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October 26, 2019

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"Which begs the question of why smart Chilean politicians don’t have the same impression that I do?"

Could it be that they were able to get away with enabling such inequality for so long that they assumed they always could?

You are missing the obvious: the electoral system. The binomial electoral system. Those guys who wrote that constitution for the old dictator were no fools. So, actually, yes: that constitution has to go.

There is another thing that constitutional reform will not cure, but time might. That is the continued impact of the dictatorship itself on contemporary political allegiances. I had a paper a few years back on that: it was, of course, a purely theoretical piece, we barely mentioned Chile. But I wrote it thinking of Chile (and Spain). Read it and let’s write a less boring sequel together :)

I believe Chile abolished the binomial system in 2015; both chambers are now elected from multi-member districts using the D'Hondt rule. Sadly, though, six regions keep the binomial system due to insufficient population.

Let's write that paper! Have you read Victor Menaldo's book on authoritarian transitions?

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