Saturday, 24 November 2007

Chavez's "Most Perfect Constitution in the World" and his reform of it

Chávez has proposed a series of reforms for his constitution of 1999, a constitution he declared at the moment of its approval as the best constitution in the world.

If you want to see what Venezuelans will vote on, physically speaking, you can take a look here at the instructions from the CNE, the Electoral Commission.
It looks impressive, doesn't it? All changes proposed by Chávez were discussed in less than 3 months by the National Assembly and new proposals were added all the time. The text only became stable in October. Now Venezuelans are supposed to vote on all that.

The reforms will, among other things
  • enable the president to go to indefinite reelections. Before Chávez came to power, presidents in Venezuela could only rule for 5 consecutive years and anyone seeking to become president again had to wait 5 more years before being able to become a candidate. Chávez introduced in 1999 the possibility of one reelection and extended the presidential term to 6 years.
  • extend the presidential period to 7 years (on top of the indefinite reelections)
  • declare Venezuela a "Socialist State", where socialism must be the form of government instead of one possibility among many competing ideas
  • enable the president to use the Central bank's money at will
  • create so-called Communal Councils that are sold to the Venezuela population as "more democracy", when in reality many decisions at communal level will have to be done without any secret voting and where the opposition to Chavez can be excluded
  • enable the president to change at will administrative regions and thus gerrymander at will
  • allow the president to name vice-presidents for many "special topics" that would circumvent the authorities of any local authorities and would be subject to Hugo Chávez only

Chávez is sweetening all that by also adding some things like:

  • adding the missions, the social programmes financed by the oil bonanza, as a constitutional right
  • establishing a 6-hour working day as part of the constitution
  • declaring some "popular councils" will give more power to the people.

In reality, he could go on with those missions without declaring them "part of the constitution". The same goes for the 6-hour working day: other countries regulate working hours by special laws, not by constitution.

With respect to the 6-hour working day we need to add: this will make Venezuela still less competitive than it already is. But then: everything is valid for Chávez in order to get the possibility to rule indefinitely and get more power.

No comments:

Post a Comment

1) Try to be constructive and creative. The main goal of this blog is not to bash but to propose ideas and, when needed, to denounce
2) Do not use offensive language
3) Bear in mind that your comments can be edited or deleted at the blogger's sole discretion
4) If your comment would link back to a site promoting hatred of ethnic groups, nations, religions or the like, don't bother commenting here.
5) Read point 4 again