A good day for the opposition

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Comision-Electoral-Primarias-Cartaya-Unidad_NACIMA20150319_0072_6Most opposition insiders were viewing today’s primaries to select opposition candidates for Parliament with a mix of fear and dread. Many voters were not informed of the election, the media was looking the other way, and the funding was short. The goal was to get 350,000 voters to show up (out of around 7 million eligible to vote).

According to MUD Secretary General, Chúo Torrealba, 550,000 people voted, an excellent turnout considering the odds.

Let’s not kid ourselves: voting in a primary to select a candidate for a Parliamentary election is the kind of inside-baseball action reserved for political junkies and subversives. In short, it was for the true believers in the opposition political parties. It was always bound to be a low-key, meagerly attended affair.

The fact that turnout wasn’t all that bad was the main story here, and it showed in the buoyant expressions of the MUD politicos who attended the results press conference.

Here are the highlights of the people who won:

Caracas: Jesús Abreu of Voluntad Popular and José Guerra, an independent backed by several parties. Guerra in particular was a favorite of ours – a well-respected economist who has gone from being in the Central Bank to canvassing the streets of western Caracas.

Carabobo: Enzo Scarano. The formerly jailed mayor of San Diego has gone from being a political prisoner in the Helicoide to being a candidate for the National Assembly. Marco Bozo of Primero Justicia also won – Bozo is another emerging leader who linked himself to the popular Scarano.

Táchira: Daniel Ceballos. The still-jailed mayor of San Cristóbal won his primary comfortably. It’s not known if he will be let out of political prison in order to campaign. Gaby Arellano, the Voluntad Popular student leader, also won her primary

Primero Justicia and Voluntad Popular emerge as the two main political parties in the opposition, with AD maintaining a presence in the hinterlands where it has usually been strong.

The fact that this primary was not a disaster is the main takeaway here. Now, on to the election – whenever that will be.

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1 COMMENT

  1. The results in Carabobo were a severe beating to Proyecto Venezuela, the party that has ruled this state for years under the Salas. I say good riddance.

    • Good riddance indeed, although Enzo is not that much better. He is basically a feudal lord who wants his company built on every green area remaining in Carabobo and who shits on environmental regulations.
      I used to like Enzo more…until I started to get the details of his doings.
      Well, he is better than the Chavista lot but still…pity Greater Valencia and Carabobo.

      I wish my countrymen would have promoted someone from the university.

      So far, two hundred years of military or civil feudal lords

      • You mean, as in vote for Pablo Aure? You can’t be serious. As a friend of mine said: “A lot of students know him, and that’s exactly why they won’t vote for him”.

      • the part I don’t like about Scarano being elected is that he will resign his seat to run for governor. I wan’t him to be governor but I would enjoy having a full time congressman, specially considering the next congress has a slight chance of being useful for a change.

  2. Jose Guerra is not a VP candidate, he had the support of all the parties including PJ, AD, UNT and VP…all but a micro one called Movimiento Republicano

        • And we are getting to know you for your mediocrity.

          Hunt too, what a character.

          Not exactly what you would like Venezuelans to be judged by.

          I hope you overcome your respective shortcomings and vote, humbly and silently, when the day comes. And not for the regime.

          • .. humbly.. (snort).
            Alejandro, you have not been on these boards for a long time, so let me clarify a little panorama for you. Some folks have a deep-seated need for self-flattery, and by way of their primary nationality, which is not Venezuelan, they have never voted in Venezuelan elections of any kind. But oh my, how they opine. With astonishing arrogance they extrapolate and ply their negative filter, time and again, to the extent one would think they are trolls.

          • Dear Alejandro,

            “To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.”

            Abraham Lincoln

            a lack of Democracy should be protested, not voted for.

          • Here is an example of true voters, not the sheep being lead to slaughter at the booths.How many times now? Yes indeed true citizens bowing humbly to the regime.They need you to vote to keep tabs on each one of you as individuals, and to keep a flimsy fig leaf for Democracy.

