Friday, January 08, 2010

Voting in Chile

Patricio Navia, who had publicly supported MEO, says he will vote for Sebastián Piñera instead of Eduardo Frei.  As Robert Funk notes, this has created a stir within the chattering classes in Chile (and he jokingly calls it "Naviagate").

Most people are not interested in how political scientists will vote.  His reasoning, however, may well be one that Chilean supporters of MEO share.  They wanted change, and believed (rightly or wrongly) that MEO would bring some measure of it.  The Concertación, meanwhile, forced Frei down everyone's throats despite the fact that he was a bland, uninteresting, and status quo candidate.  A vote for Piñera therefore is a punishment vote, sending a message to the Concertación that it cannot continue to take votes for granted, that it needs to start listen to the rank and file.  How many MEO voters are thinking along those lines?

And how ironic that this occurs just as Michelle Bachelet's approval rating hit 81%.  None of her popularity is rubbing off in the slightest.


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