Hopefully, It’s the Death Knell of Pinochet’s Legacy
Gabriel Boric who first came to prominence in Chile as a student activist, has decisively won the Presidential runoff.
Given that they are also in the process of rewriting the Chilean constitution, and the left has a dominating lead in that assembly as well, it provides an opportunity to excise the influence of murderous psychopath dictator Augusto Pinochet and his Chicago Boys, who tried (and largely failed) to rebuild the Latin American nation in Milton Friedman’s image:
Chileans on Sunday elected Gabriel Boric as their next president, entrusting the young leftist lawmaker with helping to shape the future of a nation that has been roiled by protests and is now drafting a new Constitution.
At 35, Mr. Boric will be the nation’s youngest leader and by far its most liberal since President Salvador Allende, who died by suicide during the 1973 military coup that ushered in a brutal 17-year dictatorship.
He will assume office at the final stage of a yearslong initiative to draft a new Constitution, an effort that is likely to bring about profound legal and political changes on issues including gender equality, Indigenous rights and environmental protections.
The president-elect defeated José Antonio Kast, a far-right former lawmaker who sought to portray Mr. Boric as a radical communist who would destroy one of the region’s most solid economies. Mr. Boric’s coalition includes the Communist Party.
Mr. Kast conceded the race, saying he had called Mr. Boric to congratulate him.
With more than 98 percent of ballots counted, Mr. Boric had won more than 55 percent of the vote and Mr. Kast had 44 percent. The margin surprised political observers because recent polls suggested the race was tighter.
Mr. Boric, leader of the leftist coalition Frente Amplio, has been a staunch supporter of the push to update the charter, which was set in motion by a wave of protests in late 2019 over inequality, the cost of living and Chile’s free market economy.
Mr. Boric and Mr. Kast each found traction with voters who had become fed up with the center-left and center-right political factions that have traded power in Chile in recent decades. The conservative incumbent, Mr. Piñera, saw his approval ratings plummet below 20 percent over the past two years.
The conventional wisdom is failing, as it always done in times of trouble, because if the conventional wisdom were correct, one would not be in a time of trouble.
Mr. Boric got his start in politics as a prominent organizer of the large student demonstrations in 2011 that persuaded the government to grant low-income students tuition-free education. He was first elected to congress in 2014.
In the wake of the sometimes violent street protests and political turmoil set off by an increase in subway fares in October 2019, he vowed to turn a litany of grievances that had been building over generations into an overhaul of public policy. Mr. Boric said it was necessary to raise taxes on corporations and the ultrarich to expand the social safety net and create a more egalitarian society.
Boric will be fought tooth and nail by the center-left and center-right politicians who have built careers on catering to the elites and not getting anything meaningful done.
Hopefully, he is aware of this, and makes is first order of business breaking said elites, because otherwise, he will fail.
I guarantee that some of the elites are already talking to US politicians and bureaucrats located in Langley, Virginia to take him down.