December 10, 2005

A Window Into a Political Campaign

MABB © ®
Thanks to the always trustworhty fellow blogger Eduardo from Barrio Flores, who is right now in Bolivia taking part in a congressional electoral campaign, we can take a look into that campaigning machinery.

Eduardo was asked by a friend of the family who is running for a congressional direct mandate seat (uninominal), to come along and help out in the campaign. So he took the opportunity and is now posting his experiences as he lives them. Blogging at its best, I would call it!

As he recalls:
Little did I know that I would have full access to the inner workings of a modest, yet intense campaign. For the past two days, I have accompanied the team during campaign stops in poor urbanizaciones and in rural villages high up in the mountains over the course of 12 hour days.

His insights are priceless for people interested in the topic, like us. Specially having the opportunity to look at the organizational aspects:

There are staff members who are responsible for securing media interviews. The political advisors often recommend or decline some of the interview requests because of the common-knowledge that a particular journalist is biased or affiliated with another political party and is out for blood. Other staff members are also in charge of looking for endorsements from various organizations. As a result, they always lobby that their event is more important and many events get double-booked. In the end, the candidate has the final call as to which one gets bumped.

Or, the communication aspect:

Often the other car (we only have two different cars at our disposition) arrives ahead and assures the contact person that the candidate is on the way. The little white lie of “ya estamos llegando” (we are almost there) is used anywhere from the time that we are just leaving or to a time that we are on the road still a ways away. Cell phones are the lifeblood of a campaign. Communication between all the different staff members coordinating among themselves, with the candidate, with headquarters is easily facilitated by these commonly found gadgets. The only problem is when the cars travel to rural areas up the mountainside where cell phone signal is spotty at best. The night that I met the Presidential candidate, he was operating with two different cell phones, one in each pocket (both rang at the same time non-stop).

Eduardo's reports are definitely worht a visit, as we can look into these campaigns directly. Additionally, Eduardo is there in Bolivia and thus the info he posts is directly from the source.

Do pay him a visit!