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Long and narrow, Chile clings to the western edge of South America's South­ern Cone. Hugging - page 27 / 46





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Chile                                   463

cones), and centrists (renovadores). Ideologically, the PDC continues to rely on Social-Christian doctrine. Yet the party has evolved in that it is no longer a confessional party. The Radical party is another traditional centrist party that remains on the political scene. It has moved to the center-Left ideolog­ically and has joined the Socialist International.

The Left changed substantially, especially the Socialist party (PS). After significant internal turmoil, dissention, and splits, the PS has undergone an ideological transformation by renouncing Marxism, the class struggle, and becoming a European-style social democratic party. It is, essentially, a mod­erate center-Left party styled after the Labour Party of Tony Blair and the Socialist parties of Spain under Felipe Gonzalez, France under Francois Mit-terand and Jaquog Jospin, and Germany under Gerhardt Schroder. These parties are searching for a "third way," a middle ground between free-mar­ket capitalism and orthodox Socialism. The Party for Democracy (Partido por la Democracia, PDD) is another moderate center-Left party that formed following one of the initial splits of the PS. Both the PS and the PPD re­nounced social revolution and socialist state-building. They no longer sup­ported nationalization, extensive industrial policy, the strong mixed econ­omy, full employment, or the comprehensive welfare state. They softened their commitment to labor rights and more equal distribution of the national wealth. Party leadership accepted free-market economics and settled for putting a human face on capitalism. Meanwhile, the Communist Party of Chile (PCCh) retains its Marxist roots, although it no longer actively advo­cates violent revolution. In that sense, it seems to have embraced an ideo­logical posture similar to that of Euro-Communists in the 1980s. Further to the left, but also, for the moment, eschewing revolution, are the Revolu­tionary Movement of the Left (MIR) and the Movimiento Patriotico Manuel Rodrfquez, whose origins lay in the armed resistance to the military gov­ernment.

In a significant departure from the past, the electoral system encourages coalition-building among political parties. Ironically, the center-Left has forged the most enduring one: the Concertacion de Partidos por la Democ­racia (CPD), the successor to the Alianza Democratica and the Concertacion de Partidos por el NO. The CPD has won three successive presidential races (1989, 1993, 1999). As of the mid 1990s, it included four major political par­ties: the Christian Democrats, the Socialist party, the Party for Democracy, and the Radical party. The more notable element of this coalition was the taming of the left, including the strongly reformist wings of both the Chris­tian Democrats and the Radical party. Some of the original members of the CPD have left because they feel the coalition does not pursue their key is­sues with significant force. These have been smaller less significant parties, such as the Alianza Humanista-Verde, which supports New Age and eco­logical causes. The Communist party and other left-wing parties form their own blocs if they can or run separately, garnering between five and nine percent of the vote.

Right-wing political parties have had more difficulties forging enduring electoral pacts. Generally, Renovacion Nacional and the Union Democratica

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