Archive for September 1st, 2004

Not an auspicious beginning for Government private sector dialogue

September 1, 2004

The Government had proposed to the private sector that communications be improved and some form of dialogue be started between the two sides. Fedecamaras, the Federation of Chambers of Commerce, which groups the private sector met yesterday and issued a communiqué welcoming such a dialogue. This morning I read it and found it sufficiently bland to be considered as some form of progress.


Thus, imagine my surprise by the strong reaction on the part of Minister of Interiors and Justice Chacon who said the communiqué did not reflect the sentiment of the majority of the private sector and that the Government will not accept conditions on the part of anyone. Similar statements were made by Vice President Rangel who said that a dialogue can not impose conditions.


 


Surprised at the animosity of both statements, I went back to the communiqué and I simply don’t understand what the fuss is all about. The only ¨conditioning statement I see is its demand for the rights given to all Venezuelans in the Constitution. So I really don’t know what they are arguing about. In fact, the Vice-President of Fedecamaras made similar statements after hearing the Government’s reaction. Bad start for this dialogue.

On Mathematical studies of the recall vote and fraud: Part III

September 1, 2004

Elio Valladares, who is at the University of Virginia, has completed a simulation that is very interesting because it looks at the problem of coincidences at the ¨mesa¨ table level, rather than at the machine level.


Recall that while the CD was talking about the anomalies in the number of coincidences at the center level, the Carter Center and the CNE were quick to dismiss that there was no such anomaly and the results were reasonable. Recall also that each Center may have a number of ¨mesas¨ tables and that each table may have one or more machines. Thus the two sides seemed to be talking about two different things, coincidences in the tables, of which there were 402 for the SI´s and 311 from the NO´s in our review of the machine results, or coincidences in the machines of which there were 805 in the Si´s at the center level or 647 for the No´s. However, the coincidences for the Si´s at the Center level translated to 1879 machines.


 


In its final report, the Carter Center said that it had consulted a Prof. from Stanford University who we understand was Jonathan Taylor from the Dept. of Statistics of that University. According to the final report by the Carter Center, these results based on the table coincidences are ¨probable¨. However, no details has been ever been given of how exactly this conclusion was reached. In the mean time, studies showed that the coincidences at the machine level were not that probable.


 


What Valladares has done is to simulate the probability of a coincidence using the total number of votes at each table, from the results for the referendum. He then uses the real numbers to simulate 10,000 elections and calculates the number of times these coincidences occur. The results for this calculation are shown in the plot below:


 



 


This is the total number of coincidences seeing at the table level, the distribution peaks around 345 with a fairly narrow distribution. According to the study, Valladares concludes that the probability of having 393 coincidences for the SI is 0.0028, which according to him is the number of Si coincidences per table reported by the CNE. Our calculations are that the number is 401 which is even less likely to occur.


 


Even more interesting is the fact that the number is of ¨NO¨ coincidences in the same calculation is not found to be so unlikely, with a probability of 0.17 of finding 311 cases in which the No´s coincide.


 


It would be interesting to know of either Prof. Taylor or the Carter Center have anything to comment on this, as Valladares´ results contradict their conclusion and tend to support quantitatively the thesis that there was some form of fraud on Aug. 15th.

On Mathematical studies of the recall vote and fraud: Part III

September 1, 2004

Elio Valladares, who is at the University of Virginia, has completed a simulation that is very interesting because it looks at the problem of coincidences at the ¨mesa¨ table level, rather than at the machine level.


Recall that while the CD was talking about the anomalies in the number of coincidences at the center level, the Carter Center and the CNE were quick to dismiss that there was no such anomaly and the results were reasonable. Recall also that each Center may have a number of ¨mesas¨ tables and that each table may have one or more machines. Thus the two sides seemed to be talking about two different things, coincidences in the tables, of which there were 402 for the SI´s and 311 from the NO´s in our review of the machine results, or coincidences in the machines of which there were 805 in the Si´s at the center level or 647 for the No´s. However, the coincidences for the Si´s at the Center level translated to 1879 machines.


 


In its final report, the Carter Center said that it had consulted a Prof. from Stanford University who we understand was Jonathan Taylor from the Dept. of Statistics of that University. According to the final report by the Carter Center, these results based on the table coincidences are ¨probable¨. However, no details has been ever been given of how exactly this conclusion was reached. In the mean time, studies showed that the coincidences at the machine level were not that probable.


