Opinion: What is Behind The Primary Elections in Colombia?

On March 13, the day of the legislative elections, Colombians will also be able to vote by a candidate in the consultations for the presidency in Colombia.

Person placing a vote in a ballot box

A vote against a candidate can be a vote in favor. Photo: LatinAmerican Post

LatinAmerican Post | Santiago Gómez Hernández

Colombia is in an election year. This coming March 13, Colombians will be able to vote (in their majority) for a seat in the Senate, another in the House of Representatives and also for a candidate within the presidential coalitions. There are 3, and they represent (on average) the 3 political spectrums: left, center, and right. The winner of each of these elections (which appear to be a primary) will subsequently seek the presidential election along with another group of candidates running solo.

However, please note that this is not the only thing at stake in the presidential elections in Colombia. These elections also define the presidential race and the economic muscle that the campaigns will have for the first round.

A vote against can be a vote in favor

Due to the polarization that exists in the country, many do not intend to vote for the referendum they feel best identified with, but instead, try to prevent the most hated candidate from being elected. For example, a person with a right-wing political orientation thinks of voting for the least charismatic candidate of the center or a right-wing poll. Or a center voter thinks of voting for Francia Márquez (second in voting intention) to ensure that Petro is not elected.

You may also be interested in: Elections in Colombia: who are the heads of the list for the Senate?

Well, this may end up benefiting the candidate or coalition you hate so much. Since in the consultations there will be replacement of votes. This indicates that the more votes they receive, the more money they will have for their campaigns. 

The value of the replacement, according to the National Council Electoral, is 1,861 Colombian pesos per voter. This indicates that, for example, if a Coalition obtains 5 million votes, this translates into 9,305 million pesos to pay for the work of campaign personnel or loans that have been taken out. 

So, isn’t it better for your candidate to get the highest number of votes in order to continue firmly in the political race?

Political support

In addition to money, these consultations may also create a great push that creates “momentum” for the second round. Today, according to the polls, Rodolfo Hernández is in second place, but the man from Santander will not participate in any consultations. Therefore, after the elections to Congress, the 3 candidates who come out of the polls will be able to demonstrate their power in number of votes and not only in intention. 

So, if a party gets a greater number of votes, this will end up tilting public opinion a lot. For example, if the right-wing consultation gets 5 million votes, the left-wing one 3 and the center one only 1 million, this can have 2 effects.

First, it will cause many people to see the next president in the group of right-wing politicians and end up supporting the candidate (the winning horse effect). Likewise, the candidates from the center may end up without any kind of power or influence and their candidacies will die before the first round.

Obviously, voting for a candidate who is not to your liking, will end up benefiting him. Additionally, no one guarantees that your vote will not win and, in the same way, the candidate that you like the most, may end up losing within their own consultation, this being the person you most wanted to see in the presidency.

In addition, remember that you can also vote for Congress, and that is where you can make your vote count. Choose a candidate who represents you and is a good congressman, that can form a government if your candidate wins or oppose it if he loses. This way you will ensure that whoever wins, your values, represents your values and principles. 

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button