Thursday, November 19, 2009

Good news from the Venezuelan opposition

Today we got some good news from the opposition electoral negotiation table. A few resolutions have been made and they are pointing in the right direction, quite like I was writing a few days ago. Not that I own any particular wizardry but surely my keen sense of the obvious should also be shared by some of the guys in that negotiating room.

Since it will be a while before anything in English on that appears, here are the highlights as I see them (with my scoring 1 to 10, passing > 5 grade):

- An electoral program will be nailed down and presented to the country in late March. It is late for my taste, and I do not know whether it will be a legislative program or a sum of unnecessary promises. For now, 5.

- Candidates will be chosen through consensus and primaries. No polls will be used which is fine with me, saves money. Consensus will be tried first and in the districts where it fails, then primaries will be held. 9; I would give a ten if they had guaranteed at least 50 primaries.

- In January nomination of the candidates that gather a consensus around them. 10

- By February decision of which primaries must be held. 9

- Primaries held from February to April 30. 8. April 30 is late but if already a sizable number of candidates are chosen by March 31 it is not too bad. What I am afraid of is that inner squabbling might drag the primaries through May.

- Among the unity candidates there will be a few personalities not associated with political parties. 9. Not 10 because there is the risk of choosing people just for effect that will be lousy campaigners.

- In January a plan on how to defend the vote, to make any vote count will be presented. 10, because not only we need such a plan to man every voting station, but we will need at least 6 months to recruit and train the volunteers, in particular in chavista strongholds where they exist but where they will be threatened. Remember that a seat can be lost by a hundred votes and that can be achieved easily by cheating in a single voting center left without supervision!

Overall a nice passing grade, a pleasant surprise. And an understanding that all must need to be tied up by Easter Week, just as I was writing, even if they offer April 30.

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