The government's poll numbers are garish (now that it doesn't matter)

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Credit where credit is due. People say chavismo is terrible at planning, but it just isn’t true: the double-time dismantling of what was left of Venezuela’s democratic institutions came just in time. Because with poll numbers like these, if any mechanisms were left to make the government responsive to what people think, they’d have a lot to worry about.

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  1. Keep in mind that the collapse in the government’s popularity is a necessary (but not sufficient) condition for reaching the end of this … thing.

  2. 51.9% of respondents says they want the country to go in the direction which Chavez was taking it.

    That man always had tremendous luck and timing and even in death, he managed to do so just soon enough that people can believe it would all have been better if he hadn’t died.

    • Following up on Tim’s point on Q.40 showing that 51.9% want the country to go in the direction that Chavez was taking and that 42.2% want a different direction with 5.9% under No sabe / no responde, take a look at Q.41.

      Q.41 shows that 41.7% want the country to go in the direction that Maduro is taking but that 43.5% want to follow Capriles’s way. That right there tells you Maduro is a pathetic leader and explains everything about the deification of el difunto and their utter dependence on his existence to keep power.

      From one question to the next Maduro lost 10.2% of the respondents. They didn’t all go Capriles (only a loony 1.3% believe Capriles can take the country in Chavez’s direction) but instead chose to say “don’t know” or stay quiet, as that number rises to 14.8%.

  3. The governing clique grasped one thing clearly: with Chávez around, it was sensible to maintain a system where the adherence of 51% of the population translates into 100% of state power. Without Chávez around, that’s madness.

    Take it away, Mario Silva:

    Mi Comandante Fidel me dijo a mí en una oportunidad…que él no entendía por qué aún el Comandante Chávez no había terminado con las elecciones burguesas.

    Porque el pueblo se equivocaba y yo estoy absolutamente de acuerdo. Estoy absoluta y totalmente de acuerdo.

    We’re now in a situation where we need not a majority to destabilize the government, but a consensus. Not 51%, but 90%. And we’re very far from that.

      • He’d feel uncomfortable. But the funny thing about power: it provides a lot of cushioning.

        When you control pretty much all of the insititutions, the military, the access to money via PDVSA, you can afford to have a majority in dissent because they have effectively been disenfranchised.

        What matters is keeping those with whom you share power content.

        Chavez never had to worry about that because he never shared power. In that regard, he was far, far more adept than any of the current crop of chavistas.

  4. Time and again the English language blogs on Venezuela have said that there is a ~30% hard-core Chavista element in the population. The poll tends to confirm this: General situation of the country, economic situation of the country, and stability of the political situation all hover around 30% for the positive responses.

    But not even all the hard-core Chavistas fall for the blame game propaganda: 6.9% blame the Opposition and 9.2% blame businessmen for being the principals responsible for the country’s problems.

  5. Professional curiosity: what is the official position of the blog with regards to vzlan polls? Do you believe in them or not? I don´t wanna start a thing here, just honestly (and hopefully innocently) curious.

    • That´s because they ask the respondents to name more than one problem. So they are multiple response questions. Since the %´s are based on respondents and not responses, they may add up to more than 100.

  6. What collapse are we talking about?. This nut job of a president still has over 45% of favorables. Even Obama had worst numbers 4 months in. Those numbers are everything but encouraging for the opposition.

    • The Oppos job is to patiently and constantly chip away at those numbers until a substantial mayority of supporters is achieved . This is no easy task because its not dealing with analytically savy or informed or critical minded group of people but with people who once they take an emotional position find it hard to turn to a different one.

      Chavistas are being struck hard with crumbling services and infrastructure , high inflation , booming crime rates, wall to wall corruption scandals , empty shelves , bumbling presidential performances and still many of them , albeit less enthusiastically stick to their original positions . The result of 14 years of intense proganda and brain washing !!

      Remember the famous ‘colas blind taste trial’ , where most people preferred pepsi if what they drunk didnt carry an identifying label, but then shifted to Coke if the glasses were labeled . Same psychological phenomena as is faced here !!

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