Trusting The People: Chile Elects A Far-Left President

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I WONDER IF JACINDA will befriend the new President of Chile, Gabriel Boric, with the same enthusiasm that she befriended Justin Trudeau? Boric comes to the presidency at the age of 39 – two years older than Jacinda was when she became New Zealand’s Prime Minister in 2017. Even so, that makes him the youngest head-of-state in Chilean history.

The far-Left Boric won his political spurs ten years ago, in 2011, when he emerged as one of the student leaders of the bitter street-fight for more affordable and equitable education services for young Chileans. Boric’s unexpected victory over his far-Right opponent, Jose Antonio Kast, was celebrated by a crowd numbering in the hundreds of thousands in Chile’s capital, Santiago. Older Chileans, remembering the election of the Marxist, Salvador Allende, in 1970, didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. They had seen this movie before.

Boric’s decisive win, 55 percent to Kast’s 44 percent, is a reflection of Chile’s two years of political turmoil. Two years of popular mobilisation culminating, first, in the radical Left winning control of the process to create a new Chilean constitution, and now, with the election of the young leader who the mainstream Chilean news media consistently dismissed as too radical for the job of President.

Indeed, Boric was so radical that he drew forth as his principal political opponent an outspoken supporter of Augusto Pinochet, the brutal dictator responsible for the military coup against Allende’s Popular Unity government in 1973. Kast campaigned unapologetically on a hard-Right law-and-order platform and made promises to restore Chile’s traditional (i.e. conservative Catholic) values.

In the first round of voting Kast secured the largest fraction (but less than 50 percent) of the popular vote and, backed by the supporters of the other right-wing parties, was widely predicted to win the final, run-off, contest between himself and scarily radical Boric, the next-highest polling candidate.

Ironically, it was the very real prospect of a Pinochet clone taking control of Chile that mobilised the numbers necessary for Boric to win. Voter turnout surged, with 15 percent more people voting in the second round than the first. Critically, it was the votes of Chile’s youth that turned the tide in Boric’s favour. So radical had been the street-based protests of 2019-20 that there was little enthusiasm among the young for the business-as-usual politics of a presidential election. It was only when they realised that all the gains of the past two years could be wiped-out if they stayed at home, that they rallied to the polling-booths in their thousands.

It will not all be plain sailing for Boric when he is sworn in as President, in March of 2022. The Chilean Congress remains in the hands of the same centre-Left and centre-Right moderates who have dominated Chilean politics for the past 30 years. Boric can count on a clear majority in neither the National Assembly nor the Senate, meaning that the fulfilment of his programme to construct a genuinely inclusive “social state” will require either superlative parliamentary skills, or, a willingness to keep the people mobilised – effectively daring the one percenters and their military protectors to do to Boric what they did to Allende.

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So, at first blush, it seems most unlikely that Jacinda will be all that keen to be photographed giving Boric a comradely hug at his inauguration. She will be invited, of course, along with heads-of-state and prime ministers from all over the world, and from South America and the Pacific Basin in particular. But will the gal who got hitched at a billionaire’s New Zealand hideaway, and boasted Lorde as her wedding-singer, accept Boric’s invitation. Would Canberra and Washington approve of her being seen to cuddle-up to yet another left-wing Latin-American loose cannon? Once again, it seems most unlikely.

And yet, by March of next year, Jacinda will be facing some pretty daunting choices of her own. Maoridom’s judgement on the recommendations of the He Puapua Report will be out, and the broader debate on co-governance and fundamental constitutional change will be getting underway. If she and her colleagues follow the precedents set over the past four years, and step away from the big political challenges laid at their feet, then Labour’s chances of being re-elected for a third term are slim – at best. Will Jacinda be happy to rest on her Covid laurels? Or will her failure to keep any of Labour’s non-Covid promises overwhelm even those?

Wouldn’t she be wise to spend a little quality-time with President-elect Boric in the intervening months between his stunning victory and his formal inauguration – if only to quiz him about how an historic debate about the future direction of a nation, along with the constitutional reforms required to secure it, might best be organised?

He would likely tell her that once such a process is started, she will find it almost impossible to control – let alone stop. But, he will also likely tell her not to try. By giving ordinary people a real say over their future, her government will bind them to her in exactly the same way that her handling of the Covid crisis in 2020 bound her to “The Team of Five Million”. Trusting the people works, he would tell her. So when, inevitably, those with a vested interest in the status-quo launch their counterattack – don’t flinch. If the people see the future they have won for themselves threatened, they will rally to its – and their leader’s – defence.

