In recent weeks, a series of reforms have been discussed in Congress that aim to have a parity participation between men and women in the constituent convention, of winning the yes in the plebis April 26th next.
Currently, our legislation has mechanisms to fill women’s participation, as is the quota law. Although this mechanism worked to increase female participation from 15% to 22%, the method has several drawbacks, such as incorporating women only to meet the 40% quota in the lists, or female candidacies without major funding from parties, among others. In other words, the quota law has not been enough to achieve greater female participation.
If we really want to reach a joint assignment for a body as relevant as the Constituent Convention would be, in my opinion the best alternative is undoubtedly the proposal that, like Chile Vamos, which is a closed list system.
The vote in April is perhaps one of the most important that has been held in the history of our republic, and it has unique characteristics like no other election has. And since it is an unmatched choice, the mechanism we choose to carry it out is very relevant.
The closed list system is that each voter will choose a party, list of independents or an independent on the ballot, having clarity of the order of the candidates, an order that will be respected in the election if that list is the most voted, and without applying no correction – or adequacy – after the vote. It is then based on grouping candidates by party, or among independents with some common idea, so that the voter, at the time of voting, is recognized in the country idea or project that they represent. This has the great benefit of depersonifying politics, and voting for ideas with which we feel represented.
This system also has other advantages such as transparency and respect for the objective results of a popular election, in order to eliminate any attempt at intervention that the process may have.
On each ballot, the lists are known in advance, allowing candidates to be chosen equally, alternating the order of women and men on the ballot. In an example already used, if in District 1 party A of Pact Z tops its list with a man, Party B of the same Pact Z should top its list with a woman, and so sequentially. The same criterion applies between districts, i.e. if in a district Party A topped its list with a man, in the next district it must do so with a woman, extending this principle to all districts.
A very relevant fact is that, using this closed list system, if simulated based on the results of the last elections of 2017, the percentage of a genre that would access the Convention would vary between 54% and 46% approximately, meeting full aim for parity. In addition, an exercise was carried out with 73 thousand simulations with results other than the 2017 election, showing that in 99% of cases, the percentage of women was more than 40%.
Finally, with this system we avoid having delegates with little popular support, avoiding further questioning about the legitimacy of the convention and therefore of the Constitution itself that is able to draft and approve.
All women know the difficulties that come with us to be elected in any high-responsibility position and what it has cost for us to move forward in this regard. And it’s been moving forward with a lot of work. For this reason, we must take great care of that gain and continue to fight to make a presence in more spaces of decision and representation, but always with transparent rules known in advance by all citizens.
The content poured into this opinion column is the sole responsibility of its author, and does not necessarily reflect the editorial line or position of El Mostrador.