Monday, November 06, 2006
Bota Bota Guam and Rota
Its election time in Guam. I originally intended to post either the list of my favorite candidates this year, or at least a discussion about all the stupid "Underwood is a racist" discussions that are circulating Guam. I recently stumbled across a website which is guaguahi i guafi, dedicated specifically to saying anything negative about Underwood.
Lao gof matuhok yu', pues bai chagi agupa'. Lao para pa'go bei fa'nu'i hamyo este ne pinente-ku, na hu ayek put i espiritun este na ha'ani.
The painting to the left was supposed to be part of a show I had several years ago at the Two Lover's Point/CAHA/KAHA Gallery in Tumon. For those who don't recognize the figure through the expressive lines and drips, its supposed to be Antonio Borja Won Pat, former Assemblyman, Senator, Speaker of the Guam Legislature, and Non-Voting Delegate to the United States Congress. His daughter Judi Won Pat is running this election.
I broke down and decided, even though its late and on Guam the election is already happening, but out of principle to name those who I feel should win and some of the various reasons why.
Jesse Anderson Lujan (JAL)
Gof ya-hu i sinangan-ña yan tinige’-ña Si JAL, sa’ ti ma’a’ñao para u sångan i minagahet put i bida i Amerikånu siha. Yanggen colonialism, mungga mapuni, sångan ha’.
Jose Chargualaf (Mr. C)
Maolek gui’ sa’ mumumu gui’ kontra i nina’privatize-ñiha i hanom yan port Guahan.
Che’lun i difunton Anghet Leon Guerrero Santos. Guiya i mas hoben ni’ malalågo, pues bula hinasso-ñiñiha na guiya rumepresesenta i manhoben.
Judi Won Pat
Ha gof hongge put i impottanten-ñiha self-determination yan decolonization.
Jose Terlaje (Pedo)
(Estaba i ga’chong Anghet Santos, nai mumalågo i dos para Maga’låhi yan Segundo Maga’låhi)
(Mangge na taotao, sa’ kada na sakkan ha volunteer maisa gui’ gi KGTF, para iyon-ñiha telethon).
As an ethnic nationalist, I am always searching for reasons that Guam is better than our colonizer. While most people resort to the traditional "family" examples, which stay away from very concrete political comparisions, I enjoy trumping the colonizer in the realms that he alone is supposed to know and control.
For instance, despite the back that Guam doesn't get to vote in Congress or for President of the United States Guam's voter turnout is incredibly high. It is interesting how often people from the United States gripe about how people in places such as Guam need to be instructed in the proper civics of modern politics, when the majority of the people who can participate in political processes in the US, do not participate. (as Guam becomes more and more like a limp liberal democracy, than this level of participation will decline, because the effect of this sort of political shift is that people become more and more divorced from the political process. We can already see this happening, in that a grassroots candidate nowadays has basically no change of winning a spot in the legislature, because what makes the difference is name recognition in publicly neutral way (put hemplo, atan ha' i masangan-na Ray Tenorio "No Empty Promises, Just Hard Work.")
(In the PDN piece this morning we are informed that today all on Guam will be exercising a constitutional right today, which considering Guam's ambiguous political relationship to the United States, and that fact that we on Guam have rights through Congress not the US Constitutions, makes the PDN seem even more ignorantly colonizing than usual. Here again we can see that institutions such as the PDN serve two basic purposes in Guam. The First is to dictate and define what is America and American in Guam, which gives everyone on Guam lessons in how to be more Americans. Second, is to provide things which overcome the colonial distance/difference in Guam, by making us feel more American, but to certain limits. As I wrote several weeks ago, the PDN publishes fairly regularly positive letters to the editor from military families on Guam, in order to cover up and dispel so much of the anxiety that exists on Guam between civiliains and servicepeople. Here we can see the PDN asserting the importance of voting through the Constitution in order to make Guam feel like its just like anywhere else in the United States.)
One thing that us on Guam can be proud of is that despite all of the problems plaguing electronic voting machines across the United states, Guam is one of the few regions which is actually acting on these problems, and so electronic voting machines will not be used in Guam for this election. The Governor made it official a few days ago when he prohibited the use of them.
Of course, us being on the cutting edge creates its own inatan baba. Take for example this thread from the message board for Democratic Underground. Over the past few months, Democrats, Leftists and election reform activists throughout the US have been working to get the message out about the problems with electronic voting. Few however have been able to actually get anything changed. Although this is the type of reformist response everyone wants, few people take notice when it happens on Guam, and so only a small exchange ensues on the board.
Taotao Unu: If only America would follow Guam's example nm
Taotao Dos: In this instance yes. But this is a miracle for Guam imo. Very shady politics usually prevail there.
Taotao Unu: Well if they can figure it out...we should certainly be able to.