Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo Support for Chile’s new progressive constitution

Susan Sarandon and Mark Ruffalo signal high hopes that voters in Chile will approve a progressive constitution that guarantees housing and health care while providing special protections for the environment.

The two American actors took to Twitter this week to pledge their support for the proposed constitution ahead of September 4, when Chileans will decide whether to replace the current legal and political system, which is under military rule. The debate over the future of Chile’s constitution has drawn the attention of progressives worldwide for its feminist and environmental commitments, while conservatives fear it will be unworkable and hurt the economy.

“We’re looking to Chile… for the sake of all of us,” Sarandon said a tweet.

Ruffalo posted a video to Twitter, saying the document is better suited to “a new changing world. One that has more equality and humanity and thoughtfulness.”

Rally for Chile's new constitution
Demonstrators support the proposed new Chilean constitution on August 30, 2022 in Santiago, Chile. The country’s new law, which took a year to draft by an elected assembly of 154 members, is up for a referendum on September 4.
Javier TORRES/Getty Images

“The world looks to you as a role model to address climate change and the need for more democracy,” Ruffalo said.

Although Chile transitioned to democracy in the 1990s, many have criticized the country’s constitution for being written under the right-wing dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, which violently repressed political opponents. The doctrine enshrined under him emphasized free enterprise and private property, leading critics to say that this contributed to economic inequality.

After Santiago experienced a wave of demonstrations in October 2019 over an increase in subway fares, then-President Sebastian Pinera agreed to a 2020 referendum on whether the country should rewrite its constitution.

Chileans voted for an overhaul and last year elected a left-leaning constitutional convention to create the new framework.

GAbriel Boric, a left-wing lawmaker who rose to prominence during anti-government protests in Chile, was elected in 2020 and at the age of 35 became the country’s youngest president in history.

“I think it’s positive. It’s progress,” said Boric time Magazine in a recent interview about the proposed constitution. “She takes on issues that are really important not just for Chile but for the world. She has a vision of harmony between development and concern for the environment that was really alien to 20th-century constitutions.”

The revised doctrine aims to increase representation of indigenous communities, establish a national health care system, require gender parity in public institutions and allow the government to confiscate private property more easily. It would also replace the Senate with a weaker chamber, giving more power to the Chilean legislature.

Supporters include Amnesty International, former Chilean President Michelle Bachelet, as well as left-leaning politicians such as renowned scholar Noam Chomsky and former British Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Opponents include Chile’s conservative parties, who have expressed concerns about the left-leaning convention chosen to draft the new constitution. More than 2,000 medical professionals also spoke out against it, news agency reported.

“We are missing the opportunity to have a constitution for a developed country and not for a typical Latin American country,” said Rodrigo Valdés, a former finance minister The economist in July.

A recent poll by research firm Cadem found that 46 percent of voters were in favor of rejecting it, while 38 percent supported the new doctrine for Chile. Susan Sarandon, Mark Ruffalo Support for Chile’s new progressive constitution

Rick Schindler

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