Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability: The case for a mixed electoral system in Colombia


Published on

Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability: The case for a mixed electoral system in Colombia
John Sudarsky, Ed.D., Diana Marcela García, MA. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability: The case for a mixed electoral system in Colombia
John Sudarsky, Ed.D., Diana Marcela García, MA. Presentado al congreso Wapo, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2015

Published in: News & Politics
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability: The case for a mixed electoral system in Colombia

  1. 1. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 1 Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability: The case for a mixed electoral system in Colombia John Sudarsky, Ed.D., Diana Marcela García, MA. After a description of the Barometer of Social Capital (BARCAS) in Colombia, the low levels of political accountability and the changes since 1997 in Legislative Linkage will be identified as critical variables to increase social capital and institutional trust, as well as to lower faith in un- validated sources of Information. From the theory of transformation generated in the analysis of the BARCAS, the electoral system based on proportional representation, pervasive in Latin America, will be shown to be the determinant of many of these problems, as citizen are unable to identify who their representatives are and thus who should be held accountable for their legislative performance. A mixed electoral system, based in 60% of members elected by Single Seats Electoral Districts, and 40% based in proportional representation to avoid the negative effect on minorities that majority or winner take all system have, will be presented. The actions carried in the past four years in the political arena will be described as well as a reflection will be made as the possibility of culturally introduce the concept of legislative accountability, absent from the Latin American tradition. Introduction Political and civic participation have been at the root of social capital since Putnam’s path breaking Making Democracy Work (1993). There, social capital measured as the abundance of voluntary organizations, was capable of predicting economic development and institutional effectiveness. However, since Coleman (1998) revived the concept for the social sciences, the need was established to unfold the concept and unravel all that it entails. In this regard the Barometer of Social Capital (BARCAS) was designed (Sudarsky, 2001) to empirically study which are the components of social capital with an instrument specifically designed to measure it in very different social formations and at different times. The BARCAS should allow identifying which elements of the civic and political participations are parsimoniously critical for the level and growth of social capital. The BARCAS was designed to measure in a clinical approach how social capital changed in a particularly fluid country, Colombia, which from the initial measures and use of the broad proxies of interpersonal trust and levels of corruption, was low in Social Capital. The instrument was designed to detect in all its complexity, the growth and evolution of social capital: from Gemeinschaft to Gesellschaft (Tonnies, 1957), from rural to urban, from "premodern” to “modern”. It would also identify the effects on the measured results of different “styles of governments”. The main purpose of this article is to describe what was found in the three measurements applied in Colombia (1997, 2005, and 2011), and assess the impact and evolution of political and civic participation. Finally, the main results converged, after some alternative hypothesis were considered that it was necessary to change the electoral system to one which allowed congressman to be held accountable and to structure constituencies to hold them so. An additional goal of these measurements was to answer the question “Instead of Clientelism, What?” as clientelism had been identified (Sudarsky, 1982) as the main obstacle for the implementation of public programs directed to equitable modernization. It is worth recalling that Putnam (1993) identified clientelism to have a negative effect on Social Capital; he used preferential vote as its main proxy (Putnam, 1993, 94) for clientelism.
  2. 2. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 2 To contextualize these measurements, a brief description of Colombia socio-political situation follows. In 1992 a new constitution came into effect, declaring Colombia a participatory democracy. Authority emanated from the people (not the nation, a XIX century conservative concept) and god was presented as a source of inspiration not authority. The first measurement (1997) was done in the government of Ernesto Samper, which was subject to accusations of accepting large contributions from the Paramilitary. Capitalizing on this, Andres Pastrana was elected in 1998, promising a peace process with the Farc, an old communist guerrilla. However, this process was utilized by the Farc to expand its influence, so much so that Alvaro Uribe was elected in 2002 with the promise of fighting the Guerrilla. During Uribe’s presidencies there was indeed a weakening of the Farc, and a sense of increased security in the country. However, this was done with the support of the Paramilitary, which were granted a pardoning process and demobilization in the first Uribe government, who changed the constitution to secure his reelection in 2006. The second measurement was done in 2005. His efforts to be reelected for a third time, and the practical monopoly of opinion he was able to muster, was cut by the Constitutional Court’s denial of a third term. In 2010 Juan Manuel Santos, from Uribe’s party, was elected against Antanas Mockus, a former major of Bogota known for his "third way" cultura ciudadana and clean hands practices. Beginning the Santos government, the opinion "bubble" (registered in our 2011 measurements with the fall of Fusi, to be explained later) began to burst with the discussion of hidden widespread corruption. The previous elements do not reflect the actual economic development of the country and the urbanization process that has been comparatively swift (two generations vs. eight that took in England) a great transformation (Polanyi, 1957) that took place with great violence, especially in countries with large peasant population, as is Colombia where violence has been widespread. This paper will cover in the first three sections the methodology used for the development of the Barcas, the results of its three applications and the meaning of the emerging three factors: Social Capital (SocialK), Institutional Trust and Indirect Control of the State (Intricate) and Faith in Un-validated Sources of Information (Fusi), and their evolution through time. Some critical variables that built the argument for electoral reform will be displayed. Sections five and six will present the formula for transformation of cities towards Modern Civic Society (MCS) along with a discussion of the elements that have to be incorporated in the design of an electoral system to solve the problems detected with the BARCAS. A terminology used to describe electoral systems and the Principal-Agent model and its use in Latin America will follow, as well as the description of the current Colombian Electoral System. The proposed Single Vote, Single Seat Mixed Electoral System (SVSM) will be explained as well as its simulated performance in terms of Representation and Proportionality. The seventh section will describe the actual efforts by the author to implement this reform as a senator in the Colombian Congress. Finally, conclusions on what the alternative to clientelism is and how to build the basic blocks of democracy where accountability can be exerted will be discussed.
  3. 3. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 3 I. The Barometer of Social Capital: Its design, development and the evolution of factors and dimensions 1997-2011 What is Social Capital? Coleman (1988) states: “Social Capital exists in the relationships between individuals and contributes to the productivity of aggregate of individuals. Trust can be thought as a form of Social Capital.” (Quoted by Ostrom, et al., 1988, pp173). Coleman adds that Social Capital depends on the specificity of social organization and that its presence could be detected when the additional capacity to achieve a goal is embedded in relationships among actors, be they individual or institutional. The agenda he established “…implies the unpacking of the concept and to discover which components of the social organization make a contribution to the produced value…” In other words, the concept has to be unfolded and different relationships examined to see whether they contain Social Capital. Putnam’s emphasis on volunteer organizations, toughened with his subsequent research on American society (2000) and comparative research (Putnam, 1995, 2002) reinforced the notion that SocialK was contained mainly in volunteer organizations (VO). This problem reflects the absence of a complex indicator, a number, a score, which would be the operational measurement of social capital and could thus help study its components and causes. The Development of the Barcas, 1995-1998 Most broad empirical research in social capital comes from surveys and statistical data gathered for other purposes, many of them unavailable in developing countries. With this in mind, a specific instrument was designed to measure SocialK. Starting with an initial review of the available literature at the time (Sudarsky, 1995), it was possible to identify a broad set of potential dimensions that could describe the variety of social capitals. Each one of these dimensions could at the same time be composed of a set of variables, composed themselves of items to be in the survey under design. From the beginning, some overlap from one dimension to another was purposefully introduced, granted that theoretically and empirically there was evidence of such possibility. The World Values Survey (WVS) served as a source of questions to measure some of these variables and dimensions so, eventually, the results could be compared internationally. However, new questions were formulated to cover contents not available in the WVS. Some procedures The structure based in dimensions, variables and items eventually allowed for aggregation/disaggregation of these to detect with greater precision the diagnosis of a particular social formation. Items were recoded to have a 10-point range, and depending on its polarity added (subtracted) to create variables scores. These were added to compute the dimension scores. To determine which items should be included for further analysis in the variables, and which variables in the dimensions, a criteria of inclusion was determined that, for the item-in-variable case, the item added more than 1% of variance to a stepwise standardized regression of the variable score by all its possible items, and the, additionally, beta coefficient of such item in such regression were larger
  4. 4. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 4 than 0.05. These same criteria were used in the variables and dimensions composition. When there were some theoretical doubts about where a specific variable or item belonged, factor analysis was used with all the components of a subset of dimensions to establish where variables (or items) actually statistically belonged. For example, the dimension of Civic Republicanism and its variables were differentiated from Political Participation in this way, when initially we thought they belonged to a single dimension. After the set of dimensions was established, a factor analysis of dimensions was performed (Varimax rotation) and factors scores were computed for each respondent (regression method). These scores are the dependent variables to be scrutinized (i.e.: social capital individual scores). These scores were again used to further refine dimensions and variables, always maintaining the dimension-variables-item structure to avoid a “fishing expedition” that could deliver analytically meaningless results or pure statistical artifacts. This means that, for example, if the SocialK scores were regressed by variables, only those variables that belonged to the dimensions previously found significantly related to social capital would be included. The same would happen with items. The variables and items that result from these procedures we call CRITICAL, as they explain parsimoniously the elements of dimensions in the factor. These refining cycles were repeated several times, until the results were stable, first with the pretest database and latter with the national sample, although the actual factor composition was stable from the very beginning. The survey was applied in 1997 to a nationally representative sample (3000 surveys of people over 18 years old). The current version of the BARCAS measures three factors, ten dimensions, fifty variables and 325 items. As the instrument had to measure social capital in very different social formations and their possible routes to Modern Civic Society (MCS) a Quadrant Model -not fully discussed here- was developed to externally validate the instrument through its results in the Pretest. Through the combination of negative and positive individualism (nAchievement, McClelland, 1967) and negative and positive community we included in the pretest communities we assumed belonged to 1) “Pre-modern” indigenous communities (Gemeinschaft, Tonnies, 1957): negative individualism, positive community; 2) Negative individualism and community, the amoral familist described by Banfield (1958) in Southern Italy; 3) Cities with positive Individualism and entrepreneurship (McClelland, 1967) but low community, and the goal of all this 4): Positive individualism and positive community, the MCS that Putnam presented in northern Italy. In the other hand, different reservoirs or containers of the different factors were also measured, from Interpersonal Relationships, Family, Civic Society, Politics, State, Religion to Education, Media, Work and Recreation, at the national, departmental, city, and local levels. The Dimensions The dimensions measured with the BARCAS in the third application with its variables follows. Some items were added/deleted from their initial conformation, though when making comparisons among measurements identical databases with exactly the same elements are used. After each measurement some variables (i.e.: Economic Solidarity) where withdrawn as they did not add explained variance to a dimension; however, their composition are rather stable since the 2005 measurement.
