Saturday, April 16, 2011

Primaries in February 12: right now, no use for them.....

Now that I have vented my anger at the idiocy of the opposition for postponing so late the primaries (which means that if a second round were to be necessary it might not take place until March or April!), it is time to evaluate the situation a little bit closer.  After all I have not written a real electoral post since my discussion in Spanish over the primaries.  Little good did it do....  Not that I was expecting anything, mind you, just sad of having been proven once again that the MUD victories are at the very least as much in spite of the MUD than becasue of its actions.

Needless to say that at this point I am very pessimistic as to the opposition winning in 2012, for three reasons basically

-  The MUD has been unable to create a structure to reply to Chavez.  This is even more damaging that there is no candidate and that there will not be a functional candidate until sometime in March.  Let's not forget that whomever wins on February 12 will need a few weeks just to put in place his campaign structure which is not going to be the same thing as a primary structure.  Or why else do you thing that there is a gap of several weeks between the end of the US primary season and the political conventions?  That the MUD is unable, either from parliament, or from the street to reply to the many obscenities of Chavez, or take advantage of some of its mistakes is simply at this point unacceptable (the PDVSA pension fund, the absolute unpreparedness of the regime in case of national catastrophe, the failure to oppose to the housing law that will kill the building industry amen of private property, etc, etc... while not even offering a unified front of support to the students, the health workers, etc...).

-  Because there is no real evidence that the MUD will create a viable project for the country.  I am not talking here of a big book of all that the new president will try to do: s/he will not be able to do so because of chavismo sabotage in public administration.  But it is of absolute no use to run primaries if we are going to vote on personality likes and dislikes rather than on a real viable document that the candidates will be asked to apply, with the nuances of their own beliefs but akin to the force of a law.

- Because simply put the MUD is clearly more preoccupied about how they will split among themselves the few town-halls that they might get in 2012 rather than create a real plan to confront Chavez and his corrupt ideology.

Failure to address these items will not only fail to convince enough chavistas to vote for the opposition but will demobilize folks like yours truly.   I have the feeling that as long as Ramos Allup and Omar Barboza seem to call the shots at the MUD, no progress will be made.  These two characters might be great managers of small local campaigns but in my book they seem woefully inadequate to run the inspired campaign that will unseat Chavez.

Of course, all is not lost yet.  In what will be an hypertrophied electoral season Chavez might make enough mistakes to compensate for that one of the MUD.  But the fact of the matter is that Chavez scores this point even though now he cannot use the argument of "wanting an opponent": he will be shadow boxing until next February and that could hurt him a lot.

So, what does the MUD needs to do, URGENTLY:

-  Create a mechanism to reply to chavismo antics.

-  Since apparently they are refusing to even discuss as second round balloting, short of "preferential vote" the only option is to create strict conditions to run in the primary in a way that the primary will be held among no more than 3-4 people, giving a real chance to have a winner with close to 50% of the vote and no other close to 20%.

-  Update their image system to make folks believe that they are actually working hard at a platform, elections, etc...  Even if they are wasting precious time squabbling, they need to make a better effort at pretending that all is going well.  Ramon Garcia Avelado is becoming less and less convincing each time he appears at Globovision.....

-  Participate more in street protests, have the national assembly representatives more combative than what they are doing, etc...

In other words, make us believe that they care, that they are working for us because I tell you, the more I look at them the less convinced I am that they give a rat ass about my future (thinking of it, there might be a point in Chavez calling us rats).  Of course, there are some exceptions of politicians doing the right things, but the MUD is now so clearly dominated by the Ramos and Barbozas that its image is tanking fast....

Still more than 18 months before elections but time is running fast guys!!!!!


  1. My dear Daniel, how right you are! I have always said that if the opposition followed your advise we would not be where we are.

    You clearly understand the issues, the country and where we stand.

    Someone in the MUD, please, hire Daniel as a consultant!

