Venezuela opposition will consider privatizations

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Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

good to know hard to tell

Fidel

[url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_and_Sedition_Acts]Alien and Sedition Acts passed in 1798[/url]

And in spite of the failed CIA-backed military coup and CIA's illegal financing of Chavez' political opposition in Venezuela...

[url=http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Stephen_Lendman/ChavezVictoryTopsAll.h... Landslide Tops All In US History[/url]

Chavez outdid all of them with a nearly 63% "true majority" in 2006.

Democracy is the right's most hated institution long time.

VanGoghs Ear

Snert wrote:

Just to note:  this thread is intended for a discussion of the Venezuelan opposition party, isn't it?

But we shouldn't discuss Venezuela in it.  That's just inappropriate.

If you don't have anything bad to say about the opposition party than don't say anything.  Isn't that how it goes?

Ken Burch

I find if kind of offensive that everyone who disagrees with Chavez on anything are always called "the opposition", as if it goes without saying that the man is leading a dictatorial regime and that his country's very survival depends on his removal from office and the repeal of everything his government has ever done.

The man is not a perfect democrat...but he's not the Stalin of the Western Hemisphere.  Or even the new Fidel(the Cuban one, not the one who posts here).  He's creating a new model and the old measurements of "free" and "unfree" don't apply as they might have in other contexts.

Ken Burch

"The opposition" is simply a random group of people and parties that have other ideas for Venezuela than Chavez and party do.  They have no particular claim to nobility, and it's not an attack on the very idea of "democracy" to criticize or disagree with their proposals.

They have the right to propose whatever they wish to propose.  And everyone else has the right to disagree with what they propose and criticize their ideas.  It's silly to act as if doing so is tantamount to being a member of the secret police or something.

Slumberjack

voice of the damned wrote:
So, then, I guess there's no rationale for discussing Swiss elections(like for example the recent one where they voted to outlaw Muslim minarets), because Switzerland doesn't have very extensive imperial tentacles, and in fact is pretty much the polar opposite of an empire(what with being neutral for centuries and never having any overseas territories).

And if Ireland continues to elect governments that maintain the total ban on abortion, well, no reason for us to comment on that, Ireland doesn't claim to be leading the free world, and those laws effect no one outside of Ireland.

Is Switzerland trying to subvert the public discourse in other countries, including our own, in order to spread the ban on minarets as well?  Are agents of the Irish government spending millions of dollars on anti-abortion propaganda in other countries as well as our own?  If we call such things for what they are, does it follow that we should be lobbying our own government to send it's agents to Switzerland and Ireland in order to subvert whatever exists of the social fabric in these countries?  Are we attempting to install Bay Street friendly thugs as the rulers of Switzerland and Ireland in order to privatize and extract as much wealth as possible from those countries, and impoverish and enslave the populations while we're at it?  Wouldn't you agree that there's a slight difference between speaking on behalf of the dignity and basic rights of human beings who prefer to live in a society based on social democracy, and using the language of the Corporate imperium's propaganda machine to speak on behalf of its agenda?  We're not sending vicious armies and CIA assassin thugs to carry our words against nations who find themselves besieged by the US empire.  We're not adding to their torment with deformed and externally implanted notions of relativism.

Slumberjack

You know, more and more I'm thinking this is a scam.  Coach handbags for $33.00..come on.  And free shipping!?

[ok..not funny mods]

Fidel

reuters wrote:
Venezuela opposition will consider privatizations

What else would a group of "centrist" con men consider doing besides pawning off the family jewels and silverware? Perhaps the recent social unrest in the Middle East and Africa has convinced them of the need to be almost honest  with Venezuelan voters in advance. Notice that it's only "we will consider" and not "we will", which is what they absolutely will do by all means possible if they are able to fool enough voters with "centre-liberal" mumbo jumbo.

Slumberjack

I don't know how much clearer the historical track record of privitization in Latin America has to be before one gets a sense of its predatory deprivations.  You'd have to be a complete idiot not to notice that in the context of such an announcement, it can only mean that they intend to re-educate the population with teachings from the Chicago School of Economics.

Fidel

Ken Burch wrote:

"The opposition" is simply a random group of people and parties that have other ideas for Venezuela than Chavez and party do.

And at least soem of the opposition are mercenaries bankrolled by US taxpayers. The word opposition was an overly complimentary term for people like Pedro Carmona in 2002. They are being "funded" by more than just the chamber of commerce in Caracas, that's for sure. Our corrupt stooges here would holler blue murder if foreign funding came pouring into the country for left wing political campaigns similarly. They'd think it an act of war and prolly start rounding up lefties PDQ.

Slumberjack

In any discussion surrounding the wonderful advantages of privatized economies run out of the back rooms of Wall Street's office towers, assisted by the ever so helpful lads from Langley, we musn't forget about that neo-liberal showcase for success, Colombia.  When we talk about good ole Amerikan style private ownership vs. socialism, what we're really discussing is the right of people to live a dignified existence enabled by the collective social values of their legitimately chosen representatives, versus the ideology of obscenely wealthy cutthroats and marauders.  I don't know why anyone would want to defend the sort of ideology described below with dubious comparisons and contrived relativism.

