Sunday, January 17, 2010


Well, obviously the election of right-winger Sebastian Pinera to the presidency of Chile is not great. But the moderate (Clinton-esque?) administrations of the left for the last 20 years haven't exactly inspired people. Said one voter:

“Twenty years of abuse and fake progress based solely on the price of copper is too much. The rest is just for show.”

There's no question Chile, particularly under Michelle Bachelet has made some real progress on women's issues and some economic inequality. But the post-Pinochet left is hardly the pre-Pinochet left, and eventually it gets hard for the electorate to continue finding reasons to support milquetoast moderate regimes.

I do worry about Pinera, despite the fact that he says he won't repeal Bachelet's achievements. Still, his brother served under Pinochet and that doesn't inspire confidence.

All in all, it's hardly a repudiation of the independent left-leaning regimes that have changed South America so dramatically in the last decade, but it's certainly not ideal.