  5. 5. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 5 The complete list of dimensions and variables are shown in table I.1 in its 2011 version. In the last three columns they show if each is a critical variable with the three emerging factors, to use as a reference further ahead in the paper. We also highlight some variables that are hinges between more than one factor. 1. Solidarity and Mutuality: the amount of perceived general solidarity (who can help people when they are in trouble) from different sources or, negatively expressed, its absence: Atomization. This variable is composed of several indices such as not belonging to any voluntary organizations (VO) or not having any type of social security. The dimension also includes Reciprocity and its opposite: Opportunism. Together with the two following dimensions they measure the social fabric nuclear to SocialK, with vertical, horizontal and general sources of solidarity and their corresponding possible ways of solving collective problems. 2. Hierarchy or Vertical Articulation: Membership and trust in organizations that vertically articulate society (the church, guilds, unions and political parties). Although Olson (1965) considers them an obstacle for development and Putnam considers their capacity to accumulate SocialK marginal, their ability to do so became apparent since the very first measurements. The dimension studies mechanisms to relate center-periphery different from the structural clientelism. It includes vertical solution to collective problems. 3. Horizontal Relationships: SocialK generated by relationships among equals, peers. Includes Horizontal Solidarity, Horizontal Solutions to Collective Problems, social activities at work or in neighborhoods and, in the negative, the need to relay on a third party to enforce agreements or solve problems among equals. 4. Political Participation: Includes the complete cycle of political negotiation -Political Skills-, the more usual voting behavior and representative and participatory democracies. The former is quantified by the amount and quality of Legislative Linkage (Lawson, 1980) between voters and their representatives. Colombia shares the weakness of this linkage with other countries with the Jacobin Hispanic Catholic tradition (JHC) (Merquior, 1991; Sudarsky 1992). Executive Linkage is also measured. In 1991 a new constitution introduced a large set of participatory mechanisms whose development (the knowledge and use of participative mechanisms) are measured in variable Participatory Democracy. These include those related to direct democracy (i.e.: Referenda, recall) plus those related to deliberative democracy (i.e.: Participatory planning). A subset of these mechanisms is included in the Social Control dimension. Political Parties: membership, trusts, and as sources of information, is also included here. 5. Civic Participation: The active or passive membership in secular Voluntary Organizations (VO) also known as the Organizational Density of civil society, includes amongst other variables, Voluntary Work. One of the most conspicuous elements of the JHC tradition is its definition of the public sphere as an exclusive realm of the state, relegating the citizen’s actions to a private sphere. In this tradition there is not legitimate space for Civic Society, the non-state public sphere. 6. Media has two elements: Activities with the media as, for example, calling live media to participate in it or writing letters to a newspaper’s editor (or even reading the newspaper) and, secondly, the trust given to newspapers, television and radio.
  6. 6. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 6 7. Institutional Trust: The trust allotted to an extensive array of institutions. Trust in Guerrillas and Paramilitary, though not included in the scale, were also measured. The scale goes from 0 (none) to 10 (trust a lot). 8. Social Control: Society’s control over government, reflecting the shift in the 1991 Constitution from sovereignty of the People as opposed to the Nation. Includes, first of all, trust allotted to institutions which control government, such as Congress, the Attorney- general’s office, and the Media; secondly, knowledge and utilization of the participatory mechanisms that specifically have as their purpose the control of government, and, thirdly, the amount of Accountability, which measures if citizens believe their representatives should and are responsible to their constituency, the latter a notion explicitly absent in the JHC tradition where representatives are responsible only for an abstract “common good”. 9. Civic Republicanism: The active citizen responsible for the public sphere. The initial results empirically confirmed a polarity established by Clark (1994) of this type of citizenship as the opposite of clientelism and non-ideological particularism. It answers what would replace clientelism, whose constitutive element, patron-client relationships, mixes specific and generalized exchange: particularistic, hierarchical and unequal unconditional solidarity (Eisenstadt and Roniger, 1981). It includes the personal responsibility for the public good and political education among other variables. 10. Information and Transparency: The quality and sufficiency of the information received from different sources to exercise citizenship (people have those who explain clearly public problems, citizens inform themselves to participate), such as the media (the communication media explain problems with depth instead of just gossiping), the state (the State makes efforts to maintain citizens informed) or parties. DIMENSIONS VARIABLES SOCIAL K INTRICATE FUSI SOLIDARITY AND MUTUALITY General Solidarity * + Management Collective Conflicts Reciprocity Atomization (-) * - Opportunism (-) * - Alienation (-) HORIZONTAL RELATIONSHIPS Horizontal Solidarity * + Social activities with people at work Social activities with people from the neighborhood * + Horizontal Solutions of Collective Problems * + Third Party Enforcement (-) * - HIERARCHY OR VERTICAL ARTICULATION Membership of interest group organizations Vertical Solidarity * + Vertical Solutions of Collective Problems * + Intermediary organizations: Church Intermediary organizations: Professional associations Intermediary organizations: Labor union Intermediary organizations: Political parties SOCIAL CONTROL Trust in Institutions that exert Control over the State* + Control Mechanism of Society Over State Accountability * + Trust in Government* +
  7. 7. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 7 INSTITUTIONAL TRUST Trust in Movements Trust in Media* - + Trust in the Armed Forces Trust in Groups Trust Legal Trust Politics Trust Church Trust in Education Law and Order: Police, Trust in Big Companies Honesty and Respect for the Law How frequent is Corruption (-) CIVIC PARTICIPATION Membership in Non religious Voluntary Organizations * + Local Activities Civic Activities * + Media Activities Engages in voluntary work POLITICAL PARTICIPATION Participatory Mechanistic * + Political Party Electoral Activity: Voting * + Legislative Linkage * + - Political Skill Political Activities Executive Linkage INFORMATION AND TRANSPARENCY Colombians do not know where the country is headed because no one tell us (-) People have who explains to them public problems * + The State makes efforts to keep citizens informed * + The communications media do explain in depth problems * + Citizens inform themselves appropriately to participate effectively* + Do you know how the resources of your locality are going to be invested? * + CIVIC REPUBLICANISM Political Education + Citizen’s Politization Responsibility for success of the Public Sphere * + Particularism (-) * - Clientelism (-) MEDIA Media Trust * - + Media Activities The communications media do explain problems in depth * + How often do you read newspapers? * + Table I.1: Dimensions and their variables, 2005-2011.
