How the Far Left Paves the Way for the Far Right
In October 2022, Chileans elected a far-left constitutional convention which produced a text so bizarrely radical that nearly two-thirds of voters rejected it. Now Chileans have elected a new Constitutional Council and put a far-right party in the driver’s seat.
LONDON – In May 2021, Chileans elected a constitutional convention where the far left reigned supreme and the right had fewer than the one-third of the seats required to block controversial provisions. That convention produced a text so radical that nearly two-thirds of voters rejected it in a referendum. Now Chileans have elected a new Constitutional Council, but this time they put a far-right party in the driver’s seat, with the left controlling fewer than one-third of the votes.
What is going on? Have Chile’s famous cabernets and carménères gone to voters’ heads?
Global and regional trends are part of the answer. From Donald Trump in the United States to Narendra Modi in India, and from Viktor Orbán in Hungary to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in Turkey, right-wing populists with more-or-less overt authoritarian leanings have won big in many recent elections. Latin America, never a region to shun global fads, has caught on.