Beep! Honk! Rat-a-tat-rat ….and we’re off, headed into eight weeks of political campaigning for local elections in many areas of the state of Quintana Roo. The campaigns officially started at one minute after midnight on May 12th and will culminate on Sunday July 7th with the election of a new mayor (Presidente) for Isla Mujeres.
In the dark hours of the night, and into early dawn crews feverishly mounted huge posters on every available electrical pole from the Navy base south to the tip of the island. Ladders were hurriedly propped against the posts, and intrepid supporters laced wire around the dubious concrete pillars to secure the placard of their candidates.
|Agapito Magaña Sanchez|
There are several basic problems in the previous sentence; the concrete poles have metal rebar breaking through to the exterior, the electrical wires criss-crossing above are live, and the ladders are merely propped against the poles. It’s enough to make a grown person wince with fear. !Ay caramba!
In this current island election the PAN candidate is Alicia Ricalde Concepción Magaña. Sra. Ricalde Magaña was Presidente on Isla Mujeres from April 2008 to April 2010. Under Mexican law a politician may only serve one term before vacating the office, for at least one more term. The new PRI candidate is Agapito Magaña Sanchez. According to local friends, the two main candidates are cousins. I don’t think they’re first cousins, but are cousins just the same. It must make for interesting conversations at family re-unions.
|Alicia Ricalde Concepción Magaña|
The next several weeks will feature a number of parades, gatherings, and house to house campaigning. There are several trucks mounted with huge speaker systems cranked up to full volume that cruise the various neighbourhoods. The high-energy advertisements extoll the virtues and campaign promises of their particular candidate.
|First parade of the 2013 Elections|
It’s enough to scare the bejeesus out of my cats, who dash panic-stricken for the closest hiding place. You would think that they would become accustomed to the noise, but apparently a cat’s long-term memory does not extend from one election to the next. Every time it is a new and terrifying experience for them. (Similar to what many voter’s experience at election time?)
|Some of the drummers for the parade|
In Canada, our previous home of British Columbia, the provincial elections just wrapped up with a surprise comeback win for the in-power Liberals and the new Premier Christy Clark. Our Canadian elections aren’t nearly as much fun as here in Mexico. In Canada, we never experienced a loud, boisterous parade of decorated motorcycles, golf carts, and personal vehicles being led by a group of teenagers with an assortment of drums and bugles.
Elections are a lot more fun here!
Lynda and Lawrie