May 30, 2023

East Valley Times

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Unexpected Victory in Chile’s Referendum: Did the Preferential Vote Distort the People’s Will?

Being a commander after a war is easy. We all make mistakes -Las political actors, Researchers and surveys – in understanding the preferences of Chileans, this led to Landslide Trump 62% “reject” New Constitution.

120 days ago All polls gave “rejection” as the winner, And in the week leading up to the election, all pollsters revised their estimates downward, to between 4 and 6 percentage point advantages. No one mentions the possibility of giving victory by a margin of more than twenty percent. A leading pollster said the night before the vote The election was “open”. Polls missed by more than 12 percentage points, 18 points higher than the actual outcome of the just-ended election. 22 Benefits of “Rejection”.

After the war comes the light. This failure of the new constitution can be easily explained with three statistics. First shows that 7,882,958 Chileans chose “No”, with compulsory voting on September 4, 2022 with 85% turnout. In second place, A voluntary referendum allowed the Constitutional Convention to be elected with the votes of 6,467,978 Chileans. (43% turnout) in May 2021 (7,500,000 Chileans did not vote). Finally, in December 2021, The people of Chile elected Gabriel Borique as their president (by voluntary vote) with 4,620,671 votes. and 55.6% electoral participation (the highest electoral participation achieved under voluntary voting).

Celebration of the groups that rejected the new constitutionMartin Bernetti – AFP

In Sunday’s exit poll, all Chileans voted simultaneously for the first time since 1988. Has voluntary voting since 2012 distorted popular will? Everyone’s popular choice is completely different from the previous parts. The first contradiction. Chile elected the most progressive president in its history since 1990 and told him six months later that it did not like the new constitution it was proposing.

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How progressive is Chile? A circumstantial majority electing the framers of a constitution that was later rejected? That is what has been established in the collective imagination since then Beginning of the Constitutional Convention. On the same day a rejectionist campaign began by the largest minority grouping the right-wing parties.

We found it For 62% of the country, representatives do not “represent”.

A couple who supported the new constitution after the results were known
A couple who supported the new constitution after the results were knownMartin Bernetti – AFP

The draft constitution did not reflect the composition of the parties elected in the 2021 legislative elections, where 47% voted on the electoral roll (7,072,288 votes). The House of Representatives was divided into two (Official/Contrary).

This Sunday’s 62% vote in favor of “rejecting” was inconsistent with the composition of the chamber. All of them are different representations of the electorate: Convention, Parliament, Presidential Election, Exit Referendum.

The crisis of representation was not resolved by a “no” vote; A “no” vote is the epitome of crisis.

The voluntary vote established in 2012 attempted to resolve the representation crisis It was manifesting itself in declining electoral participation since the late 1990s. Unfortunately deepened it, This situation came to an end this Sunday Consequences of knowing the votes of all and the votes of few.

A mandatory referendum in which the people of Chile decide whether to approve or reject a new constitution.
A mandatory referendum in which the people of Chile decide whether to approve or reject a new constitution.Cristobal Escobar – AB

Distrust against democratic institutions was fueled in 1996 with a crisis of representation. The demand for a new constitution was impossible to pass through Parliament; It never had the majority required by the 1980 constitution. Home Minister in 2018 Sebastian Piñera, Andrés Chadwick, almost 30 years after the start of the democratic transition, confirmed that the “right” did not want a “new constitution”, generating a round of applause at the annual meeting of businessmen. When the world believed that we were an oasis in Latin America, the first right-wing government ended in 2014, with 70% of the country “stagnant”.

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This result implies that The Left has called for a social explosion in 2019, Opportunity to make simultaneous changes. Will be given A menu beyond ordering. This is an important part of the crisis of representation. What changes, at what pace, with what elements?

The decision offers no solution to the future conundrums of the President and the Leaders of the Opposition, who act as “representatives” of 62% of the people. Could a social table of political and social actors, a “grand coalition” be put together to prevent new rejection? How to do it so as not to repeat the mistake?

The author is the founder of Latinobarometro and consulting firm MORI Chile.