Francisco Toro has a fascinating essay about the findings of pollster Alfredo Keller.
As Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez prepares to seek reelection in December, the composition of those likely to vote for the supremodomo becomes important.
Francisco reports that 52% of the electorate plans to vote for Chavez. Of this 52%:
-33% do so only because they want Chavez’s handouts.
-14% do so because they depend on government jobs.
-6% do so because they are hardcore ideological leftists, the exact same number of people who voted for hardcore leftists before Chavez was elected.
There is probably some overlap, e.g., some people may fall into more than one category. But on the whole, is shows just how soft support is for Chavez. Only 20% of the electorate really counts as hardcore Chavistas. 80% of the electorate hates him. But 18% are willing to vote for him because of handouts. This group also is the most fearful of Chavez’s refusal to permit secret balloting, because they know Chavez will retaliate by cutting off handouts. That’s why Chavez is so against ballot secrecy.
When Chavez is unable to give his handouts, either through theft & mismanagement or a collapse in the price of oil, those voters, if they are sure their ballot is really secret, could vote Chavez out of office.
That’s why there won’t be any secret ballot. Francisco’s story is here.
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