Monday, September 27, 2010

Venezuelan parliamentary election 2010

We do not want the Communist system
because it goes against our Constitution
and the rights that strengthen the lives of people

(Archbishop of Caracas, Cardinal Jorge Urosa Savino,
September 22, 2010)

Today, 26 September of 2010, there is an important day in Venezuela. Today the parliamentary election took place to elect the 165 deputies to the National Assembly. 110 of these deputies are constituency representatives elected on a first-past-the-post system (in 87 electoral districts), 52 elected on a party list system (2 or 3 deputies per state of Venezuela, depending on population), and 3 seats are reserved for indigenous peoples, with separate rules. Additionally, 12 representatives are chosen for the Latin American Parliament.

A total of 6465 candidates have registered with the National Electoral Council by the June deadline. Around 17.5m of the country's 28.5m population are eligible to vote. The ruling United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), with around 7 million members, is by far the largest party in the country by membership.

While the election results outcomes are not clear yet, it is not a surprise that World observers are closely watching the process of election as the results might significantly change the political realities of the South America and the whole World in a way.


Current political realities

Pro-government parties are expected to face a strong opposition in the 167-unicameral National Assembly election. Opposition parties boycotted the vote in 2005. This time they see votes in Venezuelans' discontent with the gloomy economy, electricity rationing and revelations of graft. Leftist President Hugo Chavez' control of the legislature isn't under threat, but significant gains for the opposition could see him having to work harder to have his way. Political observers see the chance of instability ahead of the vote.

Government supporters and critics have taken to the streets in rival demonstrations that promise to continue up to and well past the election, regardless of the outcome.

Opposition parties have their own problems, and might not be able to translate the popular discontent into votes for their candidates. They are beset with divisions in their ranks and could have trouble finding candidates less tainted by corruption that the pro-government candidates. And the opposition accuses Chavez' National Electoral Council of gerrymandering seven of the country's 23 states, including the major cities of Caracas and Maracaibo, for the benefit of pro-government parties.

A recession combined with 25 per cent inflation, the highest in America, adds to the hardship for Venezuelans. The economy shrank 2.9 per cent in 2009 and is expected to continue to contract. Several banks have failed. Oil prices are volatile, a potential problem because Venezuelans are accustomed to cheap gas. The graft revelations are also undermining the popularity of the governing coalition.

Chavez, first elected in 1998, was re-elected in December 2006 with 61 percent of the vote. Since then, the president, who has a military background, has markedly intensified political reforms. On Feb. 15, 2009, Venezuelans voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to remove term limits on all elected offices.



Only a few days ago, Chávez stated unequivocally that "it is not true that Venezuela is one of the most dangerous countries in the world, nor is it true that today there is more violence here than there was 11 years ago." Facts, however, are stubborn things. Since 1999, when Chávez took office, no Latin American country has seen a more acute deterioration in personal safety than Venezuela. The country's homicide rate has gone from 20 per 100,000 people in 1998 to 49 per 100,000 in 2009 -- nine times as high as in the United States. This places Venezuela solidly among the world's most violent countries, alongside chronically bad cases such as Jamaica and Guatemala. In the capital city, Caracas, the rate is 122 per 100,000, a figure comparable only to that of Ciudad Juárez, the Mexican border town where drug traffickers are literally waging a war against the state and one other. Car theft rates, a good barometer of property crime (unlike other crimes, stolen cars are usually reported to the authorities), have also exploded from 69 per 100,000 people in 1998 to 155 in 2009.

No wonder, then, that crime -- according to nearly every opinion poll carried out in the run-up to the election -- tops voters' concerns by a large margin. In August, the Venezuelan Institute for Data Analysis (IVAD) reported that 84 percent of voters mentioned insecurity as a major concern, while less than half that percentage mentioned unemployment, the second most important issue to voters. So, the opposition is running neck and neck with Chávez's party and has a fighting chance of capturing a significant majority of the popular vote, though not of the heavily gerrymandered seats.

The government's anxiety is palpable. Since 2004, it has refused to release official crime figures, leaving the task of compiling them to NGOs. In August, the government-controlled judiciary cautioned El Nacional, an opposition newspaper, against publishing images related to "blood, weapons and terror messages." The warning followed the newspaper's controversial decision to publish a large cover photo of wounded corpses in Caracas's main morgue. True to form, Chávez has oscillated between blaming the remnants of capitalism for the mess and claiming that "the United States has infiltrated Venezuela … to kill, to kidnap people and then to say that Chávez can't [govern effectively]" -- that is, when he's not denying that crime is a problem altogether.


Hugo Chavez Appeal

The Venezuelan president used his Twitter account to make a comment about the parliament election held on Sunday. He urged people to consolidate the victory of his government project. He also told his supporters that he looks forward to meet with them at the Palace of Miraflores

President Hugo Chávez urged his supporters to "prepare to receive and accept the results," via his Twitter account @chavezcandanga. The President sent a message to his supporters.

"We are waiting (for the results). I ask everyone to prepare to receive and accept the results. It was another great day," Chávez said in his Twitter account.


Results are still unknown, but several polls predict the pro-Chavez forces to win a majority (and possibly two-thirds of all seats), in spite of the economic, political, and social situation. If that happens, Chavez would be once again given a mandate to deepen the revolution processes and to continue moving towards communist standards.

