Monday, September 24, 2012

Capriles to name his VP? An electoral blunder in the making?

I am not sure what is going on inside the Unidad campaign but the announcement that Capriles may decide on his VP before election day is, in my view, a possible major blunder.  Quickly a few reasons:

1) there is no need. In Venezuelan constitution a VP can be removed at will by the president, just as if he were a mere minister.  In fact, he is less than a prime minister because in countries where there is a prime minister removal of this one implies automatically that all the other ministers cease in their functions. In Venezuela all the other minsters stay in office when the president decides to change the VP.

2) the Unidad is still a fragile coalition. True, it will hold together until October 7 no matter who Capriles picks, but no matter who is picked, someone will not be happy about that. The lack of motivation of a given group could cost Capriles several thousand votes in an election which is still closer than what many may think.

3) naming a "running mate" is offering Chavez a second target for insults and criticism, in that order probably. Capriles has developed a thick skin that looks more and more Teflon like.  A running mate at this point in the game could become a nasty chink in the armor.

There are other minor arguments against that could be added but I will settle on these 3 for starter. Besides, who would he name? Leopoldo? And have Zulia pissed? Perez? And compromise the governor seat in December? Aveledo and offer the chance to chavismo to say that Capriles is tied to the past (in spite of all the immense merits of Aveledo who has one of the most modern poltical thinking of Venezuela today)? A born again opposition like Falcon and risk to depress the radical wing of the opposition?

I stop now, but you read it here first.  I hope that I am proven dead wrong but I am really afraid that this might be the first blunder of a campaign so far almost flawless.


  1. "but no matter who is picked, someone will not be happy about that."

    you can say that again!


  2. Island Canuck7:44 PM

    I don't know. I get the feeling that HCR has this campaign by the throat. I'll bet that all these decisions have been taken as a group & that for the insiders there will be no surprises. They already know what's up.

    Daniel's point #3 is the one that I would worry about. It would have to be someone squeaky clean & above criticism although at this point it's getting pretty late for them to start throwing stones. If he waits until just a few days before the close of the campaign they won't be able to do anything.

    I also feel that HCR has a few stones of his own to throw. He's been very careful not to specifically point out any of the VERY vulnerable ministers that Chavez has around him that are covered in dirt. He probably has stone cold proof as well. His attacks this last week have been at the Chavez program & specific problems - not people. This may be still to come when it will be too late for Chavismo to react.

  3. Dr. Faustus8:34 PM

    Yes, I think I know why Capriles did this.

    It is my opinion that Hugo Chavez is indeed dying of cancer. Everyone around Chavez is aware of this fact, including all of the cabinet ministers and the top people of the PSUV. Fidel, Raul and Daniel know this as well. Being around Chavez one cannot help but know the obvious. The steroids. The painkillers. The hobbling walk. The PSUV knows, as everyone reading these blogs should know, that this election is currently to the advantage of the MUD. If Chavez happens to win, by fraud or otherwise, the PSUV still loses with Hugo Chavez at the top of the ticket. Everyone surrounding Chavez knows that he is not meant for this earth that much longer. There will surely be another election within a year! They're not stupid. It's plain for everyone to see. Unless....

    Capriles, in my opinion, is pointing to this fact by announcing a Vice President, I think Capriles knows that 'something funny' is gonna happen soon with the names listed with the elections board that correspond to the official voter ballots. Next week the names at the CNE will be changed from Hugo, Adan. With Adan's name being officially registered, the PSUV insures themselves of 6 years of unobstructed tyranny. Capriles is calling attention to the 'succession issue' by naming his VP now. If the PSUV pulls this off next week, as I think they will, Capriles can quickly point to the fraudulent nature and dishonesty of Hugo Chavez and his party. I think that's why he's doing it.