  8. 8. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 8 II. Factor Results and Evolution through Three Measurements To facilitate the comprehension of the results we will present the current (2011) meaning of the three factors: SocialK, Intricate and Fusi. These interpretations have changed in time given objective changes in society and the actual results of the measurements. For this we will present, first, the standardized beta coefficients of dimension with factors, emphasizing the interpretation of these in 2011, and then proceed to explain what each factor currently means. Second, we will present how we went about to establish the changes in the levels of factors and solve the problem that poses that factor analysis by definition produces a mean of zero, with standard deviation of one in every application. This was done through the use of unstandardized regression equations of the form y= a+b1x1+b2x2+b3x3... Were y is the factor score average in a specific year and population, a is a constant, b are the unstandardized regression coefficient of a dimension with the factor, x is the average of that dimension in a given year and so on. The equation is established with the last measurement's database and the change is established applying such equation to identical databases for the other two measurements. Before proceeding to present the change in the factors it is important to analyze, third, the changes in the averages of the dimensions and the magnitude of these changes to weigh its impact in the fluctuation of the level of the factors. Now, fourth, it is possible to present the tables where the unstandardized regression equation are applied to the different measurements and establish the changes in the factors as well as how strong is the impact of the changes in the dimension on the fluctuation of the factors. With all these elements it is possible to discuss the changes in Colombian society that the evolution of the factors reveals. In the following section some of the most important dimensions as well as some of the more salient critical variables are presented as they inform the discussion of why and in what direction should the electoral system change. This is done selectively as their systematic analysis is beyond the scope of this article and can be followed in the 2013 book. Table II. 1: Factors and their dimensions; Standardized Regression Coefficients, 1997, 2005 and 2011, National sample 1997 2005 2011 Betas Betas Betas DIMENSIONS SOCIAL K FUSI SOCIAL K INTRICATE FUSI SOCIAL K INTRICATE FUSI Solidarity and Mutuality 0,144 -0,253 0,328 0,467 Horizontal Relationships 0,128 -0,234 0,258 -0,154 0,487 -0,140 Hierarchy or Vertical Articulation 0,192 0,208 0,294 Social Control 0,214 0,358 0,447 Civic Participation 0,145 -0,309 0,319 -0,101 0,331 -0,133 Political Participation 0,179 -0,289 0,377 -0,133 0,400 -0,203 Institutional Trust 0,184 0,223 0,462 0,232 0,239 Media 0,185 0,285 -0,135 0,356 -0,264 0,326 Civic Republicanism 0,189 0,211 0,509 -0,161 0,323 Information and Transparency 0,557 -0,186 0,649 -0,248 0,505 Rsqr 38% 12% 23% 22% 16% 11% 36% 15%
  9. 9. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 9 The Meaning of SocialK, Intricate and Fusi As mentioned above, the initial 1997 national application to a proportional sample of 3000 individuals, repeated in subsequent applications, produced two factors (SocialK and Fusi) and explained 50% of variance. After some modification of the survey, it was again applied in 2005 in the midst of Alvaro Uribe’s first presidency. For this second measure, using a procedure that cleaned some variables and items removing those that did not increased explained variance for more than 1% or which had a beta coefficient smaller than 0.05 when the variable was stepwise regressed on its items, or the dimensions on its variables. In this occasion, three factors appeared: SocialK, Fusi, and Intricate, as well as the explained variance of the factor analysis increased to 65%. For the 2011 application further refinement cycles were done and the factor analysis of dimension gave the same three components and the same aggregate explained variance. However several dimension shifted from one factor to another, reflecting some deep changes in Colombian society. We will trace these changes through the evolution of the standardized regression coefficients (betas) of dimension on factors. SocialK describes the condition of society and consistently includes the dimensions Mutuality and Solidarity, Horizontal Relationships and Vertical Articulation or Hierarchy, a nucleus of social capital we call Social Fabric. Media have a negative relationship with SocialK in the last two measurements, both indicating how, when there are low levels of this social fabric dimensions, people tend to have higher trust in Media and use them as primary source of information. Political and Civic Participation were included in SocialK in the previous measurements but they left the factor in 2011 to be included into Intricate, a very negative finding as it reveals that these dimensions which could link society (SocialK) with the institutional sphere, stopped doing so as, specially civic participation, fell dramatically. Intricate refers to the institutional structure, basically the dimension of Institutional Trust. However, it is also includes the way that society exert control over the institutions and additionally how much it uses ways to, at least indirectly, exert control over them: The dimensions of Social Control. Social Control includes trust in institutions whose purpose is to control government (indirect control), plus knowledge and use of participatory mechanisms designed to control the state. Additionally there is the notion of accountability, which can exist or not in the political culture of a specific population. Horizontal Relationships have inverse relationships with Intricate: People with strong horizontal relationships, have less confidence in the institutional structure. In this sense is a social capital which lives in distrust of the institutional sphere, and its radius of trust does not extend to the public sphere, a worrisome gap for this society. From Intricate perspective it means that horizontal relations are broken as persons integrate into the institutional sphere. The lack of horizontal relationships was the foundational question that Foster (1960) attributed to patron-client relationships The fact that Civic and Political Participation are a part of Intricate strengthens this factor as the specific institutional sphere for interaction with the public sphere, as these dimensions are exerted only there and do not provide a link with the social fabric described before. Finally two dimensions are the constitutive nucleus of Fusi: Information and Transparency and Civic Republicanism. This last relationship is one of the most troublesome amongst
  10. 10. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 10 the results. It means that those who state that they take responsibility for the public sphere just believe that they do, without engaging in behaviours that enact such responsibility out. This is confirmed by the negative and consistent effect of political and civic participation dimensions in Fusi, participations that are the actual mechanisms to be a behavioural part of the public sphere through these specific forms of social capital: political and civic engagement. These dimensions provide environments to validate information and thus diminish the undesirable Faith in Un-validated Sources of Information. Fusi is an important discovery. The dimension of Information and Transparency, the search for truthful and timely information, came to mean that if people are isolated, fundamentally because of lack of political and civic participation, they tend to trust some sources of information that individuals high in Fusi cannot socially validate. Information has to be socially “validated” in the sense of Berger & Luckmann´s (1986) social construction of reality. Information has to be validated through social interaction, be it in voluntary organizations or active participation in politics. However, Civic Republicanism, the notion of a citizen actively responsible for the public sphere, conceptually defined as an alternative to clientelism and particularism, systematically became related to Fusi. This means that people high in Fusi gave themselves a “cognitive excuse” to remain passive and to participate in politics and society only through their faith in what media (e.g., TV and press) offered to them. The cognitive excuse came about by the known process of cognitive dissonance, by which people answered in the BARCAS that they assume responsibility for different social spheres (e.g.: the school, the neighborhood, etc.) but did not report that they actually engage behaviorally in civic and political participation. In the measurement of social capital in the 2005 the variable Clientelism was negatively related to Fusi (critical variable), however in 2011 lost that effect. But clientelism is a structural component of society, not an attitudinal personal belief. What became evident, when the different steps that had to happen to move society in the direction of Modern Civic Society, is that Fusi had to fall and people should recognize that they live in a world imbued with clientelism. Only then they can start taking the necessary steps to transform this condition of clientelism. Particularism in the other hand was consistently negatively related to Fusi, and contributed to its oscillation, amplifying its changes. In the other hand, the role of media has evolved through the different applications of BARCAS. In both years 2011 and 1997 media was positively related to Fusi, but additionally it is now negatively related to SocialK. This says a lot about how Media exist in its own sphere and many times its own purposes; its negative relationship with SocialK indicates that people with lots of SocialK do not trust Media as a source of valid information. The Meaning of Faith in Un-validated Sources of Information’s Increase. Fusi’s increase indicates a loss of information validation instances and poses a serious problem for Colombian society. The 1997 effect that a complete secondary education -the threshold to produce cognitive mobilization and lower Fusi- disappeared. This indicates that Fusi’s rise has broader causes. People high in Fusi delegate their public responsibilities and float into the realm of belief, instead of validating the information they receive. Fusi’s interpretation is counterintuitive: All that seems desirable, especially a positive appreciation of information received from different sources of information, reflects
  11. 11. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 11 only faith: belief in that which we do not see. The same happens with Civic Republicanism and its oscillation in compass with Fusi’s level. But this opens a new problem: If the world described by high Fusi is a myth, is it possible to ask about the set of realities that are valid, that is, those items that decrease Fusi? Though these might not be normatively desirable, they detect a more objective description of what is taking place. Here is important to trail carefully as the implicit logic is complex. The main dimension of Fusi is Information and Transparency and the statements that respondents make about how different sources provide adequate information. When people state that they are well informed, Fusi raises. When they state that they are not well informed or do not trust such sources, Fusi falls. Civic Republicanism effects are important, specially the fact that the variable Responsibility for the success of the public sphere (How much you take responsibility for: the educational systems, the municipal government, etc.), appears there and that the variable’s level has consistently declined. This result shows that citizen’s de-mobilization from the public sphere has taken place. The recognition that no responsibility is taken is a better description of “reality” than the opposite statement. In other words, those who state that they assume responsibility for public matters, in their diverse environments, just express an opinion that they do, without engaging in the activities which civic and political participation entail. The results of Civic Republicanism and its variables indicate that the set of statements implicit in Civil Republicanism ceased to be an active and real polar opposite of clientelism, related also with SocialK in 1997, to split from the latter and become a set of beliefs or opinions about what citizens do. This brings us back to the question about the set of realities that better describe the facts and lower Fusi. The list of items in the Barcas that lower Fusi is quite troublesome: it describes to us a world in which neither political parties nor the Government provide information that would guide citizens and give them tools with which to direct their actions; where people make no effort to participate and only exercise public functions if they are paid for them. Clientelism becomes a more realistic and frequent solution to collective problems and political connections are more effective for providing help. Finally, citizens do not assume responsibility for the success of public matters, especially government. This evidence, together with the loss of civic participation, confirms what has been argued: that the citizenry has de-mobilized from the public sphere compared to its 1997 position. Though there has been an electoral mobilization –Voting-, citizen’s responsibilities end there, as was prescribed before the 1991 constitution. Let us remember: Voting had a negative effect on Fusi in 1997. But this effect disappeared in 2005 and its positive effect on Social K by 2011 translated into Intricate. The sense of co-responsibility for the public good did not hold for long. This discussion establishes a conceptually complex problem: although the set of “realities” already described is a better reflection of it, this does not mean that it is a normatively desirable world. It is a world that would have to be changed, though not just in its perception. As we shall see in the emerging theory of transformation towards civic society, the drastic reduction of Fusi is a requisite for change in a political culture driven by an active citizenship that keep governments and representatives accountable: a heightened awareness process akin to cognitive mobilization, a Collective Self-confession (CSC). This
  12. 12. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 12 downturn of Fusi happened for example in Medellin, though the BARCAS indicates that still a very low level of public responsibility is maintained there. Although this realization is valid as it decreases Fusi, it is an obstacle for the city’s civic development. Low Fusi must not be a relief for the lack of modern civic society. It’s only a respite because at least people realize that citizens are not tricked by a civic fantasy, where everything is all right and thus feel comforted in their passivity.
