June 8, 2004

Disciplining the message

When chavistas pick up a propaganda line, you can tell. They're disciplined. Single-minded. Repetitive. Brutally effective.

As expected, vote-for-chavez-or-lose-your-misiones has become a cornerstone of the chavista campaign. It's repeated again and again on VTV, Vea, and on every government statement. A chorus. With a simple message: be scared. The opposition will take away your protections. Protect yourself and your family: vote against recall.

The question is not whether this line is right or wrong, or fair or unfair, the point is that Chavistas are effective campaigners because they are coordinated. They follow-the-leader. All of them. So their message comes through loud and clear, just the way they like it.

But will the opposition find a way to strike back just as effectively? Can they in fact coordinate anything like that effectively? Can they isolate simple, potent messages and hammer them home again and again and again no matter which spokesperson is behind the mike?