    1. Anonymous8:45 PM

      I dont think Hugo or PSUV would be that dumb at this late in the game, even less if they think they can loose. Keeping Hugo as the candidate is their only chance to win, so they will hold on to it even if they have to take him to vote weekend at bernie's style. After they have won (if that happens) they will manage a way to stay in power if Hugo loses (ammend the constitution, or get rid of it once and for all). For one thing im sure that if they win, Hugo will try to make his dream come true before dying, and that is soviet union communism. It will take the win as an approval to enter socialism once and for all, and will do anything in his hand to make it happen quick. So we all better go vote and take everyone we can with us, or see Venezuela absolutely and completely destroyed

    2. Interesting scenario, but probably too late for them to pull this one out. It would require a major cadena, a major confession, a major public teary endorsement. And simply said, I do not think that Chavez is willing to go for that, he is too much like "if I go down, I am taking all of you down with me". Besides there is really no one Chavez could transfer his charisma or whatever you call his "touch".

      Let's not forget that all the main players for his succession are tainted, and I am talking tainted inside chavismo. Such a maneuver at this point will not win it for chavismo. I mean, can you see Adan Chavez taking a single vote away from HCR when he probably cannot keep all the chavismo votes?

      This could have worked if it had been prepared a month or two ago by changing Veep then. Now, today, Chavez could resign, make his new Veep a Prez, and put him at the ballot box as running for reelection. It would be more credible because the new Veep would have had a few weeks to show his or her face on TV. Now, Chavez can only try that by putting Jaua on the ballot box, not Adan.

      But of course, I may be dead wrong because I have always underestimated the idiocy of chavistadom and it could work out....

    3. I don't buy the ballot name switch, not for a minute. No one in the PSUV is as electable as Chavez, and this is too close for comfort for them without giving anything away. Plus, we're too close to 7O for that to be necessary.

      The scenario I won't rule, out, however, which also plays into the rest of your thinking, is a Chavez win (legitimate or stolen is a discussion for another day) followed by a sick Chavez (or someone else, if he dies) attempting to install a new person as the rightful inauguree based on Hugo's win. You know the TSJ will find a way to approve that. And then all hell will break loose. Well, all the hell that hasn't already been unleased on Venezuela in the form of Hugo.

  4. Dr. Faustus9:57 PM

    I think I should make my point a little clearer.

    The ballots will not change next week. You will still be voting for a smiling Hugo with the letters PSUV emblazened over his face. It's the official name registered with the CNE, and associated with an 'X' marking on the ballot, which will change, from Hugo Chavez to Adan Chavez. It's like you signing a marriage certificate on your wedding day, not noticing the legal gibberish, and then finding out later that the woman you had thought you had married was really her sister.

    1. Interesting, DrF. What makes me think you might have a point is this: In a recent discurso that Chávez gave, he stressed that "Chávez es el pueblo venezolano", or "Chávez is Venezuela," can't recall which. But as soon as he said it, I thought, hmmm, laying the groundwork for Adán. Here's my thinking: The #1 importance for Chávez is himself. The #2 importance for Chávez is the family name. His daughters are out of the question. That leaves only Adán as alternative to Hugo Chávez, who I'm pretty sure realizes, in private, the extent of his limitations for another 6 years.

    2. No, perdón, fue "Todos somos Chávez". :-O

  5. Anonymous12:01 AM

    A long time ago-when they were "pre-candidates"
    I would not have said this, but, now I believe
    logic dictates choosing Pablo Perez as VP.
    (My emotional side would pick Maria Corina Machado) I would expect Leopoldo Lopez to take the job from Maduro, too..
    Well, so, there's my opinion...
    Anonimo #5

  6. I agree with Daniel. This is a stupid move on behalf of HCR / MUD

  7. Anonymous4:55 PM

    I continue reading that the VP may be Henry Falcon as a strategy to secure the Chavista light vote.

    What is your opinion about this Daniel?



Comments policy:

1) Comments are moderated after the sixth day of publication. It may take up to a day or two for your note to appear then.

2) Your post will appear if you follow the basic polite rules of discourse. I will be ruthless in erasing, as well as those who replied to any off rule comment.