"Home" or my wish list for the upcoming elections

This blog has spent some time without updates because , for being honest, I have been disconnected from reality. I did had time to update it, but my life has come more personal and less political, and with those turns is hard to find “hot topics” for blogging on a blog like this. I know elections are coming. The air is out there, announcing it. A few people explained me on the streets on my way to work “how to vote” (for their party of course, but there’s nothing wrong with that). Predictions come and go, and they are all saying different things. There are people who are feeling optimist, others not so much and the rest are just skeptical.

Me, on the other hand, everyday, after receiving “how to vote” instructions, I enter my office and life goes on in a very different course. I currently have two jobs: one, my regular job which is a great job but not always easy and not always relaxing. The other, consist on applying to grad school. I thought the GRE was the worse part but it isn’t. It’s amazing how much time you spend just writing to professors of different universities to see if their research interest and yours can fit, and if is really worthy to apply to that particular school after all. Every email I send takes me at least half an hour, and often much more than that. It requires to carefully research throughout a particular professor’ profile in the Web site of the program, then read at least quickly a few papers he wrote and if everything looks promising, writing an email. But, the email is in English. So I first write it in a Word Document and carefully check for grammar errors, I’m still so inexpert in this language. If is possible or if I really, really like the idea of working with this particular professor, I send the document to my boyfriend or any “victim” available to do a second check. Only then, I finally send the email. And If I get a response and I must answer back, the same lengthy process starts all over again. I’m always especially concerned of sounding rude, over polite or just plain awkward due to my obvious inexperience of using English on a daily basis.

So between that and writing my statements of purpose, and working and having some social life if I’m lucky, I really don’t have the chance to develop a strong opinion regarding this upcoming election. I don’t have “predictions”, not even “sceneries”. I don’t have anything smart to say about the latest news, whatever they are. I can only provide you a feeling, and a consequential list of wishes.

I have no reason why, but I feel optimistic. Maybe I am unaware of our “realistic possibilities” but despite how misinformed I have been lately; I don’t always attend to “rational reasons” (sounds redundant, I know). Perhaps it’s because I’m female, but I do pay a great deal to my intuition, to this inner something telling me something good might happen. I think I told you this story already, but I met my current boyfriend at a party I initially didn’t want to go. At the end I did, and a friend kindly offered me to take me home afterwards (I don’t have a car). At 3 am, after a few cuba’ libres, some dances and loads of conversation with a guy I have never seen before; I decided to decline my friend’ offer of taking me home and going with this guy instead. The rational me would have never done that, she would have never sit in the car of a guy she just met but I got a good feeling about it. If you consider that it has been two and half years since that and that he’s looking at me as a write this; then you cannot question that my intuition was right. I have the same senseless, fighting against the “rational” me in regards to this election.

I don’t know how many votes we are going to get. How many seats opposition, or independents, or the government’ party is going to earn. Neither I have any idea of how Chavez’ is going to react to the results. All I know is that things are going to be different. The National Assembly will look different, even if is just slightly. And that’s just a start, a place to start to make my own wishes, for this upcoming assembly, and the upcoming country that might arise with it. So to those who can make this assembly look different I have a few proposals to make, in no particular order:

1. Next election, or in a couple of more elections, or in five years or at some point of my life; I want to vote for who I want. I want to vote for the person I feel it deserves it, for the person I believe in, I have research about and I got the feeling it will make a good job. I want to vote for candidate “X” because it is certainly better than candidates “Y”, “R” and “Z”. I don’t want to vote for candidate “X” because votes are split between him and a Revolutionary- Chavez – sheep candidate; so candidate “X” is really my only alternative.

2. I’m applying now for a Masters. But next, I might be applying for a doctorate and when that happens I don’t want to be in the angst I have right now, were my CADIVI dollars are insufficient to pay for the graduate school abroad application requirements. It’s hard for the graduate schools abroad to get this. But it shouldn’t be hard for Venezuelans to understand that restrictions are hardly the key for professional progress and all the kinds of progress you can think of. I know that to stop the control exchange system could leave us to an economical disaster, but please just try to make an alternative.

3. Please consider the “other”. There are many “others” in Venezuela: there are people living in rural areas and people living way inside the “barrios”, and people from the middle class and, and, and, and… and guess what? They are all Venezuelan and they are as wise and educated as you are. Listen to they want to say. Do not ever refer to them as “these people”. Do not pretend you know exactly how they feel, and exactly what they need. Ask them first, and listen. You are not alone in this world and there are a lot of people outside this pretty circled capitol who put their trust in you. But that trust doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want at closed doors.

