Referendum sets the course of Chile and the future of the Boric government

Santiago, Chile. – In one of the most important stages of the transformation process that began with the social epidemic of 2019, Chile will define its institutional fate this Sunday in a historic referendum that will determine whether the country ratifies or rejects a new constitution to replace the current one.Approved under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, and which would put a strain on the government of President Gabriel Boric.

With an electoral register of more than 15.1 million people, Record turnout is expected on a day that kicks off at 8:00 a.m. (local time) and will have the first glimmers of how the results will evolve around 7:00 a.m.

“We are on the cusp of a very historic moment for the country, where for the first time the men and women of Chile are making decisions about the content and form of the new constitution in a democratic way. It is a fact that, without a doubt, Sunday Whatever happens to him will pass,” Borik said in the preface.

The 178-page, 388-article, 11-chapter and 56 interim resolution has monopolized discussion in the country due to its content. As expected to declare Chile “A social and democratic rule of law”Some mechanisms that reinforced the neoliberal aspect of an economy that grew strongly in the region, but did so disproportionately, were also dismantled.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric, center, with Constituent Assembly members María Elisa Quinteros and Gaspar Dominguez hold the final draft of the country’s new constitution, in Santiago, Chile, Monday, July 4, 2022. (Associated Press photo/Louis Hidalgo )

The new fundamental law which is being voted on today was drafted in one year by a constitutional convention with a majority on the left and equality between men and women and Despite promises to expand citizens’ social rights, it has met with some resistance in Chile, with several controversial points.

This provision was reflected in the recent elections. far from the 80% who won Magna Carta approval in the October 2020 referendum, The “rejection” currently seems of little interest and has forced the Boric government to re-clarify its position.

Indeed, and in case of rejection of the proposal, the Head of State has already warned that a new constitutional process would be initiated. Conversely, and if “approval” prevails, reforms are announced to moderate the already established Magna Carta.

“Borich’s position is that at this time neither of the two referendum options can be considered final. Only 10% of Chileans want to approve without reform and only 15% reject maintaining the current“, analyzed Mario Herrera, director of the School of Political Science and Public Administration of the University of Talca.

“The problem for Boric will come in the future if he wins the ‘rejection’. He is expected to promote further reform of the existing constitution, with Congress against and encouraging certain areas for reform rather than the new constitution.added the academic.

For Juan Pablo Araya, political analyst and professor at O’Higgins State University (UoH), the electoral process appears to be decisive for the government. “Much of his four-year term is at stake in the referendum,” he said.

“The victory of ‘rejection’ Review all plans and implementation of your government programAnyone who considers deep social reforms will be difficult, so they should forge alliances with more moderate groups,” Araya said.

Chilean President Gabriel Boric signs a draft constitution after attending an event to encourage people to vote in the upcoming referendum in Santiago, Chile, Thursday, July 21, 2022 (Associated Press Photo/Esteban Felix)

Conversely, many Chilean analysts agree that Borík could benefit from the victory due to his communication and regional deployment, although they confirm that the president tied the outcome to the fate of the referendum early on. And was associated with the victory of “approval”. Another difficulty you will face in the new context: Rising inflation and insecurity Who took care of the agenda of Chilean society.

Boric traveled to his hometown, Punta Arenas, in the far south of Chile, to participate in the referendum and vote to return to Santiago to observe the results.

“I trust the wisdom of the Chilean people. What I call for is to participate, so that everyone feels like a hero, with confidence in the institutions, because we have solid institutions on which I am totally supported. Confidence,” said the Chilean president, who was one of the pioneers of the constitutional process in 2019. Which gave him an institutional solution to the political crisis caused by the social explosion.

“For this reason, public opinion also sees a clear link between his leadership and his constitutional destiny,” said Claudio Elortegui-Gómez, political communication researcher at the Catholic University of Valparaíso.

“During the campaign and until a few days ago, Boric proposed a path of governance with approval, an aspect that is already strategically regulated. Demonstrate the government’s ability to manage in troubled waters. It will be a challenge, but also an opportunity to make a big difference in his regional presence in his cabinet and at local government level,” the analyst said.

with all, Uncertainty has set in with a polarizing environment And, despite polls to the contrary, pro-“approval” groups are optimistic based on estimates that academics have made through predictive mathematical models that rightly refute the election and believe she is the winner. alternative. However, youth participation in referenda can be significant.

About Stuart M. McFarland

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