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Bachelet running alone; Chilean conservatives have to decide on a new candidate

Thursday, July 18th 2013 - 09:03 UTC
Full article 30 comments

Chilean conservative presidential candidate Pablo Longueira unexpectedly quit his campaign due to depression, his son said, dealing another blow to an already weakened right-wing bloc four months from the general election. Read full article

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  • Chicureo

    Yes, we are all perplexexed, frustrated and demoralized on the right here in Chile.
    I've been somewhat pragmatic about the elections and had earlier conceded that Bachelette would win, but at least we hoped to see a lively debate.
    Depression is a serious disease, but Longueira has disappointed us here.

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 12:16 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    Could it be that he realized that he had no chance of beating Bachelet . Still , a pity. One would have wanted some campaign .

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 01:19 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Chicureo
    The throw-in of the towels will be the only debates you'll see from the right-wing in Latin America.
    How else to explain 180 years of robbing, misspending and corruption?

    ;)

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 01:43 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    3 Oh, Oh Stevie you hace come back with a bang . It was so nice while you rested !

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 01:51 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • so_far

    Let´s make Maths

    1- Bachelet win and rule Chile again
    +
    2- Micracle happens and CFK still in the house
    -----------------------------------------------------------------
    = No more LAN flights to Malvinas

    FACT

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 04:53 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    1 Chicureo
    If it means Allamand is back in the running, all the better.

    3 Stevie
    Since 1973 we have had 40 years of uninterrupted right-wing policy in Chile. If you don't believe me ask anyone on the real Chilean left.
    How else to explain years of growth, prudent spending and reduction of corruption?

    ;)

    5
    You should probably look up the word “FACT” in a dictionary.

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 06:12 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Condorito
    I completely agree that Allamand was and is the best choice of the right and it's sad he lost the primary. (he appeals to the middle) Surprisingly noww we hear of others, which makes little sense, but the UDI/RN relationship never did...
    What to do with all the billboards?

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 07:32 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Condorito
    Only if you call Bachelet right wing, which she isn't :)
    We all know what Bachelet did for Chile to become what it is today. You included...

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 08:42 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Marxist educated in East Germany, yet embraced a free market economy and strong central bank with continued support for our military.
    No, she didn't adopt the lunatic policies of CFK so she's certainly not a Peronist either...

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 09:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Peronism is left wing now? And left wing is of course Peronism?

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 09:39 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    7 Chicureo
    It is going to be interesting to see who and how they choose their new candidate. UDI should just step back and accept they haven't got a candidate at the level of Allamand...but that's not going to happen.

    8 Stevie,
    What you possibly don't see in Chilean politics is that our centre is very far to the right. All post 1985 governments have followed rigorously the Büchi / Chicago Boys liberal reforms. The post Pinochet governments increased significantly the social spending, but not in the tax and spend manner so typical of leftist governments.

    Chile is possibly unique in this way, our “center-left” pursues neo-liberal economic policy and runs a fiscal surplus.

    The true left (who would nationalize the mining industry and run up debt with their good intentions) have always been marginalized.

    However they have now joined the new “left” coalition. Add to that wide public support for greater public spending (esp. on education) and the next government could well be the most left we have had.

    The next government will have a tough job dealing with unprecedented public support for increased spending combined with a dramatic reduction in the budget.

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 09:54 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Condorito
    You think you are the only ones to have a center-left that embraces liberal economic policies?
    Astori and Vazquez come to mind...
    Is that good? It's great, as a temporary boost, but oh so unsustainable.
    To constantly increase growth is just not possible, having in mind that the resources needed to constantly increase production, aren't unlimited.
    Not here, not in Chile.

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 10:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    I am not replying to anybody , least of all Stevie . But as I sit in my study looking at the birds fly by I thought . Bachelet is a left winger , which is her right , but as President she followed a very sensible route and did nothing to derail a good economy . The same policy as her predecessor Lagos . But now , if she wins by a very large majority is there not a risk that she will move to the far left ? Just a question , thought !

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 10:02 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    Stevie
    “You think you are the only ones to have a center-left that embraces liberal economic policies?”

    No, that is only half the story.
    Most center-left governments in Europe have done the same. But in Europe the center-left earns its name by taxing high and spending high. Here in Chile we don't have that - our center-left has zero leftist economic tendency and minimal leftist social policy.

    “ the resources needed to constantly increase production, aren't unlimited.” correct, but both left and right face that problem.

    13 Baxter
    The governments income has increased hugely in the last 10 years due to the high copper price. About 5 years ago the public expectations on how to spend all that money started to grow. Bachelet ignored this in her first term.

    Now in election year she has already promised a huge increase in spending. Copper prices are now winding down so her increased spending will be done with falling gov't income.
    How do you square that circle? You start taxing higher.

