Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Indefinite re-election a la Ortega

Daniel Ortega says he wants to push for indefinite re-election.* He wants it with a twist, though. He would shift the country to a parliamentary government.

The Economist made mention of this possibility last month, speculating very plausibly that a parliamentary system would allow a formal system of power sharing between Ortega and Arnoldo Alemán, the extraordinarily corrupt former president who has been close to Ortega for some time (and who was let out of jail under cloudy circumstances).

Regardless, it would be fascinating to watch a Latin American country make the change.

* The interview also notes a rumor that Ortega has a disease that makes him sensitive to the sun and therefore he is only seen at night. He denied it. I had not heard of the vampire rumor before.


Gabriel,  1:23 PM  


Do you know of any academic research that weighs on the pros and cons of parliamentary vs presidential systems, particularly for Latin America and the Caribbean?

Greg Weeks 1:29 PM  

Yes, the literature is huge. A book to start with is Juan Linz and Arturo Valenzuela's The Failure of Presidential Democracy (1994). A more recent book refuting their argument is Antonio Cheibub's Presidentialism, Parliamentarism, and Democracy (2006).

Gabriel,  9:47 AM  


By the way, I was in Nicaragua recently and a lot of people I talked to mentioned the 'vampire disease' pointing out that Ortega almost never had any acts during day time and always covered from the sun. No way for me to independently verify that though.

Greg Weeks 11:36 AM  

Maybe he's really Michael Jackson.

Vicente Duque 3:13 PM  

Latin America is a very sad subcontinent :

Its institutions have been copied from those of the United States during the past 200 years. That has not been a bad idea and some progress has resulted from such action.

Not only institutions, but laws and administrative procedures have been copied and will continue being copied.

This does not mean that it will be a fate forever until the sun explodes.

Going into parlamentary democracy is absurd.

The Madness of Ortega and Chavez. The New Dictators :

The vulgarity and grossness of Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega, everyday.

Add the Castros, and perhaps Correa and Ecuador and the Future of Latin America is difficult.

Nothing good can spring of these two guys Chavez and Ortega, the masters of aggressions and threats.

Perhaps it is necessary to have been reared in the Spanish Language as your mother language to understand the extreme repugnance that these two guys wake up in an educated person, when we hear their speeches.

They constantly offend good taste or propriety with their threats and aggressions against other nations, specially the United States and Colombia, and lately against Israel.

They even cry "Idiots" on TV to the presidents, secretaries or ministers of those other countries that they hate. And constantly invent lies and calumnies.

Their economic policies are only corruption, favoring family and friends.

Favoring the thugs, Red Shirts and Red Berets in Venezuela, and other thugs in Nicaragua. Economies of Subsidies and Gifts for supporters.

They contaminate the rest of Latin America with their filth and dirt. And other presidents like Correa in Ecuador hear the "Master's Voice" like the cute dog of RCA Victor in bygone decades.

They are extremely corrupt and have enriched their families. And in the case of Chavez, he suffers from depressions. The best form of overcoming depressions, inferiority complexes and inadequacies is to shout insults, slurs and threats against their invented enemies.

The U. S. may have not been a charity nun in past centuries or decades, but does not deserve this abuse. And certainly all this insults are useless and have no effect in the USA or Latin America.

The support to Criminal Murderers like the FARC in Colombia. There are many hours of TV Videos in which Chavez speaks of them as Bolivarian Fighters for Freedom and other crap. The same for Ortega. And Castro financed violent brutal revolution for a long time.



Vicente Duque

boz 5:36 PM  

I first heard the "vampire" rumor about two months ago. It went with a story saying Ortega's health is failing and he's really sick. There is something strange about his staying out of the sun, but I think the other part of that rumor about his health falling apart is an exaggeration.

Matthew Shugart 7:43 PM  

Is there a literature. Hmmm. Is there, really? Is there anything you might like to add to the list, Greg?


I have reviewed some journalistic accounts of the Nicaraguan debate, though not any actual drafts. It does not look parliamentary to me. The word, "parliamentary" gets tossed around a lot by people who don't really know what democratic regime types mean.

If Nicaragua actually did shift from presidential to parliamentary, it would be the first. Ever. Anywhere.

So, yeah, it would be interesting indeed.

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