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Right-Wing Moderation, Left-Wing Inertia and Political Cartelisation in Post-Transition Chile

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 November 2019

Aldo Madariaga
Affiliation:
Associate Professor, Centro de Economía y Políticas Sociales (Centre for Economics and Social Policy, CEAS), Universidad Mayor, Chile and Adjunct Researcher, Centro de Estudios de Conflicto y Cohesión Social (Centre for Social Conflict and Cohesion Studies, COES), Chile
Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser
Affiliation:
Full Professor, School of Political Science, Diego Portales University, Chile and Associate Researcher, COES, Chile
Corresponding

Abstract

By examining the Manifesto Project data for post-transition Chile, we show growing convergence in the electoral competition strategies between the centre-left and centre-right coalitions. While the former is characterised by inertia, the latter is marked by gradual yet relentless programmatic moderation. To interpret these results, we rely not only on theories of salience and party adaptation, but also on the cartel party thesis. This contribution reinforces the findings of increasing literature on post-transition Chile that reveals growing collusion between the mainstream left-wing and right-wing coalitions, which have increasing difficulties channelling demands emanating from below and therefore providing adequate political representation.

Spanish abstract

Spanish abstract

A través de un análisis de los datos del Proyecto Manifiesto sobre Chile en la post-transición, mostramos que hay una creciente convergencia en las estrategias electorales entre las coaliciones de centro-izquierda y de centro-derecha. Mientras que la primera se caracteriza por tener cierta inercia, la otra está marcada por una gradual, aunque persistente, moderación programática. Para interpretar estos resultados, nos apoyamos no sólo en teorías sobre la relevancia y adaptación partidarias, sino también en las tesis del partido-cartel. Nuestra contribución refuerza los hallazgos de una creciente literatura sobre la post-transición en Chile que revela una mayor colusión entre las coaliciones de izquierda y de derecha, las que han tenido cada vez más dificultades en canalizar las demandas emanadas desde abajo y por lo tanto en proveer una adecuada representación política.

Portuguese abstract

Portuguese abstract

Ao examinar os dados do Projeto Manifesto no Chile pós-transicional, mostramos uma crescente convergência nas estratégias de competição eleitoral entre as alianças da centro-esquerda e da centro-direita. Enquanto a primeira se caracterizou pela inércia, a segunda foi marcada por uma gradual e ao mesmo tempo incansável moderação programática. Para interpretar estes resultados, contamos não somente com teorias de saliência e adaptação partidária, mas também na tese de partido-cartel. Este artigo reforça as descobertas das emergentes publicações sobre o Chile pós-transicional que revela um gradativo embate entre as alianças tradicionais de esquerda e de direita, sendo que essas têm encontrado crescente dificuldade em canalizar as demandas oriundas de baixo, providenciando representação política adequada.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2019

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References

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23 Ibid., pp. 136–7.

Ibid.

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26 Ibid., p. 755.

Ibid.

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31 Budge et al. (eds.), Mapping Policy Preferences.

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34 Pelizzo, Riccardo, ‘Party Positions or Party Direction? An Analysis of Party Manifesto Data’, West European Politics, 26: 2 (2003), pp. 6789CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

35 Data available at https://manifesto-project.wzb.eu/, last access 5 June 2019.

36 This is why the MARPOR project offers data at the coalition and not at the party level. Therefore, as we discuss in more detail, our unit of analysis is the political coalition. It is worth noting that Chile is not the only country in the world in which political coalitions rather than individual parties elaborate the electoral manifestos. An example is Italy since 1992, where parties usually ‘form coalitions before the elections and present voters with common policy platforms with which they hope to gain an electoral mandate for a term in office’, as quoted in Moury, Catherine, ‘Italian Coalitions and Electoral Promises: Assessing the Democratic Performance of the Prodi I and Berlusconi II Governments’, Modern Italy, 16: 1 (2011), p. 39CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

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38 See Gamboa et al., ‘La evolución programática de los partidos chilenos’, p. 456. For a detailed discussion of the elaboration of manifestos in Chile, see Leticia Ruiz Rodríguez, ‘Procesos de elaboración del programa en los partidos políticos de Chile’, unpubl. paper, 2009, available at http://eprints.ucm.es/9609/1/leticia.pdf, last access 7 June 2019.

39 Ibid., p. 9.

Ibid.

40 The Concertación coalition opposed Pinochet in the 1988 plebiscite and remained relatively stable in subsequent presidential elections. It includes the PDC, the Partido Socialista (Socialist Party, PS), the Partido por la Democracia (Party for Democracy, PPD) and the smaller Partido Radical (Radical Party, PR). For the 2013 election Concertación widened its alliance to include the PC, changing its name to Nueva Mayoría. The centre-right Alianza coalition is composed of the UDI and RN. The coalition has changed its name for every presidential election since 1989; here, we employ the most commonly used appellation.

