Marta Lagos on voting in the upcoming September 4th plebiscite on a new Chilean constitution. Voting this time is mandatory.
HAVANA TIMES – With only 11 days to go before the plebiscite on September 4, the director of Latinobarómetro, Marta Lagos, discussed in a conversation with El Mostrador what she estimates the turnout will be in the vote that will define whether Chile will have or not a new Constitution.
Lagos said there is an “invisible” mobilization of the population for the vote. “In this plebiscite, as Andrés Tagle (president of Servel, the electoral authority) said on recent day, 12 million people have consulted where they vote. It gives the impression that there is a great invisible mobilization regarding the awareness of having to vote, because it is a compulsory vote. Likewise, because it is seen as an emblematic election,” he said.
In the highly contested runoff presidential election in December 2021 a total of 8.3 Chileans participated with the vote being voluntary.
While on the one hand the polls give the Reject option as the winner, Lagos explains that there is a “great invisible mobilization” that could move the needle regarding the voting results.
Andres Tagle noted, “for this plebiscite, 12 million people have consulted where they vote. It gives the impression that there is a great invisible mobilization regarding the awareness of having to vote, because it is a compulsory vote and also because it is an emblematic election,” he said.
“If 12 million people vote, we are facing a participatory revolution. That is, this would be an equivalent of what happened on October 5, 1988 (when 97.6% of the registered voters went to the polls) in the sense that it would be an immensely democratic act,” he added.
Reinforcing this idea, Lagos maintained that if that number of people go to the polls, “the result doesn’t matter.”
“If 12 million Chileans vote it will be a triumph for democracy. It doesn’t matter which option wins, because we will have achieved that people vote who have never done so before or who voted very rarely in the last 15 years when voting was voluntary. It would mean that we finally managed to get those people to participate,” she said.
“When the people manifest themselves and there is sovereignty, democracy works. If 12 million people vote, the result doesn’t matter, it will be a triumph of democracy,” Lagos repeated.