That is, after all, his own story.

Besides, 2022 will likely be the year in which Queen Elizabeth II goes to join her fathers. If that happens in the midst of a vibrant constitutional debate in which thousands of young people – young Māori and Pasifika in particular – are engaged, then the chances are high that the inhabitants of these islands will witness the birth of the bi-cultural Republic of Aotearoa. Especially if the combined forces of neoliberal capitalism and the white supremacist Right attempt to strangle it at birth.

Assuming the people prevail, and the Aotearoan republic is born, then the chances must also be high that Chile’s President Boric will cross the Pacific to offer his support, and bear witness to, the inauguration of its first President – his good friend and comrade, Jacinda Ardern.

 

 

94 COMMENTS

  1. People still believe that dear Jacinda will be ‘far’ left, after the last several years of the reign of Jacinda? And really people believe that what happens outside of NZ matters to dear Jacinda? She is auditioning for a job with a Think Tank or the UN, not to run a third world country as a far left leader. IF she wanted to do that Job, she had one full term and her second term is at half term. But surely some poor could get another NZD 5 increase in their base benefits, to be clawed back from a different benefit. Surely. Oh man, bring on the election, cause that shit show is gonna be entertaining. Invest in Popcorn futures, also its a cheap filler if one is really hungry.

    • I think you’ll find that what happens outside New Zealand does matter to the PM and to others. Shame if you’re not receiving enough tax-payer funded benefits but you could do yourself a favour and find yourself a job instead of whining all the time – or go and help somebody, it’s therapeutic too.

    • Only 39% of NZ believes that Sabine.
      With Omicron and the next variant, ‘Dejavu’ to come. That should kill off the socialist shyster.

      • I am from Chile and people there right now is debating how to become like New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, etc. The republic political system is a fiasco corruption is rampant across america, please NZ brothers value what you have.

    • Why do we like the The Daily Blog? lets us count the ways–Stephen Minto delivers a weighty piece on taxation being rearranged for economic transformation, while X contributes another thoughtful, and succinct it has to be noted, comment…

      • Tiger M. I quite like trying to figure out who Countryboy is, and hoping that his collected works will be published one day, and I also enjoy most of Wild Katipo’s YouTube referrals and I respect his kindness to his elderly mum, and Countryboy talks well of his now departed mum too, and I think that the Kraut has also praised his mother, and it’s lovely seeing these old values surfacing again and again, and those are things which I like – as well some other persons with wonderful names and pronounless.

        • I am truly humbled,… yet those old time values are family and friends and people you don’t know. I’ve said to various, – ” who wouldn’t save a drowning child from a river as an adult no matter what race or faith or whatever”… there’s a lot more goodness in the average person than we would ever care to admit. People are fantastic,… from those cute wee kiddies to those elderly folk who aint what they were when they were twenty. Human beings matter,… to steal a phrase. No matter who they are.

          🙂

    • While you might think that advising people to poke things up their bum is helpful, it’s not for everyone. Or do you mean literally poking things up ones Ass? All I can suggest is you don’t try that while standing directly behind the animal.
      Dictionary:
      1. an animal of the horse family, which is typically smaller than a horse and has longer ears and a braying call.
      Or? Simply try not coming here with your boring little squeaks?

    • Being such a well read person, could you explain what an aoterero is? If one was into anal self-abuse would it be inserted vertically or horizontally? If one were to indulge, would it cause pain and if not, an orgasmic sensation?
      Oh so many other questions but perhaps you could start which these XstraightXedgeX.

    • XstraightXedgeX. People in Chile still ride on asses, and Jesus rode one into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, and long before that his mother rode one looking for a place of shelter to birth him, and you should consider being less culturally and religiously insensitive, especially at this time of the year, instead of being such an ignorant boorish moron.

    • ‘X’ you seem a little uptight? Are you frustrated about something? Do you need to get something off your chest? Maybe some kindness?
      Maybe one of jacindas newly baked happy pills?
      Or maybe a trip to the doctor to check that you’re not coming down with something?
      Whatever it is you’re trying to ‘express’, can you do it more clearly so that we that are less fortunate than you can be able to understand what you are really trying to say. Ok?

      • “Maybe one of jacindas newly baked happy pills?”

        No way he’s are going to take the happy pills as he is straight edge.
        Their ideal is that the absence of the happy pills leads to clearer thinking.

