Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Cabeldo, the left-wing bastion where the extreme right is devastated: “Boric did not fulfill what he promised”

In the election of constitutional councillors, the municipality of Cabildo, 180 km north of Santiago de Chile, broke with the historical support of the left. The turn was tight and sharp. The city of 20,000 residents, where 88% voted to change the constitution in 2020 and where they supported Gabriel Borić in the first and second presidential terms, turned out to vote for Republican candidates on May 7 . (39% of voters; four points higher than the national average). The mining and farming area, located between the coastal and Andean hills, belongs to the Valparaíso region, where communes turning more strongly from left to right were concentrated. Cabeldo, which was a communist district until the 1973 coup, has the highest jumps in the region. In a tour conducted this Thursday, residents didn’t mention the security — the Republican’s flag of struggle — nor the constitution, much less, to explain the change in their vote. The response repeatedly pointed to critical assessments of President Gabriel Boric, who has been in office for 15 months.

Vanessa Rios, 24, voted for Boric and approved the constitutional resolution he introduced last September, in contrast to 62% of Chileans (only 38% of citizens did and the proposal was demolished). However, in the last election held two Sundays ago, he had marked in favor of a Republican candidate. Borik disappointed me. Whatever he promised, he has not fulfilled. they said they were going to give us 10% [del dinero de su balance de capitalización individual], which was supposed to improve public health, but it is the same or worse”, says the owner of the house, a mother of two daughters. Waiting lists have been reduced by 32% and co-payments in the public health system (Fonasa) have been abolished, but to no avail. “We pay for all the private consultations for the girls,” she adds.

A group of neighbors discussing the election results in the Cabildo. Cristobal Venegas

Vanessa’s boyfriend, Fernando Garrido, a 33-year-old miner, shares the sentiment about Borik: “We thought being abandoned would help us more, who are from middle class, lower class, but it was the opposite, things Got worse”. What did you think? “Everything is too expensive. The minimum wage goes up, but also rents and supermarkets. Now with 500,000 ($630) it is not enough”, he maintains. In supporting Republicans, the couple give no reason other than the hope that they will do better.

Juan Olmo, 81, who has voted left all his life, supported the party of José Antonio Casta on the first Sunday of May. “Everything went to hell with Borik. They offered everything and they did nothing”, he complains over his sales situation, where he offers everything from masks to jars of honey. Olmo worried about long waiting lists in public health. Admits that he doesn’t know much about the cast. It only links it to a change in the system.

Cabaldo is a quiet municipality rooted in its traditions and religious festivals. According to statistics from the Undersecretary for the Prevention of Crimes, in a ranking of crimes with the greatest social meaning, such as murder, injury, rape and robbery, it ranks 233 out of 346 communes in Chile. People say they feel safe, but regret how this drug has spread through the neighborhood.

In the Plaza de Armas there is a monument to those killed during the Pinochet dictatorship. The first name that appears is Mario Alvarado Araya, Communist mayor until the 1973 coup half a century ago. He was assassinated a month later at the age of 34. Since the return of democracy, its mayor has always been a centre-left Christian Democrat, but in the 2021 left-wing presidential primary between communist Daniel Jeu and Borić, 52.5% supported the former compared to 47.4% for the current president.

A cabildana girl plays at the monument to those killed by politicians during the Pinochet dictatorship. Christopher Venegas

On a bench in the square, Cecilia Córdoba, 57, also approved of changing the constitution and voted for Borić, but she regrets it. Like many of those consulted for this report, he does not forgive her for removing a floor from withdrawals of 10% of pension savings. In a pandemic, the Chilean Congress allowed three pension fund withdrawals of 10% of the personal capitalization fund. The next two projects (the fourth and fifth comebacks) were rejected. In all, over $50,000 million in savings passed into the hands of their owners. The measure had a negative impact on inflation, which stood at 11.1% over 12 months. “He lied to the country, I don’t trust him anymore. I voted for him because he said everything was going to change, but things are worse than before,” says Cecilia, whose main concern is health: “In Chile you have to have money to be healthy.”

What is happening in Cabaldo confirms what some analysts and studies have picked up in these two weeks after the election: it is not only a hard right-wing vote, but also a rejection of those who are currently in power. I am in power, that is, the government. Unholster’s director of data science, Cristóbal Hunnes, has said that, according to his analysis, 16 out of 35 points received by the Republican Party today are not right-wing and that support was circumstantial. Now, Kast’s party can strengthen that adherence.

Dozens of people were consulted for this report, many of whom alleged a nearly non-existent information campaign in the last election, the absence of unknown candidates on the ground, and confusing similar names on lists (of traditional parties) with those of were divided into lists they had not used before and similar concepts). In some compulsory suffrage, many simply signed up for what a loved one told them to. Maria Paz Toledo, 33, was one of them. Since the presidential election that her Marine brother had been trying to persuade her to vote for Kast because he supported the armed forces. So he didn’t let himself be swayed and supported Borik, but this time he listened to him and scored for the Republicans.

In the seventh election in three years and going to the polls, forced, canceled or blank votes were significant (21.5%). Eduardo Engel, an academic from the University of Chile’s Faculty of Economics and Business, along with other researchers, concluded based on a study of the data that nearly six out of every 10 new voters voted for the Republican Party, with three right-wing lists accounting for the remainder ( Chile Seguro, from the traditional right wing, and the Partido de la Gente [de corte populista] And only one for the pro-government left or centre-left. He also raised material to support the theory of the anti-systemic vote, where citizens are overturned by the incumbent on duty. For example, whether more than two out of five voters who supported the People’s List (the left-wing independent linked to the claims of the 2019 social outbreak) in the first process now opted for candidates from right-wing parties.

In Cabeldo, one in four voters cast the vote as invalid. Some described themselves as ignorant or bored with the subject. The most apathetic, like 48-year-old farmer Jorge Latorre, does not believe that the departure of one or the other will change anything in his life. The day will start at 5:00 am and end at sunset.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
Nation World News is the fastest emerging news website covering all the latest news, world’s top stories, science news entertainment sports cricket’s latest discoveries, new technology gadgets, politics news, and more.
Latest news
Related news


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here