Archive for July 19th, 2006

On the formal and informal observations of the REP by the Carter Center.

July 19, 2006

Many of
you have been asking what I have been up to. Life has not been good to this
ghost. First, my favorite soccer team was eliminated from the World Cup. Then
my tocayo (probably a distant cousin) was no longer the manager of the team and
next, my tomato plants were not growing as expected.

The good
news is that Miguel has been getting so many complaint messages about my
disappearance that he has begged me to please do something about it because not
even Gmail can contain so many emails.

So, in
spite of the fact that I swore not to come back until I was allowed to open the
tomato section of this blog , I decided to please my fans, get momentarily out
of retirement, and accept Miguel’s invitation once again.

The day
started in a cheerful way since I am always happy when I learn that old friends
are coming back to visit. In fact, browsing the dayly news this morning, I came
up with this news.
You read it right: it says that the Canter
Center was coming to Venezuela to
observe the REP audit that is being carried out by the Universities invited by
the CNE. I was so happy to hear that the CC was coming to town that I quickly
went to the CNE site and I got confirmation of the news (see here).

The press
release from the CNE indicated that the Canter Center
invited themselves in a letter addressed to Tibisay Lucena, the “new” CNE
President. And that Lucena had accepted the CC as an observer.

But that
was this morning just before I left to do errands for my tomato plants. When I
came back home this afternoon…surprise surprise!  El
Universal
reported that the Carter
Center is not coming as a
formal observer.  In a Press release, the CC said that they
should have been formally invited by
the CNE with enough time to send their personnel, which was not the case. It
seems that their representative in Venezuela, Héctor Vanolli, is going
to informally hang around the audit, but that cannot be considered a formal
observation.

So my
first observation is that I am happy to learn that one can observe things two
ways: formally or informally. In the formal observation, one is formally
invited to get a seat and observe. In the informal observation, one is
informally invited to get a seat and  informally observe what is going on.

What? You
don’t see the difference?

Of course
there is one difference (like in the ACE commercial). If  the informal observer finds something wrong,
it does not count, because it is informally wrong. Not so when you are formally
invited to be a formal observer, in which case whatever you observe as wrong is
then formally wrong.

Clear,
isn’t it?

But now,
the real question. What happened between this morning and this afternoon?

If you got
any formal or informal ideas, you are welcome to post them in the formal
comment section.

Formally reporting
from Cyberspace,

Jorge
Arena

Ghost
Blogger Emeritus.

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