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Oh what exciting times we have in Colombia. Election fever is in the air. In early March we’ve the curtain-raiser, the congress ‘deciders’. Then in May the big one gets under way, the first round of the presidential contest. For the record, a second round won’t be needed if one candidate takes more than 50 per cent of the vote, but that’s unlikely.
As ever, wily Wrong Way has been keeping a close eye on proceedings. (Not to blow our own Trump-et here, but we did foresee Trump’s victory, as well as signalling the strength of the ‘no’ vote in both the Colombian peace agreement plebiscite and Brexit.)
A bit has changed since we took a look at the early candidates in the running. Nonetheless, despite all the other movers and shakers, ‘Poker Petro’ and ‘Pilsen Fajardo’ are the ones to beat going by those never-again-to-be-trusted opinion polls.
Well, they lead the way if you discard a certain V.E. Blanco, Voto En Blanco. He — and rest assured it is a ‘he’, Colombia’s not ready for a lady president just yet (sorry Marta Lucía) — is polling quite strongly, even topping some.
While many may be quick to dismiss him, thinking he’s a bit of an enigma or worse still a fraud, there are solid reasons to get behind him (more so than the others we could say).
A president for all
Blanco ticks all the boxes you want him to. For those few Colombians in the loony left brigade he is unashamedly ‘Castrochavista’. There’s no need for public denials as to the existence of this brand of socialism. Let’s be honest, Venezuela is giving the left a bad name. Blanco’s Colombia will make socialism sexy again. (It was sexy once, wasn’t it?)
Conversely, Blanco can be as right wing as they come, something that will please many Colombians. He can proudly wax lyrical about the great work the right-wing paramilitaries, paracos, have done and are doing, by any means possible, to ensure those aforementioned bearded lefties are kept down.
What’s more, he won’t have anyone snooping around asking awkward questions. ‘Firm hand, big heart’, or something along those lines.
A man you can trust
OK, trust and politics don’t make easy bedfellows whatsoever, but Blanco breaks the mould here. We can rest assured that when we put our ‘X’ after his name (we’re going to try and sneak a vote or two in), he won’t break his ‘campaign’ pledges.
How so? Well, it’s simple really. He doesn’t make any promises. There’s no, let’s say ‘miércoles’, or horse manure if you will, with Blanco. The rest of the candidates would do well to follow suit.
Cheaper than changua
The Colombian president’s salary currently stands at US$250,000. That’s a whopping $711,560,441 Colombian pesos. A bog-standard worker here would do well to get more than $10,000,000 a year, seventy times less than the top dog. In comparison, the salary for the president of neighbouring Ecuador is a more modest US$75,000, while in Venezuela, officially anyway, it’s at just under US$25,000.
Putting Blanco in Casa de Nariño, the presidential palace, would cost nothing. Blanco can live off Bogotá’s, um, fresh air. In fact, we could open up the palace to the Colombia’s myriad of homeless. Even let them have a little go at running the country. They couldn’t do much worse than what’s gone before, could they?