Quote Originally Posted by Ti-Amie View Post
This weeks Slate Money had a segment on Bolivia. It's part of their premium offering (Slate+) so I will try and summarize as best I can.

Anna Szymanski's point was that the commodity boom has now slowed and/or ended in South America and that those newly admitted to the middle class, a middle class that may not be as wealthy as those found elsewhere but still middle class in relation to where they'd been, don't want to go back to where they were economically.

She also talked about what Morales did that so incensed Bolivians (I mean he needed a margin of 10%, didn't have it, a "glitch" stopped counting and when it resumed he had the 10% margin) and then she went on to talk about why a right winger like Bolsonaro in Brazil could get elected, still using the example of a newly emergent middle class.

To my knowledge they don't put out a transcript.
I think that's not 100% precise. I think it has more to do with how Morales managed power during his time in power. After winning the presidency in 2006 he modified the Constitution and in it stated that there could be no more than two consecutive terms. He won his reelection and after this second term presented himself for a third with the excuse that since his first one had begun under the old Constitution, it shouldn't be counted for the two term limit. That right there is shady enough.
Well, not content with his third term, he wanted to go for a fourth, even in violation of his own Constitution. For that he held a referendum defering to the power and wisdom of the people. He lost. Suddenly, the people were not the source of power and didn't have to be heard, so he went to the Electoral Tribunal (stacked by him) and they concluded that it was his human right to be able to present himself for another term. That was this election.

What went wrong? He won it, but primary recounts were saying that he fell short of the 50% mark needed for a win or the 45% with a 10pt differential. Suddenly the recount was halted mysteriously for a couple of days and when it restarted he was leading by the necessary 10 point margin. That led to the protests and all that followed, all aggravated by the fact that the OAS detected cases of fraud in the election calling for a new one to be held.

So I think it had more to do with his abuse of power and desire to perpetuate himself in power than an informed analysis about the economic future of the new middle class.