EspañolJust to be clear, I don’t actually want the job. I’m happy in retirement and would rather stay that way. However, as I have said many times on this blog, Puerto Rico needs fundamental change.
Not all that I propose for the commonwealth needs to come under independence, although most does. Right now, there are things that can be done in Puerto Rico, that should be done, to save the island from absolute disaster — as if it weren’t already there.
So I was kicking around the idea with some of my libertarian friends from Puerto Rico. Why not a write-in campaign for governor, to give people an opportunity to vent their frustration with the two-party system? I’m not interested in campaign contributions or running any ads, so please, don’t send them. I will toss them in the garbage.
Is there any other way for voters to express their frustration in a positive way? The current governor has helped extend the disaster, while the previous governor tried to rein it in but still ran up a huge debt and got booted from office. The current field of pro-statehood gubernatorial candidates don’t offer much either. Resident Commissioner (the title of Puerto Rico’s delegate to Congress) Pedro Pierluisi wants to raise medical services to the level of a constitutional right, and upstart Ricky Rosselló isn’t really offering anything more than his father’s name (former Governor Pedro Rosselló).
So what happened to the free-market wing in the New Progressive Party? They are the ones who started the new movement. What happened to them? Luis Fortuño was a fiscal conservative and, as I’ve mentioned before, tried to do the right thing and cut government. But there is so much more than needs to be done.
Reducing the commonwealth government by 50 percent is a start, then cutting and streamlining taxes. We should credit the current Popular Democratic Party leadership with trying to do that with tax reform, but it’s not enough. We have to repeal the ant-business legislation passed under the administration of Anibal Acevedo Vila, which Caribbean Business says led to the closures of 12,000 businesses on the island. We need to attack crime and deal with the war on drugs and attack corruption directly.
No one is talking about this. These are all avoided issues.
So, should I allow my name to be used in a protest write-in campaign, or should we find someone else perhaps more qualified? What would I propose as the points of this write in campaign? While they are up for discussion, here are 10 proposals off the top of my head:
1. Cut government by no less than 50 percent via privatization, reorganization, and layoffs.
2. Repeal public-sector union laws — all of them.
3. Hold a referendum on the death penalty.
4. Develop an “untouchables” wing of the police and Justice Department to go after official corruption.
5. Legalize prostitution and marijuana, and ease rules on gambling.
6. Repeal many of those anti-business laws.
7. Call a referendum between statehood or independence only; and place “free association” under the possible independence options since it is a form of independence.
8. Invest in building a nuclear power plant on Mona Island to provide baseline electricity to Puerto Rico, so that we can cut electricity rates (and thus water rates) by half. (Punish people who steal water and electricity.)
9. Review and improve the entire base of infrastructure of the island, using the savings from cutting government.
10. Put the concept of “equal protection under law” back into divorce, child custody, and domestic violence laws by making sure men are treated the same as women.
Can you think of other campaign issues that should be included in this list? Would you support a write-in campaign for governor of Puerto Rico with my name or someone else’s being used?
Maybe it could be as simple as asking people to write “Basta Ya” (enough) on their ballots in the write-in section. Basta Ya is a clear nonpartisan message that isn’t tied to one person or an ideology and would perhaps welcome more people from a wider group of voters who, like so many others, are simply fed up with the same old tired excuses of the two major parties.
You tell me what you think is the right course. The two-party system in Puerto Rico has failed again. Let’s begin the discussion on how to fix it.