Weekly Geopolitical Report – Elections in Chile (November 25, 2013)

by Bill O’Grady

On November 17th, Chileans went to the polls to vote on a new president and parliament.  Polls correctly forecasted that Michelle Bachelet, who was president from 2006-10, would win a plurality.  She won a whopping 47% of the vote, beating seven other candidates handily.  The second place finisher, Evelyn Matthei, won 25% of the vote.  These two women, who are friends from childhood, will face each other in a runoff election on December 15th.

In this report, we offer short biographies of the two candidates, focusing mostly on Bachelet.  From there, we will provide a short history of Chile, primarily to highlight the tensions between the forces of liberalization and reaction.  An examination of the Allende-Pinochet period will detail the factors that have affected Chile’s political structure over the past five decades.  Recent student protests frame a significant demographic change that is affecting Chilean politics and moving the country beyond the issues experienced in the 1970s.  As always, we will conclude with market ramifications.

View the full report