Modernization Hub

Modernization and Improvement
Democratic Representation under Stress: Evidence from Chile

Democratic Representation under Stress: Evidence from Chile

My name’s Richard Snyder. I’m a professor of
political science here at Brown University. And it’s a pleasure to have two
friends and colleagues with us today, David Altman and
Rossana Castiglioni. You can probably tell which
was which, but I wasn’t sure. And they’re going
to speak to us today about democracies under stress,
drawing on evidence from Chile. Let me quickly introduce them. And by the way, the
talk, obviously, is organized by the Center
for Latin American Caribbean Studies, CLACS, here
at Brown University. And I don’t remember which
other units were involved in cosponsoring, but
certainly the Watson Institute for international Public Affairs So David, David Altman, is
professor of political science at the Pontificia Universidad
Católica de Chile, the Catholic
University of Chile, which is a partner Institute
of Brown University and also of the Watson Institute. He specializes in
comparative politics. And I guess you could
call him a democrologist. He studies democracy. His research and
teaching is on democracy, the quality of democracy, the
institutions of democracy, and especially innovative
forms of democratic practice, especially mechanisms
of direct democracy. He’s currently working on
the political consequences of citizen participation
in referenda and other popular initiatives. He’s the author of the book
Direct Democracy Worldwide, and is also the author of
a forthcoming book entitled Citizenship and Contemporary
Direct Democracy. David, even though he
teaches and works in Chile, he’s not Chilean. He’s from Uruguay. So he is also an associate
researcher at the Uruguayan National Agency for
Research and Innovation, and he’s twice received
the Uruguay National Prize of Political Science. If you were Chilean and had
received the Uruguayan National Prize of Political
Science twice, that would probably
need some explaining. [LAUGHTER] David has been a visiting
scholar at a number of places, including the Kellogg Institute
for International Studies at the University of Notre
Dame, the University of Texas at Austin. And this semester, he
is visiting at Harvard at Harvard’s Rockefeller Center
for Latin American Studies, where he is the Luksic
visiting scholar. Rossana Castiglioni is
an associate professor of political science at
the Universidad Diego Portales in Santiago, Chile. She also specializes
in the subfield of comparative
politics, especially working on comparative
social policy, issues of the quality of democracy
and, more broadly, Latin American
comparative politics. Her work has appeared in
numerous peer reviewed journals, such as Electoral
Studies, Latin American Politics and Society,
and The Canadian Journal of Political Science. She is the author of the book
The Politics of Social Policy Change in Chile and Uruguay. Rossana has been
a visiting scholar at Leiden University
in the Netherlands, at the Kellogg Institute
at Notre Dame, University of Madison, Wisconsin,
Oxford University. And she’s currently visiting
at Harvard University’s Rockefeller Center for Latin
American Studies, where she is the Cisneros visiting scholar. So we have with us today
two distinguished experts on the challenges of
democracy in Latin America. They work and live in Chile,
where they’ve been for at least a decade now, more. More. More. More, OK. And they’re here to
talk to us today, to share their
joint perspectives and wisdom on democratic
representation under stress. Welcome to Brown,
Rossana and David. Great to have you both here. Thank you very much. Thank you. [APPLAUSE] [INAUDIBLE] OK, thank you very much for
the generous presentation. And thank you to CLACS
and the Watson Institute for inviting us,
for having us here. It’s an honor to be in
the University of Brown. So this is what
we’re going to do. We are going to persuade
you, try to persuade you that democratic
representation is increasingly under stress in Chile. For those of you familiar
with Latin American politics after what’s going on
in Brazil, our talk is going to be absolutely
irrelevant, probably. But we will try to persuade
you that even in one of the most established
democracies of the continent, there are signs
of preoccupation, growing signs of preoccupation
in terms of representation. So I’m going to try to
focus on a general diagnosis of the problem,
and then David is going to focus particularly
in the problems related to institutions
and elections, and offer some
solutions, perhaps. Or– well, I don’t know. I trust you. I trust you so much. OK. In the past few years, there
has been this idea that Chile, that Chilean democracy
is a solid democracy. This is the poster boy for
good behavior, some said. So this is just one indicator
of the quality of democracy taken from the V-Dem Database. But if you see, Chile
has been generally above other Latin American
countries in terms of democratic performance. If you look at the
economic performance, the story is the same. Chile is doing pretty well. Economic growth has been
consistently above other Latin American countries. And the interesting
thing is that Chile has been able to reduce poverty
while promoting growth, which is something that not all
countries have managed to do, and even to decrease
extreme poverty. So because of a combination
of virtuous performance in terms of democracy and
in terms of economics, some have argued that Chile
is a sort of model country in the Latin American context. And this is taken in the
press, but also many scholars have argued that
the case of Chile is one of the solid cases
of democratic performance and economic performance. Yet, despite this sort
of Chilean miracle, and this sort of model
country, democracy seems to be under stress. Here I am not discussing
the definition of democratic representation
I am working with. You can have a it here. But I just want to
emphasize that I’m going to go through
a few indicators that [INAUDIBLE] et
al have discussed. We’ll talk a little bit
about identification with partisan coalitions,
trust in government and parties, protest, and
electoral participation. Let’s go for the voters
Identification and trust. If you take any public opinion
poll in Chile, any of them, you will see that the largest
political party is none. When Chileans are asked what
party do you identify with, what coalition do you identify
with, most of them will say, “I don’t identify with any
party, with any coalition.” And that’s about 80%. If you ask about trust in
parties, trust in government, as you can see, the
picture is alarming. Now, Chileans are
turning to protest. They are not voting, as we
will see in a few moments, and they are taking
to the streets. And this is going on in
several policy areas. In the environment, in
pensions, education, and In different areas, citizens
are taking to the streets to make clear they don’t
like the way things are. There are not systematic
measures of protest in Chile that we can really trust,
but Nicolás Somma from the sociology department the
Catholic University has been working on that. And what he shows is
that from 2000 to 2012, the tendency has
been to an increase in the number of protests. Now, this is, I think,
the most alarming thing. Right after transition,
electoral participation in Chile was around 80%. But in the last
elections, less than 50% of the Chilean population
voted in the elections. And if you see,
there is a tendency of with each election, less
electoral participation. Apparently there now we
have reached a meseta. I don’t know how to say that. A plateau. A plateau. But electoral participation
has been going down. Now, when I say this
generally in other countries, we have electoral participation
that has been decreasing, you have someone
always saying, well, but this is going
on in every country. And this is not entirely true. If you look at electoral
participation in Latin America, what you will see is that, in
most countries in the last 25 years, electoral participation
has either increased a little bit or maintained. There are a few exceptions,
but in general, that has been the picture. And the two exceptions
in the last 25 years are Costa Rica and Chile. In Chile, we have a 35% drop
in electoral participation. And according to
UNDP, that did a study of electoral participation
in the world, Chile has the second largest
drop of electoral participation worldwide, only
surpassed by Madagascar. So this is huge. This is huge. It’s a problem, I mean, the
drop in electoral participation. So with my colleague Cristóbal
Rovira from Universidad Diego Portales, we have been trying