            :https://youtu.be/4jUbNLpKqbQ

          • Firepigette: I saw no “don’t go out to vote for the oppo” message from any in the crowd that was videotaped this month in El Valle, a message you repeatedly attempt to convey on these boards, now with a youtube that doesn’t accurately apply.

            Can we have a more accurate extrapolation from you to support your negative filter, when not your ironic self-flattery?

          • You don’t get it, Firepigette. You are not even marginally involved in any electoral process in Venezuela. To justify your little pataletas, you pull out a quotation from Abraham Lincoln, and extrapolate it to current-day Venezuela, where the opposition is doing their best to navigate a heavily-weighted ship. There are imperfections and enormous barriers to entry. But I believe the members of the oppo should be supported, regardless of the reality that surrounds them: a cosmetic democracy in a civic-military dictatorship.

            Not you. Your little flight of fancy: that of (previously and repeatedly stated) not voting to protest that dictatorship was already attempted a number of years ago to disastrous results. And that was when there were, at least, some media channels reporting on oppo moves.

            Even though you previously stated on these boards, as having 1000 family members living mostly in barrios, in Venezuela (…), your true and current links to the country are very tenuous indeed. So ignorance plays a part in your repeated marketing of your negative perspective.

            That your repeated need for negative marketing is not associated with any depth or examples, and perceived as your need for vaulting, speaks to irresponsible self-flattery.

    • What I find most interesting is the fact of the people who were/are in jail and the significance of this is really lost on the PSUV animals. They have forgotten there once was a man who came out of prison who was pardoned and when asked what is next said that they would have to wait “for now” . This man was seen as the one to vanquish the inequality of the poor and the rich and all he and his thugs achieved was to supplant the rich or chase them away, and become the very thing they once opposed, with a passion that was embraced by the people. The people who blindly supported him and his henchman with the promise of a revolution and a better day now spend hours a day waiting for the food in fear of their lives when they once enjoyed peace and freedom, under the Fourth Republic. The Fifth Republic are thieves who stole their true freedom. Chavez was democratically elected the first time and Perez was convicted of corruption under a true democracy. They will not afford the same treatment of themselves for their crimes.

      Maduro, in all his glorious paranoia now knows that he has become that which he once despised and that the masses will eventually embrace someone else who will rise up and be seen as the one to vanquish these greedy oligarchs that are currently in power. He never earned the power, he is nothing more than an interloper, it was handed to him on a gold platter, and now he has become his own enemy. He will ultimately be the instrument of his own destruction. The fear in him is palpable.

  3. I’m just waiting to see whether the Chavistas try to grab the rolls of those who voted just the way they did back in the 2012 primaries. They need to do everything they can to punish oppo voters and discourage them from voting.

    • The PSUV don’t need to do a thing Canadian. The lack of policies of the MUD stops people from voting. The oppo only votes due to hatred of chavistas.

  4. During the time of Romes surgence as a Civilization and a World Power during the Republic , candidates for the highest offices had to follow a career as administrators , before they could opt to become candidates . Romans thought that people who aspired to reach office had to follow a cursum honorum in public service because the first qualification for holding such top positions was to have acquired an expertise, a managerial competence that made them the best candidates . No one could present himself as a candidate to the office of counsel unless he had served at least 10 years in the formidable Roman Legions , which at the time were the most meritocratic of all roman organizations .Then after a person had done his job as consul he was eligible to become appointed a member of the Senate . The senate thus was formed with people who had had long experience in the handling of public affairs and whose advise and decisions could be the best informed and wise.

    When Rome became an Empire and abandoned these practices it begun to know abuses and blunders typical of any monarchy .

