what are the differences with the current one?
(CNN Spanish) — Almost three years after the “social outbreak” in the streets of Chile, which led to a plebiscite to change the constitution and finally to a change of government in the last elections, the country has the final draft of its new Constitutionwhich will be put to the vote on September 4.
The text seeks to replace the Political Constitution of Chile, enacted in 1980 at the time of the dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet, and was prepared by the Constitutional Convention arising from the October 2020 plebiscite (when the “yes” to the constitutional reform had 78% support), which in turn was a consequence of the wave of violent protests in the country and their repression.
Chileans are called to vote in support or rejection of this new Constitution on Sunday, September 4, and the final draft is already circulating around the country, which this Monday the Constitutional Convention delivered to President Gabriel Boric.
“This September 4th, dear compatriots, you will be the protagonists of the historic decision regarding our Political Constitution”, said Boric on his Twitter account, later calling Chileans to read the draft before the vote. “May these two months be a civic school for everyone”, added.
“Democracy is not easy, and beyond the legitimate differences that may exist on the content of the text, there is something that we all have to be proud of: at a time of the deepest institutional, political and social crisis that our country has lived for decades, Chilean men and women opted for more democracy“, said Boric this Monday in a message on television.
What are the characteristics of this new political order, and how is it different from the current one?
changes and continuities
“In this draft of the new Constitution there are changes and updates, and also many elements of continuity with our republican and democratic tradition that we value so much,” said Boric.
It took the Constitutional Convention 12 months to prepare this draft Constitution, which in its final draft It has 388 articles organized in 11 chapters.
In its First article, part of the general principles and provisions, it is established that “Chile is a social and democratic state of law. It is multinational, intercultural, regional and ecological.”
Also, that the country “is constituted as a solidary republic”. “Its (Chilean) democracy is inclusive and parity. It recognizes dignity, freedom, the substantive equality of human beings and their indissoluble relationship with nature as intrinsic and inalienable values.”
The 10 pillars of the project and their differences with the current Constitution
According to official Web site of the Constitutional Convention, the draft is based on 10 pillars that bring together “fundamental elements and most relevant norms”. These are its main provisions and the differences with the current text.
Democracy – The new Constitution is based on a democracy where power “resides in the people, by and for the people”, and with attention to transparency, equality, freedom of thought and expression.
It also contemplates, unlike the current text, participatory democracy mechanisms, including the popular initiative of law and the participation of territorial entities and indigenous peoples and nations.
Inclusion – It is understood that Chile is a plurinational and intercultural State, at the same time unique and indivisible, based on equality and non-discrimination.
For the first time the constitutional text consecrates rights for, among others, women, children and adolescents, people from indigenous peoples and nations, people with disabilities, people of diversity and gender dissidence.
Institutional tradition – Based on the current division of powers between the Executive, in the hands of the president, and the Congress of Deputies, the new draft marks the end of the Senatereplaced by the Chamber of Regions, where each region will have the same number of representatives.
The new State also recognizes the legal systems of indigenous peoples, which will coexist with the National Justice System, demilitarizes the police and defines the role of the Armed Forces exclusively in the face of external aggression.
Guarantees of rights – The new Constitution consecrates essential rights such as health, education, recognition of domestic and care work, the right to housing, adequate food, the human right to water and sanitation, and the right to live in safe environments free from violence .
It also includes parity and gender perspective.
Freedom – According to the text, democratic coexistence is sustained in respect for individual and collective freedoms, and thus enshrines, among others, freedom of religion, thought, expression, education, and the freedom to undertake and develop economic activities.
Gender equality – For the first time, the text protects the right to a life free of gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive rights and the right to identity, and highlights the gender perspective in justice, and the principles of parity and parity and inclusive political representation.
Protection of nature and the environment – Also for the first time, the final draft consecrates the rights of nature and the special duty of custody of the State over natural common goods. It also contemplates a catalog of environmental human rights, such as the right to a healthy and ecologically balanced environment. And regulations are included that grant protection to ecosystems such as glaciers and wetlands.
The text recognizes, in this way, the existence of a global climate and ecological crisis.
The regions – The new Constitution considers Chile as a Regional Statewhose public policies are “pertinent to the territorial needs, adapted to the diverse local realities”, recognizing the autonomy of regional governments, municipalities and other regional entities.
I also know establishes for the first time the formation by law of the indigenous territorial Autonomies, where the indigenous peoples and nations will exercise rights of autonomy, in accordance with the unique and indivisible character of the country.
Future projection – Recognizing the challenges presented by advances in science and technology, incorporate the right to digital political participation, information, knowledge, education and digital connectivity, and the protection of personal data.
Bioethical principles are also established, subordinating scientific and technological developments to solidarity, cooperation, responsibility and respect for human dignity, the sentience of animals and the rights of nature.
Responsible economy – In one of the most debated points during the Constitutional Convention, the draft consecrates the principles of fiscal responsibility, territorial equity and development in harmony with nature.
A more active role for the State is also established, in addition to “regulating, supervising, promoting and developing economic activities.”
Thus, the autonomy of the Central Bank and the principle of fiscal sustainability of finances are enshrined, while empowering the State to prevent and punish market abuses and protecting the rights of consumers.
With respect to mining, it is established that the State will have the “absolute, exclusive, inalienable and imprescriptible domain of the mines, independent of the ownership of the land on which they are located”, and that it will subject exploration and exploitation to specific legislation. consider its environmental impact.
With information from Jorge Engels.