Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Latin America turns red

Peru went to the polls over the weekend for its second round of presidential elections - and chose former President Alan Garcia over populist newcomer Ollanta Humala. Not that it was much of a choice - the options were a crap former president with a history of human rights abuses, or a former military officer with a history of human rights abuses. And in the end, the Peruvian people chose the guy who hadn't tried to launch a military coup...

But while some are celebrating Humala's defeat as a defeat for Chavez-style populism, what's notable is that both candidates were from the left, and that Peru has followed the trend of South America's year of elections in electing a left-wing government. Looking at the BBC's map, South America proper has turned a gratifying shade of red (though it should be noted that both Brazil and Venezuela have elections scheduled for later in the year).

The next election is in Mexico, in early July - and the Americans are wondering whether this left-wing trend will reach all the way to their border. The New York Times has a piece today on Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the populist, left-wing candidate who was until recently leading in the polls. And their reaction is pretty much one of undisguised horror. A left-wing government in Mexico? Communists at the gates!


Crap - more illegal immigrants!

Somehow I don't think they will be streaming back south of the border.

Posted by Anonymous : 6/07/2006 04:44:00 PM