    The problem with having people perform high political offices without first having gained the expertise and knowldge to do a god job, solely on the basis of popularity ( which can be won by promising the impossible , or by the use o theatrical oratorical fireworks , is that popularity is not a reliable sign of competence in a public official and invites the participation in politics of egolatric snakecharmers with very deletirious consequences for the people they are purported to serve.

    • Interesting … Simon Bolivar seemed to have a similar view as he expressed in his 1819 address to Congress of Angostura.

      “What I propose is an office for which the candidates must prepare themselves, an office that demands great knowledge and the ability to acquire such knowledge. All should not be left to chance and the outcome of elections. The people are more easily deceived than is Nature perfected by art; and, although these senators, it is true, would not be bred in an environment that is all virtue, it is equally true that they would be raised in an atmosphere of enlightened education.”

      • Bill Bass,
        Obama won on popularity and theatrical oratorical fireworks. His lack of experience, competence, and knowledge became clear the day after inauguration in 2008.

    • “The problem with having people perform high political offices without first having gained the expertise and knowledge to do a god job, solely on the basis of popularity ( which can be won by promising the impossible , or by the use o theatrical oratorical fireworks , is that popularity is not a reliable sign of competence in a public official and invites the participation in politics of egolatric snakecharmers with very deletirious consequences for the people they are purported to serve.”

      As societies evolve, this issue is amended: the citizens develop higher standards for the public office holders. A Hugo Chávez would not have been possible in, say, France — see José Bové’s amount of votes in the 2007 French presidential elections. Obviously, the population can happen to make a mistake once in a while, we are not immune to that, and can elect someone very nefast, but public scrutiny and solid institutions (new and fair elections) will get rid of the problem after some time. And the ship will keep sailing in calm waters just like before. The problem is that in countries with weak democracies and no free press, we can only pray for those bad politicians to either wake up very enlightened some day, and start doing a good and honest work (very unlikely to happen, but not impossible), or to just die, if we really want the betterment of society, given that they can’t leave by electoral means. It’s really a desperate situation…

      So, a strong democracy/developed society will tackle this problem you mentioned fairly easily.

      • If you are interested in an in depth look at this specific subject do try to read Fukuyamas latest book : Political Order and Political Decay, which (specially in its first part) deals extensively with this matter , The book is long (550 pages) and a tad expensive (35$) . Next october however the softcover edition is coming out at half price ( 18$) .

        For people who want to go beyond the surface this is the book to read. The next best things is the book is unsaccesible to you is to search internet for talks or articles where he deals with the problem of populism and clientelism in the third world .and writes extensively about the subject of how large the state should be and the capacity of some states to develop effective operational competence.

        Inmature democracies have a hard time getting to Denmark as he calls the process of building a modern effective State.

    • sorry, for the OT. BB, I think it was you that commented several weeks ago about having access to a study that compared the productivity of different careers on venezuela and usa, if possible I would appreciate if you could try to find said study because I’m really interested, I’ve only been able to find stories that compare the OVERALL productivity.

      • Simon : The study was made , a long time ago , I kept no copy but it made for very interesting reading !!, its probably totally outdated by now. !! there was also a study on why venezuelan metal mechanic and textile manufactures were so much more expensive and defect ridden, remember the problem had nothing to do with workers dedicationa and effort , or with the kind of machinery used bur rather with the proprietors neglect in planning and maintaining their operations with proper care. Organization has always been our achilles heel as producers !!

  5. I’m more concerned about the mounting disdain the opposition seems to have in its own politicians than about lack of funds and media coverage.
    550,000 out of 7 million still leaves a lot to be desired…Didn’t the last primaries have a turnout of around 3 million?
    Sure, it’s great to see that despite having the deck so stacked against the MUD more people voted than they were expecting, but that number makes me nervous about the turnout we should expect in the elections themselves…It’s one thing to see the Asamblea get a fresh coat of red paint due to voting fraud and another thing entirely to see it happen due to abstention…

    • Primaries for President had a turnout of around 3 million.

