Quico says: It pains me to say it – and not just because the bastard usurped my nickname and, worse yet, misspells it – but Kico Bautista’s latest column makes more sense to me than 99% of what’s written about Venezuelan political parties these days. Bautista notes that the November elections are not going to be like the Referendum, where all you had to do was campaign for a No: state and local elections call for organization, shrewd decision-making and political intelligence – in other words, they call for leadership.
If we had proper leadership, we would realize we’re facing a Target-Rich environment, with Chávez’s popularity in the dog house and chavismo in deep disarray in half a dozen states, giving us a realistic chance to make symbolically loaded gains in places like Anzoategui, Guarico, even Barinas. But the early signs are, to his mind, not encouraging.
I sometimes get the sense that Bautista’s oafish, deeply annoying TV persona masks a guy of uncommon political sense. I’m too busy to translate the whole thing, but I did especially enjoy this bit:
[Opposition] politics is limited to interpreting survey results. There’s no imagination, no inventiveness. In terms of organization, there’s nothing new either. No new consultation formulas or mechanisms to allow citizens to participate in ways that break with tradition. With all the new digital technologies out there, Venezuela doesn’t have a single channel on offer to incorporate people horizontally into the work of politics .
Ten years after MoveOn.org demonstrated the way you can use the net to mobilize people who feel strongly about politics, we still haven’t caught on. Hell, the closest we’ve come is the clinically insane ramblings that blight the NoticieroDigital bulletin boards.