[Marxism] SACP-ANC

Sayan Bhattacharyya ok.president+marxmail at gmail.com
Tue Feb 13 02:12:39 MST 2007

On 2/13/07, Lajany Otum <lajany_otum at yahoo.co.uk> wrote:

> Thanks to Sayan for those figures, and for the comparison of the
> election results in South Africa with those for the comparison of
> the ANC vote with that of the comprador Uribe. What was the
> turnout in the Colombian election?

Yoou're welcome. As John McCarthy, the computer pioneer, is fond of
saying, "Those who refuse to do arithmetic are doomed to talk

As for Uribe's turnout:


"Meanwhile, despite supposedly unprecedented enthusiasm for the
president and his reelection, relatively few actually cast votes for
Uribe. According to the latest figures from Colombia's electoral
authorities, turnout was a dismal 43 percent of eligible voters. (Who
was "eligible" was also a debatable topic, as many were turned away at
the polls for one bureaucratic reason or another, though no hard
numbers seem to be available for this.)

"Compare this to the 69.2 percent turnout for the presidential recall
referendum in Venezuela in 2004. Or the 77.21 percent of eligible
Spaniards who voted the Socialist Party into power earlier that same
year. Or the 83.6 percent of Italians that recently came out to the
polls to narrowly win power for the left in their country as well.
Even in the United States and Mexico, two nations noted for their
voter apathy, candidates managed to entice more than 60 percent of the
electorate in each country to participate in 2004 and 2000,

"The "mandate" for rightist Uribe looks even smaller when compared to
presidential elections in other neighboring countries:

    * Peru, 2006: 88.71 percent turnout for first round,
left-nationalist Ollanta Humala leads (second round yet to occur).
    * Chile, 2006: 87.12 percent turnout for second round,
center-leftist Michelle Bachelet wins.
    * Bolivia, 2005: 84.5 percent turnout, leftist Evo Morales wins.
    * Uruguay, 2005: 88.29 percent turnout, center-leftist Tabaré Vásquez wins.
    * Panama, 2004: 76.90 percent turnout, center-leftist Martín
Torrijos Espino wins.
    * Argentina, 2003: 77.53 percent turnout, center-leftist Nestor
Kirchner wins.
    * Brazil, 2002: 79.5 percent turnout, leftist Lula da Silva wins.
    * Ecuador, 2002: 71.21 percent turnout, then-indigenous-backed
left-nationalist Lucio Gutierrez wins.

"Now, all these countries have mandatory voting laws of one kind or
another, while Colombia (like Mexico, the U.S., Italy and Spain) has
none. But in nearly all these mandatory elections, turnout was still
unusually high as voters sensed either the possibility of systemic
change for the better, or an attack on a system they wanted to defend.
Whatever opinion one has of mandatory voting laws, the leaders of all
the countries just mentioned can make a much more credible claim than
Uribe that the vote which put them in office really was a majority

So the general rule of thumb seems to be that when "comprador" types
win, they typically win because the opposition is unorganized, and
although they may win with what seem like substantial majorities,
turnout is usually low in such elections.

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