41 Arcaya, Óscar Godoy, ‘Las elecciones de 1993’, Estudios Públicos, 54 (autumn 1994), pp. 301–37Google Scholar; Navia, Patricio, ‘La elección presidencial de 1993: Una elección sin incertidumbre’, in Francisco, Alejandro San and Soto, Ángel (eds.), Camino a La Moneda: Las elecciones presidenciales en la historia de Chile, 1920–2000 (Santiago: Centro de Estudios Bicentenario, 2005), pp. 435–61Google Scholar. Andrés Allamand, an RN politician who, since the end of the 1980s, has tried to build a modern Right, provides a detailed insider's account of the unsuccessful attempt to moderate the Right's agenda during the 1990s. See Allamand, Andrés, La travesía del desierto (Santiago: Aguilar, 1999)Google Scholar.

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46 Siavelis, Peter M., ‘Chile: The Right's Evolution from Democracy to Authoritarianism and Back Again’, in Luna, Juan Pablo and Kaltwasser, Cristóbal Rovira (eds.), The Resilience of the Latin American Right (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), pp. 242–66Google Scholar.

47 The 2005 point takes the average positioning of the two right-wing candidates competing in the first-round presidential elections, Joaquín Lavín (UDI) and Sebastián Piñera (RN). The 2013 point for the Centre-Left represents the Nueva Mayoría coalition formed by Concertación and the PC.

48 Bækgaard and Jensen, ‘The Dynamics of Competitor Party Behaviour’, pp. 155–6.

49 Huneeus, Chile, un país dividido; Gamboa et al., ‘La evolución programática de los partidos chilenos’.

50 Pelizzo, ‘Party Positions or Party Direction?’

51 Carlos Huneeus and Octavio Avendaño, ‘Los partidos políticos y su debilitamiento’, in Huneeus and Avendaño, El sistema político de Chile, p. 173.

52 Manuel A. Garretón, ‘El aprendizaje político en la redemocratización chilena’, FLASCO working paper no. 24 of the ‘Estudios Políticos’ series, 1992; Roberts, Kenneth M., Deepening Democracy? The Modern Left and Social Movements in Chile and Peru (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1998)Google Scholar; Siavelis, ‘Chile: The Right's Evolution’.

53 Huber, Evelyne, Pribble, Jennifer and Stephens, John D., ‘The Chilean Left in Power: Achievements, Failures, and Omissions’, in Weyland, Kurt, Madrid, Raúl and Hunter, Wendy (eds.), Leftist Governments in Latin America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), pp. 7797CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Flores-Macías, Gustavo, After Neoliberalism? The Left and Economic Reforms in Latin America (New York: Oxford University Press, 2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Roberts, Kenneth M., ‘Chile: The Left after Neoliberalism’, in Levitsky, Steven and Roberts, Kenneth M. (eds.), The Resurgence of the Latin American Left (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2011), pp. 325347Google Scholar.

54 In the 1990–2014 period the standard deviation for Concertación's RILE score is 2.9, while it is 13.0, 11.3 and 12.2 for the UK Labour Party, the US Democratic Party and the German Social Democratic Party (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands, SPD) respectively. During this period, Concertación's average RILE score is closer to that of parties with a more consistent leftist platform, such as the Partido Socialista Obrero Español (Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party, PSOE) and the Brazilian Partido dos Trabalhadores (Workers’ Party, PT), with a RILE score of −19.0 and −18.9 respectively.

55 For studies of radical shifts between electoral and government programmes in Latin America, see Lupu, Noam, Party Brands in Crisis: Partisanship, Brand Dilution, and the Breakdown of Political Parties in Latin America (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; and Stokes, Mandates and Democracy.

56 The standard deviation of RILE scores is 17.7, 3.2 and 5.5 for the Chilean Alianza, the US Republican Party and the Spanish PP respectively.

57 Roberts, ‘Chile: The Left after Neoliberalism’; Siavelis, ‘Chile: The Right's Evolution’.

58 For a detailed analysis of the origins and evolutions of these two rights, see Pollack, Marcelo, The New Right in Chile, 1973–97 (London: Macmillan, 1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

59 Juan Pablo Luna and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, ‘Conclusion. Right (and Left) Politics in Contemporary Latin America’, in Luna and Rovira Kaltwasser (eds.), The Resilience of the Latin American Right, p. 357.

