Chile is full bore into constitutional revision. Michael Albertus had this opinion in Foreign Policy, a critique of Chile’s new constitution. Here is an excerpt:
The news for establishment politics in Chile just went from bad to worse. The results from this past weekend’s election to choose delegates for a new constitutional assembly were a shock to the government: It failed to gain the one-third of total seats needed to block proposals for the new constitution. For all intents and purposes, Chile is now set to rebuild its democracy from the ground up. The country could build a model of social democracy for the region, but the process also has real risks.
It marks a radical departure from recent decades. The country’s current constitution was written during the military rule of Augusto Pinochet in 1980. As with authoritarian constitutions in many countries, it outlasted Pinochet’s fall and Chile’s transition to democracy.
Many view Pinochet’s constitution as the original sin to Chilean democracy. The constitution protected the military and its authoritarian allies during the democratic transition; it gave Senate seats to top military figures, gave the military the authority to choose the head of the armed forces, and directed 10 percent of the country’s enormous copper revenues into the military budget; it banned extreme left parties and created an electoral system that overrepresented conservative parties; and it provided amnesties to Pinochet and other generals. And in spite of a series of progressive reforms in the 2000s, it is still widely viewed to favor conservative elites, business, and the military.
Read the full article here.