Egon Montecinos, Director of the Center for Regional Studies of the Universidad Austral de Chile released on November 24 the book «Centralism and Decentralization in Chile. Past, present and future» with the keys to understanding possible decentralization in Chile.
The text has the keys to understanding possible decentralization from the historical milestone which means that for the first time regions will choose an authority democratically and not designated by central power.
According to Montecinos, Chile has historically lived with political institutional designs and processes associated with control and centralism of power, in fiscal, administrative and political spheres. Here he cited the figure of Diego Portales where this idea was born «obsession with maintaining a strong and centralized state, to guarantee order and growth, without an idea of preserving diversity to maintain unity».
For Montecinos, centralism is a chronic disease for Chile that expects it to heal, especially now with the elections of governors, where «at last our country will emerge from an ‘shameful ranking’ where of the 38 OECD countries, only two do not elect their regional authorities: Chile and Turkey, because we are a «democratic anomaly», explained the researcher of the U. Austral.
With regard to the diverse Chile that is becoming visible in constituent candidates, he argues that territorial heterogeneity must also be embodied in the new constitution. «This heterogeneous Chile, which today we are also seeing in the number of constituent candidates, they are more faces than ideas yet, they are all from Santiago, and Santiago is going to have only 47 seats of the constituent convention, the rest of the seats, the 108 will make regions, there are more than 2/3 there eye that if the 108 constituents agreed in a federal, regional and decentralized Chile they would have the 2/3», said Egon Montecinos.