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Bollocks in Bolivia

South America is a place the US clearly took its eyes off since 911, and look at what has happened since.

Hugo Chavez in Venezuela (another Gaddafi if ever there was one, worse than Fidel Castro who at least had the interests of his people at heart) and now of course, all the troubles in Bolivia started by Evo Morales. Not content with Nationalising most of anything that made money, such as the oil industry which is was developing Bolivia’s Natural Gas reserves, Morales has now pushed a vote through to change the Constitution so that universal pensions can be given to the over 65s.

Now most people would ask why Bolivia doesn’t already have pensions for the over 65s, after all, most democracies do. But Bolivia is a pretty poor place overall, and like so many South American countries power is concentrated in the hands of just a few rich families who, let’s be frank, don’t think anyone else should get a look in.

So, Morales has pretty good reasons for feeling aggrieved, but what is worrying is twofold. First of all, he seems to be very much under the influence of Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, not really the best thing in itself. But secondly, his manipulation of democracy is rather a bad example and shows a total disregard for the system.

So, what bad deed did he do? Only blocked members of the opposition from entering the Parliament buildings when the vote on the Constitution took place, so that his wished for changes could go through! He even admitted later that without the mob rule he could never have got the Constitution changed. Of course not: how will giving money away that has not been planned for benefit the country over the long term?

Imagine blocking Parliament in London so only members of the Liberal Party could vote. They might have a point that this gave them a fairer opportunity to represent the views of the millions of people who voted for them – usually in second place of course. They might even say they could then change the system to one of  Proportional Representation so the permanent two party system could be broken up for good. But they couldn’t say they made the change democratically.  And nor can Morales.

Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how laudable your aims are, how good your goal is. It matters how you reach it, because it is the journey, not the destination, that defines the future.

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