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经济学人:贝约 我至高无上

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Bello

贝约
I, the Supreme
我,至高无上
Latin America needs term limits. But how strict should they be?
拉丁美洲需要任期限制。但是这一限制需要多严格呢?
NO SOONER had Juan Manuel Santos, Colombia's president, secured himself a second term in a run-off election in June than he announced that he wants to prevent such a thing happening again. He will propose a constitutional change barring immediate re-election and lengthening future presidential terms, from four to five or six years. Why didn't he think of that before, cynics might ask? He might reply that it was in Colombia's interest to give him more time to complete peace talks with the FARC guerrillas, for which a single four-year term proved too short.
哥伦比亚总统胡安·曼努埃尔·桑托斯刚刚在6月的大选中获得连任机会,便立即发表声明声称他希望防止这样的总统连任事件再次发生。他将提出一个宪法修正案以防止总统再次参与竞选,并将总统任期从4年延长至5或6年。不满的愤世嫉俗者可能会问,为什么他之前就没有想到这么做呢?桑托斯会回答,事实已经证明四年的任期并不足以让他完成与哥伦比亚武装力量游击队的和平谈话,为了哥伦比亚的利益他需要更多的时间来完成这一使命。

Mr Santos's move runs counter to the regional trend. In country after country in Latin America, term limits have been loosened over the past two decades. The latest to seek to abolish them altogether is Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa. He declared last year that his current term would be his final one, only for his supporters to unveil a bill in July allowing indefinite re-election for all public offices. Since Mr Correa commands a large legislative majority, Ecuador is likely to follow Venezuela and Nicaragua in allowing a presidency for life.

