Village Election and Corruption

In China,the election system refers to the election of deputies to the people’s congresses at various levels, which includes general local election and the election of deputies from the armed forces, in the special administrative regions. There are two kinds of election: direct election and indirect election. 1. Direct election means voters directly elect deputies to the people’s congresses by casting their votes.

Direct elections are applicable to the election of deputies to the people’s congresses of the counties, districts, townships and towns, which China’s authoritarian(the leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)) regime has allowed, encouraged, and required to be held at the village level,but not at higher levels. 2. Indirect election means deputies to the people’s congresses at the next higher level are elected by deputies to the people’s congresses at the next lower level.

Indirect elections are applicable to the election of deputies to people’s congresses above the county level and deputies among the armed forces at the same level and deputies to the NPC(National People’s Congress) elected from special administrative regions. In this essay, I will focus on the direct election(village election). Since the problem of corruption in the village election is very common in China,such as buying-votes, treating to dinner to persuade by promising private goods and so on. Mainly comes from the following aspects: 1. In a small electorate, campaigning is not an effective strategy to win an election.

In contrast, vote buying—corruption—can easily be an effective means to win an election with a small electorate. A Chinese village is small enough a community for each villager to know all the other villagers in person as they interact with each other on a daily basis and voters may already know whether the candidate has the intention and ability to provide public goods, which could become the condition of perfect information, in other words,in a village election, voters and candidates know each other personally, and voters may easily acquire personal information about the candidates.

Therefore, because under the conditions of perfect information, it is not costly for a candidate to seek office by treating a subset of the electorate to dinner or to give private goods to voters. On the other hand, it is relatively costly to attempt to sway voters by stating policy proposals that promise.