General Election 2023, Campaign: Low Fi Reality Show
Social media seems to reward those who engage more with their followers and rivals, in a very basic "us against them" dynamic. There seems to be little attention span for in depth public policy proposals, but just enough for personal controversies.
All political parties and candidates were allowed to fully engage in the electoral campaign as of March 26th for the General Election scheduled for June 25th. So far, in general, candidates and parties have dedicated most of their campaign attacking rivals in social media. This is not unique to the local electoral situation, but a trend in the region. Social media seems to reward those who engage more with their followers and rivals, in a very basic "us against them" dynamic. There seems to be little attention span for in depth public policy proposals, but just enough for personal controversies. Basically, the elections are now like a low quality "reality show", a mix of "Keeping up with the Kardashians" and "Jackass".
As expected, the front runners are well known candidates who have participated before. In the lead pack, left leaning Sandra Torres, rightist Zury Rios and centrist Edmond Mulet. The surprise is newcomer Carlos Pineda, who is earning some voter sympathies. However, popular support is extremely volatile and things can change in a minute. The rest of the candidates have had a hard time getting attention or sympathies outside of their party base.
23 nominations for President and Vice President were registered and are competing in this election. At least three nominations were denied registration due to technicalities or failure to comply with all requirements. Those left out have filed legal motions and have protested their exclusion, claiming the system is at risk. Regardless, there are still plenty of options to choose from.
Dynasties are the trend. Most parties have nominated a host of family members, sometimes even in the same slate. At least 75% of current representatives are seeking reelection. With an estimated 30 different political parties, there is an increase of questionable candidates seeking to represent districts. There will be a shift in the old guard, as some of the more experienced representatives will not be part of the next congress (for example, Conde and Taracena).
The election for 340 municipal authorities have the least amount of national attention, but command the most attention at the local level. There are plenty of candidates for each municipality, so these elections are the most contested ever. Usually, incumbents have the upper hand.
The Campaign Itself
Most candidates are promising way above what they can deliver, in terms of the legal mandate of their respective office or way outside the national budget. So far, it seems like the campaign is only about making empty promises. Voters will reward candidates who are somewhat credible or those who somehow have connected with their needs or their expectations. The election seems to have turned into a reality show contest like "Survivor". With that in mind, good luck everyone.