Sunday, March 09, 2008

A New Beginning

It's been a long time since I last posted. I've been busy with school and my band that I guess I kinda forgot about the power and soothing feeling of blogging. But now that I'm two months away from graduating law school I feel that I should return to the whole reason why I created this blog, and that was to document my years in law school. I'll start tonight by jotting some thoughts I have on Puerto Rican politics. I think this is apt since we are on the eve of the primaries.

This is my first election on the island. I can see clearly that politics are done differently here. First of all, there are massive caravans with big ass speakers blasting reggaeton or plena music at full volume shouting out candidates names as if they were the next contestant on the Price is Right. This is so annnoying!! And its usually PNP politicians doing it as they pass throught the caserios. IF I could vote, I'd vote against the candidate who does this kinda shit simply based on this. Geez, cause this demonstrates that the candidate has no consideration for the community, for peace and quiet.

Second, the candidates are ALL mediocre. Not one candidate has presented a solid platform. Many others dont even have a platform. There has been not one debate between the candidates. There has been no sharing of ideas or thoughts, or specific plans for the island. All I here is the same rhetoric "hace falta un cambio" "necesitamos mejores lideres." Politicians spend most of their time in the public arena bashing their opponents, insulting them, and scaring the voter into not voting for them. And the pool of candidates for the legislature is sad. I think all in the current legislature should go, but the people are going to replace them may be the same shit or worse.

Fortuno has run a campaign based on a supposed "change" he wishes to bring to PR. But he never specifies what kind of change it is. I know that he is a member of the Republican Party, and if he wishes to bring conservative republican changes to the island, then we're screwed. Republicans believe in smaller gov't, less gov't intervention in the economy, less spending, cutting social services, privatization. His supporters like him because he represents some kinda "new face". Come on now! The guy has been in politics for decades. He's the current resident Commisioner in DC and before that he was the secretary of tourism. He isnt new. He isnt fresh. Hes been around. It's like rearranging your room with the same furniture. The furniture has switched positions, but its the same furniture. And, of course, Fortuno is going to push for statehood. Another false hope being sold to the boricuas. The PNPs have been in power before and could never bring statehood to PR. When are boricuas going to learn that the status issue is out of their hands. Its not up to Jose y Pepe, its up to John and Chris. A few classmates of mine support Fortuno. Ironically, they also support Hillary Clinton for president. I asked them how was it that they supported a democrat in the US but a republican in PR. The answer was a strange one. They told me "well, we are statehooders and the only candidates are him or Rossello. And Rossello is terrible." Thus they pick the least of the worst. All they want is to win, come what may. But politics isnt a contest, nor a horse race where the finish line is the end of the race. The elections are the end this horse race, but the effects and consquences are going to last for 4 years at least.

As for Rossello, he isnt even running a campaing (suppsosedly). The guy is so arrogant that he swears that hes gonna win, with or without campaigning. And, from what Ive seen, he might be right. The other day I saw him on TV being intreviewed by reprorter Lenin Lopez, and he asked him what he has done for Arecibo, the senatorial district he represents. Rossello couldnt answer and instead said "which one do you want to know about". Lenin Lopez says, which ever comes to your mind. And Rossello says "well, ive passed a bill on health for the island, and that includes Arecibo." And may I remind you that Rossello want elected to the Senate but rather bought his way in. Also, I feel the need to express my surprise on the fact the many boricuas have forgotten the fuck ups he did during his 8 years in office and how fucked up he left the govt in 2001. His govt was so corrupt that most of his closests advisotrs and secretaries are in jail or on trail. Put, surprisingly, people ignore these facts.

Anibal Acevedo Vila. He sucks, not because of corruption, but because he doesnt do anything worthwhile. Its like Queen Elizabeth, shes there and is a symbol of power, but really doesnt do anything in govt. Thats AAV. His fuck ups have been: not acting against the FBI for the assasination of Filiberto Ojeda Rios, closing the govt in may 2006 (for 2 weeks), buyin $3000 suits with the partys money, not supporting a raise in the minimum wage, not being tough on Paseo Caribe, not being helpful on the Teachers Strike, and most importantly, passing the 7% IVU. The IVU at 7% was too sudden, and shocked our economy. Now he regrets passing it and wants to eliminate it. His excuse back then was that the IVU was a decision he had to make but a right one. Guess what his argument is for eliminating it? AAV also makes dumb comments. Once he said that PR doesnt have a migration problem to the US. Being a neo rican, I totally disagreed with him. All he has to do is take a trip to the Bronx, or Orlando. Those boricuas didnt just pop up - they migrated there, leaving the island. AAV will lose against Fortuno, not because the latter is better but because AAV sucks - he's ineffective, hes mediocre.

The one good thing in politics that has happened since my time here is the emergence of a 4th party - the PPR. The have a platform, they have ideas, they reject to take a stand on status, and the candidate for governor is black. The PPR is the real change PR needs. Sadly, the 3 parties and the media have work conjunctionally to ignore the PPR. But I think that the PPR has enough support, as much as the PIP, that it will gain at least one seat in the house of reps.

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This is enough for now. Later I will come again with more thoughts on Puerto Rican politics.

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