Peru presidential elections – Unseriously

Round 1 of the 2011 Peruvian presidential elections is over. The June runoff will be between Keiko Fujimori and Ollanta Humala (some background about the candidates here).

Most of our friends don’t care much for either candidate. Among other things, Ollanta Humala wants to re-write Peru’s constitution, likely giving more power to the poor and less to business and foreign investment.

I thought I’d have a little fun on my Facebook page and see just how much bad stuff about Ollanta the typical jeans-wearing, iPhone toting, middle-class Peruvian (ie. most of our friends) would believe.

Facebook screenshot Ollanta Humala

Facebook screenshot Ollanta Humala plans to outlaw Peruvians marrying gringos 🙂

(click on the image for full size)

The people who commented on my silly joke are all good friends and good people (and not all are Peruvian), but it does show how easy it is to plant irrational fear (Glenn Beck anyone?) about anyone whose ideology may not correspond with your own.

The first round election result is fairly interesting, because both Keiko and Ollanta have their followers but there’s also a significant part of Peru’s population (mostly middle class and business establishment) who don’t like either. The fear is that Keiko will bring back more corruption and Humala may upset business and foreign investment to some extent. Peru’s presidential election runoff is almost akin to, say, a choice between Ivanka Trump (daughter of a famous person) and Michael Moore.

My personal input to the Peruvian presidential elections is only this:

1) As a visitor/guest here I don’t care who becomes Peru’s next president. However the Peruvian people choose to govern their country is up to them and I’m privileged to be here as a guest.

2) No matter who wins the runoff, I don’t think there will be a significant change in daily life in Peru. Even though both candidates are seen as potentially having some issues, I think Peru’s society is strong with very close families, reasonable institutions, a fair economy, etc. Politics here can be interesting and colorful, but in my view politics are not that big of a factor in society.

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10 thoughts on “Peru presidential elections – Unseriously

  1. I don’t know what part of Peru you’re living in, but everybody seems to have their two cents to put in about the country’s politics. Everybody feels they need to rep one of the parties even though they really don’t have a clue what’s really going on. APRA wear was pretty much trendy last election – all the clueless middle/upper class kids were rocking it. Kinda like OBAMA wear in the USA.

  2. I just saw you live in Cuzco……….you got to be kidding me that politics isn’t a factor in society there?!?

  3. Good thoughts! However, it worries me that Peru has essentially guaranteed that their run-off vote is going to be between two dictators. Seriously, if Keiko gets elected, how long before Alberto is liberated and running things?

    But you’re right, as guests we really can’t complain about what they do.

  4. I disagree Ben.

    A lot has changed in Peru since 1990. Put simply, there’s a lot of money in Peru now and neither candidate will want to upset that.

    It’s true that Alberto Fujimori is probably packing his bags already, but I don’t expect him to come back in any leadership capacity. If I was in Keiko’s shoes I would reward my supporters (they were loyal for 10 years) using legitimate appointments, infrastructure projects, etc. while limiting corruption and work to restore her father’s legacy. Remember, people voted for her because they still like what her father did in terms of ending runaway inflation, shortages, terrorism, etc.

    As for Humala, only Ollanta Humala himself truly knows his own intentions, but if he’s a dictator I’m Fred Flintstone. Watch his interviews.

    I’m not too concerned with Humala’s policies, as I said I can’t see either of the candidates doing anything too risky to the economy. He’ll have to move more to the center is he wants to win the runoff, and some attempts at social equality won’t be a bad thing.

    Outside looking in, my only concern with Ollanta Humala is that he has bad debating skills (I watched the televised debate). For anyone in a leadership position you need to be able to think on your feet and hold your own in a debate. He needs to hire a speaking/debate coach quickly. We all have our weaknesses, but that’s one he should address before the runoff election.

  5. Keiko doesn;t know how to run shit? she hasnt been a mayor of a city, or even an urbanization. I don;t know how people think just a havard law degree is a good enough requisite to run a country. and humala much less. He knew how to run an army and rebellion. but hell he doesnt know much else. What I can’t believe is that over 50% cuzco voted for him. what is the city going to do if there arent gringos there? Whether they dont travel because of fear or for a likely fee for a travel visa (bolivia is 135$ just to enter the shithole). Thats rediculous. But hey if you want to be a president of peru its easy just promise free land, free houses, water, sewer, etc and you got votes. however middle/upper class will suffer. its worse than obama. obama hasn’t messed up anything, he just hasn’t fixed it. however ollanta and keiko will be sure to mess up something that wasn’t exactly broken, not completly. They’ll mess it up for sure. It’s why I’ll get the heck out while I can and return after next elections when everyone realizes humala and keiko both made this country worse.

  6. Pingback: GB Bilder » Peru presidential elections – Unseriously « Life in Peru

  7. I disagree Jeffrey. While the choice between Ollanta Humala and Keiko Fujimori may be stunning from the point of view of the middle class, it’s very understandable from the point of view of the urban poor and the rural (Quechua) population.

  8. Pingback: What does the election of Ollanta Humala mean for Peru? « Life in Peru

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