Friday 24 September 2021

OP-ED: What or Who Should You Believe?

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When it comes to politics, our true national sport, it comes down to a liars club or to be more correct, a misinformation club. It is a question who do want to believe.

Today (Thursday) three different news outlets published three different poll results regarding the three presidential front runners:

  • Unimer Poll published by La Nación, the leading Spanish language newspaper and in glaring headlines said: Jose Maria Villalta has 22.2% of votes, Johnny Araya comes in second at 20.3% and a close third, Otto Guevara finishes at 20.2 percent%
  • If you do not like those numbers, try those of Reprtel Canal 6, a Spanish language television station who obtain their poll figures from Cid Gallop, also a highly respected source. The results: Johnny Araya 29%, followed by Jose Maria Villalta 20% and lowly Otto Guevara only got only 13 percent.
  • Finally we have a lengthy Tico Times digital news outlet and this one is a real shocker. Also quoting Cid Gallop the results indicates Araya with a whopping 39%, Villalta 23% and poor Otto bringing up the rear with only18%.

In order to avoid a runoff one candidate must receive 40% of the votes to be elected. If no candidate is lucky enough to obtain 40% of the February 2, 2014 votes, then we have another election between the two top vote getters in April, 2014.

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Therefore, these polls are important, very important to the short term campaign strategy and voter influence. The last time Costa Rica had runoff election was in the year 2000.

Accordingly, if TicoTimes (Cid-Gallop) is correct, Johnny Araya gained 18.7 points today and with a total of 39% which just is just a hares breath away from the magic number forty.

In case you are not aware, Araya a left of centre liberal had a huge lead and philosophically saw his greatest challenge to be José Mara Villalta, a socialist. It is the fear of socialism which gave perpetual presidential candidate and loser, Otto Guevara legitimacy.

The business community does not know if it more afraid of a socialist who will forge  heavy government influence in Costa Rica or the bone shivering thought of a born again libertarian that will forge enterprise to compete in the “open” market, which has never been done before.

This is all making Araya looking better all the time even if almost to the person his political party, Partido Liberación Nacional is hated by most Costa Ricans. And, what smacks of a dictatorship, Liberación has held the presidency and the assembly for two terms, the latest bt the least popular Laura Chinchilla.

Take your pick who you care to believe and check out the odds on any one of the many sports books in Costa Rica. They are usually more accurate.

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The views and opinions shared within this article are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent those of the QMedia.

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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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