Sunday, October 2, 2022

Interventionism, the claim that complicates Boric before a constitutional referendum

Santiago, Chile. – This is a concept that always emerges in election after election, but today it is the fashionable term in Chile and its government Gabriel Boric In the middle of a debate that has already conditioned his agenda and put him in an uncomfortable position.

when there are less than 20 days left the referendum that will define whether the country opts for a new constitution And replaced in 1980 under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, the ghost of interventionism settled in Chilean public opinion. The main condemnation was directed towards alleged attempts to influence the vote in favor of approval, with a series of allegations by the opposition faction against the government’s management of the process’s information campaign.

“We are working very calmly in front of the citizens. Our role is to inform, to give the full text, so that people can participate and to reiterate that there is no crime against us, There is no interference, but there is an active role of the governmentBecause we are the only entity that is contributing to this matter today”, replied the Minister of the Interior, Izkia Siches, in relation to complaints received by La Moneda in recent weeks.

Indigenous Mapuche Maria Valdivia Calfuquir wears a button that points to "I approve" (file, archive)
Indigenous Mapuche Maria Valdivia puts a button pointing to Calfuquir “I Approv” (archive)

The claims, which have spread to some municipalities and various public departments, were centralized in the management of the political committee that surrounded Borik and in the deployment that the government itself has made when it comes to disseminating the text of the constitutional proposal.

In fact, this week the Seventh Guarantee Court in Santiago declared admissible a complaint filed by Republican Party deputy Juan Irrazaval, for the alleged offense of embezzlement of public money In the printing of more than 700 thousand copies of what could become the new fundamental law.

Added to this offensive was a report previously issued from the office of the Comptroller General of the Republic, warning that the Presidency’s minister, Giorgio Jackson, “didn’t adjust for primacy” Declaring that it would enter into an agreement on constitutional reforms between the official parties in the event of winning approval.

The Comptroller’s Office vacated a report showing Minister Jackson a yellow card. That opinion An important observation towards non-compliance of the principle of disregard is That the government should face a referendum,” said Mauricio Morales, a political analyst and academic at the University of Talca.

“Now interventionism is somewhat more serious, as it implies the use of public resources for political purposes. By making this distinction, It must be emphasized that the government is risking its life in this referendum from a political and ideological point of view. A defeat would mean the collapse of the entire constitutional process that today’s government coalition so decisively promoted”, said the expert.

The condemnation also upset President Gabriel Borik himself, who criticized him after declaring that if the new constitution was ratified, he would no longer leave. “To rely on the historical veto of the right”. “The president insists on being the generalissimo of approval,” alleged Claudio Salinas of Casa Ciudadana Por el Rezzo.

For Juan Pablo Araya, political analyst and O’Higgins, professor at the State University of La Moneda “It has been on the edge of political interventionism.”

Members of the Constitutional Convention celebrate after the final vote on constitutional reforms on June 14 (File).
Members of the Constitutional Convention celebrate after the final vote on constitutional reforms on June 14 (File).

“The government has understood that a major part of the mandate of these four years is at stake in these elections. If rejection wins, which is by far the most probable, the implementation of the program is going to be difficult. This is why this referendum is so important on the part of the government, for which they have risked their political capital with allegations of interference, but they are clear that the most important thing for their interests is the need for a new constitution. Approval,” said the analyst.

Meanwhile, Alejandro San Francisco, director of the Institute for History of the University of San Sebastian, pointed out that the phenomenon is mixed. “A clear need to inform the population” and a “desire to influence people to value the acceptance option”.

“The opposition alleges that there will be election interference, as the deployment of the ruling party has been much higher this past month than in the earlier months of management, But it is normal in this type of electoral processAs was the case before the proclamations of the 1925 and 1980 constitutions, San Francisco reported.

Given the agitated political landscape, government parties issued a joint statement to address the opposition’s offensive and counter the series of complaints.

For his part, Fernando García-Nadaf, an academic at the School of Political Science at the University of Diego Portals, highlights the peculiarities of Chile’s electoral process. “This is unprecedented and special, and it needs to be communicated to the people. Nothing is more serious than a democracy with a voter who doesn’t know who to vote forAnd this is a mandate from the government regardless of political colour,” he said.

“though the government” running on the brink In terms of interference, they have been very careful not to fall into the trap and more notoriously could have done so. Sometimes a statement can survive, but if you stick to the facts, you are on a necessary path, unless they tell you that you have to vote for one option or the other,” says García-Nadaf. he said.

Gabriel Boric signs a draft of the proposed constitution on July 21, 2022 (File)
Gabriel Boric signs a draft of the proposed constitution on July 21, 2022 (File)

Overall, the polls remain in favor of the rejection option, although the distance between the two options has narrowed in recent weeks. According to the August 14 Plaza Publica de Cadem study, 46% of those consulted would reject the new constitutional text, while 38% would accept it. The undecided, meanwhile, remains at 16%.

“It is quite paradoxical that less than a year after President Gabriel Borik won the election, the option he is supporting does not have a majority of civil approval. Another effect if he wins repulsion is that President will have to make deep cabinet changes And the government will have to negotiate with the opposition to prepare a new constitutional proposal,” said analyst Juan Pablo Araya.

“If rejection wins, the most complicated thing will be to deal with the mandate that the people have already ordered and that is tied to the fact that there should be a constitutional changeA fact that has a consensus even among Chile’s political elite”, said UDP academic Fernando García-Nadaf.

Another aspect that has generated controversy relates to the economic contribution that each command has received amid the rise in campaign temperatures. According to the latest records published by the Chilean Electoral Service, and as of this Wednesday, the number of legal contributions to the disapproval campaign was close to $1,370,000; Nearly four times the approval contribution, which has so far reached more than $352,000.

Nation World News Desk
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