Sunday, November 28, 2010

Peru and sadness

From Peruvian President Alan García, the strangest argument yet about why a president might be unpopular:

Garcia tells Radioprogramas that an inbred national melancholy must be to blame for his low approval ratings at a time when the economy is booming.
Garcia tells the radio station Saturday that "We are what we are: sad, distrustful ... We have a natural lack of trust." He says that in contrast, Brazilians "have another sort of nature, joyful and sunny." 

The idea that the positive effects of economic growth in Peru are not felt much by a majority seems not to occur to him.  Conversely, Chileans loved Michelle Bachelet even as the economic tanked, but I don't think many Chileans would ascribe that to their innate national bounciness.


boz 3:53 PM  

Then again, if you took the last 30 years of polling (and polling obviously wasn't as robust in the 80's as today), there will be very few years when the Peruvian population approved of their president. Maybe 8 or 9 years out of 30? There is probably an interesting academic point here, though I agree Garcia is just looking for excuses.

Greg Weeks 3:58 PM  

I would just suggest that a more likely answer is that Peruvians felt screwed as opposed to sad. But there is an interesting question about why they felt more sad or screwed than people in other Latin American countries.

Randy Paul 8:37 PM  

His generalizations about Brazilians are silly and off base also. Brazilians from Minas Gerais have a reputation for being suspicious and skeptical. Paulistas and Paulistanas are often very business-oriented.

I would also say that most Brazilians have a dour attitude towards politics as well. In 2008 while there, I saw bumper stickers all over the place that said "This time I'm voting for the whores as their sons are worthless."

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