Monday 21 June 2021

Costa Rica’s Choice

This year’s election asks us not to just choose candidates or parties, but to decide the very nature of the government we wish to serve us. We are faced with an existential crisis asking us to reinvent the meaning of our ever-changing society. It is no surprise that the vociferous debate has brought to the forefront competing views, has revealed the division in our country.

The questions facing us are clear.

Do we want Fabricio Alvarado’s theocratic rule with the beliefs and doctrines of the evangelical church becoming law, and pastors looked to for legal opinions? Do we want sermons delivered from the Casa Presidencial? Do we really want a government led by a narrow definition of not only religion but who deserves dignity and respect?

- Advertisement -

It is no surprise we are presented with this choice as marginalized groups push for equal rights, dignity, and respect. As all civil rights movements have done, the current push has revealed – not created – the undercurrent of bigotry in the country.

Perhaps we prefer Juan Diego Castro’s approach? A feeble course revealing him as too cowardly to withstand the trials of compromise and democratic discourse. Do we want to be ruled by a dictatorial president who has eliminated any checks on his power – both governmental (his attacks on both the assembly and the judiciary) and non-governmental (his attacks on the media and the very public he would rule)? Do we want a president who rules by decree like Maduro in Venezuela or Pinochet in Chile?

It is no surprise we are presented with this choice amidst a corruption scandal and legislative ennui. Costa Ricans rightfully disgusted with the dirty deals and the frigid pace of change have turned to Castro, a candidate who promises to fight corruption and act.

Desperate for change, the country has turned to these populist villains who seek to flip the table and scatter the cards and chips of the political game.

- Advertisement -

But you can’t fight corruption with a corrupt process, a process that threatens the rights and protections our forefathers fought wars and dictators to secure. (Have we really forgotten so easily the Civil War of 1948?) And you can’t run a democracy – a government that requires involving diverse voices and finding a compromise – on bigotry and hate.

Amid this chaos have come voices seeking to define democracy, all too many of which have relied on the common fallacy of democracy as the will of the majority. But too often the majority has run ramshackle over the minorities, enslaving them, stealing their land, and massacring them. You can’t have a democracy without individual and collective rights even if the majority wishes to destroy them.

A functioning democracy protects its most fragile citizens, the marginalized and forgotten, the downtrodden and hopeless. We have too often failed in this ideal with disastrous consequences, but we have never rejected it, knowing that to do so creates a tyranny of the majority as Adams, Madison, Burke and so many others claimed. And if we forget and reject these protections, we open ourselves to the frenzy of a mob, angered by what they don’t understand, stripping dignity and rights from anyone who doesn’t fit their narrow definition of a person.

As we head to the polls on Sunday, our choice is clear. Let us choose rights and protections. Let us choose democracy.

- Advertisement -

FACT CHECK:
We strive for accuracy in its reports. But if you see something that doesn’t look right, send us an email. The Q reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it’s accuracy.

Jeff Lile
Jeff Lile is a dual US and Costa Rican citizen. A teacher and a writer, he fell in love with Costa Rica and his Costa Rican wife 13 years ago.

Related Articles

The Economist Sees Ortega Clinging to Power

TODAY NICARAGUA (Confidencial) Six months before the general elections in Nicaragua,...

“Nicaragua is not a Republic, it is a 16th century monarchy”

TODAY NICARAGUA – If he wins the presidency of Nicaragua, the...

MOST READ

Diseases, weather and low prices hit the orange sector in Costa Rica

HQ - The appearance of pests and diseases, in particular the 'dragón amarillo' (yellow dragon), the impact of the weather and a sharp drop...

Rainy afternoons and nights this week in most of the country

QCOSTARICA - Characteristic of the rainy season, we will see rain in the afternoons and nights in the Central Valley, the entire Pacific coast,...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 19: only “ODDS” can circulate

Today, Saturday, June 19, only vehicles with "ODD" ending plates CAN circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm, save...

Will that be Cash or Sinpe Móvil?

QCOSTARICA - Sinpe Móvil is easy to use. From your phone, you can send money to friends, family and pay for things. Or receive...

Vaccination commission endorses J & J vaccine, says no to Sinovac

QCOSTARICA - The Comisión Nacional de Vacunación y Epidemiología (CNVE)  - National Vaccination and Epidemiology Commission - endorsed the use of Johnson and Johnson...

Today’s Vehicle Restriction June 14: 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate

Today, Monday, June 14, vehicles with plates ending 1 & 2 CANNOT circulate The measure is countrywide and applied between 5:00 am and 9:00 pm,...

Bribed with cars, sexual favors and money in exchange for road works contracts

QCOSTARICA - The OIJ uncovered a big pothole on Monday when it was announced that public officials had allied with construction companies that, apparently,...

Tourism sector depends on political will for recovery

QCOSTARICA - The future of tourism operators in Costa Rica depends on the political will to approve a package of bills that favors the...

OIJ investigation into road works corruption leads to inquiries in Panama

QCOSTARICA - The prestige of the company of some of the richest men in Costa Rica hangs by a thread. For many, the MECO...

WANT TO STAY UP TO DATE WITH THE LATEST!

Get our daily newsletter with the latest posts directly in your mailbox. Click on the subscribe and fill out the form. It's that simple!

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.