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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.
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
(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:
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
CARACAS — 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