  2. Bruni

    Thanks, but they cannot afford me! :)

    Kidding aside, the sad part is that I am not even that original. After all the only thing I do is combine some truisms that are already out, think about them, put in my own observations and write something. Anyone that were to be less obsessed about personal political gain could do the same as I do, but apparently in Venezuela such OpEd writers remain silent, or do not exist, or cannot integrate things. Maybe becasue I am scientist and I watch the political game as a gigantic social experiment, drawing some conclusions that have the demerit, in Venezuela, to be based on facts?

    That is why I woudl be always a terrible politician: I would never be able to tell people what they want to hear.....

  3. But that's right. I think you also have some advantage, Daniel: You live in the province, in the real province, and you know well the Caracas-Maracaibo-Valencia mentality. The guys in those three cities think 90% of the population lives there and they need to spend 95% of the time there. They are dead wrong.

    I tell you: I have never seen someone so encapsulated as those Caraquenos or Marabinos or Valencianos...not even Parisians or Berliner or Londoners.
    And the problem is Venezuela is way more dissoluted than any of those countries.
    One of the reasons why this Allup guy and those AD guys still call the shots is because no one from the urbanite parties want to go to those places. People there hav voted for the ones they know and those are PSUV or adecos.
    And now MUD is stuck with shares based on some elections where everyone was focused in his feud.
    And they are still focused on their feuds now.

    Another issue is, of course, the fact you have seen different systems. These guys don't realise they need to stop using the same mindset Venezuela has been using for so many decades now, a mindset that is in reality nothing more but a continuation of the eternal caudillo mentality we have had since Bolívar and probably earlier with the different hijos de conquistadores and encomenderos wanting to do their own bloody thing without a project and a plan.

    They still think feudally.

  4. I would be surprised if Chavez lost in 2012 anyway. The best the opposition could do in my opinion is to start getting known in 2012, win some town halls and start becoming viable alternatives at a small scale and show that they can actually run a platform sucessfully at the local level to be something different.

    Let Chavez run this disaster for another 6 years, it's clear to me that the people aren't ready to think of something different than Chavez, but then again the opposition has not been able to present itself as something differemt and I don't think they can do that in 18 months. They should be thinking long term to 2018.

  5. February sounds like about the right date for primaries.As it's better not to have it too soon so we can keep the attention focused on Chavez and also have all the primary candidates go around promoting the cause of the opposition.This way they will have a wider reach and also present a more dispersed target for Chavez's election.The moment the oppo candidate has been chosen, Chavez will unleash his shock and awe against him.This is more relevant than the fact that the oppo candidate will have less time to campaign for himself.Ultimately it will not be about what the oppo candidate can say or promise but rather about the people deciding they have had enough of Chavez.

    The message of the opposition should be:

    Chavez is not really a candidate.The democratic candidates are only those running in the primaries.Those will be the real elections, and its winner will be the only alternative to dictatorship.

    The opposition candidate cannot count on having anything approximating an honest debate.It would be the equivalent of being in a televised debate with your opponent where you can make a 2 minute remark followed by a half rebuttal of your opponent.The imbalance of money, TV and other media outlets in favor of Chavez is so gigantic that the debate cannot really developed.

    Everyone knows that if the opposition candidate wins the elections, he is not going to be allowed to just step in and become president.Chavez and his generals have stated very clearly that if this were to happen, the army, and the Chavez militia would take over.So basically what is being done is an act of resistance where the winning candidate of the opposition becomes a focus against dictatorship and exposes it as such.

  6. excuse me, I meant to say half hour rebuttal...

  7. 1979 Boat People11:09 PM


    The Castro brothers are scared that
    the "Day of Rage" may come to Cuba soon so Raul makes surprise annoucement.

    Fidel Castro praises brother amid historic changes

  8. It would be the equivalent of being in a televised debate with your opponent where you can make a 2 minute remark followed by a half [hour] rebuttal of your opponent"

    And the other half of the "debate" would be a two-hour (minimum!) remark, followed by absolutely no rebuttal.


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