Monday, December 03, 2007
I'm pleased to see that Hugo Chavez lost the referendum he held yesterday, and it is hilarious to watch pampered Western apologists for third world tyranny try to rationalise this rejection. However the tendency to argue that because Chavez lost and because he has publicly accepted the defeat that it means that maybe he isn't so bad after all is misguided. All it means is that his methods of rigging the vote weren't quite up to the task, there are plenty of historic examples of governments going in for vote rigging only to discover that they have underestimated how much they needed to cheat, the Sandinistas screwed this up too as vividly recounted by P.J. O'Rourke at the time in, I think, "Give War A Chance" (his account of the despondency of all the Sandinista cheerleaders like Jimmy Carter and Bianca Jagger back at the hotel is priceless). To illustrate my point about how Chavez's 'graciousness' confounds his critics I would recommend this news report about another president who lost a referendum on constitutional changes and immediately vowed to respect the result.