Dominican Republic - Political clientelism and poverty

by Edward D. Gonzalez-Acosta

, by Alterinfos América Latina

In May 2006, after voting in the congressional elections, my family and I went up to visit some relatives up in the mountains just south of Rio San Juan. There we played dominoes and were preparing a sancocho, when my cousin walked in very proudly telling us that she had just gotten RD$500 for voting for the PLD. I was shocked, to say the least, but my relatives went on to tell me that it was not uncommon for all the parties to give out money and other material benefits for votes or joining in a campaign activity. When I asked them whether they cared about the policies of the parties, they ALL responded, “No, they (the parties) are all the same. They come around during elections, and never again. If I can get a few pesos for voting, then that’s enough for me.” Read more