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Author Topic: Chavez watch
ad hoc
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So yesterday there was a referendum in Venezuela, on (amongst other things) giving our Hugo the opportunity to have unlimited terms of office. He lost by less than 1% (his first major electoral defeat), and conceded defeat sometime in the night.

Whatever else he can be accused of, being undemocratic wouldn't seem to be among his faults. In fact, Venezuela seems to be an extremely democratic country - with very high voter participation, referenda on major issues, etc etc.

I mean can you imagine Blair/Brown conceding a major defeat on less than 1%? Let alone Bush/Rove?

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Spock na Escada
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I can't think of an issue on which they would have felt obliged to call a national referendum so it's perhaps an unfair comparison.
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Bored Of The Dance
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ID cards? Maybe they wouldn't feel obliged but they should .
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Tubby Isaacs
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Yeah, fair play to him. How much difference will this result make?
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Tubby Isaacs
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Spock, you don't have to imagine Blair calling referendums. He did have them, on Welsh and Scottish devolution and the Good Friday agreement. I'm not sure what ad hoc imagines would have happened if Blair had lost them narrowly.
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Femme Folle
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quote:
with very high voter participation
I don't think the turnout was that high. From what I read, only 56% of registered voters went to the polls.
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Wyatt Earp
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What Blair or Brown would do would depend on all sorts of party-political considerations, having to do with whether the political risks of forcing the issue (by calling recounts etc) outweighed what was likely to be gained. If you're pretty sure you're going to lose anyway, even narrowly, you should probably cut your losses and go for "dignified" damage limitation.
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Tubby Isaacs
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Yeah, most of the public hate bad losers. There was a good example of that with the 1997 Winchester seat where the sitting Tory, Gerry Malone, challenged the result after a narrow loss. He was absolutely murdered in the subsequent by-election, in effect turning a marginal (even in the 1997 landslide against the Tories) into a safe seat.
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Bomb A Nero
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They lost the North East referendum didn't they?
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Femme Folle
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I think it could be part of his strategy, graciously conceding defeat to attempt to win the trust of even those who opposed him and probably expected him to do something underhanded to win. He'll probably sit on this for a while, maybe make a few adjustments and then put it up for a vote again the next chance he gets, hoping more of his supporters will bother to go and vote. I'm sure we haven't seen the last of this referendum.
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Tubby Isaacs
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Not much wrong with that, FF.
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Femme Folle
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I didn't say there was.
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Tubby Isaacs
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I thought "strategy" sounded a bit like a criticism, but I wasn't sure.
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Spearmint Rhino
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quote:
Yeah, most of the public hate bad losers. There was a good example of that with the 1997 Winchester seat where the sitting Tory, Gerry Malone, challenged the result after a narrow loss. He was absolutely murdered in the subsequent by-election, in effect turning a marginal (even in the 1997 landslide against the Tories) into a safe seat.
Couldn't that also be explained by non-Tories who didn't bother to vote first time around thinking "Wait a minute, this fucker is there for the taking!", and coming out in their droves for the second ballot?
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Femme Folle
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If I had used the word 'plan', would that have sounded less critical? A politician without a strategy wouldn't be a very good (or successful) politician.
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