Colombia Slips Into the Abyss

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Colombia, with a population of around 44 million, now has 5.2 million internally displaced persons, meaning that almost 12% of its population is displaced - most of them by violence, and a disproportionate number Afro-Colombians and indigenous.

As a report by the Colombian human rights group CODHES notes, half of the 5.2 internally displaced were displaced during the presidential term of Alvaro Uribe, and as a direct consequence of his "counterinsurgency program" - a program funded in large measure by the U.S. As CODHES noted, in a significant proportion of the municipalities impacted by this program, there has been large-scale mining and cultivation of oil palm and biofuel. CODHES is clear that this production is directly responsible for the violent displacement of persons from their land Indeed, it appears that the "counterinsurgency program," as many of us has said for years, was in fact largely intended to make Colombia safe for multi-national exploitation of the land at the very expense of the people the program was claimed to be helping.

U.S. and Colombia Cover Up Atrocities Through Mass Graves

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If, as suspected by Colombian human rights groups, such as the "Comision de Derechos Humanos del Bajo Ariari" and the "Colectivo Orlando Fals Borda," the mass grave in La Macarena contains 2,000 more civilian victims of this scheme, then this would bring the total of those victimized by the "false positive" scandal to at least 4,000 --much worse than originally believed.

That this grave was discovered just outside a Colombian military base overseen by U.S. military advisers -- the U.S. having around 600 military advisers in that country -- is especially troubling, and raises serious questions about the U.S.'s own conduct in that country. In addition, this calls into even greater question the propriety of President Obama's agreement with President Alvaro Uribe last summer to grant the U.S. access to 7 military bases in that country.

The discovery of this mass grave by sheer accident raises the prospect that there are more yet to be found. Certainly, it is the consensus of human rights groups in Colombia that this is only be the tip of the iceberg. In any case, the discovery of this grave, on top of the large magnitude of the "false positive" scandal already known, justifies a serious rethinking of U.S. policy toward Colombia -- a policy pursuant to which the U.S. has sent over $7 billion of military aid to Colombia since 2000 and still counting. This policy, which President Obama is only deepening, has continued the U.S.'s long-standing practice of giving the most military aid to the worst human rights abusers.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Canada has a so-called "free" trade deal with the murderous Colombian regime.

GoC wrote:
Colombia is a dynamic emerging market with 44 million people and an economy with high growth potential. An increasing number of Canadian investors and exporters is entering the Colombian market. In 2008, two-way merchandise trade between Canada and Colombia totalled more than $1.3 billion, with hundreds of Canadian companies doing business with Colombia. Colombia is also a strategic destination for Canadian direct investment (mining, oil exploration, printing and education).

Once implemented, the FTA with Colombia will stimulate the growth of our commercial relationship and help level the playing field for Canadian business vis-à-vis competitors who have or are seeking preferential market access in Colombia.

The FTA will also promote a more stable and predictable investment environment in Colombia.

I guess mass graves are "more stable and predictable" eh?

 

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Here is a review of a brand new book that places these "free trade" agreements in context.  We are sending in our corporate lawyers to sign agreements to steal the resources of third world countries.  These agreements only enrich Canadian corporations not the people in places like Columbia nor the average citizen in Canada.

Quote:

It is entitled, Imperialist Canada and in it the author, Todd Gordon, explores the various ways in which Canadian capital and the Canadian political system engage in an imperialist program of stealing the land, resources, well-being, families, and lives of others (generally poor or indigenous populations both in Canada and abroad) in order to gain profits and power.  A lot of this material will be familiar to those already engaged in the struggle against imperialism and capitalism but it is very good to have a comprehensive study of a number of issues all collected in a single text.  For those who are unaware of the issues presented here — from the practices of Canadian oil, gas, mining, and hydroelectric companies in our own and other countries, to the Canadian-backed coup that occurred in Haiti, to the ways in which RBC has been getting rich off of the war in Iraq, to many other things — this book should be paradigm shattering.

Because I’m so keen on this book, and because I want to encourage others to read it, I contacted the author and asked if he would be willing to do an interview for this blog.  Despite time constraints, he kindly complied to my request, and this is the exchange that we were able to have.  My questions are bolded and Todd’s responses are in plain text.

http://poserorprophet.wordpress.com/2011/01/27/imperialist-canada-an-int...

 

A_J

Snert wrote:

Quote:
They have a real electoral system in Venezuela.

WTF?

I just posted this in the [url=http://rabble.ca/babble/canadian-politics/get-out-and-vote-may-2nd]Get out and vote[/url] thread, but I'll post it here too, and maybe you can tell us how their system is better:

-----

In the last election in Venezuela, Hugo Chavez and his party earned 48.3% of the popular vote and won 96 seats and the Presidency.

