I'm late to this, of course, because the election was on Sunday and the winner has been obvious for a long time. But after reading news reports of Rafael Correa's victory, I thought of one thing that doesn't get mentioned much--this was a boring election. After all, this is a country without much history of stable democratic rule, and Correa even faced a serious crisis in 2010. From the magic of Wikipedia, here are presidents in Ecuador for the last twenty years:
|48||Sixto Durán Ballén||August 10, 1992||August 10, 1996||President|
|49||Abdalá Bucaram||August 10, 1996||February 6, 1997||President|
|-||Rosalía Arteaga||February 6, 1997||February 11, 1997||Acting President|
|-||Fabián Alarcón||February 11, 1997||August 10, 1998||Interim President|
|50||Jamil Mahuad||August 10, 1998||January 21, 2000||President|
|51||Gustavo Noboa||January 22, 2000||January 15, 2003||President|
|52||Lucio Gutiérrez||January 15, 2003||April 20, 2005||President|
|53||Alfredo Palacio||April 20, 2005||January 14, 2007||President|
|54||Rafael Correa||January 15, 2007||Incumbent||President|
That isn't pretty. It's Boz and Mike Allison have more skeptical views, and they're well taken, but look: this is a noteworthy state of affairs for a country that was in years of constant upheaval. Back in 2006 as the presidential election went to a second round, a Washington Post article ended with this:
Still, many Ecuadorans have had it with promises and politics. Vladimir Peña, 33, an accountant, said he would like wholesale change but sees most of the candidates as opportunistic populists. He invalidated his ballot.
"We've had lots of populists here," he said. "And what happens is they last six months, and that's it."
A lot of people thought that was a distinct possibility, even probable. But over six years later, Correa won a boring election. I need to come up with a theory of boring elections.