January 6, 2004

Contrast and compare:

(or, case study on what happens when your vote is secret, but your signature ain't...)

Item 1:
Article 145 of the Venezuelan Constitution: Civil servants are at the service of the state, not of any political partiality. Their hiring and dismissal shall not be determined by their political affiliation or orientation[...]

Item 2:
26 fired for participating in signature gathering drive. Opposition lawyer Tulio Alvarez has taken on the cases of 26 civil servants, "tenured" employees at the Planning Ministry, who have been unceremoniously fired for participating in the signature gathering drive for a Recall Referendum. "They are not respecting the Civil Service tenure, nor the right to stable work, and the only way those affected can raise their voice is to go to the Administrative Courts, but any decisions those courts take can only be appealed to the Corte Primera (First Administrative Court,) which is currently closed."

[Remember that the government unilaterally ordered the Corte Primera shut down after its magistrates handed down a string of rulings deemed insufficiently revolutionary. The Corte Primera has yet to be replaced with anything.]