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Regardless of the winner of the plebiscite on Sunday the 4th, the constitutional issue will remain open. Apparently the error was trying to impose the project of a single sector, of opposite sign, but the same error of Pinochet.
I think there is only one solution, the national agreement, that is, the constitution as everyone’s home, with rules of the game that are acceptable to all Democrats. For all of us who wanted the modernization of what existed, adaptations will only happen if the rejection wins, since there will be no support or incentives for an agreement by the victors, in addition to the fact that it would cost too much to recover the country from the division and the loss
In addition, if he wins the Approval, the same thing would happen as if Pinochet had triumphed, that is, the imposition on the rest of the country of a refoundation to make a “new” Chile; excess and experimentation in relation to a bicentennial history. It is not about the change, but about this proposal.
Chile, demonstrates the roundness of the earth, since both the trajectory from the right and from the left, both end up meeting at a point on the path. This comparison is going to offend the extremes, but what motivates my rejection are not specific regulations, but their philosophy as well as the locks that make any reform difficult.
This comparison shows us that, although of different signs, they are very similar, more than both want to admit. First of all, Pinochet was messing with the polls and elections, distorting them with reserved seats in Congress for former officers of the armed forces. Today, in 2022, he takes over those reserved for indigenous peoples, strictly speaking for activists through special voter lists.
Second, the historical legacy of the country is modified, affecting what is a democratic state and republican institutions. With different arguments, they coincide in ignoring its historical evolution, including the separation of powers and a democracy without surnames or flaps; in one case it was the result of a coup d’état and in the other, a circumstantial majority, both intending to impose a particular ideology as a constitution on all of Chile.
Third, in both, the recourse to something as undemocratic as moral superiority in the form of a kind of revealed truth, where enlightened groups reject any consensus with those who think differently, with principles that are considered fixed and permanent: this 2022 they are. indigenism and extreme environmentalism, an opposite version, but with similar desires for immovability to what was in 1980 the concept of democracy “protected” by national security.
Fourth, the two attempts do something tricky, unethical, which for years is governed not with permanent provisions, but with those transitory articles that are not discussed and that few read. More than fifty this 2022, existing the precedent of Pinochet, who governed a decade, between 1980 and 1990 only with the transitory articles, which, moreover, was only modified through fifty or so plebiscite norms in 1989, and that allowed Before Aylwin took office, for example, the repeal of the eighth article, which prevented the political participation of communists and socialists.
Similarly, today there is a political structure that would remain unchanged until at least 2026, and a large battery of legal reforms necessary to materialize the new Chile, which makes it very difficult, for practical reasons alone, to do any other issue at the international level. legislative, given constitutional supremacy. Another transitory provision requires that both the State and society immediately begin to adapt to the new articles, from labor issues to judicial rulings. In other words, even if there is no law in this regard, the new Chile should still start immediately, since there are so many new regulations that are going to be needed, that this constitution is really the starting point, not a definitive certainty.
Fifth, although it seems difficult to accept, in both the influence of someone like Carl Schmitt is noticeable, through some of the main promoters. In 1980 it was Jaime Guzmán, who was his brain, as well as this prominent German jurist and political scientist, influencing the lawyer Fernando Atria, one of those responsible in this 2022. The point is that Schmitt’s influence continues to this day, not only because He was one of the leading figures of Nazism, but he never reneged on that loyalty. By the way, neither Guzmán nor Atria are fascists, but Schmitt’s key concepts appear in their works, such as the one that political debate is not between adversaries, but that the basic distinction is between friends and enemies.
As not everyone accepts the roundness of the earth, what has surrounded the Constituent Assembly and the resulting draft, has had its fair share of flat earthism, starting with those who have denied the role of midwife of the violence unleashed in the streets of Chile 2019, the so-called “Octobrism”, for the month in which it emerged.
These flat earthers appeared with the refoundation, with the idea that Chile was a place where almost nothing positive was salvageable from its history, and where not only Pinochet but also the Social Democratic and Social Christian consensus contributed almost nothing positive for 30 years, a story that denied what that emerges from the statistics of the World Bank and other similar organizations, not only the growth of GDP, but also the reduction of extreme poverty from 39% in 1990 to 8.6% in 2018, with the addition that there was a significant decrease of inequality, measured by the Gini coefficient.
That country that improved its educational and health coverage, that markedly increased its social investment, and that achieved the highest life expectancy in the region as well as the best Human Development Index, according to the UN, simply did not exist for these many deniers, a distortion that was also applauded and supported by many journalists and communicators.
According to The Economist, the most frequent error among politicians in Latin America is the “utopian longing”, the Chilean constituent being an expression of “rustic idealism”. The above is true, but the British media needs to add the other 50%, which is the support it finds in the first world. An example of the above are the 200 personalities from 25 countries who, coordinated by the Progressive International, tell Chileans to approve. Among other signatories of this Letter are Noam Chomsky, Jeremy Corbyn, Jean Luc Melenchón and Libeth Verstrynge, there is no evidence that they have read what is submitted to a plebiscite, besides the doubt, perhaps not them, but yes that all those on the list want to make those changes in the countries where they live.
The day after, the country will still be divided, so new agreements will be necessary to allow a way out with what is typical of democracy, that is, the peaceful settlement of conflicts, so I believe that the today irrelevant center it will be necessary, since Chile owes him some of its best years.
Commitment is needed, willingness to yield, search for great agreements and consensus, that is, blue lines to be navigated, as well as the understanding of the existence of red lines, few, but that should not be crossed as they represent what is neither it can be negotiable for the different actors, all legitimate, and whose existence cannot be denied or erased.
For a long time I had doubts about the result, but now I am convinced that the rejection will win, and that the result will be narrower than what the polls say, and that it may change in the final stretch, as happened in the primary where the communist Jadue was defeated by Boric o in the second presidential round, where the loser was Kast. What all the polls say is that it would be in the neighborhood of 54% to 46%, more or less the percentage of the winners in almost every election since the return to democracy.
Few times have I been as convinced as I was in 1988 and as I am now, but I am afraid of party politics, that distortion of democracy, where the result is captured by political leaders, but that is another story, which can be solved if there is a Pact for Chile, a broad agreement on the Chile of the future more than of the past. It would be bad, very bad, for a partitocracy to try to wipe the slate clean, as if there weren’t a terrible opinion of the political class, so much so that it led us to this adventure.
In conclusion, what exists today is not Pinochet’s original constitution, but rather the result of political agreements that transformed it into the most reformed in history, and even if President Lagos had legitimized his reform with a plebiscite, it would still retain an institutional imprint of response to the 1973 crisis, including the resulting dictatorship, rather than the 21st century.
For now, the neoliberal revolution and the identity-postmodernist revolution ended up meeting at a point where they resemble each other more than they admit, which reminds me of the Rencor tango, where it is said that “do not repeat what I am going to tell you, but I hate you so much that I’m afraid you’re love.”
This article is part of an agreement between El American and the Interamerican Institute for Democracy.
Ricardo Israel es un reconocido escritor, bogado, analista político y académico chileno. Fue candidato presidencial de su país en 2013. Actualmente hace parte del directorio del Interamerican Institute for Democracy // Ricardo Israel is a renowned Chilean writer, lawyer, political analyst and academic. He was a presidential candidate in his country in 2013. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Interamerican Institute for Democracy