Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The honeymoon is over for Juan Manuel Santos of Colombia (though only in Colombian minds)

Here's a chart that shows the Presidential approval ratings for Colombia's President, Juan Manuel Santos, from his inauguration in August last year to this month, May 2011. The info is taken from a search here and worth noting that Colombia tends to check the approval pulse of its government every two months, rather than the month-on-month polls taken elsewhere.

Colombia has always been and will always be a very weird place. When the latest batch of surveys came out this month, the hand-wringing was widespread with political chatterers and assembled dumbasses all bemoaning the plummeting popularity of their Prez. The main line of all-gonna-die thinking is that the latest result was the lowest score from any month since 2002 (i.e. they're all too concerned with tying up the Santos numbers with the scores Uribe used to get). So, points to take into account:

1) All Presidents get a honeymoon period boost. So Juanma is down 15% from day one and 18% from his peak...big deal.

2) He's still polling 71%, FerCryinOut! Jeesh, what would Twobreakfasts in Peru (31%), Pepe in Uruguay (44%) or Studmuffin in Ecuador (45%, though other polls give him a point or two more and less) give to be polling that kind of number?

3) He's not as popular as Uribe because he dares to tell the truth, which pisses off the right-wing control groups of Colombia no end. Colombia has an armed conflict? Errr...yeah (but Uribe stayed in flat denial). Colombia has corruption at the highest levels? Errr...yeah (but Uribe wasn't the cure, he was the freakin' cause of it). Colombia needs to get its Congress working? Errr....yeah...sorry guys, get off your asses one time and do some work.

As has been made plain on these pages previously, your author has been most pleasantly surprised at the quality and integrity of Colombia's new President. He's a good guy and one who deserves the support he's getting...that's to say from the large majority of Colombians (the people who matter). The rest is noise.