A Constitution Borne Out of Actual Bullets

When Sergio Verdugo published his post "The Chilean Political Crisis and Constitutions as Magic Bullets", Chile’s President Sebastián Piñera’s approval rate was at 14%. Less than a week later, polls suggest a worrying and unprecedented 9% support. Although President Piñera has adopted significant measures, people are still protesting. It is not likely that this will change until the people have had the opportunity to participate in constitutional deliberations – and it is now upon the President to act.

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Revolution statt Revolte

Im Libanon protestieren Menschen seit fast drei Wochen gegen das politische Establishment. Nachdem in der Nacht zum 18. Oktober die Regierungspläne bekannt wurden, WhatsApp-Calls mit 0,20 $ pro Anruf zu besteuern, gingen landesweit binnen weniger Tage Hunderttausende auf die Straßen. Freilich war die von Premierminister Saad Hariri sogleich zurückgezogene Idee lediglich der berühmte Tropfen, der das Fass zum Überlaufen brachte und seinen Rücktritt am 29. Oktober unausweichlich machte. Die Frustration über die politischen Eliten wie den konfessionell verankerten Staatsaufbau ist in der libanesischen Bevölkerung über Jahre hinweg gewachsen und so enorm, dass nun vor allem ein Wort durch die Straßen des Landes hallt: Revolution.

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The Chilean Political Crisis and Constitutions as Magic Bullets

Chile is currently experiencing the most severe crisis since the dictatorship. One of the proposals to solve this crisis is to replace the current Constitution. Proponents of a constitutional replacement should consider two caveats: First, the constitution-making process should not weaken the representative institutions but strengthen them, and second, the promises need to be realistic as Constitutions are not magic bullets capable of instantaneously responding to social demands.

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A New Revolution? The Recent Governmental Crisis in Romania

As of November 2015, Romania faces its most important social, political and constitutional crisis in the last quarter-century. If the 1989 Revolution signified a break with a totalitarian communist regime, the widespread street protests of 2015, which led to the fall of the Government, gave a new message: global dissatisfaction towards the whole political class and institutions marked by serious inefficiency and corruption. The Government’s resignation led to an important constitutional crisis: one year before general elections, the country needed a new Government, but there was no clear political majority in Parliament to form one. In these circumstances, the President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, has tried a new approach, calling on social movements and appointing a non-political "techocratic" government. Time will tell if the decisions taken were right for Romanian democracy.

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