Thursday, September 30, 2010

Simple considerations as to why last Sunday was an electoral fraud and what to do about it

I will be brief and to the point

This morning I was in an early talk show with a Jamaica Kingston radio.  They call me when there is stuff going on in Venezuela and over the years my sparring partners have varied including one year Eva Golinger herself.  This time I found someone who I debated with at NPR years ago, Daniel Hellinger.  The man remains a chavista light, those who live safely in civilized countries and do not need to worry about their everyday life degradation if they had to live here.  Actually we had no problems agreeing in some points, but he dismissed the electoral result distortion saying that this was the norm.  It is not.

I also wrote a text in French and I was surprised this time around at the virulence from the loony left.  One thing that also struck me is how fast they had picked up the official line to defend the lopsided results, a witness at how well oiled is the pro Chavez "information".  You find this also through Mark Weisbrot at Comment is Free of the Guardian, with the added bonus that for him it is democracy back to normal in Venezuela that we should focus on.  Which is not but that is another subject.  And at home we can find such spin pieces such as this terribly written AVN text.  Without forgetting the one of a kind performance by Socorro Hernandez stating that those who disagree with her electoral shenanigans are creeps and manipulators.

One common thread needs to be observed here: the minimizing of the lopsided chavista victory of last Sunday, when many of these observers are suddenly less upset about the unfair electoral advantages they perceived in their countries now that these tricks benefit their hero/pay-master Hugo Chavez.  I am not going to discuss the hypocrisy of the case, it is self explanatory.

What is more interesting to observe here is that in fact these people have a deep ignorance of how electoral systems are created and how easily they are willing to accept that these are modified when it serves their side.  Nothing new you may say, but you are wrong because now the global left has discovered that using democracy and corrupting it and its electoral system you can access power and keep it for as long as you can get away with your cheating.  That is right, the left which is supposed to promote democracy has discovered the joys of electoral cheating on its favor.

We need to frame our debate in simple terms because we can win that one easily.  I am not speaking for myself who has had a life long interest in history, politics and henceforth electoral systems.  I cosigned a letter with my fellow bloggers challenging Socorro Hernandez but I have no false modesty in writing here that I can take on Soccorro Hernandez or anyone else mentioned above alone, anywhere, anytime, without any manual or lap top, with just a white board and at least two different colored markers.  I will trash them all, arguments and lies, in 10 minutes top.

It is not difficult if you know what you are talking about.  You only need to present material such as the table I drew two days ago and carry it around, rub it on the nose of any defender of the Sunday result and see them wince.  You do not need to mention Zulia or Anzoategui or Podunk: in no electoral system in the world who prides itself of a minimum of fairness you will see a regional result like the one I illustrated in that table.  Nowhere you will see 3 of the 4 main states in the country go one way in votes and the other way in seats.  It can happen for a state, maybe two in the case of very close elections but it will never happen for three major states.  Never.  And if per chance it were to happen, the civilized society will immediately think about a correction, not about defending the injustice from the dungeon high tower.

The Venezuelan opposition that lost so much last Sunday should never leave this issue sleep but should never be mired in stupid details about some busload of fake voters reaching a voting center 5 minutes after closing time.  Just with my table, just with a couple of additional tables that Esdata or Sumate can provide or me or Quico if they want them for free, we can demand from the National Assembly that the electoral law be reviewed and see how the undemocratic chavismo squirms and looks worse and worse as it blocks the hearings of Socorro Hernandez and Tibisay Lucena.  We have a great tool to expose chavismo and I am afraid that maybe the opposition is not seeing it clearly.

To close this I need to remind that this is not a personal matter as I kept trying to explain some of these people above: I predicted 69 seats for the opposition and it got 66.  No one got closer than I did, at least as far as I know.  Quico Toro did not predict the outcome of the vote but he created a model where plugging in the final result gave you the seat count to a seat.  It was there, for public information all along, the distorted voting system.  It was no witchcraft or tarot reading.  Everyone in Venezuela with a critical political mind knew that the chances for the opposition to win were slim, and impossible this time around if you put its target at 53% of the vote for the MUD alone.  It is all in my blog, it is all in Francisco Toro blog, there is no mystery.  The result was predictable because the extent of the handicap was known.

What happened is that the cheating in fact worked better than expected and even chavismo was surprised by it, hence the lousy defense of the result, starting with Chavez himself who fell apart in front of Andreina Flores of RFI.

The opposition leadership could do worse than reflect on this.  Quico and myself are their disposition and if they find us too arrogant our side kicks on the matter, Juan, Miguel and Alek can do the job too.  The 5 of us have been better than any polling group in Venezuela, have yielded better explanations of the CNE cheating than them or even major newspapers.  In fact, these polling groups should be sending us job offers, Globovision, El Universal and El Nacional should be begging us to write for them......


