If it’s not Donald Trump in the U.S.A. then it’s Jeremy Corbyn in the U.K. …and here, in my little town, the candidates are squaring up for the local elections in February next year.
So far, only one party has announced whom its candidate for mayoral office will be: the party currently holding power.
The party whose representatives are responsible for the ever immobile bulldozer, the dustcart that collects more dust than rubbish and – latest item, remember you heard it here first – the payment of over two million colones (some four thousand dollars) to an enterprise appropriately entitled ‘El Gusano’ (The Grub) for cutting down a tree.
Be that as it may, the party faithful, all sixty three of them, assembled this weekend to elect their candidate for February.
The list had been whittled down to three….the current alcalde (mayor) – pink shirt; a gentleman who had given long service to the party both in the council and the National Assembly – blue shirt and a hair style expertly imitating a wig – and a large gentleman distinguished mainly by his striped polo shirt, resembling a navigation buoy swept inland by a tsunami.
Now, the party nationally runs the rule over those of its members who wish to stand for office.
It doesn’t like to endorse those who have previously stood for office for other parties….or those who have less then two years’ membership of the party.
No problem for the local candidates there.
It will not endorse those who contravene the requirements of its ethics committee.
No problem there either.
It will not endorse those condemned by the justice system…
Ah! A hitch!
One candidate was refused the party’s approval on these grounds.
The one with long years of service at local and national level.
It appears that this gentleman had been an agent for the then monopolistic state insurance company INS. Apart from his other activities.
As an agent for INS he had accepted payment for car insurance and had duly delivered certificates of insurance to his clients.
Unfortunately, he had forgotten to inform INS of his transactions.
It all came to light when a client, passing the head office of INS in San Jose decided to check his policy…only to discover that INS had no record of it.
The state prosecution service became involved and eventually the forgetful gentleman was hauled into court.
The Costa Rican justice system allows for a conciliation process before action proceeds, and at that process, the future candidate offered to refund the nineteen million colones (some thirty eight thousand dollars) identified as entering into his possession but not into that of INS and was given three years in which to do so, in addition to a payment to benefit the National Children’s Hospital and the obligation to do one hundred hours of community service.
Simple, you would think. Condemned by the justice system…can’t be a candidate.
But this is to underestimate the abilities of this gentleman.
Instead of appealing against the decision of his party immediately he waited until the day before the election and took his case to the national Election Tribunal who decided that, as a long serving party member and not otherwise disqualified by internal party regulations, he could proceed with his candidature while he appealed his party’s decision in an internal tribunal.
No time for the party to disqualify him again, then.
First round of voting….the navigation buoy is eliminated. Pink shirt and blue shirt tie.
Second round of voting….blue shirt wins.
Deep unhappiness among those whose candidate was not successful…..who have launched an appeal to overthrow the decision.
With a bit of luck this series of appeals will last until after the elections…or they might do a re run and elect the navigation buoy.
Needless to say, the social media are fizzing…..very good for my Spanish vocabulary, if somewhat repetitive.
I have no idea what the reaction in the U.S.A. to Trump might be…I just wonder if he reminds anyone else of a troll (Norwegian variety, not internet)….but Corbyn’s candidacy for the leadership of the Labour Party certainly seems to have enlivened political life in the U.K.
It appears from the reaction of an unholy combination of press and politicians that his election will end civilisation as we know it.
Looking at said civilisation as exemplified by the U.K., I tend to think that that is no bad thing.
There have been years of privatisation – both openly and by stealth – of public assets. Sheer daylight robbery.
Years of kow towing to the U.S.A. government- the follies of whose evil policies are plain to all.
Years of grinding the faces of the poor….no proper employment resulting in artificially induced dependency; education designed to depress, not encourage talent; inadequate housing, poor nutrition.
But what seems to worry the powers that be the most is that Corbyn would like to hear what ordinary people think, what ordinary people want….and proposes to try to put those wishes into effect.