Tuesday, November 01, 2011
Conspiracy theory 102
Since many of you have been reading on the bolibanana revolution for so long I presume that by now you have approved conspiracy theory 101 and we can move on to the next stage. There a few ones floating around these days, induced by the uncertainty of Chavez croaking. Thus I am going to list some in no order of importance.
Splitting the voting dates to change the constitution in between
UPDATE AT END OF THIS SECTION
This is the one that Milagros Socorro offered in her El Nacional column this week end. According to her the latest rise in military paycheck is to tie them down with Chavez. He would be needing their support so that after election day on October 7 a victorious Chavez could ask for a constitutional referendum to remove the rank of governor and mayor. And thus the December governor elections would have no point being held anymore.
I have a lot of problems with that one, with all the due respect to Milagros Socorro. Even though we can accept that the TSJ will be bending the rules to accommodate Chavez, that particular trick is too hard to perform. First, the governor candidate hard on campaign are not going to go down just like that, the more so if they feel they are winning (a Chavez victory does not guarantee that he will sweep state houses two months later, the more so if he gets a narrow win). Second, Chavez can only resubmit a major constitutional reform in what would be the next constitutional period. That one starts in February 2013 and that is only when he could resubmit the 2007 failed proposal. Since weakening the governor seats was part of the 2007 proposal, he cannot ask for their removal until February 2013. True, the TSJ can disguise that as an amendment, but the time to do that and vote would be too short between October 7 and early December. Possible but too short. And this time around the Unidad will have enough representatives in the National Assembly to make enough delaying mayhem. Basically it would require a coup and this is only possible if Chavez gets at least 55%. And if he gets 55% why would he bother since it probably means he will get most of the governor seats?
At this point I see this type of scenario working only two ways: Chavez gambles on his victory and calls for the amendment to be voted on October 7 also. Or he wants it to remove the mayors first, to be replaced by "comunas". But the amendment would be very dicey as the candidate governors would certainly campaign hard against it while the chavista candidates would be doomed from the start for obvious reasons: why would you campaign FOR something that will kill you?
In other words, right now I rule out that conspiracy theory except to screw mayors in 2013 where the time frame works out for Chavez.
UPDATE. Well, I may have to stand corrected on this one. Today in Tal Cual I read that the PSUV has forbidden anyone to seek a nomination for regional elections until October 8 2012. Apparently Chavez party says that no one is worried about these races and that between October 2012 and December 2012 there is plenty of time to name the candidates and do the campaign. Yeah, right........ And if you buy that one I have a lovely bridge for sale in Brooklyn that might interest you.....
So maybe Milagros Socorro is right and maybe chavismo is banking all on Chavez reelection. Such a move from them (wich might be only for the time being as they resolve first the reality that Chavez might not be a candidate) a is as good a confession you will find that without Chavez they know they are unelectable. So they bank it all on Chavez and use his eventual reelection to make a coup. Are you reading Unidad?
An elected vice-president
This is the one rolling as the best way to ensure a chavismo post Chavez, presumably prepared by the Cubans. In this one the constitution is changed and the Vice president is now elected with the president and if that one were to leave office then the vice-president will complete the term instead of the early elections previewed in the current constitution.
Technically this one is more removed from the rejected 2007 proposal and could be tricked around in an easier way by the TSJ as an amendment. I do not think it is valid but then again the eternal presidency 2009 amendment was not valid and no foreign power lost sleep over it. Also there is plenty of time still to organize the vote and even make it coincide around primary time in an attempt at screwing the Unidad primaries who would have to be changed to include vice-presidential candidates (tough the Unidad could say that the runner off is the vice-presidential candidate which could be a bonus for them!).
The odds of that theory rest exclusively on the health of Chavez who will only accept it if he thinks he cannot finish the next term. As such it would be an indirect admission of his bad health and would compromise his reelection. It is a very cynical move that could backfire badly, the more so if Chavez vice-presidential candidate is appointed and not selected in a PSUV primary.
Leopoldo wins but loses
Of course this one is quite simple: Leopoldo Lopez wins the primary and if he were to win the general election he is barred from taking office creating thus a constitutional crisis and major disturbance allowing for a coup or something. In such a daring scenario neither Chavez nor Leopoldo get to be president but the military get to set a "temporary coup" until new elections are held with new candidates, the idea is that chavismo retains office though the discomfiture and inner fighting of the Unidad.
There are two problems with that theory. First it could backfire really , really bad for chavismo. A military coup would not be enough. Second the international community would not accept that. they can accept all sorts of things from curtailing freedom of expression to make the state a narco-state. But a president is a president in an old boy club and such a precedent would be unacceptable for these old boys (only three women in it but on this respect at least one would approve).
I think it is unlikely but its intention is really to spread the rumor so that Leopoldo does not win the primary, the real goal.
THERE! three for your enjoyment. Does anyone has a theory worth adding?