        • Please don’t let the edgelord speak for the Straight Edgers. Clear thinking not exhibited by him at all. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Nation, Healthy Planet is the ethos. A healthy nation is a diverse multicultural non racist one.

  2. The mass movement that in the end delivered President Boric, is exactly the kind of social push needed in this country to build a community campaign to retire and transform the NZ neo liberal state. It will only happen with primarily the young, the brown, and the green, driving it, with others co-opted such as the remaining battle hardened activists of old. Reid, Minto, Treen, Kelsey, Bradford, Harawira etc. and their new gen successors that have popped up in all corners of Aotearoa NZ.

    Elder poverty is a definite thing nowadays so boomers are not universally selfish graspers and ladder pullers. So a good number of people like me that opposed Rogernomics from the outset would get involved too.

    As for Gabriel Boric, Jacinda would not touch him or his activist base with a 40 foot pole! The evidence of the Labour Caucus iron clad allegiance to neo liberal capitalism is starkly presented by this timid once in a generation majority MMP Labour Govt.

    • …”As for Gabriel Boric, Jacinda would not touch him or his activist base with a 40 foot pole! The evidence of the Labour Caucus iron clad allegiance to neo liberal capitalism is starkly presented by this timid once in a generation majority MMP Labour Govt”…

      A jolly good post, mate! And yes, not all of us ‘boomers’ are well off nor a greedy grasper ! So thank you for that as well. And I hate neo liberalism with a passion! Every time I look around, – its in my face !

      OMC – How Bizarre
      https://youtu.be/C2cMG33mWVY?t=2

      • Heh, great song, played it on a rest home carers picket line in Kaitaia last Thurs and the women, young and old, loved it. Like “Land of plenty” too.

        A guy I know–Simon Grigg–wrote a whole book about the “How Bizarre” phenomenon, fair enough as he was Paulie’s manager at various stages.

  3. For heaven’s sake don’t refer to Ardern as a “ gal”. We don’t say that here. Yes, it’s disappointing having an impressionable low-brow female when the left have traditionally been the intelligentsia, and having a billionaire’s venue could be just another error of judgment on the part of that clueless assistant who’s not exactly endowed with social graces ( or good manners). Lorde dressing like a lemon may be meaningful to some demographic, and we’ve been pretty vulgar since John Key – that ‘s how New Zealand likes it now.
    Don’t even read any clear lies about being kind that Christmas in London – it’s David Lange copy-catting- and he actually did do genuinely good stuff, Toynbee Hall I think; RIP Lange.

  4. Here’ an interesting piece re right wing…
    The Guardian.
    “Why are US rightwingers so angry? Because they know social change is coming”
    Rebecca Solnit
    “While their fear and dismay is often regarded as rooted in delusion, rightwingers are correct that the world is metamorphosing into something new and, to them, abhorrent. They’re likewise correct that what version of history we tell matters. The history we tell today lays the groundwork for the future we make. The outrage over the 1619 Project and the new laws trying to censor public school teachers from telling the full story of American history are a doomed attempt to hold back facts and perspectives that are already widespread.”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/dec/20/rightwingers-us-social-change-coming
    And this… It isn’t politics nor even relevant to the topic but it is chillingly bloody entertaining.
    The Guardian.
    Screaming Trees: Mark Lanegan.
    ‘This thing was trying to dismantle me’: Mark Lanegan on nearly dying of Covid
    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2021/dec/20/this-thing-was-trying-to-dismantle-me-mark-lanegan-on-nearly-dying-of-covid

  5. Boric is not far left. Allende was not even far left. He refused to allow the working class to arm themselves against the US/military coup.
    The fascists have not gone away, as 44% vote for Kast shows.
    But they are not needed right now as Boric has indicated clearly that he will keep the working class in check.
    Pinera and Kast were particularly charming in defeat because the know that the populist Boric can’t actually defeat their hold on power.
    Even in the Congress the right and left are evenly balanced so Boric will have to compromise his program. He cannot walk the talk.
    Boric is not even as left as Chavez or Morales in Bolivia who were kept in power by being bailed out by imperialist China.
    The workers and the Mapuche who have mobilised against right wing Pinero in the last 3 years will not be kept quiet by the populist Boric.
    The global capitalist crisis will continue to demand that workers and indigenous pay for it, and they will not tolerate that.
    Expect to see the workers and oppressed back on the streets as soon as the euphoria of a new constitution and election result wears off.
    For the workers and poor farmers united front to advance the struggle for a workers’ and oppressed Government!

