Temas Especiales

27 de Jan de 2021

Nacional

Political junkies in for a big feast

If you are a political junkie and thought 2008 was a tough year for keeping up with the news, hold on to your hat. In Panama the electio...

If you are a political junkie and thought 2008 was a tough year for keeping up with the news, hold on to your hat. In Panama the election campaigns for mayors, deputies, and would be presidents moved from preparedness to action stations last weekend at the party faithful, and some not so, gathered for the first major assault.

Be sure the presidential candidates, led by Balbina Herrera and Ricardo Martinelli will, like generals of old, be leading the charge, armed with their barbed verbal lances.

If those fail to penetrate the armor the mace will be brought into action strengthened by half truths, misstatements and untruths, provided by their well paid (from the public purse) PR flacks.

My only forecast of the outcome of the battle, is that we will have a new president to challenge the globe hopping record of the present incumbent.

He, or she, will be, like the larger than life soon to be installed Barack Obama, will inherit an economy far different from the boom days that heralded the anointment of Martin Torrijos.

THE MAYORALTY. Moving down the political aspirations ladder to Panama City’s mayoralty campaign: the reigning party’s political machine will be hard at work trying to fill the spot vacated by a former presidential hopeful Juan Carlos with another man with long term ambitions, “Bobby” Velasquez.

At a recent gathering, attention was focused on the record of the current mayor, now running with Balbina. Asked to name what mark his two terms of office had left on the city, no one was able to provide an answer, although the subject of garbage did come up. “So what will be his mark if he becomes Vice-President?” said one. Good question.

A previous mayor, Mayin Correa, left things to remember her by. A brightening up of the sea wall and sidewalk bordering Avenida Balboa. She even coerced company’s into helping fund it, but alas it will likely disappear in the new concrete and tarmac Cinta Costera, that we were told was going to be green space for all the citizens. She also created a traffic free shopping area on Central Avenue.

FREE SUGGESTIONS. Some of the ideas that surfaced at the same gathering which could help the new mayor leave something (positive) to remember him by.

Start naming streets. It’s never too late to start. Of course having street names on corners would do away with that quaint local custom of giving directions like :”It’s next door to A, across the road from B, and just a few meters from C on the corner. The problem for the visitor, and those who have not lived here for 50 years is that they don’t know where A is.

DOGGIE GARBAGE. Enforce the laws on stoop and scoop. Not even the mayor should have to arrange collection for the garbage of your pooch. Last weekend I witnessed a familiar scene in front of a high end Marbella condominium, when a well dressed woman, certainly not the maid, stepped out of the building with her dog on a leash. She walked a few meters to the grass verge at the side of the road, looked up at the sky while the dog deposited his garbage, and then returned to the building.

The money collected from fines could be used to help the Spay program for our street cats and dogs.