The referendum is generally regarded as the most important vote in Chile since the end of the right-wing military dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet and the return to democracy in 1990. The convention would up to a year to draft the document and pass it with a two-thirds majority. Chile’s constitutional referendum last month was its most important vote since the country transitioned to democracy in 1989. Chile’s protests have now brought the country to a historic crossroads: an Oct. 25 referendum on rewriting the country’s constitution. Meanwhile, protests continue, and will hit the month mark next week. In recent weeks, Chileans have been coming together to discuss the crisis, problems and potential solutions in “cabildos” – grassroots assemblies and discussion groups. Even as poverty fell, 30% of the national population still lives on the edge, the World Bank said. If anyone wondered what became of the fury that shook Latin America’s pre-pandemic streets, Chileans have an answer. A read of the crowded streets, however, suggests these laurels are an optical illusion and the policies that wrought them are now in peril. Whether woke Chileans will go for anything less than a total reset is a tougher call. Reuters. Chile to tear up Pinochet-era constitution after landmark referendum New charter to replace guiding principles imposed four decades ago under the military dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet Managing the aspirations — and the inevitable frustrations to follow — is a job for political leadership. Chile to scrap Pinochet-era constitution after landslide referendum vote Oct. 25, 2020 at 7:46 pm Updated Oct. 25, 2020 at 8:24 pm Back to story Restart gallery “Whether politicians are right-wing or left-wing, it’s the same.”. “This is an historic night for Chile,” Senate president Jaime Quintana said during a joint announcement by ruling and opposition party leaders early Friday, hours before dawn. Chileans want to crack the code and create a welfare state. If … “We have been silent for so many years,” Luz Castillo, a longtime social movement activist, told Al Jazeera. Chile’s President Sebastian Piñera hailed the results of a national referendum held to scrap a dictatorship-era constitution as a “triumph” for democracy. Part of the problem with Chile’s existing charter is pedigree: It was written in 1980, when Chile was under the boot of Augusto Pinochet (1973 – 1990), the region’s iconic military dictator. “The framers of Brazil’s constitution wanted to pack it with all the rights the dictatorship had voided,” said Felipe Camargo of Oxford Economics. “The people have risen up,” he told Al Jazeera. “The initial plebiscite is put off for five more months in order to cool down the social upheaval and have time for campaigns of terror,” Modatima wrote in a statement Friday. Chile has never held a constitutional assembly. But the news has also been met with trepidation, critique and outright rejection, particularly by social movements. Trump’s Republicans Are a Faction, Not a Party, A Letter From 9 Million U.S. Expats to Janet Yellen. “There is so much inequality,” said Castillo. The privately managed pension system that protestors pilloried as a totem of avarice and exclusion represented assets worth 81% of gross domestic product in 2019. But the government’s plan was for the work to be done in Congress, and was widely rejected. If Chile successfully drafts a new, inclusive social contract that balances competing interests, and if a popular majority approves that constitution in a referendum scheduled for 2022, Chile … She carried a large marionette she calls “Lulita Love”, a schoolgirl with a sign calling for just education. The country’s moneyed classes may think of their sky-scrapered capital as Sanhattan, but they are surrounded by less sightly boroughs. This sounds reasonable. Should the process move forward, citizen elections to the convention would take place in October 2020, alongside local and regional elections. A mother of six and guardian of another six nieces and nephews, Castillo does not trust politicians to understand or act in the interests of the population, and she was far from alone. Castillo has been participating in protests since they began and she stands out in the crowd in Antofagasta. But the tradition of temperance that set Chileans apart from their continental coevals has weakened. “Our generation did not have spaces for these kinds of open discussions,” he said. “This is a struggle for all of us.”. On October 18, they engaged in mass fare evasion actions, shutting down subway stations. “It’s the sentiment that Chile is run by an entrenched elite who take turns at the helm, in a country with stubbornly high levels of inequality,” economist Daniel Lansberg-Rodriguez, who teaches at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, told me. For Modatima, the Water, Land and Environmental Defence Movement, among many other objections, the timeline itself is also cause for concern. Distribution does not reach the majority,” said Eduardo Rojas, a dockworker union leader in Antofagasta, a city 1,400km (870 miles) north of the capital. We don’t just need more regulations and mandates. Often held in plazas and parks, people of all ages organise neighbourhood discussion sessions, and union and social movements host thematic assemblies. “The original parameters for Chilean pensions are obsolete. Protests continued on Friday, and so did police crackdowns. But it’s in keeping with an excitable region where distrust in elected officialdom and the democratic contract is running high — a sentiment manifested in what Lansberg-Rodriguez calls Wiki Constitutionalism, whereby the highest laws are published and shredded with alarming regularity. Hence, it was up to the markets to deliver services such as higher education, health, housing and pensions. This Sunday, Hinrichs will finally have a chance to help condemn the dictatorship-era constitution to history, when Chile holds a national referendum which … Hold the tear gas and water cannons. Instead, Chileans learned that savings rise or tank with the markets, life expectancy has soared and at least 29% of laborers still draw their livelihoods from the parlous informal economy. The pace-setting economy also toppled the poverty rate from 36% in 2000 to 8.6% in 2017. In some cases, members of military and police forces have been arrested for abuses, including homicide. We need to expand solidarity coverage for the middle class and include informal workers, who have been left behind,” Fernando Larrain, director general of Chile’s privately run association of pension funds, told me. Chile was due for a reckoning. But a more enduring solution is supposed to come from a referendum, to be held on October 25th, on whether Chile should scrap its constitution and write a new one. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners. There’s never a good time to do it, but it’s occasionally unavoidable. ‘An End to the Chapter of Dictatorship’: Chileans Vote to Draft a New Constitution Voters overwhelmingly approved a bid to scrap the charter inherited from … We need clearer information on how the virus works so that we can avoid it. More sessions are already being organised in different parts of the country to discuss the official announcement, constitutional process and next steps. A constitutional overhaul is a hard turn for a market-friendly culture anchored in stability and dependable rules. While requiring people to save for their own pensions was a bold idea, the system presupposed a society where steady work and good jobs were abundant, return on investment robust and the population grayed only gradually. In a referendum on Sunday, 78 percent of voters backed constitutional overhaul, a stinging rebuke of the constitution dating from the 1973-1990 dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. The cabildos can play a role in fomenting a new culture in Chile and in reclaiming plazas and other public spaces, said Retamales. Sadly, that’s another Latin American asset in short supply. English Exceptionalism Is a Big Brexit Hurdle, Irrational Exuberance Hits the Oil Market, The Vaccines That Could Use a Shot in the Arm, capture of public institutions by private interest, 29% of laborers still draw their livelihoods from the parlous informal economy. There is no indication that gender parity or indigenous representation will be taken into account. On Sunday, they voted by a 78% majority to greenlight a new constitution and, by a like margin, for an independently elected body to do the rewrite. We Just Have to Be Patient. Chile is a World Bank high-income economy with high living standards. “All the structural inputs for a mass rejection of the status quo are there.”. The government decreed a state of emergency and deployed the military, but mass demonstrations and other actions against the country’s political and economic model grew. The announcement was hailed as a victory by some and critiqued and rejected by others. Among the 411 chapters of Bolivia’s 2009 constitution is one giving voters the right to elect top court judges, a world first. After last year's social protests, it was decided to consult citizens if … One in five Chileans aged 60 and older live in poverty. The first round of protests was triggered by a four-cent hike in subway fares but morphed into a broader manifestation of anger over inequality. 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