  13. 13. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 13 III. Change Results 1997-2005-2011: SocialK, Intricate and Fusi The measurement of change 1997-2005-2011: Identical databases and Unstandardized Regression equations for territorial aggregates We just described above how dimensions relate to factors. To understand in all its complexity the changes that the Barcas registers it is necessary to observe the changes in the average level of the dimensions and its impact on the factors themselves. We begin with the change on the average level of each dimension with identical data bases for the three measurements to assure comparability (variables and items too, but beyond the scope of this article); latter we will describe how the combination of the levels of each dimension can be used to compute, with the help of unstandardized regressions the actual amount of change in the factors and how the change in dimensions contributes to change in the factors. Average change % DIMENSIONS 1997 2005 2011 05-97 11-05 11-97 Solidarity and Mutuality 3,17 13,73 3,62 333% -74% 14% Horizontal Relationship 19,55 24,05 20,55 23% -15% 5% Hierarchy 31,77 34,79 31,63 10% -9% 0% Media 16,93 15,24 15,19 -10% 0% -10% Social Control 54,79 62,70 58,49 14% -7% 7% Political Participation 129,54 166,81 146,84 29% -12% 13% Civic Participation 28,43 21,94 14,56 -23% -34% -49% Institutional Trust 138,40 133,98 126,01 29% -12% 13% Information and Transparency -3,46 -0,79 -3,46 77% -340% 0% Civic Republicanism 13,39 21,56 11,28 61% -48% -16% Table III.1. Average of dimensions and percentage of change, 1997, 2005, 2011, National Sample, Identical databases As there is not comparative international quantification of the dimensions it is only possible at this time to just analyze the trends. First, those that have a continuous trend up or down for the whole period. Second, those tan oscillate up or down, and third those that remain stable. In the first group Civic Participation has a large and continuous drop, especially negative, as its net effect is to decrease Intricate and increase Fusi. We will study this in detail in the next session. In the second group Solidarity and Mutuality increases drastically to fall to a higher than the initial point. The same happens to Horizontal Relationships and Vertical Articulation (Hierarchy) to an identical level. These are nuclear to SocialK. Social Control, Political Participation and Institutional Trust increase by 2005 and then drop in 2011. These are part of Intricate and the last two, Fusi. Information and Transparency increases and then falls dramatically in 2011, to its original level. The same happens to Civic Republicanism that falls below its original 1997 level, both helping to return Fusi below what it was in 1997. Information and Transparency in 2011 helps reduce Intricate and increase Fusi. Media is still relative stable after a 1997-2005 rise with effects in the reduction of SocialK and increase in Fusi.
  14. 14. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 14 Change Results 1997-2005-2011: SOCIALK, INTRICATE and FUSI: Identical databases and Unstandardized Regression Equations After the previous steps, we can proceed to present the tables of the unstandardized regressions, which we will do for illustration purposes only for SocialK. Again, using in this case the SocialK regression (2011) it is possible to compute the levels of SocialK 2005, 1997 and the relative contribution of each of its critical dimensions to such change. The methodological explanations are presented in the footnote in the following table. These same exercises were repeated with Variables and Items. In the following section we will present results of some of these.
  15. 15. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 15 Social K Equations 2011 (dimensions via) Social K B SocialK average 11 product 11 average 05 product 05 product diff.11-05 Diff. % 11-05 average 97 product 97 product diff. 11- 97 Diff. % 11-97 product diff. 05-97 Diff.% 05-97 Solidarity and Mutuality 0,019 3,62 0,068 13,73 0,258 -0,190 -54% 3,17 0,060 0,008 10% 0,198 45% Horizontal Relationships 0,031 20,55 0,640 24,05 0,749 -0,109 -31% 19,55 0,609 0,031 37% 0,140 32% Media -0,027 15,19 -0,406 15,24 -0,407 0,001 0% 16,93 -0,452 0,046 56% 0,045 10% Hierarchy 0,017 31,63 0,548 34,79 0,603 -0,055 -16% 31,77 0,550 -0,002 -3% 0,052 12% a SocialK (constant) -0,862 Product addition 0,850 1,202 -0,352 0,766 0,083 0,436 SocialK Score -0,0125 0,3396 -104% -0,0960 87% 454% Larger effects on increase in SocialK Larger effects of the fall of SocialK Table III.2 Change Results 1997-2005-2011: SOCIALK Identical databases and Unstandardized Regression Equations 1 1 As can be seen the unstandardized regression coefficients of dimensions on factors (e.g. columns B Social K) are identical in the 2011, 2005 and 1997 computations, as well as the intersect (e.g. a Social K constant row). 1. The averages for each dimension for each year are different and come from the identical data bases used only to calculate changes. 2. Unstandardized regression coefficients multiplied by the dimensions´ averages are registered in the column Product for each year. These, with the added intersect (a SocialK (constant)), provides the Social K, Intricate or Fusi national score for each year. For SocialK the numbers are -0,0125; 0,3396; -0,960. 3. The percentage change is then, for example 11-05: SocialK 2011(-0,0125) less SocialK 2005 (0,3396) divided by SocialK 2005: a 104% decrement. 4. The positive or negative contribution of each of the dimensions’ change for each comparison in the final result can be identified as the ratio of total amount of product difference by dimension (e.g. B* (average dimension 2011 minus average dimension 2005), divided by the addition of these products for all dimensions included in the equation (Product addition row). For example, in the column Product diff. 11-05 for, lets say the row Solidarity and Mutuality the contribution would be -0,190/-0,352= -54% and so on for each comparison (11-97: 10%), (05-97:45%)
  16. 16. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 16 Graph III.1: The evolution of the Factors, 1997-2011 The net results of the changes are presented in the III.1 Graph. In general factors grew from 1997 to 2005 and fell from 2005 to 2011. Social K had an important increment from 1997 to 2005 and then fell to almost the same level of 1997. Intricate had a slight increment from 1997 to 2005 and then dropped significantly to a level much lower than 1997. The same pattern appear for Fusi, implying than a “Fusi Bubble” was alive in 2005 and busted with the significant drop in 2011. As mentioned before, most of the dimensions raised and fell but the net result 1997-2011 was that in terms to the change of the SocialK, Media contributed the most to its increase (56%) given its average drop, then Horizontal Relationships followed (37%), with its net average increase. In terms of variables -not presented here- Atomization showed a continuous increase producing a 135% contribution to the loss of SocialK. As mentioned Intricate increased 13% from 1997 to 2005 and then dropped 138% in 2011 to a net loss of 60%. The dimensions that affected more this result were the loss of Civic Participation (125%) and Institutional Trust (54%). Social Control contributed 41% to the net increase of Intricate. The variables that decreased Intricate were Trust in the Institution that Control the State (85%) and Membership in secular VO. Accountability helped (48%) to sustain Intricate as it rose to remain stable from 1997 to 2005. The fall in membership in educational VO, Parties, Trust in Unions and in the Press where the main items that contributed to the net drop of Intricate. -0,096 0,340 -0,013 0,335 0,377 0,134 0,097 0,152 -0,058 -0,200 -0,100 0,000 0,100 0,200 0,300 0,400 0,500 1997 2005 2011 Change Results 1997-2005-2011: SocialK, Intricate and Fusi (Identical data bases and Unstandardized Regression Equations) SOCIALK INTRICATE FUSI
  17. 17. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 17 The dimensions that in the 1997-2011 net results contributed in greater extent to the net fall in Fusi were the loss of Institutional Trust (86%) and the fall in Media (40%). Fusi would have dropped much more if the loss in Civic Participation (63%) had not happened. Some of the variables that contributed the most to the desirable loss of Fusi were the admission that people did not take responsibility of the public good (46%), and the fall of trust in Media and Government. Just to illustrate the complexity of the interpretation of Fusi, the item that more decreased Fusi was the admission that the state does not inform citizens. The comparative level of Social Capital of Colombia and its evolution: Perception of Corruption and Interpersonal Trust Graph III.2: Interpersonal Trust and Perception of Corruption, 1997. International comparison Colombia W Germany Spain USA Mexico S Africa Australia Norway Sweden Argentina Finland S Korea Poland Switzerland Puerto Rico Brazil Nigeria Chile India E Germany Taiwan Turkey Ukraine Russia Peru Venezuela Uruguay Philipines DominicanRep 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 Perceptionofcorruption(average) Interpersonal Trust (%) Interpersonal Trust and Percep on of Corrup on, 1997 Interna onal comparison
  18. 18. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 18 Graph III.3: Interpersonal Trust and Perception of Corruption, National sample, regions and cities 2011 To locate the general level of Social Capital of Colombia, the Interpersonal Trust and Perception of Corruption available in the 1997 WVS was employed (Graph III.2). It was possible to locate Colombia in the low trust, high corruption countries of the world. The evolution from 1997 to 2011 can be traced in the III.3 graph this time to compare with the different regions in Colombia. It will become apparent that corruption is not an “accident” in society but an intrinsic element in the operation of the political system, fed in turn by the impossibility of holding legislative actors accountable to their electors and the use of public resources by the executive branch to assure loyalty to the members of the governing coalition. This so called “marmalade” causes a distribution of resources riddled with illegitimacy.
