Ecuador population among 15-29 years are 27% of the total. Currently, there is a major youth generation in all demographic history in this country (Ecuadorian Youth Inform, 2012), because two of three parts of the population are less than 30 years old. Thus, population pyramid show the increase of youth generation in the 2010 censo. Youth law determines young people only who are between 18-29 years. However, some researches defines youth from 16 to 29, as population aged 16 and above are able to vote. That’s why political subjects are very important in the citizen revolution.
Let’s focus the analyze on which perception youth has on democracy and politics. There is a lot of research on it: One is based on the political positioning of young people. It includes three categories: (a) politic interest and implication, (b) left-right position, (c) best political regime.
Regarding how implication young population has in public life of the country, or how they get informed about political issues in radio, TV, Internet… From a general view of politics, 15,2% are very interested in political issues; 29.2% have some interest; 41.2% are a bit interested; and 14,2% have any interest. If we analyze how people get implicate in an specific politic area, we see some differences. 74% are very interested to the community political issues in their locality; 71.2% have some interest. So, we appreciate that young people are more implicated in the micro-politic. Further, in relation to how they get informed about political frequently, 56% do it al least three days per week. Mostly use TV channel; 21.2% though Internet and social media; 10.6% by newspapers; and 5.6% radio.
Right-left position, young people are mostly in the center. There is a support to democracy from all population, specially, youth from 16 to 25. The backing for a military authoritarian government decreased in 2011. It has been a social change because the percentage of youth who support this kind of authoritarian ideology was higher than now in 2005. Mostly, considered a democracy as a best political system which exists currently, even if they detect some problems in it. It means, they think the democracy system is not perfect, but it is the best choice we have now.
Youth socio-political participation. Since 2010, young people trust, increasingly, the politic parties. Regarding of trust level in the National Asamblea (Deputies congress in Europe) people started to increase the trust in the system since it took place a change of the structure in 2011. 22% of youth would militarize in a political party or political movements; 53.4% would do it in the main party ¨Alianza Pais¨ which it is now in the power (Youth National Inquiry rates).
We saw how young people are implicate from an objective point of view. But there is much more we can analyze. Ecuador has a delicate corruption problem. The flights between politic parties and politicians is a daily huge aspect. In the past, politicians could do what they really wanted in the public Institutions. Some of them ever had weapons on the meetings. Everyone insulted each other with any kind of respect or delicacy. However, in the last 20 years the political situation has improved pleasantly. We will interview a young girl, anonymous, who is working into the public politic system. She was spending some months in Europe where she wants to get informed about how European politic works. We can learn more about Ecuadorian system, but we can go even farther, comparing two public systems, Latin American and European one.
Do you think Ecuadorian youth are implicate in politics?
I think that since 8 or 10 years it has been an increase of worried about political issues. Youth speak about politics in their social area, with friends and family. Society is aware about the country’s problems as corruption. That’s why young people are more implicated in social movements and organizations. There is not a great interest to work in politic, but there is not participation in social and political issues.
Do you consider youth are following politic parties or; do they have independent politic ideals?
Youth believe in a personal ideology more than a political party. However, in elections they take a position for a specific party with no doubts. When elections take place, every 4 years, there is a first round where all parties can participate. If there more than one who has 40% or more, it will celebrate a second round, this time just with this two majoritarian parties. The two main parties are: Alianza Pais and CREO.
I have read about the last candidature of the currently President, Lenin from Alianza Pais (AP). Could you clarify what happened when AP got the power some months ago?
The last President, Correa, from the same political party gave the power to Lenin. Once he got the control of the country, he changed the original ideas of the party. How did he do it?
He negociated with the opposition, something that the last President never did in the past; he propelled the political judge to the Vice-President who should be his main support, we can say Lenin betray the second important person from the government; and he changed the intern structure of the party: he divided it in several blocks with different beliefs and political ideas.
How do you think it works the political public system? Which shortcomings do you find in there?
In the political system the executive function dominates everything. It means, the President has all power and decision. What the President decides usually is what it applies immediately. Democracy is just a theory, in practice there is not a real common decision. Many times the proposals are Anti-constitutional, inasmuch as the decisions are based in their own interest of the politicians. There are many intern fights even in the same party as I said before when the currently President divided the party.
Taking advance of your experience living in Europe, Which differences and similitudes do you find between Latin America system and European one?
In Europe, I think, power is more distributed than here. There, they have three different channel: executive, legislative, and judicial. Power is not so centralized, because all intern organisms have a paper in the political decisions. Regarding public positions it seems there is not transparence in Europe because if you want to work as a public working you need to pass an exam. In Ecuador is quite different, there are public places thought ¨concurso-quiz¨ but you can get some help to get a good position if you have people influenced in the system. In the legislative area doesn’t exist this exam, it is possible just in administrative jobs. Nevertheless, the best to get a job in the public system is knowing someone who support you. For example, the bosses in any kind of department has the freedom to choose his or her team workers like it happens in the private business.
As we saw Ecuador has young people who really care about politic issues. People talk about politic as any other topic, with friends and family. But they need to involucrate more entering into the system. It is the one way to change the system when everyone knows which problems exists and why the same leaders are always in power, leaders who steal, leaders who betray, leaders who cheat the people who they should serve, the population. Maybe, Europe and Latin America are not so different. Firsts are hiding it, seconds are showing it, but system is not perfect any case. People don’t trust leaders, it is common everywhere in this world. Young people have a mission: change the political system.