to figure out why this is going on, why there are increasing
challenges to democratic representation. And what we have been
doing is to stress three main explanations. One, that it’s related
to institutional design or to institutions. Another, that it has to do
with societal changes related to the emergence
of what we call, what Pippa Norris calls
critical citizens, but also changes in the
structure of middle classes. And then a process
of repoliticization of inequalities. I’m going to go
through each of those. I’m going to go very quickly
with the institutional design, because David is
going to cover that. But what we basically
found is that there are a series of electoral and
other institutional rules, formal and informal, that
set a very rigid environment. With these what we mean is
that institutions in Chile are really difficult to change. So this is a problem,
as we will see later. Because if you have
angry citizens that are demanding changes, and you
have an institutional structure that make things very sticky
and very difficult to change, that is not a very
virtuous combination. What are these institutions? Basically, on the first
hand, the so-called by binomial electoral system
that Chile had for many years. David is going to
explain that part. Second, a
constitutional framework that established– there
are several problems with the constitutional
framework. One has to do with
the original sin. This is a
constitutional framework that was created by a dictator,
and that is very, very difficult to change. But also the Constitution
established special majorities and supermajorities to
change some critical aspects of institutions. So the bar to establish
structural changes in Chile is relatively high. Another problem is related
to informal institutions, these institutions that
are not written on paper. That makes or empowers
some actors, particularly actors who hold the power and
make it less difficult or much more difficult to actors that
are not part of the government to have an impact
on policymaking. And this is also related to
what some authors have called democracia de los
acuerdos, the idea that everything has to
be agreed upon in order to be able to promote
changes in Chile. So this makes things
very difficult. And then the other
thing is the autonomy that some institutions in charge
of policymaking, particularly economic policymaking,
have in Chile. There is, for example,
a very small office. This is only an example. There is a small office in the
Ministry of Economics called La Dirección de Presupuesto,
the Direction of Budget. That has an incredible amount
of power in determining which social programs can be
or cannot be implemented. Nobody selected these guys. These are technical
guys, who are in charge of very important decisions. And it’s something that is
puzzling for those of us who study comparative social
policy is that you can meet with presidents that tell
you the Direction of Budget did not allow me to promote
this sort of change. In other countries, if the
president cannot do whatever he or she wants, these guys, the
bureaucrats, are kicked off. Here you have these
insulated bureaucrats telling the president that some
programs cannot be changed. So they control and concentrate
an extremely marked amount of power and make changes
very difficult to uphold. The other change
that is important has to do with the emergence of
critical citizens and changes in middle sectors. Critical citizens, as
defined by Pippa Norris, are unsatisfied democrats. They believe in democracy. They support democracy,
but they are not happy with the way democracy works
in their own countries. Now, when these satisfaction
with democracy and support of democracy. There is a huge gap
between the two. This is what she calls
democratic deficit. This gap has increased
a lot in Chile, as I will show you in a while. And simultaneously,
in Chile there has been an expansion of
middle income sectors. This is good news. As many people left poverty,
the middle sectors increased. But these very
heterogeneous middle classes are extremely precarized. They are highly
indebted, and they are very susceptible to
suffer from any change that affects the economy
or even other areas. So this obviously establishes
enormous challenges to democratic representation. Let me show you a few figures. This is information from
our public opinion poll, the Universidad Diego
Portales public opinion poll on satisfaction and
support with democracy. When you asked Chileans in 2010
about the support of democracy, you repeat the question
to 2013 to 2015, you will see that, more or
less, the data is stable. 56% to 51% of support
for democracy. But then, when you ask about
satisfaction or dissatisfaction with democracy, things
changed dramatically in just five years. In 2010, 23% of those who
answered our public opinion poll said they were not
satisfied or not that much satisfied with democracy. In five years, this
increased to 78%. 78%. So Chileans are increasingly
dissatisfied with the way democracy works
in their country. And at the same time, there
has been an increasing repoliticization of inequality. This is a very
interesting process, because if you read about Chile
in the 1990s, what you will see is that most scholars talk
about the demobilization and depoliticization
of Chileans. And this is all over the place. I mean, any text that
you find of the 1990s will talk about that. But something changed. Something changed, and in
the early 2000s to mid-2000s, Chileans started to mobilize. Perceptions and
discourses on inequality became much more salient. And these discourses and this
uneasiness with inequality, initially, it was related
to income and education. But then it became relevant
in other policy areas too. And more recently, there
is an emphasis on gender, on ethnicity, and
territorial gaps. So this is an important part of
the political debate nowadays. New actors have
emerged that tried to take into these new
issues, these emerging issues. But the way in which citizens
tried to make evident that they are not happy with
the current state of affairs is protest. It’s through protest. This is interesting, because
sometimes when you say, well, you know what? Chileans are not happy about
distribution of income, or inequality in their
country, everyone will say, well, this is going
on in every country. This is true in any
Latin American country. But this is from
Latinobarómetro. If you compare Chileans’
perception on inequality to any other country, you
will see that, for Chileans, distribution of income
is extremely unequal. They have this sensation. In every public opinion
poll, it’s appears that inequality is a big
problem in the country. So to summarize, what is the
diagnosis we have made with my colleague Cristóbal Rovira? There is an increase in
these critical citizens. We have more critical
citizens now than before. And these emerging
precarious middle sectors are pushing the system for
new or better benefits. The problem is–
well, and this also leads to a repoliticization
of inequalities and high levels of
mobilization through protest. The problem is that
these protesters find, as a sort of fence,
institutions that are rigid, that are very
difficult to change, even though the government,
the recent government, the last government
of Michelle Bachelet, announced and pursued
a reform agenda. Now, the problem
is that– and this is what some authors said,
like Jana Morgan, that when you introduce reforms
in a context of crisis, these might not have
the expected result, may produce more
mobilizations, more protests, more uneasiness on
the part of citizens. So the result of the combination
of these three elements, critical citizens,
repoliticization of inequalities, and
institutional rigidity has produced these
increasing challenges to democratic representation. So now I will leave
the floor to David, so he can present the rest
of the [INAUDIBLE] picture. Thank you very much. OK. OK, let me have just one second. Well, thank you very much. Well, I’ve tried
to follow Rossana in the diagnosis of Chile,
and somehow, yeah, I completely agree. And we were talking
about this today in the morning in
these last few days, that when we think about
Chilean problems of today, but we realize what’s going on
in other big, major countries of Latin America, particularly
Brazil and somehow Argentina, we somehow realized that
Chilean problems are details in the way that democracy
works, at least in its impact in the whole region. But I’m gonna
concentrate, basically, on the some of the
agenda, reformist agendas, that President Bachelet pursued
during her last administration, that lasted until the
