Municipal Elections: The Gift that Keeps on Giving [UPDATED]


Puercoaraña GafetónSo there’s a strong rumor circulating that tomorrow will be the grand day in which super lame (duck) Mayor of Chacao Emilio Graterón announces his candidacy for reelection on the ballot of none other than Ricardo Sánchez’s new political party-of-four.

(Even though Ramón Muchacho won the Primaries in Chacao with 60% of the vote)

* So I think all the hullabaloo raised in this blog was enough of a deterrent for Gafetón to think twice about running. Keep up the good work, everyone!

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  1. Anybody have any recent numbers of this guy? I mean two years ago he lost to Muchacho big time. From then it seemed like he had thrown in the towel, so I can imagine that being a lame duck mayor for that long a time will send your numbers tumbling down ever further.

  2. At the risk of sounding like the humourless curmodgeon I’m quickly becoming, THIS shit is very much part of the Normal Politics Trap I was just writing about, Emi. Chavismo leaves just enough crumbs on the political table (East-side Caracas Mayor’s Offices, few dozen A.N. seats) to keep a handful of oppo politicians in jobs, giving a few dozen more something to jockey over, generating a gossip circuit and locking the opposition into internal fights that lead exactly nowhere at all.

    The cabeza-de-pollismo of Emilio ends up jockeying with Millonas in the TT stakes on twitter, and the chavista elite keep laughing all the way to the Bandes.


      • Good one RL,

        Thanks for posting….Now the below statements make me wonder a bit in the case of Venezuela:

        “Although it is beyond the scope of this article to explain variations in
        the capacity of competitive authoritarian regimes to survive crises
        brought about by episodes of democratic contestation, one pattern is
        worth noting.
        In regions with closer ties to the West, particularly Latin
        America and Central Europe, the removal of autocratic incumbents has
        generally resulted in democratization in the post–Cold War period. ”

        There was a time when I saw Venezuela closely tied with the West, but today I wonder if this is still so, at least to the degree required for future re- democratization.There has been immigration of Chinese, Iranians, and Belorussians and Russia has quite a political influence on Venezuela as well.US multi nationals have been in constant retreat since Chavez took over as well.

    • But that is not a consequence of the MUD’s actions, nor of its design. It a matter of rational choice and personal calculation for most of the “dissidents”. This will be, in fact, inconsequential gossip once we go to the polls in December; elections will remain heavily polarised.

      BTW, the left only surpassed its “crumbs” when it went to the polls in a mostly united front (i.e., when the Polo Patriótico was created). No insurrection helped there…

      • Really!? A bunch of guys squabbling over a safe seat in Chacao incarnates the best organizing principle for the larger movement?!

        There are some assumptions in need of unpacking here, Lucía…

        • In re Chacao, I blame Leopoldo Lopez for Grateron. (You’re shocked, right?)

          Building up your democratic majority is the organizing principle….if we have to endure some of these sideshows in service of this larger principle, so be it.

          Authoritarian governments are often weaker than they appear, and in Venezuela there are (a) big economic problems that are getting worse; (b) a not-beloved President; and (c) a population not used to widescale repression.

          You suggest the government is laughing over Chacao, etc. I don’t think Nicolas is doing much laughing these days.

          So: to the trenches.

          • No, I am not socked. People seem to forget Emilio Graterón became mayor for a lame reason: Leopoldo induced the voters to elect the guy and so they blindly did. I for one never regretted voting for Graterón because I never did. Looking forward to Muchacho’s tenure as provost of Chacao.

          • Very interesting clip extorres!

            I have seen this happen up close in my own life…..and on several occasions.But he stops at the point where a movement has been established.

            As a group grows and becomes part of the establishment then not being a member of it converts you into the ” lone nut ” who started the movement in the first place.

          • I think he addressed that in the clip: The “lone nut” is only such until he has a follower. At that point the “lone nut” becomes a “leader”. Once a movement is established the ex-lone-nut-turned-leader is credited with the leadership but is integral to the established movement because he treated his followers as equals. The ones who don’t join the movement are the ones feeling lonelier over time, not so for the original leader.

          • In reality ex torres, as the lone nut is the creative one and not the political one, once something has become a status quo while at the same time the lone nut tries to keep things edgy,sooner or later,the popular movement will be overtaken by power mongers… just look at Steve Jobs.It is in the nature of the creative one to keep dancing to his own tune, and once everything is old and taken over by the doctrinaire , solitary dancing is not at all encouraged.

          • You seem to be focusing on the “lone nut” cycle, instead of on the movement cycle. Steve Jobs and creatives like him are people who continuously become lone nuts throughout their lives in a continous series of movements, but each time they come up with something new, the cycle described in the video takes place. There were many SJ ideas that never got traction so he never went from lone nut to leader on those, and many other ideas of his that got traction only because he powered his way through them (eg., NeXT being b/w). The takeaway, as pointed out in the video, is not to look at the leader, but at followers, in understanding movements. Just because a lone-nut-become-leader moves on to something else does not diminish the point of the video which is that the lone nut became a leader because of followers which created a movement because of their numbers reaching a tipping point.

            As to solitary dancing not being encouraged, of course. That is the nature of social norm, making a “different” person a lone nut, until no longer.

            The thing with which I have doubts in the video is the assumption that the leader will be credited with the origin. I think people easily forget who was the creative and celebrate the wrong persons. Another nuance not mentioned is imitators that are not followers. They let the creative go down as a lone nut, then imitate him, later and elsewhere, as if they were coming up with something new, but with a ready set machinery to cause a fake following, thus starting a fake movement.

          • extorres,

            My oldest son is a wildly successful lone nut whose company was bought out by a sociopathic CEO of one of the ‘giants’ who turned his created world into a corporate nightmare…..
            However nobody in the geek world has forgotten my son, and pretty much all the folks still at the company hate the new and boring nightmare company that was formed after the firing of my son – so in his case, he has never been forgotten, to a point where they must bring him in to boost company morale which he accepts to do out of love for his old work buddies….and yes, there are many imitation start-ups out there,but the people who matter( the real geeks ) never make the mistake of not knowing the difference.So much so that there are loads of folks out there backing his next idea.I think a certain amount of willingness to not worry about the credit given is needed to really start something new.True creatives will always have quality followers….those who are more into the status quo will always have the numbers.This is my opinion and observation in life….

          • firepigette, sorry if my comment in any way implied that the lone nuts were never credited. Quite the contrary, I believe that they are more often credited than not; I only stated that I believe that they are easily forgotten and that the mention of those cases was not mentioned in the video nor were the cases of imitators or other cases. I agree that lone nuts should not be focusing on the credit. By the way, I haven’t met your son and I like him already.

          • Right.The video clip stops at a point where one wonders what comes next.

            In any case it was cute the way the old adage ” Dance to your own tune” was depicted.

            The role of the first person to join the lone- nut is really a most special one.This person forgoes his comfortable place in the herd, and exercises his uncanny gift of seeing the gift in another.IThis gift of recognizing something special in the other, is pretty amazing if you think about it.

          • The first follower actually has the contemplative gift and reminds me of Goethe saying:

            “I love those who yearn for the impossible.”

          • True, a most special gift, indeed, as is the one of those who know to appreciate it (looking at you).

  3. Grateron just needs a bit more time to install a few more speed bumps. He firmly believes that a couple dozen more will cement his legacy.

    • Jajjajajaj so true! The only legacy he leaves behind are some annoying speed bumps and the destruction of the police force.

  4. On this note, does anyone know if Capriles is going to pay the fine imposed by the TSJ? If he does, and I’ve heard rumors that he plans to, them I think Quico´s position is relevant.


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