THE RECENT presidential vote in Chile, along with last Nov. 26 contest in Honduras, signals the beginning of a year-long electoral cycle in Latin America.

By the end of 2018, Colombia, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Paraguay and perhaps Venezuela, will have elected new leaders.

As in Chile and Honduras, there will be surprises, but certain issues are sure to be important in all of these countries :

Corruption, Crime and Violence; a deep and broad dissatisfaction with democracy; and growing frustration with down-n-out, mediocre or downright dreadful economic performances.

These issues can cut in many ways. in some cases - Mexico, Brazil and Colombia - they can propel perceived or real ''outsiders'' into office. In others, they may generate a simple, traditional, anti-incumbency bias -

Perhaps in the unexpected runoff in Chile, in Venezuela if an election is actually held and quiet possibly in Colombia, where a highly successful president is highly unpopular.

Finally, in  a handful of nations, continuity will will trump risky or dangerous change, as electorates prefer the devil they know.

Some commentators have speculated recently on the resilience of Latin American democratic institutions in the context of this electoral potpourri.

Conversely, other analysts have wondered whether the insecurity, inequality and impunity rampant for decades in the region will not temp voters to choose authoritarian candidates. 

Or they might tilt in the direction of the undemocratic outcomes if such candidates promise, let alone deliver, a reprieve from these plagues.

Others still emphasize the persistent return to the right that many of these votes will indicate, in all the same fashion as Argentina or Peru recently :

A pendular movement away from the progressive or ''pink tide'' regimes dating from the beginning of the century through 2015.

In fact, although these questions as well as their conceivable answers, however speculative, are perfectly valid, there maybe less here than meets the eye.

Fortunately, Latin American democracy's becoming monotonously normal and resistant to great upheavals.

If there is a common thread underlying the sequence of presidential elections, it may reside in a healthy novelty : the humdrum nature of most of the possible outcomes.

This is good news for the region.

The Honor and Serving of the latest Global Operational Research on Latin America, Politics and State of Affairs continues to Part 2. !WOW! thanks author and researcher Jorge G. Castaneda.


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