Many changes have occurred in recent times. Although Americans have largely focused on the presidential election and other national headlines, countries across the world underwent similar historical events themselves. The South American nation of Chile, in an attempt to unite the people and better their society, even voted to draft a new constitution.
Thousands of demonstrators inundated Chilean cities this past year. Tension brewed throughout the nation, most of which could be traced to one source: the Constitution of Chile. The famous protests began over an otherwise simple 3.75 percent fare increase for the public transit pesos. Many low-income Chileans were unable to afford the transportation increases. They grew furious over the changes, and the aforementioned protests soon ensued.
This fare increase represented a much larger problem, since Chile was ranked as one of the most unequal countries among thirty of the wealthiest nations. People demanded better health care, educational reforms, and higher annual incomes. They also argued that inequality had ravaged their country, given the recent wealth disparities and public transportation price increases.
The protests expanded over time. People expressed resentment for Chile’s current charter, which was drafted under a dictatorship without public support and then approved in a fraudulent matter. They saw it as a terrible reminder of Chile’s violent and suppressive old regime. However, during this October, Chile demonstrated the power of a functioning democracy. The people voted to replace the previous document and create a new one in its place. Voters approved the change in an overwhelming agreement, with seventy-eight percent of people voting in favor of a new constitution. The nation had answered the demands of its people. Chile sought to repair its government instead of defending past actions.
The Chilean vote to draft a new constitution will transform their national politics. During these chaotic and unknowable times, it has been difficult for Americans to consider the plight of other nations. Nonetheless, as citizens of the world as a whole, people must strive to understand their neighbors and educate themselves on international affairs. Chile united as a country and voted in support of a remarkable change, which should inspire the United States today.
Bonnefoy, Pascale. “'An End to the Chapter of Dictatorship': Chileans Vote to Draft a New Constitution.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 25 Oct. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/10/25/world/americas/chile-constitution-plebiscite.html.
Check, Reality. “Chile Protests: Is Inequality Becoming Worse?” BBC News, BBC, 21 Oct. 2019, www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-50123494.
About the Author:
Kaitlyn Donato is a high school student from Winchester, MA. In her sophomore year, Kaitlyn recognized that there were too few magazines focused on writing for and by young women, and decided to create The Alcott Youth Magazine. With the magazine, she hopes to publish inspirational writing for all young people to enjoy.