Published on June 17, 2013.
By Juan Andrés Lagos
The recent televised “monologue” with two voices, between Longueira and Allamand, has confirmed that the Chilean right has a political direction that will not change.
Such a definition includes the government of President Piñera.
It is a position of defense of the political and economic institutionality, and of their parliamentary representation strongly over represented in the number of parliamentary seats due to the binominal system.
It is an aggressive strategy, surprising for some, but that picks up the old oligarchical tradition of “pulling the table cloth” when things do not go as they would like.
All the surveys, including those that the Governmental Palace knows well, but are not public, show that the Right does not recover its historical ballots. It is stagnated, and even with the clear risk of going down a little more.
The Chilean right does not have any stable, significant social backing.
Its bet after the displacement of Pinochet from absolute power, was to institutionalize a politics of consents, by the top and in the whole institutional fabric, on the basis of a policies of contention, fragmentation, repression and “paying political favours” amongst the social world and citizenship.
This favored the right during the decade of the nineties (in that by means of elections it won from political center a million two hundred thousand votes). Mainly from the Demo Cristian Party, but also from other parties that were located in that political-electoral space.
It is necessary to bear in mind that, in this scenario, the right has a votation that shows day by day, as a “democratic power” factor. This is reflected mainly in the parliament and in the municipalities.
Everything changed when, in parallel, and simultaneously, in Chile appeared a growing and upward moving crisis of representation that hit the whole political institutionality; and a social, popular and civic expression that does not stop and overcomes the episodic and fragmentary character of previous cycles of mobilization.
Amid that crisis, latently and for moments manifestly, the right arrived at the government by means of votations, something which had not happened in decades. But just a little down this path and it was astounded because everything that it did in changes and reforms was insufficient. Its program, atingent for a previous period of politics of consents, simply received the growing citizenship rejection, and that has continued happening.
The representation crisis; the mobilizations; the crisis of policies of consents as a structural form of governability, simply hit in such a way the right wing that the scenario that had been built and of which it had been a sustaining part in decades, no longer supports nor gives grips for its strategic policies.
Even this way, you cannot discount the intent of the right to impact in the political direction that the center takes, or at least a part of it.
It has returned to the caricaturization of the “left positioning” of the opposition; even arriving at the semantic extreme of speaking of the “new UP”, including the Demo Christian party…
But it has strength to push. It’s most dangerous base and incising one is the hegemony of the mass media that act under its whole directionality. But also the intents to break into fragments an opposition that still has severe programmatic and political contradictions.
The right still has enough capacity to draw a favorable political-media scenario for its main interest, which is, to be able to sustain institutional power and to prepare to cause crisis in the four years that are coming now. Even, while polarizing, showing itself as a factor of order, governability and political-social disciplining.
In the regional and international context, this right wing is a very important part of the North American intent to build an alternative to the thick road towards integration that is expressed in CELAC; UNASUR; MERCOSUR and ALBA. Now it has focused its efforts in giving life to the Alliance of the Pacific, even together with “accepting” that United States be an inclusive observer of this Alliance, looking towards establishing an interaction with the warring NATO, the euro-North American military system that was constructed during the Second World War, and that has military bases in all Europe and that has played a role in Africa, Middle East and Pacific Asia.
The bordering disputes that Chile has with Peru, Bolivia and latent with Argentina, it is necessary to locate them in this scenario.
But the right wing is not the only actor and socio-political subject of Chile. Then it is required to consider the entire scenario, assuming that the opposition has in front an overwhelming opponent, and at the same time an opportunity and very potent historical challenge.
That is a great topic for another article.
UP = Unidad Popular (Popular Unity = left coalition government 1970 – 1973)
CELAC = Economical Community for Latin America and the Caribbean
UNASUR = Union of South American Nations
MERCOSUR = Common South American Market
ALBA = Bolivarian Alliance for America