The opposition earned 47.2% of the popular vote -- 1.1% less -- and won a mere 64 seats (exactly 2/3 the seats for 1% less of the vote).

"Others", with a paltry 1.4% of the popular vote, managed three seats.  So getting 1.4% of the popular votes is worth three seats, but getting 1.1% more of the popular vote is worth 32 seats.

In the interest of fairness, how about using Venezuela as your example of a corrupt, undemocratic FPTP hellhole for the next four years?  Chavez is a great example of a president who claims a majority, with less than 50% of the vote.

-----

So that's what a "real" system looks like??

Funny thing about the Venezuelan pariamentary election - that country did actually have a very proportional system until shortly before the 2010 election.

Previously, it was a mixed member system where some parliamentarians were elected in FPTP contests, and then additional seats assigned to bring a party's total seat count in line with its vote count. Extreme example.

Imagine 200 seats - 100 FPTP and 100 proportional - and two parties. Party A got 51% in every riding and Party B 49% - Party B elects nobody in the FPTP contests.  2 proportional seats go to Party A - giving it 51% of the total, and 98 go to Party B, giving it 49%.

However, using the enabling law, the Chavez government passed the Ley Orgánica de Procesos Electorales which made some subtle changes to the system specifically to make it less proportional (and to benefit his own party).  Instead of assigning proportional seats to correct the FPTP results and make the overall seat count reflect the vote, the proportional seats were distributed separately, without reference to the FPTP results. So the above example would look like this:

Party A wins 100 FPTP seats, 51% to 49% in every one. Rather than give Party B 49% of the total 200 seats, Party B only receives 49% of the proportional seats (so, 49 seats).  Meanwhile, Party A gets an additional 51 seats - total seat count is then 151 to 49 (or 75.5% to 24.5%).

This is what happened with the recent Venezulan election to create such an imbalanced result. Chavez's party won 71 of the FPTP seats, and rather than receive 7 proportional seats, to give them 48% of the total, they received another 25 seats (nearly half of the 52 proportional seats).

In addition, the Ley Orgánica de Procesos Electorales also reduced the number of proportional seats from the original 100.

Fidel

lol! And so how do we know that the CIA was behind the military coup that overthrew Hugo Chavez in 2002? Such anti-democratic maneuvering is so natural for Coups R US that it would be impossible not to consider their involvement. That is unless the Gladio Gang's intel agency had secretly disbanded without telling anyone.

And the Gladio Gang have been funding the opposition in Venezuela for years. Uncle Sam would consider this an act of war if another country was to do the same in America. It's political interference in a sovereign country's democratic affairs but not when Uncle Sam does it for some reason.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

A-J I agree that left leaning governments should never a act in their own self interests and any attempts to counter corporate money subverting the democratic process is the sign of a dictatorship.  After all any american politician will tell you that "free enterprise" and democracy are joined at the hip and you can't have one without the other. 

The scenario above is why I don't like some PR.  It can lead to highly unelectable people having voices in a parliament.  At the bottom of that list of right wing assholes who would be given proportional seats are unelectable politicians.  Also I think that their system also highlights the dangers of electoral coalitions compared to parliamentary coalitions.  Because the small parties all run under the same banner the larger and more powerful interests from both the right and left again get to dominate.  They had a pluralistic democracy and they have changed it into a two party system and I suspect that both Chavez and his rich corporate opponents like it that way.

Fidel

Democracy is the right's most hated institution. The CIA and allies' reputation is notorious for interfering in the sovereign affairs of other countries, election rigging, assassinations and false flag terrorism. What the CIA used to do covertly up to the 1970s is now done overtly through "democracy building" and the funding of political opposition groups in countries targeted for "regime change". Time and time again they have crossed over the line of what can described as anything from political interference to participating in subversion of democracy around the world. In the USA and Canada such activities involving money and payoffs from foreign governments are considered seditious acts and punishable by harsh prison sentences. The cold war on democracy never really ended.

A_J

I'm curious as to what the CIA, gladios and other usual suspects of your typical stream-of-consciousness rants have to do with the fact that the Venezuelan government, in 2010, intentionally made the country's electoral system less proportional?

At least here in Canada we've always had the same lousy system - nobody has managed to make it any worse.

Snert Snert's picture

My cat does a curious thing if I pick her up and hold her near a mirror:  she refuses to look!  She'll practically hurt her neck twisting and turning so that she doesn't end up looking in the mirror.  I don't know why.

At least with Fidel, we know why.

But you can have fun with it.  Post thoughtful, rational, on-topic commentary regardless of the Gladio/CIA/Stoogeocracy spam he replies with.  Not only is he totally squandering the chance to rebut your ideas, but eventually, to an outside observer, he starts to look like some kind of JavaScript automated response thing.

Thanks for that analysis, BTW.  The next time I have to endure any chin music about our failed, flawed, anti-Democratic, non-proportional system I'll be bringing up Venezuela as an even BETTER example of this.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

The change was to the proportion of seats allotted to the different states. The more rural states now get about 47% of the seats compared to the more urbanized states. The rural states don't have 47% of the population.  The allocation of proportional seats for the National Assembly is done at the state level.  That is the change. So is it inherently undemocratic to give some greater voting weight to rural voters or is urban domination the only possible legitimate system?  