beginning of this year, particularly electoral
reform, which is one of the mothers of all
the promising Chilean transition to democracy. So basically, what I want to
say is that we have wasted a magnificent, a unique
opportunity of meeting a certain challenge, a certain
chronic disease and conditions that Chile has since
immemorial times, we can say. Because we succeed in approving
a very broad reformist agenda in Chile, but
probably when we start to unpack what these
reforms will mean, we realize that maybe
it’s not the best of the reforms, the path
that we should have taken. OK, one of the major problems
of Chile since transition to democracy until these
last couple of years has been the binomial
electoral system, which is a very particular
and unique electoral system in which the country was
divided in 60 districts of two people, two legislators. So there were 120
members in Congress. I’m talking about
deputies chamber. This electoral system
is not that particularly unrepresentative
if we compare it with British majoritarian
system or any other majoritarian system. But from the
Chilean perspective, and given that until
1973, Chile had some sort of proportional
representation, it meant a huge
change in the way that Chileans related with
their representatives. And beyond this original scene
that Rossana was talking about, because it was crafted
during the dictatorship government of Pinochet, one of
the major points or the weakest point is that they say it was
extremely under-representative. And for some people, it was
a subsidy for the right. For other people, it was a
subsidy for the Concertación, the center-left, left
coalition of Chile. But as we can see,
basically the subsidies have remained constant since
the first democratic election of 1989 until the last election
of 2013 under this system. We can see that the ones
that are always punished are the third forces
in Chile, the Communist Party or regional parties,
but the center-right or the center-left, they have
on average basically exactly the same subsidy of
seats in Congress. So of course this was
unfair from the perspective of some people, but somehow,
it produced a lot of effects beyond representation itself. Given that in each district
you have two legislators, one is going to be
for the majority, and one, unless the
first one duplicates, doubles the number of
votes, then the second that comes in the list, that
party or coalition is going to receive both of the members. Otherwise, it’s going to
be one and one, right? So this produced that it
was extremely easy in Chile to know who is going
to get elected. Because if you had
enough votes to overcome the 33% of the vote
in your district, you are for sure receiving
at least one legislator. So as Rossana– some
of these pictures represent basically
their participation in elections since 1988
until the last election, and they are divided in the
first presidential elections and the rest of
different elections. And we see that basically
the pattern is identical. Decline is [INAUDIBLE]
it’s huge, statistically significant. And there is no
way how to stop it. Looking at these
graphs, political elites decide to change
some little details of the institutional
architecture of the country, and they start with
compulsory vote. As you know, Chile until
2009 had probably one of the most perverse
electoral systems in the way that people, citizens,
need to inscribe in the electoral registries
and then to vote. Because up till
that time, Chileans had the right to decide
whether they become electors. But if they decide so,
it becomes an obligation to vote, to participate
in the election. It’s one of the
very few countries that had that in the world. Many countries you have
voluntary registration in the electoral
books, and then you decide whether you go
participate or not. Here, you had the choice whether
you go to register yourself, but then if you decide
so, you had to vote. Otherwise, you’re going to
be punished by the state. So they decide to change this. Under the constitutional
reform, it was approved in 2009,
during the last year of Bachelet administration, the
first Bachelet administration. And then it was
institutionalized during the first couple
of years of Piñera, first Piñera governments. Another thing that
makes quite interesting, this, it’s old pictures, but
it remains exactly the same until the last election, is
how segmented participation is in Chile. As you can see in
the figure upwards, it’s the declared electoral
participation based on age. So we have the first– we have 18, 25, 26, 35,
et cetera, et cetera. Obviously, this electoral
system of Chile, everywhere we can say, the older you
were the more likely you were to participate. The young people, the young
generations didn’t participate. Which also
translated, obviously, in ideological biases
that electors had. As you know, the
older we are, usually we tend to became a little
bit more conservative. This happens everywhere. So we had that terrible
combination of old electors, white, conservative,
and that’s one of the reasons how we can
explain that policy in Chile was extremely
conservative, extremely against any sort of
change, particularly in post-material values like
abortion, divorce, or things like that. But this hides a real
interesting fact, that despite the fact that
Chile was kind of frozen– when you see the macro
figures in Chile, you see when you study
volatility in little elections or divide in the districts
or see conscription, even at the municipal
level, volatility tends to be extremely
high, like almost 40% or even 50% of
volatility, which is huge. So all of this scenario makes
the Chilean party system somehow, as we call it with a
colleague of mine, Juan Pablo Luna, who was he also a fellow,
uprooted but stable party system. Under this scenario, we have
a magnificent opportunity with the last
administration of Bachelet, that she won with
huge majorities due to all these
demonstrations that Rossana showed in the pictures. Thousands of people cutting
the main avenues of Santiago, paralyzing the whole state. So there was a
momentum for change, and this is what we have. We have an administration, the
latest Bachelet administration that embraced a huge
amount of reforms– educational reform, taxation,
electoral, labor, and even constitutional. Not all of these reforms
were successful at least 100% from the perspective of the
government, but they advanced. They moved us. Bachelet says they moved the
fence two steps forwards. So now we are seeing
a different country. Paradoxically, as I put
here, all these reforms were dealt in the context of
a political system accused by the same authorities
of being unable to process substantial reforms. So a process, a system
that was considered very status quo-oriented
processed all these reforms because they said that it
was unable to process reform. So it’s kind of weird, Chile. From every dimension
and from every angle they want to see it. So as I mentioned, this
is a very simple graph of electoral districts
in Chile we have. Every district was the same. Two members each,
six a district. That was Chile up
to the last reform. The new electoral
system in Chile, that was approved
in 2015, consists of 28 districts that
oscillate between three and nine members each
open list, and you have to select only one member. So each political party
can percent up to M+1. If the district
has five members, you can percent up to six
candidates for that district. And you, citizen,
have only one vote. Only one human being you
select from the list. So now we have 155
members in Congress in the lower chamber, deputies. Instead of having used a
different more [INAUDIBLE] distribution of consolidating
different districts to make the district larger, to
make them a little bit more proportional. Another thing that happened
in Chile with this reform is that it increased
segmentation instead of integration. Let’s say that we are divided
between yellows and blacks, and these are the
typical districts. So if we join two
districts, in this way, we’re going to be speaking
in this new district 82% yellow, 18% black, just
to give you a graphic idea. And in this one, it’s going
to be 77 black and 23 yellow. But in Chile, this is the way
that the Chilean government, the Chilean reform approved the
reform instead of doing this. So now districts that were
extremely rich districts, they were joined
together instead. And that’s another
missing opportunity of combining and integrating
different type of societies within the same district. They combined them in a
way that still the country is extremely segmented. Now, these are kind
of hard to read, but it’s not that difficult.
