Saturday, November 13, 2010

Paper presentation

Today I will be presenting my paper, "Consensus with Conflict: The Rise of President Bachelet and the Fall of the Concertación," co-authored with Silvia Borzutzky.  This is currently a topic of much debate in Chile, as everyone tries to figure out exactly why the 2009 election turned out the way it did.  Along these lines I recommend a brand new edited volume by Mauricio Morales and Patricio Navia, El sismo electoral de 2009: Cambio y continuidad de las preferencias políticas de los chileno (Santiago: Ediciones Universidad Diego Portales, 2010).  The last chapter in particular discusses how Chileans like individual candidates but not parties.

Thus, we end up with a political context in which electoral laws require parties to form coalitions and stay together, but people don't like them.  One lesson from Bachelet is that no matter how popular Sebastián Piñera gets, that will not necessarily translate into momentum for the presidential candidate of the right.

On a related point, I have heard multiple times here about how the Concertación's leadership simply doesn't know what to do next.  Strangely enough, that doesn't mean they can't win the next election.  The right was similarly clueless but Piñera won.


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