A constitution is another word for a country’s rule book—it’s a set of rules that guides how a country works. The United States Constitution was signed in 1787 and, while there might be ratifications or amendments, the constitution itself remains unchanged.
But what happens when a country decides to alter its entire constitution? That’s exactly what happened in Chile! People voted to change the constitution that was first put in place by Augusto Pinochet in 1980, because it was considered restrictive to Chilean people’s freedom. The constitution was criticized for worsening inequalities in Chilean society as well as allowing many corrupt practices to take place.
In October 2020, many Chilean people voted to change the constitution, and many of them were new, young voters making their voices heard for the first time. And the result? A whopping 78 percent voted to change it! A new constitution isn’t easy to create, and it can’t solve the country’s many problems, but it’s a sign that Chile wants a fresh start.