A continent renowned for its supposed machismo seems about to get its first female president, Michelle Bachelet. This in itself is interesting, but equally interesting is the divide that can be seen across the continent between a more or less pragmatic group of politicians – Bachelet herself, Kirchner in Argentina, Lula in Brazil, or, to take a name not widely mentioned, Medellin’s new mayor Sergio Fajardo Valderrama, and the more “mediatic” group – Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Commandante Marcos.
“Although originally from the hard-leftwing of Chileâ€™s Socialist party, Ms Bachelet is expected to pursue broadly the same mixed economy policies as President Ricardo Lagos. She would inherit sound public finances and an economy that grew by more than 6 per cent last year. Mr PiÃ±era is also an economic moderate, unlikely to change significantly the direction of Latin Americaâ€™s most successful economy.”
Of course, my explanation for this very striking differential can be found here.