Zablah drops from presidential race
The presidential race in El Salvador has lost a potential candidate in the center. Arturo Zablah sought to create a center-left alliance as an alternative to ARENA and the FMLN. However the small political parties of the center (FDR, CD and PDC) could never reach agreement on whether to form an alliance, and Zablah has now withdrawn his name from consideration. I would speculate that this probably helps Mauricio Funes more than it helps the eventual ARENA candidate. A Zablah candidacy in the center had a greater potential to lure away potential FMLN supporters than it did to lure away voters for ARENA.
Zablah's candidacy has reminded me of the abortive, faltering candidacy of Hector Silva in the last go-around. In both instances, tarrying and delay in the center caused the momentum to fizzle and the prospects of a centrist political force to succumb to the law of inertia. If the center is going to ever mobilize with a lot more decisiveness than has heretofore been shown. It's almost as though the center, by its very nature an ambivalent position, unwilling to commit to the prevailing currents, tends to freeze in the headlights and shut down before its moment in the spotlight. How many times will it have to choke before it realizes it needs to overcome its stage shyness -- that's a very interesting question to me.
I think there is a certainly a great polarization in El Salvador. But this only means that, like oil and water, people have separated into two very mutually exclusive camps. This creates a false notion of extremism: the two sides are always accusing a "far" opposite fringe (ARENA sees Leftist extremism, the FMLN sees rightwing extremism, etc.) that does not really exist. Yes, there are fringe elements to both parties, but, as your post rightfully acknowledges, Saca is a fairly moderate politician. The polarization prevents him from acknowledging his party's mistakes of the past, even the abhorrent human rights abuses with which the founder is linked. Although the FMLN has been more intransigent (or, faithful to its values, depending on how you view things), Funes is looking like a pragmatist. I think accusations of the PDC having gone fascist are hyperbolized. I see its recent refusal to enter into alliances with ARENA or the FMLN and to accept a pact with the war veterans group (the Salvadoran Patriotic Brotherhood) as a further sign that a party which has remained out in the wilderness though the past elections, is still searching for an authentic voice that is its own voice.
[In fairness, I should confess my pro-Pescadito affinities.]
This year's PDC's protagonism in forbidding freedom of religion in El Salvador is pure totalitarism.
Once again, they prove their nickname "sandía" fits the hand: green outside, red inside.
- * -
«Arena, is closer to the center now»
Nice way of saying the Saca administration is a pathetic mix of statist and populist policies.
- * -
Good riddance to Zablah. Most of his policy proposals stank of monetarism, statism, socialism, and populism.
If we wanted another president pursuing failed ideas from the 1970's, we could just ask Chávez to come by and take over! At least he is popular!
- * -
However, I must give credit to Zablah. He at least did bother to put forward a serious policy agenda. An agenda full of failed ideas from the past, to be sure, but at least it showed he is a serious person. Unlike a clown such as Saca, for instance.
Merry Christmas to all, and TO ALL, a good night...
The media cannot consolidate only to 2 as in Democrat/ Republican up here. If they did that in El Salvador- You all know who would win if there were truly democratic elections held. *)
Re: what Solava says, "anti-gay and anti-abortion measures, the kind of policies that Americans would label without question as "extreme right".
-I am "North" American and would consider CD not "Extreme right" as ARENA, ARENA is about as far right one can go in El Salvador without touching Fascism. (although some elements may be). After the war, FMLN definitely has moved more center, imho they were never far left like Sendero Luminoso. They were not maoists. Whatever happened to Villalobos and the PD? Ana Guadalupe Martinez?