The BC Liberals just ran their leadership elections using a similar weighted system that favoured the rural ridings.  I note that neither of you came on and decried this injustice in your own country but can decry another countries politicians without seemingly even understanding the rationale or system it replaced.  Personally I am of mixed opinion but note that most places that have a dual house system do it do try to equalize the potential for a tyranny of the majority.  I think I have read rural advocates on this site wanting a way of changing the electoral system to give them more clout. They also were not vilified as evil incarnate.

As for the Chavez changing the rules all one needs to do is take even a cursory look at their history to find that unlike our system the Venezuelan system has undergone almost constant "reform" by successive right and left wing governments.  That is part of the political culture their representative democracy works within.  Not all countries have a constitution that is basically fixed in stone like Canada's.  Our set in stone system like Venezuela is based on provincial seat counts so rural residents of PEI get three times the kick for their vote as a voter in Burnaby. Chavez did not tilt the playing field that far in favour of the rural states. He is but the latest of their Presidents to try their hand at not so subtle gerrymandering.  

Of course the reason that the Chavez's party made the change is because the rural people are their largest supporters.  Land reform is at the heart of the Bolivarian movement. DOH Mind you those evil socialists have assailed the property rights of the former landowners and their feudal like system.  The people who have suffered the most over the centuries know who their friends are.  However we know up here in "developed" North America that without complete control of the economy by the 500 families that primarily own our Canadian corporations there can be no democracy.  Democracy requires the operation of corporations not socialist enterprises is all I hear you saying Snert. 

Chavez is working within a representative democracy and still that is not good enough for "progressives" like Snert and AJ because he is implementing socialist policies.  Only social democrats have legitimacy?  It seems you are guided by the principle that true believers in democracy know that any reforms that take from the rich to right historic imbalances are also inherently undemocratic since they affect property rights. Any government instituting land reforms takes away the property rights of the rich so is it therefore illegitimate? 

Quote:

 

Chavez inspected the progress of the “Tiznados River Socialist Agrarian Project,” a state-owned “social production company” that represents the government’s attempt to construct a model of food production based on worker participation in decisions, responsibility to the local community, and the satisfaction of needs rather than the pursuit of profit.

The president announced plans to quadruple the extent of the project’s irrigation system to 32,000 hectares by the year 2015; expand the production of rice, soy, legumes, and vegetables; build a vegetable and fruit dehydration plant, an agricultural machinery factory, processing plants for soy and cow milk, and an animal fodder factory; and construct a communal city where farmers can live. 

To improve the infrastructure that is necessary for the expanded food production, Chavez announced plans to build 20 kilometers of canals, two silos for animal fodder, improve six important highways, upgrade communications infrastructure, and extend electricity to all of the state’s farmhouses.

The public investments will be made by state-owned banks and financed by a recent $5 billion credit line from China, which is the first installment of a $20 billion credit line promised by the Chinese last April. Also, Venezuelan farmers will study agriculture in Chinese universities, Chavez said. 

Venezuela, a member of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, currently relies on food imports. Food production has increased as a result of the Chavez government’s increase in financing to the agricultural sector from less than half a billion bolivars in 1998 to 20 billion bolivars in 2009. However, demand for food has increased even more as a result of anti-poverty programs that have drastically raised the nation’s nutritional levels and reduced malnutrition from 21% to 6% during the same time period.

Venezuela’s goal now is to reduce its dependence on multi-national food companies and reduce its susceptibility to global food crises, Chavez said on Sunday. Venezuela also plans to integrate the state-owned food producers with a growing state-owned network of food distributors and local food markets that sell the food at regulated prices that are sometimes as much as 40% below market prices.

“We cannot hand [the food] over to the usury of the capitalist model; now we have to continue constructing the socialist system of distribution and marketing,” Chavez said on Sunday. “We must pick up the pace, because the future of Venezuela depends on it. We must turn Venezuela into an agro-industrial power.”

As part of a “new offensive” in the process of land reform, Chavez announced the nationalization of 200,000 hectares (495,000 acres) of land that are property of Compañía Inglesa, a Venezuelan subsidiary of the Vestey Group, and the nationalization of the agricultural services company Agroisleña.

Agricultura and Lands Minister Juan Carlos Loyo confirmed plans to nationalize 250,000 hectares (618,000 acres) of farmland in October and twice that amount in November.

“We are going to accelerate the agrarian revolution... We must liberate the land from the hands of the large estate owners,” Chavez declared on Sunday.

The Vestey Group is a major meat producer based in the United Kingdom and has been owned for four generations by the Lord Vestey family, one of the wealthiest families in the U.K. It began operating in Venezuela in the early 1900s with the purpose of providing meat to the growing British population. When the Venezuelan government stepped up its land reform effort in 2005, it purchased tens of thousands of hectares from the Vestey Group and handed them over to landless peasants. Peasant organizations accused the Vestey Group and its subsidiary, Agroflora, of hiring assassins to attack and intimidate them.

