higher education, who could not even stand against their boss, who employed them within a state institution and who should have stayed out of such political games.

Tool no. 3 however got her strategy into practice and ended up (both in a righteous and an ironical sense) as a vice-president in the relation with the civil society at a section level, dragging even other employees into politics, to have enough force for local elections as well as power for the moment in which the Master Manipulator and his Deputy Manipulator would come to request the need for their vote. Thus, a part of the favorite employees of Tool no. 3 (some of whom had no higher education) also got promoted but also delegations in a mandatory way so as to allow them the possibility of voting for their boss in the new function and also the necessary votes for those who controlled the whole manipulation set.

So, of the 14 women who were brought in from the Official Monitor, 3 of them got key professions, managed through some special conventions which could be easily observed if not from the fake recommendations and notifications maybe through the final statistics from the votes at the Districts and at the section, we shall further show some examples of pre-arranged jobs (as it can also be seen in the graphic): M.R. became president of the District 3 organization (former PRM President with a political experience within that extremist party, during the glory age of Corneliu Vadim Tudor – 1998-2002), L.V.S. became a member in the administration staff of the same organization, but a key job such as the one of secretary general was gained once more by a deputy of the Tool no. 3 (I.R, legal practitioner, 35 years old).

It is also to be pointed out that of 10 delegates for the general gathering at the section, 5 were employees of Tool no. 3, who provided her success, without ignoring the obvious help which they got from other District party members.

You might as well realize that a good definition of ”political globalization” could easily come out of the “combining results” between the manipulation which ex Romanian party leaders enhanced (spread across the whole political life, from the left extreme FSN – original – to the extreme right PRM), presently united under the name of a new party, declared democrat and liberal and that wanted to team up with European People’s Party: a former FSN leader (Master Manipulator), a former PNȚ-CD leader (the Deputy Manipulator), a former PSD leader (Tool no. 3) and a former PRM leader (District president).

At the organization in District no. 5 (see the semi sphere in figure no. 2), the scenario was similar to the one in the District organization no. 3. Tool no. 3, as an owner of the L.D. ltd. company, called 8 of her colleagues and employees a few days before the election day and they voted for her, as they were order to make her the president of the organization. This case also corrupted youth A.P. (19 years old), MI and MS 26 years old each, CM (30 years old) DM – 31, DB – 34, IR and FR 35 years old each.

The operation took place as follows (the aspects were confirmed by directly given declarations or through the phone with the help of participating “actors” taking part in manipulator games of whom we shall also talk with the source of official documents launched at the section); Firstly the Deputy Manipulator contacted I.R. the firefighter. He was also employed in the company of Tool no. 3, along with his wife and they were advised to come together with his boss at LPD District 1, where they would get important positions, their condition being to accomplish “party tasks”. The tasks being defined Tool no. 3 became the leader of District 3, the firefighter became a substitute and his wife became a delegate for the section elections.

We shall also add two relevant facts, firstly there were manipulative actions that failed (for example, in District 5 the delegate was V.-M.P. former PNȚ-CD the Deputy’s friend, who also followed a good position at the top of the LPD hierarchy District 1, a planned event which did not though come true, (because the Deputy’s friend did not sign up as a candidate in adequate timing) and another example which shows the carelessness of Tools and manipulative “actors” without fear that they would get caught in link to the unjust things that they accepted (for example none of the requests to enter that were subscribed by Tool no. 3’s employees had any registration date in this way, not even the one of their boss).

As I assisted in four of the five election sets I was also part in a “first” that had not previously been pointed out in party elections: that of being granted a function while one was absent. The start of such a “democratic” procedure had been done by the Master Manipulator himself in District 2, while he introduced an absent candidate and the latter, since he was highly spoken of would be later on chosen (that time through a different set of voting at a local and central commission level which had proven itself to be fake in declarations but this kind of topic of proposals and manipulation shall be mentioned in a different article).

Bellow there shall be a reminder of the key functions obtained at the Districts and the section of the party according to the whole scheme. 

 

 

Table 8. Circle of manipulators actor game

and the most important 14 functions which they gained

Initials

Dis-trict

Roles in manipulation

Relations and paths

Obtained or gained functions

A.F.R.

2

Master Manipulator General Coordonator

-

Wanted the role of LPD president in the capital and on the list for the parliament

R.G.

2

Deputy Manipulator General deputy coordinator

Trusted man” of the Master Manipulator

Member in the leading administration of the section, but with the same wishes as the Master Manipulator however without concurring against him

C.M.

