Santiago, September 23, 2022. The president of the Senate, Álvaro Elizalde, and the president of the Chamber of Deputies and Deputies, Raúl Soto, meet with representatives of political parties for dialogues for a new constituent process.  The president of the Republican Party, Ruth Hurtado, confirmed their participation.  Juan Eduardo Lopez/Aton Chile

The constituent dialogues based in the National Congress appear to be at a standstill. Although this Tuesday was predicted as a key meeting to settle the agreement that would enable a 2.0 process, the communities with parliamentary representation did not reach a consensus on the drafting mechanism, which is why they agreed to delegate to a commission of experts electoral – with members chosen by the parties – the task of proposing a formula to draft the next constitutional proposal.

And despite the fact that the number of members that were going to make up the drafting body was seen as the last stumbling block -considering that until yesterday, all the parties sitting at the negotiating table were going for a body 100% elected by the citizens- turns out to be the democratic standard of the process the epicenter of the discussion.

Breaking into the party debate, Yellows for Chile proposed erect a Constitutional Council “elected democratically and entirely by the National Congress”, An idea favored by representatives of Chile Vamos at the meeting in Valparaíso. Even before, the helmsman of the UDI, Javier Macaya, had demonstrated against a body completely elected by the citizens, despite the fact that the official proposal of the opposition contemplated it.

“Here it is stated that if he is not 100% elected, he will not be legitimate. I invite you to look at the polls on what Chileans think about having an exercise similar to the one that failed last September 4, about the importance that Chileans give to the role of experts”, held this Monday.

Added to this is the ambivalence of the ruling party on this matter. Although the government parties together with the DC closed ranks for a body fully elected by the citizens, A draft of the PPD has come out with the proposal of a drafting body completely elected by Congress, a document that would not be completely unknown to the rest of the legislators of Democratic Socialism and I Approve Dignity.

Taking stock of the negotiations, ex-conventional of the Broad Front, Constituent Social Movements and Original Peoples, They considered it inappropriate to insist on an agreement at the cost of lowering the democratic standard that characterized the first process.

This is how the former constituent of the 23rd district, Manuela Royo, made it see. “We believe that we cannot carry out a constituent process at any cost, that does not have representation, that is written by elitist consensus that does not represent the citizenry, because a Constitution is essentially democratic,” he pointed.

And he added that “With all the reservations that we may have had and continue to have about the constituent process, no one can say that it was not a democratic processwhere all the people were elected and that was a very important value, So maybe we have to wait for a suitable moment, pertinent that allows all of us who really want justice and social transformation in that country, to be able to have a joint response that also includes the social movements, the parties that are working for a new Constitution and that is capable and has enough strength to face all the strategies and tricks of the right and its accomplices”.

In turn, for the former Convention member from District 10, Fernando Atria, “any worthwhile agreement has to respect the two fundamental decisions that the Chilean people made, which is that there will be a new Constitution and that this Constitution is going to be made by a fully elected body”.

“Now, having said that, I believe that the fully elected body has to have a sufficient number of members so that it can be representative, if that body had, as some want, 50 members in the manner of the Senate, that would flatten the representation, as it happens in the Senate, of the Metropolitan region with respect to other regions and with that the 8 million Chileans who live in the Metropolitan region would be noticeably underrepresented”.

However, it considered it unlikely that “andIf it is discussed in terms of what is the best representation for Chile, it is most likely that it is discussed in terms of what is best for me according to the electoral calculations that I make”.

For the rest, the lawyer considered an error the idea that the experts are “those who are not politicians but come to solve the problems of politicians”.

“The meaning of the reference of the experts in the current discussion is totally contrary to that,” he said, arguing that “What is expected of them is not expert knowledge, it is not a non-political presentation, it is a way of conveying the action of political parties and the question, because I say this in purely descriptive terms, is whether that is a good idea“.

“It doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me, I’m just saying that it’s a mistake to think that all these references to experts is actually a reference to technical knowledge or is an equivalent to what the first constituent process was the idea of. independents who came outside of politics,” he added.

“I do not think so”Mauricio Daza, former district 28 conventional, responded to the question about whether it is worth reaching an agreement at any cost. “As of today, the most we are going to have is a Constitution that is going to be basically written by the current Congress,” he added.

“The extension of the so-called constitutional bodies is such that basically the field striping has so many rules, that basically the work of this elected entity is going to be very limited, because they also want to establish a group of experts elected by Congress as a sort of slowdown to the initiatives that this elected entity can make and to that we must add, that it is also intended to define a body that is an arbitrator, ”he said.

Therefore, he indicated that “if that is the reason, I think it would be much more sincere to say ‘look, Congress is going to make a proposal for a new Constitution’ rather than trying to whitewash that by electing a group of people who are not going to have a scope of decision that is really important or substantive in relation to the content of a future fundamental charter”.

In turn, the former conventional of the Colla people, Isabel Godoy, considered that “advancing in agreements is super complex, at least the agreements that suit us as a country, as a people will be very difficult, What is convenient for the ruling class will always prevail, the one that has the resources, the one that has the privileges, the one that owns the companies, the ones that own the sea, the richest families. They will always use all their resources to keep the country as it is.”

Regarding the reluctance to guarantee reserved seats, Godoy assured that “It will be more difficult for the original peoples to have real representation. In other words, we are going to have to gouge each other out to see which town could eventually go if there were to be a process and the smaller towns are always going to be left aside, because they tell us that we are a minority , but who made us a minority, who almost extinguished us, who committed genocide, especially the peoples of the north”.

Therefore, the former conventional party maintained that “I am not one of agreements at any costIn fact, when I was at the Convention I did not act like that either because one has commitments and has a moral minimum to comply with, so if we are going to reach agreements to legitimize a text that is going to be a make-up for what exists, at least I am not For that”.

Image: ATON Agency.


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J. A. Allen

Author, blogger, freelance writer. Hater of spiders. Drinker of wine. Mother of hellions.

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