The Historic Vote by Chileans to Rewrite Constitution will Reinvent Political Landscape

By: LILJA NICHOLSON

On October 25th, 2020, 78% of Chilean voters showed up at the polls and voted to begin the 2 year-long process of rewriting their constitution. According to the Wall Street Journal; “ Voters are expected to elect in April a 155-member assembly to draft the new charter, which will need to be approved in a plebiscite in 2022. Half of the newly elected delegates will be women. The writing of the constitution will coincide with next year’s presidential election.”. This is a historic decision, not only because of the overwhelming majority that made their voices heard but also because the last version of the constitution was created in 1980 under the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet.

The issues regarding the constitution have long been a controversial topic in Chile, which is one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries. Supporters of the current constitution argued that the charter helped stabilize the economy and ensured that private property and central bank autonomy was secured protection against any possible economic downfall. Those who were against it pointed out that the dictatorship that it was created under was tyrannical, with the Wall Street Journal also stating “some say it is illegitimate because of its origin in a brutal dictatorship that tortured and killed thousands of leftist activists. They say it has been a straitjacket on social reforms by preventing changes to the country’s market-friendly economic model, which led to large protests last year.” 

Regardless of where Chileans stood on the issue of rewriting the constitution, there is no doubt that the political situation is about to drastically change. With more concern being given to people of all economic backgrounds, not just the rich, life will certainly be changing for Chileans. 

The issues regarding the constitution have long been a controversial topic in Chile, which is one of Latin America’s wealthiest countries. Supporters of the current constitution argued that the charter helped stabilize the economy and ensured that private property and central bank autonomy was secured protection against any possible economic downfall. Those who were against it pointed out that the dictatorship that it was created under was tyrannical, with the Wall Street Journal also stating “some say it is illegitimate because of its origin in a brutal dictatorship that tortured and killed thousands of leftist activists. They say it has been a straitjacket on social reforms by preventing changes to the country’s market-friendly economic model, which led to large protests last year.” 

Regardless of where Chileans stood on the issue of rewriting the constitution, there is no doubt that the political situation is about to drastically change. With more concern being given to people of all economic backgrounds, not just the rich, life will certainly be changing for Chileans. 

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