Monday night, during a phone call to a nighttime TV program, Chavez announced that his government had reached a “friendly agreement” with Vestey for the sale of its Venezuelan land holdings and for 130,000 cattle. “The English company is ready for a barbecue,” Chavez added.

http://venezuelanalysis.com/news/5690

 

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Chavez is working within a representative democracy and still that is not good enough for "progressives" like Snert and AJ because he is implementing socialist policies.   

 

Stacking the deck with a bit of electoral jerrymandering is now a Socialist policy?

 

Heck, I think Mike Harris is a Socialist! LOL!

 

Anyway, I think you let slip the truth. Yes, it's dishonest and self-serving of Chavez, but it deserves a free pass because it's SOCIALISM! And if A_J or I point out this dishonesty, it's not because it's dishonesty, it's because it's SOCIALISM! Is that pretty much your thesis?

 

Meanwhile, whether Chavez has a heart of gold or not, Venezuela's system seems even LESS proportional (read: democratic) than ours. If we continue to feel the need to point to fucked up electoral systems, I nominate Venezuela, not because it's SOCIALIST, but because it's more fucked up. And that's part of the problem in us/them systems: when you pile a huge moral weight on top of "them" because "they" are wrongheaded and hate democracy, then you really need to make sure you don't do the exact same thing.

 

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Nice way of addressing the substance of NS's remarks regarding rural representation Snert. NOT.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

N.Beltov wrote:

Nice way of addressing the substance of NS's remarks regarding rural representation Snert. NOT.

Thx NBel

I have noticed that Snert often doesn't debate. He regularly shuffles sideways like a crab when confronted with ideas in response to his rhetoric.  He also seems to read rather selectively and missed the part where I called the move partisan gerrymandering.  However I am on the side of the people not the business interests who would love to see a quick return to corporate agri-business.

Snert I guess I am missing something here.  I am on babble talking about socialism as it is being applied in a democratic  country with both criticism and praise and you respond with this drivel?  The idea that Venezuela's most recent chances make it's system less proportional than ours is nonsensical.  But thank you for proving my point about your obvious bias.

Quote:

If we continue to feel the need to point to fucked up electoral systems, I nominate Venezuela, not because it's SOCIALIST, but because it's more fucked up. 

Fidel

A_J wrote:

I'm curious as to what the CIA, gladios and other usual suspects of your typical stream-of-consciousness rants have to do with the fact that the Venezuelan government, in 2010, intentionally made the country's electoral system less proportional?

Let's be serious here for just a second. Venezuelan leaders of the military coup against Chavez were not trained in dirty tricks, torture and assassinations by any other country but the good ol' United Semi-Socialist States of America. The School of the Americas aka 'WHINSEC', in fact. Our Americano friends have been "teaching" Latin America's military leaders to enforce US style democracy at the end of a gun barrel for a long time. US-backed death squad governments have murdered a lot of people in Latin America over the years, and military coups are right up their alley, believe you me. Donald Rummy talked about stepping up US aid to LAtin America's militaries not long after Murder Inc. wiped out 3000 people in NYC on 9/11.

Quote:
"We felt we were acting with US support . . . we agree that we can’t permit a communist government here. The US has not let us down yet." - Rear Admiral Carlos Molinas 

I have friends in Caracas who tell me it's really easy to spot a US Governnent spook. They like to pose as food critics, missionaries, Mormons and Jehovah's Witnesses.  

A_J wrote:
At least here in Canada we've always had the same lousy system - nobody has managed to make it any worse.
 

If any foreign government was to begin illegally funding the political opposition in Canada in the same way that the US Government crosses the line in Venezuela, we would mostly likely observe some fancy footwork by our corrupt stooges in Ottawa. And keep in mind we've had Warshington style lobbying in Ottawa since Brian Baloney, that corrupt stooge who promised Canadians he would not open free trade talks with Warshington leading up to the election in 1984. 1984 was a good year for the lying liars.

A_J

Fidel wrote:

Let's be serious here for just a second . . .

I see. So your stream-of-consciousness rant about 'Gladios' and the CIA didn't have anything to with the Venezuelan government's changes to make the electoral system less proportional. Thanks for clearing that up.

 

 

Northern Shoveler wrote:

The idea that Venezuela's most recent chances make it's system less proportional than ours is nonsensical.

While it's true that the Venezuelan system, even after the 2010 changes, at least still has some proportional component (in the 52 list seats assigned based on overall vote count), which is more than can be said about out own, the results are actually less proportional than our own.