    • No true Scotsman that Boric eh Dave. Not surprising really given the numbers of Chilean leftists and communists slaughtered out right, tortured, detained in remote concentration camps, disappeared and exiled under the CIA assisted Pinochet dictatorship.

      Each generation throws up its new leaders as Chile is in the process of doing. Peoples movements change history when it comes down to it rather than prominent individuals. But the class composition of a country cannot be denied–maybe detested, fulminated over, organised around, but not denied. There is a large unpleasant right wing/Catholic sector in Chile. In some more remote corners they still have photographs of Pinochet on rural church and building walls.

      So the new gen has much more to do and organise and fight for.

    • Have you any idea, Dave, how foolish you sound?

      Clearly, no revolution will ever be good enough for you – except, of course, those revolutions which have already failed.

      Better a flawed, but living, left-wing Chilean populist, than a succession of ideologically embalmed Russian corpses.

      • Only an old, middle class Fabian socialist & ex student politico could reply in such fashion. There’ll be no grass roots uprising here as long as long as handbrake people like C.T. still wield the almighty pen.

      • Chris, much the same was said in support of Allende by the Stalinists of the day including Castro, against those who fought to arm the workers. And that predictable coup by Pinochet led to decades of dictatorship.
        Naturally, whenever the arming of the workers, necessary against the armed imperialists, arises, you find some mealy mouthed platitude to oppose it.
        Social Democracy has betrayed workers’ revolutions time and time again ever since the SPD formed a government with the national bourgeoisie in 1919 to put down the armed insurrection of the mutinous troops.
        As part of that repression, the leaders of the newly formed KPD, Luxemburg and Liebknecht were brutally assassinated, along with hordes of militants.
        More than a century later, social democrats like you are singing the praises of false leaders who disarm workers in the face of more fascist dictatorships.

    • …”Expect to see the workers and oppressed back on the streets as soon as the euphoria of a new constitution and election result wears off”…
      ————–

      Its sad how that so often happens. We have our own example of that here in NZ after a fashion. Though to far lesser extent than Chile has had in its past.

  6. One must feel pity fore the Chileans. How long before they’re queuing for scraps of food like the Venezuelans?

    Because as night follows day….

    • So are you saying the US will use the same sanctions strategies as for Venezuela, Cuba and any other vaguely socialist state that they can’t take over then install a dictator? Yeah, if so you are probably right.

      • LOL
        Yeah, you keep on believing that sunshine.

        Th sanctions regimes imposed against the Venezuelan Government were first introduced by the US as a response to the Maduro Administration and violations of human rights in 2015, and were followed by the EU in 2017. By that time the Venezuelan economy was long since trashed by Chavez and the citizens of that country had eaten the animals in the zoo and were using their own currency as toilet paper.

        • Well well well … so sad for you that it wasn’t the extreme right wing Nazi Kast who won in Chile. Of course, you still haven’t got over the fact that the right haven’t had their way with Venezuela since the Bolivarian Revolution, apart from the brief period when the US engineered a briefly successful coup. That of course was put down by the ‘peasants’ who knew which side their bread was buttered on and saw through the lies of the cabal and its puppet master.

          However, feel free to live in your little fantasy world where the most corrupt and murderous nation since the Roman Empire considers it has the right to force nations into penury by all means possible, up to and including including straight out mega-theft. Trouble is, the days of the empire are numbered. The only question is who is the rabid dog going to bite that sees the rest of the world join in to put down the beast in a multifaceted shit fest. The omens are not great for the US when it couldn’t even beat a raggle-taggle outfit like the Taliban so now intends to starve the population of Afghanistan to death – just as they have tried to do with a number of other states.

          Oh yeah – now tell us more about human rights again and how the US only respects then when they need an excuse the beat up an adversary.

    • Nothing like night following day. More like Capitalism trying to discredit any viable alternative to their own profit-gouging “free” market system.

      As gargarin said above – the advisors ahem ahem are on their way.

  7. An interesting article Mr Trotter. Well worth reading and thanks. I think Jacinda will respectfully accept the decision of Chilean voters and will respectfully stay out of another countries politics, as she has done with every other country ( except for wee digs at Australia who are fair game for Kiwis).
    I was in Chile couple of years ago – lovely people but especially in the older generation you can feel the post traumatic stress still there after the Allende assassination and the Pinochet brutality.
    I hope its not ,’here we go again.’ from the USA.

