During this morning coffee ritual I got this London Times article in both the comments and e-mail. It is truly an outstanding account on how useless electoral observation is. At best they detect irregularities and dare to denounce some of them. At worst, well, they are the total junket as was the case in Ecuador narrated by the journalist. And the very worst? Well, remember Venezuela 2004. A must read article.
This blogger was endorsing the EU observation before because contrary to other missions it seemed more independent minded, more observant (read the snippet about African "solidarity" on Zimbabwe massive fraud in the cited article). Naively it seems now to this blogger the fact that several countries were involved at once should have guaranteed more sobriety and objectivity. When you read the report of Tom de Castella you can see that it was all about flirting with each other or with he power in place, to get a sense of self superiority. The opposition in each case described by de Castella is secondary to the worries of the observers.
In other words, based on our recent experience of 2007 when no observers came to watch over the referendum vote, the way out of our mess is to go to vote and to stay until all ballots are counted. The students showed to opposition political parties how it is done. In 2006 there were perhaps more than half polling stations without opposition watch dogs which explains the glaring discrepancy in favor of Chavez that de Castella noted in San Felix, a bastion of corrupt chavismo by the way. The result? As this blogger mentioned in the past, a victory for Chavez in 2006 but likely a padded margin; in 2007 a defeat that is forcing the CNE to hide the final result TWO MONTHS after the vote!!!!!!
The message is clear: if the opposition does not start playing hard ball, does not start to take the personal risks necessary to win the elections, Chavez will stay in power forever with an easy cheat. The answer is within us, not with Electoral observers who have all proven to be woefully inefficient, when not partisan, from the Carter Center to even the European Union.