Editorial | Declaration of bullshit

Paulo Coutinho

Pardon my French, but the latest draft of the so-called electoral law, already enforced, is bullshit.

First, it won’t prevent me, or any media, from stating my opinion on candidates (to the universal suffrage) or predicting the outcome of the upcoming election for a tiny wing of the Legislative Assembly (AL) in our midget democracy. Anything otherwise would violate my rights of expression under the Basic Law, the general law, and the press law.

But that’s not the fundamental problem. We have to look into the root of this rotten system.

From the moment the Basic Law disallowed political parties from being formed, the system became flawed. Why? Parties by their very nature are active all the time, only observing the rules of promotional equality during an electoral campaign.

This regrettable state of affairs is aggravated under the current electoral rules because, apparently, candidates can only advertise their ideas and platforms during the campaign and will be penalized for doing so from the moment they announced and formalized this week their bids to run for the meagre 14 seats (of 33) of the legislative chambers. 

It’s absurd; and apparently nobody in the government cares to think about correcting this abnormality. On the contrary: they want total control.

It is a shame that our all-mighty administration wants and dares to control the ballot of this mere perspiration of democracy and, therefore, the consequent legislature. They should be seated waiting for the popular verdict. Even more so because their positions are unchallenged and the establishment is well shielded by the “indirectly-elected” and the appointed members of the AL. Yet they show a great deal of anxiety over a few seats in a “parliament” where the universally-elected legislators have no power whatsoever to decide over the destiny of the city. Why the anxiety, then?!

I suspect the anxiety derives directly from the fear that the election may become overly popular, so much that it would threaten the status quo. Wrong assumption. While this opaque system persists, there will be no massive turnout to the voting booths. Nobody believes it will matter. Nobody believes their vote could matter.

However irrelevant the election may be, and just because, I’ll be declaring my vote closer to the polls.

Will I be arrested for stating my opinion?!

Categories Editorial