Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A thought experiment 

Kepler (and the opposition) keeps pointing out how a parliamentarian system would have been ideal to Venezuela, well here is your chance to try to prove it.

Pretend Hugo Chavez is PM, and pretend that the AN is parliament, now tell me just how history would have played out differently, no experimental theories, only clear institutional checks on power.

I will start it off by negating the head of state/government argument, in Venezuela the president is not all powerful there are other people like the attorney general that is an independent power, but since he is elected by the AN the opposition cries foul. So under this same thought experiment the head of state is elected by the people or the AN (meaning he is a Chavista too).

I have a theory that it is just contrarianism, that if he paints something red they want green, electronic voting then they support paper ballots. I know plenty of Brits that bemoan their system as un-democratic (monarchs, house of lords, unelected PM, first to the post) are they being contrarians or simply have better arguments?


Monday, February 16, 2009

How I learned to stop worrying and love the undefined 

Generally speaking, people that lose worry too much on what they perceive to be unfair, every single futbol/soccer match that Venezuela wins (we qualified for the sub-20 world cup for the first time ever, major props!) other CONMEBOL fans claim that we won because Chavez bought the referees with oil, like clockwork. It is not easy to lose but blaming the referee is always counterproductive since you do not see your own flaws in order to feel good, or not as bad.

Whatever advantage Chavez may have had, whether you think it was legal or not, does not change the fact that 6-5 voted for what Chavez sold, and that was no term limits. However the more philosophical question at hand is whether term limits really are an advantage. The answer is yes and no, in the US it is true incumbents rarely get challenged, and never get challenged by their own party (Lieberman-CT is a rare exception and it means there is hope for them yet) but I happen to believe that here in Venezuela we are far more informed, and far more willing to punish lousy leadership.

The reason why Chavez made an about face on regional re-election is precisely due to the result in the previous regional election, wherein the PSUV base not only punished in primaries who they perceived to be incompetent incumbents, but proceeded to completely eliminate them from contention in the real election. Chavez saw first hand the power of the people and I did as well. That is why I want Chavez to be defeated (if he is worthy of being defeated) by the people not by arbitrary limits.


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Election day post 

Well there just had to be one, I will try to keep updated, walked through downtown Caracas this morning and saw ok turnout.I will be sitting this election out for no other reason than that I am split (unlike last time that I voted No), well that and my voting center is on the other side of town.


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