Aló, ¿soberano?


Reader causetoujours has an idea: a Repeal Referendum. Article 74 of Venezuela’s Moribund Constitution says:

“Laws may be repealed partially or totally when the repeal is petitioned by at least 10 percent of registered voters or by the President. Decrees (emanating from an Enabling Law) can be repealed in a Referendum if a repeal is petitioned by at least 5 percent of registered voters.

In order for a Repeal Referendum to be valid, at least forty percent of registered voters must go to the polls.

Laws dealing with the budget, those that establish or modify taxes, public credit, amnesty, or those laws that protect, guarantee, or develop human rights and those approving international treaties, cannot be subjected to a Repeal Referendum.”

OK, I know what you’re thinking: the TSJ will decree that any law passed by Chávez’s orcs in the National Assembly “develop human rights” because they establish socialism, and can therefore not be repealed. Still, is this not worth a try? How about channeling the energy and good standing of the University students to repeal the University Law? Or the Ley Resorte? How about the Enabling Law? How about the TSJ law?

How about the whole lot of them?

What other choice we have? Is it time to pressure for the activation of Article 74?

I dunno. I kind of like the idea.

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  1. Abogado del diablo
    “forty percent of registered voters must go to the polls”

    Last elections got around 64% participation, of which a bit over a half did not support the military regime.
    He will call to boycot the polls and those who do go to vote get sacked from state jobs.

    • It will be very difficult for Chávez, in the political point of view, to appeal his people to abstension. Chávez will accept the challenge.

      Another problem, it is not sure that he will lose, depending on what laws.

    • I was wondering whether we could not actually be more positive and ask for laws that would be desirable by even a large amount of Chavistas. I am not talking about getting free beer every time you tank for nearly free petrol. I am talking about a law like demanding ministers and the president to go to the National Assembly to answer to opposition questions.

      Or something else that is actually not about rejecting but about demanding transparency as we have never had in Venezuela but everyone would want to have but the crooked.

  2. Kepler, good idea but why not go the full monty and ask for Torres’ version of “Mi Negra”?
    At the very least it should cause some synapse short circuiting in what passes for brains in the regime as they try to figure out how to handle that hot potato.
    It certainly can’t hurt the opposition by bringing it up but it could hurt the regime if they respond to it in a way that their constituency doesn’t appreciate.
    (death by 1000 cuts)

  3. Roberto Smith proposed this in an opinion article in ND. What I like about the idea is that organizing another “firmazo” to repeal the laws can establish a national network that needs to be in place to clearly win and defend the elections if necessary.

  4. Speaking of Mi Negra, with the new banking Bill, the “Tarjeta del Buen Vivir” is dead, banks can not have more than 20% of credit in credit cards, Banco de Venezuela has like 23-24%, no room for new credit…

    • I don’t think that getting the word out on a free debit card to all citizens into which all natural resource revenues will be distributed equally almost daily and for life is going to be a problem, at all! Really.

    • If this is really the way to repeal legislation – since the opposition is a majority now (??), then why are people not lodging a petition with the CNE to organize the collection of signatures? Doing this stuff by internet is a complete waste of time in terms of actually changing anything.

      The mechanisms are there to repeal legislation within a true democratic framework. In the case of Ley Habilitante you only have to collect 5% (about 875,000 signatures) of the REP to trigger a national referendum where 40% have to vote (about 7 million people).

      In the case of other legislation passed by the AN it’s 10% of the REP. Now since the new opposition deputies will be useless with no power in the AN as they are a minority then perhaps people like MCM and RCTV Miguelito Rodriguez should get into the street and run the repeal campign.

      Does anyone have any better ideas for these people to play a useful role in Venezuela’s political landscape? In the AN they will to all effects be political eunuchs.

    • Yeah, I think this is definitely a good idea… Any chance to channel an initiative through someone less dinosaurish and with more arrastre than Diego Arria though? He’s got about 2,500 signatures in one week… is that a good pace at all?

    • Yeah, we’re both on twitter. Follow us at @juannagel and @CaracasChron.

      I think Diego Arria is not going to make this happen. This is going to happen if the MUD gets on board.

  5. The three laws of war:
    When attacked:
    If you think you can win, counter-attack.
    If you think you can’t win, retreat.
    If you can’t retreat, surrender.

    If you surrender… don’t cooperate, but don’t be obvious about it. Passive resistance is the process of appearing to be cooperative, but practicing covert sabotage through various techniques. I haven’t read the book in a long time, but each and every mission, objective, goal of the Bolivarian Revolution can be sabotaged by organized actions and non-actions.

  6. Excellent idea which has been staring the opposition in the face since 1999! Since the opposition is now the majority then collecting the signatures and repealing the laws should not be a problem – but it’s easier said than done. 🙂

  7. Im wondering… wouldnt be this the perfect chance for the government to update the tascon list? :p

    That ghost will haunt any attempt of signature collecting because it has already happened with apocaliptic consequences for those who signed, hell, name one person in venezuela who doesnt know personally someone that got fired or never hired on a public institution (or a related one) because they were on the tascon list…

  8. I wonder if we realize that there was a thingie called the Maisanta/Tascon List, easy to have on CD. That there was a Firmazo (in currency paper) and a Reafirmazo (Reparos). That the CNE played Venezuelans for dupes with “Firmas Planas” and whatnot. That years after, some people looking for government jobs or contracts were required to sign affidavits retiring their signatures and all that. That the Smartmatic videopoker maquinitas will be used again in all certainty.

    The opposition did not go precisely ballistic over the many felonies committed against signatories individually and collectively. All of the aforementioned and who knows what else. That was probably the worst of it. That is the winning point of the match when you have to concede to anyone calling you reckless and foolish (and other things) for signing the Revocatorio petition.

    Unless they get the whole country to sign up, you wind up being a prosecuted minority again. For uncertain results (and I mean the election in itself, not it’s results) that will be certainly ignored.

    I wonder how the average would-be signatory feels about running what looks like the a gauntlet.


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