Santos先生的做法与拉美整个的地区趋势相悖。在拉丁美洲的各个国家,任期限制在最近的20年里已经一再放松。最近一位想要完全废除任期限制的是厄瓜多尔总统拉斐尔·科雷亚。他去年声称只要他的支持者在六月推出允许所有公共政府机关职位的无限期再次竞选的法案,他当前任期将是他最后的任期。由于Correa先生掌握着大多数立法投票席位,厄瓜多尔很有可能和委内瑞拉与尼加拉瓜一样允许终生总统任期。
Not coincidentally, these countries are among a handful in Latin America in which presidents now exercise near-absolute power. Mr Correa, the late Hugo Chávez in Venezuela and Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega deployed their electoral majorities to crush the independence of the judiciary, curb the media and hamper opposition. In the extent of their power, if not in the route by which they obtained it, they resemble the region's 19th-century dictators—whose absolutism is captured in the title of a classic Paraguayan novel by Augusto Roa Bastos called “Yo, el Supremo”.
并不是巧合,因为这三个国家均是拉丁美洲少数几个总统拥有近乎绝对统治权的国家。厄瓜多尔总统拉斐尔·科雷亚将是下一个委内瑞拉总统乌戈·查韦斯。他和尼加拉瓜总统丹尼尔·奥尔特加部署了大多数选举席位以便遏制司法独立、控制媒体以及遏制反对派的行动。除了获取权利的路线不同,他们的权利范围与该地区19世纪的独裁者有极大的相似之处。这些独裁者的专制统治在巴拉圭作家奥古斯托·罗亚·巴斯托斯的经典小说的标题中体现的淋漓尽致—《我,至高无上》。
The trend to looser term limits goes far beyond these three countries. Daniel Zovatto of the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, an inter-governmental organisation, points out that in the 1980s the norm in Latin America's restored democracies was to restrict presidents to a single term. Of the 15 Latin American countries with no plans for indefinite re-election, four now allow two consecutive terms and seven permit former presidents to run again after an interlude. Only four—Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Paraguay—still confine their presidents to one term only.
放松任期限制的趋势并不仅在这三个国家中存在。国际民主与选举援助组织在拉丁美洲和加勒比海的区域主管丹尼尔·组瓦特指出,拉丁美洲于20世纪80年代恢复的民主政治正是为了将总统职位限制为单任期。在15个尚没有允许无限期再次竞选的拉丁美洲国家中,4个国家现在允许2期连任,有7个国家允许前任总统们在他人担任总统之后再次竞选总统,只有墨西哥、危地马拉、洪都拉斯以及巴拉圭这4个国家依旧将总统限制为单任期。
Critics of this trend say that incumbents have an even greater advantage over opponents than they have in, say, the United States. Only twice since 1990 have candidates who were sitting presidents lost elections in Latin America. Several incumbents have also managed to anoint their chosen successors, who in the case of the late Néstor Kirchner of Argentina was his wife, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
这种趋势的批评者认为,现任总统相比于其反对者的优势很大,且这种优势甚至还大于北美总统的优势。自1990年以来,现任总统再次竞选失败的事情在拉丁美洲只发生过两次。有些在位者也会神话他们选定的接任者,比如阿根廷前任总统内斯托尔·卡洛斯·基什内尔便扶持他的妻子克里斯蒂娜·费尔南德斯·德基什内尔成功接任总统。
But the recent success of incumbents owes much to their good fortune in presiding over a golden decade of commodity-fuelled economic growth, and in their distribution of some of this windfall to the poor. Now that economic growth has slowed, presidents have become less popular. A test of whether incumbents remain near-invincible will come in Brazil's election in October, in which Dilma Rousseff faces a tough fight for a second term.
不过在位者们的近期成功主要应该归功于他们幸运地处在大宗商品经济蓬勃发展的黄金时期,他们只要将一部分“上帝的馈赠”分发给穷人便可以获得支持。而现在经济的增长速度放缓,总统们变得并没有那么受欢迎。今年10月,在巴西的选举中将会有一个关于在位者是否依旧无可匹敌的测试进行,在这次选举中迪尔玛·罗塞夫为了自己的第二任期将会面临一场艰难的竞争。
There are, in fact, some sound reasons for allowing re-election—though not indefinitely. If a president is popular and has done a good job, surely voters should have the right to choose him or her again? A four-year term, as eight countries have, is too short to do much. Indeed, it is not all that long ago that political scientists fretted that Latin American presidents were too weak rather than too strong.
事实上,还是有一些合理的理由允许总统再次参加竞选的,虽然不是无限再次竞选。如果一个总统很受欢迎并且工作出色,选民们难道不应该有权利再次选择他或者她吗?现在拉丁美洲有8个国家依旧维持4年为一任期的规定, 4年时间确实不足以让一个总统完成太多事情。而且就在不久之前,政治学者们甚至认为拉丁美洲的总统们太脆弱而不是太强大。
What matters is not whether a president can run for re-election, but whether countries possess the countervailing institutions required to curb the abuse of executive power and the advantages of incumbency. Strong and independent judiciaries, electoral authorities, media and political parties are all vital.
问题的关键点不在于总统是否可以再次竞选,而在于国家是否有足以遏制滥用行政权力和在位者优势的对抗制度。强大而独立的司法机构、选举委员会、媒体以及政党都是必不可少的。
Paradoxically, Colombia is fairly well-served in this regard. Its constitutional court knocked down an attempt by álvaro Uribe, Mr Santos's popular predecessor, to run for a third consecutive term. Mr Santos told Bello during the campaign that he thinks Colombians dislike re-election, initiated in 2006 by Mr Uribe. That may be one reason why he barely squeaked to a second term, winning the run-off by less than six percentage points. It seems that Mr Santos has come up with a solution to a problem that Colombia doesn't really have. Perhaps he should export it to Ecuador.
反常的是,哥伦比亚在这一点上做的很好。其宪法院成功粉碎了Santos先生的上一任总统乌里韦谋求3连任的企图。在此次竞选中,桑托斯先生告诉贝约,他认为自乌里韦于2006年连任总统以来,哥伦比亚不喜欢总统再次参加竞选。这恐怕也是本次竞选中他以少于6%的微弱优势艰难胜出的原因之一。看上去桑托斯已经想到了解决问题的方法,虽然这个问题在哥伦比亚并不存在。或许他可以将这个方法推荐给厄瓜多尔。
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conflict ['kɔnflikt]

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vi. 冲突,争

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