Jan 19/06 - On our expectations for Chile's new President: is good governance an exportable commodity?
PMBComment: as I was about to post a commentary on the true meaning of Chile’s election, and the more than obvious contrast it poses to the much heralded – and wretched – resurgence of the populist left in Latin America, I came across today’s editorial from Investor’s Business Daily. IAB is a financial markets publication that overtime has proven to have a real feel for what is real and what is make-belief in Latin politics. This quality, notably absent in some mainstream editorial rooms, is key when comparing
One would only hope that Ms. Bachelet, praised by many for her sharp intellect and stubborn resilience, will understand that as the new leader of “the brightest star in
For sure this recommendation will demand a certain level of activism not commonly associated with typically demure Chileans, but Ms. Bachelet, like
Investor’s Business Daily
Issues & Insights
Latin America: Contrary to worries about a regional swing leftward, the election in
On Wednesday, for example,
What's more, the Bush administration was among the first to congratulate
What they and those on the right who fear a "dangerous swing to the left" miss is that
Bachelet, encouragingly, vowed to keep
Sunday's election was not a reaction against capitalism and what the far left vaguely calls "neoliberalism." It was a fourth term for the center-left coalition that has served the country responsibly since 1990.
If winners like this can be called left wing, consider the fact that Chilean leaders are known for their free-trade pacts with the
Under their leadership,
And unlike its neighbors, it has a 25% investment-to-GDP ratio, showing voters' belief in the future.
Unemployment is still a socialistic 8%, but it tops other countries in the region, and with severe poverty reduced to 19%, one of every 16 Chileans have moved to the middle class since 1995.
The center-left government has pragmatically retained
The Bachelet coalition's program is so mainstream that its conservative rival, led by Sebastian Pinera, had trouble distinguishing its own program from the Bachelet team's, signaling a broad consensus about free markets.
What's possibly most significant to many in Latin America is not
For those voters, the sight of a left-leaning government that respects its opposition, opens itself to the world, refuses to drive its private sector to ruin and doesn't leave in a hail of bullets is a real alternative. That spells trouble for anti-democrats like Chavez. Castro must know this; his congratulations were absent.