Elections are undoubtedly an indispensable condition for democracy, but it is difficult to say that they are sufficient. The contribution of elections to democracy is of course indisputable, but it is not possible to accept that only elections and a parliament that makes the laws in a country provide sufficient conditions for democracy to exist and settle in that country.

What is expected from an electoral system is to determine which party will rule the country for a certain period. This function of the electoral system is called the utility principle. Since the electoral system with this function provides a government capable of ruling the country in stability, this function is also called the principle of stability or the principle of manageability. However, the electoral system not only determines which party will be in power but also determines the parties that will go to the parliament and oppose the government. This structure reveals the second function of the system. This function ensures fairness in representation. For this reason, this function is called the principle of justice.

The importance of electoral systems in the political system, primarily in the country’s political party system, is enormous. The basis of legitimacy in-country administration is the source of authority. Who will rule the country is determined by the elections. If the governments formed according to the election results also have the majority in the Parliament to amend the Constitution, then it is difficult to deny that the electoral systems are at least as important as the Main Organization Law [Constitution].

For this reason, it is necessary to see that the political results of electoral systems are not only affected by the technical characteristics of the systems but also predominantly by social and economic variables. Therefore, the question of what kind of electoral system will bring stability to the country is not healthy when managed with this simplicity. For this, only changes to the electoral system or formula will not be sufficient. If a choice is to be made between electoral systems, first, a social description that will support the choice must be realized. The benefit of getting out of the grip of whether stability or representation is what matters must be understood. Therefore, the important thing is to eliminate the deep division created by the question of whether the country should have governable governments as soon as possible or whether social differences should be represented in the parliament. The meanings internalized by the two phenomena, which are made to feel that they cannot be brought side by side, are indispensable for every assembly. Undoubtedly, governments with high representative power can only be governments that can govern, many examples in our political history confirm this situation.

Today, democratic elections should no longer be a choice of individuals or leaders, but rather a choice of program - idea - choice. Democracy should not be perceived as the formation of governments only by majority votes. Democracy is based on respect for human dignity and valuing human personality. When we find the underlying cause of these, equality of opportunity and freedom are encountered. For this reason, it can never be said that the executive power, which comes to power with a majority or a coalition, is serving democracy when it cannot plan and organize to realize these facts at the foundation of democracy.

If we generalize considering the discussions on the electoral system in Turkey, all expectations are for a fair election system. It is expected to fulfill both conditions, which are indispensable for democracy. These are the system's ability to both ensure participation and comprehend pluralism. Democracy is a form of government that guarantees the protection of minority rights in majority rule. As much as this can be achieved, political stability is also ensured. However, in today's practice, the voters vote on the lists put before them, without knowing who will become a member of parliament or who will represent them. Lists are drawn up at party headquarters by central polling, usually at the request of party leaders. Parliamentary candidates are determined either by central roll call or by primary election. In our country, on the other hand, it is seen that political parties prefer central polling.

First, it is inevitable to consider the contemporary and universal principles of democratic elections. These universal principles strengthen the democratic structure of elections. The principle of universal suffrage, the principle of equal voting, the single-degree method of voting, the principle of holding elections in predetermined periods, the principle of secret ballot and open counting, the principle of free and equal competition, the principle of judicial administration and control are a priori principles of democratic elections. And today, their validity for every electoral system is indisputable. In addition, the importance of holding the elections in the determined legal periods in terms of political stability and the country's economy should not be neglected. At the same time, the importance of holding general and local elections together in terms of public interest should be taken into consideration.

In this issue, we are waiting for your works that enable the evaluation and discussion of the election culture in terms of its structural, social, cultural, and political characteristics in our country, which is going through an election period. In this issue, where we aim to reveal the democratic perspective of our electoral culture, studies on the following sub-titles will be accepted:

  • Culture of democracy and political choice
  • Political culture and election
  • Political stability
  • Fairness in representation
  • Human rights and democracy
  • Social values and democratic elections
  • Media and election culture
  • Civil society and democratic election
  • Elitism
  • Egalitarianism
  • Citizenship culture
  • Communication Ethics
  • “Other” discourse
  • Art and political elections
  • Peace discourse and elections
  • Electoral campaigns
  • Election language and discourse

Manuscripts can be submitted up till August 15, 2023.

4. BOYUT Journal of Media and Cultural Studies

Editorial Board

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