Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Framing Evo Morales' Loss

Of course, lots of attention on the fact that it appears Evo Morales lost his bid to run for a fourth term. Yesterday I was at a retreat all day, which meant I really only had time to look at headlines. Many of these are quite misleading, and it turns out that persists even within the articles:

Bolivia’s president Evo Morales has refused to accept defeat after the initial results of a national referendum which would allow him to stand for a fourth term suggested that he has suffered his biggest electoral setback in 10 years.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Morales said he would accept the result either way, but the president cautioned that the result was still uncertain, apparently pinning his hopes on a late surge of support in rural areas.

From reading headlines, or even a first paragraph, you get a clear impression that Evo Morales is contesting the results. This leads to speculation, a la Venezuela, that he might somehow invalidate them. Thus far, though, all we see is that he is waiting to get all the results in, particularly becaue rural areas are more supportive. Maybe he will wait in vain, but that's not particularly controversial. And at least for now it is not what I would call "refusing to accept defeat."


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