Editorials: Now that THEIR game is up; and Cornered but deadly

The essence of it, refined from a National Assembly video.

It’s over for them. But now WE…

We have seen a display of the most base motives and behaviors in the guise of constitutional reform. Appeals to primitive hatreds. “Heads we win, tails you lose” economic proposals from kleptocrats who belong in prison. Tawdry power grabs. The utmost concern for self protection from the consequences of the crimes they commit.

Ain’t no lipstick that can disguise this pig. Ain’t no inspector’s stamp that can certify away the rot and the stench enough to make the pork edible. Whatever sweeteners, reforms to the reforms or backtracking, this constitutional process is going to be voted down.

But Panama does need a new constitution and to get a worthy one there is this herculean task of public civics education to be done. Talking about some magical procedural bullet like an originating constituent assembly will not suffice. We need to talk about essential aims and principles, and practical ways to secure them. We need to recognize, and teach others to recognize, the varieties of fatal lures that will be dangled in front of us by hustlers who do not wish us or Panama well.

An early order of business needs to be the drafting of a ballot proposal that takes the rules of electing an assembly to write a new constitution away from the current powers that be — the Electoral Tribunal, the National Assembly, the Supreme Court and the Presidency.

How to do that? No way should we tolerate the current legislative circuits, neither the single-member ones nor the cockamamy multi-member ones. No way should we tolerate any of those people drawing new political boundaries for the occasion. No way should we tolerate discrimination against independents, the “plancha,” the quotient / half quotient / residue scam.

It would seem that, for the drafting of a new constitution, an assembly apportioned among the provinces and comarcas by population with at-large members within those boundaries and enough convention delegates to make representation meaningful, should be the general approach.

Say, 101 delegates. Partisan slates? Then treat the independents as if they were a party. Primaries? Those would probably be in order, but the Electoral Tribunal is the political parties’ arm and it should not be allowed to determine who the independents on the ballot will be. A province with nine delegates, elected with each party and the independents running up to nine people apiece, and then — first past the post or proportional by party with independent and party shares filled according to which individuals got the most votes?

And STILL there will be the usual thugs buying votes, and the usual authorities condoning that criminal activity.

Voting down THEIR thing is the easy part. Building PANAMA’S thing is the hard task ahead.

#VoteNo     #NOesNO     #NoALasReformas     #NoMasParches

The nation gets all that. But now’s the time to be thinking of the positive alternatives.


White House photo. The particular infamy that was discussed unspecified as to this call.

So he got on the phone…

And approved the immediate dispossession and death of those who were fighting by America’s side when the phone call began.

And tried to blackmail another head of a foreign state into setting up one of his domestic political opponents.

What a complete disgrace. What a threat to both domestic order and world peace. Remove this corrupt public official, and scatter his supporters to the irrelevant fringes.


san martín

The library dedicated to universal education is the most powerful of our armies.

José de San Martín

Bear in mind…

          Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.

Harriet Beecher Stowe          


          Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

James 4:7          


          The infirmities of genius are often mistaken for its privileges.

Countess of Blessington           



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