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TV ads mark the end of the plebiscite campaign in Chile

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Starting Friday, all Chilean television channels will simultaneously broadcast advertisements about the referendum to be held on September 4 on the proposed text to change the constitution.

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More than 15 million Chileans and resident foreigners are entitled to vote if they approve the text written by 154 constitutional conventions or if they reject it and leave the 1980 Magna Carta put in place by the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet (1973-1990).

The television ads appeal to emotion to try to convince the undecided in the first election in many years in which voting will be mandatory in a country with low electoral participation, said Rodrigo Espinoza, a doctor in Political Science and an analyst at the Universidad Diego Portals.

Traditionally, television advertising has had an impact when it comes to tilting the balance to one side or the other in important Chilean electoral processes, such as the mythical campaign that achieved the “No” vote in the 1988 plebiscite that marked the end of Pinochet’s dictatorship.

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Although in recent years the influence of television has declined, the offer of more channels may be a factor, especially among “the public of 40 (years) upwards”, Spinoza noted. “Young generations are more digital” and there the effect would be less, he added.

The campaign has been marked by the polarization of Chilean society, the controversy over the position of the government – which has been required not to publicize its inclination – and the distribution of news and even false constitutional texts.

It is imperative to be informed on such a “important as voting to change the constitution, informing oneself, not falling for fake news (fake news)”, declared Sebastián Caro, a 19-year-old student who went to the University of Santiago to receive one of the 400 copies of the new constitutional text that he delivered free of charge.

These days it is common to see in Chile acts of delivery of the text, people reading it or readings aloud in squares, food places or other places with the aim of making the contents more known and reaching an informed vote.

Caro welcomed the university’s initiative because, he said, not everyone has the resources to obtain the text, which has become the best seller in bookstores and street stalls. “You get them elsewhere, but it was learned that some were fake and that’s why it’s good that they deliver itin college, he added.

Coincident polls give “Rejection” as the favorite, although in recent weeks the distance between both options has narrowed.

President Gabriel Boric announced that if the text is rejected, a new constituent process would begin.

Source: Gestion

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