Monday, 12 October 2009

Democracy for wallies

Blogger Quico has often presented excellent "Power Points for Dummies" to explain the inexplicable quirks and twists of Venezuelan economics and politics.

I will just present here a table comparing some government systems.

At the eve of the discussions to allow for unlimited re-election in Venezuela, professional Chavez apologists, people like Weissbrot, constantly said critics of the possibility of indefinite nomination for the post of president were hypocrites as "nobody elects the Queen of England and many heads of state in Europe can be nominated with no term limit". Weisbrot said

"And, of course, there's nothing in this reform that says people have to or should reelect Chavez. You know, all Europe, that I know of, does not have term limits—you know, England, France, Germany, Spain." There was little serious discussion about in the international press about what a president in Venezuela can do as compared to a German chancellor or a British prime minister or an Uruguayan president or another head of state.

Obviously, we know queens and kings are mostly there now for using scissors at inaugurations. What about the real heads of state?

Here you have a table. We don't get into the details about separation of powers and many other things. You can judge for yourself.

CountryType of systemPossible consecutive termsTerm length in years
Germanyparliamentarianno limit4
Italyparliamentarianno limit5
Norwayparliamentarianno limit4
Spainparliamentarianno limit4
United Kingdomparliamentarianno limit5 or less
Canadaparliamentarianno limit5 or less
Colombiapresidential2 (3 in the future?)4
Costa Ricapresidential14
Cubapresidentialno limit5
Venezuelapresidentialno limit
Venezuela before 98:presidential 1 5

Here we have the president of Venezuela talking and talking and talking to his employees (most in red).
Here we have the normal debates the British Parliament is so famous for.
Here you have a German TV debate (old video, but there are lots of those debates pre- and after elections) with the leaders of conservatives, social democrats, economic liberals, ecologists and the extreme left.
The Venezuelan president now getting into an open debate and answering questions other than about his favourite colour? Unthinkable.

There are lots of differences between parliamentarian systems and presidential systems as well as between different parliamentarian and presidential systems, but this should give you an idea already about what kind of system Venezuela is getting closer and closer to (and no, we are far from being a socialist country, we are closer to the system prevalent in Russia now, even if the Russian government is economically not as inept as the Venezuelan one)

No comments:

Post a Comment

1) Try to be constructive and creative. The main goal of this blog is not to bash but to propose ideas and, when needed, to denounce
2) Do not use offensive language
3) Bear in mind that your comments can be edited or deleted at the blogger's sole discretion
4) If your comment would link back to a site promoting hatred of ethnic groups, nations, religions or the like, don't bother commenting here.
5) Read point 4 again