October 19, 2016

IT'S WORTH PAUSING FOR A MOMENT TO CONSIDER...:

Latin America's left set to suffer new blow at Chilean local polls (Gram Slattery, 10/19/16, Reuters)

A series of high-profile corruption scandals among politicians, in a country that prides itself on its probity, have angered Chileans, and both the government and opposition have seen approval ratings drop into the teens.

That anger will hurt Bachelet's coalition the most, analysts and politicians say, as voters set out to punish incumbents. In the local elections, right-wing parties are expected by pollsters and politicians consulted by Reuters to make gains, especially in important swing districts.

That would likely portend a strong performance in presidential and congressional elections in November 2017, in which Bachelet is constitutionally barred from running.

According to a September poll, 18 percent of Chileans wanted the right-wing coalition's likely candidate, Sebastian Pinera, to become the next president, versus 5 percent for Ricardo Lagos, the front-runner to represent the Nueva Mayoria.

Both are ex-presidents and have not declared their intention to run, though both have put forth policy proposals and hinted heavily at bids.

"If the [presidential] election were held this weekend, I'd have to say the right would win," Socialist Party lawmaker Osvaldo Andrade, president of Congress' lower chamber, told Reuters.

The shift would be further evidence of a retreat from left-leaning ideologies in Latin America, where leftist governments including in Brazil and Argentina have lost power.

...that this is just about the greatest political environment a GOP candidate could ask for; the presidential race is virtually unlosable.

Posted by at October 19, 2016 3:40 PM

  

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