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(Chile.) Centre-right billionaire Pinera holds slim lead in presidential run-off

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demoleft Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 05:04 AM
Original message
(Chile.) Centre-right billionaire Pinera holds slim lead in presidential run-off
Source: reuters

REUTERS - A conservative billionaire has a paper-thin lead heading into Chile's presidential election on Sunday as he bids to end 20 years of center-left rule, but is wrestling with the ghost of former dictator Augusto Pinochet.

Airline magnate Sebastian Pinera is seen narrowly beating Eduardo Frei, a former president from the leftist bloc that has governed the world's top copper producer since the end of Pinochet's 1973-1990 dictatorship.

A win by Harvard-trained economist Pinera would mark a shift to the right in a region dominated by leftist rulers from Venezuela to Argentina, although no major changes to economic policy are expected whoever wins.

Many Chileans are disenchanted with the ruling center-left "Concertacion" coalition, and say the government could have made better use of billions of dollars in copper boom savings. They are also fed up that an old guard dominates politics.

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Peace Patriot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 10:49 AM
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1. The rightwing bias in this Rotters report is astounding!
First of all, the voting has not begun in Chile. The vote is today. So the entire story is based on a pre-election poll that was taken last Wednesday. Secondly, the story should be headlined, "The Left Surges to the Finish Line," or some such title reflecting the DRAMATIC gain by the leftist candidate over the last few weeks. Frei wasn't given a chance a few weeks ago. That poll (the last one permitted under Chilean election rules) shows him within a percentage point of winning (too close to call). Thirdly, on the basis of no evidence whatsoever--no quote of anybody, no poll, nothing--the Rotters article asserts that the endorsement of Frei by the third candidate (who lost out in the first round) was "half-hearted." This endorsement was, in fact, part of the reason for the Frei surge. The third candidates' supporters certainly didn't feel "half-hearted." They flocked to Frei's banner. This is just, well, rotten reporting from a corpo-fascist 'news' source that fully deserves being call "Rotters."

Time and again, in election history, a last-minute surger in a close contest wins because a last-minute surger has "momentum." Sluggish voters are energized by a last-minute surge, because they see victory within reach, and the activists doing the campaign work are also motivated to do more.* Rotters ignores this known election phenomenon, and tries in every way possible to DOWNPLAY Frei's momentum. They are as much as saying, "Frei voters, stay home! Forget it! Despite your candidate's DRAMATIC leap forward, you have no chance."

As I said, the bias is astounding. They have reversed what the story in Chile really is. The story out of Chile is that Frei has surged from behind to within 1% of winning. The story is that the Chilean election is suddenly a contest. The story out of Chile is that Frei might win!


*(This was one of the "signs and omens" that the 2004 re-election of Bush Jr. was a stolen election--Kerry had all the momentum going into election day. A surge in the polls to within a percentage point. Bigger, more enthusiastic and spontaneous (unvetted) crowds. Highly motivated grass roots. When he lost, against expectations, people started looking closely at that election and found...Diebold voting machines counting backwards, previously unerring exit polls that said Kerry won, and Karl Rove's dark fingers everywhere. It was clear by then that there were no WMDs in Iraq, that the Bush Junta has engaged in widespread torture and had committed treason by outing a CIA WMD counter-proliferation agent and her entire project. How did Junior and Darth win against Kerry/Edwards' momentum? )

(Note: I have been told that Chile has an aboveboard election system--as is true of most of Latin America. This doesn't mean that an election can't be stolen, especially with corpo-fascist 'news' agencies like Rotters providing your P.R. cover. Just FYI--it's not as easy in Chile as it is in the USA.)

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 11:02 AM
Response to Original message
2. Since when are conservatives "center right?" In this country, that term is used to define
the Democratic Leadership Council, Third Way, New Democrats, etc., not full blown conservatives.
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