Politics, Dominicanized

In reading TIME Magazine and Newsweek (all months behind, of course), it seems like American politics is getting pretty heated -- Democrats and Republics having similar goals but different objectives, Barack Obama being berated by the GOP, and Sarah Palin still being ignorant to life (answering, "All of them" when asked "Who is your favorite founding father.").

At any rate, all of the ridiculousness of American politics has nothing on politics here in the Dominican Republic. For one, out of the three main political parties, not one person so far that I've asked has known the differences between them. In addition, politicians (known for being corrupt and self-entitled) have absurd campaign tactics that are nationally accepted.

For example, huge signs, larger than life, are posted all around a city for a political campaign. I asked one candidate running for mayor what his platform was and he told me, "I would like to work on cleaning up our city" just as a flyer with his face blew by in the wind. Politicians give hand-outs to citizens hoping for votes, such as shirts, hats, and even salami, yet never really know why their running. I guess it really doesn't matter as long as the people get their salami. But these actions just fuel the already vicious cycle of poverty. Plus, political campaigns (just like the US) cost so much money, hence only the most wealthy can run for office.

Every system has their flaws, but when you start including processed meat products in your campaigning, I consider that something much more grave (and strange...)

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.