Paul Lachine

Los centristas no consiguen afianzarse

WASHINGTON – En la mayoría de las democracias avanzadas, un gran partido de centro derecha compite con una gran partido de centro izquierda. Naturalmente, el grado en que un sistema electoral favorezca a los grandes partidos –imponiendo importantes mínimos de votos populares para entrar en el Parlamento o mediante circunscripciones en las que el ganador consigue todos los diputados correspondientes a ellas– afecta el grado de fragmentación política, pero, en general, las democracias desarrolladas se caracterizan por la competencia entre partidos grandes de centro izquierda y de centro derecha. Entonces, ¿qué pueden hacer centristas auténticos como Mario Monti, el respetado Primer Ministro tecnocrático de Italia?

Desde luego, las lealtades regionales y étnicas desempeñan un papel mayor en algunos lugares de Europa –por ejemplo, Escocia, Bélgica y Cataluña–, pero mucho más aún en los países en ascenso, donde las divisiones políticas reflejan también circunstancias poscoloniales concretas y con frecuencia la herencia del gobierno de un solo partido. Aun así, incluso en las democracias “con un mercado en ascenso”, como, por ejemplo, Chile, México, Corea del Sur y la India, la división derecha-izquierda desempeña un papel importante, mientras que los que reivindican el centro político siguen siendo por lo general débiles.

Los Liberales Demócratas británicos, por ejemplo, han intentado durante decenios llegar a ser un tercer partido centrista fuerte sin conseguirlo. Aunque el vocabulario político en los Estados Unidos es diferente, el Partido Demócrata, desde la presidencia de Frankin Roosevelt, es en verdad una fuerza de centro izquierda, el Partido Republicano ocupa la derecha y no existe ningún otro partido importante.

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