Friday, December 23, 2005

What election fraud really looks like 

Now that the opposition in Venezuela has faded away with barely a wimper maybe we can turn our attention elsewhere for a second. And in turning it to Iraq for a minute what do we see - some completely farcical activity called elections. While in Venezuela there were hundreds of international observers present who could observe every aspect of the election and ratify its transparency Iraq had no international observers (unless you consider the U.S. troops there "international observers" which Bush probably does).

Not suprisingly the result of this farcical election, which by the way the results of still haven't been announced, is that the Iraqi people have poured into the streets to denounce the massive fraud that is being perpetrated. Its good to see that Iraqi people aren't just going to sit by passively and allow this fraud to be perpetrated on them.

Meanwhile the Venezuelan opposition can only sit by and look on with envy. They had wanted people to go to church on December 4th to show that they were actively boycotting the electoral process. But that turned out to be a bust as people went to the malls instead. And since then although they have been mouthing off about all sorts of fraud they have never been able to mount any protest with more than a few dozen people.

The Venezuelan opposition has always talked about using "people power" to oust Chavez. After all, they say, if the Ukranians could do it in their Orange Revolution, why can't we do it. Well, I gave this hint once before a number of month ago but apparently they missed it. So let me tell it to them again. If you want to use "people power" to accomplish your ends its generally a good idea to actually have the "people" on your side. "People power" movements without people just never seem to get very far. You would think that was axiomatic but apparently it isn't.

P.S. Please be sure to check out this gem in the Guardian article:

Sunni Arab and secular Shiite factions demanded Thursday that an international body review election fraud complaints, and threatened to boycott the new legislature. The United Nations rejected the idea.

Its a little interesting that some of our opposition bloggers have tauting the Iraqi elections when any sort of international review is rejected out of hand while Venezuelan elections are closely scrutinized by all sorts of international bodies and experts. Que tal?


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