We had 60 districts. [INAUDIBLE] OK? So for instance, district 57 and
58 in the region of Los Lagos were joined together to
make a new district that now is the 27th. What I calculated here,
it’s about the strength, the political strength that
each district had and now it has with the new reform. As we can see, there is a
bunch of those, obviously, that some district win
power, political power. Some districts lose
political power. The red ones are those
who have negative power. So they lose relative
political power in Congress, and I wanted to know
which are these. Do they have some
characteristic in common? So my intuition is
that, yes, they have some characteristic in common. So the losers are some
particular groups in Chile. Who are the losers? Well, I run a simple model
with all the districts, and I took into
account the degree of poverty, where they
were from the capital city. The distance to the
capital city, the distance squared, because
my intuition was that those in the middle,
not the extremes, not those close to Antarctica,
not close to Bolivia and Peru, but those in the middle are
the losers of this game, and the size of the population. What we see is that there
are extremely significant coefficients here. And who are those districts? The poorest. And the Mapuche districts,
who are the losers of these new reforms? The poor people and
the Mapuche regions of Chile, which are,
by the way, together. There is a huge
correlation between poverty and ethnic minority
in Chile in terms of the power and
the relative power that they have in Congress. Right. Now, we keep with bad news. One of the aspects
and one of the reasons to make a huge electoral
reform in Chile was to make the system more
representative and more proportional. Now the system today
is, yes, indeed, it’s easier to get into Congress,
but it’s much less proportional than it was before,
even at the worst moment of the binomialism,
which was accused of being the least proportional
of every electoral system in the world. At least some people said that. So using this very famous
index of proportionality, it’s clear that today, after the
elections, the last elections, today, the electoral
system is less proportional than it was before in Chile. So we are almost there. Here is one of the– Can I ask just one question? Yes. Just one second? Yeah, sure. Now, that was it 2015 that
the electoral reform happened? Yes. The reform was
exactly here, right? So this is the first
election with the new system. Thanks. So another aspect
that was always underlined by those critics
of the old electoral system, like myself and many others,
it was that many legislators were dragged by the
whole architecture of the binomial system because
they had an ally of them in the same district that
pushed them upwards and got them into Congress. Why? Because there were a
very important politician in that district that
had a lot of votes, and I was his
fellow in the list, so I was dragged by him to get
into Congress, because together we duplicate the votes
of the second list. In 2013, there were 11
legislators that were dragged, and that represent
about 9% of the chamber. Today, with the new
electoral system, there were 29 out
of 155, and they represent 18% of the chamber. So 18% of the chamber
are people today that were dragged by their
fellow and strong politicians and colleagues in
the same party slot. So this represents about
more than a 100% increase, and fragmentation also
increased obviously, from 2.7 effective
legislative coalitions to 3.1. Here is Florcita Motuda. This is one of the new
elected legislators in Chile, maybe one of the most [SPANISH]. I don’t know how to say. Something like that. Exotic. Exotic. And I’m quoting him. “I got elected, but I would have
liked to be elected with votes. F the electoral law!” And he said that. He took this tweet
out very fast. It was there on [INAUDIBLE]
for a couple of days. But then when everyone talked
this tweet, he took it away. But that’s one of the effects
of the new electoral system. So now, we have open list
proportional representation with the possibility for parties
or coalitions to present M+1– M is the magnitude of the
district– as candidates for the legislative election. And this is, in my opinion, is
increasing the personalist vote [INAUDIBLE] Florcita
Motuda, this guy. It opens the system very
much for political outsiders. And due to the
whole electoral law, it’s basing politics
into the local topics instead of national topics. And therefore, all these
three erode political parties collective action, discipline,
and programmatic coherence. Potential improvements– well,
as happens everywhere, here in the United States or any
other democracy, participation, it’s very open to class bias or
different types of class bias. So a mandatory vote, today
it’s discussed in Chile. “A mandatory vote,” I would
say between quote unquote, because technically
speaking, there is not such a thing as a mandatory
vote in a democracy, right? What we have is
mandatory presence of one person in one place to
sign a book, say hi, I’m here. But you don’t have to vote. You can vote blank. You can nil your vote. You can choose by lot
which candidate you vote. I mean, you don’t have
to vote technically, so you don’t have
a mandate to vote. So compulsory
presence of citizens. So it’s a technicality, but
it’s interesting to say. So I would say the
mandatory vote, or what we mentioned
as a mandatory vote, it’s a good way. And several political
parties, particularly the Christian Democrats
and some large sections, factions of the Socialist
Party, are again thinking seriously on going
back to mandatory vote. Obviously, it’s
not very popular, but close some block list
would have helped a lot. It’s extremely
unlikely, because I was on one of these
presidential committees that President
Bachelet did during her first administration. I remember, I
proposed closed lists, like in Spain, Uruguay,
and many other places. And I was accused of
being anti-democrat. So I don’t think– and
that was the Concertación. Imagine what would have
happened if there were people from La Alianza there. And another possibility
is to offer citizens the M quantity of votes so we
don’t have Florcita Motudas anymore, at least
if we are thinking in the Chilean perspective. And somehow, new
institutions, which are sought to make a
higher synchronization between elite political
elites and the sovereign, which are citizens should make
use of direct democracy, based on popular initiatives
and referendums, which are extremely popular, at
least at the youngest cohorts of the Chilean
electorate these days. They are demanding direct votes
for accepting or rejecting the educational reform
or the pension reforms. There are a lot of demands
to move towards this, these new institutions. But of course, the
political elites are quite reluctant
to open the door for these risky institutions. So again, to finish,
why I say that? Well, I hope I have explained
that but we have squandered a unique opportunity to mitigate
certain chronic conditions in Chile through crucial
institutional reform. And I think I stop here,
and thank you very much. [APPLAUSE] Thank you very much,
Rossana, David. I’m going to moderate
the discussion, Q&A. So why don’t we take, if we have
them, two or three questions. And if you want, you can direct
your question toward one, both, or both of the speakers. And then we’ll give
them a chance to reply. John Tomasi, a colleague
from political science. And say who you are, please. It’s good to know
who’s in the room. John Tomasi. If I don’t say who you are. So my question is
for both of you. It’s a kind of
particular question. I’m interested in Frente
Amplio, The Broad Front. And so for David, you said
that the electoral reforms, the losers are the poor. I gather that Frente
Amplio speaks for the poor. Maybe not, but
that might be true. But I’m more interested
