Huh?

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We usually send our fellow blogger Setty heaps of praise, most of it deserved. But this one left me scratching my head.

About the elections in Peru, Setty says:

What a surprise. Peruvian institutions fail to listen to the public, demonstrators are routinely shot dead, and vast areas of the country live without electricity, paved roads, potable water or indoor heating despite a boom of 8% annual GDP growth. And then Peruvians vote for populist Ollanta Humala and law-and-order advocate Keiko Fujimori. Oh wait, actually that’s not a surprise. What’s surprising is that most of the reaction I’m hearing can be reduced to “OMG, what are they thinking, don’t they know that the status quo is good for them?”

This is surprising, because as far as I know, the population in Peru living under the poverty line has gone from 54% in 2000 to 34.8% in 2011, and inflation is barely 3% per year.

I’m not sure that the old leftie argument about the system having failed the people at the bottom holds any water this time. Sure, there is still widespread poverty, and infrastructure, as he points out, is obviously a huge problem. But the system, the “status quo,” is improving life for a lot of people. Are the failures reason enough for voters to want  to change the entire system?

One would hope so.

#27 … keep in mind I have never been to Peru other than the Lima airport, which may explain my cluelesness on the topic.

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1 COMMENT

  1. Juan,
    You must travel to the outskirts of Lima. Stats may say one thing – as you well know – but the reality is pretty harsh.
    Ecg

  2. Actually, the correct question is “has it gotten better, and do I have a realistic chance of it getting better for ME in the near future?”

  3. Humala’s margin is 31.69% according to the latest ONPE results

    “But the system, the “status quo,” is improving life for a lot of people. Are the failures reason enough for voters to want to change the entire system?”

    Clearly – for those 34% under the poverty line – its enough.

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