The rejection of the draft Constitution in Chile puts the left into question

The rejection of the draft Constitution in Chile puts the left into question

The rejection of the draft Constitution in Chile puts the left into question

To analyze. The result leaves no room for ambiguity. In Chile, the Constitution, drawn up for a year by a joint assembly, democratically elected, was massively rejected by 62% of the voters on Sunday 4 September. At first sight, this result can be confusing: why such a refusal when, two years earlier, almost 80% of the voters at the polls had asked for the drafting of a new text, replacing the current Basic Law, inherited from the dictatorship (1973 -1990)? The answer invites us to explore a number of causes, crossing a complex society that, for the most part, has sent this clear message: neither the text nor the way it was written convinced him.

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All votes rechazo (“I reject” the draft Constitution, ecological, feminist and which establishes many new social rights) are not similar, but a principle of the text has amply motivated them, plurinationality. In other words, the recognition, within the Chilean state, of the existence of indigenous peoples (almost 13% of the population, mostly Mapuche). Some Chileans saw it as a sign of division of the country, far from the aspiration to pacify the conflict over the return of the Mapuche ancestral lands in the south of the country.

Missteps and controversies about the constituents

Vague, the concept of plurinationality has been evaded by a corollary proposal, which establishes indigenous justice superimposed on national justice. A proposal that, by the very admission of the defenders of the text, has been criticized. Staged in election clips, the opposition of some Mapuche, in the name of national unity, allowed the campaign to do so rechazo to counter accusations of racism that could have targeted his main argument.

“This result is also explained by the profound lack of trust that reigns in Chile between people and institutions”, notes Pamela Figueroa, a political scientist at the University of Santiago. In May 2021, the election of the Constituent Assembly, composed mainly of independent elected representatives, was perceived as a deeply refreshing political event: the city revolt against inequalities in 2019 having not been able to be channeled by any party, this Assembly was not the adequate institutional response?

The singularity of its composition turned against it: its elected officials were not up to the task, voters said. rechazo. Indeed, his work was marked by missteps and controversy. The most serious: the resignation of his first vice president, in September 2021, after admitting that the cancer he claimed to suffer from, at the heart of his struggle for access to an egalitarian health system, was a lie. Elected officials who enter the hemicycle in disguise, public accusations of treason, a voter who votes virtually from his shower: these escapades, blown up by supporters of the no, have ended up throwing a profound discredit on the Assembly, eclipsing the hard work done by many of its members.

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