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Fun with Lenin

6 January 2013

Well, this is interesting.

Ecuador’s presidential election is next month, and with this is the first time a President can run for re-election.  Incumbents have a built-in advantage in electoral politics, and Rafael Correa is no exception.  He’s polling at about 60 percent of the electorate (his nearest rival getting something like 11 percent) so it’s not like he’d really need to focus all his attention on the campaign.

Still … in a bid to at least appear to give the opposition a fair chance… Correa is taking a leave of absence from his post and Vice-President Lenin Moreno will be Ecuador’s official head of state for the next few weeks.

lenin

Hail Lenin! Hail Groucho Marx!

Despite what you might assume from his given name, Moreno was a successful business executive before going into government service… in the tourism sector.   He was shot during a car-jacking in 1998, which left him bed-ridden in intractable pain.  Conventional treatment unlikely to help, or to allow him to live a relatively productive life he turned to “laughter therapy”.   You know, “cry and you cry alone; laugh, and your body releases endorphins”.

It may be nutty, but watching Charlie Chaplin, the Three Stooges, Cantinflas, and just laughing have led to a remarkable second career, not only as an advocate for the handicapped, but as a successful politician.  So… for the next few weeks, as far as I can tell, Ecuador will be the only country in the world with a paraplegic head of state.

Might be a good time for an international summit… the world’s stressed out enough, and a president who knows some good jokes might be what we all need.

 

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