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Chilean Elections in the Blogosphere

Categories: Latin America, Chile

Este artículo fue traducido [1] por Fernando Meza.

On Sunday, Michelle Bachelet, the socialist candidate, won the Chilean presidential election over the more conservative Sebastián Piñera with 53.5% of the vote. One would expect the blog reaction to be equally split. Interestingly, when I checked Technorati earlier today, the posts were overwhelmingly positive: “‘The Phenomenon’ Passes her First Test (ES) [2],” “Great Michelle (ES) [3]” and various posts with titles like “Vamos Chile!” and “Vive Chile!” A little later in the day came the negative posts: “The New Face of Chile – haha! [4]” and “Four More Years? [5],” referring to the perception that Bachelet is nothing more than a continuation of President Ricardo Lagos’ policy. Perhaps the pro-Bachelet bloggers published in a fury of adrenaline-surging excitement on Sunday night while the disappointed Piñeristas needed a few hours to get over their disappointment. Other excellent, and more non-partisan blogs covering the election are Periodismo Global [6] and el Teléfono Rojo [7].

Other than simple pro and anti-Bachelet reactions, two other interesting lines of inquiry developed in the election posts. One involved bloggers who began writing about the recent surge of women being elected to national office (Angela Merkel in Germany, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf in Liberia, and now Chile's Bachelet). Technorati has a listing [8] of such posts. Also, many bloggers noted the recent surge leftward of South American countries (Bolivia, Venezuela, and now Chile). A representative sampling can be found using the tags “Bachelet” and “Evo.” [9] In addition, you can find great pics [10] on Flickr of the impromptu Sunday night pro-Bachelet rallies that took place in Santiago.

However, possibly my favorite discovery was the Chilean elections blog, Elecciones2005 (ES) [11], which has been posting non-partisan information about the elections and the campaigns for the past year. Do election blogs exist in other countries? How could the international blogger community support this kind of blogging? Congratulations Chile on a free and fair election!