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Pessimistic diagnosis of official coordinator for municipal elections

“This is my first negotiation. I had no experience in these issues.”

With that joke, which generated laughter among those present, the historic leader of the Socialist Party (PS), Camilo Escalonabroke the ice at the inauguration of the “municipal training school” organized by the Equality Institute -associated with his community-, which took place on Friday of last week at the Founder Hotelin the center of Santiago, facing the primary elections on June 9 and the municipal elections in October.

The event – moderated by the former minister and president of the institute’s board of directors, Ricardo Solari– had the participation of four general secretaries of the electoral pact that brings together the ten ruling parties and the Christian Democrats: Step, Barbara Figueroa (Communist Party), Alejandra Krauss (DC) and Tatiana Urrutia (Democratic Revolution).

Screenshot of the conversation organized by the Equality Institute.

The comment of Step I responded to what minutes before Urrutia -who has been configured as one of the coordinators of the pact campaign Chile With You Betterwhich brings together the eleven communities – pointed out that This is the first municipal negotiation in which he has participated..

That was not an impediment for will form a harsh diagnosis on how the sector arrives at this election. During her intervention, the former member recognized that “we have a super important advantage over the right (…), which has only agreed in its 20 communes that are going to primaries. Today we are already running with an advantage, with an advantage facing an election that, we know, is going to be complex for progressivism, because we are probably going to lose. But, then, we have many months to work on that.”

Tatiana Urrutia, general secretary of the Democratic Revolution. MARIO TELLEZ / THE THIRD

Then, he added that it is necessary to consider “the current political and cultural scenario that frames this conversation, these constant historical events since 2019: the largest number of votes probably accumulated in a few years.” Along these lines, he acknowledged that “We love voting, democracy, but I think we are all super worn out.because in each of these elections we have taken to the streets (….)”.

During his presentation he also referred to how mandatory voting will affect the sector. “No one could ignore that we are in an emotionally complex moment for society. (…), above all for politics, emotions matter,” he said.

And he added: “Especially this year, which, For the first time, we are going to have a local election with mandatory voting. I don’t know if anyone isn’t scared of that., because people who have not wanted to or have not believed in politics are going to be forced to vote. What feeling does that awaken? Controversy, anger with politicians. We all know that that is what we always face, but now amplified (…)”.

In that same sense, he made a mea culpa: “Probably all of us sitting in this room have the conviction of bringing politics closer to the people, and it is not going well for us”.

Also in relation to the emotions involved in the choice, Urrutia He explained that “crime obviously generates fear. By generating fear, obviously we go with negative feelings to vote (…). The positioning of these emotions also helps to open space for conservative projects.”.

And he exemplified: “We have seen it: the election of the Constitutional Council – which had a right-wing majority – was the most evident in that. We came with a feeling of victory and the September plebiscite of… I don’t remember what year was a shock. Or do I want to forget it?”.

To conclude his speech, he identified a challenge: “How do we manage to have a campaign that differentiates our candidacies from those of the right, but at the same time identifies our project and makes sense to people (…)? The challenge is always there, but today it is much more complex.”

For his part, during his minutes with the microphone in hand, Figueroa He emphasized that “If one has to look at a power as an essential power, it is the local power. From that, we can push the need that if we manage to make a qualitative leap here, we also open a great door of hope towards the challenge that comes next year in view of the government dispute, the dispute of ideas, of a program and a government.”

10.13.2023 Santiago Interview with Barbara Figueroa General Secretary of the Communist Party Photo: Juan Farias / La Tercera

While, Step He remarked that “facing the right, It is very important that we know how to establish that we are a majority. But let there be the political image that this majority exists! That is the strategic value of the agreement we have. It is an essential resource. It is key that the adversary knows that we are together and that we have the will to act together and make ourselves respected as a common force.”.

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