It is not an easy task to campaign against a change that proponents argue will spawn a better era. In Turkey, campaigners for yes to a constitution that will expand presidential powers designed their strategy to herald a much better, stronger and prosperous country. Campaigning against this is a doomed strategy from the start. But how did Chileans overcome this challenge?
What is more colorful and positive than a rainbow? To inject an aura of positivity to their No campaign, Chileans used a rainbow as a symbol of their campaign that ended the country’s decade of military dictatorship 30 years ago.
In late 1988, Chile stood at a crossroads after country’s notorious leader, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, decided to hold a referendum in a bid to legitimize his rule defined by the mix of economic prosperity and political terror triggered by the bloody coup in 1973. His iron-fist rule had brought robust economic growth to the Latin American country, but also unleashed unrelenting crackdown on dissent and repression of political foes of all stripes, especially Socialists.
When he promised to hold a referendum to secure the popular mandate, few believed that Pinochet would be defeated through a free vote or he would honor the election result if people say “No.” The bulk of the debate among fragmented anti-Pinochet camp also revolved around how to craft a working, successful campaign strategy to bring the demise of the feared general.