Category: Reflections, Elections

¿Votos para qué? The Fragile Democratic Consolidation in Latin America

In 2006, democracy in latin america faces a paradoxical future. On the one hand, perhaps never in the continent’s history has democracy seemed so strong. For all intents and purposes, democracy as a political system is uncontested. In all countries, with the significant exclusion of Cuba, some process of alteration of power through electoral mechanisms has taken place. Many countries have enjoyed several cycles of elections. With the …

Old Wine in New Bottles? Economic Policymaking by Left-of-center Governments in Latin America

Then one is scanning the medium-term economic prospects and policies of Latin America, a crucial element to take into consideration is the recent prevalence of left-of-center governments in the region. What are the economic policies that they implement? How do they differ from the orthodox ones implemented by their predecessors? Will, as their passionate advocates proclaim, governments of this “New Left”* adopt economic …

Is Latin America Turning Socialist: The Region’s Electoral Trend

Since 2000, candidates representing leftist parties and coalitions have won an unprecedented seven presidential elections. Leftist presidents now govern most of Latin America: most of its people, most of its land area, and most of its wealthier nations. And in the largest remaining non-leftist country—Mexico—a leftist candidate currently leads in the polls to replace President Vicente Fox in 2006. There is little doubt that disappointment …

Thin Air for Democratic Governance: The 2006 Andean Elections

The concurrence of more than a dozen elections throughout Latin America in 2006 signals the region’s commitment to consolidate electoral democracies. This unprecedented event also highlights dramatic disparities in the quality and legitimacy of democratic regimes. While some democracies have strongly moved in the direction of good governance and sound economic performance, others have experienced significant turmoil, …


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