I was watching the results of the American House, Senate and other government offices and I thought it might be interesting to see how Ecuador runs their system.
First lets answer some questions that has been out there.
Q: Once I get my Cedula, do I have to vote?
A: NO. However you can vote if you wish.
Q: If I vote, do I have to always vote?
A: I have read both ways. However an expat is almost never asked for their votacion card which is how they know you vote.
Q: Can I run for a government office?
A: YES. But you must be a Citizen of Ecuador, not just a resident. Also you must totally understand Spanish. That is not the law, but my own understanding.
Lets list the offices in order so you understand the system.
President (Works in Quito) Runs the country
Asamblea (Works in Quito) approves or deny laws…
Gobernador (Designated by President) Voice of the Pres. in the Province.
Prefecto (Province level) Like Manabi, Allocates monies from the President.
Alcalde (Mayor, City level) Like Manta, Allocates monies from the Prefecto
Concejales (oversees monies from the Alcalde) approves/deny locals projects
Ok I know this is short and the explanation of each office is much more in depth. I just did not want to run this into a long and boring description. Bottom line,
Ecuador has a democratic government and it works similar to the United States government.