Sunday, January 17, 2010

Chile's Election Run-Off (Sebastián Piñera) and a List of Current Female Leaders

Last September I wrote (here) about Chilean President Michele Bachelet and the pending Presidential election in Chile.

At that time, Bachelet was getting positive reviews for her leadership of Chile, including her fiscal responsibility (in particular, she had passed a budget-balancing law which made me nostalgic for the days of Bill Clinton).

In today's Times, Alexei Barrionuevo reports (here) that Sebastián Piñera (he's the one in the picture) is expected to win the election run-off which occurs today. This is significant because Piñera is not the candidate of Bachelet's Concertacion party -- that would be Eduardo Frei.

In the first round of voting, Marco Enríquez-Ominami -- the young insurgent candidate -- only got about 20% of the votes. Evidently Ominami is tepidly endorsing Frei (who is, like Ominami, on the left side of the spectrum), and that's not helping Frei's cause.

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It sounds like Piñera (who also ran for President in 2006) is something of Silvio Berlusconi's doppelganger: a wealthy businessman with a large media stake:

The third-richest person in Chile, Mr. Piñera, 60, controls the country’s largest airline, a major television channel and a stake in Chile’s most popular soccer team.
410. If Bachelet was as popular as it seemed in September, then what's giving Piñera the momentum? Is it that Ominami split the left's vote and now the more radical people aren't coming around to vote for Frei? Or has Chile's economy worsened in the past few months?

411. Yesterday Bob McDonnell was inaugurated as Virginia's governor. He was wearing a really fancy tuxedo which looked a bit odd. Is this a Virginia inaugural tradition?

412. Who are the current female Presidents and prime ministers in the world?

  1. Angela Merkel (Germany)
  2. Michele Bachelet (Chile)
  3. Mary McAleese (Ireland)
  4. Tarja Halonen (Finland)
  5. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (Philippines)
  6. Micheline Calmy-Rey, Doris Leuthard, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf (Switzerland)
  7. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf (Liberia)
  8. Pratibha Patil (India)
  9. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner (Argentina)
  10. Dalia Grybauskaitė (Lithuania)

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According to another article about Latin America (also reported by Alexei Barrionuevo ((! - two Sunday Times articles at once - that is legit), here), Rio de Janeiro is implementing a police "occupation" of a number of the city's largest slums in an attempt to re-take them from gang domination. Part of the impetus is that Brazil is hosting the World Cup in 2014 (in addition to the Olympics in Rio in 2016): "The campaign is an expansion of a police “pacification program” that began in late 2008. It comes as Brazilian officials are feeling the weight of international scrutiny."

413. Who's the current odds-favorite to win the World Cup in South Africa?

414. Are the Brazilians consulting with Mexico at all about anti-drug and anti-gang efforts? How much do different countries' and cities' police forces share and consult with each other about tactics and approaches?

I continue to always use "The Wire" as my mental reference when I read articles about policing.

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