Political Pluralism In Venezuela

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The essential element of representative democracy is to have a pluralistic system of political parties and organizations. Political pluralism is in stark contrast with the ideas of concentrated power and political organization of society promoted by the state or from the state. In pluralistic system, political parties and organizations mostly try to be outside the sphere of government and the state, and they use its influence so individuals and social groups can freely develop. It also ensures free elections, government alternation, political participation and power decentralization. It is often said that pluralism is the opponent of authoritarianism (New World Encyclopedia, n.d).

When it comes to Venezuela, during the past 15 years, the
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According to Election Guide, the average turnout for the past 13 presidential elections, elections for Venezuelan National Assembly, or referendums is 67.87 percent (Election Guide, 2017). However, when it comes to Venezuela there is an important difference in comparison with other Latin American countries. The difference is that in Venezuela there can be a distinction drawn between passive citizen forms of engagement, which are made up of having a party identification and voting; and activist forms of engagement, which include visiting a party office, receiving party mobilization efforts, attending a rally, or working for a party. When it comes to passive engagement, such as voting, citizens participate in great amount. On the other hand, for activist forms of engagement there is little representation (Collier & Handlin, 2009). Some scholars argue that that is the case due to low education of those who vote for the largest party in the country – United Socialist Party. Chavez’s populist left managed and worked on the mobilization of poor voters, which was mostly done through economic policies that were supposedly benefiting the poor. The statement was also confirmed by foreign press, such as The Economist, which in 2002 after the coup noted that “the president’s support is concentrated among the poor.” Mostly, those living in poverty are…show more content…
That is so, because of the centrality of the president, who is the head of executive power in Latin American political systems. Therefore, in this section the trust in Venezuela will be measured as the trust in the president, which was measured by the Americas Barometer surveys. Between 2007 and 2012, a time that essentially parallels Chávez’s second term in office, the average level of political trust in Venezuela was 0.48, which placed Venezuela in the middle on political trust scale in Latin American countries. For comparison, the highest placed was Uruguay, which scored 0.60. Nevertheless that at the time there was general distrust among Venezuelans towards their political institutions, such as Legislative Assembly, Supreme Tribunal of Justice and other state institutions, mostly because of inefficient and corrupt work of those, Venezuela scored pretty high. That is so, because Venezuelan respondents’ most probably trusted institutions, because they trusted their leader- Chávez. Trusting their ruler made citizens more likely to trust other state institutions regardless of the institution’s democratic performance. Those statements can be proven by the fact that the mean level of political trust in Venezuela dropped dramatically in 2014, when compared with average levels in previous years. That is most probably due to Chávez’s
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