I am in no mood, and without much functional neurons left after two nights with little sleep, to write any meaningful review post. If this is what you want to read you can go to Pajamas and read the two articles I published there and there. Instead I will write a flimsier bloggy post giving the awards for yesterday.
"What part of NO you do not understand?" award
Hugo Chavez, of course, no contest. But as when the King of Spain slapped him Chavez does not seem to have realized that he has been slapped. His proposal freshly routed, he was already saying that he was not giving it up and that he would keep it alive. Rumors of a constitutional assembly are already flying.
Cryptic loser award
We did not talk much about it last weekend but the other big loser of the night was the National Assembly of Venezuela. The 100% monochromatic assembly elected with less than 20% of voters in December 2005 probably compromised gravely the reform proposal of Chavez by adding in the middle of the night 36 articles that few people ever got around to read by voting day. The abusive role of the Assembly, with its utter disregard to criticism and popular opinion, probably cost Chavez the referendum that would have been easier to win with the original 33 articles. However, what is worse is that when an assembly rough handles a law and the people reject that law then the assembly should submit itself to new elections. In other words through its behavior during the last three months the Assembly lost any shred of legitimacy it might have had. If we were in a parliamentarian system the prime minister would have resigned and new elections called.
Most vote loser award
Among the characters of the assembly that became the most odious during the process was certainly Cilia Flores. The Assembly chair must have lost, through her arrogance, at least 1000 votes each time she appeared on TV.
Least autonomous power award goes to the CNE
During his press conference last night Chavez said that it was him who delayed the publication of the result while he was digesting them. That is, for the lay person, the CNE , one of the 5 independent powers, had the results in hand since at most 9 PM but had to wait for Chavez go ahead to announce them after 1 AM. "se cuenta y no se cree".
Best prediction award is for this blogger
OK, it is my blog, I can give me all the awards I want. So sue me.
The CNE came out with its preliminary report per state. So I decided to present it in a table as the ones I did last week to predict the possible result. For memory I wrote my scenario with the NO winning 51 to 49 but with my gut feeling that the spread would be at least 5%. I know, I know, I should have not read the pollsters... Still, as you will see below my region by region prediction of the vote result was damned good! Not only I calculated the 51/49 result but I predicted the result in all regions but one. Quite a feat considering that one year ago Chavez even carried Zulia.
In this table you will see the following:
1) left column, all the regions that I predicted accurately. I only missed one, Lara/Falcon, to my great surprise I must recognize.
2) next column is the CNE results. Chavez carries only Llanos and Guyana (I will write the reasons why later when all results are published in detail by the CNE)
3) Next, rounded up, is the total votes to be cast by region according to my abstention guess. Note, the numbers are not exactly the same as the equivalent column in the third graph here, because I did subtract the votes that I predicted as "extra missing votes". My intuition was right, that in some regions abstention would be greater.
4) The other columns are self explanatory: in black my prediction and in colors the CNE result (rounded up for simplicity). In green when my prediction is within 10% of the result, in yellow when it is within 15% and in red when I missed it. Note 1: I am talking number of votes, not the percentages, thus I can be more generous in the spread rating here as I am giving out real number predictions. Note 2: and these prediction results can only improve when the CNE releases all of its results. If it ever does so as there is no evidence for this in tis web site with a very weird delay, no?
Damn I am good! So, from now on, I am the expert on the Venezuelan electoral chart on the blogosphere. Got it?
True winner award
No contest, the student movement. They are the main promoters of this Chavez defeat. They also showed that the pro Chavez student movement is an empty shell. We know who are the real victors of the stifling disgraceful scene at the National Assembly last June.
Back from the grave award
The opposition parties. The students have granted them a chance to regenerate and lead a true alternative to chavismo. If they allow the students to live and lead and slowly let them renew their party ranks, in ten years chavismo could be in the dust bin of history. but if they try short cuts again, then the very same students might end up pushing them in the dust bin.
The sitting between two chairs award
Baduel and PODEMOS. Now they must decide how much of an opposition to Chavez they will be. Rough waters ahead for them, but also the possibility to lead chavismo without Chavez. whether we like it or not, they are the only ones able to pick up the pieces if chavismo implodes. If they play their cards right they might force Chavez to acknowledge them as "junior partners" and that might be the best thing to happen to Chavez, somebody who says NO on occasion and that forces Chavez to listen.
True loser award
Arrogance. The constitutional reform was an act of arrogance and the people responded to it as such by staying home or voting against.