It is a common place to meet the phrase «the Constitution has been changed many times», which, while true, is an affirmation that leaves aside one of the two dimensions that make up a Political Constitution of the Republic, since it is not only a legal book containing articles and subsections, and for which it is litigated in the interests of clients before the Courts of Justice, but also the Constitution has a second dimension as much or more important than that of the «sworn book» «it is his political dimension.» Its name says so: the magna letter constitutes the republic politically. Already this is enough to begin to glimpse what is behind the «constitutional dilemma».
Well, if we could identify two concepts that were widely replicated by society as potential causes of the crisis that began in October last year, in addition to inequality and dignity, they are: «political class» and «abuse». What binds these three words? The thesis applicable to the case would be that the political class is with legitimacy on the ground, and that abuse is daily bread in our country, in different areas. In this sense, abuse could not be stopped by the rules of the game. Political power, which is the complement of the economic power that causes abuse, could not do its balancing work.
If we look at the last CEP Survey of December 2019, we can see clearly the aversion to the political class: the approval of it, being understood as the Congress, Political Parties and Government, reached 3%, 2% and 5%, respectively. The above makes it interesting to ask why this, since I refuse to believe that all politicians are dark beings with dubious intentions and that all are traversed by only particular interests. I prefer to believe that there is a reason in the design of the map that makes it difficult to get to port, before thinking that those who lead the trip intend to never reach this, understanding this «port» as the objective, the raison d’emost of politics, which is finally citizen representation in order to improve the life of society.
With regard to abuses, it is not very difficult to know what causes this conclusion was. Decades of collusion, more than a million convictions in 10 years against the Isapres, who nonetheless continue to raise plans unilaterally illegally, illegally financing the policy to make bespoke laws, among other episodes already known.
Indeed, what connects the political class to abuse is plausible to be the political dimension of the Constitution that governs us and, to understand the above, it is absolutely necessary to travel back in time to the period when the 1980 Constitution was established.
The current Constitution, in its political dimension, was a solution to a problem presented to the dictatorship: what to do for when the opposites rule, they cannot change the rules of the game most. But who were the opposites? Obviously not the current opposition, where we have several different parties, other than «the counterpart» of the time, which was Marxism and communism. The Constitution was made in the sterores of the Cold War, but in that context after all, which realizes that the design of the rules wanted to prevent and prevent, once democracy has arrived and the dictatorship was finished, the crosshatching of the court was changed and, consequently, design lines were drawn that were highly resistant to changes that a majority that could be contrary to the vision of the dictatorship would want. That should be avoided or, at least highly attenuated.
In this context, it is worth remembering the famous phrase of Jaime Guzmán, who noted that the Constitution «should ensure that if the opponents rule, they are constrained to follow an action not so different from that which one self would yearn for, because, it is worth the metaphor, the margin of alternatives that the court actually imposes on those who play on it is sufficiently reduced to make it extremely difficult otherwise.
So what has it been like to live for 40 years under a political constitution, under rules of power, that are designed for democratic deliberation and social requirements to be neutralized, always tending to foster a single vision of society?
This has two main effects: (i) Politics is incapable of processing and making transformation demands required by the community, and (ii) Weak political power is resulted. And weak to whom? Political power has three other powers that exist, which are there de facto: the Church, the Armed Forces and, finally, the most important: economic power. The first two are in a drooping cloak, the first by their own acts, the second as they prefer to see politics from afar in light of what happened judicially after 1990. However, the latter remains in force.
And the existence of economic power is not bad per se. This well-regulated power is desirable for companies. The problem is that in order for it to be efficient, sustainable and not to become a predator, it must have a parallel power that imposes «weights and counterweights», this being political power. But, recalling Guzman’s phrase, this power is «rigged» by the fundamental letter.
To give the above meaning, it is worth remembering that democratic deliberation agreed to the right and left on three emblematic projects for citizens (and others by the way), projects that gave a genuine interest to promote and protect the social interest by putting «coto» to economic power: (i) Financial Sernac, ii) Trade union ownership and, iii) Profit in universities.
In the three bills, both congressional political conglomerates arrived in port, agreed, shook hands, and embraced by passing laws that gave Sernac sanctioning powers, another that provided that ownership of collective bargaining rested with the union (following ILO guidelines) and, finally, that profit in higher education institutions was prohibited.
So, what happened? They were declared unconstitutional by founding the rulings in affectations of the rules of the Constitution. Rules of those who drew the lines. That is, the Sernac with sanctioning powers cannot exist because it affects constitutional rules, but rules that were only established by some, and which contain an obvious economiccharacter.
A prevention needs to be made, because it is desirable that there should be a Constitutional Court, which must seek to maintain respect for the Constitution (if it wins the passandandy and the exit plebiscite, we would all want there to be an instance that protects what has been agreed between us). However, what is criticized and generates the result of aversion to politics, is not only the inhibitory effect of this activity, but is declared unconstitutional laws but for affecting rules that were designed inclined ly and, if they want to change, you must have the annuence of the sector that designed the rules. This should be discussed.
Result? Citizenship sees political power rigged, colluded to economic power, without being the direct fault of politicians but a consequence to the design of the court on which they move, which generates a sense of double abuse, because those who in theory must protect society in evidently asymmetrical relationships, end up succumbing to the rules of the game currently in force which generates a sense that it is irrelevant who is elected, why either the right or the left, and even when leaving for causes of the most diverse (education, AFP, etc.), politics tends not to be able to process the demands that citizens ask for. That is, that activity whose central axis is to represent, identify, process and carry out causes that a citizen majority would ask for, cannot do what they exist for.
This is why it is entirely relevant to be able to agree on a new Political Constitution of the Republic. Not only because of aspects related to exploring an improvement in the technique of enshrining fundamental rights in relation to the country’s ability to pay, particularly the social rights that have to do with dimension one of the book, but because a social pact is required that allows the political to efficiently process community demands by effectively balancing its power in the face of its economic peer.
And, in this regard, voting I approve in April becomes decisive. We need a social pact in which the book is written by all, and what we incorporate within it is an agreement between the majority of those who will be deliberating. Not like the current Constitution, which was written by some, who should be asked their opinion to carry out the reforms to the pact. I mean that the 2/3 of the 1980 Constitution is synonymous with cheating, while the 2/3 of the constituent process is a sign of guarantee of agreement. The differences are obvious.
In addition, the guarantees are not only those relating to two-thirds, but because there will be a plebiscite of exit and, most relevant but usually unknown, the convention must respect the character of the democratic republic of the country, the international treaties ratified by Chile and respect for the judiciary and its resolutions, which is prohibited from acting beyond what the Constitution has commissioned in this context (Article 135 of the CPR, incorporated by the constitutional reform of November 2019).
In short, we are faced with the unique opportunity to be able to build a new social pact through a Constitution that is all, agreed through conversation and democratic dialogue, with clear and obvious rules that drive away the fragrant Chavistas as they make the understandable fears implausible, which, while they must be understood, also require to be addressed and treated through the evidence that allows affirm that it will be a process that has full guarantees to achieve a more humane, dignified Constitution with a distribution of power in line with the challenges of the 2020-2030 decade that is just beginning.
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.