Friday, December 10, 2010

Words of Wisdom

Mario Vargas Llosa on his Nobel acceptance speech making the claim for Liberal Democracy

No debemos dejarnos intimidar por quienes quisieran arrebatarnos la libertad que hemos ido conquistando en la larga hazaña de la civilización. Defendamos la democracia liberal, que, con todas sus limitaciones, sigue significando el pluralismo político, la convivencia, la tolerancia, los derechos humanos, el respeto a la crítica, la legalidad, las elecciones libres, la alternancia en el poder, todo aquello que nos ha ido sacando de la vida feral y acercándonos -aunque nunca llegaremos a alcanzarla- a la hermosa y perfecta vida que finge la literatura, aquella que sólo inventándola, escribiéndola y leyéndola podemos merecer. Enfrentándonos a los fanáticos homicidas defendemos nuestro derecho a soñar y a hacer nuestros sueños realidad.

Friday, December 03, 2010


Interesting cables from around election time

Did Evo steals votes?   when he clearly did not need to, in order to win the constitutional referendum, the US Embassy has some interesting thoughts on that.
Summary: With the January 25 constitutional
referendum rapidly approaching, all signs point to victory
for President Morales and his ruling Movement Toward
Socialism (MAS) party. Although the opposition has made

inroads into the MAS lead, most national polls point to
between 54 and 60 percent support for the proposed
constitution (with one government poll showing 66 percent),
and the MAS appears set to leverage its considerable rural
base to victory. After a series of national news articles
raised questions about significant fraud in the August 2008
recall referendum, the National Electoral Court has taken
pains to advertise the electoral rolls as secure. However, a
recent poll shows less than half of the public shares the

court's confidence, and the opposition believes significant
electoral fraud is likely. While cheating seems unnecessary
to secure victory for the MAS, padding their lead would give
the party leverage in congressional negotiations regarding
legislation implementing hundreds of vague constitutional
clauses. Opposition leaders continue to fear the MAS will
use any stalemate in these negotiations to close congress and
institute rule by decree. At both the national and regional
levels, the margin of victory matters. A landslide for the

MAS nationally, or large victories for the opposition in the
eastern departments, could spark more conflict. End summary.