People Power in Bolivia Hits the Internet
Monday, June 18, 2012
Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson

In our last post on Bolivia, we argued that a broad coalition, the type of movement with the potential to create real institutional change, could have formed in Bolivia. One of our pieces of evidence was that the grassroots politics which helped Evo Morales and his movement MAS to come to power could not easily be controlled — not even by Morales himself. As a result, grassroots movements may have started not only wrestling power from the old elites but also disciplining MAS. We gave the example of the campaign to “Anulo su Voto” last year, where people cast empty ballots to protest the MAS’s domination of the appointment of candidates to different judicial bodies.

Here is some subversive evidence that the campaign continues (thanks to Pablo Selaya for pointing this out). Have a look at the National Electoral Office’s website.

On the web page are listed the different judicial bodies, for example the Plurinational Constitutional Tribunial. Also on the web page is an icon “Méritos” which you are supposed to be able to click and find out the merits of the different candidates but when you do so you are directed to the empty web page:

This roughly translates as “it’s not right” or perhaps “it’s not just”. So the protest continues…

Article originally appeared on Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson (
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