Monday, April 09, 2007

Enough to make a gringo cry with envy 

I'm sure everyone remembers well August 2004 when President Chavez was submitted to a vote by the Venezuelan people. Not a regular election mind you, a recall election. The Venezuelan constitution allows for any elected official to be subject to a recall vote halfway through their term should 20% of their constituents sign a petition calling for such a vote. Fortunately, Chavez just used the vote as yet one more oppertunity to give the opposition a good thumping.

Now there are a number of other elected officials throughout Venezuela who will possibly be facing a recall referendum. Here is a map of Venezuela with a listing of them:

These are the people who the petition effort against will begin shortly. The signatures will be gathered June 16, 17, and 18. If the 20% is gathered then there will be an recall election. For that election to be valid at least 25% of eligible voters must vote. Also, those wanting to recall an official must get at least 1 vote more than that person got when first elected and more than the number of people who vote for him to remain in office.

Note there are some interesting, if unsurprising, names on the list including three big named Chavistas - contraversial western Caracas mayor Freddy Bernal, the governor of Anzoategui, Tarek William Saab, and Yaracuy governor Carlos Gimenez. Should be interesting to see what happens.

In any event, it can't be lost on readers from the U.S. that president Bush recently passed the midway point of his term and if they had some of the rights Venezuelans do he could be recalled. Wouldn't that be fun!

Anyways, getting the right of recall written into the U.S. Consitution is probably asking for too much. Right now I'd settle for just getting that other thing Venezuelans have that we don't, one person one vote. If only we had had that back in 2000 think of all the grief that could have been avoided!


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