in how did that happen? How did they– they took 22– I think 22 seats? Is it 22? Yeah, 20 deputies. Sanchez got 22% of the electoral
vote in the first round. So how did the electoral
form allow this thing to happen as a rising party? And then for Rossana,
I just wonder what you think about Frente Amplio. Is it an example of
the repoliticization, repoliticizing of inequalities? Is it good for the
discourse in Chile? You can answer briefly,
but I’m just very curious. So how did it happen, given
the electoral reforms? And what do you think of them? I saw a hand up
over here as well. Yes, would you say it? Yes, you in the blue hoodie. Say who you are, please. Yes. Hi, I’m Filipe Felix. I’m a first year from
Panama [INAUDIBLE] And my question is for David. So you were saying
it’s kind of similar in terms of what
[INAUDIBLE] You were saying that poverty and
ethnic minority were common characteristics of
districts that lost power in the 2015 reform. I’m curious as to
whether there were also ideological preferences that
were common among those groups. And we can take a third
question, if there is one. Otherwise, we’ll
let them– uh-huh, that’s Jessaca Leinaweaver,
the director of CLACS at Brown University. Jessaca? I’m just curious, what
do the pundits in Chile think is the problem? First of all, is this a
problem in current media? Do people talk about this
as a problem, the decrease in enthusiasm about democracy? And then what do they think? I believe you have persuaded me. I believe your take on it, but
what do the people on the news say is wrong with
Chile right now? Does it align with
what you’re saying, or do they have some other
theory about what’s wrong? OK, you guys wanna take– [INAUDIBLE] OK, thank you very
much for the questions. They are tough questions. Regarding the
Frente Amplio, yeah, I think they’re trying
to speak for the poor. It doesn’t mean
that they are poor, or they truly represent
these sectors, this strata of society. Most of the leaders of this new
coalition called Frente Amplio, they are former university
leaders of the rebels that Rossana showed in
these huge demonstrations. And some of them,
most of them somehow, they were militants of
the Concertación before. One way or another, Georgio
Jackson, Boric, all these guys. Some of them are from the
Communist Party as well, sure. So I think they try to offer
a liberal fresh perspective to Chilean politics. And it came to be? Well, this new electoral
system, definitely it’s more opened to the
inclusion of third forces than it was before, the
system that we have before. And it was easier to
penetrate the system. What I’m saying is not
that it’s closer or harder to penetrate the system,
but it’s less proportional. I mean, the noise between the
translation of votes to seats makes more noise than the
system that we had before. I’m not saying if I have
to choose either one. Probably I’d choose this one. But I’m saying that we lost an
opportunity of making a better reform than this one. And this was the reform that
Chileans sought to make, and they succeeded to make. Because it resembles pretty
much the electoral system that Chile had before
1973, with all the problems that we had at that time, too. So Bea Sanchez, yeah, she arose. She is a powerful,
brilliant woman with extremely articulate– she had a lot of years in
her career on the news. And she has a fantastic voice,
and she’s extremely articulate. So she gathered this
sensation of frustration that Chileans had during
the last administration of Bachelet. And that’s the reason
why she got 22%, which is a huge amount of votes. So now the losers
of this game, yeah, this was a statistical exercise. One of the problems
that I didn’t mention of the previous electoral
system was the relative power that some districts had in
relation to their population. So this new electoral
system tried to fix that, but that was to the price
of these particular groups of districts in the center down
of Araucanía region in Chile, right? Which are mostly Mapuche
districts, which are also poor. It is not that easy,
the combination of poverty, ethnic lines,
and ideological lines. As a matter of fact, if
I’m not mistaken, most, it’s quite ambiguous. I mean, sometimes the left
ones, sometimes the right. But if I have to
choose, my intuition says that there were a
little bit more to the right than to the left. But you have to
see the statistics. I don’t remember
exactly which election. There was some alternation
during these seven elections that we had. And in terms of
pundits, that’s tough. We have everything. Chile has everything. I would say that in the academic
world, most of our colleagues would agree basically
with what we said. [LAUGHTER] No? OK. OK? No, no, no. It’s going be a huge– it’s going to be
a huge discussion. No? OK. But I think that
people are somehow happy that the
whole architecture, the old architecture
changed and we renovated some facades of
the whole building, the institutional building. Many people are frustrated. I would say that there is– at least in political science,
most political scientists would agree with mandatory
vote to be reinstalled again. I would say something like that. Her face says a lot,
so I let her to answer question more in-depth. So I will start
with the last part. No, I think there are– how can I say this elegantly? I don’t– OK, let me– Rephrase– Rephrase it. Yeah. You have some
independent scholars that are not attached to
political parties, that have no relationship. They don’t advise the
specific politicians. And then you have
some scholars that are quite close to specific
candidates or parties. OK? This is not always
entirely clear. So what we call
“operarios politicos,” “political operators,” if
that’s a word in English. Sometimes, there is
a public discourse regarding what is
good for Chile, that I frankly think is
good for certain candidates or certain agendas. So for example, thinking
about something specific, many scholars are in
favor of mandatory vote, for the reasons that David said. But some are against. And publicly, they use
several technical reasons why they are
against, but I think there is also a lot of fear
regarding the half of Chileans that do not vote. 50% of the population
doesn’t vote. We don’t know anything
about nonvoters. I don’t want to say we
don’t know anything. We know a lot about voters, but
then there is this other 50%. Who are they? What do they want? What are their aspirations? Why are they angry? We know much less about them. So we did an exercise
some time ago. A colleague of mine,
Claudio Fuentes, did interviews with nonvoters. It’s online. It’s called La Otra Mitad. I think anthropologists
like you have a feast there. There is a lot of qualitative
work to do, to do observation, to do ethnographic
work, for example, to understand these people who
are angry and are not voting. So some things we know,
but some others we don’t. And it was a very interesting
exercise, this La Otra Mitad, the other half, with
these interviews to gather who they are. So I think that some
scholars who are not in favor of mandatory
vote are really afraid that if all these guys
go to the polls, we will have– I don’t know what. You know? And I think it’s
a reasonable fear if you want the incumbents
to maintain their positions. So what I want to say
is that, in general, I think we share a diagnose,
but not necessarily we share solutions. I don’t know if I told you
this, but I was at an activity commenting some presentations,
and someone said, well, what can be done about
the situation in Chile? And one said, well, perhaps– all scholars– perhaps
we should think about direct democratic
devices, the topics, your work. And there was this scholar,
very prominent scholar. He was so angry. Like, this is the end. Of course. And he started to talk about– I don’t know– a mixture of
Venezuela and revolution. I don’t know how
many things he said. And I remember,
