News / Americas

Chileans Split on Whether Bachelet Can Clinch Social Reforms

Chile's President Michelle Bachelet arrives to the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) after a strong aftershock in Arica, Chile, April 3, 2014.
Chile's President Michelle Bachelet arrives to the National Emergency Office (ONEMI) after a strong aftershock in Arica, Chile, April 3, 2014.
Reuters
— Chileans are split on whether center-left president Michelle Bachelet will deliver on her three flagship proposals for tax, education and constitutional reforms, a poll showed on Thursday.
 
Bachelet took office last month, vowing to tackle the Andean country's steep income inequality by hiking corporate taxes, “working towards” free education and shredding the dictatorship-era constitution.
 
Around 40 percent of Chileans believe she will deliver on these promises, 20 percent think she will fail and the remaining 40 percent have doubts or declined to answer, pollster Adimark said in its report.
 
Constituents are most confident in her ability to pass tax reform, which is being discussed in Congress at the moment. Bachelet only needs a simply majority to pass that measure, while education and constitutional overhauls require bigger majorities.
 
Bachelet has staked her presidency on these ambitious reforms, but analysts warn a notoriously tricky Congress, a slowing economy and her own wide-ranging coalition may ultimately curb some of those plans.
 
Some businessmen have complained tax increases would aggravate the economic slowdown. Others have aligned behind the government stance that raising tax income and improving education will create a more prosperous country.
 
Desire for reforms is sky-high among ordinary Chileans, who took to the street en masse in the past three years to clamor for improved social services amid an ongoing mining boom.
 
Frustration built up under former conservative president Sebastian Pinera, a billionaire businessman who was unable to connect with most Chileans. His popularity plummeted to the lowest levels for a Chilean president since the dictatorship ended in 1990.
 
In contrast, Bachelet, a pediatrician by training who was imprisoned under dictator Augusto Pinochet, is generally well-liked, especially by women and poorer Chileans.
 
Around 54 percent of Chileans approved of her in March, the poll showed, one percentage point more than at the start of her first term in 2006.
 
Roughly 20 percent disapproved, 10 percent neither approved nor disapproved and 16 percent didn't know or declined to answer.
 
Adimark polled 1,034 people between March 12 and 31, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid

More Americas News

S. Africa Launches Campaign Against US Cuba Sanctions

ANC pledges to work against long-standing US sanctions
More

Honduran President Links Border Crisis to US Policy Divide

Human, drug traffickers 'perversely' exploit confusion about US immigration policy, Juan Orlando Hernandez tells reporters on Capitol Hill
More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US
More

House Republicans Present Border Plan for Child Migrant Crisis

Proposal, they say, offers alternative to emergency funding requested by President Obama to deal with massive influx of illegals
More

US Ambassador Calls for LGBT Rights

John Berry spoke at the 20th International AIDS Conference in Melbourne
More

China's Xi Praises Close Ties with Cuba

Head of China's Communist Party hails common socialist bond between his country and Cuba as he kicks off a state visit in Havana
More