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 Partido Revolucionario Democrático

What happened to the Partido Revolucionario Democráti?

Partido Revolucionario Democrático 49%

How did the Democratic Revolutionary Party, which two years ago appeared to be headed toward a return to power, lose so badly? Martín Torrijos and Balbina Herrera did a number of key things to alienate the public in general, but maybe more important than that, they turned off key constituencies within the PRD.
Torrijos won in 2004 with resounding support from young voters. Some of these were young opportunists looking for government jobs, but most were young idealists looking for things to change for the better. At the outset, it turned out that such jobs went to the party old guard, or to family members of party insiders. Then it quickly became very apparent that the whole country was on the auction block -- the dolphins in Panamanian waters to North American zoo and aquarium suppliers, traditional indigenous lands to hydroelectric dam companies, ancient fishing communities to developers, University of Panama diplomas to sordid hacks posing as student leaders and on and on and on -- and there went the young idealists. Yes, the PRD won the 2006 canal expansion referendum by a landslide by turning out its hard core in an election that most people sat out. But the key datum was that almost all young voters stayed home. All those millions of dollars in public funds spent on the "yes" campaign only reinforced young voters' cynicism about the PRD. Then, a triumphalist Torrijos got mean. He reacted to a mass poisoning not by cleaning house, and taking care of the victims, but by many forms of denial, absurd choices of scapegoats and beating up the survivors. A burning bus tragedy that should have put several former state-owned bank officials in prison was blamed on a driver and his brother and was used as an excuse for a crackdown that took 600 of the 1500 city buses off the streets, annoying commuters -- and then Torrijos didn't have the votes in the National Assembly, the public support or the brains to create an alternative.

...

By that time the PRD was back to its hardcore base and little else and that's how it turned out on Election Day. The PRD is still a solid third of the electorate. However, they have few plums left to distribute and may lose many they hold in the looming battle over PRD "civil service reforms." So what do the Torrijistas have going for them? Maybe a change of leadership. Probably an electorate tired of conservative government five years from now.

&n. sp;

Jueves, 4 de Junio de 2009

source: www.laestrella.com.pa

2009-06-29


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