  19. 19. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 19 IV. Changes in Some Critical Variables and Items In this section some of the dimensions, variables, and items that help build the argument for the proposed electoral reform or the transition towards a modern civic society will be introduced. Due to the brevity of space they have been selectively chosen. The interest of some of these is the level in which they are, e.g. Accountability. Some others will be presented because of their dramatic fall or rise, or some crucial relationship that illustrate the transformation required to move towards MCS (next section) First, we will present from the Mutuality and Reciprocity dimension (SocialK) the Atomization variable, negatively related to the dimension, and then the item No Membership Voluntary Organizations. Second, from Civic Participation the variables Participation on Secular VOs and Doing Voluntary Work will be presented. Third, from the Social Control dimension, we will present Accountability. Finally, from Political Participation, the variable Legislative Linkage as well as its relation to municipal size will be discussed. Participatory Mechanism (a part of Social Control too) will be presented as well as the evidence that Participatory Budgeting lowers Fusi in the only city in our sample where it has been implemented. Some reference to political parties will be made. 1. Solidarity and Mutuality Atomization is one of the critical variables of this dimension. This variable measures the degree of isolation in which a person is. Additionally, it covers if a person does not belong to a single VO, No membership of pension funds, a proxy to laboring in the informal sector, Never meet with his neighbors, or the people in his work, Cero Legislative Linkage and when He is in trouble, no one can help. The aggregate level of the index grew 15% from 1997 to 2005 and a whopping 60% from 2005 to 2011, mainly by the increase of people that are in the informal sector. Curiously, No membership in any VO, which would fall if you belong to a religious organization, decreased because of the increase in membership in religious VO. However as can be seen in table IV.1, the number of people that do not belong to any secular VO increased from 43% in 1997 to 70% in 2011. 1997 2005 2011 No membership in secular voluntary organizations percentage 43% 59% 70% No membership in any voluntary organizations percentage 18% 34% 30% Table IV. 1 Membership in no VO, secular and all included religious, 1997-2011 The dramatic increase in the number of people who do not belong to any secular organization in such a short time is part of a pattern of citizen`s demobilization that would become more apparent ahead. The same pattern does not appear when religious organizations are included. This indicates how in moments of dramatic uncertainty religious organizations become a “shelter” for people to have some protection. Of course the secular OV falling and the religious rising implies a loss
  20. 20. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 20 of secularization in society, in a society characterized by very low rational-secular values according to the World Values Survey (Inglehart, R. and Welzel, C., 2002) 2. Civic Participation Membership in secular VO and doing voluntary work are the two variables discussed. Membership active and non-active builds in the list included in the WVS, which allows for international comparisons. In Colombia there is a continuous pattern of loss in the three measurements. With a dramatic loss of 55% in just 14 years, a true hemorrhage of civic participation is evident. This civic demobilization becomes more evident with the results of doing voluntary work: in 1997 48% of respondents reported doing voluntary work, in 2005 only 36% and in 2011 only 16%. 3. Social Control Accountability is a 10 item scale composed by respondents choosing Program from a diverse list of reasons or that His candidate (the one that represent him the better) fulfills his promises as the main reason to vote, or that Program is the least important reason to vote (negative with Accountability). Additionally Knowing where the resources of my region/locality are invested, and responding that, once public decision/agreements are reached, citizens are attentive to assure that the decision are fulfilled. Finally, Knowing the Recall participatory mechanism is also an item. Accountability had an 87% rise from 1997 to 2005 and then remained stable. All indicators moved in the possitive direction from 1997 to 2005 and then fell except for those related to Programatic Voting, which kept rising. The recall mechanism fell the most, a mechanism that has requiered a drastic overhaul in the new Statutory Participation law (Ley 1757, 2015). 4. Political Participation: Legislative Linkage From the Political Participation dimension, positive with Intricate negative with Fusi, two variables are presented: Legislative Linkage directed towards testing the impact of representative democracy, and Participatory Mechanisms to do the same regarding participatory democracy. As to Political Parties, in an international comparison of 24 countries, using the sixth WVS wave, Colombia was in the lower corner in Trust and Membership in Political Parties, only above Poland and Peru. Legislative Linkage (Lawson, 1980) is a variable frequently discussed but rarely measured. Regarding the problem of legislative accountability, Linkage is central because as long as people do not have a clear legislative linkage, is difficult or impossible to hold accountable a member of the legislative chambers. In Colombia there are five of those chambers: Senate, Lower Chamber (or Chamber of Representatives), Departmental Assemblies, City Council and Local Administrative Boards. To measure Legislative Linkage three questions were asked for each of these chambers: Did you Vote? And if the answer is yes, then 1) Do you remember for whom did you vote in that election? And if he remembers, 2) was he elected? Then it was asked 3) which one of these representatives is closest to you or represents you in a better way? For
  21. 21. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 21 the one chosen from the possible list (senator, representative…), the reasons for voting were inquired and used in some other variables i.e.: Accountability. Each possible question answered with a yes received a 10 point score. This means that for each chamber there could be total of a 30 possible points, and for just one of the chambers a 10 additional points were added when it was chosen as the closest representative, that is a total of 160 points for a perfect score; that is, if someone had voted in all elections, remembers who he voted for, knew if he was elected and had one of them as his closest representative he would get 160 points. The first thing from the results that is striking (see Graph IV.1) is the extremely low level of scores actually given, with 63% having Zero legislative linkage that is, people that did not vote in any of the chambers’ elections. Then the very small percentages score at each possible increment in scores. This result indicates that this is not a personal problem of the respondent but a structural element of the electoral system, and one of the reasons to propose the Single Vote, Single Seat Mixed (SVSM) electoral system. Graph IV.1 Legislative Linkage, National sample 2011 Legislative Linkage was stable from 1997-2005, and then there was a drop of 15% indicating that it was the change of the electoral system in 2003 that produced the 2005- 2011 changes. The City Council linkage, the highest in 2005, fell 25% by 2011. The Local administrative council fell 33%, demonstrating that the city and local level lost the little linkage there was.
  22. 22. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 22 Legislative link and City size Graph IV.2. Legislative Linkage by size of Town The IV.2 graph plots legislative linkage against a town/city size. Although the actual level of linkage has been falling since 1997, the pattern that appears is consistent and can be interpreted in bonding/bridging social capital terms. Linkage remains relatively high in up to 20.000 inhabitants size where face-to-face interaction is relatively possible, thus bonding social capital. There is a transition as bonding evolves to linking social capital in 20.000 to 50.000 sizes, necessary to increase linkage in the 50 to 100.000 inhabitants size range. From here linkage starts to fall to be lost at the over 500.000 size. This issue is crucial for the Theory of Transformation towards Modern Civic Society as in big cities it is necessary to create intermediate territorial reservoirs to accumulate SocialK as to make processes as participatory planning and budgeting comprehensible, so citizens and organizations can focus their understanding and grasp the meaning of the exercise. 5. Political Participation and Social Control: Participatory Mechanism and the evidence of Participatory Budgeting’s effect on Fusi Colombia´s 1991 constitution declared Colombia a Participatory Democracy. There, the National Planning Council was introduced. It had to produce a concept on the National Development Plan before Congress approved it, a mechanism reproduced at the different territorial levels. Several other participatory mechanisms were legally defined. These can be divided in a) Direct mechanisms exerted through the vote, for example Recall and Referenda, b) Some used to defend individual rights such as Tutela and Petition rights, more directed to give citizens the capacities to force actions from the government if some fundamental rights are at risk, c) Deliberative mechanism that assume a collective action and discussion among citizens, (i.e.: Veedurias, some sectorial mechanisms in education and health, the Territorial Planning Councils as well 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 5 - 10.000 10 - 20.000 20 - 50.000 50 - 100.000 100 - 500.000 Más 500000 Legislative Linkage by size of town 1997 2005 2011
  23. 23. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 23 as the Rural development Councils, the Cabildo Abierto and Participatory Budgeting). Finally, d) each government produces a mechanism of his own to socialize and debate some issues, with widespread and systematic use during Alvaro Uribe’s terms, the Consejos Comunitarios, where he and his ministers met with specially invited members of the community. The competition that Uribe’s Community Councils posed not only discouraged the use of other participatory mechanisms but made useless the participation on VOs. Of the different mechanism Veedurias, Derecho de Petición, and Recall are critical with Intricate. To measure these mechanisms, the Barcas asks for each of them if the respondent Knows or has Heard of the mechanism, (5points) and second if He knows of someone who has used it (additional 5 points). The scale goes from zero (had not heard of any) to 120 (knows someone who has used it for all of them). The aggregate score was 22 in 1997 where many of them were just beginning to operate; 29 in 2005 with an increase of 32%, a very promising increase, but fell again to 22 almost to the original 1997 level. All the mechanism except Derecho de Peticion, which increased continuously, had the same pattern of increase-decrease. Tutela and Health have the highest score, Territorial Planning Councils the lowest even if they are constitutionally defined. This mechanism, with great innovation potential that could bring together different sectors of civil society as organizations, and should have been civil societies articulating backbone, presents a disappointing performance. The mechanisms just mentioned are just a small part of those available. It seems that each legislator in each new law creates a new participatory mechanism/space many times without resources to implement them, confusing citizens who do not know which one to use or for what purpose. Recall, for example, because the way it was legally defined, had not been applied successfully a single time. For this purpose the author coauthored a law, Ley Estatutaria de Participacion (1757,2015), which regulates in a much simpler way to use the mechanism. This same law creates a National Participatory Council that has as its main task to review and simplify the state’s supply of participation and quantify the dispersed state’s resources invested in their promotion, without anyone knowing to what effect. Participatory Budgeting, the archetype of the third wave of democracy (Avritzer, 2002) represented by the Porto Alegre’s almost 40-year-old experiment, was measured with the Barcas in 2011. The only place in our sample where it was fully implemented at the local level was in Medellin during Sergio Fajardo (2004-2007) and Alonso Salazar’s (2008-2011) mayoralties. Indeed it showed that 14% of his or her inhabitants knew someone who had used it. In Medellin, it had the effect of lowering Fusi, a very significant finding, especially as Medellin was the only of the main cities of Colombia whose SocialK did not dip dramatically in the 2005-2011 period. Medellin, from being the lowest in 1997 in SocialK, rising with the rest of the cities in 2005, maintained its 2005 level in 2011 while the other cities fell, becoming the second highest in SocialK in Colombia. More will be said of this in the next section.
