Political Parties and Religion in Post-Decembrist Romania

Article excerpt

The present text aims at mapping out a synopsis of the main political parties from Romania after 1989 on the one hand, and at pointing out the way in which their activity interferes with religion, on the other hand. To this point we have endeavored to place emphasis on the role played by the church within the Romanian society, as well as the main paths of influence the clerical representatives may exert upon the political life, occasionally voluntarily, yet involuntarily for the most part.

Key Words:

Political parties, political actors, religion, inter-electoral periods, electoral periods, individual and collective mentality, image vectors

Introduction

The democratic system from Romania has faced our society with a new challenge. Following a long period of communist dictatorship, the individual and collective mentality was compelled to adjust to a new definition of freedom. This value of democracy has been differently grasped by the societal realities of the post Decembrist Romania. There are several aspects in which the concept of freedom has been applied in the immediate aftermath of December 1989 events, with two rather narrow meanings, namely "we do what we please" and "we only benefit from rights". Society, by acting, unfortunately, preponderantly within a paradigm, based, way too deeply, on the two afore mentioned meanings, has come to understand democracy in an original "Romanian" manner, and develop consequently its own system on these foundations. We deem it right that, except for the formal systems (army, police), all the systems of the Romanian society have accepted more or less the above mentioned paradigm. Not even the political system did obviate sufficiently the two meanings of the term. The transition from a single-party to a multi-party system, encompassing ideologically different parties, with sundry political actors and dissimilar speeches etc. hasn't been easy, particularly with respect to the large public view upon this change. From our view point, rather relevant segments of the society bear to this day the mark of communism, claiming that political parties "are not of much use" or that "it was better before". Obviously, many forces hostile to the west democracies were manifested after 1989, even if declaratively favorable to the multi-party establishment. Moreover, the structures of the late Communist Party could not evaporate overnight. Two, even three electoral cycles had to unfold so as the Romanian political mentality to accept the newly created situation consequential to the fall of communism. Additionally, a further aspect is poignantly manifest these days: the political opportunism. Few are those who rise above times, and times unfortunately lie above most, leveling and middling them.

The present paper aims at sketching an analysis of the political Romanian life, endeavoring to cover the political activity both during the electoral campaigns and inter-electoral ones, as well as the role of the church in this period. Our endeavor will attempt an analytic-descriptive approach, using the participative survey and the content analysis method, doubled by the fact that I've been politically active all these years, both directly by my membership to the European parliament, and indirectly by my position as political PR counselor. The fundamental starting thesis is the following: the church and its representatives interfere more or less voluntarily with the political act, at whatever level, both within the electoral and inter-electoral periods.

Political parties and alternation to government

Within the 20 years there have been many political factions, but few were relevant in the view of the voters. What comes as a vexed question for today's electorate, with regard to the development of the political parties in Romania, is that, by the end of the 20 years, they haven't managed to assert themselves with a certain political ideology, but rather through some representative marketing vectors, or, in other words, through some personalities of the respective parties. …

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