Get over it!


turn the pageThere’s been a lot of hand-wringing, woe-is-me, apocalyptic writing about last Sunday’s results. I find this curious since, as Iñaki and others clearly point out, the results were simply a repeat of what happened in October.

As in October, we lost by about 10 points, give or take. Just like in October, we only won in a handful of states. The effect of the October election lingered into December, albeit with far fewer voters bothering to show up, as anyone could have predicted.

Then, what’s with all the drama?

There is nothing relevant we learned last Sunday that we didn’t already know from October. That UNT had lost control over Zulia? Check. That Falcón is an appealing figure that cuts across the natural chavista-opposition divide? Check. That Capriles does better when not facing Chávez personally? Check. That the voters had serious concerns about the Salas monarchy? Check, check, check.

Some people say the drama lies in that we “lost spaces.” Yes, that is true, but how does that affect us, exactly?

It’s not like having governors in Zulia, Carabobo or Nueva Esparta helped us carry those states in the Presidential election, the one that really matters. And let’s remember that Hugo Chávez, when he won his election in 1998, had zero governors in his coalition. It seems to me that the dramatic posturing regarding the results last Sunday is just a bunch of politicians bemoaning the fact that their patronage networks will have to be dismantled. For most ordinary citizens, quality of life will continue being what it was: the pits.

Really, people, let’s move on. If the world doesn’t end tomorrow, we have another election right around the corner. Enough with the navel-gazing, and let’s get back to work.

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  1. VANESSA NEUMANN HAS this to say
    With the country in limbo, there is no good way for the opposition United Democratic Movement party (MUD) to exploit Chávez’s exit from the scene without risking turning him into a revolutionary martyr. So the opposition has remained quiet, mumbling the occasional polite wish for a speedy recovery. And they might mean it.

    The rest of her analysis can be found here: []

    Time to chill. Time to let go. Time to remember what this time of year means to us and our families. Happy Holidays.

  2. The downside for oppolandia is that leftist governors should accelerate development of infrastructure, transport, production, housing, education, health and agriculture.

    Just remember that an entirely new political force took power 14 years ago, and still commands overwhelming popular support in spite of 14 years of oppo media. That would be quite impossible if living standards had not improved for the majority.

    • “leftist governors”, “accelerate development of infrastructure, transport, production…”
      hahhahaha… cool story bro!

      I would like to see what you will say about my home state of Trujillo, who has been the errmm “most leftist” state – by your skewed definition – for 14 years. Can’t wait for you to name all the development in infrastructure, transport, education… etc that you are about to tell me about!!

    • “An entirely new political force took power 14 years ago?” You sure? Cross your heart and hope to die? (please, do!)

      Were they new-born babies or where they imported from somewhere else? Mars, Venus, Uranus? Even Chávez is nearer to 60 than to 50, and he was in the military… so the “entirely new” is about the overstatement of the century… You sound like a second-hand cars salesman, Youyou…

      ¡Agárrate del guaral, loco, que se te va a rompé, y te vas a sacar la mugre del coñazo contra el suelo!

  3. To be frank, There’s something good on the fact that Pablo perez lost the race for Zulia, He won’t get any funny ideas on running for prez again. Voting for that guy really felt like reaching with my hand towards the toilet to pick up my cellphone.

  4. I was thinking. The 16D abstention was really high from both sides. It was the first time for a long time that the opposition voters stayed home. I thought it was actually pretty obvious that this was going to happen after loosing the presidential election. Demoralization played a huge role this time around. Chavistas staying home when the messiah is not running it a well know fact.

    Now come the presidential election between Maduro/Cabello vs. Capriles/Falcon. I am pretty sure ALL opposition voters will be go vote finally seeing a chance to get rid of this “lacras”. Chavistas voters… I believe some will go vote, but I am pretty sure, not as many as 7O.
    I see this as the only way the opposition could actually get a chance of winning.

  5. My sentiments exactly! Well said! The drama is unnecessary, let’s move on and concentrate on the next elections, there was nothing we could’ve done to change the outcome of these ones!

