Update regarding the Peruvian Presidential elections
This is the final update regarding the elections in my country, which Diane S, very kindly asked me to write about 2 months ago. The runoff was finally won by Alan Garcia, a center-left politician ho was president of Peru in the period 1985-1990 and that was a disastrous government, which ended in hyperinflation, rampant guerrilla activity and corruption scandals. The loser, Ollanta Humala, is a newcomer to the Peruvian politics and tried to convince the people from a nationalist platform. Many people wrongfully believe that he is a left wing politician. He used the ideal of redistribution of wealth in order to obtain support for a nationalist, ethnocentric (respect to the Indian people), militaristic project. Hugo Chavez was, for sure, supporting his candidacy.
For Peru, I believe, that, in spite of the poor record of Mr. Garcia, democracy has won a a battle. He is a more mature politician now and he does not want to go into the history books as one of the worst presidents in Peruvian history. The socialdemocrat ideology has won a battle and this is positive.
For South America, it is also positive that the influence of Chavez has been at least controlled. Center-left, socialist goverments like the Brazilian and the Chilean have been struggling to control him. In Peru would have fallen into Humala's hands, Chavez would have won an important access to the Pacific Ocean, would have had a say in the handling of the enormous natural gas reservoirs and their ports for exporting it. Besides Colombia, there is no space of right wing governments in South America. The only reason for the maintenance the right there is the presence of the FARC and the need for an opposing ideology to fight it.
Finally one more thing. The exit polls were accurate, with a 0.2 % difference from the official results. For those who have an idea of how Peru is, meaning the difficulty of its geography, the countless ethnic groups and languages spoken, the nature of teh roads and the levels of literacy in some places, it is truly remarkable that the pollsters could achieve such a close approximation. In fact, this has been the case of all elections in Peru, except the one in the 2000, when in fraudulent elections Fujimori "won". After seeing this, for me it is very hard to interpret the 3-4% difference between the exit polls in Ohio and the official results of the US general election. Ohio has far more experienced pollsters, a more homogeneous population, better levels of literacy, it is covered by freeways and is is almost geographically flat compared to Peru. ... Just to think about it.