Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A few points on the April 14 election

Before we start discussing the short lived campaign it may be good to establish a few facts that, from pollsters to journalists through blog readers of this or any other blog, all may want to keep at hand at all times.


I posit that polls are going to be particularly useless at this time.

First, even trackers in one month will have a hard time to "keep track" for which you need to establish a base line. Once Chavez death was announced, you had to rebuild a new base line.

Second, the confrontational way the campaign has started will make public opinion very fluid until eventually it starts decanting, probably a few days before elections, too late for a serious poll.

Last but not least, by any means, the emotional factor. To win the opposition needs a huge abstention inside chavismo. We can assume that the opposition will recover most of its 6,5 million but there has been not enough time since October 2012, not enough economic suffering yet, to increase that number significantly. That is, a large chunk of chavista voters are going to be in some sort of emotional turmoil, voting for Maduro one day, for Capriles the next and abstaining on the third  Depending how the emotional cycle catches them on April 14 will determine their vote/nonvote. How do you poll that, reliably?

And a note: considering the dismal track record of ALL posters on October 2012, why would you waste money in a poll, or your time reading its results? (yes, I include Datanalisis that semi guessed the result but did so many blunders in other state polls....)

Campaign themes

This campaign is not going to be about electoral promises. The opposition tried its hand in October:  the message was received and people voted for Chavez anyway. Does anyone think that a Capriles repeating his potholing fixing speech will make any difference in a flash election?

Yes, there will be plenty of promises made but do not waste time comparing them, analyzing their plausibility: we all know what this election is all about and promises will have limited impact, at best. After all, that chavismo has not fulfilled a single of the promises made by Chavez 4 months ago does not seem to affect anything.....

Electoral cheating

If you thought you saw electoral cheating before, you ain't seen no nothing. Just from the start we can score: 1) the CNE announcement to strictly favor chavismo interests, 2) that the CNE did not do a thing to secure Capriles arrival for registration when chavista thugs were barring all accesses 3) that the CNE ignores already all the electoral material that chavismo had ready before Chavez croaked. and 4) many other hints...

I let you guess on what comes next from the CNE....

This time around I can assure you that in any table where the opposition does not have a 24/24 witness, there will be 100% voting and 100% voting for Maduro.

Electoral analysis

Why should I even bother getting started?

From the local levels since so many states have new governors, to the macro level where the crying vote is the norm, what's the use?

I will probably do a general estimation of possible abstention in a week or two and that will be it.  It is better this time around to cover in detail all the CNE cheating to establish a case, should we need one.


  1. kernel_panic4:02 AM

    "2) that the CNE did not do a thing to secure Chavez arrival for registration when chavista thugs were barring all accesses "

    Daniel, I think you mean Capriles, instead of chavez. If so, please, feel free to delete this comment as not to spam the topic :)

    1. Good catch! And I am not deleting because it is good to remind readers that this blogger accepts any help he can get.

    2. About the student: Do not get mixed up! Venezuelan students are asking for open democratic voting system for the Presidential Elections on April 14, 2013. It is their constitutional right, and an Universal Human Right (Article 21, Numeral 3). This call is not about nonparticipation; it is not about being part of the right or left political movements. It is about stopping the fingerprint machines from being used within the voting system; using them frightens people because in the past the government has done lists of the opposition preventing them from working: ; the current electoral system is being ruled by the government. It has a very complicated electronic system identified as doubtful: , - also see: The International Statistical Review (6 December 2006) y Statistical Science (November 2011) ,; The CNE should be independent according to the Venezuelan constitution but its board has four directors, 3 openly acknowledged as government supporters and 1 director who is apparently neutral…Be fair share this.

    3. Unknown????

      In which way is this blog or entry against what you write?

  2. This is reprinted from what I posted on Miguel's blog, but I thought it was worth repeating:

    The way I see this is that there are about five million voters who voted for Chavez, not because of any ideology or political conviction, but only because they liked him, and felt that Chavez cared about them. Many of them knew very well that he and all his cronies were corrupt and incompetent. But they voted for him because of their personal loyalty to Hugo Chavez, not to Chavismo.

    The way I see it, all of those votes are up for grabs if Capriles can push the right emotional buttons. Consider that along with the likelyhood that fractures in the PSUV are going to start appearing quickly, and I think that there is room for some degree of cautious optimism.

    BUT…. The Opposition should NOT try to win by painting a rosy picture of what they can achieve. They need to be brutally honest with Venezuela about the damage that has been done, what is required to fix it, and how much time it will take.

    If they can’t win with that message, it is better that the Chavistas win and eventually convince the country through a complete and abject failure of the economy that maybe the Opposition might have known what they were talking about after all.

    1. Anonymous10:03 AM

      re: "felt that Chavez cared about them. Many of them knew very well that he and all his cronies were corrupt and incompetent"

      So the question would be if the masses feel that Capriles cares about them, and that his cronies won't be corrupt or incompetent. I don't have any hope for the first two of these points, but do for the matter of competence.

      By the way, perhaps a better way to calculate the number of Chavez votes up for grabs might be to ask how many people are not getting money from the government.


  3. Anonymous9:48 AM

    Well, some say he was good for nothing. Well, Chavez was good for something.

  4. Maduro and the other power-starved THIEVES, including the “military” will cheat,again. They control the media, to begin with, They’ll do whatever it takes to stay in power and steal trillions of $$$$. Nothing Capriles or anyone can do about that right now. Corruption, money, lack of education, that's all.

