By Arthur Shaw

GIS XXI asked the electorate whether bourgeois leaders of the opposition primarily take care of their personal financial interests.

A staggering 76% of the electorate said that bourgeois leaders are only out for themselves, only 13% believes bourgeois leaders care about anything other than their personal interests, leaving 11% either unresponsive or undecided.

This finding is shocking because it implies that that the huge bourgeois media in Venezuela which tout and praise bourgeois leaders, on a 24/7 basis, has almost no credibility and almost no influence with the electorate because the electorate has a low opinion of these highly touted and praised bourgeois leaders. Again, the GIS XXI poll did not look at the public’s perception of leaders of the workers’ and their broader revolutionary movement. But since the revolutionary workers’ movement “owns” more or less about 60% of the electorate, the 76% finding of the GIS XXI poll on the undesirability of bourgeois leaders can’t be all revolutionary workers. The finding implies that at least 16 points of the 76% represent the views of counter-revolutionaries who are, to some extent, won over by the workers’ movement.

Leaders are only one thing but a whole movement of capitalists and counter-revolutionaries is another thing. So, what does the electorate think about the counter-revolutionary movement or, in other words, the so-called opposition.

GIS XXI asked the electorate whether the opposition represents hope for better things for Venezuela.

About 29% of the people said the counter-revolutionary movement offers hope of better things, 58% said the counter-revolutionary movement is hopeless, leaving 13% undecided. It hard to say whether the Venezuelan people think less of bourgeois leaders or less of the capitalists’ movement, for 76% of Venezuelans think bourgeois leaders are worthless and only 29% think the capitalists’ movement is cause for hope.

If the GIS XXI numbers are correct, then the capitalists’ and wider counter-revolutionary movement is in a state of crisis.

Some of the GIS XXI findings however seem to contradict other GIS XXI findings.

For example, GIS XXI asked the electorate “Does the opposition have anything to offer?”

Some 39% said the opposition has something to offer. The poll didn’t identify WHAT the opposition has to offer, but 39% of the people believes the opposition has “something.” Some 47% said the opposition has nothing to offer. Since the capitalists’ movement has for many years “owned” about 40% of the electorate in Venezuela, the 39% finding of the GIS XXI poll implies that the opposition has held on to its base, despite the negative perceptions by much of the base of the opposition.

This seems contradictory.

Why would almost the same number of counter-revolutionaries, today as well as yesterday, believe that the capitalists’ movement still has something to offer if these counter-revolutionaries today judge bourgeois leaders as worthless and the capitalists’ movement as hopeless?

This contradiction may be more apparent than real. But the workers’ and revolutionary movement better watch out and not get smug and big-headed over these suspect but happy-looking numbers from GIS XXI.

In the September legislative elections, the revolutionary workers’ movement wants to win more than a mere 51% victory. They want to win at least a big, juicy 66% victory. Since this worker’s movement “owns” only about 60% of the electorate, the revolutionary workers need at least 6 extra points to get over.

There are basically two ways to get the six extra points if we exclude the combination of the two ways:

(1) win over a number of reactionaries equal to 6 points or

(2) get a differential in the abstention between the revolutionary and reactionary turnouts of at least 6 point … in other words, more reactionary no-shows than revolutionary no-shows

GIS XXI poll throws, at least, some light on the possibilities of (1) and (2) because the poll measures voter attitudes on bourgeois leaders, the capitalists’ movement, and whether the movement still has something to offer. If the revolutionary campaign concentrates on the worthless bourgeois leaders and on the hopeless capitalists’ movement, then the revolutionaries will have their best chance for getting 6 extra points. But if the revolutionaries let themselves to be sidetracked into a debate about what, if anything, the capitalists’ movement still has to offer, then the opposition will have its best chance to deny 6 extra points to the revolutionary workers’ movement.

To be more precise, since GIS XXI poll … which perhaps will be confirmed by other subsequent polls … suggests the Venezuelan electorate almost universally holds bourgeois leaders in contempt. So, the corrupt and incompetent character of these bourgeois leaders … in general … should be the main issue of the campaign for legislative seats.

The revolutionaries used something similar to this tactic in the struggle over the constitutional amendment in February 2009 when the revolutionaries argued that bourgeois leaders in general suffer from an irrepressible propensity to tell lies.

The reason why this tactic was so effective in 2009 was that the people already knew that bourgeois leaders were liars.

Similarly, if the GIS XXI poll is sound and if revolutionaries this year focus on the corrupt and incompetent bourgeois leaders, in general, the tactic will work because the people already know that bourgeois leaders are corrupt and incompetent.