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Chile: Voters Reject New Constitution In Referendum

    Chile: Voters Reject New Constitution In Referendum
    Last updated: 2 months ago
    Image credit: The New York Times

    Facts

    • On Sun., Chilean voters overwhelmingly rejected a 388-article progressive proposal to replace the Gen. Pinochet-era constitution, marking a setback for Chile's newly-elected Pres. Gabriel Borić. [1]
    • According to the Chile Electoral Service, nearly 62% of voters opposed the new document, which failed to gather support even in the metropolitan area of the capital Santiago – a Borić stronghold in the 2021 presidential election. [2]
    • The proposed overhaul would've turned one of the most conservative countries in Latin America into one of the world's most progressive societies by legalizing abortion, adopting universal healthcare, and instating more than 100 constitutional rights – including for nature and animals. [3]
    • It would also have made Chile a "plurinational" state by granting more autonomy to Indigenous groups, and reformed the country's institutions by extinguishing the Senate and pushing for state institutions to be legally compelled to achieve gender parity. [4]
    • Protests for greater equality in Chile in 2019 saw the government hold an advisory referendum in which roughly 80% of voters backed the proposed reforms to the constitution introduced in 1980. [5]
    • On Mon., Pres. Borić met with political leaders and lawmakers to discuss how to salvage the constitutional reform. He's expected to announce a cabinet reshuffle this week. [6]
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    Spin

    Left narrative

    Chileans had the chance to get rid of Pinochet's neoliberal constitution but the "Rechazo" camp contaminated this referendum with a disinformation campaign. For now, the country has been unable to advance in social issues and increase environmental protection. But as the democratic process still stands, there's still hope for reform.

    Right narrative

    This proposal was doomed to be rejected as the constitutional convention – which was disproportionately left-leaning due to low turnout in the original advisory referendum – failed to represent Chile's average voter and alienated the center-right camp. The text would've instated unconventional and nonsensical rights.

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