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Thread: Chilean election post-mortem thread

  1. #1
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Chilean election post-mortem thread

    Chile had an election over the weekend. Socialist Michelle Bachelet, the first female elected El Presidente there, won with 53.5% of the votes.

    Any thoughts?

    Mike

  2. #2
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    While I think that it is great that a county will look beyond gender to elect a person that they feel is the best choice to lead their county, I do think that it will be interesting to see how she will not only run the county, but also raise her two kids as a single parent.

    I donít know all that much about the Chilean Government, but I donít think that a single parent with children that live at home, (regardless of gender) would be a good thing for a US president namely because of the amount of time that they spend away from their families.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian
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    My thoughts... (what doesn't reach the outer world)

    Yes, yesterday we had an election. The first thing I'm going to ask is not to call her socialist.. that only confuses people. She's a "socialist", meaning that she supports the neo-liberal model and works with it without any major problem (Yes, that's very socialist, isn't it?). Another thing is that the socialist party here isn't by itself, it's part of a coalition with liberal parties, radicals and Christian Democrats. She may be the first woman to be president, yet she has no character... she's like the popular girl in class that got elected class president. People didn't vote for her, rich people didn't support her, they voted and they supported the status quo, of the coalition governing with all it's tricks and vices and corruption, so they can continue like nothing happened. The political parties of the coalition will use her as a puppet while they govern. Please don't think I'm mysoginist for saying that, it has nothing to do with her being a woman, it's just the status quo. They govern, the multimillion dollar contracts involving the development of public infrastructure is won by the friends and family of those that are on the government, and nobody can do a thing about it.

    I'm not bitter because the center-right wing multimillionaire didn't win, he wouldn't have been able to do much either, since after the parliamentary elections of December (along with the first round of presidential elections) gave the governing coalition for the first time in their history a majority in the parliament. The good thing is that now, the government can't blame the opposition (right wing, 'cause the extreme left wing has no parliamentary representation) for blocking any projects.

    What will happen? Most likely, not much, it'll be pretty much the same in 4 years when the next presidential elections come. (Our presidential period was shortened from 6 to 4 years last year)


    EDIT: (For gossip fun!)
    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis
    I do think that it will be interesting to see how she will not only run the county, but also raise her two kids as a single parent.
    She has 3 kids (well the older one is quite big now..) and I think they're all from different fathers Also, the middle daugther is somewhat of a punky alchoholic chick...(crashed into a cab while drunk!)

  4. #4
    Cyburbian mgk920's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Yes, yesterday we had an election. The first thing I'm going to ask is not to call her socialist.. that only confuses people. She's a "socialist", meaning that she supports the neo-liberal model and works with it without any major problem (Yes, that's very socialist, isn't it?). Another thing is that the socialist party here isn't by itself, it's part of a coalition with liberal parties, radicals and Christian Democrats. She may be the first woman to be president, yet she has no character... she's like the popular girl in class that got elected class president. People didn't vote for her, rich people didn't support her, they voted and they supported the status quo, of the coalition governing with all it's tricks and vices and corruption, so they can continue like nothing happened. The political parties of the coalition will use her as a puppet while they govern. Please don't think I'm mysoginist for saying that, it has nothing to do with her being a woman, it's just the status quo. They govern, the multimillion dollar contracts involving the development of public infrastructure is won by the friends and family of those that are on the government, and nobody can do a thing about it.

    I'm not bitter because the center-right wing multimillionaire didn't win, he wouldn't have been able to do much either, since after the parliamentary elections of December (along with the first round of presidential elections) gave the governing coalition for the first time in their history a majority in the parliament. The good thing is that now, the government can't blame the opposition (right wing, 'cause the extreme left wing has no parliamentary representation) for blocking any projects.

    What will happen? Most likely, not much, it'll be pretty much the same in 4 years when the next presidential elections come. (Our presidential period was shortened from 6 to 4 years last year)
    Some discussion that I saw over the weekend also echoed that, further saying that relations between Chile (arguably the strongest economy in South America right now) and the USA should continue on pretty much as it has (unlike with Venezuela, Bolivia, et al).

    Mexico will be an 'interesting' animal later this year with their forthcoming election (with near total apathy from their ex-pats), though, as polls there are also showing a leftward trend in public opinion.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Greenescapist's avatar
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    I think the Bachelet election is a great story.. her personal history under Chile's past military ruler must have been convincing to people. All of the coverage her talks about how Bachelet is so unconventional for Chile- single mother, outspokenly agnostic, a working woman in a nation where only 38% of women work. I don't care if she'll just continue the policies of the past president. It sounds like his policies have been working. Continuity is more important than personality or flash sometimes.

