The Other Referendum

While Hungarians were voting “NO” to Brussels-imposed migrant quotas, Colombians were voting “NO” to the peace deal with FARC guerillas brokered by the Cuban government. Our Colombian correspondent Diego sends this brief report on the weekend’s referendum in his country.

Colombians Vote “NO”

by Diego

Probably many people woke up and noticed, among many other things, that “NO” to modern authoritarianism won two great victories. In Hungary (although the turnout didn’t reach the 50% threshold, the “NO” vote was at 95-98%) and in Colombia.

After a very close vote (which the MSM is trying to interpret as a “betrayal of the rural parts of the country”) the “NO” won with approximately 50.2% of the vote in the plebiscite to approve the peace accords signed in Havana.

Soon enough people began blaming other factors — dissatisfaction with Santos’ policies, abstentionism (which was, while still high, not as high as it was for example in the presidential elections that put Mr. Santos into office), and even a storm that prevented people on the Caribbean coast from voting. However, judging by the reactions in social media, I can say that the voters who had no arguments whatsoever were those who supported the President.

Another important phenomenon was the “Ghost No” vote. Such a vote was comprised of people who refused to vote, or cast invalid ballots, hoping to sabotage the plebiscite and keep it from reaching the threshold (13%), or simply not voting out of self-preservation (public employees, paranoid students and similar groups).

This is by no means an exhaustive analysis of yesterday’s vote, but I hope it will serve as a useful outline.

I, for once, will celebrate the fact that in my pessimism regarding this specific plebiscite I have been proved wrong.

See this BBC report for more on the Colombian referendum.

Previous posts by Diego:

2015   Mar   19   The Islamization of South America
        23   On Rome, Russia and Multiculturalism
    May   8   Traicion a la Mejicana
    Aug   14   Latin America: Socialism, Tantrums, and Islam
2016   Jan   4   Jugando con Polvora, Or How the World is About to Burn
    Jun   13   A Response to Post-Modernity
    Aug   22   How Do We Defend the West Against 21st-Century Saracens?

3 thoughts on “The Other Referendum

  1. I go with Diego, I didn’t expect a “No” vote, especially with all the media here so wildly in favor. In fact, we were told that two Christian radio stations who advocated voting “no” were sanctioned by the government. A pastor who had fled to Bogota from one of the rural areas where FARC has de facto control went back to see how things were, and was telling us that the FARC was telling at least some people in that area that if they voted no, that they and their families would be killed. A certain amount of obedience to FARC in such circumstances does not necessarily imply support. As one lady who had fled to Bogota with her family put it (some years ago) “When you have people with AK rifles slung over their shoulders walking in and out of your house at any hour of the day or night, you have to get along with them.”

  2. The leniency for FARC and the political rewards of guaranteed representation was obscene. I’m glad the Colombian people rejected this. Not to would have rewarded criminality and murder. This is a courageous vote in the face of the threat of violence. Bravo! ( . . . to borrow an apropos exclamation from the Italians.)

  3. The referendum was not only on the peace agreement with FARC; sweeping new powers for the president were bundled in. Hard to know which measures people approved or not; maybe that was the intention?

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