60 Allamand, Andrés, La salida. Cómo derrotar a la Nueva Mayoría en 2017 (Santiago: Aguilar, 2016), p. 77Google Scholar.

61 Budge et al. (eds.), Mapping Policy Preferences.

62 The original ‘planned economy’ (PLANECO) index in the MARPOR database includes ‘market regulation’, ‘support for economic planning’ and ‘price control’. We only use ‘market regulation’ as it captures the great majority of mentions of Chilean coalitions.

63 The ‘market regulation’ category in the MARPOR database is ‘per403’.

64 Sebastián Piñera (Coalición por el Cambio), ‘Programa de gobierno, 2010–2014’, Sept. 2009, p. 31.

65 Evelyn Matthei (Alianza por Chile), ‘Programa presidencial, 2014–2018’, Sept. 2013, p. 102.

66 Michelle Bachelet (Concertación), ‘Programa de gobierno, 2006–2010’, Oct. 2005, p. 10.

67 Michelle Bachelet (Nueva Mayoría), ‘Programa de gobierno, 2014–2018’, Oct. 2013, p. 11.

68 Categories ‘per401’ and ‘per414’ in the MARPOR database.

69 Categories ‘per503’ and ‘per504’ in the MARPOR database.

70 The category for ‘education’ in the MARPOR database is ‘per506’.

71 Alcántara Sáez, ‘La ideología de los partidos políticos chilenos’.

72 Luna, Juan Pablo, ‘Segmented Party–Voter Linkages in Latin America: The Case of the UDI’, Journal of Latin American Studies, 42: 2 (2010), pp. 325–56CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

73 Niedzwiecki, Sara and Pribble, Jennifer, ‘Social Policies and Center-Right Governments in Argentina and Chile’, Latin American Politics and Society, 59: 3 (2017), pp. 7297CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

74 Category ‘per303’ in the MARPOR database.

75 Category ‘per411’ in the MARPOR database.

76 Meguid, ‘Competition between Unequals’.

77 This argument was introduced in Tironi, Eugenio and Agüero, Felipe, ‘¿Sobrevivirá el nuevo paisaje político chileno?’, Estudios Públicos, 74 (autumn 1999), pp. 151–68Google Scholar, and discussed in Torcal, Mariano and Mainwaring, Scott, ‘The Political Recrafting of Social Bases of Party Competition: Chile, 1973–95’, British Journal of Political Science, 33: 1 (2003), pp. 5584CrossRefGoogle Scholar. For a response that argues this cleavage, if manifested, would be short-lived, see Valenzuela, J. Samuel, ‘Respuesta a Eugenio Tironi y Felipe Agüero: Reflexiones sobre el presente y futuro del paisaje político chileno a la luz de su pasado’, Estudios Públicos, 75 (winter 1999), pp. 273–90Google Scholar; and Valenzuela, J. Samuel and Scully, Timothy R., ‘Electoral Choices and the Party System in Chile: Continuities and Changes at the Recovery of Democracy’, Comparative Politics, 29: 4 (1997), pp. 511–27CrossRefGoogle Scholar. During the early 2000s several scholars recognised that the democratic/authoritarian cleavage had survived longer than expected. See Ortega Frei, ‘Los partidos políticos chilenos’, p. 142; Bonilla, Claudio A., Carlin, Ryan E., Love, Gregory J. and Méndez, Ernesto Silva, ‘Social or Political Cleavages? A Spatial Analysis of the Party System in Post-Authoritarian Chile’, Public Choice, 146: 1 (2009), pp. 921CrossRefGoogle Scholar. It is important to note that even authors who assign high relevance to this democratic/authoritarian cleavage warn that this should not be understood as a classical Rokkanian ‘generative cleavage’ with the capacity to create new parties and identities. See, for example, Ortega Frei, ‘Los partidos políticos chilenos’; Torcal and Mainwaring, ‘The Political Recrafting’.

78 Bargsted and Somma, ‘Social Cleavages and Political Dealignment’.

79 Luna and Mardones, ‘Chile: Are the Parties Over?’.

80 The index was created by aggregating categories associated with either authoritarian or democratic values. For authoritarianism, it includes favourable mentions of the military and pre-democratic elites along with negative mentions of democracy. For democracy, it includes negative views about the military and pre-democratic elites and positive mentions of democracy, human rights and compensation to victims. The respective categories in the MARPOR database are ‘per104’, ‘per202_2’, ‘per305_4’ and ‘per605_1’ for authoritarianism, and ‘per105’, ‘per202_1’, ‘per201_2’, ‘per305_5’, ‘per305_6’ and ‘per605_2’ for democracy.

