The Constitutional Council in Chile approved this Monday (30), with 33 votes out of a total of 50, the Magna Carta proposal to be voted on by the population on December 17. Unlike the previous text, written by left-wing constituents and independent members, the new one has the fingerprints of the right — a reflection of the overrepresentation of its forces in the Council.
This will be the second time that Chile will attempt to replace the Constitution established during the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1915-2006). The previous version of the text, voted on in September 2022, was rejected by 61.8% of voters.
The result was a cold shower for those who went to the polls moved by the spirit of the 2011 and 2019 demonstrations. They called for an expansion of State action in areas such as retirement, education, health and housing — demands that are currently limited by the liberal character of the Constitution in force.
Since then, public opinion on the process of reforming the country’s Constitution has been divided. Although around 80% of Chileans voted to draft a new text in 2020, they have become more cautious in the face of growing political polarization, economic stagnation and rising crime.
At the same time, the most recent survey by the Cadem institute indicated that 34% of voters plan to vote in favor of the new text. This is the highest pro-Constitution percentage to be recorded since May.
“As we get closer to the plebiscite, the difference narrows. People are paying more attention and learning what the document is about,” says political analyst Kenneth Bunker. “My gut feeling is that the gap will continue to close and that this will be a closer election than we anticipated.”
If the new Constitution is rejected, the current text, which dates back to the dictatorship implemented from 1973 to 1990, will remain. The government of left-wing President Gabriel Boric has said it does not plan a third attempt, and 58% of voters surveyed also said they were against yet another proposal to rewrite the Constitution.