Sunday, 17 January 2010

Venezuelan elections versus German elections

Here you have two graphs representing results for local elections in the Venezuelan city of Maturín in 2008 and in the German city of Dresden in 2009. In Venezuela the focus is on personalities and in Germany it is more on parties.

Both cities have around half a million inhabitants. Maturín is a city in the Llanos, in the Venezuelan grasslands. Many people in the capital and two or three other main cities consider it "monte y culebra", jungle and snakes. It is poorer, it has always been more conservative than the capital. The economy is mostly focused on the oil industry (PDVSA processing plants, chemicals) and a tiny bit just services for that region. There is some diary industry, some glass production, some furniture factores. It had some importance for the agriculture of the region, but not much.

Dresden is a city in East Germany. The extreme left (not social democrats but to the left, the apologists of the Venezuelan regime) are more popular there than in West Germany. So the extreme right like the neo-nazi NPD. Still, the city has a well-known public university, research centres, a lot of activity. Unemployment is high but the situation is better than other parts of Eastern Germany. A meaningful amount of private high-tech enterprises have appeared lately, specially supported by governmental help.

The Venezuelan graph shows the candidates for the job as mayor of the city and the parties behind him. The chavista candidate won very easily. The main national parties are represented in red and blue. Those in red are simply the main chavista parties. The parties in blue and those in their coallitions are parties in the opposition, but they have the most different tendencies: from right to far left. Dozens of parties don't have a very distinctive ideology. They are basically a local or old national platform for some local cacique.

Most people in all parties in Venezuela would have a hard time trying to explain you what ideology or even programme they are following.

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