Chilean Voters Resoundingly Reject Leftist Constitution
On September 4, 2022, Chileans decisively rejected a ballot initiative to fundamentally transform its 41-year-old constitution — created during the military government of Augusto Pinochet.
Had this initiative been approved, Chile’s constitution would have been modified along radically leftist lines.
62% of Chilean voters rejected this Constitution, while only 38% approved of the constitution. The constitution is 388 pages long
Gabriel Boric, Chile’s millennial president, was itching to use this referendum as a way to validate his leftist agenda that consisted of placing a particular emphasis on social issues and gender equality, while also establishing a parallel justice system for Indigenous territories and making environmentmental regulation a cornerstone of economic policy.
The last point is critical because Chile is the world’s largest copper producer. According to Statista, Chile produced 5.6 million metric tons of copper in 2021, making it the world’s leading copper producer. It’s also one of the world’s leading lithium producers.
The proposed constitution was a world first in how it was written by a convention divided equally between female and male delegates. According to a Fox News report, critics of this new constitution proposal believed “it was too long, lacked clarity, and went too far in some of its measures.”
The leftist constitution proposal also featured rights to free education, health care, and housing.
The present Constitution, which was written in 1981, tends to be pro free-market in the sense that it allows for private initiative to take place in the education, pension, and healthcare sectors.
Chile has been Latin America’s most notable economic success story of the last 50 years thanks to the Chicago Boys’ reforms that were implemented during Augusto Pinochet’s military government (1973-1990). However, that stability has been put into question after protests and mass rioting broke out in 2019. This unrest came about as a result of an increase in public transportation prices.
The protests expanded into calls for egalitarian measures and increased social protections. In 2020, slightly under 80% of Chileans voted for changing Chile’s constitution. The following year, Chileans elected delegates for a constitutional convention.
It seems that Chile may have dodged a bullet for now. However, the Left, like in so many other countries, never sleeps. So they will look to find ways to undermine Chile’s success story.
Should they be successful in overturning Chile’s present constitutional order, the Left will ensure that Chile becomes just the latest Latin American nation with a promising future that was undermined from within.