The first 100 days of each government are a milestone that has become a tradition. In addition to allowing a first judgment on the performance of each administration, the final stretch of each presidential campaign most of the time contemplates a package of measures to be implemented in the short term, which has also become a republican tradition. However, the latter was something that Gabriel Boric's presidential candidacy did not have, for two fundamental reasons. On the one hand, his was a maximalist and generalist program, more attached to objectives than to public policy proposals. On the other hand, the programmatic disagreements within his coalition in the face of the second round were hardly enough to reach a consensus on a single government program, without any margin to agree on a package of measures to be committed in the immediate future.

Thus, today we find ourselves with the result of a first 100 days in which the main impulses from the Executive have been limited to projects of periodic responsibility of any government or to political-administrative decisions related to long-standing discussions. A good example of both are the Minimum Wage Law and the signing of the Escazu Project, two of the few programmatic advances -whether management or legislative- that the government can report during this first period.

Minister Mario Marcel seems to be, to date, the only one with the necessary experience and courage to put public policy proposals on the table, submit them to public scrutiny and democratic debate, and put his political talent to the test to carry them out. This was the case with the Chile Supports Plan to face inflation and the economic slowdown, and he has announced that he will soon do so with the Tax Reform. 

But the reality of the facts does not allow for optimism. A recent report by the Centro de Estudios IdeaPaís shows that of the 24 measures contemplated in the Plan Chile Apoya, only 17% of them have been completed, showing the difficulties that the government has to advance given a performance constantly characterized by problems of lack of consistency, lack of coordination or simply lack of veracity.

Minister Jackson has said that it will be difficult for them to carry out their government program if the Rejection wins next September. Let them know how they will be able to explain themselves to the citizens after 4 years of lost administration -after years of vehemently claiming the need for them to come to power-, since the Rejection is today -and more and more as the weeks go by- a completely valid and competitive electoral alternative. The truth is that the government will not risk many more moves in the remaining period before the plebiscite, since they know that acting implies a high probability of error, and that each mistake of the government is automatically transformed into a gain in favor of the Rejection.

Column by Cristián Loewe, Executive Vice President of IdeaPaís, published by Cooperativa in the July 28, 2022 edition.

Image: IdeaPaís