Chile voters will decide whether to approve a new proposed constitution today.
The draft would transform Chile’s current constitution—originally drafted during the Pinochet dictatorship—from one that unequivocally champions the free market to one that protects the more vulnerable aspects of society, including social and gender equality, the rights of indigenous communities and the environment. The updated document would significantly impact the economy of the world’s largest copper producer.
While nearly 80% of Chileans voted to draft a new constitution in 2020, polls show as many as 51% disapprove of the current draft. The drop in support can be attributed to a final product more radical than Chileans anticipated—including broader pension and congressional reforms—and political squabbling.
The thin polling margin makes it difficult to predict with certainty the constitutional draft’s passage. Whichever outcome Chileans decide, expect a close vote. Should the proposal pass, it will radically transform Chilean society and cement South America’s ongoing leftward drift as more than a reactionary political fad. Further, the reverberations it will send through the global copper and lithium mining industries will likely raise prices. Should it fail, it would be a major setback for progressive President Gabriel Boric and force legislators back to the drawing board.
Jon is a Content Editor and Analyst within the Analysis division of Foreign Brief.