An expert in political communication and ex-samurai of Lavín, he assures that the differences that the official candidate marked with Kast are explained by a matter of electoral strategy and not by substantial doctrinal distances.
There are at least two substantive issues that Gonzalo Cordero, lawyer and UDI activist, clears almost at the beginning of this interview: he will vote for Sebastián Sichel in the first round and will support José Antonio Kast if he goes to the ballot: “Kast’s emergency is real and I don’t think there is a mere artifice in this, “he assures about the expectant position of the Republican Party candidate. Former samurai of Joaquín Lavín – for whom he worked in primary school – thinks that his sector should look at what happened to the Concertación so as not to make the same mistakes.
He explains it:
– The center-left was not able to process the emergence of the Broad Front from its left and denied its project and killed its leadership: Ricardo Lagos. Both things were serious, they are paying dearly for it and they will continue to pay dearly for it. The center-right should look at that example not to do the same. The emergence of Kast should not mean the resignation of a political project that these three parties embody – the UDI, RN and Evópoli – and the destruction of their leadership that the sector must take care of, project and maintain. In this sense, the center-right parties must observe the current situation by looking at the urgency, but without losing sight of the projection and the long term.
– And so?
– Instead of doing what the center-left did, which was annulled, the right should think about integrating in a better way of coexistence and coexistence forward, especially if Kast goes to the second round. Or, even if it doesn’t, because you’ve already had a successful enough result.
– Is this integration possible? What about the differences between the ruling coalition and the Republican Party?
– There are differences in the political project more than in ideas. Kast transmits several concepts that fully coincide with Chile Vamos. I do not see the problem in that. The problem is that Kast’s project seems much more focused on him, more personal and less institutionalized. His party is new, fragile, with few leaderships, almost without parliamentarians. The Republican Party is a homogeneous party in everything. Chile Vamos, on the other hand, has three parties that are quite heterogeneous, a significant number of leaderships, government experience, relevant parliamentary benches. So, Chile Vamos has much better configured a long-term project. In other words: Kast could win alone, but Kast could not rule alone.
– What are the shared ideas?
– Kast’s central idea of order, compliance with the law and the rule of law fully fit the world of Chile Vamos. In that there is a very great identity. I think there is also a great identity in economic-social matters: Kast defends the development model, the free economy and stands from this opposition.
– But do you recognize differences?
– In Chile Vamos there is a much more diverse spectrum in what are called value materials. There is a significant number of people who do not have the convictions that Kast transmits and who do not give it the same relevance within the project either. And there is another area of differences: Kast raises things that I, personally, agree as an objective, but that I consider politically unviable, such as the tax cut that he is proposing. However, faced with the hegemonic alternative of the extreme left embodied in Boric, the differences between Chile Vamos con Kast are nuanced.
– Do not these differences between Chile Vamos and Kast seem insurmountable with a view to a second round?
– No, of course not. They are not insurmountable differences. On the contrary, it seems to me that if there is a second round between Kast and Boric, it would be a political and ethical obligation for the right to reconcile their projects. As if there was a second round between Sichel and Boric.
– Why are you going to vote for Sichel, when it is in your party that the public flight to Kast has exploded?
– I believe a lot in the institutionalization of power and politics and, therefore, the parties of Chile Vamos and the UDI should privilege loyalty to institutional processes. The UDI participated in a primary, we took our candidate, I supported him, I voted for him, I have a deep appreciation for him, but we lost. And not because of a forced commitment, but because of the value of respecting institutional procedures, I am a firm supporter of institutionally supporting Sichel. Continue in this process, without prejudice to the fact that, in the second round, if the election is defined between Kast and Boric, there is no doubt that it is necessary to bridge the differences and support Kast without reservations.
– You speak of nuances between the ideas of Chile Vamos and Kast, but on Tuesday night the official candidate made a hard attack against the Republican. He spoke of “the old right.”
– It was a mistake. I would not have put things in the terms that Sichel did. I understand that politically it is reasonable that he wanted to cut this “bleeding”, because continuing to answer daily about the off-hook prevents him from entering the essential. But by its form, Sichel’s speech was understood as a repudiation of a certain part of the right-wing electorate. And that shouldn’t be the idea, because they could have even more off the hook.
– In his speech Sichel was very clear in making big differences with Kast …
– I have the impression that the need to differentiate yourself in a campaign period – especially when the polls are telling you that you are the challenger, that Kast is at the top – is what leads to that discourse that greatly increases the difference.
– Was it an electoral move more than a doctrinal matter?
– Obviously. And it seems to me that he should have left it in this area. Adding these doctrinal questions to it was a mistake.
– You have said that a truck ran over you on the right for “lacking a speech that would sustain your vision of society and a consistent political project with conceptual clarity without complexes.” Is Kast the one who most faithfully embodies the soul of the sector?
– Kast has a speech that has been holding him for a long time and there is a value in that: he does not change his positions with popularity or unpopularity. It has been very consistent. And the good position it is in today is partly due to that. And, indeed, when I listen to Kast I have many coincidences with him. But it would not be fair to say that Sichel has been a candidate who has reneged on fundamental issues for the center-right project.
– Is Kast open to approaches with Chile Vamos?
– It will be. If he goes to the second round, faced with the possibility of winning and facing the responsibility of not losing, taking care of the adversary, I cannot imagine that in the world of Kast, he and his party will not be open to generating something broader.
– Doesn’t Kast seem ultra or extreme to you?
– Kast does not seem to me neither ultra nor extreme. I’ve known him from college, from UC Law School. I think he is a person of firm convictions, quite straightforward, honest and loyal in his way of doing politics. From that clarity, a caricature has been constructed, the caricature of the fanatic Kast. And I think that is not so, he is not a fanatic. Of course: there are some people in his party of whom I do not have the same perception.
– Given the conflicts on the right, could Boric-Provoste be a second round?
– I see it very, very, very unlikely. Provoste’s candidacy is a candidacy that, in today’s relevant axis, has no viability.
– Will the presidential be defined between Boric and Kast, then?
– Everything changes very fast. But, although it is very difficult to make forecasts, today all the polls say what they say.