Chile: New Constitution Plebiscite, Rejection triumphs. First Conclusions

In the coming days we will have more insights to draw further reflections and conclusions from the elections in the exit plebiscite for a New Constitution, for now we outline some initial coordinates. Precarization of life and government response with a neoliberal continuist administration in the midst of a growing economic crisis encouraged a punishment vote, while the lack of popular participation and full respect for the Agreement for Peace in the Constitutional Convention contributed to give space for the right and conservative sectors.

By Movimiento Anticapitalista

A starting point to understand the current result is to analyze the ongoing period in which the social majorities are suffering the consequences of the brutal economic crisis that the country is going through with a historical inflation that impacts on the precariousness and high cost of living. This starting point is a reference for the political orientation that commands the government of Boric, the FA and the PC to manage the situation in the parameters of neoliberal logic and maintain the profit to an economically concentrated minority, this plan in turn is implemented based on a rhetorical and effective right-wing to sustain repression, political imprisonment and militarization in the Wallmapu, while the conservative sectors set the agenda on crime, migration and criminalization of the proposal. Thus, in the months of the “progressive” government there has not been any measure to counteract the onslaught of the crisis at the social level.

In parallel, during the whole constitutional process, the constituents fully respected the margins of the Agreement for Peace and the New Constitution, including independent sectors such as the Social Movements, removing from the text the most heartfelt demands such as the end of the AFPs or the recovery of common goods, justifying their action based on the supra-majority quorum of 2/3 to achieve “the dialogue to advance”, in that logic they emptied the popular participation that marked the most critical period of the implementation of the Constitutional Convention. This fact was the most negative because it denied the possibility of building a social force that, despite the contradictions, could have been constituted under the wing of the constitutional debates, strengthening a transformative perspective beyond the parliamentarism that prevailed.

These two flanks synthesized in that the relationship between the government and the constituent process is politically linked, added to the fact that the Social Movements’ conventions in the last stage of the campaign for the approval were unified with the Government Command, withdrawing to the second row of references and contributing even more to the relationship between constitutional change and government, thus widening the rejection to Boric and, therefore, to the New Constitution. At the same time, in the last campaign period, the FA with the PC together with the parties of the former Concertación led a new pact to limit even more the proposal of the Magna Carta, ingredients to open space to the right wing in the framework of the economic crisis. The government intends to deepen this path, now with a defeat on top of it, by calling for a new pact between the parties of the regime in the next few days to respond to the social tension and to channel a constituent proposal through the parliament.

In this context, the conservative sectors, by means of fake news and reactionary politics, converge the economic situation with the New Constitution, taking advantage of the electoral chronogram provided by the Peace Agreement to recompose themselves and run for an antagonistic vote with the government policy. The open flanks are always occupied and it is a fact that the most conservative sectors are strengthened with this result, although they have not been able to express that support in the streets and in a solid organization that could lead a definitive closing of the stage opened with the rebellion.

The numbers show 61.86% for the rejection option and 38.14% for the approval, a total participation of more than 85% inaugurating the obligatory nature of the vote. The time will come to analyze the numbers in detail, for now what is necessary is to strengthen that the fundamental conclusions are far from showing the end of a path but the opening of new political battles. Those of us who never lowered the banners of popular demands, who never ceased to insist on the need to put at the center a program at the service of the majorities and warned that the government policy and the constituent actors and actresses were leading to the concrete danger of electoral defeat, will continue to insist on the need to set up an anti-capitalist political force, with all those who have fought together for a different Chile,

 one that is anti-capitalist and built from the needs of the majorities. That fight is open, it will have necessary and quickly next episodes, today the task is to add wills so that the spirits of change are not diluted.