I was commenting. I was not presenting. And I asked, “Do
you pity the Swiss?” Because if I think
about direct democracy, I think about the Swiss. And I’m not like,
“Poor Swiss people!” You know with direct democracy. But they really think that
giving power to the people has all these risks. So I think there is a
combination of fearfulness, the sensation that we have
to do something about this, but the ones deciding,
the incumbents, will lose if there
are some adjustments. Now, the paradoxical thing
is that this reform allowed Frente Amplio to get in. And I think, yes,
Frente Amplio is the result of a process of
politicization of inequalities. The problem is that because
of the current institutional design, Frente
Amplio can get there, but wont be able
to do everything these conglomerate wants without
the votes of the opposition. So the risk about
this is going back to modernization theories
of the 1960s, the revolution of growing expectations that
some sociologists used to say, you have people wanting changes. You have some political
actors elected to Congress, new
figures, but they will need to go through
the same institutions that make things difficult. So how this politicization
of inequality translates into structural changes of
any sort is still something we don’t know. Great, I think there’s at
least one more question. Two more? OK. So let’s take another round. We have till 1:30. OK. Andrew Shank. Schrank. Professor or sociology
and international studies here at Brown. Thank you. Yeah, first thing I’m going
to be acknowledging I’m going to be rude, because I have
to run out right after this. I wonder if there’s
data on support for autocracy over time. And I ask, because you can be
dissatisfied with democracy and think the solution is more
democracy and not autocracy. And I don’t necessarily
assume that because people are pissed off with
the functioning of Chilean democracy
over the past 20 years that they want an autocratic
solution like Bolsonaro or maybe Trump. It might be that they
want the type of democracy you would favor. Yeah, and say who
you are, please? I’m Adam Myers. So I had a question. Well, I had two questions. For Professor Altman,
I wanted to go back to this issue of the
apportionment of seats in the Congress. Yes. Because if I heard you
correctly, what you said is that the previous
electoral system was basically malapportioned. Yes. In favor of those
heavily Mapuche areas south of Santiago. So if that’s the case, then
the regression that you showed, that showed that poor
Mapuche areas experienced a decline in representation
after the new electoral reform, that’s entirely a
result of the fact that this new system
is more equally apportioned across the area. So isn’t that a good thing? Doesn’t that suggest
that Chile is moving more toward each citizen having
an equally weighted vote, no matter where they live? So I guess, what’s
the problem with that? And that Professor
Castiglioni, I wanted to ask, I was intrigued by– you were talking
about the importance of informal institutions slowing
down democratic effectiveness in Chile. And I was wondering what
those institutions were. Usually, when democracies
are under stress, those institutions are the
first ones to go, right? Because those are the
easiest ones to change. So I was wondering if you’ve
seen evidence of that. Any other questions people
want to put on the table? OK. Is it OK? Sure. I’ve got a very
general question. One of you, I can’t
remember which, referred to a time in Chilean
history, at least a memory of the Chileans, the
self-memory of the Chileans, where there was good feeling
and goodwill across the parties. Is there a term for that period? Is that [? Conveniencia? ?] [? Conveniencia? ?] I mean,
[? Conveniencia ?] could mean that. I’ve understood that Chilean
politics is more polarized now, despite some of the
horrors in the history, that there was a time when
people would try to listen to the other side more. Ah, democracia de los acuerdos. Yes. That. So that’s the name? OK. So if you could say a bit about
what that is, and especially how does that relate to another
Spanish word I can’t remember. What’s the word for
backhoe or bucket loader? Retroexcavadora? Retroexcavadora. That’s the word
the minister used. Retroexcavadora. You mentioned that
there was a minister? Yes, yes, yes. So is the rise of
retroexcavadora the end of [? Conveniencia? ?]
Or how does that– that was a badly
formed question. I’m trying to figure out, is
there more polarization now? What’s the cause of
the polarization? Is there a longing for a
more collegial politics? Next time, we’re going
to insist that you pose your question in Spanish. [LAUGHTER] Well, in terms of the
autocracy, Andrew’s question, I will leave it to you,
Rossana, because you are more on the team working
with these perceptions in public opinion, but I
would like to mention that– probably you didn’t
pay attention, but during these
last week and a half, we have a bunch of extremely
important political leaders of some political parties
going to Brazil just to kiss Bolsonaro. Literally to kiss Bolsonaro
and all what he represents. So the president of the UDI,
Jacqueline van Rysselberghe, and Morella– and who else was it? No, [INAUDIBLE]. President of the UDI. The president of the UDI, one
of the largest political parties in Chile, went to Rio
just to kiss Bolsonaro. And she appeared on the
front page of all newspapers in Chile. And then about 32 or 33 Congress
members Renovación Nacional signed a letter, an open
letter supporting Bolsonaro, with all what it means all
the connotation that it has. So I wouldn’t say that– I think the majority
of Chilean citizens still support democracy, more
drastic, more light, whatever. I’m not saying that they
are autocrats’ fans, but there are some
important groups which are represented in Congress. In terms of malapportionment,
I 100% agree with you. I couldn’t agree with you more. What I want to stress is that
it was a huge tension in Chile. Because we know that we have
an important ethnic minority, which is weaker
than the majority. And we lost an
opportunity to make some arrangement, institutional
arrangement, to increase and or to improve the apportionment
of the system in general, but at the same time not to
take the little quota of power that they have. That’s why during this
[? Benninger ?] commission, I was strongly advocating
for some reform going through the New Zealand
lines of mixed member proportional representation,
which allows you to make some quotas for natives, or
ethnic minorities, or gender minorities, or whatever
you want to stress. In New Zealand,
they have reserved seats for Maori people. And the proportion
of Maori people is basically extremely
similar to the proportion of Mapuche people that we have. That was absolutely disregarded. They say that if
we start to give– and that was a commission
made up by 10 apparatchiks of the Concertación
and three academicians. We were about 13 people there. That was considered the end of
democracy, even in that circle. I was absolutely surprised. And they accused–
as I mentioned, they accused me that I am
not a democrat because I am advocating for a closed list. I was, what? It was 2006. I was only three
years in Chile then. So I couldn’t understand
what was going on. But what I’m saying is not– and I agree with you. We have a huge tension there. Whether we apportion seats
more coherently with the votes and the number of
votes, but we have a minority which is one of the
major problems that we have, the social problems
that we have in Chile that we are not addressing,
and we don’t care. So the system under reform– and I think the
Bachelet administration, she gave up too easy
to the corporations. And this government
didn’t really took distance or the
necessary time or care to draft a reform paying more
attention to these dimensions that were obviously there. They just wanted to
