Themes

What is Clientelism/meaning/concept

A government, whether regional or national, practices clientelism when it does favors in exchange for something, usually a vote. The general mechanism governing clientelism is as follows: a politician promises money or some kind of benefit in exchange for receiving electoral support at the polls.

Obviously, this is a form of political corruption, since in a democratic system every citizen’s vote is based on free choice.

An exchange of interests that weakens democracy

In the clientelistic relationship between a candidate and his voters there is a shared responsibility, since both pervert the right to vote. The candidate is corrupt because he buys the voter’s will and the citizen who accepts this transaction is also corrupt because his vote depends on what he receives in return (a sum of money, a job or any other benefit). Clientelism

Various forms of patronage

This irregular practice has several modalities. Some of them are as follows:

1) When a political party offers its potential voters some kind of “gift”, for example, the monthly fee for a basic food basket, a festive celebration or any other incentive that serves to manipulate the citizens’ intentions (this modality usually occurs during the electoral campaigns);

2) When a political group acts through some threat mechanism. “Either you vote for me but did not renew his contract,” as well as a scholarship study or an allowance; Clientelism

3) When organizing a system in which the vote of citizens is directly purchased;

4) When state representatives use public resources for propaganda purposes or to favor a sector of the population; Clientelism

5) When the means of communication are subject to government interests in exchange for something (advertising campaigns of public bodies in the media is one of the formulas so that journalists get involved in political clientelism).

Political patronage employs marketing strategies

In a private economic activity , those responsible for companies try to make their customers feel happy and thus offer them some discounts, promotions, gifts or incentives. Something very similar occurs in the political reality of some countries, as the governors or candidates for governors offer attractions to their “clients”. The problem is that their offers are perverse and end up corrupting the democratic system. Clientelism

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