  8. ” … for Boric to win. Voter turnout surged, with 15 per cent more people voting in the second round than the first. Critically, it was the votes of Chile’s youth that turned the tide.”

    A Lefty and neoliberalists union of the Southern Hemisphere in Boric & Jacinda, the Neoliberal. Will she sell him out to the US too?

    2022 will be another doozy! Austerity for the poorest in NZ will continue and this government will continue the bailouts for the middle class and businesses! Then, by the end of the year, the GFC MKII will arrive brought on by high inflation and higher interest rates and higher (real) unemployment rates too.
    Crown Debt will top out at 40% of GDP and NZ’s NIIP grows to 144% of GDP, approx $590b NZD.

    Who was saying something about Modern Monetary Theory is just a ‘Theory?’

  9. Jacinda’s comrade, eh? ‘A fellow socialist or communist’ according to Google. There you have it folks…this is where NZ is heading…onwards towards Moscow. With a public sector employing 4 million to enforce the compliance laws and rules of ‘the regime’, and the other 1 million working as much as they can to earn the money ‘the regime’ needs to pay this public sector…the comrades. Nice. Looking good NZ.

  10. …”So, at first blush, it seems most unlikely that Jacinda will be all that keen to be photographed giving Boric a comradely hug at his inauguration. Would Canberra and Washington approve of her being seen to cuddle-up to yet another left-wing Latin-American loose cannon?”…

    ———–

    Good post but whoa ! This is the litmus test we’ve all been waiting for, if she does not make the effort, what will this tell us about her and this govt? Quite a lot, it seems. Good article, Mr Trotter!

    • Why do you Uncle Sam lovers always confuse communism with socialism? What’s with that? Do you enjoy seeing homeless in the streets and people dying young because of poverty? Do you hate the wealth of Scandinavia so much that you confuse modern day Scandinavians with marauding Vikings or something? What’s the rub?

      • “Why do you Uncle Sam lovers always confuse communism with socialism?”

        Probably because you lost them when you put ‘communism with socialism’ into a sentence, together?

        It does not compute because in their widdle bubble. They are the same thing.

      • Wikipedia:
        “Socialism is an economic and political system where workers own the general means of production (i. e. farms, factories, tools, and raw materials). This can be achieved through decentralized and direct worker-ownership or centralized state-ownership of the means of production. This is different from capitalism, where the means of production are privately owned by capital holders.
        In Marxist theory, socialism is a temporary social state between capitalism and communism, although some socialists have no intention of transitioning to communism.”
        Wikipedia has also the list of socialist countries, no one of them Scandinavian.
        Mind you, I am not an Uncel Sam lover.

  11. A bit of trivia.
    Predicting the death of the reigning sovereign used to be regarded as treason, with all the horrific penalties associated.
    But I think she’ll on the throne a while yet.

    • Dear God, Man! The poor woman’s 95 years old! Exactly how long do you suggest is long enough?

      Also, she has been admitted to hospital three times this year. I do fear 2022 will be her last on this earth.

      I, for one, will miss her. For my whole life she has been Queen. I cannot really imagine the British monarchy outliving her by very many years. Charles III? Yeah-Nah.

      • I do wonder why Liz doesn’t retire. Does she worry about Charles III? Considering the history of Charles I (beheaded) and his son Charles II (exhuming and beheading the one who organised his dad’s demise). The late Christopher Hitchens described Charles and co. as a firm based on the family values of Henry VIII.

    • Mike the Lefty. Yes, that may have been better not mentioned, especially with anti-monarchist dialects emanating from the USA, and the former cable television actress Markle having been heard saying that she and Hollywood Harry are only one plane clash away getting the throne. Of course the Queen has been crook, she recently lost her life-long mate too.

  12. I believe Chris thinks it will be too hard for Boric. I don’t know what the campaigning entailed, but like Jacinda the path to power was to preach to the disaffected who are now half the country. Apart from the naivety of her promises that nearly half the country believed she would fix, she ultimately has to answer to the other half of the country who have flourished under neoliberal rule and see no reason to change. It’s a difficult trick made almost impossible while dealing with Covid. Strangely enough she’s had the opportunity after winning again with a mandate but her mediocre cabinet can’t string anything sensible together. With me only guessing the Chilean history will see an even sharper divide between right and left. I’m guessing corruption and wealth might be common friends in the political turmoil of its past history. Those doing well aren’t going to give their privileged lifestyles away with any generosity towards the underprivileged. Jacinda has kept the middle ground but doesn’t understand the middle ground is shifting. They’re poorer and there’s more poverty. In Chile the right won’t be so polite. Real social reform won’t happen without real social unrest. Who knows the same might happen here. Nice thought provoking article Chris. Hope you have a good break over Xmas and the same goes for all the other bloggers and commenters here.

