Democracy in Chile: Evidence and Effects Case Study

October 14, 2020 by Essay Writer

Introduction

In the past, Chileans persevered under the rule of successive authoritarian leaders (Veronica, 2012). During the 1970s, the country attracted international awareness by voting into office a Marxist president. President Salvador Allende, who ruled from the year 1970 to the year 1973, introduced socialism in the southern American country (Veronica, 2012). The president was later overthrown by the military in the year 1973.

Following his exit from power, military leaders governed the country. Under the military rule, democracy in Chile was compromised. During the era, the country became infamous for some of the most horrible extremes of modern totalitarianism (Veronica, 2012). However, with the reinstatement of elected government in the year1990, the country was once again plunged into the global limelight. To date, democracy in Chile is still upheld as evidenced though its economic and political institutions (Edwards, 2013). The article below focuses on democracy in the country. Through this, the article will illustrate how democracy is applied in Chile.

How democracy is applied in Chile

Democracy in Chile is depicted in the political, economic, and social reforms undertaken since the time the democratic government was reinstated during the early 1990s (Edwards, 2013). A major factor that indicates Chile’s democracy is the country’s loyalty to its constitution. The country’s constitution, which was passed in the year 1980, allows presidential runoffs, safeguards individual rights, protects individual rights to work and own property among other features of a democratic constitution (Edwards, 2013). The ruling government adheres to the above constitution strictly. Through this, democracy has thrived in the country.

Similarly, with the adoption of local participation in the country’s democracy has thrived. The country’s constitution allows the citizens to participate in the decision-making processes in their localities. For instance, citizens are allowed to vote for their leaders through open and fair elections (Edwards, 2013). Through this, the citizens have been able to hold their leaders responsible unlike during the past authoritarian leaderships.

Another illustration that indicates how democracy is applied in Chile is the development of the institutions of liberty (Hite, 2004). Political scientists believe that a country cannot enjoy the benefits of democracy if it does not establish the institutions of liberty (Hite, 2004). The experts assert that a number of failed states in the third world countries have been unsuccessful because they have not established independent institutions. In Chile, these institutions are thriving. Among them are private universities, an independent electoral commission, independent central bank, private media houses, and constitutional Mining Act (Hite, 2004). The above institutions have fostered democracy in the country. By being independent, the institutions’ performance cannot be interfered with or influenced by politicians or elites.

Currently, the free market economic policy adopted in the country from the early 1990s is considered a major democracy pillar (Edwards, 2013). For instance, in the year 2002 the country signed a free trade agreement with the EU (Edwards, 2013). In the year 2003, the country signed another free trade agreement with the USA. In the year 2004, the country signed another free trade agreement with the South Korea.

Ever since then, the country has continued to enter into free trade agreements with other countries such as China, Singapore, Panama, Peru, and Brazil. The above agreements have enhanced democracy in the country. The agreements have thrust the nation into the global economy. Similarly, these agreements have enhanced the realm of personal freedom and decentralized financial and societal power. The above achievements are attributed to the increasing number of middle-class individuals. The middle-class has been confirmed to be a vital supporter in the move to a rule of law and open political voting.

Another democracy pillar in Chile is its labor codes. The country’s labor codes allow the workers to join and engage with unions of their preferences. Similarly, the workers are free to elect their leaders who will push for their rights. Through this, the labor sector has been democratized just as in other democratized nations. Labor unions also play a crucial role in safeguarding employees from the harmful effects of industrial transformations and globalization. The Chilean government has been working together with the trade unions to ensure that organizations come up with policies that safeguard the interest of the workers. Through this, they have been able to ensure that Chilean workers advance their technical skills and remain competitive in the global market. Based on the above illustrations, it is apparent that in Chile democracy is upheld (Silva & Oxhorn, 2002).

Conclusion

In conclusion, it should be noted that although Chile has undergone through successive authoritarian leaders it is currently considered one of the most democratized nation in South America. Under the military rule, Chile became notorious for being undemocratic state. During the era, some of the most horrible extremes of modern totalitarianism were experienced. Nevertheless, with the reinstatement of elected government in the year1990, the country was once again plunged into the global limelight. Currently, Democracy is depicted in the political, economic, labor, and social reforms undertaken since the time the democratic government was reinstated during the early 1990s.

References

Edwards, S. (2013). Economic reforms and labour markets: policy issues and lessons from Chile. Economic Policy, 15(30), 181-230. Web.

Hite, K. (2004). Incomplete Democracy: Political Democratization in Chile and Latin America. Political Science Quarterly, 119(2), 365-366. Web.

Silva, E., & Oxhorn, P. D. (2002). Organizing Civil Society: The Popular Sectors and the Struggle for Democracy in Chile. Political Science Quarterly, 111(4), 738. Web.

Veronica, M. (2012). Economic reforms in Chile: from dictatorship to democracy. Choice Reviews Online, 40(01), 40-43. Web.

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