“Centralized Governments are the enemy of individual freedom”. Ronald Reagan
This is not just because centralization is the primary tool for corruption, fear and cronyism. It is because centralization robs a nation of it’s greatest economic resource – the energy, creativity and potential of it’s citizens.
Romania’s democracy was born in a constitution written in 1991 by Communist leaders. Their intention to steal from the state was written into Article 69 “The Deputies and Senators shall not be searched, detained or arrested without the consent of the Chamber they belong to.”
Since 1991, the laws of Romania have consistently followed the principle of allowing a few people in Bucharest to control as much of the country as possible.
This extractive principle is clearly evident in Romanian election law. Through closed party lists and limitations on new political parties, Romanian election laws are more communist than democratic.
Political leaders promised election reform following the Iohannis Presidential victory in 2014. Rather than improve the direct election system implemented in 2008, Parliament and President Iohannis did exactly what Vladimir Putin did in 2007. To prevent people from choosing their own representatives, they eliminated the direct elections and returned to closed party lists.
At a recent town hall meeting in a Bihor village, a farmer said this: ‘There use to be a milk truck to buy our cow’s milk and local coop to buy our vegetables. Both disappeared after Communism. Today we are forced to sell our crops on the street and our cows are gone. I am not stupid. We sell our votes for firewood, because our votes are meaningless. Politicians on party lists work for party bosses in Bucharest, not for us. If we could choose our own candidates, we would have automated milk collection and a small vegetable coop to sell our crops when the prices are good. We could go back to farming for a living, instead of drinking and complaining.’
Romanians are neither stupid nor apathetic. Despite 40 years of horrendous social engineering, Romanians are not communist by nature. When we experience the simple, intuitive nature of a real democracy, we will thrive.