DOI: https://doi.org/-DOI_NO_DISPONIBLE_-_DOI_NOT_AVAILABLE-

Voto en blanco, abstencionismo electoral y derecho de resistencia

 -Juan Antonio Sardina-Páramo


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 9
In some electoral proceeding there can -and do-- occur two phenomena which are in a certain manner foreign to the normal schema: blank votes and nonparticipation. Generally, electoral norms do not give any solutions for the interpretation of these phenomena, and if they do in some instances, they are usually arbitrary in nature. The problem would be merely academic if it were not related to the right of resistance of every citizen. In point of fact, the citizen cannot always choose between acceptable possibilities: it may happen that one of the options offered -or several, or all of them- are absolutely unacceptable to him, and therefore he cannot uphold any of them. For the solution of the problem it is necessary to examine the nature of the vote in itself. In this perspective, there exist two principal positions: the electorate as a function and the electorate as a right. According to the first position, voting is a complex act of potestas and auctoritas, which confers the potestas to those who govern or to the law subjected to voting. With the second theory, it is understood that the potestas already resides with the State, and that voting is exclusively a right which he citizen reserves within the social pact.
According to the theory of the electorate as a function, voting confers potestas, whatever the content, to the result of the election, no matter what result this may be. Thus, blank votes confer potestas, expressing only that the voter has not formed any sufficiently clear idea with regard to the content of the options available. Nonparticipation, on the other hand, presupposes the negation of the conferring of potestas, and in principie this can be castigated. The voter performs a public function. In this theory, blank votes could be interpreted as indecisions, whereas nonparticipation would be interpreted as resistance.
According to the theory of the electorate as a right, the vote does not confer potestas, but is rather merely he exercise of a right, which can be renounced as can any right. Therefore, nonparticipation is the renunciation of a right, due either to indecision or to whim. Resistence, hence, in this view would be expressed through blank votes or via derisory declarations.
The Spanish set of laws with regard to the electoral process is more or less confused, but in the extent in which we can apply to it the schema presented above, it adopts the thesis of the electorate as a function, a thesis which is at the present moment undergoing crisis. It is necessary that the legislator makes a decision to impede that any party in its propagandistic apparatus may claim for itself blank votes or abstentions, and to serve tor the resolution of conflictive hypotheses in which any citizen may find protected, in a certain way, his right of resistence in the face of radically unjust situations.

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