Saturday, 3 April 2010

It's a small world after all

The task of reconstruction is so great that Chile cannot afford incompetence, laziness or corruption. That is why I hope for the best with this government. Yet day after day, the signs are not encouraging.

In the last few days the government has announced that it will purchase reconstruction materials from three large corporations, sidestepping any process of public tender. This is permitted, because of the extraordinary circumstances in the areas most affected by the February 27 earthquake.

But as this report shows, the personal links between government officials and the companies in question make the whole thing seem rather sordid. What's worse, it's a structural problem. Since Piñera named so many non-political, private sector types to high ranking posts, these conflicts of interest will appear again and again. In the long run, it will only serve to delegitimize the government and its parties, and that doesn't do us much good.


Esteban Szmulewicz said...

In your argument, you seem to assume that somehow the mismanagement and interest conflicts that could arise from government-private sector relationship would reach public knowledge. However, given the media ownership and partisan and ideological bias in Chile this seems at least debatable. One example of this is that the article you mention in your comment was published by an independent journalist webpage, and, as far as I know, has not received much attention in mainstream media.

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