Thursday, August 30, 2007

More trouble for Bachelet

More rough times for Bachelet. The widely publicized labor protest (which also took place in other Chilean cities, though seemingly without the violence) was especially notable because it included members of her own party—for example, Senator Navarro was attacked from behind by police.

But here’s a curious fact. A recent (early August) poll shows her with a 51% approval rating (same as in July) and her disapproval actually dropped from July (down to 38% from 41%). Despite the intense criticism, she clearly has a base of support that remains solid. She needs to get that base energized somehow, since it has been largely silent.

I am chairing a panel at LASA on Wed. morning that will analyze the Bachelet government in a number of different areas—military, education, gender, executive-legislative relations, social security, and labor. It should definitely be an interesting discussion.


Miguel Centellas 8:47 AM  

I'm sorry to miss your panel. I won't be arriving at LASA until late Thursday night. I'm curious to know how Chile has suddenly unravelled, and why.

Greg Weeks 8:11 AM  

The timing is annoying, really, because I wonder how many people will have arrived. Plus, as a result I have to leave on Tuesday.

Anonymous,  4:22 PM  

>>>I'm curious to know how Chile has suddenly unravelled, and why.

Chilean economist Marcel Claude told me that Chile is a "managed crisis".

With one of the worst levels of inequality in the world, a large portion of the population is disaffected, and, living here in Santiago, I often hear people saying, "it just can't keep on this way". But with a tightly controlled media, and glowing reviews from international press about this "economic miracle", long-simmering tensions caused by pitiable wages and working can might appear "sudden". Really what you're seeing is another one in a series of signs that social movements are accelerating.

The government's heavy handed response is depressing, but par for the course in terms of Chilean protests.

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