New tendency in the government: Evo moves away from Chavista style in order to attract the middles classes

Pablo Stefanoni, February 25

After a year marked by political crispation, President Evo Morales seems willing to make his second year in the Palacio Quemado more serene so as to be able to dedicate himself to "governing".

His principal wager is to regain the confidence of the middle classes who voted for him on December 18, 2005, but have since distanced themselves, frightened by the return of social and regional conflicts. It is for them that Morales has begun to move away from a "chavista" style of governing – of permanent verbal confrontation – and has begun to wear the suit of the president "of all Bolivians".

At least three events confirm the new orientation: the agreement in the Constituent Assembly (that includes the approval of articles for the new constitution by two thirds, as the opposition asked, and a referendum for the sensitive issues in which there is no consensus), the softening of the official position faced with the thorny question of regional autonomies, and the recent changing of the most questioned ministers.

Vice president Alvaro Garcia Linera was in charge of being the face of this "shift". "We are going to correct our discourse, suspending this unnecessary rhetoric, because on top of everything it does not coincide with our practical actions... in this year there was not one single measure that has affected the middle classes, and even the upper classes in Bolivia". he explained in an interview with the daily La Prensa. Afterwards he emphasised, with the aim of driving away all the ghosts that have hovered over the socialist government, including a clash with the Church over secular education: "I repeat for the thousandth time: the government of president Morales respects private property, respects religion, respects the clean activities of business owners, guarantees private activities in teaching and health". Weeks before, the vice president had recognised that it was "an error not have lead the request for autonomy", pushed by the rich department of Santa Cruz.

The Bolivian middle classes (that does not include the prosperous Aymara or Quechua merchants) are a handful of the population.

Despite this, their presence in the mass media makes them a sector difficult to ignore because it helps creates opinion. Especially when everything indicates that there will be elections next year to renew all public positions within the framework of the new constitution that has to be written before August 6, 2007.

Translated from Clarin

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I think this essay deserves some consideration. If the essayist is correct, what Evo has done, and, for essayists, what he hasn't done, represents a broad-based retreat from the days of his election and May of last year. What do people think, what do people know of this since Bolivia has been out of news of late?

David Walters

Anonymous said...

His principal wager is to regain the confidence of the middle classes who voted for him on December 18, 2005, but have since distanced themselves, frightened by the return of social and regional conflicts. It is for them that Morales has begun to move away from a "chavista" style of governing – of permanent verbal confrontation – and has begun to wear the suit of the president "of all Bolivians".

¡Ójala que así fuese! Sus recientes proposiciones a la Asamblea no demuestran exactamente posiciones conciliadoras. Quizás el artículo fue escrito antes.

At least three events confirm the new orientation: the agreement in the Constituent Assembly (that includes the approval of articles for the new constitution by two thirds, as the opposition asked, and a referendum for the sensitive issues in which there is no consensus), the softening of the official position faced with the thorny question of regional autonomies, and the recent changing of the most questioned ministers.

Eso de los dos tercios está bien pero es medio mamada. Según mi entender, si después de un cierto número de vueltas un artículo constitucional no consigue dos tercios de mayoría, entonces se pasa a voto por mayoría simple. En esas condiciones, lo único que tiene que hacer el oficialismo si quiere hacer aprobar algo es esperar. No tiene ningún incentivo para buscar terreno de entendimiento con la oposición.

En lo de las autonomías, es cierto que el gobierno ha bajado un poco el tono, pero no ha dado ninguna señal seria de estar dispuesto a encontrar un compromiso. A ver, veremos.

Lo de los ministros fue efectivamente una mejora. ¿Se habrá dado cuenta Evo que ciertos de sus ministro(a)s eran boludo(a)s de campeonato? Quizás, pero todavía quedan algunos de los peores.