At the beginning of the 18th century, the Italian philosopher Giambattista Vico proposed to understand the unfolding of human history as an indefinite “corsi and” ricorsi “, that is to say a successive repetition of processes and events, reconfigured. , but repeated in their ultimate essence.
Something like the eternal return of Nietzsche, but without as much ideological load.
The results of the elections in Ecuador seem, for Latin American politics in recent decades, to confirm this view of history.
Controversial with other more predictable political scenarios, in the sense that an electoral dispute can be closed, but its end result is not surprising in its meaning and impact, the election of Guillermo Lasso confirms Latin American political rule : the winner surprises and overcomes all previous speculation, analysis and research.
Why would Arauz win?
After the general elections, where it was obvious that the vote, if there was one, would be between correspondent Andrés Arauz and liberal Lasso, surprisingly there were days when it was not known whether the second was really Lasso, or the head of the Conaie (National Indigenous Confederation of Ecuador) Yaku Perez.
Arauz’s comfortable leadership in this first round (33% of the vote) faced an undecided second minority between Lasso and Yaku, both with 19% of the vote.
Arauz’s correspondence feared that the votes would go to Yaku because, although relations between Rafael Correa and Conaie were very divisive during the former president’s second term, it was assumed that the two were more or less vying for the same constituency. .
In contrast, an election with Lasso, a neoliberal and a man of the financial establishment, made them assume a predictable victory.
In turn, anticorrheism wanted to maintain Yaku’s second place for the same reasons and objectives: the leader of Conaie “bit” Arauz and added, out of fear and not out of love, as Borges said, the voters of Lasso.
But Lasso won
After the April 11 election, Lasso surprisingly won an, if not comfortable, comfortable electoral victory. Among those who leave no room for the vanquished to claim: 52.5% to 47.5%.
Once again, Latin American politics surprised locals and foreigners.
The first analyzes deploy a series of questions to explain such a surprising electoral victory.
First, the re-profiling of the Lasso campaign, conceived by the ineffable Jaime Duran Barba, who sought to open up to sectors and issues outside his most conservative ideology (gender, environment, minorities ).
Second, the agenda set by Lasso forced Arauz into a defensive discursive confrontation.
Third, the fact that the indigenous communities turned their backs on Arauz was confirmed by the vote.
And finally, the fierce fight against corruption in a large part of the middle urban sectors.
It is true that these and other factors are heterogeneous, incomparable, diffuse and difficult to measure.
But, obviously, something made them converge on an option that was not desired by many, but considered “the lesser evil”.
This, of course, will later influence the management of the new government, once the fleeting glory of the presidential mandate has passed.
Some keys to Latin American politics in the 21st century
Obviously, the elections in Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil and Argentina, that is to say in the last two years, show a very fluctuating political scenario.
Until a little more than the second decade of this century, there was a clear predominance of progressive governments, with the diversity of progressivism in Latin America (left, center-left, social democrats, populists).
From there, an emerging politico-ideological shift was observed, which became known as the “right turn” in the politics of the region.
But in recent years, the oscillation between right and left, with all that is in the ideological milieu, no longer seems to follow a clear pattern.
Elections not only position governments of one color or another, but this vagueness is observed within governments themselves.
One need only look at the evangelical component of “left” governments like that of López Obrador in Mexico (which includes former politicians from the conservative PAN) and that of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.
There are the strong internal divisions of the MAS government in Bolivia which, two months after the presidential election and the victory, suffered two defeats in the departmental and municipal elections.
In Peru, in the recent elections, six candidates obtained 8% and 16% of the vote, in an arc that goes from the extreme right to the radical left.
Lula’s possible new candidacy is growing in Brazil, while slowing down the decline in support for Jair Bolsonaro.
Chile has postponed an election (constitutional reform) which is a center-left aspiration and, at the same time, an outlet for the liberal government of Sebastián Piñera.
In short, Latin America is a special region in many ways. Of course, the policy could not be less. Unpredictability, ups and downs, euphoria and depression, periods of economic boom and crisis. Left and right.
It is perhaps only by returning to the literary boom of the 1960s and its magical realism that we can give clues to a more empirical and methodologically defined understanding to find certain patterns of our political behavior.
However, we will be cautious in our prospective analysis. After all, public opinion researchers have a harder time.