  1. Anonymous2:03 AM

    Very well stated Daniel.

    The saying here is that "sunlight is the best disinfectant" and while simply exposing the cheat works with people that have a conscience. I'm not so sure with PSUV types.

  2. Daniel.

    I think you could apply for a job in the UK helping with the electoral reform now in discussions. The Labour party government, of unhappy memory, managed to massage some of the electoral boundaries to their advantage, as it was demonstrated in the last election (which they lost in the end). The new Conservative/Liberal ruling coalition are trying to change the electoral system to adopt some form of proportional representation. The Labour lefties are of two minds about this: proportional representation reforms go against their in-built advantage, but how could they oppose it without losing whatever democratic credentials they have left? The UK has the potential to go the way of Venezuela if these guys were given another chance. Especially now that they saw how well it could work. They'd never lose again. Thanks to Chavez.

  3. Arm chair revolutionaries are a big problem because they are ignorant of the realities they address and do not know it.Sure they know they lie in order to reach their goals but knowing that they lie and knowing how their lies effect them and others are not the same thing.They are completely ignorant of the fact that lying serves no purpose that is good.

    Part of the problem with people like this is that they are too much into politics and not enough into thinking.A thinker does not mold their mind into a set of fixed ideas.A ture thinker will be flexible and curious.A thinker does not reject whole bodies of knowledge as do revolutionaries and political fanatics.A thinker can look at each idea or experience with fresh eyes, because they are searching for understanding, not just to prove themselves correct and/or validate their authorities figures and corresponding idealized systems.

    It is useless to debate people of this extreme nature.Their sense of security lies in the authoritarianism of their knowledge.

    It is however useful to keep publishing the facts, and the explanation of those facts over and over again for those who are not so entrenched, and also in order to publicly expose their " game".
    If we allow them to be the only ones opining we are doomed.

  4. Daniel, I agree that the 5 of you should be at the forefront of any serious analysis of the current Venezuelan situation and the first thing someone who really wants to know should read(oh wait - you already are!) and about the loony European left, well...I am surrounded by them and for them, it's just a matter to "sticking it to the US", they don;t care if they have to throw the Venezuelan (or the Cuban) people under the bus...keep it up - all of yous!

  5. Daniel, I am making here the same comment that I made in Miguel's blog. I think that the opposition should fight in court the new law because it is CLEARLY inconstitutional.
    However, all this talk about the circuits and opposition congratulating itself for the results is putting a screen on how amazingly BAD this result is given the conditions Venezuela is at the moment.

    If we keep finding excuses, these guys are going to do exactly like they did after 2007: they never changes their way of doing politics and, as a result, we lost the regionals and we lost the enmienda. We need to win 2012 and for that, we have to demand a better opposition.

    Here's my post:

  6. Anonymous9:11 AM

    la historia de venezuela muchos caciques. No way anyone in the leadership of the MUD will ever listen to anyone but their cronies. I wish they would follow common sense but i gave up long ago sometime around 1991.

  7. Bruni

    I do not think my mood was very congratulatory for the opposition. True, we must praise their endurance and their resistance and performance under tremendous negative odds, but I am not going to play their little game. Promoting Maria Corina for her big win in a circuit where a yellow dog can win is stupid. Fortunately Maria Corina, albeit playing the game, seems to be more realistic than those praising her to high heavens. She was head of Suamte, she knows better even though she prefers not to say right now.

  8. Armando

    Maybe we can be the new CNE?

  9. With regards to whether or not we would be listened to by the crop of opposition leaders, I wrote this:

  10. Milonga10:54 AM

    Brilliant as usual, Daniel! For those that read Spanish, I recommend reading this article by Esteban Valenti: For those that do not know him, he is oppenly communist and was responsible for Tabaré Vázquez's election campaign. His article is un-pasionate as it can be and a quite objective. Daniel, it only proves that people are listening. Unfortunately, the opposition cannot do much, considering that still Chavez can count on his congressmen and women to vote most of the laws, and the Judicial is more Chavista than Chávez himself! And I cannot see a clear opposition leader, which is a problem.

  11. Anonymous2:29 PM

    I read your encounter. Not surprised at all. I used to be blanco blanquito como toda mi familia. The guys vote blanco no matter what and the leaders in lara set the same tone. When i ask my family why the support los adecos i get nothing that makes sense, thats what we do.

  12. 1979 Boat People2:48 PM

    Am i asking too much from you all(the 5 Amigos) to expose such fraud (recently happened in Venezuela 09/26/2010 event) that may happen in other countries like Nicaragua, Ecuador etc. in the near future?


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