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Saturday, November 7, 2009

The Presidential Debate

As part of our Spanish class, we held a presidential debate where each of us drew a candidate, did research on that candidate and presented our candidate’s views in front of some of the other classes and instructors. The presidential elections here are in 2011 and if they’re anything like the Venezuelan elections I witnessed, they should be pretty entertaining. Someone told me that the presidential ads here feature scantily clad women prancing around touting their candidate. They thought it was boorish, sexist and demeaning. I thought this was infinitely better than our dumb-ass US candidates running negative ad campaigns, slinging mud and using smear tactics.

Anyway, I drew a candidate by the name of Jaime Bayly. He’s a TV personality and has a Steven Colbert-type show called El Francotirador (The Sharpshooter). Mr. Bayly is a little bit Howard Stern (but not as vulgar), a little bit Bill O’Reilly (but likeable), and a little bit Lyndon LaRouche (without the felony charges). He has a mop of black hair, wears fashionable glasses, and his trademark attire is a black suit, white shirt and blue tie. He’s also gay (he claims to be bisexual but left his wife and kids and now lives in Miami with Luis, his Argentinean writer/lover. You make the call.)

I did my research on the internet but really didn’t have a whole lot of substance. Instead I went for the style points and wore a blue blazer with a white dress shirt and a black wig I rented from a place in Chosica. One of my more salient points (quotes from Bayly), how I would like to see Fidel Castro and Jugo Chavez die (on the toilet pushing out a turd and on a Venezuelan television program vomiting all over himself with oil-colored vomit, respectively). The moderator put an end to that saying I was disrespectful and should stay on topic even though the topic was human rights and my point was that those who violate human rights should die in a less-than-honorable manner. So I had to go with other talking points such as if men could get pregnant, abortion would be legal world-wide and I would build schools and fund teachers’ salaries by dissolving the army (even though Chile is being a pain in Peru’s ass). I also wanted to ask one of the conservative female candidates if she was still a virgin but didn’t find out that Mr. Bayly actually did this on his TV show until after the debate.

Some of the other Peruvian presidential candidates include Keiko Fujimori, daughter of the recently incarcerated ex-president of Peru, the mayor of Lima (who’s apparently done a lot of good things for the city), and ex-president Toledo who had public opinion polls lower than Bush’s when he left office but did bring the Peace Corps back to Peru.

I didn’t win the debate but did get nice compliments on the wig. If you have
Direct TV, check out El Francotirador on Mega TV Sunday nights. According to some folks, his show is doing for Mega TV what the Simpsons and Married with Children did for another snot-nosed, upstart television station in the US.

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