Editorials: Peace to all; and What sort of unity slate?

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muñeco
A friendship offering of sorts: Chame artist Carlos Moreno with his unfinished muñeco of Xi Jinping. Roadside New Year’s effigies of notable figures of the previous year are a cultural tradition in the Chame and San Carlos area especially. They are burned on bonfires at New Year’s parties. Photo by Nicholas Miller Jackson.

Peace to you, and to all

So much of the news today is about tragedy, or loss, or infamy, or injustice and it is the job of the press to recount that so that people may know and adjust their activities accordingly. But so much of the bad news is newsworthy precisely because it’s a variance from the norm of people behaving decently and helping one another.

Enjoy peace and prosperity over the holidays at the end of this year no matter the difficulties of the moment, and continue into a happy 2019. It works a lot better for you and everyone else if you dedicate some of that time to bringing peace, justice and happiness to others. We’re all in this together. 

 

A nation united, or just the political caste?

The PRD has announced three alliances, one apparently just partial. Traditional small party MOLIRENA, historically the Civilista enemy of the PRD, is in full alliance with the party that arose out of the dictatorship. It means that Nito Cortizo will also be on the MOLIRENA ballot line and some of the small party’s candidates for lower offices will also be on the PRD line. Although details are still to be worked out, it seems that the new Alianza party, traditional party-jumping politicians fleeing as best they can from the Ricardo Martinelli taint and putting on Evangelical airs, will merge efforts with the Torrijistas much like MOLIRENA. With the Cambio Democratico party, presidential candidate Rómulo Roux and most probably jailed ex-president Ricardo Martinelli will run for office on the CD ticket but a bunch of their incumbent legislators will run for re-election as both CD and PRD.

There is a problem that goes beyond a merger among politicians who are tainted by myriad scandals and targets of an effort to vote out all incumbents. It goes beyond the corruption allegations against Roux and the now apparently dropped Alianza nominee, Mimito Arias.

If you set aside the corny claims of impartiality, the Electoral Tribunal and the Electoral Prosecutor are partisan animals and act the part, often in the most squalid ways. With this alliance, the Cortizo slate will have a majority of support on the tribunal — two of the three magistrates — plus the sneeringly corrupt Martinelista Electoral Prosecutor. Among rightfully endangered politicians there is this great urge to jump on the bandwagon of a guy up more than 20 points once the Supreme Court struck down the ban on public opinion polls. People can and should ask Cortizo about the policy implications of that. Worse yet, by estimates based on past behavior any independence of the Electoral Tribunal has been mathematically eliminated. The institution overseeing the elections will object that it’s not so, but we can expect that it is part of the Cortizo team now.

 

 

Bear in mind…

For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?

Jesus Christ

That which is hateful to you, do not do to another. That is the whole Torah. The rest is commentary.

Hillel the Elder

That person is nearest to Allah who pardons, when he has someone in his power, one who would have injured him.

Muhammad ibn Abdullah

No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.

Siddhartha Gautama

If the people use the wealth bestowed on them by God for themselves alone or for treasuring it, it is like a corpse. But if they decide to share it with others, it becomes sacred food.

Guru Nanak

If you see what is right and fail to act on it, you lack courage.

Confucius

 

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