The coup effect of the emergence of the new “Party for Dignity”, led by James Hamilton, faces an early trial with his resignation from this new conglomerate after 9 days of militancy and the announcement that it will form a new collective. Arguing “an ethical incompatibility,” the doctor facing the national curia from the Karadima case, noted that “there are people who are working in the party, who are from the leadership, who have a history that casts a shadow over credibility and probity.”
The political adventure born almost at the same time as other instrumental initiatives such as Lastesis Senior grouped in the “Feminist Alternative Party”, based in Valparaiso, and the “Group Cultural Party” of artists in Magellan, which still collects its signatures paw present to the Electoral Service (Servel) even joined that of the “Republican Party” of the ever-controversial José Antonio Kast. From the perspective of the sociologist Raúl Zarzuri, acute observer of issues such as social outburst, citizen youth participation and the constituent process, this rise of new parties and figures is due to the discreditofing of the recent political class.
“The independent parties that have appeared since 9/18 are responses to the closure by traditional politics of the participation of independents in the constituent, given the current discredit of traditional politics. This began with the creation in December of the so-called “Movement for a Democratic Constituent” (MOVPCD), who declared from the outset to be an instrumental party, a platform of service, so that independents could participate in the assembly elections and that it would be dissolved with the ratifying plebiscite”, argues the sociologist and academic of the University Academy of Christian Humanism.
The emergence of movements such as “Cultural Force”, whose main objective is the strengthening of culture and its representativeness in the discussion of public policies or the “Party for Dignity” that claims to want to pick up the outrage of the public, also raised a question about new leaders or faces that could embody the demands of the social movement. For the analyst, this possibility clashes with the genesis of a citizen project that bursts from the citizen upwards and represents “a certain sensibility that recognizes the people of the street more than certain faces,” he describes.
“In that sense, I believe that Hamilton’s strength lies in his recognition for the courage he had to face the episode with Karadima; he has been a good polemicist in the media to criticize the actions of the government and political parties from the social outburst, an issue that plays a play for him. But given that today we are within a polarized context between those at the top and the ones below, the sensitivities of the street may not see with good eyes what is associated with “the ones above”, Zarzuri explains around Hamilton’s affiliation to his former party or to a new political initiative like the one he has announced.
“Another complex issue that was against the “Party of Dignity” is that it appeared as a “party of stars” and, that leads us to dissisively, and so the media has installed it, talk about the “Hamilton party”, an issue that was not a problem of it. It goes without coming to see whether Hamilton can transcend the independent platform he spearheaded to go beyond it and become a new political charter that seduces citizens,” he adds.
Raúl Zarzuri, sociologist and academic at the Universidad Academia de Humanismo Cristiano.
However, Zarzuri warns that “today, the interests of popular representativeness are not in the political class and its parties, including the Broad Front, but are represented more on the street. I am referring to the multiplicity of lobbyists and assemblies which have emerged in a self-convened and autonomous way and which have added a new air to politics which is precisely 18-O, which is the emergence of a policy that comes from below, not from above. Perhaps and only perhaps, the new parties that are emerging and will emerge, whether as instrumental parties to the constituent process or as political parties with longer political programmes, which capture popular outrage, are a change of politics, which captures precisely that popular representation. Now this replacement process will take a few years.”
On the other hand, José Antonio Kast managed to inscribe his far-right formation, the Republican Party, which broadens the political spectrum and also a spirit of polarization that owns his project.
In this sense, the Zarzuri narrows that influence to the regional nature of the Kast shop which is composed of militants from Maule, O’Higgins, Uble and La Araucanía. However, the academic finds it difficult for the Republican Party to lay down nationally by several factors.
“Currently, Kast is down in the polls and in the communication, because he has run out of speech, a product of the 18-O. Question that we can see in relation to his appearances in the media, which has been scarce. Thus, it has become outdated, since today, in my opinion, the discussion is not focused on the right and left, but revolves around the categories “down and up”, an issue that today gives meaning to the political dispute. Therefore, the current polarization goes down that path. It should be noted that the up/down is associated with “Apruebo” and constituent commission and those above with “No Apruebo” and “Mixed Commission”. In this scenario, the dispute between the ones below and the ones above, Kast’s extreme nationalist speech is ineffective as it is diluted into those categories that already have more effective flags. Finally, I would point out that for Kast this period is a test, of accumulation of strength and that his plan for the future is the presidential election of 2026.”
As for the other parties and blocs, Zarzuri argues that “the Broad Front is currently diluted and has lost strength. Product of the signing of the famous “Agreement for Peace and New Constitution in Chile”, it lost a significant militancy, particularly in the “left wing”, but also adds a loss at the symbolic level, in the imaginary that had been built as the replacement generation of Chilean politics. This has been the case for example of Social Convergence. This has caused a vacuum of representativeness of certain sensitivities that does not fill even the PC or other similar matches.”