What’s Happening in Haiti: Elections Edition

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Here’s the CliffsNotes version: Yesterday the country’s first post-quake elections were held. By midday, most of the 18 candidates banded together to denounce the vote, claiming that the government was fixing the race in favor of the candidate from President Rene Preval’s party. The government says ballots were only destroyed at 3.5 percent of polling stations, so the vote stands. Today, some protesters in Port-au-Prince are blocking roads and setting stuff on fire; supporters of Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly, a popular musician, are getting teargassed. Unfortunately, the ugliness has a long time to escalate: Results aren’t expected for more than a week. And things are likely to get worse before they get better. “The people,” one of my Haitian friends texted me this morning, “want Preval’s head.”
 

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It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

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We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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