Impressions on reactions to elections results. HSG reporting from P-au-P on the reactions to the elections, 09-12-2010
City slightly less frozen but still few vehicles, no shops. A varied scene. In some places the barricades have been removed, but in others like the whole of lower Delmas they have been reinforced. My view is that this is widespread but shallow. It’s certainly politically shallow. Like Martelly himself. But the frustration that propels it, and might yet do for some time to come, is really deep.
Its a new generation with no jobs, limited education and little hope. They know little of Aristide or Lavalas politically but they are doing what their mothers and fathers did in voting, then massing for the rank outsider — the one most diamentrically opposed to the political establishment — the old establishment in Mirlande Manigat and the new one in Jude Celestine. They want change but what will they get? It is a generation more linked to the US, some with associations to the boat people of the 80s and 90s, and black youth culture and music in the US. Yet again, Haiti maybe ahead of its time. If Jon Stewart, a US satirist and comedian, can put 500,000 people on the Washington Mall just by poking fun at the political estabishment, how long before he is running seriously for President? As ever Haiti did it first. Or should I say, tried to? But then this would not be the land of the Comedians or they the grandchildren of the protagonists of the Graham Greene novel, if they did not actually try to elect a comedian. And tried seriously — with that wry sense of irony that is so Haitian.