Once Again, Looking Down on the Coasts

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The Voice of Guanacaste invited candidates Carlos Alvarado Quesada from PAC and Fabricio Alvarado Muñoz from the PRN to a debate in Guanacaste on March 16 with the purpose of offering the province a reason to get to know each candidates’ proposals and encourage voting in the province, which has among the highest abstention rates in the country.

After formal letters and multiple attempts, the candidates neither confirmed nor declined the debate organized for the Guanacastecan people that would have coverage from at least five national media outlets, be televised by channel 36 and transmitted by another handful of regional media. But they accepted another invitation for the same date.

Not only is it a shame that the main protagonists of Costa Rican democracy ignore an invitation to participate in an encounter outside of the San Jose metropolitan area, but they make it very clear that their efforts for winning the coasts won’t be in the discussion of proposals, but in the request for their votes.

The candidates did visit the province for campaigning. Fabricio Alvarado went through the majority of cantons on Sunday, February 25. In Nicoya, he asked his followers to convince someone else to also give their vote to the National Restoration party. As this newspaper went to print, Carlos Alvarado had planned a visit for the weekend of March 3 and 4.

The candidates do a disservice to democracy when the forget that in the coastal provinces we also expect smart proposals, not just promises and slogans. They put a stamp on the sad manifestation that 40% of Guanacastecans abstained from voting. One of the most dangerous phrases for democracy is “what for?”

This apathy goes against what we should be fighting for if we want a better country, with more educated and prepared coastal provinces. Guanacaste is important, candidates. Be present.