  13. What does this term “neo-liberal mean? I suspect Kommissar Trotsky means having a market-based economy.

    Which countries are then “neo-liberal”?

    Look at a list of nominal GDP per capita by country. The top 50 countries in this list are market-based economies – what Kommissar Trotsky childishly describes as being “neo-liberal”.

    This leaves the poorest 125 or so countries remaining in the world. What system are they living under? Unfortunately, these countries are typically socialist basket cases, or they were previously socialist or communist basket cases, and as such they are still trying to recover. The ones who adopt market-based economic systems will almost certainly improve.

    Where does this leave Chile?

    Chile is around number 71 on the list. They had a chance to get into the top 50, amongst the relatively wealthy countries. Alas, now their chance is gone.

    Worst case scenario, Chile will go the way of Venezuela. Ouch.

    The very best case scenario they have under socialism, is that they stay poor at number 71.

    PSM has been to Albania (awful). PSM has been to Belarus (brutal). Have you been to former communist countries? Why do you believe central planning works? It doesn’t. It’s a car crash.

    Sorry, socialism didn’t work in the past, it doesn’t work now, and in the future, it will continue to deliver dismal results.

    As Disney would say, let it go…

    • What does the term “neoliberal” mean? Wikipedia says “the 20th-century resurgence of 19th-century ideas associated with free-market capitalism … it is generally associated with policies of economic liberalization, including privatization, deregulation, globalization, free trade, austerity …”

      So you say “Sorry, socialism didn’t work in the past, it doesn’t work now, and in the future, it will continue to deliver dismal results. ”

      Maybe there’s room for a bit of nuance in your worldview, PSM. Pure, totalitarian socialism has indeed been a dismal failure wherever it’s been tried. But “socialist” policies like progressive taxation, subsidized healthcare and free schooling have been implemented in all successful western democracies since at least 1945. Those policies meant something approaching equality of opportunity for all – surely a good thing.

      All successful 20th century democracies ran mixed economies, combining policies promoting wealth creation and policies promoting equality of opportunity. The neoliberal revolution wrought by Roger Douglas and friends spelt the end of that era. The move to indirect taxation and the introduction of user-pays policies meant “equality of opportunity” is a thing of the past in NZ. And this current pseudo left-wing government has done very little to change that.

    • Being one who lived in a real socialism, I absolutely agree. The tragedy is that in this case Historia seems to have failed to be Magistra vitae.
      I also absolutely agree that the state should promote wealth creation and equality of opportunity, namely free education and free healthcare and we should let the representatives of political parties know what is the will of people.
      But instead of looking at society through oppressor contra oppressed lenses we should perhaps concentrate more on democracy so that the voice of people be heard from the local level to the top level.
      And maybe it is also the highest time for New Zealand to decide if we want a republic or not, if we want a written constitution or not, if we want to change the system so that there would be more space for binding referenda or not etc.

    • and the reliance on foodbanks has rocketed over the last 5years in the so-called neo-liberal serf-states so your point is…rich economies impoverish their citizens?

  14. Chris, As somebody who has longstanding connections with South America, I’m not sure another “far-left” leader is something to celebrate, given the legacy of the other “far left” leaders of recent times, Lula and Chavez. Lula bungled a decade of economic gain which had lifted huge numbers of Brazilians out of poverty and Chavez left behind him an economy in tatters, bread queues in an oil rich country, an entrenched and bitterly divided population and a worse than normal level of Venezuelan corruption. Let’s hope that Mr Boric does better – for all of Chileans sakes but especially for the poor. Time will tell.

    • Which ones Jeremy, the elite who are disappointed that the country won’t be sold to the US by an extremist Nazi, or those who will be punished with sanctions for dreaming of having a more egalitarian society?

      • Well put aom

        I worked with the Chilean exile community here in NZ during late 70s early 80s, and was involved in protests re torture ship Esmeralda visits. The latest election result and underlying social movements should be taken seriously and not linked to fuckwit Argentina memes.

        The fact is if US Imperialism allowed other countries to do their own thing the world would be better off.

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