While the U.S. waits impatiently for, or works desperately against, hope and change, Chile is approaching the eve of its presidential election.
The incumbent, Michelle Bachelet, had a rough start but is leaving office next year as a rare president with rising popularity ratings.
So now we have opposition candidate Sebastian Pinera pitted against former president Eduardo Frei in the December 13 voting. Pinera is ahead in polling with37 percent support, followed by Frei with 28 percent. Independent candidate Marco Enriquez-Ominami is playing the Ross Perot role and is polling at 17 percent.
Banners and posters are ubiquitous in Punta Arenas and campaign appearances dominate local TV.
Strikes are pretty regular here, and have ramped up in anticipation of the election. A few-hours strike of meteorologists played a small role in determining whether a flight over Antarctica I'd like to tag along with might be delayed. The weather guys came back to work, but the flight was scrubbed because of a cloud bank moving toward the Antarctic peninsula.