Temas Especiales

27 de Nov de 2020

Nacional

Election mud may be sticking 2 ways

The plots thicken, and the battle gets dirtier. Drag out a many of the old dirty politics cliches as you wish, and they all apply to the...

The plots thicken, and the battle gets dirtier. Drag out a many of the old dirty politics cliches as you wish, and they all apply to the election campaigns currently underway in Panama, whether for the highest office in the land, or for the opportunity to reign over Panama City and its garbage problems.

The local mud-slinging fest makes the US Kerry-Bush presidential battle look like a kinder garden pillow fight, although the pillows were loaded with some pretty heavy rocks. That was when Republican Vietnam vets were hauled in to discredit the Democratic candidate, who had been lauded as a decorated hero.

In Panama the Martinelli-Balbina strategies are drifting away from issues that should be concerning the voting public. For example people would really like to know what is going to happen to our transportation system. Pie (or trains) in the sky talk takes us back to the Torrijos years. We ended up with the Transmovil project. which has now disappeared off the radar into the courts, and will be a hot potato issue for the new president, and just maybe, five year’s from now, some of the Diablos Rojos will have gone, the air will be cleaner and noise pollutio will have decreased. Remember I said maybe.

HEADS I WIN TAILS YOU LOSE. For many thinking voters (yes there are some) the choice between the leading candidates in the presidential campaign has become more blurred. Some of the mud is sticking on both sides. It seems that the floating mass who can decide the winner are motivated by their dislike of candidate A or B, rather than the policies of the other candidate. “I don’t really want A as president, but I can’s stand B,” and vice versa. It doesn’t say much for either of the choices.

And then there is the bandwagon effect, as in Chiriqui, where recently a group of PRD stalwarts. motivated by poll readings, jumped ship and named themselves “PRD for Martinelli.” Are they still allowed to hold membership cards and vote against their party's nominated candidate? And does Mr 99 really want a group of renegades guided by changing winds?

With shenanigans like that, it’s time again to quote the Bard: “A plague on both their houses.”

THE YELLOW HORDE. If we ever get a realistic, clean, comfortable and safe transportation system, with regular schedules and buses sticking to their routes, it will play a large part in solving the traffic nightmare. People will be able to leave their cars at home, and rabi-blancos and those who would like to be, will get a chance to mix with the other 95 percent. You only have to persuade them that this is what happens in the developed world. They can show off their latest SUV on the way to the weekend home.

An efficient public system would also help dispense with a large part of the swarm of yellow nightmares that buzz around the streets, disguised as taxis and picking up those who are willing to go in the same direction as the driver.

We have 30,000 of them, Higher per capita than any major city in North America or Europe. Apart from their obvious mechanical deficiencies, there’s the question of personal safety. ?

Drivers have committed thefts, assaults and been involved in murders, so you have to think twice when you step into one. So reduce the number, improve the quality, raise the prices, install meters and give the disadvantaged cheap round-the-clock public transport