Sunday, December 02, 2007

Venezuela and Russia Votes

What is interesting is that both Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez are seeking to institutionalize and perpetuate the "courses" they have set for Russia and Venezuela, respectively, and to create conditions which would prevent future elections from being able to significantly reverse their decisions.

Napoleon used to refer to what he was as putting in place the granite blocks of the state edifice so that it would be more difficult to remove or restore the old regime.

In Russia, the pitch to voters is to support a "Putin course" but not specific changes to the constitution or legal structure; but in Venezuela today's vote is meant to clearly change the country's legal framework. What is interesting is that while many Russian voters seem comfortable with the Putin direction, Venezuelans--even those that support the direction Chavez is taking the country--seem more hesitant to overhaul the constitution. So while most Putin supporters will give their vote to United Russia--but not all--what happens in Venezuela if the referendum fails--so that you have a country where the president still enjoys majority support but most of the country doesn't want to build the "granite blocks" of his Bolivarian revolution?

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