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The majority of Chileans voted against proposing a very progressive new constitution in a referendum. It should have replaced the forty-year-old constitution, which dates back to the time of the dictator Pinochet.
The constitution enshrined many social rights, such as the right to housing, free education, accessible health care, and the right to abortion. It would also grant indigenous peoples a significant degree of independence.
The referendum came after three years of mass protests against inequality in the country. The protesters demanded, among other things, a new constitution. In 2020, it was decided by referendum that a new constitution would be drawn up, written by representatives directly elected by the people. The Chileans then chose a left-dominated committee to write their constitution.
In the opinion polls, the camp of the opponents was already heading towards victory, although the difference was insignificant. With nearly all votes counted, the constitution was rejected with 62 percent of the vote. The turnout was also high because voting was mandatory.
Critics campaigned against the constitution for being too leftist. The role of the state will become too large under the new constitution. Many measures are also unsustainable and will encourage economic instability.
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