There are 33 days left for the constituent plebiscite on September 4 in Chile, where citizens will have to decide whether to prove or reject the proposed text of the new Constitution, after a year’s work carried out by the Constitutional Convention.
The latest Cadem poll, this Sunday, gave as a result an advantage of 10 points of voting intention of Rejection over Approval, with 48% and 38% of the preferences respectively.
The elections are marked by the disinformation and endless legal interpretations of rules that have made it difficult for citizens to follow the debate.
In that context, the government decided to launch a communication campaign called “Chile Vota Informado”, which contemplates the distribution of more than 900,000 copies of the constitutional proposal.
The president of Chile, Gabriel Boric, launched an information campaign on the plebiscite for the new Constitution. Photo: AFP
However, from the opposition they accuse the government of using the distribution of texts to campaign in favor of the I prove option.
The government’s position
Since March, the government of Gabriel Boric has established a clear position in which has anchored the success of his management to the proval of the text, a correlation that has become symbiotic. In fact, the same opinion polls show that when the president’s proval rises, so does the I prove option and vice versa.
To understand why it generates a stir in Chile that the government may be expressing its opinion, it should be noted that in this country there is a principle as old as the republic: that of dispensation.
Under this principle, no official can use public resources or their working hours to favor an electoral option. To be clearer, in Chile there have already been great controversies over events that would not be so in another country, such as a minister attending a campaign event in a ministry vehicle, even when it is outside of his working hours.
For each electoral process, the Office of the Comptroller General of the Republic issues instructions to officials and institutions on the scope of the preemption. It is these instructions that, in the opinion of the opposition, would be being breached under the pretext of delivering copies of the document.
From the conservative Independent Democratic Union, its president, Senator Javier Macaya, asked the government to deliver several hundred thousand of the 900,000 copies that he ordered to be printed so that they can be distributed by them, as another power of the State (Senators, Deputies of the opposition). However, there has been no response.
Thus, last week -and for the first time in the country’s democratic history- the Comptroller’s Office inspected the Palacio de La Moneda on the ground for a accusation of electoral interventionism. Although the results of the expert opinions could arrive after the plebiscite, the level of involvement of the executive with the cause of the Approval is a subject of discussion in radio and television programs.
Gabriel Boric, in the presentation of the “Chile votes informed” campaign, days ago. Photo: AFP
The president’s plan B
Gabriel Boric, aware of the difficulties that his management would face if he wins the Rejection, has taken several actions to order his ranks and make a vote against the text “more difficult”. The president has already indicated that, if he wins that option, he will launch a new Convention, pointing to the tiredness of the citizens regarding the issue. A strategy that, although it messed up the opposition at first, lost its effect as days went by.
The studies in the Palacio de La Moneda indicate the same as those of the bunkers: the election will be defined by the moderateswho are not in agreement with the proposed text or with the current constitution.
Thus, if the Rejection proposes restarting the process to make “a better one”, the young Chilean president publicly summoned his supporters to agree a battery of reforms to the proposal, so that the moderates see in the Approval a certainty that the text will be improved.
However, the campaign is already entering its final stretch. On Sunday, the electoral slot will be released, the television space guaranteed by Chilean legislation to publish political spots of the options. At the same time, the teams are deployed throughout the country to improve territorial coverage.
While the Approval focuses on regions, where it has better performance, the Rejection seeks to neutralize its competitor in the Metropolitan Region, the stronghold that gave Boric his wide electoral victory.