January 29, 2023
Chile votes in a referendum to decide whether to adopt a new constitution: see major proposed changes |  Globalism

Chile votes in a referendum to decide whether to adopt a new constitution: see major proposed changes | Globalism

On Sunday (4) Chileans will vote in a referendum to decide whether to adopt a new constitution in the country.

The process for reaching the referendum began in 2019, when the country experienced a wave of demonstrations. Political action intensified on the country’s streets after the police suppressed the protests (in the end, 34 people died). On that occasion, and in response to the protests, the government decided to hold a vote on a new Constituent Assembly. The Chileans decided, yes, a new text should be drafted.

Chile goes to the polls to write a new constitution

Here are the most sensitive changes suggested by the 178-page text, 388 articles and 57 transitional rules, which must be approved or rejected in a referendum by the country’s more than 15 million voters.

If the new constitutional text is approved, rights and standards will be subject to the drafting of complementary statutes in Congress.

An employee of the municipal government of Providencia, Chile, near a poster about the referendum to vote on the country’s new constitution (Photo: Martin Bernetti/AFP)

The state must provide goods and services

The current charter was enacted in 1980, and is the basis of liberal economic policies. It states that the state must “contribute to creating social conditions” for the realization of people, but cannot engage in any commercial activity.

Describes the current proposal Chile As a “social and democratic state of law”, it must provide goods and services to ensure people’s rights.

The current constitution divides Congress between the House of Representatives and the Senate. The latter can improve the work of deputies.

Proposed Constitution He eliminates the Senate and creates two houses “Asymmetrical” power: the House of Representatives to make laws and the Council of Provinces only for laws referring to regional agreements, without the weight that the current Senate had hitherto had.

The draft constitution proposes a comprehensive national health system. This has been a central issue in Chilean society in recent years because the majority of the middle class pays exorbitant costs for health services.

Today, all formal workers must, compulsorily, allocate 7% of their salaries to health. It is possible to choose a completely private plan, but this monthly payment often does not fully cover expenses incurred by illness, surgery, or medication. So you have to pay extra fees.

Only the highest paid employees can afford the special plans, which are expensive.

The new text states that mandatory health expenditures are 100% for the public system and that additional private health plans can be contracted.

Critics of the idea believe that this proposal will lead to the collapse of the public health system that serves 80% of the population.

With regard to pensions, since the 1980 constitution, pensions are based exclusively on worker contributions to private pension funds that pay pensions below the minimum wage of $400 and are 60% lower than the last salary.

The proposal proposes a public social security system, funded by workers and employers.

The proposed constitution provides for the right to adequate housing and the state must guarantee basic services, an appropriate location, and adequate space. The goal is to organize social housing and to make improvements to the popular buildings, which include hundreds of apartments, overcrowded and overcrowded.

The country is currently suffering from a deficit of more than 500,000 social housing, and the new constitution aims to guarantee the right to housing through increased construction and formulas to solve the problem of the homeless.

The 1980 constitution protects the lives of the unborn. The right to voluntary termination of pregnancy was included in the new text.

Indigenous justice systems

The 1980 constitution does not refer to indigenous peoples, who represent 12.8% of Chile’s population.

The new text proposes the autonomy of indigenous peoples, recognizing 11 peoples and nations, but does not allow an attempt against the “unique and indivisible” character of a state Chile.

Among the most controversial points is the recognition of indigenous legal systems, but except that they must respect the constitution and international treaties and that the Supreme Court has the final say.

The new text offers a strong environmental focus, and has been hailed by international experts as a pioneer in recognizing the rights of nature, animals, and water protection as a human right.

Define the proposed constitution Chile As a parity democracy, women occupy at least 50% of the positions in state authorities and agencies.

If passed, it would be the first constitution in the world to do so.

The proposal seeks to ensure the necessary conditions for the development of all people and to overcome the stigma of patients with mental illness, including the right to an independent life for the benefit of neurodiversity and bifurcated people.

The permanent state concession, backed by the constitution in force since the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, stipulates that the management of water services must be undertaken by private companies.

This situation could change if the new Magna Carta, which establishes the universal right to water. The text states that the state guarantees “reasonable use of water.” It also changes property rights by “permits to use water to be granted by the National Water Agency, of a non-commercial nature, granted based on the actual availability of water and which will oblige the owner to justify its use.”

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