Tomorrow is the 2011 Peruvian Presidential Election and we've noticed some serious differences between US elections and Peruvian ones. First, voting is mandatory for all Peruvians: if you don't vote, you get a sizable fine. Second, there is a national law that you can neither buy nor sell alcohol (to prevent rowdiness and protesting?). For non-Peruvians, this low-key sucks because all the clubs and bars are closed. But as my host mom explained, people drink in their homes so I'm not sure if the law is truly necessary, but who am I to question customs?
Aside from the cultural differences, there is something quite distinct about this election: the choice of candidates. First there's Keiko Fujimori, the daughter of the past president. Problem is, her dad was involved in SERIOUSLY shady stuff, including death orders, sterilization of thousands of women without their consent, lying about being born in Peru, and he quit his presidency after hoping a plane to Japan. Now people feel like they can't trust Keiko because she was acting First Lady (after her dad kicked her mom out) and there are countless campaign posters of Keiko and her dad. This is the first choice.
The second choice is Ollanta Humala, the socialist that plans to do the whole Robin Hood thing: take from the rich and give to the needy. Or as Niloy says, he's Hugo Chavez round 2. There's also fears that his proposed policies will cause foreign businesses to withdraw from Peru. Needless to say, tomorrow's gonna provide interesting conversations over the next couple of weeks.