The modification of the electoral law from March 1926 in the debate of the political parties in Romania
Autor: Sorin Radu
In this article the author analyses the attitude of the political parties in Romania given the modification of the electoral law from March 1926. This law, adopted by the liberal government led by I.I.C. Brătianu, unified the electoral system in United Romania. The new settlement amended the principle of representation proportional to the inovation of “a majority bonus”, given to the party which could get at least 40 per cent of the votes expressed in the elections. The law was received with a very tough critic by the opposite political parties. The critic was primarely against “a majority bonus” but not only that. From the opposition’s point of view the law was undemocratical and it uncroached upon the principle of proportional representation.
In this context, the modification of the electoral system was taken into discussion just after the adopting of the law, in March 1926, by the political groups in Romania. Critics and proposals of modifications appeared, surprisingly, inside the National Liberal Party, too. Therefore, within the framework of the Circle of Study of that party, lawyers as R. Patrulius, I. G. Vântu or Pavel Cuzminschi, took attitude for the reformation of the electoral law. Those points of view would be published into the magazine of the Circle of Study “Democracy”.
The most virulent and consistent advocates of the modification of electoral law in March 1926 were the national-peasantries. Their aim was mainly “a majority bonus”. It is interesting the fact that the National Peasant Party wanted the reformation of the electoral law only the time it was in opposition and not doing anything about this problem when they would get the power.
Less important political groups agreed the modification of the electoral law in March 1926: Nationalist Democratic Party, People’s Party, Social Democratic Party, Radical Peasant Party, National Liberal Party – Gheorghe Brătianu Party, Christian National Party, Romanian Front, Agrarian Union, inclusively the political organizations of the national minorities (The German Union in Romania, Jewish Party).
The explication of the maintaining valid the electoral law from March 1926, during the time of the parliamentary system , consists in the fact that all political parties that came to the power preferred to seize the advantages offered by “the electoral bonus” with a view to assure a stable governing rather than to respect their promises to revise the electoral law made during the years they had been in opposition.