Elections 2021: The victory in Chile and the Spanish reflection | International



Eugenio Tironi is a Chilean sociologist, essayist and consultant. In 1988, he was content director of the campaign for the NO to Augusto Pinochet in the plebiscite that ended the dictatorship. In a conversation with the Spanish deputy Iñigo Errejón, held this Thursday by videoconference from Madrid and Santiago de Chile, he analyzed the course that in just ten years turned a student leader turned to the street into an elected president who, according to Tironi’s expectations , has managed to create “a moral coalition” that swept the elections last Sunday. Errejón, from a personal relationship with Boric and the young leadership of the winning Broad Front, put his own experience in the Podemos citizen movement in front of the mirror of the new Chilean left: “They are what our history could have been if we had made the right decisions. ”.

Boric’s triumph excites the Spanish politician. “What has happened in Chile has enlivened our discussions,” said Errejón during the talk with Tironi. But what has happened in Chile? On December 19, Gabriel Boric, a 35-year-old candidate who emerged from the 2006 and 2011 student protests, defeated the right at the head of a coalition of small newly minted progressive groups in alliance with the Communist Party. The defeated José Antonio Kast “went to Boric what Pinochet did to the NO” in the 1988 referendum, Tironi said. “He was the perfect villain, the current politician most similar to Pinochet. Boric wins among women, something they could not do or [los expresidentes Ricardo] Lakes nor [Michelle] nor Bachelet. Women under 30 years of age, where she won by more than 30 points, feared the return of a patriarchal state more than communism ”.

The right based its campaign against Boric on the agitation of fear of the Communist Party of Chile. “Founded 110 years ago, even before the Russian Revolution, the Chilean CP has been anomalous compared to traditional communists,” says Tironi. Many considered a bad idea the decision of Boric’s Broad Front to ally with them, to the detriment of the much more moderate Socialist Party. “We thought it was a suicidal act, because Daniel Jadue [el candidato del PC] I was going to destroy him in the internal partisan [de Apruebo Dignidad, la coalición que fundaron en conjunto], that Boric would only be an opening act “, explains Tironi. But last June, Boric beat Jadue with more than 60% of the vote. “That victory was fundamental,” says Tironi, “because Boric keeps the ghost of the PC at bay, he can say that he has defeated it. And the PC has been very disciplined. During the campaign they repressed any critical judgment and now that the teams are being discussed, he has shown himself to be very subordinate to a president who obtained an extraordinary result, turning towards the center ”.

Boric’s relationship with the Communist Party sneaked into much of the talk between Tironi and Errejón. “There are many similarities with you,” said the Chilean to the Spanish deputy, “but they have handled the relationship with the PC better than you.” Errejón agreed. “I’m not objective,” he clarified, “but in Chile they managed to impose a different rhythm, and here [en España] in the end they ended up returning to the traditional positions of the Communist Party. That is why it has been won in one place and not in another ”. “Boric always had in his DNA the reunion with the great family of the historic center left in Chile,” added Tironi, “and here it was hard, because it was necessary to reconcile with Ricardo Lagos, who is Felipe. [González]It is not with Pedro Sánchez. It is talking to Lagos, with Michelle Bachelet, asking them for their advice. And they responded with extraordinary generosity, to welcome the son who, in a way, had insulted them, criticized them. Boric climbed on these ‘shoulders of giants’, as he himself put it, to assume the inheritance of the past; that was extraordinary ”.

For Tironi, Boric is, in fact, more like the Chilean socialist left than the CP. “It has some [el expresidente] Salvador Allende knows how to agree, knows how to relate to the CP, has parliamentary experience and is not afraid of Congress. That is why he says that it is good news that there is a tie in Parliament ”, added Tironi. In the first electoral round of November 21, the right tied with the left in the Senate and was very close in the Deputies, a parity that will force Boric to negotiate each bill he presents.

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The triumph of a new left in Chile has “vivified” Errejón’s discussions, also about the challenges that, according to his reading, Podemos could not solve. “There is an institutional difference between a presidential system [como el chileno] and one parliamentary [como el español]. In a parliamentary system, at some point you have to elect one of the parties of the establishment. It’s easier to get in, but harder to win the jackpot. And votes count differently. Winning among the youth and the cities in 2015 was not enough. The system is made to avoid the push of the cities, it is made so that the provinces temper the progressive momentum of the cities ”, he says.

Boric’s triumph in Santiago de Chile, where he surpassed Kast with 60%, was decisive in his global triumph. In the poorest districts of the capital, the leftist obtained seven out of ten votes. “And in what has to do with us,” Errejón added, “we should have supported a Government of the Socialist Party with us inside, or with us outside. The second mistake was a merger with the Communist Party and the United Left that increasingly resembled the conventional left, instead of continuing on our way. In our case, a part of the leadership did come from the Communist Party [a diferencia de Boric en Chile], and in a moment of doubt he returned to his traditional positions. And that, in my opinion, was a mistake. It is as if the primaries of Approve Dignity had been won by Jadue “.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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