1

Tool no. 1Election organizer and recruiter at District 1

Trusted man” of the Master Manipulator and his Deputy Manipulator

Gained the function of vice-president for the construction of the party

A.D.

1

Promoter

Workmate of Tool no. 1

Became president of District organization 1

D.M.

1

Promoter

brother of tool 1

Became vice-president of District organization 1

A.A.

2

Promoter

former PNȚ-CD colleague of the Deputy Manipulator

Became vice-president for unanimous resources at the section

G.B.

3

Tool no. 3Election organizer and recruiter at District 3

Trusted man of the Master Manipulator

Vice-president for civil society dialogue

M.R.

3

Promoter

Employee of  Tool no. 3

Vice-president for District organization 3

I.R.

3

Promoter

Employee of  Tool no. 3

Secretary general at the section

D.N.

4

Tool no. 4Election organizer and recruiter at District 4 students

Deputy Manipulator

Vice-president for public policies at the section

R.N.

4

Promoter - recruiter at District 4, students

Son of Tool no.4

Secretary in area 4

G.S.

4

Promoter

Friend of Tool no. 4

Vice-president at the District organization 4

I.G.M.

4

Promoter - recruiter at District 4, students

?

President  of District organization 4

S.D.

5

Tool no. 5 Election organizer and recruiter at District 5

Self- employee, Friend of Deputy Manipulator

President  of District organization 5

 

The type of addressing reference as well as the hierarchy presented above is not new to us in specialty literature. For instance, we took into consideration the term of “Promoter” (or “Bishop”) to define those persons who identify themselves with the hugest manipulators (in this case the Master Manipulator, his Deputy Manipulator and the Tools), trying to convince (especially inexperienced youth in link to party elections), that they had to give their vote be it even when the name of some experts, trustworthy people (“experts are classic sources of rumors”), was mentioned from Jean Nöele Kapferer[19].

The well-known American consultant Dick Morris, who also worked in Romania (for the Conservatory Party) was thus stating : “Knowing the name opens a file in the voter s hardware components of the brain”[20].

H.P. Cathala did the same, who separated the members of a “manipulator circle” in a true “division of manipulative workforce”. Thus, there would exist manipulators such as “influential agents” (“Master Manipulators or leaders”) and “trustworthy intermediates” (Tools of Masters)[21].

Using the same interview technique such as we deed, political science researchers Laurențiu Ștefan and Răzvan Grecu investigated in the year 2003 a number of 72 Romanian members of parliament who were asked about the democratic method of selection in Romanian parties. Mostly, 15% of the ones interviewed in the 7 main parties answered: “there is a democratic manner, but slightly manipulative”: To be taken into consideration that the PD members gave this answer in a majority calculus of 31.57%, PNL had 21.5%, UDMR – 26.31 %, and the PSD (back then known as the Social Democratic Romanian Party) – 11.04%[22].

 

 

5. CONCLUSIONS

 

Although enthusiastic in the beginning, when joining a political party, Romanian youths become gradually more disappointed in how their elders do politics and how they are treated in parties. The main reason for their disappointment is the use of their energy and competence for the private use of established leaders even if they had or continue to have a negative image, in regards to their behavior in the public eye.

When establishing new parties or (re)organizing the old ones, multiple manipulations become apparent, on the occasion of internal elections, through interventions from the party oligarchies who appoint people they trust on specific “missions” serving their interests, especially in continuously reelecting the same people from the “party apparatus”.

Even when offering positions to youths in parties, the hierarchical established leadership only offers them to their own favorites.

Recent examples better known in Romania are: in 2003, PSD ex-president and ex-prime minister Adrian Nastase proposed Victor Ponta as president of the Social Democrat Youths (who later became president of PSD and prime minister) so that he may propose his favorite, Mihai Sturzu in 2013 for the same position, as he was his old counselor on youth issues, until current PSD president Liviu Dragnea publicly declared: “I want Gabi Petrea to be president”. All three PSD presidents would go on to have criminal records with the National Anti-corruption Department.

Party elections or from youth organizations represent uncontestable manipulative pressure from central leadership for their respective favorites through means such as mass media and direct manipulative methods on the occasion of internal elections.

In general, the study of internal party manipulation is rarely done in Romania also due to prejudice regarding the existence or inexistence of a degree of democracy within parties as an internal issue.

However, democracy in parties, as part of internal reform, is a matter of public interest without which there can be no renewal of the political class, a process where youths should be the first to participate in.

