Saturday, January 16, 2010

The 2010 Chile Presidential Election

Tomorrow is the day-the runoff between Center left Eduardo Frei and Sebastian Pinera on the right.

Results from the first round of Chile’s presidential election—held on Dec. 11—placed Piñera ahead with 44.05 per cent of all cast ballots, followed by Frei with 29.60 per cent, independent candidate Marco Enríquez-Ominami with 20.13 per cent, and left-wing candidate Jorge Arrate with 6.21 per cent.

Sebastián Piñera holds a slight edge as in Chile’s presidential run-off, according to a poll by MORI. 50.9 per cent of decided voters would support the candidate of the centre-right Coalition for Change (CC) in tomorrow’s election.Former president Eduardo Frei Ruiz Tagle of the centre-left Agreement of Parties for Democracy (CPD) would finish a close second with 49.1 per cent.


The race is now dead even, for all practical purposes as the difference lies within the 3% margin of error. It has been a race to see who can garner MEO's 20% and MEO announced that he would support Frei.

"Given the uncertainty that the right could block Chile's march toward the future, it is my responsibility to contribute what I can so it doesn't happen," Enriquez-Ominami, the son of a leftist guerrilla leader slain during General Augusto Pinochet's 1973-1990 dictatorship, told a news conference in parliament.

"So I formally declare my decision to support the people's candidate who won 29 percent of the vote on December 13," he said, referring to Frei, whom he had until now refused to endorse despite repeated appeals and concessions by the ruling coalition.

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN1313013020100113

You'll find the candidates promises here:

I see the main issue of privatizing CODELCO(Chile's state owned copper mine) further as Pinera would like to do and CODELCO filled Chile's treasury nicely in the past few years. Frei will keep things the way President Bachelet has or a continuation of her policies. She enjoys record high approval ratings of 80% or so. MEO's support is late but big news because the race is so tight already-a small percentage could swing things.

I have googled and read a million articles, watched debates in spanish and now know an unbelievable amount about Chilean elections. I guess I like politics.


5 comments:

Fred said...

Laura --
Why do you think the current candidate Frei isn't running with high poll numbers like Bachelet's?

Why is the conservative Pinera doing so well?

Also - what do you think is the effect of a rule that all must vote? Does that produce more conservative results, or more left-liberal?
http://tinyurl.com/y9k6ehb

Thanks,
Fred Strauss (Seguin, Texas)

Laura said...

Hello and thanks for asking. And a good link provided.

"Why do you think the current candidate Frei isn't running with high poll numbers like Bachelet's?"

Michelle Bachelet is extremely smart and likable, a good politician. Frei is...well. pretty boring and was President before(from 1994 to 2000) Look for Bachelet to run again after this 4 year term(you can run again but not consecutively here). Frei will continue policies put forth by Bachelet. So it's the old Frei but with someone else's good ideas.

"Why is the conservative Pinera doing so well?" People want change even when they don't know what that change might be. And I think many think a wealthy man like Pinera makes them all wealthy. I have heard comments that a wealthy man doesn't need money and therefore won't be greedy(in that case they should look to the US and Pinera's insider trading-and maybe the bank of Talca)Pinera's best issue was crime(and Bachelet's weakest). They are trying to change the system here-rights to trial etc that is a difficult transition. Also, most don't understand I think that the president's hands are tied largely because the constitution created under Pinochet is in force still and very, very difficult to change. And you still have Pinochet supporters, I think about 20%. Hard to believe but true.

"Also - what do you think is the effect of a rule that all must vote? Does that produce more conservative results, or more left-liberal?"

Good question. Many still don't vote and they recently changed the rule. Also Chileans that live out of the country will be able to vote absentee in future elections.

This may seem a strange link but a really informative interview. i try to read everything Chile.

http://www.politicalaffairs.net/article/articleview/9239/

A Chilean wrote on a blog once what I believe is the truth. He is a Pinera supporter but defended a communist Chilean poet and said "Chile loves her poets, her artists, no matter leftist or not"

Suzanne's Chilean Sabbatical said...

Hi Laura,
as I'm heading to Chile in two weeks (and plan on staying a few months so that my "tween" kids can begin learning Spanish)I've been avidly following the Chilean election process. Your post is very informative. Thanks!
Suzanne Soto
Ontario, Canada

Suzanne's Chilean Sabbatical said...

Hi Laura,
as I'm heading to Chile in two weeks (and plan on staying a few months so that my "tween" kids can begin learning Spanish)I've been avidly following the Chilean election process. Your post is very informative. Thanks!
Suzanne Soto
Ontario, Canada

Laura said...

Suzanne

Thank you for your comments and best of luck on your sabbatical! I think it's a great idea.