  24. 24. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 24 V. The Movement towards a Modern Civic Society: It should happen in Cities From the evidence from the 1997 measurement and the need to have a theory that guided the processes of participatory local planning in Bogota, 2002-2007, along with the implementation of Acuerdo 13, 2000, the following steps towards the transformation of cities into Modern Civic Society (MCS) were formulated. These steps do not have a sequential order nor do they imply that have to be taken all at the same time, but guide the interventions to see what has to be done at a precise moment in time and in a particular city. I. Collective Self-Confession: Fusi falls. When this happens the citizenry problematize the political culture in which they live, permeated by clientelism and political corruption. They stop having faith in different sources of information and recognize that they themselves do not take responsibility for the public good. This can be utilized by a municipal administration to move towards MCS. II. The actual accumulation of social capital additionally requires the introduction of governmental policies that include the creation of intermediate reservoirs (localities). These reservoirs between the large city and the neighborhoods should be built socially, administratively and politically. III. This aggregation of neighborhoods (Localities, Communes) should acquire more responsibilities through processes of decentralization and, critically, the introduction of deliberative participatory mechanism such as participatory planning of public local investment and projects and, better yet, due to their annual frequency, participatory budgeting. These processes should receive incremental percentages of municipal income as their capacities mature. IV. These processes allow the mobilization of organized civil society whose density can sustainably grow if and only if… V. The state provides a parsimonious public offer of articulated participatory mechanisms, which would induce citizens to become active members of civic organizations. VI. Build Collective Rationality. So participatory planning and budgeting do not become another mechanism of clientelism and/or demand inflation and precipitate a fiscal crisis, these processes allocate limited resources: a zero-sum game (a hard constraint in Elster’s, 2000, sense) that forces citizens to make publicly and collectively the choices that, even if they have the same outcome, when privately made destroys trust and legitimacy. In this way citizens share the dilemmas of development and how collectively make the choices to solve these (Argyris, 1970). VII. To establish Accountability and a correspondence between participatory and representative democracies, localities should eventually become Single Seat Electoral Districts. As a result, people would know who their representative is and make him/her accountable. This could prove politically difficult since in Latin American countries electoral systems are designed to obscure the public identification of whom the representative of a territory is (Crisp, Moreno y Shugart, 2003; Sudarsky, 2009). However, Political Maps can be built to establish the
  25. 25. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 25 importance of a representative for the locality and the locality to a representative, establishing a two sided and public linkage between representative and territory. This theory permitted to observe several phenomena through the years. Among them that Fusi can fall, and with some Major assiduously prone to manipulate public opinion, Fusi can rise again as it happened in Cali (2011). Cali, as well as Barranquilla, had the problem of too many and too small Comunas to decentralize. This makes decentralization too expensive. However, Barranquilla created the larger Alcaldias, the intermediate reservoirs, while Cali did not. As for the participatory planning, at least in Bogota, the pattern is very discontinuous, with each administration coming with a new idea (Fracasomania) replacing the deliberative process (Escallon and Sudarsky, 2001) with rather haphazard mechanisms like voting in the city at large to choose from a list of investing projects, with no social interactions. However, some participatory processes by sector (cultura) and locality (Rafael Uribe) in the 2001-2003 period, showed an increase in sectorial and local voluntary organizations membership that were sustainable across administrations. Of course, the evidence regarding participatory planning in Medellin mentioned before hints about the virtuous circle that can be triggered. Medellin itself was the city that moved higher into Rational-Legal values (Sudarsky, 2009) as compared to the rest of cities and Colombia in general. The effectiveness of the political maps was proven in the city council of Bogota in 2004 when a member of the Budgeting Committee was going to vote against a project that benefited his own identified local constituency. This was made explicit through the media causing him to change his vote. The issue of how to increase Accountability is what follows.
  26. 26. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 26 VI. Elements for the design of an electoral reform to increase SOCIAL K, INTRICATE and lower FUSI For the design of an electoral system that would help solve some of the problems diagnosed with the Barcas is necessary to establish some basic elements from the broad literature on electoral systems. Farrell (1997) studies electoral systems based on 1) district magnitude (how many representatives are elected in the district), 2) the ballot structure and 3) the electoral formula, that is, how precisely votes are translated into parliamentary seats. The electoral systems are classified in a) Non-proportional and b) Proportional. Non proportional are themselves divided into First Past the Post (FPTP) and Majoritarian, according to the percentage of votes required to elect a MP, the first with the largest number of votes or, necessarily, at least 50% plus one of the votes in the second case. This percentage can be achieved in two additional varieties: second ballot and Alternative vote. Regarding the by far more common Proportional systems, Farrell divides them in Lists, Two-vote and Single transferable vote. According to Farrell, the proportional and non-proportional branches stem from fundamentally different notions of representation: a) the Microcosm conception that emphasizes that the composition of the chamber should be as close to the society that elects it, thus emphasizing with different degrees of success the inclusion of minorities, thus a proportional system. b) Those in support of the Principal-Agent (P-A) notion of representation and thus emphasizing matters of constituency representation and the outcomes of the parliamentary process. This relation with the constituency is also graded in terms of the rigidity of the P-A relation, be it a mandate or a trustee. These of course are the non-proportional systems. The concept of political representation has at its root the notion that the representative acts as an agent of its constituency, the principal. This model (Pitkin, 1967) has been used to study modern democracies specifically by Strom et. al. (2003), to analyze the western parliamentary democracies and the process of Agency Loss that occurs in this delegation Accountability2 relates to the rights and sanctions that the principal retains after she has contracted with the agent. Agency loss can be exerted ex-ante, before entering any agreement, for example by careful scrutiny of the potential agent behavior or keeping as much residual power as possible, or ex-post, after the contract has been made, by providing the principal with information that he might otherwise not receive (Strom pp. 63 passim). Of course the single seat electoral systems (SSED) solves more clearly the principal agent link, which tends to dilute in districts of larger than one magnitude and where the collective decision of the voters are less clearly stated. Once the agent is chosen, he would be accountable, in different degrees (mandate-trustee continuum) to the totality of the 2 The principle of accountability first appeared in Israel at the beginning of the XI century B.C. (Eisenstadt, 2010) when the tribes had to name a King to coordinate the fight against a common enemy. It was then decided that he should be held accountable to the tribes, and thus the role of the prophet was legitimized for the next thousand years.
