Friday, October 22, 2010

1.3 Million versus 200

The Unión Cívica Democratica (UCD) held a rally a couple of days ago in Tegucigalpa. Crowd estimates in the press vary between 100 and 200 people. Among the crowd were former members of the golpista regime of Roberto Micheletti, including María Martha Diaz and Martha Lorena Alvarado, and the right wing pundit, Jorge Yllescas. Jimmy Dacaret, their leader, read a statement questioning the intentions of the government in even discussing with various civil groups their view on a constitutional convention, since
"the Hondurans have it clear that the only reason to install a constitutional convention is to make possible presidential reelection and change our democratic system."

Another speaker, Secretary of the National Register of Persons, Fernando Anduray addressed an unveiled threat at Porfirio Lobo Sosa, saying
"we are your friends, the white shirts, who put you in power, but just as there was a constitutional succession, we could do it again."

The UCD group ended their rally with their mantra "No one is above the law."

Hearty bravado, but not the kind of rhetoric that Honduras needs now. Threatening to carry out another coup is hardly pro-constitution speech.

Compare the small size of this crowd with the 1.3 million people who signed the petition for a constitutional convention. They're not threatening to topple the government because they don't like what its doing, but they do want to change it, in a legal fashion. They can see beyond the red herring of "presidential reelection" to find meaningful changes to the constitution that would let them participate in decisions, and to give them a better life.

Let's let Porfirio Lobo Sosa answer the UCD:
"In the discussions there were different positions, some to one side, others that didn't want to talk, and some who didn't understand others. In the middle is the large majority of different organizations that want peace, that want dialogue, that want that there be changes in Honduras, that will bring about a bettering of the conditions of life in our country..... I understand there are some who don't want anything to change, because no doubt they are doing well, but there is a large group of Hondurans, more than 80 percent, who say that there have to be changes, because the majority is not living the life they have a right to."


Carlos Tower said...

Those numbers are not a useful comparison; all numbers matter; the most recent ones which matter are via Vanderbuilt University's LAPOP, "Cultura política de la democracia en Honduras 2010". They mirror numbers produced prior to the coup, and go a long way toward explaining the the public life you now see in cities of size that are smaller than the 3 big ones in Honduras. The Frenta lost via the last election, and they will lose via the next election (regarldess of party existence, yes or no). Democracy is about numbes and the Frente simply does not have them on their side. A thousand books and blogs on the illegalities of the system will not change that.

RNS said...

Yes they are, since the LAPOP poll represents data collected in January and February and hence is old, stale data compared to the 1.3 milllion signatures.
See the posting I wrote today about the LAPOP poll, called "A Tale of Two Polls" for an answer to your comment.