We believe that the manipulative criteria and tendencies that had influenced political party leaders had grown since 2003 until today, showing a generalized phenomenon in internal political party elections.

Moreover, we think that Romanian parties are seen even now as “inclusions” of a society which thinks itself open, as we saw it happen in the case of LPD District 1 Bucharest, their leaders, either older or newer ones, preferring feudal type relations, as between “masters” and “slaves” in which unfortunately the youth are an active part.

Judging by the fact that there are very few, the youth remaining or who wish to take part in political organizations shall be deprived of their prejudices referring to politics as a “dirty job” and should better understand the concepts as to make themselves part in it.

 

 

Bibliography

 

BACON, Edwin, “Electoral manipulation and the development of Russia’s political system”, East European Politics, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2012, pp. 105-118.

CATHALA, Henry-Pierre, Epoca dezinformării [translated from French: Le temps de la désinformation]Antet XX Press, București, 1997.

CHELCEA, Septimiu, Opinia publică. Strategii de persuasiune şi manipulare [Public opinion, persuasive strategies and manipulation], Editura Economică, Bucureşti, 2006.

COMBES, Hélène, “Un cas d’école: fraudes électorales et instrumentation du vote dans la transition politique mexicaine”, Genèses, Vol. 49, 2002, pp. 48-68.

CROSS, William & YOUNG, Lisa, “Factors Influencing the Decision of the Young Politically Engaged To Join a Political Party: An Investigation of the Canadian Case”, Party Politics, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2008, pp. 345-369.

DUVERGER, Maurice, Les partis politiques, Armand Collin, Paris, 1976.

EYSENCK, Hans & Michael, Descifrarea comportamentului uman [Descifring Human Behaviour], Teora, Bucureşti, 2001.

GOLOSOV, Grigorii V., “Do spoilers make a difference? Instrumental manipulation of political parties in an electoral authoritarian regime, the case of Russia”, East European Politics, Vol. 31, No. 2, 2015, pp. 170-186.

GOODIN, Robert, Manipulatory Politics, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1980.

HOOGHE, Marc, STOLLE, Dietlind & STOUTHUYSEN, Patrick, “Head Start in Politics: The Recruitment Function of Youth Organizations of Political Parties in Belgium (Flanders)”, Party Politics, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2004, pp. 193–212.

MORRIS, Dick, Noul Principe. Machiavelli în secolul al XXI-lea [The New Prince, Machiavelli of the 21st Century], Editura Ziua, Bucureşti, 2003.

MUCCHIELI, Alex, Dicționar al metodelor calitative în ştiințele umane şi sociale [translated from French: Dictionnaire des méthodes qualitatives en sciences humaines], Polirom, Iași, 2002.

NAZARE-AGA, Isabelle, Manipulatorii sunt printre noi [translated from French: Les manipulateurs sont parmi nous], Editura Niculescu, Bucureşti, 1999.

POPESCU-BÂRLAN, Liliana, Individual Freedom & Political Manipulation, Politeia – SNSPA, Bucureşti, 2003.

RASCH, Bjørn Erik, “Manipulation and Strategic Voting in the Norwegian Parliament”, Public Choice, Vol. 52, No 1, 1987, pp. 57-73.

RICCI, Paolo & ZULINI, Jaqueline Porto, “Beheading, Rule Manipulation and Fraud: The Approval of Election Results in Brazil, 1894-1930”, Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 495-521.

SIMPSER, Alberto, Why Governments and Parties Manipulate Elections: Theory, Practice, and Implications, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York, 2013.

ŞTEFAN, Laurenţiu & GRECU, Răzvan, Cariere politice şi reprezentare parlamentară. Raport de cercetare [Political careers and parliamentary representing. Research report on the Centre for Analysis and Political Studies], Centrul de Analize şi Studii Politice, Bucureşti, 2004.

WILSON, K., “Party-System Development under Putin”, Post-Soviet Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2006, pp. 314–348.

 



[1] Robert GOODIN, Manipulatory Politics, Yale University Press, New Haven, 1980, p. 34.

[2] Apud Hans & Michael EYSENCK, Descifrarea comportamentului uman (translated from English: Descifring Human Behaviour), Editura Teora, Bucureşti, 2001, p. 12.

[3] Maurice DUVERGER, Les partis politiques, Armand Collin, Paris, 1976, p. 93-94.

[4] Hélène COMBES, “Un cas d’école. fraudes électorales et instrumentation du vote dans la transition politique mexicaine”, Genèses, Vol. 49, 2002, pp. 48-68.