  27. 27. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 27 inhabitants of such district. The first past the post or Westminster model have a straightforward definition of the chain from voter to policy outcomes. Here we can say that these electoral districts are Basic Blocks of Democracy where Accountability can be clearly exerted. In presidential systems this chain is more confused as there are different agents that are responsible for policy. Some presidential systems like the US at least retain the SSED for the House of Representatives. However the already diluted P-A relationship gets even more so in presidential systems where the building blocks are themselves diluted, self-evident in most Latin American democracies. This is so pervasive that the emphasis in the literature shifts from the P-A link to almost exclusively the party systems, their stability, and how they solve problems of governance. The omnipresence of clientelistic relationships reinforces the weakness of the P-A link in this region. Here, the public and collective representation of a constituency is replaced by private, particularistic, and consensually evaluated as corrupt, patron-client (P-C) relationships. Returning to the SSED based electoral systems, they have consequences for proportional representation. In one hand, they tend to create two party systems according to Duverger´s axiom, even if this convergence can take 50 years or more as Heclo (1974, 38) has shown for the UK and Sweden. As winner takes all, the loosing candidate’s votes stop being taken into account and their party’s cannot count them for any purpose. Through time, small parties disappear. This violates the main drive of the proportional systems, that there should be proportionality between the votes that a party receives and the number of seats it gets. Another problem is Gerrymandering, the redraw of electoral districts to benefit one party or another, especially as practiced in the US, where the redistricting process is in a party’s hands. In the UK this problem is diminished because the Limits Council is in the hand of public servants. They do the redistricting only every ten years and apply the result in the election immediately after the closest one, all to minimize direct political pressure on the design of the district. The List, Two-vote and Single transferable vote proportional representation systems have in common that they are chosen more for the party than for the link with the MP and thus lessens constituency–agent relationship. The List system is based in that each party presents a list of candidates depending of the district magnitude and there is not a single list system. In its most basic form, voters do so for parties, who get seats in proportion to the number of votes received. The Two-Vote system of proportional representation has been designed to reintroduce in the system the element of constituency representation mixing elements of FPTP and list systems, frequently also called the German System where the mixed systems were invented around 1953. Here the voters deposit two votes, one for constituency MP and one for a party list. The variety here comes from the proportion of MPs elected from constituencies and party lists votes and, second, the relationship between constituency seats and party seats. This is crucial because in some of these formulas the constituency seats diminish the total of list seats allocated for a party. Other times they are added to the constituency seats. The German case utilizes FPTP for the constituency seats and the Hare largest remainder for the (closed) list seats, which are 50% of the total votes. There is a threshold to qualify for the list seats: they have to receive at least 5 percent nationally of the votes or have at least three of the constituency seats.
  28. 28. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 28 The Latin American Electoral Systems Zobatto and Orozco (2008) reviewed 18 electoral systems and fount all proportional except four3 . It is worth examining these countries to observe how the P-A link operates. These are Mexico, Venezuela, Chile and Bolivia. In Mexico the lower chamber is elected by SSED. However, as the electoral system forbids any form of immediate reelection, the deputies drive their loyalty and attention to their party which decides where he could run the next time, and not to his constituency, breaking the main prize for good performance: be reelected. In Venezuela, which has a single chamber legislative branch, there are some deputies elected in single or two seats districts, drawn at the interior of the states. Although, there a some that are elected by party at the state level. However, the Electoral College is in the hand of the Chavista government who redraws the district at their convenience, losing all traces of proportionality between inhabitants/voters and seats. Chile has a two-chamber congress. There, the electoral system inherited form the Pinochet era was built on small magnitude districts (two, three deputies) which allowed for relative easy identification of the agent. However, the system was designed to benefit the largest minority party. As an illustration, the electoral formula required that in a two seat district, the party most voted had to have more than 66% of the votes to get the second seat, thus the effect on benefiting the largest minority and the eventual formation of a two block system. However, recently (February, 2015) there has been an electoral reform very much in the proportional direction and the previous electoral formula has been eliminated. The electoral districts have increased in size, some times to seven or eight deputies, and the threshold for new parties has been practically eliminated, allowing very small parties to get seats. Bolivia since 1994 has a Mixed Electoral Systems very much like the German one, revamped in 2013 when the redistricting process was done for the first time. With obligatory voting, the lower chamber has a 50/50 division between single seats electoral districts, very much drawn by population, with some especial electoral districts for Indian communities, and multinomial party lists. People vote simultaneously in several ballots. One with the presidential candidate and the uninominal deputies identified with a photograph and his personal alternate’s name, for each party. These ballots are printed separately for each single seat electoral district. There is another departmental ballot for the multi nominal deputies candidates and the senators (four for each department). Bolivia has a balanced electoral system in terms of proportionality and representation, and the P- A is clear and defined. Bolivia has some other problems in its electoral system, mainly the control of the electoral court by the Evo Morales’ party, which has been accused of withdrawing large block of opposition candidates before elections. However, Bolivia’s case does not invalidate the general rule: “The real problem in Latin America is a spoiled vertical accountability: elected legislative agents are not responsible to their voters, and voters do not sanction with their vote bad leadership” (Crisp, Moreno and Shugart, 2003). The Hispanic Catholic Tradition 3 Panama is another case worth discussing. Its 71 members single chamber is composed by 26 SSED and 13 closed lists, that elect the remaining 45 members. These districts have magnitudes from two to seven deputies according to population. Although is defined by its designers as a proportional system, introduces an important component of SSED and low magnitude districts that could make it a mixed system.
  29. 29. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 29 Although patron-client relationship and the lack of accountability in Latin America are seen as “cultural” phenomena, it is important to understand that in a deeper level what you have is an inherited symbolic structure that determines at the techno-organizational level the institutional arrangements (Eisenstadt, 1973). In the Latin American case, the Spanish Catholic Jacobinism tradition (Merchior, 1991, Sudarsky, 1991, 2002) historically built and imprinted through centuries an identity, which has to be examined today. For this, it is necessary to look to the political premises of the Spanish absolutist state at the time of the conquest. Among others, one significant element is the absence of feudalism in Spain (Anderson, 1974), and thus the absence of a contractual relationship between lord and peasant. The Feudal system, the fusion of tribal and roman traditions, was fundamentally a contractual relationship between lord and peasant where one provided security and justice and the other labor and soldiery to the lord. Thus it is of no surprise that the Magna Carta reinstated and generalized to the king the principles of contract: representation and accountability. In the other hand, during the XVII century Spain, Francisco Suarez, a Jesuit theologian, argued that suzerainty indeed originated in the People but once the people had chosen who would his representative be, in this case the King, they could not change their mind, a premise imprinted in the conquered space with obvious consequences for absence of notions of representation and accountability. Simultaneously, racial miscegenation produced a symbolic structure characterized by the melting of collective limits, hierarchy and an emphasis on mediation, instead of autonomous access. The result is particularism, clientelist and a diffuse but hierarchical culture and their institutional concomitants: proportional electoral systems where no accountability can be exerted and, fundamentally, the absence of the concept itself. The Emergence of Participatory Mechanism: the third wave of democracy. (Avritzer, 2002) The blockade of the electoral systems in L.A. has led to the appearance of compensatory mechanism like participatory democracy and different forms of accountability, many times by-passing the electoral process. These autochthonous and rather original innovations have not been incorporated as explicitly as they deserve into the strengthening of the Principal-Agent link as well as in the weakening of the Patron-Client link. Strom et. al. do discuss the effect on the agency loss by direct democracy, that is, those exerted through the vote i.e. referenda, etc. However, participatory mechanism can be seen in this light, especially participatory planning, budgeting and their effect on the agency loss problem by which elected officers would know what their constituency wants: “All surveys indicate that citizens want more services and less taxes” precisely the problem of zero sum mentioned before and the prioritization that take place through these mechanisms. The deliberative participatory mechanism, those that require face to face interaction who respond to the notion that (Klaus Offe) “you need to know what others think for me to know what I think”, are also especially valuable to solve another problem of establishing a clear mandate: citizen coordination to clarify what they want, so the agent can represent them better. The current electoral system in Colombia For the design of an electoral system for Colombia is necessary to evaluate the two known criteria: representation (people know who their representative is) and proportionality (there
  30. 30. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 30 is a reasonable proportionality between the number of votes that a party receives and the number of seats that such party gets allotted). The 1991 Constitution introduced the National list for the senate, to allow minority parties to harvest the opinion vote in the whole country and have some chance to be elected. The lower chamber is built on a departmental jurisdiction with different magnitudes, according to population. A highest remainder system and a very low threshold for a party to have seats created an incentive for very atomized, personalized, almost individual parties, many times with only regional representation. This Hare quota punishes parties that have high number of votes in a specific region because it is more effective to pursue the highest remainder individually, many times with a number of votes much smaller than the quota. In 2003, an electoral reform was introduced to solve some of these problems, a reform used for the first time in 2006 just after the 2005 application of the Barcas. The d‘Hont electoral formula (the highest average system) was adopted. Here, at least the approximate identical number of votes elects each candidate, significantly improving proportionality. The former atomization process lead the legislative to propose a closed ordered list for each party, both for senate and lower chamber. Due to the fear of strong undemocratic party leadership (the boligrafo) in the elaboration of party lists, it was decided that parties could choose either from the closed ordered list or a list of preferential voting in which electors voted for a candidate from the list, composed from the total number of seats to be filled in the district if the threshold of the party was surmounted. This defeated the ordering and closing of lists and reintroduced a totally personalistic vote, where the votes were for each candidate, and very few votes could get someone elected. The votes that did not elect someone from a party list were counted as votes for the party and counted for allotting seats through the d'Hont method. A 2% threshold of total valid votes was established for the party to be counted and to elect members to seats to the senate. No alternates. Given that this system would require an enormous ballot (i.e.: nine parties would amount to a ballot with 900 candidates to the senate), it was decided that candidates would be identified not with a picture and a name but by a combination of marking the party and the candidate´s individual number. This lead to a banishment of electoral substantive proposals from the political discourse as candidates had to concentrate their efforts on positioning their party color, and his number. This caused a considerable increase in the number of mistakes in the voting process: For the 2010 elections from a 29.6 million potential votes, there were a 13,2 millions total votes (56% abstention), 14% null votes: 1.8 millions for the lower house, 1.5 million for the senate and 5% unmarked votes (824.000 and 504.000). For the 2014 each of the percentages were practically identical. Given the number of congressman that retired from the chambers because of different reasons, mostly corruption and involvement with the paramilitary, the whole chamber actually represented less than a third of the potential voters. The Proposed Single Vote, Single Seat Mixed Electoral System (SVSM) ( The system proposed to the government and Congress was designed to solve the more prominent problem of the electoral system, the impossibility of identifying who is the representative in an electoral district so he could be held accountable to his voters, and additionally to retain the proportionality achieved through the D’Hont method. It was designed to highlight the accountability deficit and go through the congress. Many other
