The local elections are upon us…..February 7th is D Day and all the candidates are out trying to secure the confidence of the electorate. If confidence is the right word.
Cars flying party flags are to be seen in the streets…vast posters of the features of the candidates leer from hoardings – though those promoting one candidate in a neighbouring canton have been attacked by an aesthete who has carefully removed said candidate’s head from each one…..
There are not just party candidates…there are independents too.
In the capital the man who stood as presidential candidate for his party and then withdrew in mysterious circumstances has not been dismayed at being banned from standing for the party again for some years. No, far from it. His podgy features beam from posters funded by his personal election committee and only the least charitable of persons could give credence to the rumour that he has to get his hands on the town hall funds in order to pay off the Mexican syndicate which funded his presidential run….
Just as in the U.K., the candidates are chary of trying door to door canvassing…too many people have pit bulls and those that don’t have machetes.
Wild promises are being made by our local heroes: more employment…roads to be repaired…the erratic public water supply to be improved… which is generally translated as meaning
‘When I get into power the council will make jobs for my family and friends: sons of friends will be employed to carry out the necessary preliminary studies for road repairs which will take all the years of my mandate with no perceptible improvement in the situation and the only improvement in the water supply will be me, my family and friends pissing on the population from a great height.’
So, recognising that enthusing the voters is a lost cause the candidates have resorted to the tried and tested method of carrot and stick as exemplified in another neighbouring canton where those on low incomes applying for grants to build a house are given to understand that the outcome of their application will depend on the way they cast their vote…
And don’t talk to me about the secrecy of the ballot….
I lived in a French village where the maire knew exactly which forty four people had voted Front National and thus also knew which car tyres to let down on the night of the election…and if France can do it Costa Rica will not be far behind.
The social media are busy…publicity, of course, but plenty of accusations of dirty work at the crossroads too – some backed by proof, others solely relying on innuendo – which are inevitably subject to comments expressing shock that the person concerned has been so lost to all sense of decency that they could even contemplate publishing such material in the period before an election….the said comments usually being followed by others pointing out the family relationship shared by the person making the comment and the person commented upon in the initial post.
You will note that I have given examples only from neighbouring cantons….
In our own dear canton, of course, all the candidates are as pure as the driven slush…