New political movement: Chile Primero

The electoral system in Chile promotes alliances between candidates, called binominal. For Senators- that run for regions- or deputies- that run for district-it is the same system. Every list can have two candidates, the sum total of both candidates’ votes must be more than the 50 % to win. This means that if candidate has only 10%, it is most probable that it will not be enough representation to win, and the candidate must make an alliance with another candidate to obtain the proper percentag. The list wins according to the percentage. This logic has developed two strong wings, the right and the left. The left wing has been the one with more representation since the end of the dictatorship period (right wing). All of Chile's presidents since then has been from the leftist coalition. In this scenario, building a new political movement is extremely difficult, as an alliance with the right or left coalition is always necessary.

In spite of this, a new political movement, Chile Primero [ES] has risen due to the citizen dissatisfation of some of the politicians. Fernando Flores [ES], Jorge Schaulsohn and Esteban Valenzuela [ES] are supporting this initiative that will be launched on May 12. All of them were members of the PPD political party, Party for the Democracy, but they are no longer members. Bloggers have been providing opinions about the movement, as chilepost [ES] explains:

Son reconocidas sus posturas liberales en lo económico. Schaulsohn ha actuado de frente y criticado el excesivo poder estatal. Flores siempre está hablando de los saltos que Chile necesita en materia educacional, del bajo nivel de la clase política y de como debemos integrarnos a la sociedad del conocimiento. Creo que en ese movimiento, se está gestando lo que en otros lados no: un espacio de discusión de lo que Chile necesita, aunque obviamente hay una estrategia de construcción de una plataforma político-electoral en ello.

Liberal attitudes towards economics is popular. Schaulsohn has been out in front criticizing excessive state power. Flores is always talking about the leaps that Chile needs in the educational field, the low level of the political class and how we should become integrated in the field of knowledge. I think this movement is generating something that other places are not: a space for discussion about what Chile needs, even though there is obviously a strategy for building a political-electoral platform.

Alejandro Valenzuela [ES] posts an article from Angélica Meneses that touches on the relation of this new movement with the actual presidency:

Pero la pregunta lógica es la siguiente: ¿cómo van a actuar frente al gobierno que eligieron y del que hoy ya no son parte? Esto es algo que aseguran tener resuelto. Valenzuela sostiene que “vamos a seguir apoyando a la Presidenta en todas sus cosas constructivas, pero creemos que el país necesita una oferta política distinta.

The logical question is: How will they act in front the government that they elected and that now they are not a part of? This is something they have ensured that they have solved. Valenzuela maintains that “we will continue to support the president in all her constructive issues, but we think the country needs a different political offer

The president of the PPD party Sergio Bitar [ES] has been defending the left coalition project, well known as “concertación” and in referring to Chile Primero, MasdemocraciamasPPD (ES) post an article of the opinions of Bitar:

El presidente del PPD recalcó que “para nosotros la Concertación es un proyecto político de gran importancia, distinto de la derecha, es un proyecto político por la libertad, por la democracia y por la justicia social”, dejando entrever que al ubicarse Chile Primero fuera del conglomerado se establece la separación definitiva con los ex PPD.

The president of the PPD stresses that “for us the concertación is a political project of large significance, different from the right wing, it is a political project for liberty, democracy and social justice”, let us see if Chile Primero is left out of the conglomeration and it establishes itself in definitive separation with the ex PPD.

A lot of young people from different regions are involved with this new movement, Osvaldo Yañez [ES] is from Talca, and he expresses:

Aquellos que vivimos fuera de Santiago, no nos resignaremos a esperar “concesiones graciosas” de tecnocratas de la capital. Muchos somos los hombres y mujeres de provincia que estamos comprometidos con que Chile sea un país mas grande, un país emprendedor, un país de hermanos. Es por esto que veo en el Movimiento Chile Primero, una forma de aglutinar a aquellos que vemos que en el hacer política estamos encargándonos de un mejor futuro para los nuestros.

For the ones that live outside of Santiago, we are not resigned to wait for “graceful concessions” from technocrats in the capital. There are plenty of men and women from the provinces that are committed to making Chile a grand country, an entrepreneurial country, and a country of brotherhood. Because of that, I see in the movement Chile Primero, as a way of drawing together those involved in politics to make a better future for us.


Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.