“There are people who reading, opining and knowing the Constitution, did not like it,” said Gaspar Domínguez, the former vice president of the Constituent Convention looking back, after 67 days of leaving his position as a conventional and a year of work drafting the text that was rejected. There were four main reasons he gave, in the analysis he made through a live video on his Instagram profile -from Palena in the Los Lagos Region, where he works as a doctor-, to explain, in his opinion, why the constitutional proposal was rejected with more than 61% last Sunday (with 99.99% of the tables counted).
“In the plebiscite we had almost three years ago it was clearly established that the vast majority of our compatriots want a new Constitution. And the vote this last Sunday shows that the people did not want this Constitution that was proposed to them,” he began by saying.
“There are things that the Convention decided to put and that the citizens never clicked or curdled.” The first reason he gave was the content of the text. The former conventional belonged to Independientes No Neutrales, the same group that later merged with other independents and to which people such as journalist Patricia Politzer and lawyer Mauricio Daza belonged, and who had a center-left tendency.
“People didn’t have the rules, Chile is more moderate than we thought,” he said.
“I believe that the decline in plurinationality did not take hold in many people,” he said, and in particular pointed out “legal pluralism, that is, indigenous justice together with indigenous territorial autonomies.” Another issue that generated noise in the citizenry, according to the former conventional, was abortion. He questioned the need to explicitly state it in the proposal “knowing that you could leave a text that would allow it to be executed through laws, I think that cost votes.”
Another aspect that stood out was the ownership of pension funds and how it generated confusion in people: “It is curious because it is not established in the current Constitution either.”
The second dimension he pointed out was form. Here he said that “academic stories” were not convening, and that in his opinion people wanted them to focus on practical issues such as social rights. Within this point, he pointed out the “shocks” that he said generated that people were losing confidence in the organ of the Constituent Convention.
“He left on the day of the inauguration with the interruption of the national anthem, issues that regardless of the position that each one may have, there are many people who hurt him,” he said along with other situations such as the “setback” of the former conventional of the extinct People’s List, Ricardo Rojas Vade; the funa after the votes to some groups; and proposals that were presented and although they did not remain in the draft, the image remained that they had support.
“I wonder, when a conventional, and I include myself, we had an idea that seemed good to us, but if we knew that he was not going to have the votes, was it worth doing? I thought so, now I think it wasn’t really necessary.” He added that the communication focus was on “the strangest issues.”
The third point he delivered was the political and social context in Chile. “We are in a serious inflation crisis, with security problems,” he explained. “What the government, the President and the ministers were doing with the Convention was mixed. (…) The issues that happened in the conjunctural politics made the people make an electoral decision in the face of the plebiscite.”
“The problem of communications” was the fourth and final reason given by the vice president. “The use of information, social networks, algorithms moves the result in one direction,” he said, but he was emphatic in saying that “not only because of fake news did the Rejection win, but each of the elements that I have said contributes in part, and the sum generates this result.”
He described how a month before the plebiscite he began to do door to door and met people who had seen videos months before through Youtube about “that they were going to take away your house or pension funds.” Faced with this scenario, he said that “we fall into a mistake if we say that this is ignorance or that people do not read. I think we didn’t have the ability to build more trust for them to believe in us.”
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