be the famous one to enter in history, “Yay, we
were the ones making history.” Yeah, I don’t know
in a few years how we are going
to see that reform, but again, I agree with
you 100% in this tension, normative tension between
representation of minorities, and rights, and obligations. Yeah. Yeah, I think I’m going to
mix the two last questions to answer, because
they basically point to informal institutions,
to the way things were done. One of the most important
informal institutions, and that goes only
to you, is cuoteo. The sort of informal
quota system to distribute important posts. But there is no
reason why incumbents are going to change or share
more power with others. If you are there,
if you have the– how do you say? [SPEAKING SPANISH] As Maria [INAUDIBLE]
used to say, if you really control
power, why are you going to share it with
an outsider, someone who is not there. So that, I think, won’t change. But there is another institution
that probably will change. And that’s democracia
de los acuerdos. Democracia de los acuerdos– and if you are
interested in this, Peter Siavelis has
worked with this a lot, and he knows much more
than I do about this– referred to the fact
that Chile’s president, and authorities in general
but presidents in particular, were– and that goes to you too– were not willing, generally,
to present reform projects when they knew they didn’t
have the support in Congress. So they refrained to presenting
things that might create conflict with the opposition. And I remember vividly the first
time that Concertación lost the election to Piñera. I was riding in my car, and they
were interviewing Lagos Weber, the son of President Lagos. So the journalist, a very
old with a lot of experience journalist, was
saying, well, why do you think you
lose the election? And he was saying, well,
the rightists did this, and the opposition did
that, and we were not able to fight, and
this and that and that. And the journalists
says, OK, let’s be clear, did you do anything wrong? Do you regret something? Is it all the other guys? And he says, yes,
I regret something. I regret not to fight when
I knew I was going to lose. And that was an epiphany for me. Because in that
sentence, it was so much. It was the fact that democracia
de los acuerdos basically turned the Concertaciónists
in a sort of avoiding getting into areas that were
creating conflict. But if you have most of the
population saying we need– I don’t know– to pass these
and these and these reforms, these areas are
critical for us, and you don’t have an answer
from the government, this is going to have a price. And I think one of
the problems, and that goes to what Jess was saying
before, is one of the problems with the political elite is
that it became incredibly detached from societal changes. So I mean, I could tell
you so many stories that you couldn’t believe me. Like, talking to people,
normal people, clever people. I remember having this
conversation with a senator. He was a president of
an important party when they passed the legislation
of divorce, divorce for God’s sake, divorce. And he was so proud. And he said, “Well, what
do you think about my law?” And I said, “Do you
want it the Chilean way or the Uruguayan way?” He said both. Well, the Chilean
way, “Well, it’s good, but I think you should
have changed some things. Whatever.” The Uruguayan way, “It sucks.” And he said, “Why? Why do you say that?” And I said, “Well,
the problem is that you are obligated to be
separated for several years before being formally divorced. So why don’t you impose– [SPEAKING SPANISH] Sexual social
service mandatory?” “Well, that would be crazy.” “Well, that’s the point. You could not say
to people you have to have sex for so many years
before you get divorced, because it’s stupid. You cannot say to people
you have to live together for so many years until
you think it’s good to get a divorce.” So I don’t know. What I’m saying with this
example is a stupid example, but the point is that you have
an elite that is increasingly detached from societal change
and what people believe. And then the other
question, well, I haven’t worked directly–
what I showed, the data I showed shows you that support for
democracy is relatively stable. This is the good news. The other good news, I
haven’t worked with that, but I have two colleagues,
Carlos Meléndez and Cristóbal Rovira who did such a funny job. It’s so, so good. I really like what
they are doing. They were gathering information
on negative identities, the anti-establishment guys. So these are the ones that are
not willing to vote for anyone. The Concertación sucks. The right wing sucks. Everything sucks. [SPEAKING SPANISH] Let’s remove all of them. So these, in Peru,
for example, which you know Peru is a very
complex political system, this is around 35%,
according to Carlos Melendez. They did the same exercise
in Chile, and what they have is that this is around 13%. So the ones who want to burn
it all still are a minority. Let’s pray– if you do pray. If not, a candle or
good wishes for us– that these will remain that. Because if this figure changes,
I think we are in deep trouble. I just wanted to add that– Optimistic. Yeah, I just wanted to
add to this explanation that one of the perks that
the institutional architecture of Chile had, it was that
everything was so clear and so automatic, and you knew more
or less how many legislators you’re going to
obtain and everything that it produced some
sort of detachment from political parties
to the citizenry. So they didn’t need to exercise. So everything was
straightforward, and that’s what pissed
off many people in Chile. Because political elites were
absolutely detached from what’s going on the ground,
of the stresses and the problems
of the citizens. There were no
connections whatsoever. So there was this
incredible separation that they were extremely
happy with the divorce law, when most of Chileans
were extremely on behalf of divorce, of course. The same happened with
abortion that just now was approved last year. Last year? Yeah, last year for the three
causes that in Uruguay we had for 150 years already. I mean, they are
different universes. But they were so
relaxed that everything was fine that in that regard
Bachelet administration really moved the fence a
few steps forwards. And from that perspective,
it was extremely welcome. But that is to say that
the reforms were great? Well, I don’t know if I’m
so happy to have abortion only for these three causes. Let us decide or whether this
divorce law or any other aspect of social concern. So that was what
I wanted to say. Yeah. One last thing. Aren’t elites always out
of touch, by definition? No. With the masses? No. I’m remembering we had
some well-known musicians here at the Watson
Institute last year. People remember the
rock band Living Color. Half of the rock band
Living Color was here, and they shared their
biographies and so forth. And we did a little interview
with one of the musicians. And Vernon Reid is his name. And Vernon said, you
know, we need a better class of rich people in the US. He was thinking about
the United States. So what makes the Chilean elite
more out of touch than others, if that’s what you’re saying? Well, I say that I think that
the electoral system helped a lot, because it provides
such amount of certainty that they don’t need to even
to exercise to go to the field to gather votes almost. I mean, everything was ensured. You have this amount
of votes here. You have this amount
of votes here. So in this district, we’re
going to elect A and B. And in this one, both are going
to belong to this coalition, and in this one, both
are going to belong to the other coalition. When you have a more fluid
electoral system that allows for people
to change easily and these changes
to be reflected in the in how the composition
of the chambers are done, that’s one step. And then if you
have some channels– and I know that I’m moving the
