4.17lapol - Latin American Politics April 17, 2007 eih2104...

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Latin American Politics 17/04/2007 16:46:00 April 17, 2007 – eih2104 Political parties were key for incorporating labor and the middle class Yet, parties have weakened in general in Latin America Result of neopopulism, delegative democracy, etc. Left wing parties have suffered the most (fall of AD in Venezuela; fall of APRA in Peru) Those parties that have survived did so by abandoning labor and the populist sector E.g. Peronists in Argentina under Menem New parties may arise to serve these abandoned constituencies; however, if we don’t get that representation, the whole party system declines So, the main question for us is whether cases of Peru and Venezuela are aberrations , or the signs of the future in the region? Hard to find many cases where party systems are getting stronger Many cases of the system getting weaker, though Peru, Venezuela, etc. Evidence suggests that, overall, we’re living in era of representative decline in LA There are some exceptions to this trend PT (workers party) in Brazil PT seemingly represents workers in an effective manner, and has grown in popularity since Lula’s presidency began in 2002 Essentially every other political party in Brazil lacks real roots in society o Means there is a lack of party discipline and it is difficult to control votes; switching of parties is so frequent that it is difficult to know what a legislator will do (party ID is not good predictor of voting) Yet, PT is in good shape b/c of roots to labor dating to 1970s
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o Leader of PT for last 20 years has been one man – Lula o PT consistently draws support from lower classes; plus, it has a consistent political platform of redistribution In 2002 Lula comes in and is elected president Essentially a referendum on Cardoso’s policies and neoliberal reforms PT had stood against these reforms Lula also ran against endemic corruption and the clientelism of the system Lula promised that PT would be different, pointing to the party’s behavior over the past several years Economic policy of PT government under Lula has hewed closely to neoliberal line Lula broke campaign promise to doubled minimum wage, while sticking to orthodox economic policies The question of think about: is this just another case of a politician promising broad
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This note was uploaded on 04/08/2008 for the course POLS W4461 taught by Professor O'neal during the Spring '07 term at Columbia.

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4.17lapol - Latin American Politics April 17, 2007 eih2104...

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