It’s a big election year in Peru and things are just a little bit different than how it goes in the States. You can tell when it is campaign time because every available wall is painted with political propaganda, every street light has a sign hung on it, and people start wearing the free t-shirts they are given with a candidate’s name. Every seat from local, regional to national is up for grabs and the campaigners are out in full force sharing their platform and ideas for the country.
Since there is a large population of people that can’t read, and a large number of political parties in Peru, every sign usually includes some sort of logo and “marca así” (vote like this). When the people go to vote, the symbols are included on the ballot to help those that can’t read, or simply can’t remember the name of their candidate!
I found out today that a friend from Iquitos just entered in the upcoming political elections on October 3rd. He’s running for mayor of Punchana in the party Restauración Nacional, which according to my friend, out of 20+ political parties, it is the only evangelical Christian party that exists in Peru.
In this particular election, he is competing against 14 others for the title “mayor of Punchana.” Since elections are in just a few months and he is running against a large number of people, I asked his strategy for campaigning. He replied, it is three fold – traditional, churches and, finally, 12 by 12.
Like every other candidate, he now has signs hanging around the city, posters on the back of mototaxis, walls painted with his name, and television and radio ads. The next part of his plan is to visit every church in the city of Punchana, whether it be during Sunday services, small groups or fellowship meetings. Since he is part of the only evangelical Christian party, they are the only ones that have easy access to this form of campaigning. And finally, his last method of campaigning is 12 by 12. Like how Christianity was spread throughout the world through the 12 apostles proclaiming the Good News to those they met, he will be using this method in his campaign. If he can convince 12 people to vote for him and have those same 12 to get 12 more people, and they another 12, and so on and so on, he can gain supporters and share his mission.
I’m excited to see what the outcome is of the elections on October 3rd!