Thursday, October 11, 2007

Article 21 will be modified 

The National Assembly finally included the modification, meaning if it passes the referendum it would be unconstitutional any form of discrimination based on sexual orientation. I was surprised the government decided to do add it at the last moment meaning there would be nothing stopping gay marriges. I do not believe any other nation has their rights protected at the constitutional level, not even mentioning republican efforts to do the opposite.

EDIT: link


Unfortunately while some good rights got added to the proposed constitutional reforms, as Flanker reported above, there were big steps backwards in the realm of democracy.

For years Venezuelans have justifiably bragged about the rights citizens have to have consultative referundums on any topic that 10% of the population wants to have it on and to be able to recall office holders once they reach the half way point of their term. Unfortunately both of these rights will be harder to exercise if the proposed reforms pass.

Previously for there to be a consultative referendum you had to gather the signatures of 10% of the electorate on petitions. The new proposed changes to the constitution would double that to 20%.

Further, to convoke a recall election against an office holder now you will need signatures from 30% of the population rather than 20% as is currently required. What is more, for the recall election to be valid 40% of the electorate will have to vote in it rather than the 25% now required.

Clearly from now on invoking one of the more democratic aspects of the Venezuelan political system, consultative and recall referendums, will be a lot harder.

I wonder why. Aren't they supposed to be aiming for more democracy, not less?


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