I have been holding a few discussions in Caracas these days and this image has come to my mind to explain my point of view. As I have written before, the constitutional changes are so harsh, that it is not enough for Chavez to win, he needs to win big and this is one way to illustrate it.
Let’s imagine that you live in an apartment complex of 100 units. There is a condominium assembly. This one decides that there will be no more parties in any apartment any time. And the pool will be open only on week days from 9 to 11 AM.
There is a vote on that and the result is as follow: 20 YES, 10 NO and 70 no show. Do you think it will be easy for the condominium management to start chasing kids after 11 AM from the pool, or knock at your door to ask your guests to leave because you have a family gathering and it is also considered as a party?
It does not matter if the result was 20 to 19 or 20 to 1, the condominium will have a hard time imposing its new unreasonable rules and soon enough there will be uproar in the whole building.
Now if the result were to be 40 to 10, or 40 to 20 even and 40 no show. Do you think that the condominium management will have an easier time imposing their rules? Probably.
Imagine now that the result is 40 YES, 35 NO and 25 no show? What will happen? Major trouble, great difficulty in posing the rules but still a possibility to do so. However it would become a real possibility that the 35 someday become a majority and reverse those arbitrary changes. At that level you cannot predict how the 25 no show will eventually react.
In other words what I am aiming at is that Chavez needs to get MORE than 40% of VENEZUELANS, not 60% the vote, 40% of VENEZUELANS to vote YES on December 2. Otherwise simply put it will be an uphill battle for him to impose his new constitution and we will go from bad to worse.
I do not know whether this serves to convince people to go to vote or not, but it seems to me that it makes a case that by going to vote NO, no matter how much cheating Chavez is already doing, we have a better chance to make our point that the new constitution is inviable. In fact we even have a chance to stop it! If we stay home we know that even with a 20% of Venezuelans Chavez will try to impose it anyway if he has enough spread, which he is sure to get if we stay home.
Besides, if you stay home you relinquish any right you have to say that your vote was stolen. It is that simple.