The 3D (December 3) will become a new milestone in Venezuela's political calendar. This Sunday Venezuelans will choose our next President. Although more than ten candidates are registered, the election race is truly among only two candidates: the social democrat Manuel Rosales and incumbent President Hugo Chávez, who aspires to be reelected for 6 more years after having been in office for 8 years now.
This election will be the most polarized in Venezuelan history. Mass media are clearly part of the political confrontation, and news-programs have become partisan rather than informative. A large system of government owned media is serving Chávez’ reelection campaign, while most private owned media tend to give better coverage to Rosales.
Even though most polls suggest that Chávez will win the elections, a few pollsters are projecting a Rosales victory at the last minute. The range of poll numbers goes from those giving Chávez 25 points up to those giving Rosales 10 points up. Nothing is sure about what will happen at the evening of December 3. Rumors (and jokes) about electoral fraud or violence from supporters of whoever gets defeated are widespread.
In this complex situation, Venezuelan bloggers have organized citizen’s coverage for this presidential election. All posts about the elections are being aggregated is the directory Elecciones 3D.
Bloggers participating in Elecciones 3D — like the rest of Venezuelans — are divided among Chávez´ supporters, opposition supporters, and political skeptics. Nonetheless, they all share a sincere interest in pursuing what they think is best for Venezuela. There is a lot of debate about political positions, polls, and news, as well as personal stories related to the campaign.
Maléfica told his view of the last day of electoral campaign in Caracas’ downtown:
Ayer ví a grupos oficialistas con tarantines llenos de afiches en Parque Central mientras que simpatizantes de Rosales se acercaban al grito de ¡Atrévete! como en una suerte de reto, para después desaparecer y volver frente a otro tarantín rojo.
También observé algo que podemos llamar Turismo Electoral porque era un grupo de gringuitos blancos, flacos y desgarbados (seguramente de los que adoran experimentos de la izquierda, pero fuera de USA) que andaban con simpatizantes del gobierno, inclusive algunos con franelas rojas (una amiga dice que esos son votantes con cédula venezolana, habrá que preguntarles a ver si saben lo que es una hallaca).
I also watched something that we can call Elections Tourism. A group of white, skinny, and graceless gringos (surely those who adore left experiments, but outside USA) were walking along government supporters, some of them even were wearing red t-shirts (a friend of mine says that they are voters holding a Venezuelan ID, we may need to ask whether they know what “hallaca” is).
The voting centers were set up between Thursday and Friday. Several bloggers were selected for being members of the polls. This civic duty is assigned by lottery to citizens registered to vote. Several bloggers are going to be members of the voting centers, and they already started to report about the process.
Crónicas de Zeitan posted how he became Elections Table President, since the official President did not show up. Zeitan also describes irregularities found when receiving the voting supplies, such as missing the safety seal, the procedures norms, and the fingerprint ink. However, Zeitan wrote that members of the Republic Plan [military personnel working on the election process] assured that the ink will be provided by Sunday. No much to be done about the other problems.
Zeitan also remarked:
Mi centro de votación lo veo Sangre AZUL, observe gente de la oposición coordinando las cosas mas no presencie a nadie del comando Miranda. El personal del CNE brillo por su ausencia, solo estaban los operadores de las maquinas (…).
Kareta told a similar story. She also became Elections Table President since the official President was absent. In her voting center a security seal, fingerprint ink, and norms were also missing. Apparently, this missing material is a widespread problem, since the same is reported from voting centers at different states.
A real boom of elections posts is capturing the Venezuelan blogosphere as more bloggers became involved in Elections 3D. There is a lot of excitement about this citizen media experience. In a sort of lyrical manifesto, Enigma ExPress preached that the Elections 3D experience is truly a TAZ (Temporary Autonomous Zone, Ontological Anarchy, Poetic Terrorism)
¿De qué se trata, en el fondo, la idea de Periodismo de Paz y To2Blog.com/elecciones3D? Pues de una red de información. Negocio prohibido.
Un proceso de combustión espóntánea que surgió de la tribu electrónica venezolana.
Cohesionados en su momento pero sin compromiso de duración y exclusividad.
Entiendan esto, teóricamente se supone, tenemos más poder en este instante y por casi 48 horas, entiéndase bien, más poder que la television, la radio y la prensa para decir cualquier cosa. Sin límite.
Understand it, hypothetically it can be supposed, we have more power at this instant and for the 48 hours, understand it well, more power than television, radio, and the press to say anything. Without limits.