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The Collective
Thursday, August 16, 2007
By Dr. Steven Taylor

Via the BBC: Venezuela head outlines changes :

President Hugo Chavez has presented his plans for changes to Venezuela’s constitution, including an end to the presidential term limits.

The story lists the following changes:

  • Removing term limits for the presidency, and extending the term of office from six years to seven

  • Bringing in a maximum six-hour working day
  • Increasing presidential control over the central bank
  • Strengthening state economic powers, allowing the government to control assets of private companies before a court grants an expropriation order.

The National Assembly has to approve the proposals (I am not sure what threshold is needed) and then it will go to the voters.

BTW, another bit that needs to go into Dictatorship for Dummies: the reason the leader needs more power? to fight corruption, of course. To wit:

Mr Chavez has promised structural changes to get rid of corruption - something he described as a cancer, says the BBC’s James Ingham in Caracas.

And yes, I recognize that I am being flippant, but by the same token, there are some classic patterns here. I also acknowledge that the process will allow a free vote on the reforms. However, the fact that part of this process has democratic elements does not mitigate against the fact that Chávez’s various reforms are clearly designed to consolidate power in the executive and then allow Chávez to be that executive for as long as he wants to be. That is not a recipe for democratic health.

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Filed under: Latin America | |

2 Comments

  1. 6 hour work day? Honestly, I am very, very lazy, but I wouldn’t want to work only 6 hours a day.

    Comment by Paul Barnes — Thursday, August 16, 2007 @ 11:19 pm

  2. […] another entry in the Dictatorship for Dummies file. Sphere: Related Content Filed under: Elections, Asia || […]

    Pingback by PoliBlog ™: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Thais Vote for New Constitution — Sunday, August 19, 2007 @ 8:55 am

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