The formal appointment of Joe Biden as President of the United States passes through the formal proclamation of Congress that has been formed as an electoral college, after qualifying the elections as a whole. This is what lawmakers were about, when they were loyal to Donald Trump, after a speech by the former Republican candidate in which he refused to accept the election result and called on his followers to take action, stormed the Capitol. Rooms and offices in order to prevent the expiry of the qualification and the subsequent announcement.
Pictures seen during that day showed the real danger of populism, unlike its right-wing or left-wing version, in its attempt to hold out despite the public refusal expressed by the vote and the institutional processes to legitimize the government. It grew out of the conditions imposed by democracy itself.
However, the institutional plan and the presence of politicians and politicians know that their future depends on democracy, through voting and not on the person, as well as free media and the culture of democracy among citizens, which prevented that. This attack on American democracy will bear fruit.
What can we learn from this experience of future democratization processes?
There are many lessons to be observed from what happened that find citizens the main beneficiaries. Above all, it is a simple institutional blueprint that works efficiently, yet resists attacks from political groups that seek to subjugate it. Despite Donald Trump’s continuous efforts to disrupt the electoral process, whether in the courts, in the media, or in decision-making bodies, the system imposes public responsibilities that have consequences for those in various positions, public and private.
Trump’s call to Georgia’s foreign minister, who is in charge of domestic electoral regulation, reflected pressures that were not only resisted, but also systematically dismantled by a government structure, although he was also a Republican, as he found in law and public responsibility the basis of her work, avoiding giving in to Trump’s demands. And his team on the correction of the election results in that state.
Second, the existence of safeguards in the context of the functioning of public authorities and the balances between the actors, where although Republicans have the possibility to challenge the results at different times, and they have done so, the results could be accommodated and mediated. The successful post-election struggle until the moment of qualifying for the elections, which was the last institutional space, where Trump played his last choice which tacitly halted Biden’s official appointment as president.
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The existence of Democrats in the broad sense of the word, including explicitly Republicans, Democrats and Independents, as many political actors assumed a commitment to democracy and their republic, not a commitment to a leader or party, and the avoidance of illegitimate acts. Trump sought for various public officials at various levels, including Vice President Pence, to ignore the results in the electoral college, as president of the Senate, and not to believe Biden’s victory. In so doing, Pence could also boost a potential Republican nomination within four years.
The incentives that prompted Republican congressmen not to support Trump are found in the institutional framework of democracy in that country, but mainly in the composition of the republic, which differs from the first. The scenes we have seen in the United States are repeated in countries like Mexico. President Lopez Obrador himself played with language similar to the one President Trump used on the day of the protest.
The questions that arise are: What will happen in a similar situation in Mexico? Will the institutional scheme withstand the pressure? Will public officials endure pressure from the president to do or not do what they are told to do, even when it is illegal? Would a procedure such as a hearing be punished in that country, as it was asked to happen with Trump?
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