Following a nearly two-year process that attempted to reflect a wider range of perspectives in the country’s Constitution, Chilean voters soundly rejected a new, progressive constitution on Sunday.
According to the Chilean Electoral Service, 62% of voters rejected the proposal, while 38% supported it after nearly all of the ballots had been counted.
The socialist President Gabriel Boric supported the 388 proposed provisions of the proposed constitution, which would have greatly expanded social rights, strengthened environmental control, and expanded the scope of government responsibilities for social welfare programs. Additionally, it would have introduced allocated seats for indigenous delegates and fully achieved gender parity.
All of Chile’s provinces, including the more liberal city of Santiago and its metropolitan area, whose voters heavily backed Boric in the previous December’s presidential election, rejected the treaty.
After the polls closed on Sunday, Boric addressed the public in a live, televised speech to confront the defeat.
The Chilean people have spoken today, and they have done so plainly and loudly, according to Boric. “We’ve received two texts from them. They cherish and adore their democracy, to start with. The second is that Chile’s citizens voted to clearly reject the proposed constitution at the polls because they were dissatisfied with it.”
Images from Santiago on Sunday reveal a somber attitude among the constitution’s proponents, while others rejoiced at the news that it had been rejected.
The current constitution was drafted under the brutal dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who ruled Chile from 1973 to 1990. The new constitution’s proponents aimed to depart from Chile’s authoritarian past and create a text that took into account the interests of groups they felt had previously been overlooked.
Why alter the Constitution?
The proposed reform was started in 2020 when then-president Sebastien Piera requested a referendum on drafting a new constitution in the midst of social unrest and widespread unhappiness prompted by an increase in metro fares in October 2019.
More than 78% of Chilean voters supported a plebiscite that suggested a constitutional reform in October 2020, and they again cast ballots to choose the members of a constituent assembly in June 2021.
The Constitutional Assembly was the first in the history of the nation to contain dedicated seats for indigenous delegates and the first in the world to have complete gender parity.
Supporters hoped that a new, revised constitution would reflect its progressive position.
Additionally, the constitution-making process itself received plaudits from all around the world for providing Chile with an institutional means of resolving a social crisis and for meeting the needs of contemporary Chileans for greater equality and more inclusive and participatory democracy.
Professor Robert Funk of the University of Chile claims that a major motivation behind the creation of a new constitution was the elimination of Pinochet’s imposed remains of the past.
“The current Chilean constitution was first drafted in 1980, under Augusto Pinochet’s military dictatorship. Since since, it has undergone numerous amendments, but because a dictatorship enforced it, there have always been questions about it “explained Funk.
Ways to be rejected
The updated constitution’s final text was delivered to Boric, Piera’s successor, in July of this year after much consideration.
However, despite the fact that the majority of Chilean people approved the notion of a constitutional amendment in October 2020, disagreements arose over the proposed draught.
Different polls started to suggest a growing tendency toward the charter being rejected soon after the text was made public, and the government openly acknowledged that possibility.
The failed constitution would have been among the most progressive in the world and would have given the government primary responsibility for ensuring social rights.
The plan would have eliminated the excessively privatized water rights system and placed a significant emphasis on environmental conservation and indigenous self-determination. It codified respect for sexual variety and mandated gender equality in all public organizations and businesses. A new national healthcare system was also envisioned.
But the project quickly split people apart. The right claimed the proposal would move the nation too far to the left or that it was too ambitious and challenging to enact effective laws. Even some of its left-leaning supporters demanded changes in the run-up to the vote, using the slogan “approve to reform.”
The opposition has committed to launching a fresh revision of the constitution, assuring voters that the new version will more accurately represent their needs.
In his remarks on Sunday, Boric gave the impression that reform efforts will continue.
According to Boric, “This choice by Chilean men and women needs our institutions and political actors to work harder, with more conversation, respect, and care, until we arrive at a proposal that interprets us all, that is reliable, that unites us as a country.
When was Chile’s democracy overthrown?
The Mapuche people were acknowledged as an integral component of Chilean society by the law, which became operative on September 28, 1993.
How old is the Constitution of Chile?
Endorsed and published on May 25, 1833. In 1871, 1873, 1874, 1882, 1888, 1891, 1892, and 1893, reforms were made. It has been in effect for 92 years and was only replaced in 1925, making it the longest-lasting constitutional text in Chilean history. The Republic of Chile’s 1925 Constitution (110 articles and 10 transitory provisions).
Chile: a developed nation?
South America’s most developed nation is Chile. Chile joined the OECD in 2010. Most economists consider their GDP, standard of living, infant mortality rate, life expectancy, and HDI to be sufficient justifications for classifying the nation as developed. Chile has a low neonatal mortality rate and a life expectancy of 75 years.
Is Chile a Christian nation?
Since its inception during the Spanish colonization of the Americas, Catholicism has been the predominant religion in Chile, albeit its numbers have significantly decreased during the past ten years. Recent surveys indicate that between 45% and 55% of the population consider themselves Catholic.
The Chilean Constitution has undergone how many amendments?
The constitution has undergone approximately 20 amendments since democracy was restored. According to a document dated September 13, 1973, Jaime Guzmán had already been assigned by the Junta the responsibility of researching the possibility of writing a new constitution at the time.