September 13, 2022

Chile’s Constitution

Chileans resoundingly rejected a new constitution to replace a charter imposed by the dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet 41 years ago, dealing a stinging setback to President Gabriel Boric who argued the document would have ushered in a new progressive era. With 99% of the votes counted in [last] Sunday’s plebiscite, the rejection camp had 61.9% support compared to 38.1% for approval…

“The proposed document was the first in the world to be written by a convention split equally between male and female delegates, but critics said it was too long, lacked clarity and went too far in some of its measures, which included characterizing Chile as a plurinational state, establishing autonomous Indigenous territories, and prioritizing the environment and gender parity.” AP News

See past issues

From the Right

The right supports the result, arguing that the proposal included too many vaguely defined rights.

From the Left

The left acknowledges the issues with the proposal, and argues for a new effort to draft a better alternative.

The left acknowledges the issues with the proposal, and argues for a new effort to draft a better alternative.

A libertarian's take

“The practice of discarding constitutions and rewriting foundational texts in Latin America helps to explain the region's constant political turmoil. An analysis by the University of Chicago Law School shows that the average lifespan of a constitution in Latin America is 12.4 years… Chileans have had three constitutions since 1833, and the 1980 constitution, while longstanding, has been heavily amended. Cuba has had four in the last 120 years. Brazil has had seven since its independence in 1822. Venezuela has had 26. The Dominican Republic has had a whopping 38…

“‘A constitution provides legal stability and predictability—like a computer operating system,’ wrote Daniel Raisbeck, a policy analyst on Latin America at the Cato Institute, and I for Reason last month. ‘Tampering with any foundational code creates security holes that are easily exploited by political opportunists looking to amplify their own power and overturn the established order.’”
Alyssa Varas, Reason

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