So there we are, a new vote next Sunday. And yours truly has no interest in it, no desire to speculate on results, no clear idea of what would constitute a victory for either camp. So, during this lunch break I gather the courage to follow the tradition of this blog and write a political post for the governor elections next Sunday. Read at your own risk.
What is at stake
Apparently 23 state governors. In reality what is at stake is the credibility of EVERY ONE, from Maduro to Ramos Allup.
The regime which has already thrown at the opposition all what is in the book of electoral treachery is managing to write an appendix. Choice items are stuff like overthrowing opposition mayors and sending them into exile so they cannot run for governor. Through such artifacts the regime got its favorite enemy, AD of Ramos Allup, to win about half of the primaries but with way less than 50% of the vote. So the regime has set up a big return for AD in the hope of depressing other parties. The best treachery item is that the electoral system already weak reliability, damaged by the vote for the constitutional assembly (CA), is now beyond repair. How can the opposition preserve its vote share is still a mystery to me.
The opposition chances
If conditions were slightly fair the opposition should win 23 governorship. No serious poll give them less than 60% nationwide (and I guess less than 50% in any state). But this is quite compromised by the abstention campaign; and thus getting half of the governors may be by itself a good result. I am guessing 15 states against 8 for chavismo. Though this may change fast in this next week, IN SPITE of a lackluster campaign for the opposition.
The opposition self sabotage
Since the mid July "plebiscite" where nearly 8 millions voted for the opposition, and since the regime forged ahead anyway and elected its constituent assembly with 8 million votes of which we already know that 1 million were "added", a large sector of the opposition has been in shock. Amen of the out of place declarations like those of Ramos Allup, the fact of the matter is that this irate portion (fed mostly through Twitter via Miami) has decided not to vote becasue they argue that it would give legitimacy to the CA, which you may recall was elected as a violation of the constitution. Thus the argument is that if we vote then the countries that have declared not to recognize the CA may be tempted to recognize it.
Thus the result will depend on how many folks will stay home.
Unfortunately for that lost cause the group of 12 American countries that have condemned the election of the CA have let it know that this was no excuse to avoid voting. Yes, there is fraud, yes, the CA is a fraud but still the opposition should reach for any little bit they can. Will some of them back track?
The regime electoral strategy
Very simple, promote abstention with the most outrageous declarations that are spread widely on TV without the opposition given the faintest chance for a rebuttal.
The regime real strategy
For some inexplicable and unjustified reason the regime has separated the election for governor from those to the state legislatures which should be held together. The reason is simple: the regime, because of yet another idiotic opposition abstention 5 years ago (and a good dose of gerrymandering) controls 90% of state legislatures. Thus the new governors will be in trouble from day one. In addition the regime has declared that all newly elected governors will have to pledge allegiance to the CA or else. So, the regime is ready to dismiss freshly elected governors, to be replaced by the state legislature, etc... You get the idea.
Who wins, who loses
If the opposition were to win, say, 18 states, then the regime can claim it is a democracy and garner some international support. In short, the opposition is damned it if wins, damned if it does not. As such a winning strategy is only possible with a total trashing of the chavista candidates, yielding the final proof on how fraudulent the CA election was.
Anything else goes from a draw to a victory of the regime.
So there you are, all that you truly need to know. Have a great time!
PS1: personally I think that the abstentionist are total idiots. Why? Because they have been ABSOLUTELY UNABLE to offer an alternative strategy. Never mind that they have been unable to bring back people to the streets and protest. As such the only strategy left for the opposition is to go and vote, no matter how rigged the vote is.
Sorry Maria Corina Machado, Miami pundits et al. but you got that one wrong, no one to blame but you.
PS2: and there is that, to illustrate the mood.