 

I've compared Venezuela's 2010 election to our own 2008 election ("inflation" or "deflation" is based on [% of seats]/[% vote]):

 

Venezuela, 2010:

 

PSUV: 98/165 seats (or 59.4%), 48.2% of the vote = 23.2% "inflation"

MUD: 65/165 seats (or 39.4%), 47.2% of the vote = 16.5% "deflation"

PPT: 2/165 seats (or 1.2%), 3.1% of the vote = 61.3% "deflation"

 

Canada, 2008:

 

Conservative: 143/308 seats (or 46.4%), 37.7% of the vote = 23.1% "inflation"

Liberal: 77/308 seats (or 25.0%), 26.3% of the vote = 4.9% "deflation"

Bloc: 51/208 seats (or 16.6%), 10.0% of the vote = 66.0% "inflation"

NDP: 37/308 seats (or 12.0%), 18.2% of the vote = 34.1% "deflation"

 

The Bloc is a bit of an outlier, but you can see that the MUD and PPT are underrepresented based on the overall vote - even more than the Liberals and NDP are here.  The winning parties - Conservatives and PSUV - are both similarly overrepresented.

 

Northern Shoveler wrote:

. . . I called the move partisan gerrymandering. However I am on the side of the people not the business interests who would love to see a quick return to corporate agri-business.

That seems like quite a false dichotomy there: gerrymandering and false proportional representation or corporate agribusiness.  I understand that you're trying to say part of the change was simply to over-represent rural areas, but you're ignoring that a fundamental part of the system was changed for no reason but to make it less proportional: proportional seats are now assigned without reference to the results of the FPTP contests, where before they were used to correct the disproportionate outcomes of the FPTP contests. Now the party that gets 48% of the vote still gets 48% of the 52 list seats - even if they've already won a disproportionate number of FPTP contests (helped in no small part by gerrymandering), which only further distorts the results.

 

Now, the 2010 Venezuelan results are not hugely worse than our own 2008 results and what Venezuela has right now - if the district boundaries are properly drawn - is still theoretically more proportional than our own solely FPTP system. But, my original point still stands: a government's motives are hugely suspect when it intentionally makes a system less proportionate, as the Chavez government has done. So far our own system has been left alone and while it hasn't been made any better, nobody has managed to make it any worse, as happened in Venezuela immediately prior to the election.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
He also seems to read rather selectively and missed the part where I called the move partisan gerrymandering.  However I am on the side of the people not the business interests who would love to see a quick return to corporate agri-business.

 

I did catch it, but I wasn't sure how to respond. Other than, perhaps, to suggest that the ends don't justify the means. "It's for a good cause". Gimme a break.

I also agree with A_J that it's a false dichotomy.

I guess this all does demonstrate that Socialism is viable, so long as the government isn't ashamed to engage in a little self-serving manipulation of the system. Given that the difference in popular vote was a miniscule 1.1%, I'm going to suggest that without this gerrymandering, Chavez would be the official opposition right now. Instead, with only 1.1% more vote, he's got himself a nice clear FALSE MAJORITY, with exactly 1.5x more seats. And we're all supposed to cheer for that, because after all, it's SOCIALISM! Again, gimme a break. And again, thanks to A_J for the unemotional analysis -- analysis that I don't see anyone refuting.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

You are right Chavez is an evil socialist and worse tharn Harper. I don't know why I feel like this board is a little less than welcoming to peopple with any kind of left wing views.  I must be paranoid. 

Rah Rah NDP Go Jack Go  

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

You are right Chavez is an evil socialist and worse tharn Harper. I don't know why I feel like this board is a little less than welcoming to peopple with any kind of left wing views.  I must be paranoid. 

 

The only ones who might have any reason to feel unwelcome are the ones unable to face uncomfortable truths. Boo hoo for their tender little selves.

 

I'm not saying Chavez is "evil". I'm saying that the electoral system in Venezuela resulted in a false majority. As far as I'm concerned, anyone who thinks that 1.5x the seats for 1.01x the vote is somehow "progressive" isn't really adding much here anyway.

Fidel

Okay, so we might admit that Venezuela's MMP was once more proportional than it is today, if certain other babblers will merely admit that it's illegal for foreign governments to finance political opposition groups. And they don't even have to mention any of Uncle Sam, vicious empire, USSA, or anything which might implicate that hopelessly corrupt and bankrupted country bordering Canada south of the 49th parallel. Because we wouldn't wanna do that heaven forbid. lol!

Fidel

A_J wrote:

Fidel wrote:

Let's be serious here for just a second . . .

I see. So your stream-of-consciousness rant about 'Gladios' and the CIA didn't have anything to with the Venezuelan government's changes to make the electoral system less proportional. Thanks for clearing that up.

Even after counterrigging, Venezuelan MMP is still a better deal than our own rigged FPTP system. For example, here in Ontario Pinocchio McGuilty's government won 22% of the registered vote last election. That gave them 66% of legislature seats, and 100% dictatorial power at Queen's Park. So your non-argument against fixing Canada's numerically absurd electoral system is still bogus.

And nice dodge, slippery. If Venezuelans want to make it harder for your good friends in Warshington to interfere politically in Venezuela's affairs, that's their business. lol!

