Chile: Setting The Stage

Setting The Stage

The government and the opposition both claimed victory, but democracy was the real winner last week as Chileans voted overwhelmingly to institute 54 reforms to the 1980 constitution. A lopsided majority of 85.7% of the voters approved the measures, which clear the way for an elected government. Among them: legalization of nonviolent Marxist parties, ratification of all international human-rights laws signed by the Chilean government, and a simplified process of enacting future reforms. Only 8.2% of the voters rejected the reforms, while a mere 6.3% abstained.

But Chileans still have their history to worry about. Fernando Matthei, the moderate commander in...

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