Former president of the Convention, Gaspar Domínguez: “The rules didn’t work out for the people, Chile is more moderate than we thought”

“There are people who, reading, giving their opinion 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 that he gave, in the analysis that he made through a video live 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 the 99.99% of the counted tables).

“In the plebiscite that 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 past 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 citizenry never clicked or caught on.” The first reason she gave was the content of the text. The former conventional member belonged to Non-Neutral Independents, the same group that later merged with other independents and to which people such as the journalist Patricia Politzer and the lawyer Mauricio Daza belonged, and who had a center-left tendency.

“People did not accept the rules, Chile is more moderate than we thought,” he assured.

“I think that the drop in plurinationality did not work for many people,” he said, and in particular he pointed to “legal pluralism, that is, indigenous justice together with indigenous territorial autonomy.” Another issue that generated noise in the public, according to the former conventional, was abortion. He questioned the need to consign it explicitly in the proposal “knowing that a text could be left that would allow it to be executed through laws, I think that cost votes.”

Another aspect that stood out was the ownership of the 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 the “academic stories” were not conveners, 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 assured caused people to lose confidence in the body of the Constitutional Convention.

“The opening day started 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 recounted along with other situations such as the “reversal” of the former convention of the extinct Town 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 it 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 communicational focus was on “the strangest things.”

The third point he delivered was the political and social context in Chile. “We are in a serious inflation crisis, with security problems,” she explained. “What the government, the President and the ministers were doing was mixed up with the Convention. (…) The issues that were happening in current politics made people make an electoral decision in the face of the plebiscite”.

“The communications problem” was the fourth and last reason given by the vice president. “The use of information, of social networks, of algorithms moves the result in one direction,” he assured, but he was emphatic in saying that “not only because of the fake news did the Rejection win, but each one of the elements that I have said it contributes in part, and the sum generates this result”.

He described how a month before the plebiscite he began to go door to door and met people who had seen videos months before on YouTube about “that they were going to take away your house or your pension funds.” Faced with this scenario, he assured that “we fall into an error if we say that this is ignorance or that people do not read. I think we did not have the ability to generate more confidence so that they would believe in us”.

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