VOTING FROM ABROAD AND THE CONSTRUCTION OF VOTING DECISION
Keywords:Voting from abroad, Diaspora, presidential election, voting behavior, economic asset, political asset, electoral asset
AbstractIn 2009 Romanian Diaspora was protesting for its right to vote and in the end changed the presidential elections outcome through the votes casts from abroad. In 2014 Romanian Diaspora was protesting again for its right to vote and changed the presidential elections outcome not through direct voting but through the online influence. What happened? In Romania, the 2014 calculated democracy index (The Economist Intelligence Unit) was 6.68 from a maxim of 10 points, one of the lowest in EU. The political participation is also among the lowest in EU and reflects the continuous deterioration of the turnout in Romania over the post-communist period. However, the last presidential elections in Romania were characterized by an increase in the Diaspora’s intensity of electoral activity. Most of the votes came from Italy and Spain, countries with a higher democracy index. This paper analyses Romania’s Diaspora voting behavior with a focus on 2004, 2009 and 2014 presidential election in Italy and Spain. Our perspective is that we need to understand Diaspora as a constellation of three assets: economic asset (remittances), political asset (turnout) and electoral asset (votes cast from abroad). The paper is based on a secondary analysis on the data available on Romanian Permanent Electoral Authority database, International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance database, Economist Intelligence Unit’s reports, National Bank of Romania’s reports and EUROSTAT data explorer. The paper is opening a series of further questions regarding the construction of Diaspora’s voting decision.
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