(See N.Beltov's post @#12 for the following)

[url=http://redantliberationarmy.wordpress.com/2011/02/18/obama-requests-fund... Requests Funding For Venezuelan Opposition in 2012 Budget[/url]

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ILLEGAL FUNDING

The State Department's public disclosure of 2012 funding for the Venezuelan opposition comes just after the Venezuelan National Assembly passed a law prohibiting foreign funding for political activities in late December 2010. The Law in Defense of Political Sovereignty and National Self-Determination clearly renders all foreign funding for political campaigns, parties and organizations, including NGOs, that engage in political activities, illegal. How exactly does Washington propose to channel those $5 million to Venezuelan groups, when such financing clearly constitutes a violation of Venezuelan law? ...

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The State Department budget also requests $20 million in funding for anti-Castro groups in Miami and elsewhere to continue efforts to undermine the Cuban Revolution.

More money for for US-based anti-Cuban terrorism. Meanwhile U.S. law is clear in stating that foreign governments, political parties, corporations, and individuals should not influence any election in any way. It's sedition and subject to harsh prison sentencing in America. US hypocrisy is the general rule in Latin America, or Uncle Sam's "backyard".

Ken Burch

It is highly unlikely, after all, that the "opposition" would have made anything like its showing in the last election if it weren't for massive American backing and organization.

Ken Burch

It is highly unlikely, after all, that the "opposition" would have made anything like its showing in the last election if it weren't for massive American backing and organization.

Fidel

Right, Ken. And I think our guys up here are doing a swell job of helping to finance a totally corrupt regime in Kabul at the same time. It seems like everyone is expected to ante-up in the democracy game nowadays.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Snert wrote:

Meanwhile, whether Chavez has a heart of gold or not, Venezuela's system seems even LESS proportional (read: democratic) than ours. If we continue to feel the need to point to fucked up electoral systems, I nominate Venezuela, not because it's SOCIALIST, but because it's more fucked up. 

Tell me what do Glen Clark and Grant Devine share in common as Premiers?  

If you want to talk about a fucked political system then look south but not to far south.  I suspect that if Chavez looses power then the new liberal democratic government would quickly move to implement some real democracy and freedom just like Michigan.  

I notice how loudly you rail against the authoritarian laws stripping democratically elected municipal officials of their power and giving complete authority to an appointed Czar in the most powerful nation in the world.  I think that the Koch brothers and the rest of the american oligarchy are far more anti-democratic than Chavez.  I also think that Chavez is fighting against the same kind of corporatism and vicious elite as are the people and trade unionists in Michigan. 

Just pointing out which foreign leaders behaviour you choose to highlight as the most fucked. So what do you think of these nice laws?  Are they really less fucked than Venezuela's?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53BkWfyb9n0

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&I...

Fidel

Monty Hall wrote:
Tell us what's the diff between Glen Clark and Grant Devine?

Let us guess... Devine's Conservatives were elected with a phony-baloney majority in 1986 after his conservative party lost the popular vote count to Blakeney's NDP?

And then later, half of Devine's cabinet went to jail for kick-back, graft, and general defrauding of the taxpayers?

Okay what do I win?

Ken Burch

The common point was that Clark's NDP government was re-elected despite a popular vote loss in 1996, just as Devine's Tory government had been in '86.  In Clark's case, this was actually caused by the hubris of the right...the riding boundaries the 1996 B.C. election was fought on were based on the lines drawn by the last Social Credit government, which hived up most of the right-wing votes in a smaller number of ridings in an effort to make Socred cabinet ministers politically invulnerable(an effort that failed spectacularly in 1991, btw).

Fidel

And then Campbell's Liberals got on the STV bandwagon around the same time. They lost interest by the mid 2000s when phony majorities swung back in their favour. And they really lost interest by the second referendum.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

The common point was that Clark's NDP government was re-elected despite a popular vote loss in 1996, just as Devine's Tory government had been in '86.  In Clark's case, this was actually caused by the hubris of the right...the riding boundaries the 1996 B.C. election was fought on were based on the lines drawn by the last Social Credit government, which hived up most of the right-wing votes in a smaller number of ridings in an effort to make Socred cabinet ministers politically invulnerable(an effort that failed spectacularly in 1991, btw).

Give the man a prize. Both of them were elected with MAJORITY governments after their main opponent received a higher percentage of the vote than they did.  As for gerrymandering I remember well that Gracie gave us the finger.   

Snert's support of the corporate coalition in Venezuela rubs me the same way as support for the BC Liberals.  They are the same forces and they are the problem not the solution.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

I don't know if anyone has mentioned it, but it bears mentioning that the notion of democracy in the neo-liberal countries - like Canada, the US, the UK, France, and so on - is formal and empty of a great deal of the content that countries like Venezuela have enriched their democracy with. There is massive involvement in social life - especially by the poor people who are very well represented by Chavez - that contrasts wildly with the deliberate and highly successful efforts in countries like our own to deny the rights of the masses of people to participate in social and political life and decision making in these areas. The democracy is wider and deeper than our own. But it is not the democracy of the money bags and the property owner. It is the democracy of the masses. The whole idea of socialist orientation is, precisely, more and more democracy in ever wider aspects of social and political life.

