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No Vote – A Chavez Victory

What? You got to be crazy? Chavez lost big time! First, lets look at the democracy question. While Chavez was popularly elected not once, twice, but four times, he continues to be attacked as un-democratic. Democracy needs more than a constitutional framework, or democratically elected leaders, in the end it needs checks and balances. The no vote gives Chavez those checks and balances, and further legitimizes his democratic rule.

The other very important element of the No Vote was it put a timetable on Chavez’s road to 21st Century Socialism. It takes away the temptation to put too much power into one individual.  If Chavez was smart he would use this opportunity to further expand the socialist revolution from the bottom up. 

There irony of all this was it was his western style political reforms that forced the no vote. The economic reforms that the Venezuelan and American opposition so desperately despised still has strong democratic support. The voters of Venezuela said no to a Democratic system so common in the west that does not include term limits. The Venezuelan voters also said no to granting American style Patriot Act powers to their president. 

I suspect in the next few years Chavez will continue the popular economic reforms that Venezualan and American Neo-Liberals so despise. In the end, it was the presidential powers of western and American democracy that were resoundly rejected by the Venezuelan people.

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3 responses to “No Vote – A Chavez Victory

  1. Carlos ⋅

    I don’t really see no term limits as European or Western….if anything a majority of such countries do have limits. In terms of varying pol/econ models, it actually suits capitalist countries to have limits so that an ‘erroneous’ public choice only has a limited time to mess things up for the elites.

  2. Carlos,

    From my understanding the UK, and France, in particular, have no such limits. Wiki states term limits rarely occur in parliamentary systems which includes much of Europe. The US has one because of FDR, but every politician in the US excluding the President has no such limits. My sense is term limits are more common in Latin America partly a result of US interventionism. Sadly so called American interests and capitalist interests seem to be one and the same. I would also guess most of Latin America’s term limits occurred after the 1950’s.

    My larger point on this issue, putting the ruler for life spin aside, was lack of term limits was well within common Democratic practice.

    Personally, I think the lack of term limits could be advantageous to Chavez. It could create a movement that extends his reach and is a sustainable movement for years to come.

    Thanks for stopping by.

  3. Carlos ⋅

    Hey, I like this comment system…don’t suppose if you know whether I could implement it with CSS on mine?

    Whether term limits are democratic is a tricky question: clearly maximum democratic freedom would permit any reelection choice, although that would open up the possibility of charismatic populists in control of the world’s largest remaining oil reserves :)

    Whether term limits are risky for an elitist pol/econ model depends on how entrenched the elite political system is, how reliably elitist the media are, how comfortable the poor are, etc. In Venezuela, where the elites were so greedy as to prompt nationwide riots in ’89 and cause the self-destruction of their own party oligopoly, one can understand that term limits were a big safety catch for the elitist system.

    If I remember correctly presidents could not be immediately reelected at all before Chavez, they had to sit out at least a term to stand again.

    Personally I feel Chavez is uniquely invaluable, certainly the revolution’s most important asset in its early development. Who else could you imagine in his role? What could potentially go wrong? It doesn’t bear thinking about…

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