  6. #6

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    Skel, you're too young to be soooooo CYNICAL

    I can't wait until you're 43-or even 33. .

  7. #7
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Skel, you're too young to be soooooo CYNICAL

    I can't wait until you're 43-or even 33. .
    Me? Cynical? What do you mean by this?

    I was just ranting about having the same corrupt coalition in government for the next 4 years, you know.. I bet they don't want to leave the government until they reach a multimillionarie status after all that they have stolen... Oh yeah... everybody thought that there wasn't much corruption here... turns out it was just very well hidden... too bad that the cover got blown. I just hope that these morons don't become like Mexico's PRI that governed 70 years in a row...

  8. #8
    Some discussion that I saw over the weekend also echoed that, further saying that relations between Chile (arguably the strongest economy in South America right now) and the USA should continue on pretty much as it has (unlike with Venezuela, Bolivia, et al).
    Yeah, Chile's brand of nonrevolutionary socialism lite is working, Venezuela and Bolivia are more in the Fidel camp, control everything!

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    Yeah, Chile's brand of nonrevolutionary socialism lite is working, Venezuela and Bolivia are more in the Fidel camp, control everything!
    Yes.. I wouldn't see why the relationship with the US would change, given the fact that Lagos (our current president) is from the same party.... and he signed a Free Trade Agreement with the US... now THAT is socialism!

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    Yeah, Chile's brand of nonrevolutionary socialism lite is working, Venezuela and Bolivia are more in the Fidel camp, control everything!
    But hasn't Bolivia tried the various nostrums of the Chicago School/Neoliberal variety? Let's not get too smug. Bolivia and Peru were better fed and better governed before the invasion, and they've been dealing with the aftermath for 500 years. Sure, they should have gooten over it by now, but that's easy to say sitting in comfort in a country that largely just slaughtered its indigenous population.

    This is a country with such a deeply rooted history of...and I'm not meaning to sound like a lefty nut but its true...oppression and racist class structure. Unlike Chile, the "indigenous population" remains the majority, and they've been kept out of everything over the centuries (except as cheap, expendable mine labor). Chile, frankly, has had it much easier than poor Bolivia. One would certainly hope they would be more "successful." If I were a peasant, I would vote for somebody who promised that he would stop the Yankee planes from dropping poison all over the farm.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    Unlike Chile, the "indigenous population" remains the majority, and they've been kept out of everything over the centuries (except as cheap, expendable mine labor).
    Get your facts straight please...

    Ethnic groups:
    Chile
    white and white-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%

    3% is hardly a majority.... We did it the American way... We were at war with the Mapuches from around 1600 to 1881, now you mainly find them in rural Araucania. Mostly in reductions... most of the modern Mapuches are even denying their roots!
    Bolivia:
    Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%, Aymara 25%, white 15%
    Now 55% IS a majority.... And please note that the 15% of whites are located mostly in the rich Santa Cruz and until now, in the Government
    And the problem with Bolivia is that it's terribly unstable politically speaking... I think that the number of presidents is pretty near the number of years as an independent nation. In Peru, it's just that the rich keep getting rich and steal from the poor.

  12. #12
    As a preface to my responses, I wasn't rah-rah-ing for the political-economic philosophy of Neoliberalism in Latin America.
    But hasn't Bolivia tried the various nostrums of the Chicago School/Neoliberal variety?
    Some of my testier Latin American friends would scoff at your remark about how Bolivia "tried" Neoliberalism. It was (and still is) more of an imposition of domestic and international cash and contract schemes for at least 4 million+ (Quechua 30%, Aymara 25%) socially, politically and economically insulated people with nada for representation. The other 45% (White 15% and Mestizo 30%) are more of the cosmopolitan culture. 65% to 70% of all Bolivians live in absolute poverty so I can see why it's not such a stretch for socialistic revolutionary to crush the opposition, especially those that would support privatizing of utilities and other essentials for quality of life.
    Unlike Chile, the "indigenous population" remains the majority, and they've been kept out of everything over the centuries (except as cheap, expendable mine labor).
    My above answer is basically saying, yeah I agree.
    Bolivia and Peru were better fed and better governed before the invasion, and they've been dealing with the aftermath for 500 years. Sure, they should have gooten over it by now, but that's easy to say sitting in comfort in a country that largely just slaughtered its indigenous population.
    I'm not so sure they should be over it by now, say that to a proud Irish man about English invasion. But, it's like you said
    This is a country with such a deeply rooted history of...and I'm not meaning to sound like a lefty nut but its true...oppression and racist class structure.
    I don't think that's nutty or lefty. As a side note, I'm shocked at the level of racism in some of my Colombian aquaintances, shocked! All of this Spanish purity bull sh*t.
    Chile, frankly, has had it much easier than poor Bolivia.
    Of course.
    One would certainly hope they would be more "successful." If I were a peasant, I would vote for somebody who promised that he would stop the Yankee planes from dropping poison all over the farm.
    Basically agree.

