The word “choice” carries a huge load of sense to humans. And although we are constantly choosing between alternatives, and each of the acts of our lives are marked by personal decisions, we reserve the expression “make a choice” for moments of exceptional importance.
You “make the choice” of a career, a marriage partner, the perfect time to conceive a child, close friends, of other place in the world to continue the existence …
“Election” also involves a specially defined meaning in the political sphere. That frames the specific act where individuals, in their role as citizens belonging to a community or social sphere, cast their votes of support from someone who they confer the ability to represent them at higher levels of decision-making and power.
It is in this sense that all the people of Cuba were convened on Sunday, October 21, to participate in an “election”. Over eight and a half million Cubans were called to exercise their right to vote to choose between 32,183 candidates nominated by them at local meetings.
The purpose was to select the “delegates”. What is the social function of these people? In a definition taken from the Granma newspaper: “Exercising the government in the fundamental cell of society, which is the constituency, and communicate with people, show sensitivity to their problems and ability to solve them, and pass to the grass roots the message of the Revolution.
According to the official organ of the Communist Party of Cuba, “this is the basis of our democratic system.” For the elections of October 21 “represent a first step to elect delegates to the Municipal Assemblies of People’s Power, and in a second phase of general elections, from that pool the delegates to provincial assemblies and deputies to the National Assembly are chosen.”
On the field, in the 29,585 polling stations authorized for this purpose, what the electorate find are the biographies of the candidates printed on a mural. For example: Celia O., 44, Technician, member of the PCC, leading cadre of the Ministry of Basic Industry for 14 years, etc., and Edward G., 68, Higher education Graduate, member of the PCC, Outstanding Worker of the Ministry Construction, etc.
But what is the real commitment or program this delegate-to-be has?, what’s his knowledge of the basic needs of the people hw will represent and his vision on the steps to take to help them?
If the voter learns little about him, then what’s the point for Cubans to participate in this election? “It is an act of reaffirmation of support for the Revolution,” replies Arnaldo, 64, former member of the Armed Forces and member of the PCC.
His youngest son, David, 28, a computer technician and not a member of any political party, when asked raises his eyebrows and wrinkle him mouth, then shrugs. What did he mean? “Nothing” or “I do not care”?
The weight of this election seems not to involve the same Cubans of all generations the same way.