  5. I think Rhona Ottolina has it right when she says:



    1. OK, so what is she (and you for that matter) proposing?

    2. First of all perhaps you can give me your plan :)Is it Go to elections and lose ?I see even oppos are hoping we lose so that Maduro gets blamed for the fails in the economy. haha! As though it were difficult to blame the US and the opposition.

      Honesty could be for starters.We can't go anywhere without it.Powerful stuff.

      When we start from real, people might take us more seriously and that would be a big beginning.I think if no oppo goes to vote it starts with the statement that we declare for a fact that Venezuela is not a democracy and acting like it is by voting just turns us into useful idiots.


    3. I disagree, Firepig, I don't think we should abstain.

      Do you really think the CNE is going to say: "Oh My God! The oppo did not vote! We must change NOW!"

      At least by voting we preserve the CHANCE we may win. By voting we signal to others, inside and outside the country that we are willing to fight even when we know the table is tilted.

      Whether or not you vote you will not change the CNE, only the Asamblea can do that.

      If for you it is not worth voting, that is your personal decision, but I think you make a mistake in not doing so.

      By not voting we DEFINITELY don't win, by voting MAYBE, de chiripita, with luck and spit, we might.

      The other side will certainly vote, and if we don't they will just say:"Well, we set up elections just like the law says and they didn't come, that is their problem. We are a democracy"

      So in the final analysis, I prefer to go vote. IF I want to tell the world that the CNE is rotten, that the government candidate enjoys gross advantages and breaks the law 10 times a minute, then there are other ways to do so that the country and world can see. Not voting is what petulant children do, akin to kicking the table.

      Now that I have given you my reasons, perhaps you will deign to share yours?

  6. After having been 'called' a petulant child why should I bother Roberto N :)

    I already gave my reasons above:

    1. Chavismo will not let the oppos win
    2.pretending we have a democracy and fair elections when we don't sends the wrong message

    However as a kind of compromise Eric Ekvall's ideas makes some sense to me if you would like to read:

    "Capriles no debería apuntar únicamente a ganar unas elecciones que nunca podrá ganar bajo las condiciones actuales, sino que tiene también que demostrar a los ojos del mundo que las elecciones en Venezuela son una farsa”.¿Cómo hacerlo?
    Ekvall sugiere que “en principio se debería presentar incondicionalmente una serie de exigencias básicas a fin de aclarar dudas sobre la confiabilidad del sistema”, entre otras, el rescate del equilibrio en la composición de la junta directiva del CNE o que se haga una auditoría independiente del registro electoral.
    Pero, ante la brevedad del tiempo que hay hasta las nuevas elecciones, Ekvall indica (y VenEconomía concuerda con él) que se ponga el énfasis en que se retiren las máquinas captahuellas de todos los centros electorales. Como indica Ekvall “el sistema de captahuellas-con-máquinas de votación SAI (acrónimo del Sistema de Autenticación Integrada) no funciona y solo sirve para amedrentar al votante”y “viola dos preceptos sagrados del sufragio libre, según la misma Constitución de 1999, el Acuerdo de San José de la OEA, y la Declaración Universal de Derechos Humanos de la ONU sobre la libertad del voto y el secreto del voto”.
    Esta, en opinión de VenEconomía, debe ser una condición inaplazable que debe imponerse para el 14A. A la cual le sumaríaVenEconomía, la exigencia de que se realice un requisito de Ley: la verificación ciudadana en todas las mesas en cada uno de los centros de votación del país. Esta es la única garantía de que los votos se cuenten y adjudiquen correctamente"

    Make lots of noise and DEMANDS before voting otherwise it will be totally and completely counterproductive.

    1. I'm all for making as much noise as possible about the unfairness of the playing field, and I am all for letting various and sundry know it.

      I have no problem at all with any of what Ekvall wrote above.

      I am under no illusions, and neither is HCR and the MUD, that we are going to have fair elections. In each of his speeches since Sunday Capriles has said so, loud and clear.

      I just don't think the alternative, not voting, is as useful as voting.

      Now, if you want to vote NULO to send a message, that's another story.

      We will have hot coffee and donuts here in DC for all who vote here, so drive on up you petulant child! :-)

  7. Anonymous3:02 AM

    Apologies, not much to do with the election, but you may find the attached cartoon poignantly humourous or humourously poignant or something to that affect.

    ¿Quién es Fidel?

  8. Anonymous4:01 AM

    Chavez and Madura were cheaters, they control the media. They have too much money

    Read my blog about Chavez:

  9. Weird. To clear and fair questions from Nasser, we get hazy defensiveness from firepigette (no one called you a petulant child, dear, unless you were already thinking taht about yourself).

    May I suggest that if such large quotes are going to be used to bolster an argument, that a source/date be provided? That is such standard practice, among those who've received post-secondary education, that it shouldn't require mention.

    Otherwise, I really can't take seriously the defensiveness, nor the arguments by two Americans who don't even vote in Venezuelan elections.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. To which Americans are you referring to?

  10. Boludo Tejano10:13 PM

    As a US citizen, here is my perspective on voting or not voting. Yes, the game is rigged,for a number of reasons, which you all know better than I do. Which pretty much guarantees a Chavista victory.

    Just as well that Maduro wins, as he will have to suffer the consequences of the fallout from the economy. But the lower the margin of victory that Maduro has, the less "mandate" he will have. The lower that Maduros's margin of victory is, the more credibility the oppo will have in the future. Maduro will likewise have less credibility.

    When "escualidos" are 48-49% of the electorate, such labels have less credibility.

  11. Milonga4:47 AM

    Recommended reading, I'm sure readers of this blog will enjoy this;


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