The 1926 local elections in Călăraşi
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|Excerpt||International recognition of Romania as a national state in 1918 made a major impact on the political life of the country: universal suffrage was confirmed, new political parties and trends emerged in the Western European fashion, and parliamentary elections made a difference at several significant moments in the interval between the two World Wars. Domestic politics, however, often carried the brand of deeply rooted
oriental mentalities as politicians struggled to accommodate conflicting private interests within the larger pattern of national legislation. The outcome was a somewhat comic picture of a ludicrous flurry in a frantic race for power, with meek and often ridiculous appeal to the national interest to account for the drive. Documents of the time have survived to give a record of the confusing
atmosphere of local elections, far more prone to compromise and petty arrangements of the kind that provided bountiful inspiration to a classic of Romanian literature, playwright Ion Luca Caragiale. Besides the often faulty language, the dramatist made full use of the threadbare arguments to ridicule the political stage of the day.
On the other hand, the added value of such records comes from the
arithmetic they contain. Statisticians and historians will no doubt go beyond the artistic impression to fill in the blanks of local and national history with such figures as are given away in the text.
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