Regional elections are taking place tomorrow, so let’s take a look at the campaigns for each side and find out what everyone’s up to, shall we?
Here’s the main song of the MUD’s campaign:
The days of fiesta electoral are gone. The tune is catchy (there’s even a reggaeton section!), but its minor-key tones are nothing you’d dance to. Other than the purple filter muting the colors of the Venezuelan flag, nobody’s smiling. Everyone’s pissed, about to scream, punch something or even cry. People standing in long lines, and there’s Maduro dancing with Cilia. This is the election of arrechera.
Toma la calle
Vamos con todo
Di lo que sientes
Dilo con tu voto
The MUD really sobered up for this campaign. In its official YouTube page, there are press conferences about irregularities in the process and the problems of the nation. No background song, no happy colors. Still suffering a mayor backlash for accepting these conditions they present voting as a form of protest. Wanna honor the fallen? Vote.
Check out this video by Voluntad Popular:
Since the National Electoral Council (CNE) didn’t allow for the removal of defeated primaries candidates from the lists, Voluntad Popular published video with the candidate’s right location on the ballot. Their song is even less bailable.
Acción Democrática goes dark. They’ve been campaigning for a while, convincing people that with adecos, life was better:
— Acción Democrática (@ADemocratica) October 7, 2017
You know, at least you didn’t eat from the trash.
Primero Justicia even dares to suggest that there’s still a long road ahead:
— Primero Justicia (@Pr1meroJusticia) October 13, 2017
Looks like the MUD’s biggest threat is not the government, but abstention. And look, if you’re too sad after watching their ads, there’s always Freddy Superlano and his raspacanilla.
Since we’re all lowering standards here, let’s talk about what’s going on in the government’s campaign.
Now this I can dance to! Chavismo loves to pretend that everyone’s happy and everything’s fine. But despite that “oh eh oh eh” sending you to constituyente times (totally not an accident), there’s not a thought-out strategy behind the piece that you can point out. It’s the bare minimum, because what’s the worst that can happen, right?
Of course, there are always classical malpractices. Here we have Rodolfo Marco Torres, candidate for Aragua, using Mercal’s official Twitter account to promote himself and, while Hector Rodriguez is the oddball in the bunch, sneaky and even conciliatory, there’s Rafael Lacava too.
Lacava’s strategy is to get people talking about him. I’m falling into it by mentioning him, but I have to mention the donkey in the room. Literally:
Llegamos a @Globovisión con parte d nuestra nueva flota de transporte traida de alemania y no nos dejaron entrar porque no lo veían oportuno pic.twitter.com/k4FP2hhXt5
— Rafael Lacava (@rafaellacava10) October 9, 2017
He went full Lacava. Never go full Lacava.
So, okay, what’s the takeaway?
These aren’t real elections for any of the players.
The opposition is using most of its resources to prevent abstention. They don’t assume that winning will give them real power and, aware that an office is empty without support from the people, they frame tomorrow’s event as an act of protest.
As for the government, their lack of care shows what they think of the process. The game is to win with tricks and abstention; they might be okay with giving a few states away and they have the CNE in control, so they’re really not losing any sleep.
And overconfidence is dangerous…Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported. Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.