Thursday, March 16, 2006

Look who's credible now 

The Venezuelan opposition has been jumping up and down now about the Venezuelan electoral authorities ( the national electoral council or C.N.E.) not being credible and most Venezuelans not believing in them. This was their stated reason for boycotting the legistlative elections and they complain about it to anyone who will listen. Personally, I think the charge has no merit but that is a topic for another post.

What is interesing though is that some new polling information came out today in Ultimas Noticias that shows that the C.N.E. is actually more credible than the opposition itself. The numbers come from Consultores 21 which is an established, and anti-Chavez, polling firm. According to them in September 2005 45% of the population had confidence in the C.N.E. and 25% said they didn't have confidence in it. By January 2006 the number who had confidence in the C.N.E. increased to 53% and the number saying they didn't have confidence in it decreased to 14%. This inspite of an unrelenting effort by the opposition, their mass media, their political leaders, and even their web-based loonies to discredit that institution. Obviously they failed. In fact, it seems like the more the opposition attacks someone or something the more that person or organization's credibility increases (we'll see why that is in a moment).

On the legislative elections from last December that the opposition boycotted 64% said they thought the vote was transparent, 20% had doubts, and 16% said they had no confidence in its transparency. Again, the assertions put forth by the opposition impugning the elections have clearly been rejected by most Venezuelans.

Lastly, Consultores 21 polled on the confidence people had in various instutions. Who was number one? None other than the C.N.E. with 53%, followed by the Church leadership with 52%. The National Assembly got 50% saying they had confidence in it while the Supreme Court got 47%. Not bad.

Then things get interesting. The State media (pro-Chavez) get a confidence rating of 45% while those of the private media (generally anti-Chavez) only had a 30% level of confidence. I guess 7 years of propogandizing hasn't done much for their credibility. And given how little faith people have in the veracity of their information that probably explains why the more they attack the C.N.E. the more that entities rating goes up!!!

Lastly the opposition has spent a lot of time criticizing the automated voting system that Venezuela uses (never mind that THEY actually wrote the law in 1998 requiring the use of automated voting!). Yet when asked, 50% of Venezuelans think they should continue to use the automated system versus only 32% who think the vote should be manual. If majority rules (I say if because their are opposition readers here and many of them do not accept the concept of majority rule), the computers stay.

I think the general conclusion to be drawn from these numbers is not only that the opposition only represents a minority of Venezuelan society, we already knew that, but that their hysteronics and mendacity have only served to discredit them and actually boost the government they so strongly oppose. In other words, they are digging themselves deeper and deeper into a hole. And as one of the opposition bloggers likes to say; the first thing to do when you are in a whole is stop digging! (Health advisory - please don't anyone hold their breath waiting for the digging to stop)


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