General Elections Again? / Fernando Dámaso

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Once again, in spite of the serious national crisis, the endemic dengue fever and a cholera epidemic afflicted by secrecy and swept under the national rug, the boring topic of general elections, convened to elect (the word applied to them) the delegates to the municipal assemblies of Popular Power in the month of October and, on a date that will be arranged later, of the delegates of the provincial assemblies and of the deputies of the National Assembly, where the President of the country comes from as well as those in charge of the government.

In a democratic country, the holding of elections constitutes an accomplishment of national self-interest, no matter what anybody says about it in favor of or against, it assumes the ratification of a leader by his good governance (where he can be reelected) or the replacement by another (where he cannot be reelected) and, hence, a change or not in policy.

In our country it doesn’t happen like that: from this point on we can say, without fear of being wrong, who will be the president and who will occupy the principal positions, something that came from our electoral process as it was established from the very beginning. Nevertheless, we can almost identify the level of participation (99%) and the number of valid votes (no less than 95%). Like everything here, everything is planned and, what is much more important, controlled, the least margin of error doesn’t exist and much less surprises.

Anyway, more for external consumption than internal (where citizens only remember that an electoral process exists, the day that they should go to cast their votes), a spectacle is set up with organizing events, supposedly momentous, and the corresponding speeches.

Upon setting up the current National Electoral Commission, it was stated that this is a political battle that the people have to win yet again.In spite of updating the model, we continue with the syndrome of the battles. Nevertheless, does anyone doubt the victory of the people?

Still they haven’t given us a single case in the world of a losing without an opponent. Here the battle is decided beforehand,since it is carried out against no enemy, who is conspicuous by his absence (it is forbidden), although it seems that, by the words of the main speaker at the event, the enemy, once again, will be the empire. You have to compete against someone, even if it is a lie!

Let us hope, as usual, an electoral campaign with abundant patriotic slogans, appeals to the duty to vote yes, to be unconditional and other ambiguities, to candidates who exhibit only as an endorsement, their pamphlet of experience that, generally, no one is interested in nor does it say anything important, without proposing any program to fulfill or anything like that.

It is noteworthy that it is said that our political system is the main achievement of the Revolution, on which all others depend. If this is the main achievement, one can easily understand why there are so many problems and difficulties. For now, there don’t seem to be any necessary policy changes on the immediate agenda. Therefore, these elections promise to be more of the same.

July 23 2012