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*Brazil And Chile* By Frances Hagopian

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Brazil and Chile

Hagopian vents her frustration towards the democratization of Latin American countries by describing it as “flawed both because it does not take account of differences across the region and because it is overly static” (pg.1). The clarity in transitioning into a democracy in Latin American countries has not been defined uniformly that there are clear differences amongst the effectiveness of democracy in specific countries. Hagopian specifically uses Chile and Brazil as her examples of “the dimensions of Democratic quality.” She uses these two countries as a comparison to distinguish the characteristics of a “good” democracy, which would include both the participation and satisfaction of the citizens of the country.

Amongst most of the Latin American countries, Chile and Brazil has become amongst the strongest democratic countries and can become a lot stronger with improvements. However, both countries vary in strengths between different dimensions of quality that defines a “good” democracy. These variances are analyzed by Hagopian to determine the degree of effectiveness by considering accountability, participation and responsiveness between governance and individuals as a reciprocal relationship. Recommendable changes are necessary for both Chile and Brazil to continuously prosper politically, civilly and together economically.

Although both Chile and Brazil are developing predominant democratic reputations, their contrasts in democratic dimensions differ greatly. For example, human rights are protected in Chile, but in Brazil the authoritative figures are the ones who have all the freedom. In 2002, Chile ranked the seventeenth “least corrupt country in the world” (pg. 7). Unlike Chile’s respected reputation for unions and freedom of speech, in Brazil the police were allowed to beat suspects into submission of guilt. Brazil’s renowned corruption can be further demonstrated in 1992 with the impeachment of President Fernando Collor de Mello, who accepted bribes for personal gains (pg. 7).

Brazil does not preserve civil rights in their democracy, but are stronger when it comes to representation and accountability. The political representation are more organized in thought and are capable of establishing a fluid response for gaining means in their goals. However, Chile has so many organizations and representations that their goals become hard to solidify. This causes for decline in responsiveness and accountability in part of the governance. The result is a delayed and unorganized response, whereas Brazil’s government knows their goal and making a quick response.

Liberalizing labor markets will create market oriented reforms that will change perspectives of the “nature” of democracy. Giving more freedom in state regulation, distribution, and production of resources will debilitate the hold that corporatism have on these countries. Brazil will surely feel the effects of the economic liberation because representation would be of preference, not authority. Chile may not be as affected because their representation is presently modeled in such a fashion, but may diminish in representation and accountability more. Their value in liberation will become depreciated.

Democracy is not defined by the lack of individual participation and representation, civil rights, respect from authority, laws, equally distributed incomes, and socially and economically equality. However, Brazil is struggling, even though the rule of law is highly uneven, their strength in their fight for democracy is reflected in how far they have come from being weak to a more robust country in a matter of about twenty years. Brazil’s powerful exterior is due to its strong political representation.

How is a high quality democracy considered to be effective but not be able to represent an organized democracy? Chile is proud

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