Ever since I have use of my memory, I do not like politics and the voting process at all. It is because politicians have turned politics and voting into a moral quandary, since you do not know if your vote is to support the improvement of your country or just to put the destiny of the nation into the hand of corrupt people. It is the way political parties and their members try to take control of the power of a nation that makes me sick. Today, the race for a political seat is a battle that has no limits or inhibitions. There are many reasons for me to dislike politics, but certain reasons have the strongest influence on my opinion. Firstly, once candidates are elected they do not do what they were elected for. Secondly, political campaigns are too hostile. Finally, from my personal experience, the possession of power usually corrupts.
Firstly, once candidates are elected they do not do what they are elected for. Since I was very little, I have been accustomed to hear and sometimes participate in political discussion among friends and family. The discussions were about what their candidates will do, many endless promises. And then after the election, what those candidates were talking about were only lies made in order to get your vote. Back in Peru, in 1990, a new candidate offered a very interesting proposal for a new government. Alberto Fujimori, an agricultural engineer, had presented one of the most promising programs for the country that at the time was devastated because of terrorism and the international debt produced by the last government. As a new independent face, he won the elections with almost 65% of the Peruvian population in his favor. Five years later he was re-elected because of the great promises he made for this new period and since most people believed that he would do better than in his first period. But with this new period, he did not improve, but destroyed almost everything he had achieved in the last five years. He failed to fulfill almost every proposal he had made when a candidate for re-election. For instance, one of the proposal he made when candidate, was to improve the level of stability in jobs; once he was re-elected, he presented a project that was later approved by ‘his’ congress, in which allowed enterprises to fire their employees whenever they wanted, and without giving their employees any kind of benefit for the time they had worked. With the emission of this law, enterprises such as Telefonica fired nearly Five thousands of its employees; it is not only Five thousands people without a job, but the first step into massive unemployment, and a false promise of better jobs. In this second period of government, not only did he fail his country, he failed his own principles.
Secondly, political campaigns are too hostile. The political arena, in my opinion, has become a battleground where candidates are each other’s enemies. Their goal is a seat in the congress, for instance, and to achieve this goal they will use the dirtiest strategies in their campaigns, such as disparagement of their opponent. In the few months I have been here in The United States, I have seen many T.V. ads from different political parties, and what they most show is a constant attack on their political contender, making a hostile campaign where they aim to destroy the image and the reputation of their contender. Such has been the case of the last ad I saw, where political groups are unleashing the most inflammatory attack advertising of the 2000 presidential campaign. It has been the case of a group supporting Bush; that produced a television ad that closely mimics one of the most notoriously negative political advertisements ever made. Though very little money was spent to buy airtime for the ad, it was widely covered in the national media. “Under eight years of Clinton-Gore, our security has been sold to Communist Red China in exchange for campaign contributions,” says the narrator of the 60-second spot. “If Clinton-Gore are capable of selling our children’s security, what else are they capable of?” The commercial, titled “Daisy Girl II,” features footage of a young girl, picking the petals off of a daisy and counting aloud, “one, two, three,” and an ominous male voice counting down, “three, two, one,” right before footage of a nuclear explosion is seen. “Don’t take a chance,” the ad advises voters. “Vote Republican.” Ads like the latter are the ones used on this campaign, a campaign that had aggression as the most common characteristic.
Finally, from my personal experience, the possession of power usually corrupts. In the last few years, such has been the case in many Latin American countries where their presidents or some of their political officeholders have been involved in cases of corruption that have lead them to be dismissed from office and often to be prosecuted by the law. Such has been the case in Peru, where the president and his most trusted office holder have been involved in corruption cases that have made them be dismissed from their offices. In 1995, after five years of an unquestionable moral conduct during his first period, President Fujimori was denounced by his wife, she denounced that he was using National Funds for his own benefit and for the benefit of his assessor V. Montesinos, such was the power of corruption in the Peruvian Judicial System that those accusation were filed and dismissed. Up to this day, President Fujimori cannot explain the origin of his many properties, some of them under the name of his sons, which makes it even more unbelievable since they do not work and are just seventeen and eighteen each of them. There is no proof in the incomes of Fujimori, which can prove in anyway the acquisition of such properties (1). And with the new investigations opened against his assessor new evidence have been found, evidence that show president Fujimori had knowledge of the activities of his assessor and sometimes was involved in corruption cases.
This new investigation have been opened, with the help of the Switzerland government, which showed that Peru’s ex-spy chief and Presidential Assessor had laundered money through Swiss banks where he had about $50 millions dollars (2). With this new evidence, it can be proved that he had been involved in crimes ranging from arms dealing to drug trafficking, crimes that have been also linked to president Fujimori, who has resign from his office and had seek asylum in a foreign country. Now Peru is waiting for new elections that will be held on April Eight.
These are some of the issues that affect my opinion on what political issues might concern, it is my belief that politicians have forgotten what and for who they are elected. Most of the time they only are interested in gaining power for their own benefit and not for the benefit of the country that has elected them.