conversation to a completely different new dimension– but if
you have channels for citizens to demand changes from
political elites– I’m talking about political
elites, no rich, not economic elites, but political elites– there are going to be
popular initiatives. “If you don’t do this.” “Or if you approve
this law, be aware, we’re going to try to
derogate this law straight by popular vote.” So you’re going to
be a little bit more careful with my opinion
before you approve that law, or if you don’t listen
to what my demands are. So institutionally
speaking, let’s say elites, they try to detach from
society because probably it’s the inertia. But there are
institutional features that help to tie them
with society somehow. 100%, probably not. But a little bit, yeah. Yeah, and I have a
different take on that. I agree with you, though. But I don’t know. The older I’m getting, the
less political scientistic I’m getting. So I read some of
my friends who come from sociology and
political sociology, while I’m working on these. And they are doing– Alfredo, for example. Alfredo Joignant. He’s doing a very interesting
job studying elites. And something that he shows,
that is very interesting, is that the Chilean elite, the
political and economic elite, but he’s telling mainly
the political elite, they come from a few schools. They go to one or
two universities. They go in the summer to the
same seasides or resorts. They go to the same clubs. They marry each other. I was shocked when he did a
presentation for a small group. He was talking about marital
strategies of the elite. And he said, you know what? You’re getting into
a lot of trouble. Don’t say that, because
it makes an intention of marrying someone. Well, but these are– I mean– Those are facts. Those are facts. And he was showing that
they marry among themselves. I’m not sure. I mean, I think that
the US, because it’s so large for example,
you wouldn’t have that, because you have several elites. I don’t know if the guys in LA
are the same in New York City. I don’t know. I don’t know if they are. They may be. I haven’t read a reproduction
of the elites in the US. Brown and Harvard are
totally different. [LAUGHTER] But I don’t know. I don’t know. But my sensation is
that, in some cases, for example, thinking of
the Uruguayan case, that is the case I know the
most, economic elites and political elites
were separate. Yeah. Historically. They were not the
same, necessarily. And there is still some
distance among themselves, which I think is
relatively healthy for the political system. So I don’t know. That’s my take. Very good. A lot of wisdom. Any other comments or questions? We have time, yeah. Dakota, say who you are. Hi, I’m Dakota. Senior here studying
international relations. I spent some time in
Chile this past summer studying issues of
democratic consolidation. So I was just
wondering, we talked about how this binomial
system led to certainty, a lack of competition, and it
reduced voter participation, and also how these social
changes got pushed back and weren’t put through
for a few years. I guess I was
wondering, do you two think this was a necessary
component of that process of democratic
consolidation, or would you have liked to have seen these
reforms moved up, time-wise? Well, that’s a tough question. I would say– well, it
depends from which perspective you see that. There are other experiences
of the transition or successful
transitions like Uruguay. Uruguay, basically
the new system is basically the same system
that we had before 1973. So it still was one of the
most proportional countries on earth. Everything was
basically the same. So to change the electoral
game was not a requisite for the consensus toward
the transition to democracy. And actually, Uruguayan
transition, as the Chilean, it’s quite regarded as one of
the successful stories in South America, right? So I don’t see that we
needed that to move forward to democracy. It was the difference,
and maybe Rossana can explain that a
little bit better, is that the dictatorship
government in Chile was much more successful
than the Uruguayan one. So they had much more leverage
to negotiate certain conditions for transition. Remember that the
transition was in 1990. Chile was the last one. I mean, Argentina in
1983, Uruguay ’85, Chile– Brazil ’85. Countries even before that. So it was the last autocratic
dot in the South American continent, right? But given that Pinochet was
in such a position to demand something, otherwise I
don’t give up the power, I don’t know how
much would he had lasted without this agreement
from the opposition parties. So I don’t know. It depends. You have successful stories
from making these concessions to the autocratic
regime, and you have successful stories that
didn’t do these concessions to autocratic regimes. That’s mine. I don’t know. Yeah. Now, some colleagues
of ours would say– I’m not saying this
is like a disclaimer. My opinion– [INAUDIBLE]
but some scholars say that the electoral system
brought stability to Chile the years after transition. And that’s why some very
clever people we know defended the binomial system. Some political scientists that
we know and we like, in theory, were very strongly AGAINST and
they have good arguments why. But I have the
sensation that all of us who were foreigners in
Chile thought it smelled bad. There was something wrong,
not only in normative terms, but we weren’t sure– because
the public opinion polls were showing noises 10, 15 years
ago, where you saw trust was going down and whatever. So we tended to read
these as problematic. I remember Juan Pablo also. It’s not only the two of
us, but several scholars who were not Chilean. But Chileans thought it
was because Chile having this history of polarization. And you have to understand,
Chileans are really scared– Of conflict. Of conflict and polarization. Some people really
never got over it. Just a little anecdote. Once we were having
dinner with the kids. And I don’t know if the
kids were there already. As soon as we arrived–
no, they were not there. So we were discussing,
I don’t know, football, a game or
something like that. You remember? And it was “No, Rossana.” “No, David, no!” “Look, this team. No, you play horrible. No, you play.” And people around us
start to look at us. They thought that
we were having– Fighting. Fighting. But we were discussing
the Uruguayan way, which is like the Italian way. You move your hands, and
you raise your voice. And someone asked,
“is everything OK?” “Yeah, we’re just discussing.” “Discussing?” Even the word “discussing”
in Chilean Spanish it has a negative connotation,
while making a discussion in Uruguay is not
necessarily a negative. It could be. It’s neutral. You’re exchanging strong
ideas, but it’s not negative necessarily. That’s why my
comment, “do you want me to say it the Chilean
way or the Uruguayan way?” But at the same time– Chileans are much
more polite too. Chileans are much more polite,
much more conservative. They are afraid of conflict. But they’re extremely
pragmatic as well. That’s one of the crazy
things of this country. It’s extremely pragmatic
country as well. We were talking about
the political science environment in Chile. More than half of
it is from people that they are not Chileans. At the Católica, we
are 2/3 of the faculty, we are from overseas. At Diego Portales, about half
of the faculty is from overseas. So they are pragmatic
at the same time. They are pragmatic. It’s a fantastic combination. As they say, they are
willing to swallow the frog. [SPEAKING SPANISH] If they don’t like it, but it’s
good, they will buy it anyway. Right. OK, well, this was really
wonderful, a lot of wisdom and just delightful to
have both of you here. Please join me in
thanking Rossana and David such a lively conversation. Thank you. Thank you. [APPLAUSE]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *