Monday 21 June 2021

On Feb 2 Many Costa Ricans Would Rather Do Anything Else, Less Vote

“I’d rather lose all my teeth than vote”

ADALAccording to a poll by Unimer contracted by La Nacion, some 32 out of 100 Costa Ricans are planning not to vote. Some of them, including Estrella Zuniga, 51, of Desamparados, are eloquent and witty about why they intend to abstain.

“I’d rather lose all my teeth than vote,” she grumbled, referring to the recent campaign gambit by Presidential contender Johnny Araya’s wife, a dentist, who toured the country fixing teeth for the poor and handing out campaign literature for her husband.

Zuniga, mother of three children, had other reasons: “Why does anyone want to go and vote? I have no desire to vote. The last time, I voted for doña Laura (Chinchilla) and that was a great disappointment!” The disgusted former voter doesn’t want to hear anything about politics.

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“None of them are good for anything,” she continued, “Look at that doctor (Rodolfo Hernandez) who came and then resigned and came back and resigned again.” She of course was referring to the Social Christian Unity candidate who dropped out of the campaign twice.

She complained that, however she voted, local politicians don’t listen to mere voters but she did have some advice for them: “That they pay heed to doing what they promise to do.” Yet, unlike a person who pays no attention to politics she was able to name five of the six candidates with the best chances of winning.

Of course, in Costa Rica, one has to be deaf and blind to avoid campaign advertising on local TV and radio. She considers her abstaining from going to the polls as an act of protest but adds, “the politicians won’t take notice even of that.”

The Unimer poll gave as the main reason that 32% of three million Costa Ricans plan to stay home on election day is corruption and a feeling that whoever wins will pay attention only to the rich, not the average citizen. Of those 32 abstainers, the poll suggest that 17 will likely be as good as their word.

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Others may weaken at the last moment when they see all the commotion of election day. Costa Ricans, after all, are unique among citizens of a democracy in knowing how to put the “party” in “political party,” with rallies and such. In the past, Costa Ricans have been enthusiastic about voting but that excitement has been waning in this century.

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Q Costa Rica
Reports by QCR staff

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