Thumbnail Image

Widening the appeal: The Pachakutik political movement

Young, Caden
Since its inception, the Pachakutik Plurinational Unity Movement or the Pachakutik has been the primary indigenous political party in Ecuador. Many researchers have contended that indigenous political groups can be understood through the lens of populism, but there still exists gaps in the literature on how that can be applied. I have chosen Ecuador because it is one of the few countries that recognized the sovereignty and political manifestation of indigeous political groups - chiefly the Pachakutik. My research and interest in this study is how the Pachakutik party appeals to voters and the limits of their political agenda. I used a most-similar case study design methodology that uses cases focusing on specific elections over time. I hypothesized that indigenous political parties will broaden their appeal to non-indigenous voters when they achieve more electoral success. My results were that my general hypothesis was inconclusive, yet a somewhat surprising result was obtained. The Pachakutik political party appealed more to indigenous voters when they received less electoral success. This result confirms existing theories about party fragmentation and responses to addressing party friction.