Manuel Antonio Garretón, sociologist: “The Rejection leaves the current Constitution standing that caused the crisis in some way”

The 2007 National Prize for Humanities and Social Sciences, Manuel Antonio Garretón, referred to his definitions regarding the plebiscite where the proposed new Constitution will be approved or rejected on September 4, focusing his analysis on the scenarios that open up in the two possible outcomes.

In an interview with Thirdthe sociologist and academic from the University of Chile detailed the reasons that lead him to approve the text written by the Constitutional Convention, despite the fact that he mentioned that “there will never be a text with which you are 100% in agreement.”

In this sense, the essayist believes that the country’s main dilemma with this decision is “to maintain a form of organization and life generated by a delegitimized Constitution, or to seek new horizons that democratically change the principles on which it has been based.” so far the state.

“The non-existence of a legitimate Constitution, or rather the existence of a Constitution in absolute crisis of legitimacy, as declared by all sectors. What the Approve option does, when it wins, is to establish a new, legitimate Constitution,” he asserted.

The academic added that “if the Approval wins, the approved origin and content are entirely legitimate, and that opens up a horizon for the country of new principles on which to base its coexistence and to which the actors of the political system must abide.”

On the other hand, Garretón pointed out that “the Rejection option leaves standing, whatever is said, the current Constitution, which somehow caused the crisis that culminated in the explosion.”

The National Humanities Award was of the opinion that “if the Rejection wins, what is going to be imposed, for example in Congress, is going to be the thesis of the right. And there is no chance that the center position will have any leadership there.”

In addition, he warned that there is “a radical difference between the proposals to modify the world of Rejection and the proposals and agreements that are being made around the Approval. In the first ones, what it is about is to reform the current Constitution, which is very serious, because it means that the Constitution remains delegitimized“.

In that sense, the expert valued the agreement of the ruling parties to reform the constitutional proposal in the event that it wins approval, Garretón assured that “it helps to elucidate those aspects in which public opinion is not clear or where it needs precision. So, if changes have to be made, they will be seen in the policy, once it wins the Approval”.

“The reforms proposed by the Rejection, on the other hand, would not go through a plebiscite, even if they say they will: it is not in any text. Rejection means rejecting a process and a text, and it leaves the country adrift”, he stated.

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