Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Bolivian Democracy

Santiago Anria has a post at The Monkey Cage on the state of Bolivian democracy. Short take is that Evo Morales' efforts to stay in power damage democracy but it's not going the same route as Venezuela, as is sometimes alleged.

Two things occurred to me as I read it. First, he makes the point that the opposition used to be harsh critics of the constitution and now they are the only defender. This is just like Venezuela, where Chavistas rejected Chávez's own constitution when its democratic elements no longer were acceptable to them, while the opposition called for it to be respected. Definitely not a good sign.

Second, he doesn't mention the military, which has been the bane of democracy in Bolivian history. This shows how well Morales has managed the military politically--Bolivian politics are traditionally coup-prone yet now it is well in the background. That deserves more study and is central to Morales' ability to remain in office into the future.


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