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HomeTopicsExpat LivingSpinning Political Satire: Costa Rica Contenders Court the Vote With Fiction

Spinning Political Satire: Costa Rica Contenders Court the Vote With Fiction

The next presidential election in Costa Rica is still a couple years away, and if it is anything like the 2022 election, where there were 27 candidates, we can expect a lot of small parties and single-issue candidates. Most candidates running on a platform that stresses one issue, such as better access for the disabled, have a block of candidates also running for the Costa Rican congress under the same party banner. In this way, they have a chance to win a seat or two and at least feel like they have a voice in government.

There are other candidates running on a single issue who have no backing, no supporting cast and no chance in hell of winning anything. Take Jose ‘El Rey de Calor’ Payasano, who is running on the Aire Fresco party ticket. His ‘fresh air’ party will, if elected, abolish all types of air conditioners in Costa Rica. He speaks fondly of the days when ceiling and floor fans stirred the sultry air, windows were always open, and we were equals, brought together on a shared level of misery on the hottest days.

He decries the softness brought on by air-cooled offices, houses and cars. He believes this decree would separate those who love Costa Rica from those who simply want to make a buck from it. His party’s slogan is ‘Working toward a world without A/C”. The party logo is an attractive young smiling Costa Rica couple, faces glistening with sweat in the midday sun. At this writing he is projected to win 0.002% of the vote. You have probably not heard of Lola Garcia ‘La Loca de Gandoca’ Mora, but she is the candidate of La Virgin Vive party.

If elected, her first act will be to declare La Virgen de Los Angeles– now simply the Patron Saint of the country– to be the spiritual leader of Costa Rica for eternity. All citizens will be required by law to participate at least once in the annual early August pilgrimage to the basilica in Cartago. Images of La Virgen will be required to be hung in every classroom. Her party’s slogan is also ‘La Virgen Vive’. The party logo is a crowd of people on their knees in front of the statue of La Virgen.

This party is projected to win 2% of the vote. From the most biologically diverse patch of land in the Americas comes the Corcovado Separation Party, called Corcovado Libre! This party proposes that Corcovado National Park secede from Costa Rica and form its own nation. The leader of this party is a naturalized US American who goes by the name of Cheetahman.

He lives in a van on a remote beach near Drake Bay. Cheetahman possesses waist-length blonde dreadlocks and eats and bathes on an irregular basis. His party’s slogan is Nature>>>>>>Humans, and the logo is a beach full of animals– a croc, a puma, a jaguar, tapirs and tepezcuintles, colorful birds flying about and no humans anywhere.

This party is not projected to win any votes, mainly because Cheetahman does not have the funds to make the trip to the capital and get himself on the ballot. Finally we have the Mas Turistas! Party. This group, headed by an unnamed cabal of businessmen and well-connected politicos, touts what they call ‘saturation tourism’ as the cure for Costa Rica’s ills. They would declare the entire country a ‘Tourist Zone’, in their effort to make Costa Rica the ‘World’s Natural Disneyland’.

They propose that every square kilometer is dedicated to entertaining our visitors and generating income. Their goal is 50 million visitors per year. They propose building hundreds more hotels and condos, and building thousands of kilometers of new highways. ‘’Nuestro mundo es su mundo’’ is their slogan. The party logo features a map of Costa Rica covered with thousands of dots, each representing a tour, hotel, amusement park, casino or any other spot where tourists might be separated from their money.

This party is projected to win between 5 and 10% of the vote, though they have made clear that if they don’t win they will accuse the election board of fraud. There we have them: Four distinctly different parties, three candidates and a shadowy group who have yet to name a candidate. None will win, but all will add flavor to the once every four years party that is the Costa Rica presidential election

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