'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Friday, January 13, 2006


Socialist candidate Michelle Bachelet polls 5% ahead of her conservative opponent in the last public opinion survey conducted before Chilean elections on Sunday...

Bachelet calls herself a socialist, but I get the feeling, and I am by no means an expert, that we should think of her more as a left-liberal moderate. Interest in this election is not a result of Bachelet's radicalism, as in Venezuela or Bolivia, but mainly the result of two factors:

(1) Bachelet is an unlikely candidate for social reasons. She's a woman, a single mother, and an atheist, while Chile is one of the most socially conservative Latin American countries.

(2) Electing anyone even slightly left of center reinforces the current trend among Latin American countries of rejecting neoliberal economic policies and subservience to Washington.

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