There are Parliamentary elections currently going on in Lithuania and there have been several, if not to say many, cases reported when someone has been buying votes. There are protests going on, in a single region results even had been cancelled. Read more information and facts on The Economist.
And here is me questioning “Why buying votes in elections should be illegal or not acceptable?” Really – why?
We all agree that each citizen has a right to vote under democratic regime to elect her representatives to lead the country. Smart people (different analysts or experts) often have a clear understanding which political parties are planning to work hard and improve the conditions for a country and which are only willing to get into the power for their own reasons, i.e., relatively easy work plus extra pension later on or just immunity, from their crimes…
If a person votes for a party promising that every citizen will get a hen laying golden eggs, society agrees that it is acceptable. Even though everyone with 3 grade education should understand that hen don’t lay golden eggs.
In reality we assume that voters are trying to vote for the party that would provide them with benefits in the future – better healthcare, more advanced educational system, good security, more financial benefits to people etc.
So why we can’t accept someone giving their vote for real short-term benefits like 50 EUR or an excursion or anything else. Why we don’t allow people to make that choice? It sounds perfectly legitimate to me. I would suggest; however, to publicly inform which party pays for votes; so other voters would know and could make a better decision.
What is not acceptable is faking votes, for example if a prison director fakes inmates votes for a particular party; but giving each inmate a pack of cigarette for particular vote should be totally acceptable!