2 Million Plus Protest Election

Sunday’s election for a new Chilean Constitutional Congress showed major dissent. A full 20% of the ballots were blank or purposely invalid. Of 15 million eligible voters in this mandatory election, only 12 million cast their votes. The right is claiming victory, since they won a majority of the seats in the 50-person congress. However, a 20% vote of no confidence, a total of 2 million votes, cannot be labeled a victory for democracy or any political party.

Since the political party of President Boric won no seats in this election, the conservatives are saying this was a vote against his policies. By that logic, the election was a referendum on the importance of Native Nations within Chile.

As highlighted in What Will Chile Do? last week, the indigenous Chilean population loses the most in the far right’s push to minimize their political influence. Instead of 17 indigenous representatives in the 2022 proceedings, there is only one person in 2023. The Native Nations comprise 12% of the Chilean population, so this change is not proportionally correct; six would be.

All this is troubling, if the facts are laid bare, but unbiased information about the election results is difficult to find in English and Spanish. The Chilean media is ultra conservative and in very few hands. In Chile the story is of a conservative victory, and the English press merely parrots that untruth.

Before the ballots were cast, I asked what Chileans would do and here we have the answer. In the case of an unfair, tightly controlled constitution process, people will risk the fines staying at home or will dare to nullify their vote in protest. That is not a Chilean Republican win. The numbers say otherwise.

I welcome your comments.

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Chilean Flag. Photo: R. Cuningham

2+ millones protestan elección

En la elección dominguera para elegir el nuevo congreso constituyente, los chilenos demostraron disconformidad con el proceso. Un pleno 20% de las papeletas de voto eran blancas o nulas de propósito. De 15 millones electores potenciales en este voto mandatorio, sólo 12 millones votaron. La derecha está celebrando su victoria, como ganaron la mayoría de los asientos en el congreso de 50 personas. Pero, un 20% eran votos de censura, unos 2 millones de votos, que no se puede construir como una victoria ni para la democracia, ni para ningún partido político.

Como el partido político del Presidente Boric no ganó ningún asiento en esta elección, los conservadores dicen que era un voto de censura en contra de él. Pero, por este tipo de lógica, la elección era un voto de censura en contra de las naciones nativas chilenas.

Como dice el artículo de la semana previa, ¿Qué hará Chile? (What Will Chile Do?), la población chilena indígena es la que más pierde en estas acciones de la ultraderecha de disminuir la influencia política suya. En vez de 17 representantes indígenas en los procedimientos de 2022, hay una sola en 2023. Las naciones nativas son 12% de la población chilena, así este cambio no es correcto proporcionalmente. Debe ser al menos 6.

Todo eso es inquietante, mirando bien a las cifras, pero información imparcial sobre los resultados de la elección es muy difícil de encontrar en español e inglés. Los medios masivos chilenos están en muy pocas manos y son muy conservadores. En Chile, la historia oficial es había una victoria de la derecha, y la prensa anglosajona repite como perico está disimulación.

Antes del domingo, pregunté, ¿Qué hará Chile? y ahora tenemos la respuesta. En el caso de un proceso constituyente injusto y manipulado, la gente queda en casa no haciendo caso del riesgo de la multa o hacen el desafío de anular su voto como protesta. No es una victoria Republicana. Los números cuentan otra historia.

¿Qué piensas tu?

¡Olé! –Rebecca

Rebecca Cuningham

24 thoughts on “2 Million Plus Protest Election

      1. Thanks for asking, health blogger friend. 😉 My general outlook is good because the writing and translating are going well (more on that later thus week). I am walking with friends four days a week now! And I am gardening every day without pouring rain. I haven’t swum yet indoors because our weather is very pretty; 18Cis ideal for outdoor exercise. How about you?

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Democracy seems to be going out of fashion world-wide. Our contribution here in the UK is to demand voter ID. Election fraud is a virtually non-existent problem here, but the need for voter ID disenfranchises the poor above all, who often have neither passport or driving licence. Funnily enough, an older person’s travel card is accepted, but the same type of card, in the hands of a young voter, isn’t. I’ve sure this is nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that younger, and poorer voters may vote for left-leaning parties. Surely not.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your local examples of democracy challenges. We have recent voter id laws in the US as well, unfortunately. That despite very infrequent cases of fraud here as well. Yes, these laws do prevent people without economic means and marginalized groups from voting here as well. Not very democratic.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Denzil. It’s been a long road back to democracy after the coup in the 1970s. Without a new constitution written by the people, rather than solely one political party, we cannot say the Pinochet nightmare is over.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for your comments, Brenda. It was a real shock to see a newspaper of record like the Guardian not mention it at all. Likewise in Chile, the media focuses on the right wing “triumph.” The Chilean people found a very clever way to enact a peaceful protest, and they are not fooled by the official story.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The outcome is indeed troubling, although not surprising, based on your first article. Voting is an important civic responsibility that every eligible adult should take seriously but forcing/fining people to do so is not the answer.

    Liked by 1 person

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