Wednesday, September 10, 2008

2008 Elections in Puerto Rico

For those who can vote in Puerto Rico, and have not yet registered, September 15th marks the last day for you to do so. Note to self: must go register! This will be the first time in which I get the chance to vote in the Island of Enchantment, and it should be interesting. On November 4th, just like in the U.S, Puerto Rico will be holding its general elections. The governor of Puerto Rico, and the mayor of San Juan, amongst many others, are up for re-election.

These elections will also be historical, because for the first time in Puerto Rican history, the ballots will also be in English. This was quite a controversy, since many Puerto Ricans thought it was a waste of money and unneccesary, since the large majority of the population speaks Spanish. However, an estimated 14% of the people living in Puerto Rico speak English, or another language. I don't see why something as important as a voting ballot shouldn't be translated into English, especially since Puerto Rico is officially part of the U.S.

Comparing the elections both in the U.S and Puerto Rico, there are obviously many differences and similarties. Many of the issues which concerns Americans, such as the economy, health care and education, are also shared by Puerto Ricans. On the other hand, I see Puerto Rican politics as having more mud slinging. This year has been especially grim. First of all, the current governor, Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, has been charged by federal authorities with over 20 counts of fraud, conspiracy and other campaign finance-related crimes. His opponent, Luis Fortuño, was enjoying a comfortable lead in the polls. However, he may be hurt by the recent corruption scandal of a local senator from his own party. Puerto Ricans are very loyal to their political parties, which are dominated by the Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP) and the Partido Popular Democrático (PPD). Looks like we'll have quite an interesting election this year, both in the U.S and in Puerto Rico.

(Images obtained from and, respectively)

No comments: