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Multiple Crises of the Venezuelan Party System

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Venezuela – Dimensions of the Crisis

Part of the book series: Contributions to Political Science ((CPS))

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Abstract

This paper analyzes the trajectories of the Venezuelan Party System after its collapse in 1998, guided by the hypothesis that: The Crisis of the Party System, since the rise to power of Chavismo in 1999, has external roots not intrinsic to the parties. In this sense, it is argued that the Crisis is a mechanism intentionally induced through State institutions, with the purpose of hindering the political representation of sectors not identified with the ruling party and its allies. Based on this hypothesis, the article describes the main tools used by Chavismo to promote political disaffection toward the opposition parties.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See https://www.v-dem.net.

  2. 2.

    The anti-partisan political culture long precedes Chavismo, however, it finds its peak in it.

  3. 3.

    Decreto del Régimen de Transición del Poder Público.

  4. 4.

    Bases comiciales para la elección de la Asamblea Nacional Constituyente.

  5. 5.

    Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (TSJ).

  6. 6.

    Ley de Partidos Políticos, Reuniones Públicas y Manifestaciones.

  7. 7.

    The political parties: Democratic Action (AD), Independent Generation (GENTE), New Vision for my Country (NUVIPA), A New Time (UNT), Pro-Citizens (PROCIUDADANOS), and Red Flag (BR) were eliminated after 2018.

  8. 8.

    Contraloría General de la República (CGR).

  9. 9.

    https://accesoalajusticia.org/13-anos-de-inhabillitaciones-politicas-en-una-imagen/.

  10. 10.

    https://www.elnacional.com/venezuela/afirma-que-freddy-superlano-esta-inhabilitado-tsj-ordena-suspender-totalizacion-y-proclamacion-de-gobernador-en-barinas/.

  11. 11.

    The PSUV concentrates more than 85% of the votes of the alliance consistently since its foundation (Briceño, 2013, 2017).

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Correspondence to Héctor Briceño .

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Appendices

Appendix

Table 3 Democratic scale, 2016

Methodological Annex

Definition of variables. Regression analysis (Table 2).

Dependent variable:

1. Trust in Parties: On this card, there is a ladder with steps numbered 1–7, where 1 is the lowest step and means NOT AT ALL and 7 the highest and means A LOT. For example, if I asked you to what extent do you like watching television, if you don’t like watching it at all, you would choose a score of 1, and if, in contrast, you like watching television a lot, you would indicate the number 7 to me. If your opinion is between not at all and a lot, you would choose an intermediate score. So, to what extent do you like watching television? Read me the number.

So, to what extent do you trust the political parties?

Independent variables:

1. Trust in elections: On this card, there is a ladder with steps numbered 1–7, where 1 is the lowest step and means NOT AT ALL and 7 the highest and means A LOT. For example, if I asked you to what extent do you like watching television, if you don’t like watching it at all, you would choose a score of 1, and if, in contrast, you like watching television a lot, you would indicate the number 7 to me. If your opinion is between not at all and a lot, you would choose an intermediate score. So, to what extent do you like watching television? Read me the number. So, to what extent do you trust elections in this country?

2. Trust in the CNE: using the previous scale, to what extent do you trust the National Electoral Council—Consejo Nacional Electoral (CNE)?

3. Satisfaction with democracy: In general, would you say that you are very satisfied, satisfied, dissatisfied, or very dissatisfied with the way democracy works in Venezuela?

(1) Very satisfied (2) Satisfied (3) Dissatisfied (4) Very dissatisfied (4) Very dissatisfied.

4. Democratic Commitment: Now we will use a ladder where 1 means “strongly disagree” and 7 means “strongly agree.” A number in between 1 and 7 represents an intermediate score.

I am going to read you some statements. Please tell me to what extent you agree or disagree with the following statement: Democracy may have problems, but it is better than any other form of government. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this statement?

5. Political System: On this card, there is a ladder with steps numbered 1–7, where 1 is the lowest step and means NOT AT ALL and 7 the highest and means A LOT. For example, if I asked you to what extent do you like watching television, if you don’t like watching it at all, you would choose a score of 1, and if, in contrast, you like watching television a lot, you would indicate the number 7 to me. If your opinion is between not at all and a lot, you would choose an intermediate score.

I am going to ask you a series of questions, and I am going to ask you to use the numbers provided in the ladder to answer. Remember that you can use any number.

To what extent do you think that one should support the political system of Venezuela? Probe: If you think that the courts should not support the political system, choose number 1; if you think that the political system should be supported a lot, choose number 7 [or choose a score in between].

6. Fear of Chavismo: To what extent do you consider that Chavismo's Policy threat the well-being of the country?

(1) A lot (2) Somewhat (3) A little (4) Not at all.

7. Fear of the opposition: To what extent do you consider that the policy of the opposition threaten the well-being of the country?

(1) A lot (2) Somewhat (3) A little (4) Not at all.

8. Political polarization: Nowadays, there is a lot of talk about Venezuelans being divided. In your opinion, how much political division is there among Venezuelans today? Give me a number on the scale where 1 is that there is no political division among Venezuelans at all, and 7 is that there is a lot of political division.

9. Social conflict: Do you think that the current level of social and political conflict in Venezuela is very low, low, neither low nor high, high or very High?

(1) Very low (2) Low (3) Neither low nor high (4) High (5) Very high.

10. Country economic assessment (Sociotropic): Do you think that the country’s current economic situation is better than, the same as, or worse than it was 12 months ago?

(1) Better (2) The same (3) Worse.

11. Ideological distance: ideological self-definition vs. ideological definition of the parties (definition: see Table 1).

12. Left–right scale: Changing the subject, on this card there is a 1–10 scale that goes from left to right. The number one means left and 10 means right. Nowadays, when we speak of political leanings, we talk of those on the left and those on the right. In other words, some people sympathize more with the left and others with the right. According to the meaning that the terms “left” and “right” have for you, and thinking of your own political leanings, where would you place yourself on this scale? Tell me the number.

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Briceño, H. (2023). Multiple Crises of the Venezuelan Party System. In: Latouche, M.A., Muno, W., Gericke, A. (eds) Venezuela – Dimensions of the Crisis. Contributions to Political Science. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-21889-7_5

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