Sanity Injection

Injecting a dose of sanity into your day’s news and current events.

Once again, Venezuela’s Chavez shows contempt for democracy

Posted by sanityinjection on December 19, 2008

The issue this time is that Chavez is term-limited from running for re-election. Chavez and his supporters want to have a voter referendum to change the law to allow him to run again.

The reason this is inherently anti-democratic has nothing to do with whether term limits are a good or bad idea. Rather, it is the violation of the principle that major changes aren’t supposed to apply to incumbents for good or for ill.

For example, when the US Constitution was changed to limit US Presidents to two terms, the change specifically did not apply to FDR, the sitting President. When Congress votes itself a pay raise, the pay raise never applies to the sitting Congress, but only to the one that will take office after an election.

Thus, there’s nothing wrong with having a referendum on removing term limits from the Presidency. The problem is that Chavez should be excluded from the change, so that the vote is a vote on term limits generally, not a vote for or against Chavez, which is exactly what this referendum will be. And Venezuelans are well aware in their socialist mob state what the consequences of an anti-Chavez vote can be.

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