Monday, 3 August 2020

Has Democracy Outlived Its Usefullness…Maybe!

An authoritarian government is only promoted and supported by the people when the alternative, democracy, is terribly bad. The only question is if we, in “Pura Vida” have reached that plateau?

In the U.S the flagrant manipulation of voting rights has, sadly, most certainly rendered the moral sense of democracy impotent.

We utter the mantra, “It is not perfect in any way but it is the best thing we have to an alternative!”
Are you sure about that?

What is the difference of manipulating of the electoral process and an authoritative, perhaps appointed system of government? Take, for example, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Democracy is an act, a sham, a show but indeed a glorified show to avoid the word “despot”.

- paying the bills -

Or, in the case of Costa Rica, we now have a one party system: Liberación.

The last two presidents (Arias and Chinchilla) and a majority of the legislature are all from Pârtido Liberación Naciónal. The only question is if this party can win three consecutive times? It has not been done before, however, neither have the other two most influential political parties, PUSC and PAC, had such a massive disarray of disagreement within.

How different is our little country from the United States?

In Florida democracy is being inhibited by the “early” voting lines which stretch around the block and have reported up to seven hours wait time in order to cast one ballot. You have to want to vote very badly to stand in line that long, that period of time. Some people do, not a lot because most just say,”#!!* it,” and go home resulting in democracy for those with patience.

How is it possible, the perpetual leaders and cheerleaders of democracy can restrict the people’s right to vote? Well, it is a political strategy and not a pretty one. The end all might be party loyalty which far outweighs the spirit and intent of the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

- paying the bills -

Here, at home, in Costa Rica we the people are speaking through polls (Encuestas) and that also is not a pretty picture.
Democracy is on the decline for no other reason than it has been abused, raped and deployed by those who see the “vote” as a self serving road to power.

A recent poll by the Spanish language newspaper La Nación concluded: “…22% of those questioned would favor some sort of authoritarian government and 40% answered that our current political (Domestic) issues cannot and are not being managed by elected officials.

In short, those same 22% would prefer an authoritarian government rather than one elected by popular vote.

Moreover, a large populous would prefer to change the party colors, introduce a new political party rather than offer up some sort of quasi coalition. The yell is for “new blood” not warmed over “old blood” that has dominated this country, its uncles, cousins, brothers and even grand kids for the past 63 years.

“Yes, we need original thought.” We need to decide if we are a nation of self professed neoliberals or simply liberals who will foster social networks and be paternal while opening the borders to commerce. Right now we have both schools of thought meshed together and government is drowning in under performance, crime and corruption.

Tuesday was the election in the United States and in so many ways not much different than that of Costa Rica.

- paying the bills --

“Manipulation” of voters is the key and whoever wins. And, the status quo will pretty much be the same as before voting.

In Costa Rica we are at a loss for direction and I predict soon to be disenchanted with the love of China, our newest best friend and flavor of the month.

We do not need new political parties, what we need is new political blood and new ideas from whatever party. If we do not receive new blood, Costa Rican democracy might finally be doomed since 46% of the 1,200 people questioned indicated that they have lost faith in all our political parties, and already our direct foreign investment has dropped off by 5% over last year because those companies, those countries have decided to stay on the sidelines and look to other nations for a safer and a more defined haven to do business.

Juan Sebastian Campos
Juan Sebastian Campos
An expat from the U.S., educator and writer in English and Spanish since 1978 with a doctorate in business administrations (DBA) from the United States and Germany. A feature writer for ABC News, Copley Press and the Tribune Group with emphasis on Central America.

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