Monday, December 03, 2007
Comparing Venezuela and Russia
In Russia, I think that what people have endorsed is a general course of leadership without being too concerned about questions of structure. It is a vote for a continuation of Putinism--but don't bother us with details.
In Venezuela, in contrast, it is clear that a segment of the "Chavista" electorate did not follow his recommendations to vote for the constitutional package. As in Russia, there does appear to be a gap between the personal popularity of the president and his electoral coattails. I think a number of people who sympathize with the "Bolivarian agenda" of Hugo Chavez nonetheless still want some checks and balances on executive power to stay in place.