Sunday, February 28, 2016

Voters`mood in Latin America, and the impact on Government economic policies

Most of the atention of political analists in recent weeks in Latin America have been focused on the proper interpretation of election results in Argentina, Venezuela, and Bolivia.As a follow up it comes the expected outcome of Equator (2017), and Brazil Government survival of current investigation about corruption charges, against high ranking advisers of Brazilian Government. But focusing on these eletion results, what are the most likely hipothesis?: a.- Within the conventional wisdom ,there are two lines of approach:The first , deal with voters shifting away from soft government. which means government based upon people `s will, no matter the cost.In latin america it is called "Populist kind of government policies".The second one, comes out from the old left-right axis,which in this case means a supposed shift of voters to the right .There is a third line of approach, which goes on the old school of Government management policies, which split government performance on two groups: The left government comes along when public incomes are rising , so voters look for someone to spend them.The right government comes along when public incomes fall, and voters look for reponsible people to solve the situation. Although these hipothesis are both relevant and not self excluded explanations, they do not cope with some fact which represent a new trend for future elections.This line of approach, goes on the side of non conventional analisis, but get closer with the changing mood of voters in latin america.Let review some issues about it: a.- The economic boom of the beginning of the 2000 decade, and the moderate expansion afterwards(2006-2014),average of 3,3%,meant that average GDP per capita increased from USD 5500(2006) to USD 9100(2014).These economic outcomes changed the social landscape of latin america, as long as poverty and unemployment decreased, and at the same time middle class segment, became an important segment of the new voters.- b.- These new voters, demand different kind of policies from Government.They focus on the quality of health, education, and public service as a whole:They do not require the Governmenet to do what they can do by themselves.They realize how important is to count on their proper means to prosper as entrepreneurs,small business activities, complementary services and the like.These people cares more about inflation, social stability and a good environment for pursuing their goals, and so imporve their expectations about the future.So, they are in the stage , such that they no longer whant a paternalist government , but an efficient and effective one. c.-These days, people have better means to make clear what it is like to be uneasy about a government which do not fulfill their expectations, or to care more actively about corruption,and other social bads, such as nepotism,discrimination, and its implications.The access to new technology tools (cell phone, On line communication,Internet facilities , and the like),increase citizens involvement in public affairs. So, What is it really happening?.An alternative hipothesis would be that , Latin American voters mood,changed as a result of years of high economic growth, such that on this regard it was no a missed opportunity for them.It rather seems that it was a missed opportunity for Governments , specially those which did not bother to become closer to voter needs and expectation, and instead focused on their own interests and self benefits.Thus, The success of incoming government and policies will depend upon the identification with what new voters need and expect, more than what government ideology may suggest.