Janis Hernandez

Rafael Correo at a campaign rally last year.

HAVANA TIMES — Even the dialectics developed by Marx and Engels invoked the unity and struggle of opposites as the first, basic pre-condition for all social development.

These past days, when the mayoral elections in different regions of Ecuador were taking place and different political parties competed to secure these positions, I again came to the conclusion that only a multi-party system can guarantee the existence of democracy.

The co-existence of different political parties bound to express the people’s will through constitutional means is the most effective way towards progress in any nation – a practice which is entirely foreign to us Cubans.

During a public address, President Rafael Correa, speaking on behalf of his party Alianza Pais, asked himself why they had lost these elections in cities as crucial as Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca.

He more or less suggested that they had to look into where they had gone wrong in those localities, or what mistakes were made during his party’s campaign in the said jurisdictions. What did they do wrong?, asked the president.

The president of Ecuador knows that deficiencies and shortcomings can only be overcome by first becoming aware of them.

On Sunday, Ecuador’s opposition won the elections for mayors in Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca. Whether this will spell benefits for the populations there, I don’t know. That’s something for Ecuadorians to find out.

What I do know is that Marx and Engels contradicted themselves. They proposed a dictatorship of the proletariat, but their dialectical worldview told us that changes are only brought about by contradictory forces.

I believe this is the reason our country hasn’t changed in so many years – here, the advantages of a multi-party system are flatly denied and rejected.


Janis Hernández

Janis Hernandez: I don’t seek to change the world, much less give recipes on how it should or shouldn’t be. I don’t have the gift of oratory or that of the letters. I’m not an analyst or a philosopher. I am just an observer of the things that happen around me and I feel obligated to speak about my country without a muzzle, just write and that’s what I do in my diary.

5 thoughts on “The Advantages of a Multi-Party System

  • OK Adrian, but to be specific, Cuba has been under dictatorship since 1952 when it commenced under Batista. Revolution was in my view inevitable. Sadly following the success of the revolution, Fidel Castro chose to abandon that freedom which he had been preaching and adopt and introduce communism which inevitably led to him becoming dictator, thus satisfying his ego and insatiable desire for power. Initially there were some achievements, in particular in medical (based upon UK initiative) and educational services although the constitutionally defined purpose of the latter is to instill communism in children.

    I was interested in your viewpoint about the US political system. As a non US citizen, one can only observe, but it seems to me that patriotic adherence to the US Constitution as it currently stands is an impediment to desirable changes. But that is not my business. My reasons for discussing and expanding upon the politics of Cuba, are firstly that I am married to a Cuban and my home is in Cuba and secondly that I detest communism and dictatorship.

  • I forgot not… Cuba has always been as such since the Cold War… I only mean other countries.

  • Adrian forget about the idea of a democratic system of multi-party elections occurring in Cuba. Cuba is a one-party Communist dictatorship.
    Fortunately, if Cuba eventually escapes from under the repressive communist system, there are other democratic alternatives to the US system. The citizens of the US have to address their own internal political challenges – starting by revising the much hallowed Constitution!
    But the Havana Times is not a suitable venue for such discussion.

  • I agree with you Janis. A multi-party system would greatly benefit any sort of democratic government. With the multi-party system, more people’s views can be represented and we won’t have a huge abuse of power by one or two parties. Living in America, we all see that the Democratic and Republican parties ruler the government with very few exceptions because the candidates from third party members aren’t getting this massive support as America’s government, economy, and media tend to focus on the two main parties. With the recent election, we have had a drastic increase in independents who realize the two-party system is not working to support all the views and aren’t giving enough attention to crucial issues in the world today such as deforestation, American crime rates, endangerment of animals, and other occurrences. I’m just glad to see that the Southern-Central American countries have seen the benefits of this system!

  • A multi-party system could work in a democratic setting.
    We do not have a democratic setting.
    At present, in the U.S. at least, the two major parties are controlled by the very wealthiest individuals and corporations and because of that offer no alternative to the pro-capitalist, pro-imperialist, center-right U.S. government agenda .
    Today’s technology – cellphones and internet connections- provides all that is necessary for direct democracy which will eliminate all possibility for the inevitable representative corruption contained in the present oligarchic republican form.
    All citizens interested in a given bill, act, law etc. could phone in or e-mail in their wishes on those bills and eliminate representative government entirely.
    You do not need a party to propose a bill, act, law , just an inspired individual or group of individuals .
    Not only do you not need parties but in the present oligarchic/plutocratic shift in the U.S. government, they are a direct barrier to democracy (which is carrying out the will of the MAJORITY of the people as opposed to the will of the few wealthy.)
    Poder Popular , as written, provides far more democracy and voice for all the people and without the sure-to-be-corrupted parties of bourgeois politics.
    While admittedly dry, Arnold August’s ” Democracy In Cuba: The 1997-98 Elections very clearly lays out how Poder Popular was developed and how it functions. IMO it is the best governmental form I have seen or heard about in my 70 years.
    Of course PP has had its most important democratic features twisted and perverted by the U.S. war on the revolution and in the future PP will need to return to that grass-roots, bottom-up operation as in the original plan but Poder Popular is deeply democratic and fine just as it was written and needs no major changes .
    Of course, the totalitarians in both Cuba’s government and in the opposition in the USA don’t want a democratic Cuba so they w.
    Isn’t that correct Moses ?

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