Instant runoff, approval voting, and the status quo (Caracas Chronicles)

If you haven’t already, please check out my latest post on instant runoff and approval voting in the opposition presidential primary over at Caracas Chronicles.

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Campaign Launch Dates and the Sluggish Opposition in Venezuela

While the United States is certainly not a good comparison for “all things politics” in Venezuela, some basic parallels should be drawn from time to time. Regardless of your ideology, it is difficult to deny that democracy works in the US and that they have been running sizable presidential campaigns for quite some time.

Barack Obama launches reelection campaign 19 months prior to Election Day

Barack Obama launches reelection campaign 19 months prior to Election Day

That being said, it struck me this morning–as President Barack Obama launched his 2012 reelection campaign–that the opposition in Venezuela seems to want to wait until the last minute to select its presidential candidate. It is truly luxurious how much campaign time candidates in the US enjoy in major elections. Obama, for example launched his campaign today, 19 months before US presidential elections. Prior to his victory in 2008, the young Illinois Senator launched his famed and victorious campaign a full 23 months prior to Election Day.

Even at optimum organizational speed, the opposition will not have a candidate prior to October 2011, a mere 13 months (or less*) before 2012 presidential elections in Venezuela. Would you prefer 13, 19 or 23 months of to campaign and prepare? Continue reading

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Instant Runoff Voting Essential for Opposition Primary Elections in Venezuela

(For more detailed analysis on this subject, please see my latest post entitled “Instant runoff, approval voting and the status quo” published by Caracas Chronicles.)

“Instant runoff voting” (or “votación multiple”) is essential for opposition presidential primary elections currently being planned in Venezuela. For any election with more than two candidates, only a second runoff election or “instant runoff” voting guarantees that the best candidate is chosen and that the will of the electorate is truly respected.

If you are uncertain what “instant runoff” voting is, here are a few short videos to explain:

Continue reading

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STOP SHOUTING! Free Political Advice for Venezuela’s Parliamentary Opposition (Caracas Chronicles)

Right Honorable Opposition Deputies of the National Assembly of Venezuela

It is time for a strategy change. I have watched you closely for three months, and last night’s display of ineffective reciprocal rudeness was the last straw. Therefore, to facilitate the needed change, I have prepared a simple three-step guide. I hope you are paying attention, because this is important. Really. Continue reading

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Obama Requests Funding For Venezuelan Opposition in 2012 Budget: A Response

How is it legitimate for Chavez and his lame duck, rubber stamp National Assembly to prohibit civil society from working on the protection of political rights?

Banning foreign funding essentially does so as domestic funding has already been intimidated and audited into silence. Continue reading

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VENEZUELA NOW News Report #2: “Chávez Fortuna” – Venezuela censors soap opera

This second edition (January 27, 2011) features and expose on the banning of Colombian soap opera “Chepe Fortuna” on Venezuelan airwaves. The Venezuelan characterized the show as “disrespectful of Venezuelan pride.” The soap opera depicts Venezuela as a “rude, arrogant, fat black lady” and Chavez as a “yapping, trouble making dog”. Meanwhile, Chavez only asks for the same respect he shows the rest of the world. Or does he??? Continue reading

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“Hugo Chavez cracks down on dissent” Taiwanese animated news #video exposes Venezuelan president

While preparing the next episode of the Venezuela Now News Report, I came across this fantastic animation from Taiwan-New York-based animated news network (Next Media Animation TV). The news report gives a good update on the current state of affairs in Venezuelan democracy, including touching on the recent censoring of the Colombian soap opera, Chepe Fortuna. Continue reading

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Democracy News from Venezuela Video Feed (Updated Regularly)

This YouTube playlist contains English language videos on politics and democracy in Venezuela, updated on an ongoing and regular basis. You can view the playlist directly in YouTube at
Continue reading

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Chávez call for dialogue as international public relations strategy

Deputy María Corina Machado shaking hands with President Hugo ChávezCARACAS — Why is Chávez calling for debate now? After years of confrontation and polarization, what explains the shift? Every day, since Saturday, January 15, a multitude of editorials, opinion columns and blog posts are published, attempting to get to the bottom of President Hugo Chávez’ conciliatory tone and call for dialogue in his annual “Memory and History” address to the National Assembly. Much to their surprise, the recently seated and more diverse* group of legislators received a smiling, hand-shaking Chávez, making a call for dialogue and debate. Continue reading

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BlackBerry murders: Ongoing Venezuela violence stifles citizens and imagination (video)

As we sat down for dinner, the news played loudly on the radio in the next room. Only half listening as I poured a glass of water, my wife asked in a somewhat shocked-yet-numbed tone, “Did you hear that?!” Continue reading

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