Sunday, October 23, 2016

Wouldn't It Be Cool If America Were Like Venezula...

With an opposition political party?  10/23/16 Yahoo News:
CARACAS (Reuters) - Venezuela's opposition-led National Assembly in a rowdy session on Sunday vowed to put Nicolas Maduro on trial for violating democracy, days after authorities nixed a recall referendum against the unpopular leftist president.

The measure is unlikely to get any traction given the government and a compliant Supreme Court have systematically undermined the legislature, but it marked a further escalation of political tensions in the crisis-hit OPEC nation.


Rich Rostrom said...

The situation in Venezuela is much more complicated than that. MUD is not an opposition party, it is a coalition of several opposition parties. (I'm not sure why, but Venezuela has supported a multiplicity of parties for many years. MUD was formed to coordinate their activity against a common foe.)

MUD won overwhelming control of the National Assembly (AN) last December, but the executive branch simply ignores the AN; the Supreme Court (TSJ), packed with government stooges, ratifies all actions of the executive, which is obeyed by the civil service, armed forces, and national police.

MUD won one more than 2/3 of AN seats, which would support actions such as impeachments. However, government stooges filed an election challenge against three delegates (one government, two MUD), and TSJ ordered that they not be seated, which would put MUD below 2/3 of the whole number of seats. After the challenge had not been acted on for several months, the AN seated the challenged members. The TSJ then ruled that the entire AN is invalid and all its acts are void. The TSJ also ratified the executive's assertion that since the AN is invalid, the TSJ can substitute for it, for instance by approving the national budget.

MUD initiated a recall campaign against President Maduro, as explicitly provided in the constitution. But the Election Commission (CNE) has slow-walked the recall at every stage, so that the recall vote cannot be held until it is too late for a replacement election. Most recently, TSJ declared the recall drive invalid because some of the signatures on the initiating petitions were invalid (a few thousand, out of over a million submitted, several times what was required.

That's why the AN is declaring Maduro "in violation of democracy". That, and the incident on Sunday, when armed goons of the regime invaded the AN chamber and assaulted several delegates.

Clayton Cramer said...

Rich: I have read that parliamentary election rules influence whether there are vast numbers of parties or not. Some nations require a party receive some fraction of the national vote to have members in the Parliament, ewhich discourages small parties.

"Seats in the German Bundestag distributed by regional lists are only given to parties surpassing a five percent election threshold of the federally valid second votes. Alternatively, if a party wins at least three constituencies, a party still gains seats by proportional representation according to the number of second votes they received. Those second votes for parties that meet neither requirement will not be taken into account for the distribution of seats among the rest of the parties. The three-constituency rule favours those smaller parties with a regional stronghold. For example the German Party, which gained 15 seats in the 1953 elections with only 3.3% of the second votes and ten constituencies. In 1957, they gained 17 seats in the German Bundestag with 3.4% of the second votes and six constituencies.

"In 1994, a party benefited from the basic mandate clause which had not been enacted since the 1957 election. The PDS won four direct mandates in Berlin, enabling them to send 30 delegates to the Bundestag, despite the fact that they had only 4.4 percent of the second votes. They only had the status of a political group, rather than a parliamentary party. In order to have the particular powers pertaining to this important political status, they would have had to exceed the election threshold.

"The clause is meant to minimise the risk of party fragmentation, which partially caused the incapacitation of the parliament in the Weimar Republic. "