Martinelli trolls: The numbers they’d have us believe

From a Martinelli supporter’s Twitter feed, based on March and subsequent primary voting numbers published in one of Martinelli’s newspapers.

Yeah, right…

Eric Jackson’s take on the proffered numbers

They were at least honest enough to qualify their count as “possible RM supporters.” And to be honest rather than rhetorical about the rude question of “Whom do they try to deceive?” let’s not dismiss the possible phenomenon of self-deception. It has a long history in politics, in many places.

However, on cursory examination, let’s note that:

* 232,456 signed-up Realizando Metas party members as of last March? But how many of them were given something, or expect to be given something, in return for joining that party? Such political commerce is common enough in Panamanian history and political culture. There are always votes paid for but not actually cast.

* Ricardo supported Yanibel, but she lost her primary. She can’t legally be Martinelli’s running mate or a candidate for any other office unless Rómulo Roux, the leader of Cambio Democratico, gives his permission. To him, she’s been a pain, so maybe he might make such a magnanimous gesture to have her gravitate out of CD. To Ricardo Martinelli, she’s surely a loser and a liability, even if she could bring those 67,037 primary voters with her. She probably can’t bring all of them, for the reasons stated above about the RM membership, plus the factors of competing attractions and simple apathy born of despair. Is Yanibel and are her supporters about to become members without titles in RM? Even with uncertainty at this point whether he will actually be on next year’s ballot? Ábrego and most of her supporters in the National Assembly have been de facto allied with their PRD colleagues, voting for their leadership slate this past July 1 at the annual organizational meeting. The suggestions that she, and/or they, may now move into the PRD orbit aren’t totally ridiculous. The question that arises to my mind is whether they retreat as an organized force or flee as a disorderly rabble. No way should all of Yanibel Ábrego’s primary votes be counted as automatic Ricardo Martinelli general election votes.

* 230,000 CD members who did not vote, and these are presumed to be Martinelli supporters, or likely such? THAT’s a stretch. You have to wonder how many joined when it was Martinelli’s party because they got something in return or expected to, then became inactive but never actually quit, and might go anywhere or stay at home next May.

* 73,000 primary votes for Roux? That’s supposed to be some ceiling? That said, I doubt that we see a direct Roux versus Martinelli choice in May of next year. More likely Ricardo Martinelli is not on the ballot, some thought to be reliable proxy is the RM standard bearer while the main guy is in prison, and Roux is part of some grand coalition, perhaps but probably not the head of that coalition, that stands against RM and the PRD and its two likely offshoot candidates.

As the editor and otherwise I lack the gift and curse of prophecy, so take my expectations with hunks of salt. But certain things appear obvious at a glance.


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