Now what? The future of the opposition and the MUD/Unidad

Let's summarize the situation: the Unidad and Capriles run an excellent campaign and were prepared as ever. And yet they lost. What makes this result worst is that it seems that as long as Chavez will be directly on the ballot the opposition will never win an election.  It was a defeat. We may want to pretty it up, it will remain a defeat and lessons must be taken no matter how harsh these maybe. Because if we keep the way we are, no matter what leaders say, from Petkoff to Capriles, in December we will win few, if any states. And if we cannot retain Zulia and Miranda, even if Chavez croaks soon, chavismo will remain.

It is not my opinion alone anymore: many think that the reason why Capriles lost in spite of his great campaign is that any discourse of "Chavez light" will always lose, most people not being able to perceive that on occasion an ersatz may be better than the real thing. This has to be changed. Chavez and chavismo must be confronted, if anything to be able to put the blame of the Venezuelan situation at Chavez feet. As long as we will see street protesters about miserable conditions that say that "if only Chavez knew", WE WILL NEVER WIN A GENERAL ELECTION. I know, I know, this will alienate a few pro Chavez voters and we may lose because they see us as mean folks. Aren't we losing already?

I think I need a strategy change
It is also a well shared opinion that as long as we put up with the current CNE, national electoral board, we will lose elections. The partiality of the CNE towards Chavez does not need to be established anymore. The outright treachery of the CNE when it actively diminishes the opposition chances does not need to be stressed anymore. We need to start a vigorous campaign to expose the treachery of the CNE; each and everyone of them. And we must say that not only we will keep voting but that we will become more and more combative at the polling stations. If they need to arrest us for protesting illegal practices from the CNE employees and the corrupt military, so be it. They may as well start building their concentration camps.  I know, I know, this will alienate a few anti Chavez voters and we may lose because they will think it is worthless to vote. Aren't we losing already?

Which brings me to the third item, the Venezuelan voter.  I already wrote about the chavista voter, calling many of them sinvergüenzas and quantifying that portion at the very least as 13% of the Venezuelan electorate. There is nothing we can do for the religious portion or the fascist portion of Chavez electorate (25% and 5% respectively). But that 13%, we can shame them. We can tell them that they sell out, that we understand their reasons, up to a point, but that they are going to be the worse of it and bring down the rest of us along, including the 25% of the Chavez genuine faithful down with them. Rough? Unconvincing? Are they voting for us right now? What else can we lose in trying?

As for the opposition voter, we can also start shaming them a little bit and tell them that if they really, really want to get rid of Chavez they have to do more. For example, how come some of the highest abstention of the country was found in Chacao and Baruta? Why are planes Miami bound full before December 16? How come in spite of the best efforts of Lopez's team it looks now that more centers were left unattended than initially thought, centers were oppo witness may have even switched for Chavez?  We need to tell the opposition voter that all the work cannot be left only on the shoulders of those willing to work for it. We need to tell them that Chavez will not be defeated in Miami or in Chacao but in Petare and Charallave. And as such they should sacrifice a Sunday of comfort and volunteer to go as a group monitor voting stations in difficult areas. We need to tell them that they should vote and participate in the voting regardless of the situation, or stay home and stop bitching.

As long as the opposition leadership will refuse to face up to the music in full, and not just for the occasional sad bolero, we will never get rid of Chavez, we will see more and more disillusioned voters stay home. If you want to motivate the troops you must speak clearly, not hiding the dangers, and making the goals clear.

It is high time we take chavismo seriously.