Tuesday, February 05, 2008

All I want is a Super Tuesday for Venezuela!

I guess today is the perfect day to be sick and stay in bed with a big box of Kleenex handy and my big fuzzy cat making some purring company. My nose feels as big as the state of Kansas, also very runny. My eyes, very watery and itchy. I wish I can take my nose and eyes off and leave them by the sink for a rest. In any case, my discomfort haven't prevented me to be following up all the Super Tuesday news on the TV and the blogs like the obsessive maniac I am. I loved to watch the bios of the candidates. Republicans or Democrats, all very accomplished people.

Photos via Yahoo, San Diego Union Tribune and El Universal.

In spite of my cold, I had to do some errands early this morning. The street felt so normal for this Venezuelan monkey, no "Plan República", no intimidating military with guns up to their eyeballs "taking care" of the voting polls. Business as usual, in my little California neighborhood. People going to their works with little stickers that said "I voted". The streets blocked will elderly driving their also elderly cars doing their errands at 5 miles per hour. I imagine also that part of the errands were to go to vote in person to the voting poll. One of the nicest thing of the electoral system in the US is that you can cast your vote in advance and sent it by mail so you can go to work and not to worry about it if you don't have the luxury of taking time off for voting. Funny thing is that, in the years I have been living here, and because I wasn't a citizen and I was in school, working etc... I never noticed an electoral day but the presidential one.

It seems, for what I have read, that this Super Tuesday is having a big turnout of people. Isn't it great? I couldn't vote yet though. I am still in the process to become an American citizen, so I guess I will cast my vote in November hopefully, otherwise America will have to wait for my opinion for the next electoral process.

The casting ballots needed to be read in advance, not only you are voting for people, but usually every state stacks a whole bunch of propositions for your state and city that if you haven't made up your mind for the day of the election, probably you wouldn't be able to do it so. You can ask for a Democratic or a Republican ballot, if you want. I am not sure what's the difference.

So, primaries are not only a "thing" coming from internal political parties. No, they belong to the electoral system of the country, and as it belong to all, the state also takes advantage of it by asking their citizens for their opinion on other matters.

Wouldn't be great for a country like Venezuela to have a day like this in its lifetime? Unfortunately, people who belong to the political parties in Venezuela, doesn't think so. They don't feel like pushing the issue. I feel terrible that Venezuela's political parties are not ready to embrace a real needed change. They prefer to keep choosing their candidates by close doors, like the old "Acción Democrática" used to do. Katy (also here) and Quico talked about this important issue a couple of weeks ago.

I have the feeling the political parties haven't got the message yet. Acción Democrática lost their stand not because of its social democratic ideology, but because of its cogollo (*). People got tired of the clientilism, and decided to launch themselves desperately to the abyss voting for a loser Lt. Col. who had intended a coup and failed, but promised to eliminate corruption and the "cogollocracia". Well, we know by now that all of that was a lie. That the corruption an the cogollocracia has only evolved to an alarming level of amorality never seen before. That now it's not corruption between Adecos and Copeyanos, but between Chavistas (who belonged once to AD and Copei)...
Wouldn't be nice for the neighborhods and barriadas to choose their leaders and see those leaders grow and take more important positions in the political life of the country if their keep being elected? Isn't it what democracy and participatory democracy is all about?

Maybe this is the time for a new party to come to the surface and implement primaries, so they will elevate the standards for the other to do it so too. Maybe this party will come from the student movement. Dreams don't cost a thing.

cogollo: It's the small appendage found in the upper part of the piña. In Venezuelan politics, the cogollo means the top. The top people.

Note: Please take note of the pictures of the primaries in the USA, people voting on private homes, laundry mats, diners and even abroad. In Venezuela, the drill of an electoral process is super different. Very intimidating. Military with guns everywhere. Wouldn't be nice to make elections as normal and festive as they do it in the USA?

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