An Innocent Proposition / Reinaldo Escobar

Reinaldo Escobar, Havana, 11 March 2015 – The announced intention to promulgate a new Elections Law has already generated controversy.

It is striking that there is no talk of reforming the current law, only of writing a new one. As a blog is no space for legal dissertations, I want to limit myselt here to formulating a completely innocent proposal:

“Let the Cuban voters know how the candidates think.”

Or, to put it another way:

Let every voter have the ability to know how the deputies he or she elects is going to vote in the Parliament.

Currently, this is not possible (although everyone assumes that the deputies are going to approve everything proposed to them). The current elections law, in the second paragraph of Article 71, referring to electoral ethics, establishes:

To determine which candidate will receive his vote, every voter will only consider the candidate’s: personal characteristics, prestige, and ability to serve the people.

And it then specifies:

The advertising presented will be the biographies, accompanied by a reproduction of the image of the candidate, and will be posted in public sites or through the mass media or other forms of dissemination, according to the provisions dictated by the National Electoral Commission.

If a miracle were to happen that allowed the candidates to express their unique proposals, then the voters would not be limited to considering only their biographical merits but also, as an essential thing, their political opinions, their platforms.

The homophobic and the homosexual would know who has the idea of legalizing same-sex couples, the private entrepreneur and the state bureaucrat would know who proposes to lower taxes, the baseball fanatic and the opera aficionado would be able to know, before exercising their vote, which candidate proposes to invest in a stadium and which in a theater. And much more. Who is communist or liberal, who is a social democrat or a Christian democrat.

But we leave the innocent formula so as not to upset the enemies of multi-partyism:

“Let the Cuban voters know how the candidates think.”