Wednesday, May 5, 2010
Could Colombia Elect a Green?
No doubt many a person's knowledge of Colombian politics is limited to this man, current President Alvaro Uribe.
Unforunately for Uribe, he recently lost a battle with the Supreme Court in regards to term limits. Uribe was looking for the law against Presidents seeking a third term to be struck down, only for him to end being the one rejected.
So, what has instead ended up happening is that Uribe's former Defence Minister, Juan Manuel Santos, is going to run in his stead. He's back by the oddly-named "Party of the U," a Parliamentary grouping which, despite what its name says, isn't about "you" - it's about Uribe.
Santos has always been considered the front-runner in the upcoming Presidential election. Until recently, that is. A candidate that would be surprising to our Anglo eyes has sprung up as the best challenger to Santos and the continuance of Uribista dynasty - Antanas Mockus, of the Colombia Green Party.
Mockus himself is no stranger to successful electoral policies, like some. He was Mayor of Bogotá from 1995-1997, then 2001-2003. His time as mayor was filled with popular improvements and very odd tactics (no, that isn't photoshopped). Those improvements are also tailored to specific environmental goals, which is unlike some of our municipally-elected Greens in Canada, who often seem to forget their roots while in office.
He apparently knows what it takes to win. He's popular. He'll have the backing off the entire opposition once it gets down to the run-off (and there is quite a lot of opposition). It could very well end up that Mockus becomes President of Colombia, which would put the first Green in a real position of power, anywhere in the world. I can almost hear the collective but few cries of victory now.
Is this a good thing? Well... who knows. I am personally a fan of Uribe. I think he's done good, considering the situation that is present in Colombia. Can Mockus show the same resolve, instead of spandex? We'll see.
It's going to be an interesting election year.