Saturday, 4 May 2013

The Trudeaus and Chilean liberalism

Liberalism in Chile has a funny history. During the first half of the last century the Liberal Party was considered conservative. And in the post-Pinochet era, liberalism is conflated with neo-liberalism. Since the centre of the political spectrum has been taken up by the Christian Democratic Party, and to some degree (depending on one's point of view) the PPD, there was little space for a new Liberal Party.

But today, in political upheaval that is redesigning the ideological and party spectrum in Chile, it's all pretty much up for grabs, and there are several liberal groups emerging, including a new Liberal Party and Red Liberal (in this case, red is 'network' in Spanish, not red as in red).  But even now, and although they are clearly liberal on social issues, they seem to have trouble moving past the neo-liberal worldview in the economic sphere.

So, taking advantage of the recent election of Justin Trudeau as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, I wrote this piece to remind them of another type of liberalism, in another country, in another time. And maybe, in the future, too.

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