Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Can We Learn From Bolivia's Election?

Over the last few days, our media has been full of reports on the recent election in the UK. Conservatives in this country would have us believe that it matters - not only for the people of the UK - but for U.S. politics as well.

I would suggest that, to the degree anyone pays attention to that, it is simply a re-inforcing feedback loop that we create ourselves. That's because elections happen all over the world that we fail to pay attention to. Don't we have something to learn from them?

Case in point: this week President Evo Morales was re-elected to a third term in Bolivia by a landslide. If U.S. elections were actually affected by what's going on in another country, we could certainly do worse than learning from the trends in Bolivia.
According to a report by the Centre for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) in Washington, “Bolivia has grown much faster over the last eight years than in any period over the past three and a half decades.” The benefits of such growth have been felt by the Bolivian people: under Morales, poverty has declined by 25% and extreme poverty has declined by 43%; social spending has increased by more than 45%; the real minimum wage has increased by 87.7%; and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean has praised Bolivia for being “one of the few countries that has reduced inequality”. In this respect, the re-election of Morales is really very simple: people like to be economically secure – so if you reduce poverty, they’ll probably vote for you.
Of course, I'm sure that ignoring that election while we engage in hand-wringing about what is going on in the UK has nothing to do with the fact that it happened in Latin America instead of Europe - or that brown people were involved.

1 comment:

  1. All you have to do is just look right across the border there at Canadas Texas Alberta-the people of Alberta just elected the first social democratic government (NDP) after 44 years of Progressive Conservative rule