Latin America Goes Centrist

Sept. 6, 2011, 9:58 p.m.

The paper, Latin America Goes Centrist, gives a description of Latin American countries showing an increasing trend for governments to lean to the center.  Even those leaders with leftist views implement pragmatic and realistic solutions that are not solely leftist.  The majority of Latin American countries have experienced recent, growing prosperity with inequality decreasing although it is still an issue.  Inequality is still one of the main threats to the region along with weak political institutions and organized crime and citizen insecurity.  These issues are being addressed by a blend of economic progress, social-equity gains and democratic governance.  The growth of the middle class has helped to materialize the shift to the center while still demanding social reforms.  While there is still room for growth and improvement, Latin America is making progress and following more practical and realistic solutions that are showing results.

Latin America, long associated with sharp ideological swings and notably erratic politics, is increasingly settling into the middle of the left-right political continuum. This development is discernible in voter attitudes and major policy directions in many countries. At times, the rhetoric that political leaders employ and the ways in which they describe themselves can obscure this trend and give the impression that ideology is more salient than it actually is. Although ideology still dominates the political discourse and environment in some countries, a careful examination of most approaches to economic, social, and security challenges throughout the region reveals that the ideological range within which policy is made has considerably narrowed. There is today a greater measure of predictability and pragmatism.

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