Sunday, December 13, 2015

The 2015 results: polarization, when thou hold us enthralled!

This entry is for the anecdotal part. There were some "independents/dissenter" candidates. What was their fate?

The polarization of the country rolled over them without pity.

The ones from the opposition side, who should have fared batter than those from PSUV were not only laminated but actually caused the loss of at the very least one seat for the MUD. Imagine it at 113! And because of two of them Maria Corina Machado has created a lot of grief for herself, when she should have been one of the heroines of the election campaign for her selfless dedication to campaigning for whomever wanted her presence at meetings.

There was one seat where I thought that MCM would have scored; the one in Lara for Palavecino where she supported Gomez Sigala. The MUD, unwisely, had decided to put one of the aides of governor Falcon, suspected of hiding in the MUD until better days were ahead for an alliance with the PSUV, together with Marquina who apparently moves a lot across Venezuela, having been representative for the states of Sucre and Miranda.

Gomez Sigala, on the liberal right of the MUD, has been a good representative in that he has been working assiduously during his 5 years tenure. The MUD tossed him out because anyone smelling of free market and private property is, well, unpalatable in a country where all, ALL political parties are some shade of populists. One of the reason by the way MCM has not managed to make her political party, VENTE, viable so far. Traditions are hard to break even if they are intellectually correct and coherent.

Unfortunately the polarization was so high, the desire of a punishing vote on Maduro so exacerbated that Gomez got only 4,160 votes to the 146,424 votes that Marquina got on top of the ticket.  Note that the chavista top got only 67,576 so even a perfect split between the two opposition tickets would have still given that seat for the opposition.

But the stubbornness of Gomez and the unwise political flair of MCM only messed his career but weakened MCM position further inside the MUD. And this was made worse by her support of a dissident MUD in Tachira that this time did give an extra undeserved seat to chavismo allowing the reelection of the unsavory Sanguino. This one got 40,7% of the vote while the combined opposition vote was 59+% (and state wise was 2 to 1 for the opposition!). Note that the MUD candidate got 13% more votes than the dissident candidate, so it was not even close.

In other dissident we had in Caracas Berenice Gomez, firebrand personality of Radio Caracas and with a twitter following of 715K. She pitted herself against Ramos Allup because she thought him (justifiably) weak in front of chavismo corruption due to his family links to financial sectors of chavismo. Well, Ramos got 139.435 votes to 458 for our girl Berenice.  An even split there would have given the seat to the opposition anyway as the chavista candidate only got 56.562 but such are the wonders of polarized electorate, the more so in big cities which have suffered most from the regime's policies.

Another very questionable dissent was the MAS, henceforth a weak member of the MUD as the bulk of its leftist electorate went Chavez long ago. Its score nation wide has been dismal, ruining any chance it has to rejoin the MUD. For example 758 votes out of 1.221.224 votes cast in Caracas Libertador where 9 seats were elected.

As for chavismo dissent, hidden through some diverse parties, it is not even worth discussing. Whatever chavismo dissent existed it went straight to the MUD to punish Maduro, not even staying home as the high participation of the electorate showed.

Just a little note on fake dissent. In Petare district chavismo run William Ojeda. What was notable there is that you needed to wait for election day to discover that Ojeda was also the candidate of PSUV. That is, all the campaign of Ojeda was based on a party judicially hijacked by chavismo, MIN, which run as if they were the opposition, with almost the same color of the MUD brand, and placed, surprise, next to the MUD case on the ballot. The a clear intent to confuse voters, even noted overseas. As I described all of the Petare district was plastered with Ojeda pale blue posters. You would be hard pressed to find a single PSUV poster in red supporting Ojeda. Well, it did not work. Ojeda was TRASHED with 73,840 against MUD standard banner Pizarro with 144.727. To add insult to injury through the PSUV label Ojeda got 68.205 votes while under the MIN label 1.759 votes.

In short it is quite possible that there has been more MIN posters for Ojeda than the MIN actually got in votes.

And keep in mind that more than half of the voters in Petare are from what has been termed the largest continuous barrio/favella/slum in the world. Ain't it that something!

1) polarization has been worse than ever
2) the MUD victory is clearly due to a big chunk of chavismo voting against Maduro's failed policies and
3) those MUD victory votes are "borrowed". If it is true that once a first switch happens, further switches are much easier for the voters. However this switch is not very constructive. MUD strength was built slowly by chavista voter first abstaining from voting Chavez, and then finally going MUD the following election. I would venture that half of the MUD growth this time can revert easily to chavismo once Maduro is removed from office.

1 comment:

  1. The Chavista vote will revert if things improve, and if the general assembly is unable to get ANTV to transmit unbiased content.

    But I'm still seeing a move to bypass the National Assembly and go for a self coup. All you gave to do is drill down in and their social media. Outside friends such as the Brazilians will be extremely important.

    As regards MCM, she's more of a hindrance. Her constituency is in the bag anyway. What Unity needs is the swing vote in the Chavista ranks. And that means the Capriles approach sells better.


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