In a column a few days ago, the former concertacionista minister Francisco Vidal pointed out that between approving to reform and rejecting to reform, the fate of the plebiscite on September 4 was at stake, echoing the chorus of voices – which even reaches sectors of the government alliance – which has indicated that the text must have changes.
The truth is that, although very prominent militants of the so-called center-left joined the right in the Rejection, a significant group of leaders have opted for the I Approve option, but with a last name. The “I approve to reform” would have its justification in the supposed low citizen adherence to the proposal for a new Constitution that would be reflected in the results of various surveys -a matter of course debatable-, but mainly in the conviction that assists these sectors to introduce profound changes to the text prepared by the Convention in aspects that do not suit them.
This position presents a number of dangers. From now on it poses a very serious difficulty to the implementation of the new Constitution, given by its chapter of transitory norms that supposes a series of mandates to the Government, Parliament and diverse public institutions. It also opens a true Pandora’s box to restore the policy of agreements with the right that, as we know, also wants to reform the new text, returning the constituent power to the political system prior to the social revolt of October. The role of citizens, independents and indigenous peoples is silent across the board.
However, the most worrying thing about this position is that it exudes elitism, especially that version that suggests a great national agreement prior to the plebiscite for reforms to a Constitution that has not yet been voted on, much less entered into force. Thus, it is worth asking: what is the point then that citizens are going to vote this September 4 if the text on which they will pronounce will not be the one that fully governs?
It would be very interesting to know what it is that you want to reform. Parity and the right of women to decide about their bodies? Denying the right to social security to continue legitimizing the AFP business? Plurinationality, our best opportunity to put an end to the Chilean-Mapuche conflict? Do they deny the right to housing so that thousands continue waiting? Do they want to continue profiting from water? Do they want nature not to be the holder of rights and continue with the sacrifice zones? Do they want to create an electoral system based on measure of their interests, excluding the world of independents? Or do they want, rightly, to restore the Senate?
The question is simpler. The Approval, without surnames, is a step forward in the transformation of the political, economic, social and cultural structures of our country. It is the best opportunity to leave behind once and for all the heavy night of the neoliberal legacy of the dictatorship, when before in our history had we had this democratic tool to overcome neoliberalism and transform our country?
The Approval requires political and social forces that, based on the new rules of the game proposed by the new constitutional text, are committed to building the solid foundations of a democratic project for society.
This shot undoubtedly questions the maturation capacity of the subjects who starred in the social mobilization of October 2019 in their role before the political scene that will open from September 5, so that it does not have as protagonists -another again – to the same political system of the last 30 years, from which we already know what to expect.