November 10, 2005

MAS and Podemos: Their Proposals

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Here is a rough translation of an article including the interviews La Razon made to the two vice-president candidates from MAS and Podemos. It sheds some more light on what'll it mean if Evo or Tuto become the next president of Bolivia.

On natural gas exports to Chile

MAS says it plans to concentrate on regional markets. That is, selling natural gas reserves to Paraguay and Uruguay and expanding sales to Argentina and Brazil. Also, MAS will continue with the policy of "gas for sea access" when dealing with Chile. That means, only when Bolivia has a sovereign access to the sea through its former territory will the government sell natural gas to Chile and become part of a regional energy integration strategy.

Podemos says it will also follow the "gas for sea access" policy against Chile. If there is no sovereign sea access for Bolivia, a Podemos government will not talk of diplomatic relations with Chile.

The Coca leaf issue

MAS proposes no free cultivation of Coca. It wants to make a study of how much Coca is needed to supply internal traditional use. That study will determine how many hectars will be allowed to be cultivated. At the same time they plan to engage in a crop substitution strategy to deal with the other farmers. MAS also wants to push for the legalization of the Coca leaf worldwide.

Podemos will basically continue with the current policy of 12 thousand hectars allowed to be legally cultivated.

The Blockades issue

The blockades which are the source of instability are the result of social dissatisfaction. MAS intends to deal with this problem by attending to the demands. They plan to make sure there is equality on the distribution of resources, equality between peoples and cultures and employment generation. Alvaro Garcia adds three issues MAS will carefully observe: a new economic model, inclusion of the indigenous population in the decision-making process and deepening of the decentralization process.

Podemos plans to penalize certain actions which interfere in the liberties and rights of the citizens. Additonally, they also propose attention to the demands, a new economic model focused on poverty alleviation and to increase citizen inclusion.

The regional issue

MAS will make it a priority to attend and include all the demands of all the regions and all the social and civic movements.

Podemos, through a two year exercize of conversations with people from all regions, developed a government plan which includes all the most important demands.

(neither party states what those demands are)

The territory or land issue

MAS plans to work on land redistribution. It will confiscate unproductive land (big farms) and will redistribute it to the people who don't have any land. In a MAS government there is no place for huge farms nor for illegal settlements. MAS will continue with the INRA law (current law in charge of land redistribution) and will guarantee social and productive private property.

Podemos plans to also confiscate unproductive land according to the social and economic function of the agent. INRA also plays an important role in applying this policy.

USA or Venezuela

MAS guarantees absolute and total independence of decision making. Good relations with all nations, including USA.

Podemos also guarentees independence and good relations with all nations of the world. Additionally, Podemos would work to provide more support for expats.

The Goni process

MAS will work to bring Gonzalo Sanchez de Lozada to justice for the deaths during the October 2003 disturbances. A MAS government would carefully observe the work of the Judicial branch. MAS will also rely on the social movements to observe the Judicial branch.

Podemos plans not to intervene in the judicial process. In essence, it would leave the Judicial branch to carry its work without givernment interference.

The power distribution issue

MAS plans to fill its bureaucratic ranks through merit and tests. There will not be distribution of official posts based on politics. No clientilism.

Podemos proposes the second round elections or respect to the first majority to prevent the distribution of political posts at the time of alliances in parliament. This would prevent that alliances would redistribute embassies and ministries, among other posts. Internally, Podemos will tap into its alliance members to fill posts.

9 comments:

eduardo said...

"MAS plans to fill its bureaucratic ranks through merit and tests. There will not be distribution of official posts based on politics. No clientilism."

Podemos proposes the second round elections or respect to the first majority to prevent the distribution of political posts at the time of alliances in parliament. This would prevent that alliances would redistribute embassies and ministries, among other posts. Internally, Podemos will tap into its alliance members to fill posts.




Impossible..would they employ former skilled and competent individuals who may be part of a one of the traditional political parties?

