The United States isn't the only country suffering a lame-duck power grab. On Friday, Venezuela's outgoing socialist-dominated parliament granted President Hugo Chavez the power to rule by decree for 18 months. If democracy is not already dead in Venezuela, it's about to breathe its last breath.
Venezuelan opponents of President Hugo Chavez cheered Sunday's election results, in which a newly unified opposition gained a significant bloc of seats in the country's National Assembly and apparently a majority of the popular vote.
As Venezuela's opposition prepares for Sunday's legislative elections, analysts say that even a strong nationwide vote in a free-and-fair election could translate into a meager number of seats due to gerrymandering and other actions by the government to help its allies.