Chileans Wanted a New Constitution but Negotiators Failed Them

The Negotiators

Oct 25 2022 • 32 mins

When Chileans were asked in a referendum in 2020 whether they wanted a new constitution, the response was overwhelming. The current one dated back to the rule of Augusto Pinochet, the military dictator who had stepped down more than three decades earlier. Nearly eighty percent of the population voted in favor of a negotiation that would lead to a new charter for the country. But the negotiation process—which included representatives from the left and right side of the political map, along with dozens of independents—was rocky from the start. Delegates introduced many lofty ideas but the actual give-and-take required to produce a consensus was missing. Voters rejected a draft of the new constitution in September—by a large margin. This week on our podcast, The Negotiators, we examine what went wrong, with the help of John Bartlett, a reporter based in Santiago, Chile. Bartlett covered the constitutional convention and interviewed many of the key players. The Negotiations is a collaboration between Doha Debates and Foreign Policy.

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