Monday, 25 November 2013

Comment on the Chilean elections

Readers, I am pleased to report that socialist Michele Bachelet is likely to be re-elected as President of Chile after a break, given some of the damage Sebastian Pineira has done in his short tenure.

The main problem is that while Mrs. Bachelet's socialist alliance did win a majority of seats in the Chilean Chamber of Deputies, it did not gain the two-thirds majority needed to implement major changes to the Pinochet-constructed constitution of Chile, which enforces basically a neoliberal system in many areas. At least the raising of taxes on the wealthy will mean some progress.

The systems implemented in the Chilean constitution, including the 'binomial system' (which makes it practically impossible for any party other than the two largest to get representation) are almost as bad as the European Union's current constitutional system, where only the unelected and unaccountable European Commission can initiate legislation despite the requiring of the European Parliament for final approval. This makes it impossible to reverse most of the pro-corporate EU directives which overall negatively impact on European institutions' ability to uphold human rights and environmental protections.

I wish Michele Bachelet the best of luck in the second round, where I hope it will be confirmed that she is elected President of Chile. Then she can help bring Chile in line with the more socialist South American nations of Bolivia and Venezuela.



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