Politics and economics are inextricably linked. Constitutional uncertainty is a major political problem that introduces a flood of insecurity into our economic activities. If this continues, don’t be surprised to see our economic growth, wage and employment figures continue to decline indefinitely. It is true that in a globalized economy, performance is not measured by internal factors alone, but many of the current shortcomings are due to a lack of organizational security.
Some time ago, more than 78% of voters expressed their desire to create a new constitution. A year ago, more than 60% rejected the plan to reorganize the country, questioning our existence as a nation, weakening the foundations of representative democracy, questioning individual liberties and limiting the possibility of promoting development. That is, two-thirds of the country wants to continue our constitutional legacy, guaranteed individual rights, democracy as known in the West, popular sovereignty limited by minority rights, separation of powers, rule of law and an independent judiciary among other checks and balances to prevent abuse of state power.
So, the question is: Are we really ready to reopen completely opposing options that will not allow us to live peacefully and freely indefinitely? To answer this question, it is necessary to rationally analyze the merits and demerits of the current state of the text under discussion. First, it is clear that the proposed institutional structure fully affirms the validity of a representative democracy, the rights and freedoms of the people, and the operational possibilities of a social market economy. It has new mechanisms to improve current administrative positions and allows for a shift in power.
On the other hand, it is true that the text violates the constitutional minimum, and a constitution should not be rigid from democratic debate and fair discussion of public policy. If agreements, negotiation, dialogue and the desire to reach a minimum consensus prevail, the most controversial issues will be easier to resolve. Does anyone believe that there is a substantial difference between ‘he’ who is to be born and who is to be born? And if not, why bother with a mere semantic change? Do you want to establish a tax policy, limit contributions, and thereby eliminate taxes, setting the precedent that other majorities can constitutionally institute new and burdensome taxes? Is inequality, a concept that no sophisticated democracy embraces, a reason to maintain institutional insecurity or a problem to be solved by law?
The most fundamental issue is whether or not these propositions allow for a social rule of law. A country that publicly finances 80% of health and 93% of schooling, offers free university and PGU, already has the means to ensure policies aimed at greater social well-being. Now, the specific instruments for carrying out this mandate and whether or not they add to the benefits of the private sector are the essence of an eternal political debate, precisely since ancient times. To the confusion of ‘how much freedom can I be and how much freedom do I have to give up in order to live in society’? But this in no way stops the existence of a social law.
Column by director emeritus Lucia Santa Cruz published in El Mercurio.-