Monday, November 30, 2009

Turnout in Honduras

We will have to wait for the final numbers, but La Prensa reports the TSE announced turnout for the Honduran elections as 61%. That is now being reported widely.

The U.S. State Department has already noted the turnout:

Turnout appears to have exceeded that of the last presidential election. This shows that given the opportunity to express themselves, the Honduran people have viewed the election as an important part of the solution to the political crisis in their country.

The turnout question is therefore now answered. It is high enough not to deter recognition, and is significantly higher than 2005, when turnout was 45%.

On the other hand, we will also need to see the results for invalid votes. In countries with obligatory voting, casting an invalid vote (such as blank or with every candidate chosen) is a way to show protest without violating the law). That number would have to be quite high to draw attention, however.

Now we wait and see what governments recognize the results.

26 comments:

mike a,  8:13 AM  

This ought to silence Micheletti's critics once and for all. He followed through on his promise to hold elections and relinquish power, which in this case will be relinquished to the candidate from the opposition party (not that of Micheletti). Turnout was undeniably high. He helped to rescue his country from the grasp of a radical leftist, who now has nothing to do but to go look for a book deal. Well done - I'd call him Honduras' Lincoln, as he saved his country.

pc 8:49 AM  

Honduras' Lincoln? Huh, that seems perhaps a bit overstated.

How reliable is the 61 percent figure?

dailysketch 8:51 AM  

Are you serious? Do you seriously believe the figures? There are on ly 5 countries in the world that recognise the elections one of which is the criminal republic between Mexico and Canada.

Not content with killing tens of thousands of Iraqis, Afghanis, Timorese, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Haitians, Nicaraguans, Guatemalans, Chileans, Argentinians, Brazilians, Colombians, Haitians, you want more of the same in Honduras just so you can save a few cents on bananas?

You Americans are truly a sick.

Anonymous,  9:01 AM  

dailysketch,

You need to stop getting your information from comic books.

Maria Yamileth,  9:58 AM  

61% according to the golpistas. Please is more like 30%. Don't write what is not true. The streets of Honduras were empty yesterday because the people did not want to legalized the coup. This guy must be a reported from FOX news.

Anonymous,  11:54 AM  

I see the radical Zelayistas can't accept they lost again.

leftside 1:44 PM  

The turnout figure is far from accepted. It is being challenged by TSE's own polling firm, which models a 47.6% participation rate based on sampling at 1000 polling stations.

And thanks guys for the laughs once again saying that Zelaya was a radical leftists. I guess when billionaire Liberal Party Presidents who dared to increase the minimum wage can be considered radicals we are all radicals to be vanquished, if necessary.

leftside 1:54 PM  

It is also worth noting that there are also at leat 16% more Hondurans registered voters this year compared to 2005. So there would have to be 16% more votes than last time to measure up to even 2005's pathetic results. Total votes is not what matters. It is the percent of the voters.

Anonymous,  2:09 PM  

Actual turnout is now an academic issue. The elections were held and winner announced. Zelaya's claim expires in a few weeks.

dailysketch 2:51 PM  

Anonymous, 9:01 AM

dailysketch,

You need to stop getting your information from comic books.

Actually, there is a great comic that tells the story:

http://www.soaw.org/presente/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=247&Itemid=74

Justin Delacour 3:12 PM  

Greg is far far too quick to accept the 60% turnout figure. RAJ points out that not even the TSE's polling firm corroborates that figure, so I would suggest that Greg just hold his horses for a minute.

This ought to silence Micheletti's critics once and for all.

No matter the outcome of this election, nothing will silence the fact that this coup --and the attempt to whitewash the coup by means of a tainted election-- represents an extremely dangerous precedent. Lula is quite right to not recognize this election. If the Honduran establishment is not taught a lesson now, what's to stop more such coups from taking place in the immediate future?

We simply cannot let the Honduran establishment get away with this.

Anonymous,  3:16 PM  

We simply cannot let the Honduran establishment get away with this.

But they did. And there's nothing you can do about it.

But if you worry about democracy in the region I'd focus on what's going on in Venezuela and Nicaragua. That's the real threat.

Justin Delacour 3:33 PM  

But they did. And there's nothing you can do about it.

No, there is something that we --and other countries in the hemisphere-- can do about it. We can follow Lula's lead and refuse to recognize the outcome of this tainted election, which was carried out under conditions of mass censorship and state repression. If we don't show the Honduran establishment that there are costs for its behavior, we will be engaging in appeasement and giving a green light to other such coups.

The turnout question is therefore now answered.

As it turns out, Greg seems to be way out on a limb on this one.

The Washington Post just reported the following this morning:

"Turnout was 47.6 percent, several points less than the total in the last presidential election in 2005, according to projections released by the country's electoral tribunal. In addition, there appeared to be an unusually high number of null and blank ballots -- about 6 percent, according to projections."

