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For many of the old and not-so-old bearded lefties, both men and, um, women, it’s a nightmare scenario. A presidential candidate under the auspices of former heads of state Álvaro Uribe and Andrés Pastrana sweeping to victory in next year’s election.

The two ex-presidents, anti the peace deal with the Farc that’s currently in operation, have come together in a grand alliance of the winning ‘no’ side in last year’s referendum on the peace accords. The far-too liberal agenda must be checked, the ‘Good Ship Colombia’ needs to return to calmer waters, and these doyens of the country’s politics can guide her there.

Andrés Pastrana, James Rodríguez & Álvaro Uribe. Colombia's old guard ...

A winning combination? Andrés Pastrana & Álvaro Uribe with James Rodríguez … (Photo from Facebook.)

It’s not clear at this remove who’ll be the actual face on the ballot paper, the Pastrana-Uribe puppet on a string so to put it, but with the big guns in his (it’s sure to be a man) corner, it practically doesn’t matter.

Now while we’ve written here before that when it comes to genuine choice in Colombian elections it’s generally ‘la misma mierda’ (the same sh*t) whatever you’re having, there might just be merit in the ‘new, old way’ with Messrs Pastrana and Uribe. Here’s why:

A firm hand
Let’s be honest, if you give sneaky characters an inch, they’ll take a mile and then some. In these parts we’ve plenty of such types in all walks of life. From a political perspective, we’ve some of those dastardly ex-Farc lads now trying to pass themselves off as honest politicians alongside other leftist relics looking to impose their ‘far out’ ideas on the country.

It’s not exactly a case of nipping this in the bud as it’s been going on throughout President Santos’ stewardship, but the Pastrano-Uribe ticket can stop the rot. The old Uribe line was ‘A firm hand, a big heart’, so it’s time we saw that firm hand again (it’s better not to ask how firm that hand might be; rest assured it will take no prisoners when needs be).

Sure Colombia could do with a bit of population pruning; look no further than these guys for that.

The Lord is my shepherd
Not only does the country appear to be floating more towards nasty socialism akin to the mess that is Venezuela, it also seems to be becoming more secular.

The fundamentalist Catholic candidate Alejandro Ordóñez provides one anecdote to that, but Pastrano-Uribe may just have a broader, whisper it ‘sexier’ appeal.

The papal visit later this year is set to ensure that Colombia’s religious fervour gets a good shot in the arm as well, not that it really needs it (as hypocritical as it tends to be all the same).

Religion still matters here and Pastrano-Uribe have that base covered as good as the best of them.

More Maduro than Maduro himself
Speaking of Venezuela, we’ve the Nicolás Maduro factor next door.

The Pastrano-Uribe alliance could be seen as fighting fire with fire to tackle the firebrand, if rather clownish, premier. Counter one idiotic proposal or statement with another. The perfect blocking tactic. Genius.

Tweet like Trump
You can’t be a top president nowadays, so it goes anyway, without being a dab hand at the old Twitter machine.

In this regard, Álvaro Uribe even out trumps Trump — indeed it might have been Uribe who The Donald took inspiration from. He’s been shooting off (careful) controversial, divisive tweets for years. No doubt he’ll be extolling the virtues of such a strategy to his anointed one for this election.

It’s not enough to be a real-life bloody commander, you’ve got to be a virtual killing machine these days, too.

Whatever the case, there certainly shouldn’t be a dull moment with the Pastrana-Uribe alliance in the mix in the run-up to round one of the presidential election next May. Just sit back and enjoy the ride we’re all going to be taken on; there’s not much else we can do.
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La vida en Colombia desde la perspectiva de un periodista y locutor irlandés, quien ha vivido en el país desde 2011. El blog explora temas sociales y culturales, interacción con los nativos, viajes, actualidades y mucho más. Escucha su podcast acá: https://anchor.fm/brendan-corrigan.

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