Lots to tell after a month away, but perhaps what has surprised me the month is the proposed new Electoral Bill which reduces minority representation and gives the Electoral Board (CNE) the ability to redesign voting districts at will.
I don’t plan to go into the details, it is really boring by now that this dictatorship still bothers itself with the formalities of preserving the idea that somehow there is a democracy in place in Venezuela. Who is Chavez sending a message to? Who belives him by now?
Whe you control institutions the way Chavez does and when the law is reinterpreted at will, why even bother? In fact, the most affected group is not even the opposition, who by now is used to the abuses, but pro-Chavez party Patria Para Todos (PPT), which will be seriously affected by the changes and will likely lose many of its Deputies if the new law is approved, which led the party to threaten to propose a referendum of the electoral Bill.
Clearly, Chavez care less about PPT. He tried once to force them to merge PPT into his party PSUV and gave in, maybe he will not give in this time around and will tell them to leave the Government if they don’t like it. Just think, bad enough to get used to ahving Ismael Garcia on the oppositon, who woudl want to welcome Aristobulo Isturiz or some of the other PPT leaders?
But this is much like lying day after day about everything: The Government is not happy controlling 99%, it wants to control everything, just in case. And what motivates this Electoral Bill is the thought, God forbid! that the opposition could get some 30 or 40 positions and debates in the National Assembly could get noisy, after four years of total control of discussions and Bills.
Ths, make some small chnages, give the CNE even more power to manipulate than it does and voila!, the opposition will not get more than 15 or 20 positions if the votings districts are redesigned properly.
But why bother? How long does Chavez want to maintain the charade that his revolution has anything to do with a democracy? And what for? Chavez always had Dictatorial intentons, which he has only expressed fully in the last few months, but somehow he thinks someone somehwere needs to be convinced that he is not.
So, we will be distracted with this Electoral Bill, PPT will put up or shut up and in the end Chavez will do whatever he wants like he has done in the last few years. The same minority representation that allowed all of the parties that backed Chavez in 1998 to thrive in the much derided democarcy of the IVth. Republic will be dead, insuring that Chavismo will be even more permanently encroached in power for years to come.