In Ecuador, Autocracy by Referendum
A frustrated Simon Bolivar is said to have once complained of his empire that Colombia was a university, Venezuela a barracks, and Ecuador a convent. This assessment seemed surprisingly prescient last week, with a Colombian education minister appointed emergency mayor of Bogota, Venezuela accused by the IISS of arming FARC rebels, and Ecuadorians passing a ten-question constitutional referendum which, among other things, set up a “Regulatory Council” to prohibit “violent, sexual, or discriminating” content in the printed news, radio, and television.
Constitutional Reforms in Ecuador
Tomorrow, Saturday May 7th 2011, Ecuadorean citizens will vote on a referendum to change their constitution. They will vote ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on ten questions proposed by President Rafael Correa. Positive answers to the first five questions imply an automatic constitutional amendment, whereas positive answers to the rest of the questions would mandate the national assembly to reform existing laws or to legislate certain issues.