Sunday, February 07, 2010

Lots of Parties to choose from

It's been quite a noisy day today. You'd think there was some huge, important sports game going on. Well, somewhere in the world there may be, but here in Costa Rica, it's election day.

Which means major media coverage for the past few days of the 4 main candidates running for presidency. But most interestingly, it means the streets around my house have been swarming with activity from all over the place. Cars fill the streets, slowing down to honk on every corner, where people are sitting with the colors of their party (or whichever party gave them free flags), screaming and waving back at that cars. There are colors everywhere - flags, banners, bumper stickers. And a crazy amount of noise. The voting location for this precinct or district is a school 2 blocks away. Which is why I've been serenaded since yesterday afternoon with honking and yelling and an inordinate amount of cars parked on my street. And now the fireworks start.

Everyone seems pretty psyched about these elections. Even the kids get to give it a practice run. I have yet to understand why a single car sports the colors of all four political parties. Perhaps you can vote for whoever you want, but the more flags you have the cooler and more politically active you are. I personally have a yellow and red flag that proudly trailed behind me on my bicycle. I'm not sure who it is for, but it fell off of someone's car and I decided it matched the colors of my bicycle nicely.

I was pleased that one of the candidates had a rather honest campaign slogan - "the lesser evil." Besides being truthful, it's pretty catchy. I would suggest more presidential candidates adopt similar slogans, but unfortunately that guy didn't do too well. Judging from the word on the street and the quantity of green and white flags, I think by tomorrow Costa Rica will have its first woman president, Laura Chinchilla.

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