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 10:27 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Well Condorito, you summed it up quite well in your response to Baxter. You mean we can expect a more “leftist social policy” and perhaps even some “leftist economic tendencies” from Bachelet? That would be great, maybe the students can finally get their wishes then...

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 10:44 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    16 Stevie
    We can expect an intent to do the first, but not the latter. And even the first (more leftist social policy) is going to be a tough call. With falling government revenues the government would have to break the rules it adhered to so faithfully for the last 20 years.

    There are lots of (and I hope enough) sensible people in the center-left coalition who will draw the line at falling into the populist trap of running up debt for the next generation.

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 10:59 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    14 . I did read about the falling copper prices which are still in free fall . So why does she promise higher expenditure ? Unless , of course , she has told all that taxes , across the board ( not just the rich ) will have to increase . You will remember that in the UK in the 2010 election the Tories warned that expenses would have to be reduced considerably . Because of that truth they did not get a majority .

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 11:04 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Stevie

    Condorito, if your aim is to avoid running up debts for future generations, I don't have the answers, but at least I can tell you what not to do. Avoid the path of the western nations. Avoid doing things like USA, some 10 trillion in debt. Avoid Britains model, in fact, as things are today, find oil quickly because all these nations have not only run up debt for the next generation, they've managed to endebt people from the upcoming era...

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 11:07 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    Stevie,
    I fully agree.
    In 2001 Lagos passed in to law that the central government budget should balance. There have been adjustments to this law, but it remains intact and has given great stability to the country.

    The problems you mention in the UK (and all Europe) come from massive government debt (governments endebting themselves to a catastrophic level in order to maintain the public services the public demand).

    Lagos' law serves precisely to make it impossible to get anywhere near the European scenario.

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 11:22 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • The Chilean perspective

    Bachelet's coalition now includes the Communists, who are intent on lifting taxes and increasing social spending. I have no doubt that Bachelet 2.0 will dip into Chile's two offshore anticyclical accounts and at the same time introduce growth killing new taxes. I predict a Rescession by 2015. Her first term was moderated by the brilliant Velasquez who is no longer a buttress against economic illiterates.

    Jul 18th, 2013 - 11:46 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Baxter

    20 Many thanks ,you answered my simple question . You are probably too pessimistic . I would say recession in 2017 .

    Jul 19th, 2013 - 12:08 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Ernie4001

    Longueira got sick when watched the polls. So, sometimes is better run, after all “ a soldier that runs away is worth for another battle”

    Jul 19th, 2013 - 02:50 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Elena

    I don´t know much about Ms Bachelet but given she will be on a second term, I don´t think she will go overly out of the economic policies she did follw at her first term, unless it´s to make adjustment to Chile´s economy to keep it growing under less ideal conditions. higher taxes and spending aren´t automatic steps to a recesion IMO, unless you spend a lot more than what you earn using credit services, which was the case with Greece in Europe, and Greece was only capable of doing that because of the shared Euro between European Community countries, so it was allowed a lot of debt. Chile seems to have the priority of precisely never doing that, and for what I have hear here, Chile´s left seems a lot less ideological and more focused on keeping a stable economy as the better means of supporting growth in good and bad years.

    Jul 19th, 2013 - 07:34 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Chicureo

    Elena, you are correct, but we silly Chileans don't want to experience any kind of economic downturns as we are already highly dependent on the economy of China. The indications are that we will face a recession anyway. Now is not the time for a large increase in domestic spending.
    Saying that, health, education and other social programs need serious attention and it will be interesting how she handles the economy.

    Jul 19th, 2013 - 01:35 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Elena

    @24 Agreed with you, it will indeed be interesting. Greetings :-)

    Jul 19th, 2013 - 02:40 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    24 Chicureo
    I agree “Now is not the time for a large increase in domestic spending” but I don't think a recession is on the horizon, a slow down yes. we managed very healthy growth through the 90s when copper was below $2

    Again I agree with you that “health, education and other social programs need serious attention”. IMO much attention can be provided without increased spending - i hope the next gov't sees it the same way.

    25 Elena
    You are right it will be interesting.

    Jul 19th, 2013 - 04:14 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    Geeeeeeeeee.....

    26 political posts so far from three (3) Chilean señores, one (1) Yankoparaguayan Mr., one (1) Uruguayan lad and one (1) Mexican lady........ without any insults or agression.....

    What a remarkable difference from the “usual” Anglosphere in here!

    Jul 19th, 2013 - 05:11 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Condorito

    ....and with the arrival of one (1) Argie, surely you are tempting fate ;¬)

    Jul 19th, 2013 - 07:18 pm - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Heisenbergcontext

    @27 @ 28:

    Here's a toast to good manners...!

    Jul 20th, 2013 - 12:32 am - Link - Report abuse 0
  • Think

    .... and one (1) well mannered Aussie jailbird ;-)

    Jul 20th, 2013 - 07:20 am - Link - Report abuse 0

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