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Thursday, October 25, 2007


Mind-blowing news from Cuba

Well, it won't blow my mind, but maybe it will blow George Bush's:
Runoff elections for Cuban Municipal Assembly delegates will be held on Sunday, part of the first stage of the general elections in progress in the country.

Authorities of the National Electoral Commission -CEN- confirmed that 2,971 town council candidates, those left to complete the 15,236 delegates that will be part of the municipal governments, will be elected this time.
Imagine that. Not only are Cuban elections contested (that is, require multiple candidates) by law, but a full one-fifth of the districts had no candidate (presumably out of three or more) get a majority, and a runoff is required so that the winner will be elected by a majority. What was the percentage of actually contested (as opposed to nominally contested) races for U.S. Congress, again?

Here's another statistic to blow Bush's mind - 47.09 percent of those elected currently occupy their post. In other words, there was a turnover of more than half of all the elected positions. Not exactly anyone's idea of an entrenched bureaucracy, or a place where the Communist Party nominates a single candidate (actually, they don't nominate anyone, mass public meetings do) and everyone votes for them, year after year.

Don't worry, though. Bush has a "plan" to "restore" "democracy" to Cuba. Democracy American-style, where money talks, and everybody else walks.

Incidentally, for another comparison, 3,288 women and 2,053 young people were elected out of the 12,265 so far elected - 27% women and 17% "young people" (undefined). In the U.S. Senate (not directly comparable, admittedly, since these Cuban elections are at a lower level), there are 13 women (13%), while in the House of Representatives, there are 61 (14%). As for "young people," it's hard to say without a definition, but whatever the definition, I think it's safe to say the percentage is well below 17%.

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