2010/05/03

Colombia election update

The Colombian election continues to be fascinating, with Antanas Mockus now in a statistical tie in the latest poll with Juan Manuel Santos, who a month ago seemed the odds-on favorite. Mockus is a mathematician-philosopher-visionary non-ideological anti-politician, who is widely viewed to be a major reason that Bogota is seen today as a urban success story, rather than the bleak and violent city it was when he took over as mayor in the early 90s. People have been concerned that he might not be tough enough on the FARC guerrilla group, but I think he’s brought a lot of people around to believing that he could continue that fight while bringing to the whole country the approach that worked in Bogota–what I would summarize as smart government plus citizen engagement. I was especially impressed watching the most recent debate a few nights ago (via internet from an undisclosed location in Africa) to hear how he handled the question on what he would be willing to offer the FARC in negotiations. His forceful response (paraphrasing) was “Nothing, as long as they are in the business of kidnapping.” I think that response alone did a lot to settle some fears about whether he’s tough enough for the job.

Yes... fascinating is the word

Posted via web from Galoperiscol´s stuff

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