  6. I blame the MUD for the failure of the Capriles campaign. Not to say it wouldn’t have failed anyway, but the MUD presence was castrating.

  7. All your assertions are well received, HOWEVER; this is not a situation worth throwing a party either. More than the fact that most regional power is in Chavista hands now, what really concerns me in the incredible ammount of abstention made evident in these last elections. It is worrisome that in a very likely back-to-presidential-elections scenario, most of the people that claim to be sick of the Chavismo regime, did not give a flying hoot and chose to stay home having a beer and maybe catching up some “pelota” on T.V or maybe just took off to the beach. While the political meaning of these results may be shaped into whatever political logic, one thing is clear to me: people in Venezuela are sick of voting.

  8. “It’s not like having governors in Zulia, Carabobo or Nueva Esparta helped us carry those states in the Presidential election”
    A big “amen” to that.

  9. You will probably lose the next couple elections and then we can hope this game of playing with Bourgeoisie representative democracy is over and turn to PARTICIPATORY democracy of the commune and worker consuls.

    Get over it, take a long vacation, Doral or Miami is nice, no jobs but that’s capitalism…


  10. ‘… Doral or Miami is nice, no jobs but that’s capitalism…’

    Unemployment rate USA (November 2012): 7.7%
    Unemployment rate Vzla (November 2012): 6.4%

    Of course, once the socialist utopia arrives, there will be full employment in Venezuela. That’s because everyone will be employed by the state, at wages determined by the state, and with no right to form a trade union. In the meantime, I can’t see much difference.

    • And that is because the ‘economia informal’ is considered as employment ignoring the fact that they don’t have any benefits, social security, etc. But I guess that’s the perfect most just job to a communist as the worker is not ‘oppressed’ as he doesn’t have a ‘patron’

      • I agree with you that including the informal economy as employment bends the definition of the term. However, it’s not a commie thing to be an independent worker in Venezuela. In reality it’s a natural response to the fact that the Venezuelan business culture has been in bad shape for many years and that’s part of the reason there weren’t as many large businesses in the country as needed in order to say our economy could achieve diversification from the oil sector. And this is a pre-Chávez perspective.

  11. “The effect of the October election lingered into December, albeit with far fewer voters bothering to show up, as anyone could have predicted.”

    Actually even though this seems logical, Rodrigo’s chart shows that wasn’t the trend during the last 6 years, at least for the opposition. The opposition never abstained in any election regardless of the type of election or how good or bad we did in the previous election. The trend was bucked only in 16D.

  12. Ridiculous…elections are like the new favorite mask for people who enjoy an exclusive, less safe, “democratic” state.

    Completely true, though – we already knew all of this, it was just a repeat of October. I kind of hope the next presidential elections don’t happen until at least mid-year 2013. If not, the PSUV does have somewhat of a false momentum. But I still think Capriles can take it, either way.

  13. ” the results were simply a repeat of what happened in October.”

    I really disagree with this statement. If you only look at the surface then it’s the same result but looking at the numbers and the historic trend we can see that this was a completely different election than any in the past 6 years. What’s important to know is that it is normal for chavismo to abstain when Chavez is not the candidate and the machinery is not working at full gear. But the opposition didn’t abstain in the last 6 years regardless of the type of election or the previous result.

  14. “…we have another election right around the corner. Enough with the navel-gazing, and let’s get back to work.”

    I agree!

  15. Yes, these results show us nothing that October 7 didn’t show us. True. But what’s amazing is how so many people on the opposition side ( except for Juan Nagel, that is) refused to see what Oct 7 had said, and are at least now coming to terms with it. October 7 set the stage of denial ( ie, Capriles did better than Rosales and Arias , if it hadn’t been because of Mision Vivienda and the chavista machinery we would have won). December 16 showed that chavismo dominates the country. It also showed that post-chavismo dominates the opposition. 3 out of 4 elected opposition governors (including Velasquez) come from a party that was originally a splinter of the Communist party. Two of them were Chavez allies for a full 12 years of Chavez in power. What the results tell us is that in present day Venezuela the right- wing is, as Juan Nagel well recognizes, unelectable.

