20 October 2019   Leave a comment

Chile has been rocked by protests, largely led by students who were protesting increases in fares for the metro system in Santiago but also fueled by concerns over economic inequality. After 7 days of protests, the government reversed its decision on metro fares and declared a state of emergency and a curfew. But the protests have continued. The protests in Chile have followed large protests in Peru and Ecuador over similar issues. Violent protests have also occurred in Lebanon, as citizens appear to be fed up with the incompetence of their government. Protests in Hong Kong have entered the third month as Hong Kongers continue to fear the encroaching authority of the Beijing government. One should also not forget the protests by Extinction Rebellion in various European cities. It appears as if there is widespread dissatisfaction in many polities in the world–these protests are not simple coincidences. But figuring out the common thread in all of them is very difficult.

Protests in Valparaiso, Chile

The British Parliament, in a rare Saturday session, refused to ratify the agreement reached by Prime Minister Boris Johnson with the European Union. Essentially, the Parliament was asking for more time, but it meant that Prime Minister Johnson will have to ask that the 31 October deadline be extended. Johnson did send such a request (which he did not sign) but also sent a second letter to the EU stating his intention to get Parliamentary approval before the deadline. So we now have to see whether Johnson can pressure the Parliament to approve the agreement. Johnson does not want a lot of time to pass–every day delayed means that opposition can build to specific parts of the agreement. But if the Parliament does not approve the agreement in a second vote, the situation becomes very murky. The alternatives now include a three month delay (if the EU approves–not a given), a second referendum, a new election which may give Johnson a genuine majority), or a “no-deal” Brexit.

Posted October 20, 2019 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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