Socialist Bachelet Poised to Win in Chile

Update [2006-1-15 20:31:23 by Jonathan Singer]:Bachelet wins

Since the fall of dictator Augusto Pinochet in 1990, Chile has continuously supported the Socialist presidential candidate, and it appears that Chilean voters will not buck this trend in today's runoff election between conservative Sebastian Piñera and socialist Michele Bachelet.

Driving around Santiago and other Chilean cities last week, one could not help but get the impression that the people were supporting Piñera. After all, hundreds of young people had taken to the streets waving large Piñera flags, and Piñera's advertising on the street at times dwarfed that of Bachelet. But the images belied the truth of the situation on the ground, as Piñera -- a billionaire with immense stakes in the nation's credit card industry, the major airline, a national television network and other areas -- was merely astroturfing.

The latest polling out of Chile indicates that once again, Chileans are ready to support the socialist candidate, with Bachelet leading by a 53-47 margin. According to The New York Times' Larry Rohter, much of this lead stems from Bachelet's promise to fix the nation's pension program, which has been gutted as a result of privatization (Chile instituted a plan similar to the one forwarded by President Bush). In another story, Rohter reports that Piñera's attempts to bring divisive social issues into the race (such as the fact that Bachelet is a single mother, and that she may support abortion) have largely failed to swing voters into his column.

For more coverage of the campaign, check out these stories from The Washington Post and the Associated Press, as well as the stories from Daily Kos reader litho (here and here). The Wikipedia also has a comprehensive artice about the election as well, for those interested.

Tags: Foreign Elections (all tags)



The abortion card
The right wingers are playing it all over the world to keep people from voting in their own best interest. There seem to five pillars of right wing ideologies everywhere: fear, ignorance, hate, greed and intolerance. I've always said that conservativism appeals to what is worst in human beings (and animals), while liberalism is aiming at the civilized parts of the brain. Sometimes civilization and enlightenment wins.
by Populism2008 2006-01-15 10:04AM | 0 recs
Almost every country that is not on top of the pile (i.e. everyone but the US, China, and the EU) is slowly turning away from neo-liberalism and the Washington consensus of corporate triumphantism.
Mexico will be headed in that way when they have their next presidential election. The rest of the world is realizing the sickness that this brand of globalization is having on society and the environment. The US hasn't realized it yet because we still are parasitically sucking the wealth from the rest of the world (while paying for it with Chinese and Japanese currency). Someday, we'll realize it too.
by adamterando 2006-01-15 01:14PM | 0 recs
This is all about social Security Reform, really
Think back to the private plans that Bush was pushing earlier this year. Its kind of like that guy, Troy Hurtubise, who builds this ridiculous suit to battle bears in -

It was so stiff, so unusable. He goes out there and falls flat on his face.

Well, now the country that Bush said was using them, just had their leader thrown out of power because he was using them and everyone hated it.

Social security is truly the third rail of American politics!

by turnerbroadcasting 2006-01-15 07:53PM | 0 recs


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