Monday, May 12, 2008

Politics as usual

I know you´re all ready for the Nov. election to come, but you just think you have it bad. Here in the Dominican Republic not only is the TV saturated with political ads, so are the radio and the streets--everywhere you look there are billboards, signs on posts, signs on walls and fences, even signs on drain pipes (they´ve been there so long they´ve been painted over several times now--at least 2 years that I know). Each political party has their own color, or set of colors, harking back to the days when many were illiterate, just mark the color of your party and that brings up a whole array of other political propaganda--banners, T-shirts, hats, even buildings painted the purple of the governing party.

Of course no political campaign in the Caribbean would be complete without the political caravan. The candidate gathers together as many cars, trucks, and other vehicles as they can (here they even pay them so much a head to be in their parade) at various points and over the course of 3-4 hours drives around collecting them all, so they end up with a caravan stretching several miles long, which can tie up traffic for hours. In the Virgin Islands they drive from one end of island to another, here they drive from one side of the capital to the other. Of course there must be music in the caravan--this truck is one of many and some suggest that liquor is also involved at every stop.

Dominicanos were glad when the president was elected with 53 % of the vote--that meant there would be no runoff, which would have meant another 45 days of this nonsense. Yes, the morados won.

I am fascinated where people will turn looking for a purpose in life, or just some excitement. The president of a country has an effect on the lives of the citizens, but the most far reaching consequences can only affect us while we live on this earth. People will turn out in droves to watch their candidate pass by but don't "have time" to study God's Word.

Do we have our priorities out of whack, or what?


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