Costa Rica's Election
January 31, 2006
7:42 p.m., MT
This Sunday, 5 Feb, the people of Costa Rica will choose a new President and Asamblea (Congress). Unfortunately they will not have a libertarian choice. In This post I talk about the transformation of the Movimiento Libertario from a Libertarian party to a run of the mill Liberal (in the European sense) party.
I made some predictions, and so far have been correct. I predicted they would accept state funds, they did. I predicted that many hard working people would leave the party, they did.
The most important prediction I made was with regard to the number of seats the party would win in the Asamblea. I said a maximum of seven seats. This prediction will be put to the test on Sunday.
The more I see and hear the more confident I am that I will be correct here also, or at least not too far off. The ML has been steadily dropping in the polls, with the latest indicating 11.8% of the vote for President, four pretty solid seats in the Asamblea, three "likely" seats, and three "possible" seats. That poll was conducted three weeks ago. If the slide continued, they won't reach those numbers. Additionally, I noticed two more things today. One, an article in the paper talking about the preparations that the various parties are doing for election day. Most are along the lines of "call our people and provide busses to get them to the polls". The ML said that "organization is important, but not critical" and that their people "would ride the opposition busses to the polls and vote for us". This confirms something I had heard before, namely that they do not have much of a volunteer organization and that those who are there are not motivated. Which leads to the second item. While driving through a town today, there were a group of about 15 children, ages 10 to 16 or so handing out ML bumper stickers. They all looked very bored and only made feeble attempts to give the sticker to passing motorists. If this is the most enthusiasm that the ML can generate among the youth, its traditional core group, they are in big trouble.
By Monday we will know if selling out paid off. I intend to post first thing Monday morning. Right after I read the newspapers. Shortly there after I will post my analysis of what happened since the pragmatists, or as they call themselves "moderates" took over the party. Also what the new government is likely to mean for Costa Rica and specifically what it will mean for those who look to CR as a place to escape and possibly live a bit freer.
Comments: 1 person has added a thought or two ...
On Wednesday, February 1st, at approximately 7:52 p.m. Mountain time, Sunni said:
Thanks for the update, Jorge. Looking forward to your post-election analysis, too.
Previous entry: "Welcome to the Tough World of Snakey Discipline"
Next entry: "Quick Dash-Through"