Just as a little background first, there are several political parties but only two main ones, so I will concentrate on those, with apologies to the rest. The two parties are the Dominican Liberation Party (PLD) and the Dominican Revolutionary Party (PRD). Excuse my ignorance but I am not sure what the PLD were/are being liberated from nor the PRD having a revolution against.
Luckily I do not have to explain the manifestos to you, nor which party is more left or right, as it appears there are no manifestos as such and no clear political direction. Both say they will help the poor - which neither have done before, sort out the electricity, again neither party have ever managed to do that, stop corruption, which both parties appear to excel in, etc etc.
So what is the main difference between each party? I think it is the colour - the PLD is purple, with a little gold sometimes, and the PRD are white. If you support either party you have to wear the appropriate colour. If you support the PLD you are called a Peledeista and the PRD a Peredeista. Simple really.
|Danilo Medina from the PLD, fetching in purple. Is his security guard texting?|
|The PRD, white party, caravana|
|Hipolito and his sensible hat|
The streets will be lined with thousands of supporters dressed in the appropriate colours, wearing party baseball caps, and waving party flags, hoping that something worthwhile will be thrown out of the jipetas in the convoy - be it salami, chickens, even money. It is amazingly noisy, hot, dusty, totally chaotic and great fun.
At the end of the route the presidential candidate will usually say a few words and then slither back inside the vehicle and go home ready for the next one the next day. Whilst I can see that they are good fun, although hot and tiring, I haven't yet worked out how they persuade the voters to vote for one particular party.