      Primaries for Congress will always have smaller turnouts than presidential primaries, every single time.

      From what I saw, it looks like the last primaries for the Assembly had a lower turnout than this time.

  6. Saverio Vivas, a “barriologo” from last year was defeated by Voluntad Popular’s Jesus Abreu. He was the guy that emerged as the “responsible shantytown opposition leader” claiming that “the opposition in the barrios are more responsible and mature than the opposition in the suburbs or neighbourhoods”
    Riddle me that

  7. What do you call a government that allows one person to rule according to unilateral whim? I guess we’ll find out. Again.

  8. “Parlamentarias Blindadas”: “D.T.”, in a recent article titled “Afinan La Trampa”, states that the CNE, in their recent “Manual De Funcionamiento De La Mesa Electoral”, has eliminated, both for the “Primarias” and the “Parlamentarias”, the written/ voter-signed “Cuaderno De Votacion Basico”, which is the only way (albeit denied access to by Capriles) to prove the electronic fraud vote-stuffing of some of the 6 million non-registered but REP-“registered” voters/Cedulas in the non-Oppo witnessed voting tables/centers. Anibal Sanchez, “tecnico” de la MUD, said this “no pone en riesgo la seguridad del proceso comicial”, since the Captahullas are sufficient voter identification (once again, with friends like these, who needs enemies). Goodbye Parliamentary election chances for the MUD, and any other successive election chances in Venezuela….

  9. Uhmm… how many voters, out of the total population, vote in the Democratic or Republican primaries?

    How many in the local Spanish primaries?

    Less than the percentage that voted in Venezuela yesterday.

    Xoce, your thinking is as inadequate as the alphabet you use. Read more newspapers.

  10. Since when did Venezuela become a parliamentary republic? We know have a Parliament and Parliamentary election? Oh, imagine the surprise the ghost of Chávez must have felt at finding out we have a Parliament!

    Please, sir. Do not use these terms lightly. The day our country overcomes its penchant for strongman presidents, rubber-stamp legislatures and a weak, inconsequential judiciary, we will have soared to heights no other Latin American country has ever reached. Truth is, our country prefers caudillos and war heroes turned heads of state for life than anything remotely resembling the institutional framework of a parliamentary republic.

    Perhaps it is a bad habit (or mistranslation) picked up from the equally appalling misuse of the term in the Spanish political semantics of current figures of the Venezuelan oppo. Still, it is wrong. Venezuela’s National Assembly, as conceived originally in our Constitution, is nothing but a mere Legislature – and a pretty weak at that too. Sadly, our Republic, whether its Maduro or Capriles or whoever at the helm, will remain a Presidential republic. No matter who wins this coming legislative elections, we will not be getting a Parliament anytime soon.

  11. U.S. Probes Venezuelan Leaders Over Drug Trafficking

    U.S. prosecutors are investigating several high-ranking Venezuelan officials, including the president of the country’s congress, on suspicion that they have turned the country into a global hub for cocaine trafficking and money laundering, according to more than a dozen people familiar with the probes.

    An elite unit of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Washington and federal prosecutors in New York and Miami are building cases using evidence provided by former cocaine traffickers, informants who were once close to top Venezuelan officials and defectors from the Venezuelan military, these people say.

    A leading target, according to a Justice Department official and other American authorities, is National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello, considered the country’s second most-powerful man.

  12. 7.43% voted Nagel. Ant you call this a success? Interesting that the WSJ publishes the drug article on Diosdado the day after the democratic debacle of Chúo to draw attention from the historical abstention achieved by the MID last Sunday.

    You jave no hope of winning the AN based on this performance and latest Hinterlaces poll puts the MED 16 points below the PSUV..

    • La guinda de la noche , las críticas del aparato del PSUV a las primarias . Si no fueron importantes para q tomarlas en cuenta, digo yo..— Leopoldo Castillo (@elcitizen) May 20, 2015

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