Friday, April 23, 2010

Antanas Mockus halcyon days coming to an end soon?

The surprise of the Colombian election is former Bogota Mayor Antanas Mockus.  But the surprise continues as for the first time a poll puts him winning the second round ballot!  As such poor Antanas must get ready for increasing pressure as the other guys surprised, never expecting him, are going to quickly target him, just as Tories and Labor are trying to pull a number on Clegg of the Liberal Democrats.

Mockus already prepares himself.  He tries to look stern in front of Chavez but not as extremist as front runner Santos.  In fact some suggest that Santos is better for Chavez than Mockus as Chavez has never quite got the handle on making Obama public enemy Nº1 as Bush was.  He certainly does not need an Obama clone next door.

But besides this trivia on Chavez it is interesting to notice that in Latin America good tenure is far from guaranteeing that your successor will be of the same party.  Piñera beat the Concertacion in spite of Bachelet astronomical favorable ratings.  Dilma Roussef in Brazil trails significantly Serra in spite of all the efforts of her boss Lula.  Now Uribe cannot seem to impose his anointed heir, Santos.  Interesting....  It seems that only bad, perverse and sectarian governments are able to reelect themselves.


  1. Boludo Tejano3:35 PM

    I note that you had an article on Mockus about a week before Caracas Chronicles did. Not that you are in competition, of course.

    Mockus has had some rather innovative approaches to solving Bogota's problems. I would not put it past him to devise some approach to Thugo that would send Thugo off the deep end. A psy-ops as devised by a mooning philosopher-mathematician. While I support Santos, Mockus intrigues me more than he scares me. For one thing, he has a successful administrative record, unlike some unnamed candidates in other countries. That video that gifzahn linked to was well worth the hour.Imagine a televised debate between Thugo and Mockus. Which is why Thugo would never consent to it: he can imagine it, also.
    What if Mockus mooned Thugo?

    "...good tenure is far from guaranteeing that your successor will be of the same party..."
    This may indicate that democracy is more deeply rooted in Latin America than before.

  2. Boludo

    CCSC thinks it has a mission, I write on what kicks me. :)

  3. Is this the guy who transformed Bogota with the TransMillinum bus system, the walking/cycling path/park, closing the main highway on Sunday mornings for cycling? By getting rid of cars, making it a friendly place he reduced crime by 20% or so. I saw a little blurb about it on Management TV...a former mayor of Bogota talking about what he did...a real visionary! The world needs more like him.

  4. Boludo Tejano11:38 PM

    GB: the improvement of Bogotá was spearheaded by two mayors, Mockus and Peñalosa. Bogota mayors may not serve consecutive terms. Peñalosa, the mayor who succeeded Mockus after his first term, was responsible for the idea of the TransMillinum bus system and its initial construction. However, Mockus pledged to finish its construction, a pledge which undoubtedly helped Mockus gain his second term.

    Commenter giftzahn linked to a video in the April 16 article on Mockus, which helps explain the relative contributions of the two mayors. You might also check out Wikipedia, with the standard warning about its reliability.

    It is depressing to compare those two dynamic administrators with Esteban.


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