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Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Chilean Voters Heavily Reject Radical, Far-Left Overhaul of Country’s Constitution

This wasn’t going to be a little bit of tinkering at the margins. A truly radical overhaul of the Chilean constitution and form of government was on the ballot in that country yesterday.  If it had been adopted, Chile would have been transformed into a left-wing dystopia, virtually overnight.  This almost reads like satire, but it was disturbingly real.  

The stakes were extremely high heading into Sunday’s plebiscite:

This vote come in the context of typically-conservative Colombia having recently elected its first-ever left-wing government — which seems like a poor choice, in light of what has happened next door in Venezuela.  The Chilean referendum was far more dramatic, as the New York Times paragraph highlighted above illustrates in stark language. It’s not an exaggeration to say that sanity prevailed when voters in the South American nation rejected this breathtaking extremism by a resounding margin.  

A disastrous result has been averted in the Western hemisphere, thanks to the voters of Chile, but the leftist government that pushed for adoption of the new constitution says it still has a mandate to dramatically alter or replace the country’s governing document:

“We are committed to creating conditions to channel that popular will and the path that leads us to a new constitution,” Cariola said. President Gabriel Boric, whose government is largely tied to the new text, said cabinet changes were coming and the government would work to draft another constitution…The president said he would work with congress and different sectors of society to draft another text with lessons from Sunday’s rejection. Center-left and right wing parties that promoted the reject campaign, have also agreed to negotiate to prepare a new text…The proposed text that voters rejected was a response to widespread violent protests that gripped the nation in late 2019 and focused on social rights, the environment, gender parity and indigenous rights, a sharp shift from its market-friendly constitution dating back to the Augusto Pinochet dictatorship…The latest polls before a two-week blackout showed rejectors ahead at 47%, compared with 38% for ‘yes’ and 17% undecided, but Sundays result beat polls by wide margin.

That’s an interesting note on polling, isn’t it?  It seems as though virtually all of the ‘undecided’ voters broke against assenting to the socialist experiment.  Finally — because we’re doing a foreign politics post, and in case you missed it — our cousins over in the UK have themselves a new Prime Minister (we wrote about the departure of Boris Johnson here): She’s Liz Truss, who served as Foreign Secretary under the Johnson government.  Truss was selected by the Tory party membership, and was seen as the more conservative of the two finalists.  She will become the country’s third female PM, all of whom have been Conservatives.  I’ll leave you with Truss reacting to her victory, as she prepares to move into Number 10 Downing Street:

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