Saturday, October 23, 2010

Latin American democracies

Sara Miller Llana at the Christian Science Monitor has an article about the endurance of democracy in Latin America.  I agree with the following, to a degree:

In many countries in Latin America, the transformation from military rule and dictatorship to democracy in the 1980s and '90s has sealed a democratic tradition. The expectation of free and fair elections and that the democratically elected leader finish his or her term is resounding across the region.

My quibble is that this is a bit over triumphant.  As I've written about, a recent poll showed 22 percent of all Latin Americans believed a coup was likely or very likely in the next twelve months.  Democracy is persisting, but it is by no means "sealed," while the democratic tradition is riddled with setbacks.  Yet the absence of military rule is notable, as is the transfer of power from left to right, or right to left, in many countries.


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