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Feinzaig vs. Figueres: Costa Rica’s Best Presidential Debate

Costa Rican cable television channel “TD Más” scored a triumph with the first debate that allowed the direct confrontation of two opposing ideologies

[Leer en español]

Since Costa Ricans living abroad can vote (2014), there has been a growing interest in the debates organized in our country to confront the way of thinking of the different candidates.

The democratic revelry of 2022 is marked by 25 presidential candidacies. Something that has led to enormous efforts on the part of the different traditional media so that all the aspirants can expose their approaches to the electorate.

The result has been quite confusing on many occasions. Monumental, Columbia and Channel 8 have organized complex traditional debates with six candidates, which hinders the confrontation of ideas and bores those who are looking for clarity on the part of the candidates.

That is precisely why the format proposed by the private channel TD Más, in which it decided to seat two presidential candidates face to face, was so striking. Nothing more. And it was not a formal confrontation between the candidates who are ahead in the polls. On the contrary, the protagonists of the night were José Figueres Ferrer (who leads the preferences only below the undecided) and Eliécer Feinzaig (who has not even managed to overcome the margin of error in any poll.)

The format made it possible to know the approaches of both, but, above all, to confront as rarely before two quite distant ideologies: social democracy and liberalism (center left and right.)

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The questions (even the silliest ones) were well chosen to cover relevant thematic axes.

Candidates Feinzaig and Figueres during the TD Más debate.

I am not going to evaluate the performance of the candidates. For that I recommend you to watch the debate and draw your own conclusions, but I have to admit it: this format was successfully thought out and implemented.

According to data from AmeliaRueda.com, “with 19,000 connected devices, the debate organized by TD Más between the presidential candidate of the National Liberation Party (PLN), José María Figueres, and the one of the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP), Eli Feinzaig, was the most-watched of all in digital platforms in the current electoral process.”



The second position was obtained by the debate of the Federated College of Engineers and Architects (CFIA) and Multimedios, which registered an average of 7,946 connected devices.

“The following positions on live network tracking are occupied by the NRN — Noticias CR (6,256), Noticias Columbia — UH (4,547) and the TSE (4,030) debates,” Amelia Rueda reports.

As a journalist, it hurts to admit it, but in this debate, our work was not needed.

Congratulations, TD Más! I hope we can see similar encounters with the other candidates soon.


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