History does not teach! Communist ideology, while offering nice and attractive theories and slogans, in practice, is leading to the worst dictatorship and people oppression possible. I was born in the Communist country, I know that…


Sources and Additional Information:


Update 09-27-2010:

Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavez maintained his sway in the National Assembly, with his ruling Socialist Party winning at least 90 of 165 seats that were up for grabs in Sunday’s congressional polls. However, Chavez failed to hold on to the two-thirds majority his party enjoyed in the Assembly, with the Opposition alliance getting as much as 60 seats, up from 12 last time. The results were declared early Monday morning by National Electoral Council president Tibisay Lucena. However, Opposition leader, Ramon Guillermo Aveledo called the delay in result publication ‘inadmissible’.

Both sides claim victory in Venezuela assembly vote. 

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What Yahoo! BUZZ is?

Yahoo! Buzz is a new way to get your news. We pull in the hottest stories from a broad assortment of web publishers throughout the day, then give you the chance to be an editor by voting (“buzzing”) stories up or down, submitting your own to Buzz, or have a conversation around them by commenting on buzz articles.

For each Yahoo! Buzz story there’s a ranking. The stories ranking is based on votes received, comments on the story, related search terms, and the times it’s been shared to others by email.
The highest ranked Buzz story might be featured on the Yahoo! homepage, the Web’s most popular starting point.

A subject's buzz score is the percentage of Yahoo! users searching for that subject on a given day, multiplied by a constant to make the number easier to read. Weekly leaders are the subjects with the greatest average buzz score for a given week.

Where do you get the data for the Buzz Index?

The data is collected from Yahoo! search log files. The Yahoo! Buzz Index counts the total number of people searching for specific subjects. Individual users and their searches remain completely anonymous.

What is a buzz mover?

Buzz movers are the subjects with the greatest percentage increase in buzz score from one day to the next.

Significant increases in buzz score do not necessarily indicate huge overall interest in a subject.

Greatest overall buzz is reflected by the list of buzz leaders.

For example, a subject that increases its buzz score from 4.0 to 12.0 would have a one-day buzz move of 200%, which might qualify it for inclusion on the list of buzz movers. However, that same subject, with a buzz of 12.0, might not make that day's list of buzz leaders.

What is a buzz leader?

Buzz leaders are the subjects with the greatest buzz score on a given day. These subjects are the most searched subjects on Yahoo! for that day.

What do the numbers mean?

A subject's buzz score is the percentage of users searching for that subject on a given day, multiplied by a constant to make the number easier to read.

More precisely, each point is equal to 0.001% of users searching on Yahoo! on a given day. For example, a buzz score of 500 for "Pokemon" translates to 0.5% of all users searching on Yahoo!
For buzz movers, the number displayed is the percentage increase in the subject's buzz score from the previous day.

Is anything filtered out?

Company names (such as Yahoo!), utilities and formats (email, MP3), and general terms (movies, downloads, football) are filtered out by the editors of the Yahoo! Buzz Index. The editors' goal is to list subjects that are interesting to the broadest possible audience. To this end, terms related to adults-only content are also excluded.

In some cases, the editors may also exclude terms that they believe have been elevated by similarity to unrelated popular terms. For example, the movie The Rock might be excluded if the buzz was determined to be solely generated by interest in the WWF star, The Rock.

How often is the site updated?

The Yahoo! Buzz Index is published Tuesday through Saturday. All the rankings on the Yahoo! Buzz Index -- both movers and leaders -- are updated each weekday and reflect the traffic from two days earlier. For example, Wednesday's Buzz Index reflects Monday's searches and clicks. (Twenty-four hours are required to process data and verify results.)

What does "Days on Chart" mean?

"Days on Chart" refers to the number of days a term has been one of the top 50 terms in a Buzz Leader category (overall, movies, television, music, sports). Note that we use the top 50 terms to track longevity, rather than just the top 20 that are displayed on the site. Days are calculated from January 1, 2001.

What do the arrows on Buzz Leaders mean?

The arrows reflect changes in rank for buzz terms. Green arrows indicate a move up in the rankings, while red arrows indicate a move down. The arrows don't reflect the direction or amount of change in a term's overall buzz score.

What does the "Move" column on Buzz Leaders mean?

The move number reflects the change in a term's buzz score. Positive move numbers are green and negative move numbers are red. While these numbers can sometimes indicate a trend in the popularity of a buzz term, they are also affected by the overall traffic patterns of users on a particular day. (For example, searches on Sunday differ greatly in character and variety from those made on Mondays.)

What does "Prev. Rank" mean?

"Prev. Rank" shows where a current buzz term was ranked in the previous day's buzz index. The number may be anywhere from 1 to 50, or, if a term is new to the buzz, it will be indicated with a dash.

What does "Breakout!" mean?

When a term goes from very few searches to a large number of searches, we refer to it as a Breakout!. Most movers have been searched for previously, which means the increase in searches on the term can be expressed in a percentage. Breakout! terms have a huge percentage increase because of the small number of searches from the previous day. Breakout! terms head straight to the top of the list of movers.

Web site of Yahoo! Buzz: