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Chile: The Return of Rationality?

Chile: ¿el retorno de la racionalidad?, EFE

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For many media and social media influencers, the results of the referendum in Chile are the start of the defeat of the so-called socialism of the 21st century and its launching platform, the Sao Paulo Forum. These opinions are unsubstantiated and tend to confuse the current situation with the political structures of Latin America.

These three characteristics create a sort of super structure that every time the political pendulum swings to one extreme, the super structure starts the correction process. It happened with Allende. It happened with Pinochet, and now it is happening with Boric. The draft constitution presented to Chileans, far from enhancing society’s achievements, threatened to destroy them. And that does not fit with the institutional framework and culture of Chileans.

Boric, for his part, took up the challenge of defeat with statesmanship and will once again attempt a constitutional change that will surely reflect popular sentiment, which is summarized as change with stability. And, as on other occasions in Chilean life, the radical movements will possibly abandon ship and begin to sow dissent. And there, we will see how much statesmanship President Boric has to know to resist their extremes and nurture the process of change desired by the center. In short, Boric will confront his alternative in bullfighting terms.

However, the process and its results point to a different path for Latin Americans. The path of the construction of the center to give body to democracy. And there many will see, including Brazil and Argentina, that investments in education and training are the most certain way to give stability to a democratic regime. This lesson was made clear in the results of the Chilean vote. The support for the constitutional text was mostly granted by people from the lower educational strata for whom politics are emotions. And that is why they vote without analyzing the consequences.

The attribute of weighing consequences is called rationality and is acquired with education. But even those who do not vote rationally will see their lives benefit from Chile’s democratic stability. And the episode may make the whole continent understand that only investments in education and health and the creation of remunerative jobs will strengthen democracy and bring stability. Because these investments are the seedbeds of rationality.

This article is part of an agreement between El American and the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.

Beatrice Rangel es directora del Interamerican Institute for Democracy, Managing Director de AMLA Consulting, responsable de negociar e implementar estrategias y adquisiciones de inversión corporativas en América Latina y el Caribe. Exmiembro ejecutivo de Wharton School de la Universidad de Pennsylvania // Beatrice Rangel is Director of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy, Managing Director of AMLA Consulting, responsible for negotiating and implementing corporate investment strategies and acquisitions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Former Executive Fellow of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

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