4. A variant of my third wish: Please continue to be yourself. To be a deputy doesn’t make you a superior person. Do not demand a special treatment for your recently acquired status. You are a representative and therefore, first and foremost, a public server. This country is filled with ego- hunger people. And I feel we need just people. Not more pricks from any tendency or party pretending to be Gods and Goddess.

5. Inside the Capitol, please also consider the “other”. Your political opponents are as human as you are. For real, even if they don’t think like you. Your parish is not the world and you don’t hold the truth in your hands. Sit next to them. See what you can build with them. Agree to disagree and work on those things you do agree. There must be some, for the mental health of this country so eager of seeing some reconciliation; look for those, find them, and work on them.

6. Remember you are part of a separate power. For real, you might consider it odd but you are part of a separate power and now, you can try to actually act like one. Just saying. In case of any doubts, read Montesquieu. Yes, he wrote like a million years ago and you should feel ashamed of ignoring the fact that you, like a million years later, still don’t know a thing about independent and separate powers.

7. Sure, there are loads of issues we are all concerned of and you should work on those topics (ejem… Does “insecurity” sounds like an important topic to be consider? – I thought so). Now, I don’t mean to offend you, but this country cannot be fixed or build by using so many laws and eagerly trying to legalize every single little minimum aspects of our lives. Please focus your agenda in the really important topics; and stop wasting your time writing laws about colors, appropriate use of national signs, or the special law for the deodorant sellers, musicians and so on. And always remember, you are a legislator and a congressman. You are not a governor, or a policy maker. And social change depends of the work of all those people altogether, despite what the (useless) beautiful law you just approve.

8. Control the central government. Do I need to remind you that? It is not written somewhere as your must do and very basic functions as a deputy? Do some serious research. I mean like serious research, you know what that is? It’s like putting out something very well based and compromising before appearing in front of TV Cameras making a “denounce” on which we will never hear nothing of again.

9. Don’t call for a debate for every single stupidity that happens. Don’t lose your focus of the important things. We don’t need to see debate over short statement made by a judge, a politician, a priest, or a twitter. I’m just so sick of being sick of “debates”. The same script repeating from the capitol to the radio, from the TV to the University and the net. I don’t know if is politically correct to say that we are more in the need of conversations. Have you heard of those? People talking without trying to impose their version of the truth to others and willing to prove they are right just to win. People talking to exchange different points of view, and try to find something in common or a place where differences do not collide so much. I’m probably not being politically correct, I know (everyone says so) we need debates. But lately, I have developed a certain allergy to that word. “Debate” ugh… sounds like another fight “I’m Revolutionary, you are capitalist. I’m patriotic, you are not. I have these stats, you have others. You are a communist, I’m a progressive and blah blah blah...”

10. Smile. Be optimist. Give us some hope. I know you are all dreaming the same as me. I know you all dream of a place. Call it country, call it town, call it city, call it family. A place. Where we all feel safe. Where people don’t call you crazy if you consider staying. Where you are this, you are that, and you are respected despite if you are this or that. Where we do not feel fear, or paranoia or for God sake, hate. A place where we, the eternal optimists are not called na├»ve. A place to believe, to marry, to grow old, to raise your kids. An imperfect pleasant place. A place filled with troubles and constant changes and adjustments. But over all, a place filled with hopes and possibilities in the middle of our –not uncommon – modern chaos. A place whose people are filled with maturity, respect, consideration and compassion. Where gun shots are not heard as often as genuine smiles can be seen.

September, 26th can be the start of such place. Despite of how many of you made it. I don’t care if the most of you are still considered red. What matters is that you have the possibility to start something that has probably already started. It has started between our souls, and minds, so tired of so much.

I have made my wishes and I’m crossing my fingers to see what happens. I’m talking to many professors who are totally unaware of my story and my circumstances; of my hopes and dreams. Of this intuition that keeps telling me that the brief interruption I’m going to take of this application process, for walking a few blocks and voting; will be a contribution to my wish list. I’m looking forward to go to grad school. I’m looking forward to come back and visit this place, my 10th Wish, my home.

PS: The image used for this entry (Mafalda, my favorite cartoon character ever) was taken from this web site: http://www.ordesa.net/foro/files/posted_images/user_75_mafalda.jpg. I don't mean to steal anyone's right. I merely avoid to use my own images for privacy reasons and try to fulfill the place with something suitable on the Web.