[5] Paolo RICCI & Jaqueline Porto ZULINI, “Beheading, Rule Manipulation and Fraud: The Approval of Election Results in Brazil, 1894-1930”, Journal of Latin American Studies, Vol. 44, No. 3, pp. 495-521.

[6] Bjørn Erik RASCH, “Manipulation and Strategic Voting in the Norwegian Parliament”, Public Choice, Vol. 52, No. 1, 1987, pp. 57-73.

[7] Isabelle NAZARE-AGA, Manipulatorii sunt printre noi (translated from French: Les manipulateurs sont parmi nous), Editura Niculescu, Bucureşti, 1999.

[8] Liliana POPESCU-BÂRLAN, Individual Freedom & Political Manipulation, Politeia – SNSPA, Bucureşti, 2003.

[9] William CROSS & Lisa YOUNG, “Factors Influencing the Decision of the Young Politically Engaged To Join a Political Party: An Investigation of the Canadian Case”, Party Politics, Vol. 14, No. 3, 2008, pp. 345-369.

[10] Marc HOOGHE, Dietlind STOLLE & Patrick STOUTHUYSEN, “Head Start in Politics: The Recruitment Function of Youth Organizations of Political Parties in Belgium (Flanders)”, Party Politics, Vol. 10, No. 2, 2004, pp. 193–212.

[11] Hélène COMBES, Un cas d’écolecit., p. 66; It is a paradox that DRP (The Democratic Revolutionary Party) being the power of Mexico in 1997, after over 70 years domination, from the state-party called IRP (The Institutional Revolutionary Party), it declared itself a party of “brave honesty fighting against political manipulation” for a while being lead by Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, he himself being named “Mr. Antifraud”.

[12] Kenneth WILSON, “Party-System Development under Putin”, Post-Soviet Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 4, 2006, pp. 314–348.

[13] Grigorii V. GOLOSOV, “Do spoilers make a difference? Instrumental manipulation of political parties in an electoral authoritarian regime, the case of Russia”, East European Politics, Vol. 31, No. 22, 2015, pp. 170-186.

[14] Edwin BACON, “Electoral manipulation and the development of Russia’s political system”, East European Politics, Vol. 28, No. 2, 2012, pp. 105-118.

[15] Alberto SIMPSER, Why Governments and Parties Manipulate Elections: Theory, Practice, and Implications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, New York,  2013.

[16] Septimiu CHELCEA, Opinia publică. Strategii de persuasiune şi manipulare (in english: Public opinion, persuasive strategies and manipulation),  Editura Economică, Bucureşti, 2006, p. 226.

[17] By “Research Action” specialists define an applied investigation engaged and combined (between researchers, actors and contexts) with appeals to quality methods (Alex MUCCHIELLI, Dicționar al metodelor calitative în științele umane și sociale (translated from French: Dictionnaire des méthodes qualitatives en sciences humaines, Polirom, Iași, 2002, pp. 51-55).

[18] It is to be observed here that the Deputy Manipulator made sure that at the section elections, there was the least participant numbers of the ones who had not been selected by him or the Master Manipulator as parts of the manipulation especially through secret gatherings among some members of the scheme gathered in organized district groups which we also show in figure 2 in the upper left-hand side where Tool no. 1 can be seen as we received declarations from some of the participants at such gatherings they were in small number very well instructed and were received in the administration along with 2 substitute members (and whom as we saw before would be chosen between themselves) just so as to hide their scheme it was proposed by the Deputy and accepted by the Master Manipulator an additional right to vote granted to other three delegates (a total of 10 x 5 districts, along with the 17 members of the Executive Temporary council from the section, all of them being men of the Master Manipulator, selected and named beforehand.

[19] Jean Nöele KAPFERER, Rumors:  Uses, Interpretation, and Images, New Brunswick, New Jersey, 2013, p. 22.

[20] Dick MORRIS, Noul Principe. Machiavelli în secolul al XXI-lea (translated from English: The New Prince, Machiavelli of the 21st Century), București, Editura Ziua, 2003, p. 234.

[21] Henry-Pierre CATHALA, Epoca dezinformării (translated from French: Le temps de la désinformation),  Editura Antet XX Press, Iași, 1999, p. 99.

[22] Laurențiu ȘTEFAN & Răzvan GRECU, Cariere politice şi reprezentare parlamentară. Raport de cercetare (in english: Political careers and parliamentary representing. Research report on the Centre for Analysis and Political Studies), Centrul de Analize şi Studii Politice, Bucureşti, 2004.