Post-electoral Perception in Ecuador, Indigenous and Female Populations: Survey Otavalo, El Tambo Tena, Final Report, December, 2003
a. Background of the Project
In the past few years, political systems throughout the world have shown the importance of reforming electoral systems and proceedings, the pursuit of democracy, and the promotion the universality and free access to voting. One such case is that of Ecuador.
The ethnic composition of Ecuador is one of the most important social factors. The inclusion of indigenous people in the formal political life is relatively recent and their participation has grown to such levels that they have a substantial influence on the occupation of public offices and the formation of alliances of power.
Because of their previous exclusion from political activities and their role in society, it is important that they now have representation within the government and the opportunity to directly negotiate solutions to the problems that affect their communities, and at the same time contribute to politics in Ecuador.
The gender gap illustrates another profound inequality in political involvement in Ecuador. Despite the mobilization of this social sector and the important achievements in the area of changing the exclusionary conditions of women in the political system, there has not been substantial-enough change in this area.
Many citizens carry out their duty to vote merely because it is a legal obligation and without sufficient information regarding the candidates and their platforms.
In communities that speak Kichwa and Spanish, Spanish is the language of the state, communication and external agencies, including religion. Kichwa is the spoken language for the members of the community and the towns.
The obvious methodological recommendations for this particular survey include designing bilingual instruments, carried out by intercultural teams, and redefining the classical variables of control, including paternal and maternal tongues, self-identification, and religious beliefs and practices. It is also suggested that we pay attention to the collective mechanisms of construction of political decisions, such as community assemblies, in order to better measure the opinions and perceptions of the respondents.
The investigation, the results of which are presented here, reveals details and important characteristics that delineate with greater precision the characteristics of political participation of both indigenous people and women, which is of importance for the formulation of proposals that enable promotion of active involvement of these sectors in the democracy, and its contribution to political development of the country.
Read the Full Survey Results.