Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Old Vs. New Populism

With almost 90% of votes counted for the first round of the Peruvian presidential elections, the general consensus is that the run off will be disputed between Ollanta Humala and Alan Garcia.

Two things are for sure:

-The right has failed in Peru.

-Peru’s future is being contested between old and new populism.

Old populism is improvised, undecided and incompetent, and it is personified in Alan Garcia.

New populism is assertive, nationalist and authoritarian, and it is personified in Ollanta Humala.

Old populism has been a disaster for the country. Alan Garcia´s legacy was one of violence, isolationism, economic collapse and poverty.

New populism deserves the privilege of the doubt. After all it’s still a disaster to be discovered.


At 10:37 AM, Blogger Michael R said...

Who wins second place is still very much in doubt with over 10% of the votes still not counted - and hundreds of thousands of votes from outside the country still not counted. Remember that the margin is less than 121,000 votes right now.

I believe that Humala only has a chance of winning if Flores wins second place. Here is how things will go if Garcia wins second place:

Garcia will retain most, if not all, of his voting block from the first round. Conservatives, who make up a total of 35-40% of the votes between the three major conservative candidates, will back Garcia. He is easily manipulated, and even if he wasn't, is the lesser of two evils for them.

If Flores manages to climb to second place, Humala has a good platform to make the run-off election a rich vs. poor contest. In which case he is by no means guaranteed a victory, but would have a better chance.

Humala, being a newcomer, doesn't have political experience, and has posed himself as a puppet to Hugo Chavez - which many Peruvians reject. He should have accepted the support of Chavez but made it clear he makes his own decisions. Maybe he can do well in the next presidential election if Garcia screws things up again for Peru.



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