Sunday, October 19, 2014

One week before first round

In one week we shall have Parlament elections, along with a first round of Presidential election (all the pundits say that we will have a second round later, but this first round is for sure).

Lots of people want to get inside the Legislativo palace, which is understandable. The venue is nice enough, and good coffee is served free of charge inside, or so they tell me.

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The way to get in, or so it seems, is to get noticed. Flags seem a popular way. This mobile store makes a lot of business in pre-election days.

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There are very large flags in the Rambla, taking advantage of our reliable wind.

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But the core business is just distributing voting papers, which we call lists, because they list the candidates, their alternates, and the alternates of alternates. Lists are papers with a colorful head in whatever the Party colors are, a nice picture of the candidates for president and vicepresident, and chock full of names of candidates to Senator and Representative seats. Sometimes, in these lists you can find an unexpected friend, classmate, colleague or relative, so people look at the lists.

Uruguayans take their list to the voting room, and I believe that there must be more than 100 lists printed for every citizen, so nobody misses their preferred one. In this election, for the first time I saw these smart tents, to protect the militans distributing the lists (and all the paper) from the wind and sun.

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Lists are given in static posts by the streets, or by somebody as you walk along the Rambla,

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or efficiently passed through the car window as you stop for a red light and just make a signal to the waiting operators.

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Sometimes the political militans are insistent. I caught this one in the Old City, trying to convince a mannequin to vote for the Independent Party!

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Best of all, it happens most of the time in a festive mood, with the militants from different parties making noise together and in good peace. Humor and horse-play abound.

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Let us hope that the mood goes on. I hope to document the election next Sunday! Meanwhile, Montevideanos go about their weekends, more detached from politics than the politicians would have us believe.

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Technical: Retina IIIS with Xenar lens, FP4+ in Beutler.