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Over the years, Ecuadorian voters have preferred leftist presidents

Since the end of military dictatorship in 1978, Ecuadorian voters have shown a preference for leftist presidential candidates over conservatives. According to political analyst Santiago Basabe, voters have chosen seven leftist, or center-leftist, candidates in 10 elections.

Jaime Roldos at the Presidential Palace in Quito.

“This has been true throughout Latin America since the end of the era of the dictatorships,” says Basabe. “In general, the poorer classes of voters have gained increasingly more power and they have displaced much of the authority of the old landed gentry.”

The first president to follow dictatorship in Ecuador, Jaime Roldós, was elected based on promises to reduce the influence of the wealthy ruling class and to install programs to help reduce poverty. He also advocated economic independence from the U.S. and Europe and increasing taxes on natural resources being mined and pumped by foreign countries.

Roldós was assassinated during his first term in office in 1981.

Basebe says that Ecuadorian voters have taken revenge on presidents who ran as leftists then turned right after they were in office. “Lucio Gutiérrez is an example of this. He was elected in 2003 on a leftist platform of protecting and supporting local artisans and helping the poor but soon signed agreements with the International Monetary Fund and began advocating free trade,” he says. “In less than two years, he was forced to flee the country following big public protests.”

Gutiérrez was not the only president to ran afoul of the electorate. Ecuador had seven presidents in a 10-year period until the election of Rafael Correa in 2006, three of them forced from office by angry protests.

Political observer and former cabinet member Jorge Ramoz says that the current presidential campaign defies many of the old political rules. “Although you have candidates from the left and right, the focus has been on the personality of Rafael Correa, who is leaving office, and not so much on the policies the candidates are advocating,” he says. “Correa’s style of governing, which emphasizes larger government, the reduction of personal rights and loud attacks on those who did not agree with him, has forced many leftist groups to support Guillermo Lasso, the conservative.”

Ramoz says that Correa’s governing style is reminiscent of right-wing dictatorships, in some respects. “Putting restrictions on civil society is not leftist policy,” he says. “In some ways, Correa has turned the old left-right political model upside down.”

17 thoughts on “Over the years, Ecuadorian voters have preferred leftist presidents

    1. Moreno is a compassionate man who cares about the poor and disabled. He’d be a great President!
      Lasso, NO
      Moreno, YES

    2. Ecuadorian friend of mine went to a border town in Peru to buy 4 Samsung TVs and paid someone to cross over into Ecuador with them. Is that fair trade?

      1. Being a criminal is a byproduct of breaking the law. Bank robbery is a byproduct of being broke. Theft is a byproduct of not respecting other peoples property. Making excuses is a byproduct of not being responsible.

        Moreno, YES
        Lasso, NO

  1. This goverment policies are NOT sustainable over time. We have a enormous, not manageable deficit this year, we are borrowing money to China at a huge interest rates, our oil is already sold for the next 8 years to China and the money is already spent, this year the economy will be the worst of LA except Venezuela, the corruption is at the worst levels in our history and the money reserves are at our lowest point ever, And it really amazes me that some educated people still want to vote for Moreno??? Probably their ideology blinds them from truth. The guy can’t even speak fluently, doesnt want to have a public debate with Lasso not to mention he never had a sucessfull career, besides his evident health problems. Of course LASSO is a much better option

      1. Nor do we want to be Argentina. The difference is nobody is offering to implement Venezuelan policies.

    1. External debt is 29% of GDP. Most countries would love to have such a low debt burden.

      What metric are you using to call this the worst economy in Latin America except Venezuela? And corruption levels at their worst level in history? Is any of this based on actual data or just Facebook?

      Incidentally, Guillermo Lasso is a 61-year-old diabetic with a history of heart disease. You probably shouldn’t bring health into it. Granted, if Moreno were to die in office we get Glas. If Lasso dies in office, we get a sociopath.

      The reason why educated people vote for Moreno is because educated people aren’t as easily manipulated by misinformation as you clearly have been. It’s a shame Correa wasn’t around 30 years ago. We would have a lot more educated people voting right now instead of a bunch of gullible rubes who get all their information from Facebook memes.

      1. Your are unbelievable.. in 30 years Correa would be like Fidel Castro.. with huge bank accounts offshore and with poor people back in his country.. wake up! I guess you can’t..

        1. Not sure how that is a reply to my comment, but since intelligent discussion is in such short supply these days . . .

          Being called “unbelievable” by someone who believes that Fidel Castro (the most spied on man in the world for over half a century) had huge offshore bank accounts despite zero evidence is that he ever did is . . . well, frankly, it’s unimportant. It would be like arguing over what color dress the tooth fairy wears.

          What is important is that Correa isn’t even a candidate in this election. Furthermore, as the Wikileaks cables revealed with zero ambiguity (you know, actual evidence), the US government has been actively trying to undermine him since before he announced his candidacy in 2005. Yet despite 10 years of having his phones tapped, his emails hacked, his every move tracked and his associates recruited as spies, nobody has managed to find a single dirty deal, a single unearned dollar, absolutely nothing. What is it that keeps people believing in something so deeply despite such a prolonged and deafening lack of proof? It’s like some modern form of religious fanaticism.

          But you have to stand in awe of grownup living in a fantasy telling me to wake up. Irony is officially dead. I can see why Trump won the presidency. The world is full of people who are convinced that their faith in a conspiracy theory is just as valid as objective facts.

    2. Lasso wants to sell EVERYTHING that’s public to private investors. Want a road built? No problem but it will be a toll road owned by a Chinese company.

      Ecuador for sale to the highest bidder under Lasso.

      Lasso, NO
      Moreno, YES

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