The Other Mander

To the list of unfair practices that could conspire to keep a chavista minority in the country as a chavista majority in the National Assembly, add this one: while Venezuela’s six most urban states contain 52% of the voters, they elect just 39% of the National Assembly. This one is different from traditional Gerrymandering practices: not about drawing constitutency boundaries for partisan advantage, as just generally over-representing the rural-half of the country.

So, say it with me now, "¡este es el mapa electoral más boniiiito que he cosechado!"

It’s true that this practice is in no way unique to Venezuela. A lot of established democracies over-represent rural voters to a greater (Japan) or lesser (U.S.A.) extent.

What I’ve never heard of, though, is a proper democracy where every single quirk that favors one side and hurts the other favors the government and hurts its opponents. Rural over-representation, partisan districting, a non-proportional proportional-representation system, control of the elections authorities, selection of positions on the ballot, control of the security apparatus safeguarding elections, selection of witnesses at voting centers, campaign funding and funding oversight practices, control of instances able to rule out certain candidates from the ballot, to name just the ones that come to mind.

Every single curve ball our electoral system pitches just "happens" to hand the advantage to the government. How convenient.