Monday, December 03, 2007

Putin and Chavez: Election Fraud and Election Defeat

We had 2 elections on opposite ends of the world this past Sunday. Similar in kind. 2 countries with leaders who engage in anti-democratic activities. Both imperialists at heart. Each, in his own inimitable and infamous fashion, trying to bully his way to the top of the global hierarchy of power. Both countries with elections which would have allowed them to remain in power indefinitely.

Putin and Chavez, comrades of sorts, one a winner, the other a loser.

Not surprisingly, there have been widespread allegations of voter fraud, intimidation and coercion in the Russian elections. Elections which will effectively allow ex-KGB Vladimir (old habits die hard) Putin to remain as "national leader" even after his term limit as President ends next spring. Gary Gasparov, former chess champion and opposition leader, claimed the election was
“the most unfair and dirtiest in the whole history of modern Russia.”

Russia’s opposition groups and European observers criticized the vote as unfair, citing reports of pressure exerted by election authorities and workplace managers for Russians to vote for Putin’s party.

Little wonder his party won in a landslide victory. Ironically, even the Communist Party called it
“the most irresponsible and dirty” in the post-Soviet era and party officials vowed to challenge the results,
after they only won about 50 seats in the 450 seat Russian State Duma. Putin's United Russia party landed a whopping 315 seats.

On December 17 the presidential candidate is due to be named, although everyone knows whoever Congress happens to choose will merely serve as a puppet figure, with Putin handily pulling the strings. Which is why there was such a concerted effort to forcibly get out the vote, illegal or not.

Then we have Hugo (look at me) Chavez who lost, by a very slim margin, the constitutional vote which would have granted him, among other things, the power to be re-elected in perpetuity. I thought there would have been rampant voter fraud in that election, but Chavez was surprisingly level-headed and gracious when he conceded that the Venezuelan people are obviously not ready for a full blown socialist state, and that he learned from these elections that
"Venezuelan democracy is maturing."
He also called for no more violence:
"From this moment on, let's be calm,"
[snip] "There is no dictatorship here."

No dictatorship? Perhaps not in the near future, but we shall see what transpires over the next few years. Frankly, I don't trust him. The man is far too devious to suddenly change his way of being. I'm convinced there were ulterior motives for this concession, and that it's not some miraculous, sudden change of heart.

First and foremost, he (or his advisors) probably realized his recent, bizarre demeanour on the global front has been alienating rather endearing him to other leaders. He's been shunned and told to shut up by leaders of Spain, Colombia, Saudi Arabia. I'm sure he's aware that he needs allies other than his pal Ahmadinejad, so showing a little good sense might might curry favour amongst those who have lost their patience with his bluster and bully tactics. He shows some tolerance, a little good will - world opinion favours him once again- and he's back to being King Chavez, loved by all.

Furthermore, this sudden acceptance of defeat doesn't necessarily mean that things won't change down the line. As far as Chavez is concerned, anything could happen come 2012. And probably will.


Renegade Eye said...

What else could have Chavez done? You guys were already to yell vote fraud. Now the electoral commission in Venezuela (CNE) you suddenly find out is fair.

Chavez said “por ahora” during his concession speech. He said the same thing thing in 1992. His supporters fully understood.

It's all rhetoric calling him a dictator.

Phil BC said...

As has been endlessly pointed out, Chavez has won more free elections than any other world leader currently in office. The truth of the matter is you GOP'ers don't like what's going on. Not because he's acting in an authoritarian manner or threatening democracy (afterall, you guys have historically had no problems backing pliant dictatorships down the years), but because the process in Venezuela threatens to overturn the rule of the class you defend and represent.

Btw, Chavez an "imperialist at heart"? Qualify your statement!

Frasypoo said...

Glad Chavez lost and very suprised that he did not "fix"it!!!I would compare the Indian elections to the Russian ones.They dont coerce in India,they just fake the numbers.
PS:I want to open a new account to do the Mind and Body blog and thats why i still havent done it!

Pat Jenkins said...

good post incog.. and like you i am skeptical even with a lost election that individuals of his ilk(hillary) would ever go quietly into the night!!!! i look forward to your response too phil!!

WomanHonorThyself said...

Incog..Imperialists will reap what they sow hun......what a mess!

MondaythroughSunday said...

Very happy with the outcome in Venezuela...good for the Venezuelan people! Like you does not seem his character to just sit by and concede so not trust the man. What is up with Russia...? How do you get your country out of such corruption?

Debbie said...

I'm proud of the Venezuelan people. They voted at risk of their jobs and maybe their lives.

Right Truth

Karen said...

There are reports by a writer for the Natinal Review, I believe that's the publication, who concentrates on Venezuela in her writing and according to her sources, Chavez was making calls up until the concession speech demanding that the defeat be overturned and he be declared the winner. She was in country, too, and she heard it from more than one source. Only when he realized that he could not get his way did he concede. And the defeat was a larger margin than is shown.


Aurora said...

Putin and Chavez, two narcissistic peas in a pod. The difference is, Putin knows what he's doing. The psychotic ambitions are the same in both of them.

Grand Weepers said...

You've been tagged!

Frasier said...

Hi Ms Incognito
I wanted to have a chat with you about giving advice to my mommy about donating all my toys,which she did !I now have only 4 toys to pick from!!!
Just joking,she did donate a big bag though to the local rescue

Incognito said...

REN: I still think he's one. Only a dictator is afraid of opposition and criticism and shuts down those who do. And I still think he's potentially dangerous. And, as predicted, he's already becoming abusive again. He still has an agenda and will continue to implement it as he sees fit.

PHILBC: Free elections.. sure because he's promising free hand outs and 6 hour work days.. what lazy bum wouldn't vote for him? As for those who aspire to more and who cherish their freedom, he's definitely not pro-democracy.

Imperialist: The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political hegemony over other nations.
While it might not be overt.. the fact that he is buying favour with other countries (economic) and influencing countries (many of which have started down the path to Socialism (political) he most indeed is an imperialist of sorts.

Incognito said...

FRASY: Me too, Poo.. but I think he probably believed his peeps would support him. Probably no time to fix the election. Had no idea about that in India.

PATJ: Thanks buddy. They won't. He's already starting his shenanigans.

WOMAN: Well, hopefully.

MONDAY: There are still those who were crying about the loss.. guess they were upset they lost the 6 hour work day and will have to remain working 8. As for Russia.. not sure... the poor people were being threatened they'd lose jobs etc. if they didn't vote for Putin. Now that's democracy for ya!

Incognito said...

DEBBIE: Me too... whereas the Russians allowed themselves to be coerced. Sad.

KAREN: That's no surprising.. and he's still whining about it all. Nothing will change.

AURORA: Indeed they are.. and I agree... Putin is far smarter and has less psychological disorders than Chavez.. which makes him scarier, in my mind.

GRANDWEEPERS:: I don't have 7 more things to reveal about myself bud..:-)

FRASIER: Ohhh... I am so proud of you... just think... maybe Mommy will get you more toys for Christmas for being such a good boy. ;-)

Aurora said...

Incog., Putin has the psychopathic cold cunning of Machiavelli. There's a breaking story out today of yet another move of his to consolidate and expand his power over more of the region.
I think we have yet to see the half of what he's capable of.

Incognito said...

AURORA: Guess his disorder is less flamboyant than those of Chavez... I still believe it's the Russians and Chinese we have the most to fear.