Monday, November 12, 2007

I hope they know what they are getting themselves into 

Very curiously there has been little polling data on the upcoming constitutional reform vote released to the public. In fact I don't think I've seen a single poll result given in a news report in Ultimas Noticias, the largest daily in Venezuela.

This is highly unusual as normally polls are coming out all over the place with at least 10 different polling firms giving numbers. Yet very strangely we see next to nothing. I find this very strange and it makes me think something is up. Maybe neither side likes the poll numbers it is seeing? Maybe the polling data is very contradictory? Or maybe the race is very close?

I don't know the answers to any of those questions but the further along we go like this the fishier it gets.

In any event some polls have been published in the form of advertisements. Here is a pro-Chavez one pointing out that that almost 60% of those polled approve of the extension of the presidential term to 7 years:

I.V.A.D. is a pretty reliable polling firm so it is likely this number is accurate. To which all I can say is I hope that 60% of the population knows what it is getting itself into.

If it doesn't, it should ask any gringo, whose country has had to put up with a highly unpopular and ineffectual president ever since Katrina did in New Orleans. Damn three years can go by awefully slowly when you have a lousy president! Now imagine what 7 years would seem like!!

Yeah, yeah, they have a recall provision in the constitution. But remember, they are also making it much harder to invoke that so it really is quite possible you could spend 5 or 6 years with some slug as president. I wonder if the polling firm reminded people of that OTHER change when asking them about this?

Lets hope Venezuelans don't come to regret this provision. But sooner or later I suspect they will.


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