  31. 31. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 31 alternatives that could be considered were intentionally excluded (presidential- parliamentary, single house, different system for each chamber, threshold, etc.) because would dilute the principal-agent issue. The proposed system consisted of two tracks for both the Senate and Lower Chamber: 60% Single Seat Electoral Districts (SSED) to make explicit representation and 40% proportional representation to compensate SSED tendency to drift into a two party system, and assure that most deposited votes were counted to elect a seat. A. The Representation P-A, Single Seat track: The country was dived in 60 electoral SSED of approximately 820.000 inhabitants for the senate, which could cover territorially continuously more than a single department, and for the lower chamber 107 SSED with approx. 410.000 inhabitants within the limits of a single department. This SSED ballot has one candidate per party and comes with the picture and name of the candidate. Voters mark one candidate and the one that have larger number of votes is elected and represents the totality of the inhabitants, creating a clear principal- agent link. The representative knows who do they represent and the by-now-constituency know who he is. For the thirteen departments whose population is below 410.000 inhabitants, they would keep the same two representatives that they currently have. B. The Proportional Track For the proportional track each party registers separately a closed and ordered list of candidates different from those of the SSED, one national 40-member list for the senate, and, for the lower chamber, a list for each culturally unified region (aggregate of contiguous departments) which allocate the remaining 44 seats. These regional lower chamber districts are designed to construct politically larger-than-department electoral districts, whose absence has plagued all the planning regional process of the country. By the d‘Hont method, and adding the total votes that a party receives in the Nation(senate)/region (lower chamber) and then subtracting the votes that effectively elected SSED representatives, each party would receive a seat for the approximately equal number of votes. In this way all parties have an incentive to organize and run in each district because their votes would not be wasted, as it happens in classic SSED. People do NOT vote for the proportional lists. They choose for which party his vote would go when they vote for a candidate (and his party) in each SSED. Thus the single vote, single seat mixed electoral system. As a first conclusion of how this system balances representation and proportionality, an initial simulation requested by the political parties to understand how they would fare if the system was applied with the 2010 legislative elections results, was performed. This system reproduced a similar proportionality than the current electoral method, with the advantage that it provides a clear Principal-Agent link, the main democratic deficit in Latin America. The VI.1 table compares the implication of this system against the current one, fundamentally based on clientelism and corruption.
  32. 32. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 32 Clientelism Mixed Electoral System Representation Private and Personal Public and Collective Citizenship Atomized and without relationships among themselves. Each one solves their problems by themselves Collective, with relationships among citizens specifically promoted with deliberative mechanisms as participatory planning and budgeting in the SSED. Accountability It is not clear which representative has to be held accountable. Is based on providing favors Representative responds to the collective inhabitants of a territory. Principal-Agent relationship It does not exist. Representatives are individuals linked vertically through patron-client relationships with unequal exchange of favors, frequently through especial access to state’s resources (marmalade). When the vote is bought, the exchange has been settled. You cannot claim for an interpersonal credit when it has been paid The Principal, the collective of all inhabitants of a territory, that is the constituency if there was a word for it in Spanish, establishes their collective mandate through deliberative participatory mechanisms that under a situation of limited resources and zero sum constrains, prioritize goals. The Agent, be it a senator or lower chamber representative tries to defend such priorities and explains to its audience his legislative behavior and the limitation of its role. Political Parties They are weak, either with preferential vote or closed ordered lists, because their elected members do not represent a collective group of citizens but a vertical private network of individuals spread in a national or departmental territories. The lack of a power derived from public and collective representation makes them intrinsically weak and ideologically nebulous. They become strong by the power they receive from the collectives of citizens and have an incentive to get organized in all the SSED, because each of their votes, not matter how few they are, are counted in the proportional track. The mix between the list members, the main carriers of the programmatic ideology, and locally expressed by the SSED candidates, should generate ideological and programmatic consistency. Relationships among citizens Is discouraged because within a territory clientelistic and personalistic vertical networks compete among themselves and break horizontal relationships among citizens. Participatory and deliberative planning and budgeting should increase collective rationality, used to hold the agent accountable. Table VI.1. Mixed Electoral System and its contrast with clientelism
  33. 33. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 33 The SVSM has several other advantages. The campaign cost would be much less since the territories would be smaller and the incentive to depredate the state with enormous corruption costs would diminish. In the intimacy of the senate, senators would confess that the cost of their campaigns was in the millions of dollars, when the legally allowed top expense ceiling was in the hundredth of thousand dollars. One recurrent fear is that, if there were “rotten boroughs” today, the single seat would facilitate the take over from corrupt or paramilitary candidates. The answer for this is that they are already there, the difference being that they capture votes from vast territories and are able to get elected with very few votes. In the single seat district they would need to spend much more to win the district and clearly defeat identifiable candidates, who the inhabitants would know as well as their local trajectory. There are other precautions that had to be included. For example, using the English method of redistricting, and having the populations census methodologically and technically preapproved by Congress to avoid that their results, that always have electoral implications, could be blocked in congress: For almost 20 years the census numbers used were the 1985 results because the congress had the right to veto a new one, which they did for this long.
  34. 34. Social capital, institutional trust and political accountability, N° 34 VII. Fromm Social Science to Political Practice Most papers end in the previous section with the hope that some political actor would pick up the main conclusions and implement a public policy. This is a very uncertain option when you want to affect some of the fundamental premises of a society. In my particular case I was fortunate and persistent enough to try to, as a politician, to see the implications that emerged from the measurement of the Barcas implemented in the most realistically expeditious way. In 2010 after participating in a coalition of three Bogota’s former majors designed to have a single candidate to the presidency of Colombia, I was elected as a Senator for what this coalition became: the Green Party. Antanas Mockus, the twice times major of Bogota, became the presidential candidate and ran against the current President Juan Manuel Santos. It was in Antanas second Mayoralty (2001-2003) where we had tried Participatory Planning and drawing the political maps of the City Council. (Escallon and Sudarsky, 2001; Sudarsky, 2003). The concept of the single seat electoral district had been adopted by the coalition with what became known as the Trust Circles. It was lightly applied to the organization of the party and its candidates in some departments. I was elected (32.000 votes) in March 2010 to a for four-year term in the senate and proceeded to organize a political agenda4 : A new statutory law of participation and the approval of the constitutional reform to change the electoral system to the SVSM, which I, with the members of my UTL (Technical Legislative Unit), began to elaborate, were the main goals. What were my theoretical orientations for this job? The New Political Culture (Clark, 1994) and its “Fiscally conservative, socially liberal” positions were very useful to free myself of the paralyzing left-right polarity. As a guiding intervention theory Argyris (1970) Model II theory-of-action and its Valid Information, Free Choice and Internal Commitment “governing variables” and the notion of making dilemmas public to solve them collectively were useful, even if I had argued that this is impossible in Politics and Media. And of course the Cultura Ciudadana of Antanas Mockus (2002) with his different way of seeing how to change people’s behavior: Law, Morals and Culture, as well as the myriad of sentences that he has the gift to cast, so a quick reference to an alternative way of doing things could be conveyed: Construir sobre lo Construido, No todo vale, are just some examples. His trajectory in the Colombian political scene had created a clear reference on how to govern and how to resist clientelism and corruption in each political interaction. Lastly, Weber’s (1946) two vocations, Science and Politics, that at times get very confused in the actual situations: say what will happen according to my social science knowledge or tell what I want to happen and why as an advocative politician. The challenge was to turn an analytical, empirically identified, and measured social phenomena into a political proposal and its implementation. The main goal then and now is to introduce in the political discourse the notion that senators and lower chamber deputies should be accountable to their constituencies. In addition, we must highlight the existing Principal-Agent relationship between them (there are no words for Constituency or Accountability in Spanish, as there is not a word for Clientelism in Swedish). The approval of the electoral reform was from the beginning an uphill battle. No false expectations would lead to no disappointments. The Constitutional reform required in a single year eight 4 The actual legislative work extended in several fronts, many steaming from being a part of Sixth Commission in charge of education, transportation, culture and communications. Here it was possible to register at first hand some of the corruption in the previous government. Besides science and technology, in education my main trust was into rural education and the deficit of complete secondary education, the threshold for cognitive mobilization. Latter I helped pass a law against violenc e against women in the midst of the conflict and one very effective to stop drunk driving.