It's noteworthy that this extremely important point is passed over in silence by "objective" critics of the Chavez government. This wider idea of democracy is very uncomfortable for those who have only formal ideas of democracy and who are enraged by any encroachment on the "rights" of property, the "freedom" to do anything with that property, the usual rich man's complaints, and so on.

wdsaddasd

It is ridiculous comparison between a nation that has a system that slightly skews an election to favor one party over another to a nation that has rigged the system that makes victory by the opposition nearly impossible. In representative democracy it is impossible to crate a system that will mirror the popular vote to the outcome of seats won. There is always a chance that one party will win fewer seats but wins their seats by larger margin resulting in a loss despite winning the popular vote in a very close election.

Venezuela is a dictatorship. Chavez rules by decree. Chavez has completely rigged the system and destroyed the democratic process. There is also a very good chance that if he loses the next election he will use the militia to end the rigged election process altogether.

BTW, claiming a dictatorship is a democracy because it has a different meaning to peasants does not make it a democracy. That is just classic case of Orwellian doublespeak.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Where's your link to the State Department? I'd like to read my yanqui propaganda directly.

wdsaddasd

Where is the link to your propaganda source since the Soviet propaganda writers seem to be out of business?

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

wdsaddasd wrote:

There is also a very good chance that if he loses the next election he will use the militia to end the rigged election process altogether. 

Wow that is an insightful analysis from a an anti-imperialist perspective.  I'd tell you what I really think but I am trying to be nice and have instead flagged your post for being a pro-imperialist piece of ______.

 

Fidel

So what is the difference in outcome betwixt Grand Poobah Steve Harper's 22% phony majority dictatorship won in 2008 and Pinocchio McGuinty's 22% phony majority dictatorship in Ontario? 

 

Fidel

So what is the difference in outcome betwixt Grand Poobah Steve Harper's 22% phony minority dictatorship won in 2008 and Pinocchio McGuinty's 22% phony majority dictatorship in Ontario? 

 

Snert Snert's picture

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 I'd tell you what I really think but I am trying to be nice and have instead flagged your post for being a pro-imperialist piece of ______.
 

This is TOO FUNNY. 

A poster suggests that a world leader might use the military if unseated by the next election, and somehow, in defiance of any plausible or accurate definition of "Imperialism", this gets flagged to the mods as "Imperialism". 

In the spirit of that, I think I'll flag your post for RACISM. LOL!

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Whatever the dubious merit of your claim, imperialism is real. It's the way the rich countries, like Canada, relate economically (and politically) to the Global South. It's a relation of inequality in which unequal relations get reproduced over and over again so that poor countries ... remain poor. And it's sometimes reflected in military atrocities by the rich countries: Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, ...

Imperialism doens't need "scare quotes". it's real to the world except, perhaps, its cheerleaders in the citadels of imperialism or its compradors in the countries victimized by it.

The other thing is that

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rabble.ca is a public, independent, progressive news and information source. In defining itself as "progressive," rabble.ca embraces a pro-human rights, pro-feminist, anti-racist, queer-positive, anti-imperialist and pro-labour stance, and as such encourages discussions which develop and expand progressive thought.

If you think this stance is worthy of ridicule then you really don't belong here on babble.

Snert Snert's picture

Uh, I'm not suggesting Imperialism isn't real.  In fact, I'd suggest that it has a specific definition, and that suggesting that a world leader might, shall we say, "misbehave" if defeated at the polls has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with it.

 

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If you think this stance is worthy of ridicule then you really don't belong here on babble.

 

I'm not ridiculing that stance. So can I stay? Confer with the other mods if you need.  

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

Hey, it's up to you unless the mods say otherwise. However, referencing Reuters' articles in which it is claimed by

a supporter of the US-sponsored and funded "coalition" that

"The (Chavez) government has an excess of resources and a lack of scruples, and that is a very dangerous combination."

... when it is well known that the US militarist and imperial regime was involved in efforts to violently overthrown Chavez, murder him, economically and politically

sabotage that government, sponsor the Israel of Latin America (aka Colombia) in practice military skirmishes against the neighbouring states such as

Ecuador and Venezuela, etc, etc, etc, then it's clear which side you're on, isnt' it?

Fill your boots. You're not fooling anyone.

Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler's picture

The Venezuelan right wingers are the same as the assholes who run my province.  They would be at least as undemocratic as Campbell has been and he had the SCC slam him for breaching peoples fundamental rights.  Why is support for their cause any different than support for Harper and Campbell and Ford? 

Snert you are using right wing propaganda to claim a democratically elected President is a dictator.  That is odious in the extreme. Babble really doesn't need to be a place where US State department propaganda gets passed on as truth.  There is no validity to the claim.  For someone who claims to not be influenced by any ads or propaganda you sure seem to be in the sway of the anti-left MSM mime.

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