 


What Valladares has done is to simulate the probability of a coincidence using the total number of votes at each table, from the results for the referendum. He then uses the real numbers to simulate 10,000 elections and calculates the number of times these coincidences occur. The results for this calculation are shown in the plot below:


 



 


This is the total number of coincidences seeing at the table level, the distribution peaks around 345 with a fairly narrow distribution. According to the study, Valladares concludes that the probability of having 393 coincidences for the SI is 0.0028, which according to him is the number of Si coincidences per table reported by the CNE. Our calculations are that the number is 401 which is even less likely to occur.


 


Even more interesting is the fact that the number is of ¨NO¨ coincidences in the same calculation is not found to be so unlikely, with a probability of 0.17 of finding 311 cases in which the No´s coincide.


 


It would be interesting to know of either Prof. Taylor or the Carter Center have anything to comment on this, as Valladares´ results contradict their conclusion and tend to support quantitatively the thesis that there was some form of fraud on Aug. 15th.

On Mathematical studies of the recall vote and fraud: Part III

September 1, 2004

Elio Valladares, who is at the University of Virginia, has completed a simulation that is very interesting because it looks at the problem of coincidences at the ¨mesa¨ table level, rather than at the machine level.


Recall that while the CD was talking about the anomalies in the number of coincidences at the center level, the Carter Center and the CNE were quick to dismiss that there was no such anomaly and the results were reasonable. Recall also that each Center may have a number of ¨mesas¨ tables and that each table may have one or more machines. Thus the two sides seemed to be talking about two different things, coincidences in the tables, of which there were 402 for the SI´s and 311 from the NO´s in our review of the machine results, or coincidences in the machines of which there were 805 in the Si´s at the center level or 647 for the No´s. However, the coincidences for the Si´s at the Center level translated to 1879 machines.


 


In its final report, the Carter Center said that it had consulted a Prof. from Stanford University who we understand was Jonathan Taylor from the Dept. of Statistics of that University. According to the final report by the Carter Center, these results based on the table coincidences are ¨probable¨. However, no details has been ever been given of how exactly this conclusion was reached. In the mean time, studies showed that the coincidences at the machine level were not that probable.


 


What Valladares has done is to simulate the probability of a coincidence using the total number of votes at each table, from the results for the referendum. He then uses the real numbers to simulate 10,000 elections and calculates the number of times these coincidences occur. The results for this calculation are shown in the plot below:


 



 


This is the total number of coincidences seeing at the table level, the distribution peaks around 345 with a fairly narrow distribution. According to the study, Valladares concludes that the probability of having 393 coincidences for the SI is 0.0028, which according to him is the number of Si coincidences per table reported by the CNE. Our calculations are that the number is 401 which is even less likely to occur.


 


Even more interesting is the fact that the number is of ¨NO¨ coincidences in the same calculation is not found to be so unlikely, with a probability of 0.17 of finding 311 cases in which the No´s coincide.


 


It would be interesting to know of either Prof. Taylor or the Carter Center have anything to comment on this, as Valladares´ results contradict their conclusion and tend to support quantitatively the thesis that there was some form of fraud on Aug. 15th.

The mystery of the 40 detained soldiers

September 1, 2004

A very strange mystery has developed in the last two days surrounding the GRAT ¨Group de reaccion y apoyo tactico¨ of the Presidential Palace. This group is an elite group of soldiers in charge of protecting the President and it leaked that 40 members of that group had been brought out of the Presidential Palace handcuffed and taken to prison.


According to the Minister of the Interior, who appears to continue to be the Minister of Information, the group had a problem with discipline and had been infiltrated. The Minister said the group had been making corruption charges against members of the Casa Militar, which protest the President. The Minister said that there was nothing to two of the charges as in one case the car was cheaper (??) and in the other that the soldier had proof of purchase (??). Clearly, Minister Chacon has a very simplistic way of explaining away corruption.


 


The big question is? Is there more to this than meets the eye? Is it referendum related? Nobody knows…

The Venezuela recall by Carrol Andrew Morse

September 1, 2004

Good article by Andrew in Tech Central Station about the Venezuelan recall and where the fraud could be if there was one and how to detect it. He was kind enough to cite my blog and continues to be on top of the story.

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