Thursday, August 11, 2005

Both sides of the story

I haven't posted in a while. My original blog would have had this title but the subject would have been the media, propaganda and the nature of truth.

I'm not writing about this the same way, instead let's stay on the island and let the lobbyists do what they do best.

The big news these days is the fact that our former president's party signed up on the last day of enrollment for political parties to participate in the election. There are now 63 parties in the run. Why did they do it? Why, indeed when all partisans of the ousted president are clamoring for his return to his legitimate, democratically elected post? Well, some of these party leaders are saying that one should differentiate between those who believe in the party's ideals (such as those who enrolled), and those who believe in their exiled leader's ideals. Whatever they may be...

As far as the temporary government is concerned, the elections are on. They've even extended the registration period until September 15th. Hordes of people are rushing to sign up for the National ID card. Of course, the government sold us on the idea by saying it could be used as regular ID for 10 years (sic). I had mine made in early July when there weren't any long lines under the sun. I could have gone earlier but I waited until an office opened nearby. Now, you have to expect a very long wait at every registration office. Some people still don't know what's going on, witness this man I overheard commenting to his companion that it must be "some check they're giving out". Because, of course, money is the only thing that will motivate people, these days!!!

When we forget the elections, there are the usual topics: security/disarmament/human rights violations; trading petty insults with our loving neighbor; the price of gas/government subsidies (or not!).

Meanwhile, people are filing the streets of the city once more. School starts over next month and many parents are out buying books and fabric for uniforms. We are all still wary and we do jump at the least little sound but not as much as before. Things are different but not resolved. We hear less of kidnappings and such but they still exist.

So Crime is lower but still very present. Case in point : A friend of mine had just gotten home when an armed stranger put his hand over her mouth and a gun to her temple. The story doesn't end tragically for once but being confronted by three armed criminals is not exactly reassuring. Also, a man and his wife were shot at while driving by in their car. The husband's brain exploded (sic) and the wife took a bullet to the neck. I haven't heard another version of the story yet so it's an unsolved mystery, still.