The merging of elections is about the interest of the parties and little to none about the voters. The first to cry on the shoulders of citizens with voting rights were the politicians. They took pity on the poor people for being harassed with five walks they had to take in 2024 (366 days) at polling stations. This is under the circumstances in which we talk about civic responsibility and the importance of turning up at the polls. That is, on the one hand, we give moralizing speeches and pontificate about voting, and, on the other hand, even those who need to be elected say that it is too tiring to go 5 days in a year to vote and it would be better to whip it up.
Democracy requires energy and time costs, not just money, a lot of money. This is not the tiring part though, but the purely hypocritical attitude.
If the merging of the elections were to take place – I’m very skeptical, but politics is stranger than life – it would be planned from the parties’ perspective. The European elections cannot be touched – they stay apart. The European Parliament gave the directive – end of story. On the other hand, local elections are the most coveted. It’s an already old thorny issue. The mayors are under suspicion that after seeing their bags in the wagon, they do not really get involved, especially in the parliamentary elections. The difference is evident in the results: the mayor takes the lion’s share, while for the party it’s another story. Sometimes, even the share is halved. For the presidential elections things wiggle faster, but not enough. So, let’s merge these!
Some would have liked to merge the local elections with the ones for Parliament, but others quip that’s not good. Their argument: the right to be elected is restricted. What if an incumbent mayor or a chairman of some County Council wants to be an MP? Because he discovers in a few months that he is more efficient in Parliament. It’s his right.
Others propose that local and presidential elections are merged. How come?! Why is the above argument not valid here? What if a mayor, elected with a percentage of over 50 percent, wants to run for President? There were at least two cases: we had two incumbent mayors who, after a few months, became candidates for the Presidency and, eventually, winners.
Last option on the list: the merger of parliamentary and presidential elections. It’s happened before, it’s not news. And the fact that change is made to change is not new either. When it was decided that they would no longer coincide in the electoral calendar, it was desired to diminish the role of “locomotive” that the presidential candidate had for the party from which he originated. That is, let’s not put all the eggs in the same basket, all the power on the same side, avoid monopoly, create some pressure, some tension between the two important poles – President – Government (if you thought about Parliament, it is important and representative in the Constitution only, otherwise it will always be only an appendix of the Government or the President, depending on who is more influential). This separation proved much more beneficial in the decades in which it worked, with absolutely all the complications, than if we return to the formula of the monopoly of power: President, Government, Parliament and all the other institutions aligned under the same colours.
Getting out of the house 5 times in 366 days is perfectly doable for a democracy that relies on the electorate’s vote. It’s better to bear defects and shortcomings than to have a comatose merger. In addition, no significant economy is made to the budget – to mention the last argument of the pro-merging supporters.