sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2008

A vote as a must, on halfways elections

As you might know, we have regional elections tomorrow. We will choose our governors and mayors. At least that’s what people say. They are thrilled working on political campaigns, excited about changing the Venezuelan political map from red to some other color, they volunteered as witnesses, ready to spend the whole day at every single electoral center of the country, to make sure the elections are fair, clean, and legal.

I will wake up early, go to the center, and vote; expecting with my fingers crossed some results that will benefit the opposition. And there’s pretty strong chances that we can proof tomorrow that Venezuela isn’t exactly Chavez’s country… but ours.

Even considering all that, I feel quite … gray.. about those elections. So gray that I haven’t even worked on the campaign.

For start, none of the candidates that I really want them to become my mayors and governor are actually running for this elections (Leopoldo López for Caracas mayor, Mendoza for my state, Miranda, governor and David Uzcátegui for Baruta mayor). Not because they didn’t want to, not because they didn’t had a chance but because their political rights were denied, under suspects of corruption, without any trial that actually prove it.

So the opposition quickly switched the candidates I really wanted for the ones who were behind on voting intentions. As the week passed, they turned that group of candidates into a single one for every mayor and state to be won. In that way, the chances for the opposition to win are stronger but the options for a voter who dislike Chavez’s project are now restricted in those two ways.

Besides, there’s the typical troubles we see on every single election since I was old enough to vote: an electoral Center on which members actually belong or used to, to the Chavez’s party. Chavez’ making this election completely personal by forcing all channels and radio stations to broadcast events where you see him making some company to the candidate from his party and threatening the opposition candidates, offering them even to take out his military tanks if they win.

There’s also the restriction inside Chavez’s party, where he has put in many states the candidate HE likes and now the ones HIS followers like.

The elections are going to be made, as all the previous ones, in a completely automatic way with all the little troubles this imply. This time the machines are designed for not letting you vote null, you have to select a candidate for every charge that is in game or the machine won’t work. I don’t know if the political theory I read was wrong but I thought a null vote was a right, and it was different from not voting at all. A null vote means I’m worried enough to go to work, but I don’t think any of the candidates will do it right. Its a protest, and it should be heard. But it can’t be heard thanks to our amazing automatic system.

So even if the opposition wins one or two or three states, I won’t feel it like a triumph. Because long before this elections, my right to vote freely for the candidate of my choice was taken and we have to conform with little concessions: an “electoral” process were we can choose the candidates the Revolution allowed us to choose, were we can play only by the rules the Revolution has decree, despite if they are legal or not, if they are in our constitution or not.

Thrilled or not, I still consider important to go to vote tomorrow, here you have to take advantage of those tiny concessions and little by little, to speak out against the things you don’t believe: such as the Revolution, their candidates, and “ours”; the few ones who can actually run for something tomorrow.

Also, this process promise to be interesting not because of the endless opposition against Chavez play, but because Chavez has now yet another enemy: the ones who once were sheep’s under his commands but not anymore and yet they are still way too revolutionary to join the opposition. The one who Chavez calls “traitors”. The ones I call “a third interesting opinion” to join this charade.

2 comentarios:

  1. It's always fascinated me, looking from the outside at other countries that have a devoted, professional group to elections. I think we in the US have something to learn from that. Having said that, I share your frustration, since you said many are from Chavez's party. That makes me ponder the question, how can there be a neutral, dedicated board (or something close to neutral, since we know neutrality in real life in this case would never exist, because even the election board has their people; not necessarily ask them to forgo their people but rather to dedicate themselves to the task at hand, realizing that what they do affects the whole country (well, the Chavez folk obviously do!))?

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  2. Well Matt, after reading your comment I can only think of a very short answer... I don't think anyone can be neutral given the situation of this country, that forces you so much to make a stance. But of course, having openly pro-Chavez people on institutions that are suppossed to be independent its a whole different story...

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