Greg Weeks 3:42 PM  

If the turnout number is lower, then I will correct it. My sense, though, is that the numbers you cite would not change the international reaction to the election. I doubt it would change the minds of members of the Honduran Congress, either. It might, but I don't think the chances are high.

mike a,  3:45 PM  

Honduran establishment? Several parties participated in this election. Presumably these parties oppose each other. Who exactly is the "establishment" under your definition?

As for recognizing the election, does anyone believe that Brazil has any policy influence (or even really cares) about Central America? This election is a done deal. Eventually and quietly, Lula and others who have taken a wait-see attitude will fall in line.

Micheletti's critics have no logical counter argument to the fact that he voluntarily is stepping aside to give up power to the opposition. This episode was not and should never be defined as a coup. Once again, he should be hailed as a hero by all Hondurans.

Anonymous,  3:52 PM  

The US will recognize the elections. As will many other countries over time. Talking about not recognizing the elections as a policy tool is a waste of time.

Justin Delacour 4:00 PM  

If the turnout number is lower, then I will correct it.

You shouldn't have been so quick to accept the official figures in the first place. Don't you think it would be wise to wait for an audit before rubber-stamping an election that took place under conditions of mass repression and censorship?

How would the Carter Center approach such an election?

My sense, though, is that the numbers you cite would not change the international reaction to the election.

What you think would affect people's perceptions is beside the point. The relevant point is that you're not scrutinizing the information that you come across.

Anonymous,  4:06 PM  

Greg correctly reported what the authorities announced. As more information is made public we can take a look at it.

As Greg notes turnout is no longer an issue. Whatever the final reported number is, it won't make any difference in terms of its international acceptance.

leftside 4:38 PM  

Eventually and quietly, Lula and others who have taken a wait-see attitude will fall in line.

Lula is not taking a "wait and see" attitude. He has been front and center arguing that recognizing the elections is a dangerous game that will encourage further coup adventures. He is arguing for a forceful statement at the Iberian Summit in Portugal right now. His government went as far as to tell Obama he is risking isolation and losing any goodwill in the region with its retrograde Honduras policy. I wonder if Obama still thinks that Lula ought to use his "unique clout" in the region now that it is clear there are so many differences in opinion (Copenhagen, Doha, land mines, Honduras, Colombia bases, etc?

And while some of the usual idiots are calling this a deafeat for Chavez and, by association, all of the Latin American left, the truth is that Obama is making a huge mistake. Instead of making a true break with the coup-backing past, Obama has made clear that very little has changed in Washington. This only helps Chavez and others who basically predicted more of the same.

Greg correctly reported what the authorities announced.

No, he didn't. He cited one set of numbers as gospel. And he ignored the highly divergent participation numbers announced at the TSE press by TSE's own official polling firm.

Anonymous,  4:56 PM  

Lula will soon be gone. The elections will be recognized.

And yes, this was a major loss for Chavez.

Anonymous,  5:19 PM  

Brazil also may reconsider its position:

http://laprensa.hn/Ediciones/2009/11/30/Noticias/Brasil-habla-de-cambiar-posicion-sobre-Honduras

leftside 6:23 PM  

Brazil also may reconsider its position

Wrong. Despite the wishes of La Prensa's (pro-Golpista) editors, the report flatly states Lula has no intention to change course (did you read beyond the misleading headline?):

"In contrast, Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula de Silva said Sunday he was determined not to change position on the requirement..."

Anonymous,  6:29 PM  

Leftside, you keep deluding yourself. It's pretty clear where this is going.

Justin Delacour 10:27 PM  

Greg correctly reported what the authorities announced.

No, he didn't just report what the authorities announced. He gave credence to what the authorities announced without scrutinizing their claims.

it won't make any difference in terms of its international acceptance

Well, some states won't recognize the election and some states will, and, sure, their reasons won't necessarily hinge on turnout. There's a lot more to this than turnout. Lula's reasons have to do with the inconvenient fact that this election was overseen by an unelected government of putschists who shut down the only opposition TV channel and engaged in mass repression right up through the day of the election. Recognizing an election under those conditions sets an awful precedent that could very well send the region into a new and horrible epoch of violence and chaos. That is reason enough to refuse to recognize these elections.

Talking about not recognizing the elections as a policy tool is a waste of time.

And what other policy tool might you suggest?

dailysketch 4:15 AM  

Justin,

I think your wasting your time. Someone who doesn't have the courage to use a name doesn't warrant a reply, especially when the comments they make are intended purely to wind other people up.

Honduras Coup blog is now reporting that the numbers are beginning to drop.
http://hondurascoup2009.blogspot.com/2009/11/numbers-dropping.html

Justin Delacour 12:35 PM  

I think your wasting your time.

That could be true, but the intent is to lay bare just how poorly reasoned the coup apologists' arguments are.

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