    Skeleton, BKM What about the untouchable subject here. Can we ask if Chile's success is in part a result of Pinochet's coup d'etat? Just fishing for some thought here.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by The Irish One
    Skeleton, BKM What about the untouchable subject here. Can we ask if Chile's success is in part a result of Gen. P's coup d'etat? Just fishing for some thought here.
    Hmmm that's a tough question, but I believe that there were 2 options in 1973: Coup or Civil war. And frankly I think that coup was the best. Under no circumstance we would have ended like a Cuban replicate.

    Anyways I think that one way or another we'd have ended pretty much in the same spot. And it's not merit of Gen. P. it's the merit of the economic team that applied the model, and also of the later democratic reforms of said model. Although being in a dictatorship probably "helped" the process to continue when the rough times came, those "structural adjustments" would have been impossible to make in a democracy. Yet Gen. P. did some naughty things... like privatizing companies under their value (So the state got less money than what the company was worth), most of this happened between Oct. 1988 and March 1990 (when the democratic government took place)

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally posted by SkeLeton
    Get your facts straight please...

    Ethnic groups:
    Chile
    white and white-Amerindian 95%, Amerindian 3%, other 2%

    3% is hardly a majority.... We did it the American way... We were at war with the Mapuches from around 1600 to 1881, now you mainly find them in rural Araucania. Mostly in reductions... most of the modern Mapuches are even denying their roots!
    Bolivia:
    Quechua 30%, mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian ancestry) 30%, Aymara 25%, white 15%
    Now 55% IS a majority.... And please note that the 15% of whites are located mostly in the rich Santa Cruz and until now, in the Government
    And the problem with Bolivia is that it's terribly unstable politically speaking... I think that the number of presidents is pretty near the number of years as an independent nation. In Peru, it's just that the rich keep getting rich and steal from the poor.
    You misunderstood my point, or maybe I made my point unclearly . I agree with your statstics. My point was what your statistics confirm-Bolivia is a deeply divided country where a significant portion (a majority) of the country has been, let's be honest, oppressed traditional peoples who have been exploited.

    Sure, the politics, as you make clear, are a problem. Could this politics also be partly rooted in a country with a history of get rich quick schemes associated with mineral exploitation. Just like many colonized oil countries (Nigeria, for example) have never really become very prosperous or well governed. Especially when the market for the mineral disappears (tin).

    That's not to excuse the politics or the poor quality of Bolivia's governing classes. All's I'm saying is that there is a understandable reason why a majority or plurality of the electorate would turn to somewhat radical solutions like Morales. And, Morales should not be disparaged or dismissed out of hand. The mainstream presidents (or the leftists, for that matter) haven't helped much. Heck, I wonder how much a government can do to overcome the history and geographical heritage of a country like Bolivia.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by BKM
    You misunderstood my point, or maybe I made my point unclearly . I agree with your statstics.
    Sorry, I didn't read the "Unlike" part until TIO posted... oops!

  16. #16
    I'm sure our South American friends have heard of it, but for a good take on South American economics you should read Hernando de Soto's the Mystery of Capital. It turns out to be not much of a mystery but it was written by a non-economist so it's accessible to the common folk, and it places state corruption at the forefront of the segregation problem.

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    Quote Originally posted by jaws
    I'm sure our South American friends have heard of it, but for a good take on South American economics you should read Hernando de Soto's the Mystery of Capital. It turns out to be not much of a mystery but it was written by a non-economist so it's accessible to the common folk, and it places state corruption at the forefront of the segregation problem.
    Probably a big factor (see, we can agree sometimes ) But, the State corruption can probably be tied partly to the extractive (mining) "pillage economies" established by the early invaders? Especially if you believe the main purpose of the State is to enrich you and your friends. If "good government" is not that important because there is no middle class, there is primarily the (corrupted) elite and the exploited? If "empire" is the main goal. If there is a theocratic "system" tied directly to the State that both justifies and (slightly) mitigates the coercive power of the state?

    Heck...are WE becoming a Banana Republic ourselves?

    Gosh, Skeleton. I promise no more thread hijacking. Sorry

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