Starting off on the wrong foot

first_imgAdemás reitero el respeto por los compromisos adoptados durante la campaña política, sin excepción.— Luis Guillermo Solís (@luisguillermosr) May 1, 2014 A lackluster victory is what the Citizen Action Party earned today in gaining control of the Legislative Assembly’s directorate. Instead of today’s events being seen as a brilliant triumph, the PAC has mud on its face. Yes, they won, but not before opening wounds and creating distrust among key supporters who helped put them in office.The political impulse with which the new ruling party made its debut has left a bad taste in the mouths of many. From day one, PAC sought the allied votes of fundamentalist Christians in the legislature – those who belong to Justo Orozco’s party – just as the former ruling National Liberation Party had been criticized for doing in the past four years.The problem PAC created for itself is one of image. We all know the importance of first impressions, and that golden opportunity to begin on the right foot has now disappeared for the former opposition party of PAC. They now must work to overcome this setback and avoid further diminishing the brief honeymoon the party has so far enjoyed with an overwhelming majority of voters since February.Thankfully for those of us who gave those lawmakers our votes, the disastrous agreement between PAC and the National Renovation Party never materialized. In a matter of hours, the pressure from outraged supporters weighed heavily. A significant number of voters who are angry that human rights issues were negotiated in the first place forced PAC reconsider its position. In the end, PAC gained enough votes to win the Legislative Assembly presidency, thanks to the Social Christian Unity Party.But what would have happened if the reaction from the LGBT community and other sectors hadn’t been swift and strong?This regrettable episode leaves us with more questions than answers. Here are some of those questions:–How important are the issues that PAC lawmakers are negotiating, and how much does it matter with whom they negotiate? More simply, do the ends justify the means?–Was it vitally important, as in life or death, that PAC win the legislative directorate? Did it merit negotiations with the most radically conservative elements of our country?–What symbolic value does PAC see in the fact that its first publicized action as the ruling party (thankfully it never materialized) was a broken campaign promise?–Would an agreement not to discuss same-sex civil unions for one year have affected the human rights agenda, or is that issue not going to be discussed for a year anyway, with or without an agreement with the evangelical block?We have four long years ahead of us to learn the answers to these questions, but the lessons we’ve learned in the past 24 hours are crystal clear. On the plus side, 1.3 million Costa Ricans voted for PAC, and there is nothing preventing us from criticizing the actions of the party. None of us signed a blank check.If they’re clever, PAC’s legislative block will learn from this and take note that we are not prepared to cede an inch on issues that represent the true change we demanded at the polls.On the minus side, we are convinced that religious groups are powerful enough to dictate our national politics and set the legislative agenda if we let down our collective guard down. Nancy De Lemos is a journalist and former director in Costa Rica for the news agency EFE. A graduate of the University of Costa Rica, she now works in communication for global environmental NGOs.Recommended: Joining the ranks of the hopeful Facebook Commentscenter_img Related posts:Dismantling Costa Rica’s lesbian and gay closet Supreme Court’s Constitutional Chamber to evaluate appointment of Lutheran bishop as presidency minister Disinfecting government: The light of a new day dawning provides needed transparency for Costa Rica President of ruling Citizen Action Party steps down after just two monthslast_img read more

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first_img Top Stories The Cards, like Seattle, are turning to an unseasoned and inexperienced signal caller. Unlike Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, Skelton seemed to win the quarterback job by default. Neither he nor his competition Kevin Kolb was able to impress during the preseason. Skelton finished 14-for-25 passing for 131 yards with 1 TD and 2 INTs.Wilson, on the other hand, bested pricy veteran free agent Matt Flynn to land the starting job. The third-round draft pick completed 63.5 percent of his throws and had five touchdowns with only one interception. He also rushed for 150 yards during the preseason.Offensive LineWhile the Cardinals quarterback conundrum took center stage heading into the season, it’s their shoddy offensive line that gives cause for concern. The loss of tackle Levi Brown to a season-ending triceps tear could prove detrimental to an otherwise weak line.Offensive line coach Russ Grimm certainly has his work cut out for him this year. D’Anthony Batiste, Bobby Massie and Pat McQuistan will likely garner a lot of attention, although it might not be the good kind.ReceiversThe Cardinals still face questions as to which wideout will step up and turn into a formidable force alongside six-time Pro Bowler Larry Fitzgerald. Ken Whisenhunt’s team isn’t lacking talent in that area, as the Cards boast talented first-round draft pick Michael Floyd, along with Andre Roberts and Early Doucet. Comments   Share   The Arizona Cardinals kick off the 2012 season in front of their home fans against a familiar foe. The Cards will battle NL West rival Seattle Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. These two teams split two games last year, each winning on their own turf.QuarterbacksThe John Skelton era will officially begin for the Cardinals at quarterback. While there still remains some questions about his ability to lead the team, limit mistakes and cut down on turnovers — he’s head coach Ken Whisenhunt’s choice to open the season as the team’s starter. If Skelton wants to have any success, he needs to get off to a fast start and improve on his accuracy, which has been one of his bigger weaknesses. D-backs president Derrick Hall: Franchise ‘still focused on Arizona’ Cardinals expect improving Murphy to contribute right away DefenseMany pundits believe the strength of this year’s Cardinals team is their defense. Ray Horton’s troops hope to prove that’s true with a strong start to the season. Arizona has two reliable pass rushers in Calais Campbell and three-time Pro Bowl tackle Darnell Dockett. The team’s secondary is also deep, with safety Adrian Wilson and Patrick Peterson in the mix. Don’t count out linebacker Daryl Washington, who could play a key role in the contest, as well.It will be crucial for the Cardinals to stop a mobile Wilson from breaking out of the pocket, while also stopping a very good Seahawks running game.The Cardinals offense won’t have an easy task going up against Seattle’s defense, which allowed a league-low 44 points in the preseason. Their defense also forced 10 turnovers, which could be bad news for Skelton. Look for the Seahawks to force his hand and, as a result, force mistakes.Besides top pass rusher Chris Clemons on the defensive line, Seattle will look to two rookies, first-round pick Bruce Irvin and second-rounder Bobby Wagner, to make some noise and put pressure on Skelton. The Cardinals signal caller has thrown 16 interceptions in 13 career games and should have a huge target on his back in this game. OutlookThe Cardinals struggling offensive line and uncertainty at quarterback could prove to be the team’s undoing against Seattle. If the Seahawks defense looks anything like it did during the preseason, it will be a long day at the office for the Cardinals. What an MLB source said about the D-backs’ trade haul for Greinke Nevada officials reach out to D-backs on potential relocation While the Cardinals receivers bring a youthful exuberance into the fold, the Seahawks will turn to veteran Braylon Edwards to set the tone for their wideouts. Besides Edwards, Seattle will rely on Doug Baldwin, Ben Obomanu and Golden Tate a good deal this season.The Cardinals defense will have the good fortune of not facing Tate on Sunday. He is still nursing a sprained knee and will not play.Running game The Cardinals are expected to rely more heavily on their running game this year. The key to their success likely centers around the health of their backs Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams. The team is hopeful both can return successfully from their respective knee surgeries. Williams could be a wild card for the Cardinals. He missed all of his rookie season last year and while the team has seen glimpses of what he’s capable of, if he can translate that potential and promise to carries and touchdowns on the field, the Cards should be off and running.The Seahawks possess a strong running game of their own, and one that thrived during the preseason. Still Marshawn Lynch is questionable for the opener against Arizona with back spasms, which would give the Cardinals a boost. Robert Turbin is expected to see a good deal of action, especially if Lynch doesn’t play.last_img read more