This absolutely needs to be done through a formal change of public administration regulations.

At least PODEMOS is honest about it. There's no way to implement the 2nd round for the December elections, so if Tuto wins then it's pegas for all!

PODEMOS - "Podemos says it will also follow the "gas for sea access" policy against Chile. If there is no sovereign sea access for Bolivia, a Podemos government will not talk of diplomatic relations with Chile."

In this matter, PODEMOS seems to be much more nationalistic than MAS. It seems like MAS says that one cannot come to an agreement without formal relations..

Miguel said...

Well, I am seeing indications of this happening in El Alto, for example. These people, who are supposed to support Evo, are chastising the "transfugos" and actively trying to hinder their candidacy. Among other things, what they are doing is publishing the names of the incumbents. I would say that is one way of getting rid of the politicians who don't have legitimacy anymore. I also saw some reports that MAS was going through its lists and getting rid of the politicians "transfugos".

Now, I agree with you. Once they get rid of the professional politicians, who are they going to have left? Do they have real alternatives with enough experience to represent them in Congress? The idea of total renovation of the political class is a tempting one, but is it realistic? I tend to think there is a lack of experienced people who can fill the shoes of the old politicians. Because I woldn't say that the Fejuve, COR and the like leaders are really up to the challenge.

It is a dylema. It would be good to throw away all those incompetent politicians in Congress. But, who will fill their seats?

That is a very curios phenomenon. All parties in this year's race have become center left, if you ask me. The one with the most ideological contradictions is Podemos. It is supposed to be a center right, free maket friendly party. How do we reconcile this with its plans to nationalize the natural resources?

Once again, I think the devil is in the detail. Ant that is what they are not telling the people. At least, not openly.

A.M. Mora y Leon said...

Sounds like Evo's trawling hard for the middle class vote, telling it the things it wants to ehar.

I think he's lying, however. Castro lied that he was a communist (until he consolidated total power); Chavez about being a Marxist Leninist (until he consolidated power); and to imagine that Evo intends to be his own man and somehow go against his two pals and NOT lie is asking too much to believe. Knowing who Evo's friends are tells us a lot about who Evo is. IMHO.

Miguel said...

:-) You remind me of a saying in Bolivia. Dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres (tell me with whom you associate and I'll tell you who you are).

eduardo said...

and Tuto was the VP of a Bolivian dictator. What does that say about Quiroga?

Miguel said...

Exactly, that is the angle Samuel is trying to take. He is trying to put Tuto and Evo in the same sack.

Although, I am not sure one can take Samuel (former MIR) totally out of the sack. He'd like to think so.

Andrea said...

You're right, it's so difficult to believe Doria.

His speeches sound so weird, after we found out about his background.

Miguel said...

Andrea, now you picked our curiosity. What background are you talking about? ;-)

Anonymous said...

Oh yea! "dime con quien andas y te dire quien eres" The picture with Evo, Castro and Chavez just grosses me out!!! I don't know what I'd do if Evo wins elections! he can't, he has no knowledge on things such as foreign affairs, business and other things that a president should have. He will bring the country down.
And it's impossible to work in so many things at a time. He's just saying things that sound good to people who are uneducated and are hearing what they want to hear. Just like things you would say to children..."if you are quiet then I'll give you a candy bar!"
And I think that's the saddest part, they believe him, they think that just if he get's elected he WILL be able to do it, face it, he CAN'T, he thinks he can make coca legal but drugs illegal, the only way the coca growers earned so much profit was because of drugs, without the revenue on drugs the coca leaf growers will not be happy and there again will be complaining and protesting.
We can't just solve ths simptoms we have to solve the core of it, what's causing the simptoms. And Evo can't do it, just cause he thinks that he has Venezuela and Cuba backing him up he will succeed, yea, I'm sure that'll work for him, since the US just loves castro and chavez. Right.....
If anything things will be more difficult for him, he can't hope to make Bolivia into a Socialist country, that just won't work.