Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Rafael Correa Not Fond of Term Limits

Rafael Correa says that opposition to unlimited presidential terms is a right wing plot  (along with the evil press) to take the country back to the past and rob the people of their right to choose their leaders. He's annoyed that they want a referendum on the question, but is confident--with reason to be--that he would win a referendum and 2017 presidential election anyway.

The hubris is strong with this one. But this is a typical populist stance, whereby you do not build up a party structure that can groom young politicians to become your eventual successors. Or at the least, it appears Correa is not ready to allow his party, Alianza País, to do so. You keep power in your own hands and try to remain president as long as possible. There are exceptions, like Peronism, but all too often things fall apart without the charismatic leader.

Precisely because he hasn't done such political grooming, Correa is correct that without him as candidate, the opposition has its best shot. Unfortunately, that's not positive for democracy in the longer term.


JB 9:56 AM  

I have supported Correa in all the elections and referendums and voted for him. However I have promised myself that if Correa is a candidate in 2017, that I will not vote for him.

Don't get me wrong, I think he has done a great job. And if we would be elected in 2017 that job would continue. However, I do agree with some of the points you make in the article.

That being said, Correa does have a point in stating that any candidate that Alianza Pais would elect would be destroyed by the media. Which still wields an enourmous power in Ecuador. The reason why Correa is inmune to that power is mainly his carisma and his confrontational manner. His weekly address plays an important part in this inmunity I mention.

On a conceptual level I agree with unlimited elections. It has been done in Finland, Iceland and nobody has ever claimed dictatorships or populism. The double standard is big in this one :) Do you think it's because there is a paternalistic nature about talking latin america? Or is it just a righ-wing media conspiracy? or what?

On a practical level, I hope that the referendum for unlimited re-elections passes, but that Correa steps down and gives somebody else a chance. I would hate to have to not vote for him.

Greg Weeks 4:13 PM  

There might be some paternalism, but more so I think it's just you can see how power becomes increasingly centralized, which then means it is mostly in the hands of that one individual. No matter how good their intentions, it's not good for democracy.

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