there is very little. Chavez had to take advantage of his position and ranted in front of the foreign press
his usual stuff, concentrating on CNN being worse than Hitler and going
back a little on his threat of nationalizing the Spanish banks by
saying that he would do so if the Partido Popular wins next year. In
the end he will do what he wants, whenever he wants, so the whole thing
is meaningless. Chavez continues to personalize Venezuelas Foreign
Relations the same way his egotistical mind personalizes everything and
he refuses to see what a poor job he has done for the people in these
now very long years.
hard to predict what will happen. This year is indeed different, as the
polling firms do show results, which are not only different, but also
fairly consistent among themselves. Last year in the Rosales-Chavez
race, there were a few optimistic pollster, but Datanalisis and Seijas
were giving Chavez a huge lead all along. Just as a reminder,
Datanalisis gave Chavez a 53-26% lead two weeks before the election,
Consultores 21 gave Chavez a 58-41% and Hinteraces gave Chavez a 41-35%
lead, so that things are indeed different this time.
problem is what the role of abstention will be and while everyone is
focused on the abstention of the Nos and the Ni Nis (those that are
not pro- either side), I also believe that abstention among Chavistas
is going to play a role more significant that many are predicting.
Abstention in elections not involving Chavez himself has been high,
such as the referendum to approve Chavez new Constitution which had
67% abstention and Chávez was in the height of his popularity. Similar
levels of abstention in the 60% plus category were seen in the regional
elections of 2004. Thus, Chavistas have gone out en force only when
Chavez name has been directly involved as a candidate or in the recall
referendum vote of August 2004.
factors play a role in the pro-Chavez abstention: One, Podemos is a
strong party in many states and this time around they will be driving
but the vote against Chavez. Two, many Governors and Mayors see the
reform as a threat to their own survival. Clearly this works against
among Chavez opponents who believe that since it is rigged it is not
worth going to vote. Moreover, Venezuelas have never been to truthful
about their vote intentions, so that even those that claim they are
likely to vote are probably not very likely to go. It is shame thing
here to say you are not going.
notes is that both Datanalisis and Seijas have tended to overestimate
the Chavez vote and underestimate the opposition vote by some 4%
points, so that their recent results may be more positive than some
believe there is fraud so that the No needs to obtain a large victory
to show a small one. At this time, unless lines are long and huge
tomorrow, my feeling is that the Si edges the No by a small margin, but
I am hopeful that people will go massively and vote and we can squeeze
by 2 or 3 points, fraud and all. In both cases, it will be a huge
defeat for Chavez as he will have a rather weak mandate for his
revolution as I discussed earlier this week. I truly do not believe Chavez can obtain a large victory tomorrow, the numbers clearly say that.
hope my worst moment this weekend was going out to lunch and finding
out I could not order any alcoholic beverages because of the election.
A pity, the food was marvelous as I hope are the results tomorrow.
I will be blogging mostly pictures during the day as I have the time. I do have to go and vote!