Elections Aren't Free or Fair Archives

January 27, 2007

Moonies, Neo-Nazis & Lyndon LaRouche Unite!

So the Washington Times has a column called “Embassy Row,” where they ostensibly cover the intrigue behind the scenes of Washington’s diplomatic circles, as passed on to them by whomever condescends to give a an interview to the paper, which is run by crazy people.

Today, “Embassy Row” interviews a guy described as a “leading political opponent” of President Chavez, who wants the American people to know that “there is no electoral solution to the Venezuelan crisis," and advocates bloody insurrection or something. This “opponent,” is Alejandro Peña Esclusa, who hilariously turns out to be the former leader of a Lyndon LaRouche sect in Venezuela, a guy who has long advocated for the violent overthrow of the Venezuelan government.

But wait! Even LaRouche thought this guys was nuts, kicking him out of the fold a few years ago after “his conversion to extreme religious kookery and overt association with Synarchist fascist leaders, including Spain's Franquista thug Blas Piñar.” Kookery!

Then the Times goes and promotes the website of Peña’s organization, you know, for “those interested in the situation in Venezuela.” Turns out the organization is listed by the Stephen Roth Institute of Tel Aviv University as one of Venezuela’s primary anti-Semitic hate groups.

Way to go Washington Times!

February 20, 2007

Keeping Up With Doug Schoen


We were wondering what he’d been up too. You may recall that when we last left our hero, it was the middle of the night before Venezuela’s presidential election, and the poor guy had just been sacked by his U.S. polling firm for embarrassing their reputation with phony poll results. The firm’s president (and top Hillary Clinton advisor) Mark Penn was forced to fly to Caracas to relieve Schoen of his responsibilities and take over the day’s operations.

Apparently, Schoen stayed on in Venezuela to freebase bitterness with the craziest of the Caracas glitterati. And today, he’s made his triumphant public return by co-authoring a delusional Op-Ed in the fourth-rate New York Sun. It’s quite a piece. It reads like a high-school essay, but without all the required documentation.

Schoen opens with a claim that Chavez never won the 2006 elections at all. You see, a new “study” from Caracas showed “fraud” in the voter registry, where Hugo Chavez single-handedly “added 4.4 million favorable names to the voter list and ‘migrated’ 2.6 million unfavorable voters to places where it was difficult or impossible for them to vote.” Wowza. That would have been quite the trail of tears. You’d think somebody would have noticed this in the middle of the most heavily monitored election in Latin American history.

It gets weirder from there. Eschewing prose, the Op Ed devolves into a list of twenty-three bullet pointed facts about Venezuela, about half of which are half-truths and the rest pulled straight from his heiny. Some are priceless, (Chavez is “considering declaring a national religion with him as its spiritual leader”), while others are just demonstrably false (Chavez “decreed … that he can run for re-election to the presidency for life”—the same “fact” that has already prompted retractions by the Miami Herald and the LA Times).

So don’t cry for Doug, Venezuela. He may not have many marketable skills, but he’s clearly been picked up by the State Department.

UPDATE: Of course! Why didn't we think of it before? There is a perfect job out there for Doug Schoen. He just went to work for Fox News.

February 24, 2007

'Indisputable': EU Reports Venezuelan Elections Free & Fair

Blah blah blah. As everyone expected, the European Union’s final report on Chavez’s landslide electoral victory says that all was free and fair. Their report mirrors earlier findings from the Organization of American States.

But that won’t stop hacks like Doug Schoen from trying to pretend that it wasn’t, nor will it stop two-bit rags like the New York Sun from publishing his crap. It’ll be fun to see which Bush Administration official will be the first to publicly question the results. Watch this space!

February 25, 2007

One Crisis at a Time

The International Crisis Group has one major lesson for Latin America: If you want to do things in an un-democratic way, do it big. Make it so huge and mind-blowingly horrifying that they will be forced to ignore you.

How else to interpret this 40-page analysis of the “stability” of Venezuela? Just about every major concern they raise is happening elsewhere in Latin America, only in exponentially more blatant and brutal ways. A few examples:

Judicial Independence: The ICG report is concerned because three years ago, Venezuela’s National Assembly increased the number of seats on the Supreme Court. This was all carried out through a months-long debate, vigorous press discussion and a transparent vote.

Is their concern legit? Mabye, but you’d think they would have been downright appalled when the following year then-President of Ecuador Lucio Guitierez unceremoniously sacked his entire Supreme Court--without debate, in the middle of the night--and replaced them with his own cronies, with nary a peep from the press, much less any “concern” from the ICG.

Continue reading "One Crisis at a Time" »

August 22, 2007

NYT: Restricting Democracy is the Only Path to True Democracy


Clearly, the New York Times Ed board is unclear on the concept of “democracy.” I know it’s confusing sometimes. We’re sort of in the middle of a national debate over it right now with one camp (the libtards) defining it as “letting people vote for whomever they want” while the other (God-fearing ‘merican patriots) know that it means “bombing the living crap out of some far away land and killing hundreds of thousands of people while waterboarding our own Constitution in order to fight World War Whatever till the End Times when the crazy people get magically beamed up to Heaven.”

But where were we? Oh right, Venezuela. The Times is concerned about democracy there. They’ve got no beef with the actual “elections” part of it: they acknowledge that Chavez keeps trouncing the opposition in a free and fair way. In fact, they’re just annoyed that the votes don’t go the way they’d like them to. How else do you interpret the complaint that “Every member of the National Assembly is an ally of Chávez,” as is “all but two state governments”?

But the Times is most upset (this week) with the proposed amendments to eliminate term limits—a proposal that, they admit, will be “submitted to a vote in the National Assembly and to a referendum,” and even then would mean that the president face a referendum on his rule every few years. They say that calling such a proposal democratic is nothing more than Orwellian “newspeak.” Cute.

Look, back in the 30’s we made a decision in the U.S. that our electorate is made up of mentally challenged monkeys who can’t really be trusted to vote right, so we imposed presidential term limits. Some countries have followed suit while others (France, Australia, etc.) haven’t. Term limits are a legitimate choice a country can make, but let’s be honest, it’s a choice that inherently says, “I don’t 100% trust democracy, so we’ve got to reign it in a little.”

Predictably, embarrassingly, hilariously, the Times misses all the irony in evoking Orwell to make the argument that real democracies need to preserve their democratic nature by putting limits on our democratic choices. Winston Smith would have called that “ungood.”

UPDATE: The readers school me: "Actually, Eric, term limits for US presidents weren't established until 1951 (not the '30s) after FDR was elected to his fourth term in 1944. 22nd Amendment."

My bad.

About Elections Aren't Free or Fair

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to BoRev.Net in the Elections Aren't Free or Fair category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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