URUGUAY: By the Numbers

Two century-old political parties, the Colorados (Reds) and the Blancos (Whites)* fought it out again at peaceful elections last week, and the neat, sun-warmed little democracy of Uruguay looked as though it had been bombed by a fleet of flying saucers loaded with bingo cards. Every tree, pavement, building, car and lamppost wore a number. Uruguayans do not mind fracturing freely within their traditional parties, and 277 splinter factions were competing for office. Out of deference to the sanity of the Uruguayan voters, they all used numbers instead of names, and politicking became largely a matter of fixing the numbers...

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