  16. The day stalin died millions of russians cried , millions in eastern europe kept the faith alive for decades despite the blunders and cruelty of the regime they worshiped , then one day they woke up and decided that they had been missing something important in their lives which communism couldnt give them , they turned coat and took to a different faith . Candy is more popular than spinach among children , licquor more popular than coffee among drunkards , porn is certainly more popular than classical music among young men , Popularity is not test of whats best but of what sattisfies the grossest passions . We assumme most uneducated and poverty ridden people really know their best interest , they do not ! Venezuela is in large part a sick society , irresponsable parents , abandoned children , the ‘gimme’ magical entitlement mentality , the recreational rancours of people who feel big when they find someone to blame for the failures and frustrations that afflict them , we should not expect too much of such people , Chavez is just a sympton of that sick society , the person whose own inadequacies and pompous blusterings best reflect the fractured psyche of most common men . Eventually people with a bit of luck and lots of hard times learn to recognize what in the long term is best for them . The Oppo has a long term task , it needs patience , resilience , resolution in good and bad times , it must handle defeat with strenght , it must resist the temptation to take its frustrations out on those that lead it . There will be future chances and opportunities to effect a move to change things , the thing is to wait for them and be prepared to take full advantage of the opportunity they offer.

    • nicely stated. Would that I could be so hopeful — at this time.
      Meanwhile, rumours keep flying around the only multi-millionaire who has ever chosen to be operated on, in Cuba. Things don’t sound too good. Like someone’s in agony on the island of happiness.

      • His choice, Mr. Syd, his choice.

        Last romours here are that MMM (monsigneur Mario Moronta) flew to Cuba with his “Santos Óleos”…

        “¡Santos óleos, Batman!”, would have said Robin…

  17. You should get your perennial excel sheet running.
    My sum of governor votes, from the CNE page today, gives me about this:
    Chavez coalition 57
    MUD 37
    Chavistas outside of coalition 3
    Democrats outside of coalition 2
    The rest 1
    That’s not about 10 points. It’s 20+.
    Anyone want to do the math?

  18. Ok better late than never.

    It’s funny that after Oct.7th, Juan, like many other analysts, when into depression mode with very negative articles that painted the loss as a big tragedy. That kind of black or white thinking, irked me because even though it was a disappointing result, we had lost by the smallest margin of any presidential elections and had obtained the most votes ever. The result proved how much the opposition had grown. It just wasn’t enough, we need to keep growing.

    The funny part is that this gubernatorial elections on the other hand, have been an unmitigated disaster. Even worse, a self inflicted disaster. More than 1 out of every 3 voters of 7O abstained on 16D. All the discipline shown for 6 years disappeared just when it was needed the most, and when it would have been more effective, after all chavistas abstained at almost the same ratio. It was a wasted opportunity and the opposition brand has lost a great deal of its value as a result. Now we do have valid reasons to be really depressed, there is truly no silver lining in sight, but this time around we’re supposed to “Get Over It”.

    What gives? Well is human nature, if you had really high expectations for 7O they came crashing down painfully that day. That threw you in a depression and you see every thing with black tinted lenses. Then for 16D your expectations were really low and they just got confirmed. Expectation management it’s really important in every human endeavor.

    Of course we should “get over it” after all there are new elections coming, mayoral in May and possibly presidentials sometime next year. Anyone that has competed in anything, sports, politics, business, knows very well that the worst thing you can do entering a competition is to have a negative attitude, exactly what we did in 16D. Now depression also serves a purpose: it makes you introspect, analyze and rectify. So before we get over it lets analyze:

    What happened on 7O? It was our best election. It wasn’t enough against the incumbent advantage.

    What happened on 16D? Again, human nature happened. People got depressed and demoralized and didn’t break out of that depression. They didn’t want to get their hopes up to see them come crashing down again so soon, and so abstained.

    What’s the solution? Manage better the expectations before and mend hearts of the people effectively afterwards.

    Note that this happened before in 2004 with the RR in August followed by the Regional elections in Oct of same year and it may happen yet again next year if the presidential elections take place before the mayoral elections.


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