81 Katz and Mair, ‘Changing Models of Party Organization’; ‘The Cartel Party Thesis’. For a similar interpretation of the transformation of Chile's left-wing parties and its effects on welfare policies, see Pribble, Jennifer, Welfare and Party Politics in Latin America (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

82 See, for instance, Roberts, Kenneth M., ‘Populism and Political Parties’, in Kaltwasser, Cristóbal Rovira, Taggart, Paul A., Espejo, Paulina Ochoa and Ostiguy, Pierre (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Populism (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017), pp. 287304Google Scholar.

83 Matamala, Daniel, Poderoso caballero: El peso del dinero en la política chilena (Santiago: Editorial Universidad Diego Portales, 2015)Google Scholar.

84 Luna, ‘Chile's Crisis of Representation’, p. 134.

85 Donoso and von Bülow (eds.), Social Movements in Chile; Roberts, Kenneth M., ‘(Re)Politicizing Inequalities: Movements, Parties, and Social Citizenship in Chile’, Journal of Politics in Latin America, 8: 3 (2016), pp. 125–54CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

86 Juan Pablo Luna and Cristóbal Rovira Kaltwasser, ‘Introduction. The Right in Contemporary Latin America: A Framework for Analysis’, in Luna and Rovira Kaltwasser (eds.), The Resilience of the Latin American Right, pp. 12–13.

87 Fairfield, Tasha, ‘Structural Power in Comparative Political Economy: Perspectives from Policy Formulation in Latin America’, Business and Politics, 17: 3 (2015), pp. 411–41CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

88 Katz and Mair, ‘The Cartel Party Thesis’, p. 760.

89 Inglehart, Ronald, Cultural Shift in Advanced Industrial Society (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar; Mudde, Cas, Populist Radical Right Parties in Europe (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

90 Some authors argue that post-materialist values arrange under a new cleavage. See Hooghe, Liesbet, Marks, Gary and Wilson, Carole J., ‘Does Left/Right Structure Party Positions on European Integration?’, Comparative Political Studies, 35: 8 (2002), pp. 965–89CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

91 Blofield, Merike, The Politics of Moral Sin: Abortion and Divorce in Spain, Chile and Argentina (New York and London: Routledge, 2006)Google Scholar; Díez, Jordi, The Politics of Gay Marriage in Latin America: Argentina, Chile and Mexico (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar.

92 Blofield, The Politics of Moral Sin.

93 Categories ‘per603’ and ‘per604’ respectively in the MARPOR database.

94 For example, in the Centre-Left's 2013 electoral manifesto there is only a single sentence that touches upon legalising abortion in certain circumstances (p. 169), something that indeed occurred during Bachelet's second administration and generated a heated debate within the coalition.

95 Luna and Rovira Kaltwasser, ‘Conclusion. Right (and Left) Politics’.

96 Pereira, Anthony and Ungar, Mark, ‘The Persistence of the “mano dura”: Authoritarian Legacies and Policing in Brazil and the Southern Cone’, in Hite, Katherine and Cesarini, Paola (eds.), Authoritarian Legacies and Democracy in Latin America and Southern Europe (Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2004), pp. 263304Google Scholar.

97 Categories ‘per605_1’ and ‘per605_2’ respectively in the MARPOR database.

98 Evelyn Matthei (Alianza por Chile), ‘Programa presidencial, 2014–2018’, Sept. 2013, p. 75.

99 Luna and Mardones, ‘Chile: Are the Parties Over?’; Altman and Luna, ‘Uprooted but Stable’; Castiglioni and Rovira Kaltwasser, ‘Introduction. Challenges to Political Representation’; Luna, ‘Chile's Crisis of Representation’, Rosenblatt, Party Vibrancy; Huneeus, ‘La democracia semisoberana’.

100 Donoso and von Bülow, Social Movements in Chile; Roberts, ‘(Re)Politicizing Inequalities’.

101 Huneeus, ‘La democracia semisoberana’, p. 50.

102 Katz and Mair, ‘The Cartel Party Thesis’, p. 759.

103 Luna and Mardones, ‘Chile: Are the Parties Over?’; Altman and Luna, ‘Uprooted but Stable’; Castiglioni and Rovira Kaltwasser, ‘Introduction. Challenges to Political Representation’, Luna, ‘Chile's Crisis of Representation’; Rosenblatt, Party Vibrancy; Huneeus, ‘La democracia semisoberana’.

104 Boas, ‘Varieties of Electioneering’, p. 645.

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Right-Wing Moderation, Left-Wing Inertia and Political Cartelisation in Post-Transition Chile
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