Venezuela scores high in electoral fairness

Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

In early July, Venezuela’s Social Investigation Group XXI (GIS) released new comparative data on electoral fairness in the country compiled by the Canada-based Foundation for Democratic Advancement (FDA) which found Venezuela’s elections to be “exceptionally fair, and thereby highly democratic”.

After a thorough review of Venezuela’s electoral laws and regulations on political news coverage as it relates to elections, equality of campaign financing, equality of candidate and party influence, as well as equality of voter influence, the FDA gave the country a score of 85% in overall “electoral fairness.”

In comparison, Finland scored 41%, Denmark 35%, the United States 30%, Canada 26%, Mexico 23% and Tunisia (when dictator Ben Ali was in power) 10%.

In their report, 2011 FDA Electoral Fairness Audit of Venezuela, the FDA evaluated Venezuela in four main areas of electoral legislation, with a total of 10 points possible in each area: 1. Political content of media (Result: 9/10); 2. Equality of political candidate and party influence (Result: 9/10); 3. Equality of electoral finance (Result: 8/10); and 4. Equality of voter say (Result: 8/10).

In total, Venezuela scored 34/40, or 85%.

The report’s authors said the principal source of the country’s electoral fairness is the Venezuelan Constitution, “which emphasises the rights of citizens and a cooperative, pluralistic, and respectful society”.

[Abridged from]