Colombian political website La Silla Vacia says that Antanas Mockus, the Green Party candidate riding high in the polls, has policies which are seriously underdeveloped compared to those of the other presidential contenders.
Mockus, the website argues, has shown Colombia the style in which he will govern, but not his specific proposals or plans. “Although Mockus has a clear vision for the type of state he wants … the citizens have yet to see specific proposals from the Green candidate.”
This is unlikely to affect his popularity, however, as “In Colombia, as in the majority of the world, what matters more is what a candidate represents… [not] their detailed plans on what they will execute.”
Meanwhile, the article explains, Mockus’ opponents in the May 30 presidential elections have developed and publicized highly detailed policy plans.
La Silla Vacia says that the Mockus campaign prioritizes efforts to “mobilize voters and acquire financing” over the development of concrete policies.
According to La Silla Vacia, “Mockus tends to favor more philosophical issues such as legality, morality, and culture, all of which are linchpins in his policy of ‘democratic legitimacy,’ over more pragmatic proposals such as how will he create more jobs or which roads he will build.”
One source close to the campaign reportedly told La Silla Vacia that Mockus shows “little interest in issues beyond ‘democratic legality.'”
Meanwhile, Cambio Radical candidate German Vargas Lleras “has well-developed proposals in 21 areas, from sports, to modernizing the state,” while Polo Democratico candidate Gustavo Petro has “distributed a 30-page booklet of his governmental plan,” and Partido de la U’s Juan Manuel Santos has spoken about his “109 initiatives to achieve prosperous democracy.”
In defense of the Green candidate, La Silla Vacia does point out that his lack of highly developed proposals and plans is in part a result of the late launching of the campaign, and that he “is working frantically to complete and publish the proposals this week.”
One of the main reasons for the delay in announcing concrete plans was Mockus’ campaign’s merger with the presidential campaign of Sergio Fajardo, La Silla Vacia explains. The Mockus camp began conversations with Fajardo in early April, and before officially announcing the new alliance, which made Fajardo Mockus’ running mate, the two political movements needed to come up with a joint campaign platform. Fajardo, a former mayor of Colombia’s second city, Medellin, had been campaigning for over a year and a half for the presidential election and already had his own set of developed proposals. Thus, in order for Mockus to offically announce the merger with Fajardo, they needed to essentially “start from scratch” and formulate a new campaign platform together, which as the analysis says, “took some time.”
The result of this labor, however, was not a set of highly developed proposals similar to those of other candidates. Instead, when Mockus announced his alliance with Fajardo on April 12, he released a set of “15 fundamental points;” a governmental plan that appears today on his website.
However, the “fifteen points are not real proposals,” according to Efrain Sanchez, one of the three coordinators who worked with Mockus to formulate the plan. Instead, the fifteen points, he went on to explain, act as a general framework for Mockus to develop into much more detailed and specific plans later on with his team of advisors.
This process, explains La Silla Vacia, “has been complicated in part because of the short time that they [the advisors] have had to develop proposals, and in part due to the lack of organization in the campaign.”
Also, Mockus’ “traveling around the entire country does not give him enough time to sit down and discuss the development of proposals.”
With only three weeks left until the elections, little time remains for Mockus to finalize his proposals. According to Sanchez, that they hope to finalize all of the details and publish Mockus’ concrete, detailed proposals by the end of the week.