1) "Ahorita pues" (right now), means any time from now until past the next meal time.
2) "Dame un segundo" (give me a second), means exactly that, but it might mean a second that's embedded anywhere inside the next hour.
3) "Aqui nomas" (right here), used to tell you where the nearest bank/telephone/police station/taxi rank etc etc is, might involve a walk of between ten metres and six blocks
4) "Ya viene" (s/he's coming now), used by somebody's secretary to denote the imminent arrival of the boss. See definition of point 1) above for further details.
So when I saw a media headline today stating that Ecuador's Constitutional Assembly has announced the draft of the big bad Magna Carta is "nearly ready", it piqued my interest. And sure enough, on reading the note (here's the link, but it's a subscription site) the guffaws started 'Chez Otto'.
As a bit of background, the draft constitution has to be ready and presented to President Studmuffin and the world...no ifs or buts or whatever...by the 26th July 2008. Here we are on the 21st June 2008 and this is the situation right now. There are approximately 500 article programmed for the new constitution, and each article goes through the following process:
1) it must be created as a report, then
2) passed through a primary debate, then
3) written up in a new report for a second debate, then
4) passed through a second debate, then
5) passed through a final definitive vote
So far (and here's where it gets funny), the Assembly has managed this in 6 months:
- 57 articles have passed the final vote
- 38 articles are waiting for their final vote
- 85 articles are ready for their second debate
- 69 articles have passed their first debate
- 34 articles are ready to go to the first debate
- 239 articles are in the report stage prior to the first debate
Oh my stars! The simple time logistics of getting all these items through an assembly using straight up-and-down votes would mean we're on a tight schedule. Consider this: The 35 days that are left between now and the 26th July contain 50,400 minutes. The list above has, according to my quick calculation, 1746 things that need to be done before all the constitution articles have passed the final definitive vote. This means that each process pending has to be done in a touch under 29 minutes, and that's assuming that the Assembly runs non-stop 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the next 35 days. This does not take into account details such as sleep, interminable delays caused by LatAm politics, politicians and their verbal wanderings, any delaying tactics the minority opposition in the assembly might use to hold things up, lunch time, grammar errors, typos, waiting for the assembly bosses to count the hands up, etc etc etc ad infinitum.
Do I need to rub it in? And most interestingly, July 26th is an absolute final date as the Assembly has already eaten into its allotted additional time; if the document is not ready by the 26th it all becomes null and void. The "hasta mañana" dudes in that hall in Montecristi who have so far allotted time to applauding Bolivia and debating women's orgasms are going to have the worst month in their lives! Hah! Screw 'em! They deserve all that's coming to 'em.
Sales of Red Bull are about to rocket in the area, methinks........