Argentina: for the people to decide everything, a free and sovereign constituent assembly

The government was delegitimized after the tremendous defeat in the primary elections. On top of everything, a crisis unleashed that was paid by those from below. We cannot wait. We must advance the elections to a constituent assembly so the people can decide everything.

The main ingredient of these elections was the anger against the three and a half years of Macrist austerity, which generated the main motivation to vote for ending this as soon as possible. We can say that that step has been taken.

However, the currency rise showed what the left has tirelessly pointed out during the campaign: the country is under the mandates of the IMF, imperialism and large economic groups. Voting differently from Macri is not enough to get out of the current situation, we must take real measures, measures that not one candidate of the formulas of the system has shown any desire to apply.

That is why we believe that it is time for a constituent assembly, since it would allow us to publicly debate the main national issues as what to do with the IMF, if we have to stop paying the external debt, if we will continue depending on the speculators or if it is time to nationalize the banking system. It is clear that a great majority has turned away from the government and its austerity plan. We must debate which country we must build, and for this there is nothing better than debating it all.

If we, the workers, do not make a decision, then the “markets” will

The banks and financial vultures gave a clear message after the primaries. The stock exchanges fell, the dollar skyrocketed and the country risk reached historical levels for the last decade. The price lists are ready to take the step that will move that speculative spiral to the pocket of the people.

It was not about a message in defence of Macri, despite the fact that he interprets it in that way and wants to use it in favour of his campaign of terror. It is the establishment of the conditions of the future government: it either pays and follows the austerity plan or the mess will come.

As during his “centre” campaign, Fernandez did not move at all. He chose the easy option of saying something sassy to Bolsonaro, but did not say anything on the measures needed to stop the looting of 25% of wages and pensions. Some of the main figures of the PJ babbled a few purely capitalist measures. And their accomplices of the union bureaucracy said it was not the moment for a strike.

Guaranteeing the people’s need of ending the government of Macri cannot be done while speculating with electoral times, the unions must call a strike right now, accompanied by a mobilization. To oppose the black hand of the “markets”, we must democratize decision making and generate a massive public debate on the measures to get out of the crisis with a constituent assembly.

The problem of who decides and at the service of what, is not minor at this point. If we wait for the development of the electoral calendar, the government of Macri will continue until December. If they stole 25% of our wage in 25 hours, can you imagine what they can do in five months? They are even suggesting the possibility of borrowing 20 billion dollars more from the US.

A constituent assembly would open the debate over what to do to face the crisis, the needed measures, the reorganization of the country, the future institutions, the main priorities we must answer to.

On the contrary, the corporations will continue imposing, without consulting anyone, with no one to stop them (Macri and Alberto are throwing the responsibility at each other) while the workers pay for the crisis.

What is a constituent assembly?

The crisis cannot be solved in our favour with a simple change of figures, and that is why advancing the presidential elections is not enough. We must call for elections to a constituent assembly, without limitations, to deliberate and decide how to get out of this mess and advance towards a new model. This is the most democratic solution for the crisis.

The Constituent Assembly is an institutional mechanism to offer an exit in times of political and economic crisis, as it is happening now. A national election is called to vote representatives, not to the Congress but to reform the Constitution in what is needed and by declaring the Assembly free and sovereign, also taking the social and economic measures in the short and medium term, if necessary.

It opens a process of democratic debate, with the spotlight on the working class, women, the youth, the lgbt movement and the people. That is why electoral participation without any proscription must be guaranteed. That all the political organizations have equal access to free spaces in the media. The debate must not have any restrictions to decide on everything.

In order to govern for a bunch of privileged people, Macri leans on a political regime that impedes democratic participation. It has been a constant in this capitalist democracy.

Where there is a blank check, decrees, laws against the people imposed with repression, vetoes of laws like the prohibition of lay-offs, a deal with the IMF that was not consulted to the people, “governability” agreements made behind the people´s backs, an anti-democratic Senate that stops the abortion law, a justice system addicted to the power, with judges appointed by finger and a Church financed by the State with the money of everyone, among other attacks. Which kind of democracy is this?

Another economic plan

The constituent assembly would be a tool to debate urgent and radical changes: a radical rupture with this political, economic and social regime.

An solution of the people and the workers should begin with breaking with the IMF and not paying the external debt, that immense transference of wealth to the financial capital. We must stop that and use those resources for an alternative economic plan that prioritizes wages, work, education and health. The banks and financial speculators are making a fortune: we must nationalize the banks to avoid capital flight and end with financial speculation. Nationalizing foreign trade would also stop the looting of agro-businesses and export companies, among other measures.

Another political model

We must also completely change the institutional regime. Ending with the privileges of the political caste. The wage of the public officials must be equal to that of a school principal and they must also have use public schools and hospitals. The revoking of mandates to those who do not comply. The judges, prosecutors and police deputies should be voted by the people and be revokable in case of bad behaviour.

The Senate is a feudal aftertaste, since it is not proportional to the popultion but every province has three representatives. This favours the smallest provinces and damages the most populated, as Buenos Aires. Also, since there are two seats for the winner and one for the second force, it all ends up in the hands of the most powerful families of the provinces. It must be dissolved, as well as the provincial senates. We propose a sole House of Representatives, taking the country as a single district, without proscriptive floors and with a true proportionality according to the amount of votes.

We must also separate the Church from the State, eliminate the subsidies to cults and approve the legalisation of abortion.

A constituent assembly like the one we propose would allow every one of these debates and begin a change of paths. And it must be free and sovereign, with the greatest powers to reorganise and refund the country. Our proposal includes a government of the working people and advance to a socialist Argentina.

Let’s mobilize for this proposal

The crisis that opened after the primaries has exposed the priorities and plans of the biggest parties and the perspectives raised by the left.

From the MST we want to invite you to promote this program with us, because it is the one we defended in the elections and support in every struggle, because the unity we achieved in the FIT-Unidad is a great step forward but we must strengthen it aginst what is coming, because we are on the path of building an alternative of workers, women and the youth, this will only be possible with the contribution of every one of those who share these proposals.

Martín Carcione and Guillermo Pacagnini