Ecuadorians vote today in a referendum on whether to convene a constituent assembly, fulfilling one of the campaign promises of recently elected President Rafael Correa.
Ecuador already has had several constitutional reforms or replacements since the transition to democracy in 1978-79 (one of the first of the “third wave” in Latin America), and it has had a record of truly remarkable instability in the office of chief executive (eight presidents in ten years), notwithstanding the “fixed term” of the presidential system.
Here is a question, for which I do not know the answer: Has any executive ever summoned the people to the polls to vote on a proposal to replace the constitution and been denied? In fact, has any executive ever done so and not won approval by an officially reported 90% plus? I may not know the answer, but I have a suspicion.
Populism in action.