Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Brexit, State of the Union, and more

Just a quick note about the State of the Union in the US and weather or not it was delivered in person. Put simply:

From 1790 to 1800 they were in person

1801-1912, written

1913-1923, in person

1924-1932, written

In 1933 the speech was delivered in person and has been on all but 7 occasions since.

In 1945, likely due to FDR's health

In 1946, Truman may have wanted to go back to the written precedent, but he addressed a joint session in May of that year on Railroad Strikes and may have been convinced by this to attend more in person.

1953, Truman was the outgoing president, and likely did not attend to not take the spotlight away from Ike.

1956, Ike did not deliver the speech in person, likely to his heart attack a few months prior.

1961, Ike delivered a written address for similar reasons as Truman above.

1973, Nixon sent a written only message; this was just days before the Senate voted to investigate Watergate.

Lastly, 1981 Carter sent a written message for similar reasons as Truman and Ike.


As expected, the government survived the VoNC. As such, no new news at this time.


Polls suggest Ta'al may take as many as 6 seats, equal to the 6 expected to be taken by the remainder of Joint List.


Polls suggest the government may lose their majority in the elections this spring


Polls suggest Widodo, perhaps most famous for looking a bit like Barack Obama, leads heavily

Brexit, and update in Sweden

According to the vote yesterday, each party has the following number of voting MPs in or around Parliament right now:

314 con
251 lab
35 snp
11 ld
10 dup
4 pc
1 grn
8 ind

Without the DUP, there are 319 non-conservative MPs in the House. The DUP plus the Conservatives consist of 324 MPs. The DUP has said they will back the Conservatives in the vote of non confidence scheduled for today. As such it is unlikely that the VoNC will pass. It would take 3 tories to vote against their own government to defeat it; and doing so is extraordinarily unlikely as it would make these people pariahs and likely lose them a ton of personal friends and other such negative impacts. That also assumes every single non-tory MP will vote yes; there are reasons why this is not the case.

Three Independents voted with the government on Brexit. They are Stephen Lloyd, a former LibDem; Lady Hermon, Northern Ireland Independent, former UUP; and Frank Field a right-winger but former Labour MP.

It is possible some of all of them will support the government. Lady Hermon in particular may do so.

In Sweden meanwhile, government preparations are being finalized. The vote on the new government was delayed after protests from the Left party; but the latest reports are that the Left Party has agreed to allow the government to form, but has made clear threats that it will vote down the government in the future if they do not accept input from the party on key issues.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Brexit; current events

The government has just lost a vote on the Brexit deal, taking only 202 votes for the deal and 432 against; meaning 634 members voted.

The are 650 members, 7 of which are Sinn Fein who do not take their seats; of the 643 remainder; the speaker traditionally does not vote, implying that of the 642 "usual voting members" 8 did not vote.

Assuming that these 8 are all paired; that puts 313 of the 317 members in the chamber. If 202 votes supported the deal this means 111 tories voting against.

News reports are saying 118, or 116, tory MPs voted against.

The number will be somewhere around that.


What's next?

Its very unlikely something moves until tomorrow.

Tomorrow there will be a vote of non confidence in the commons. Its possible it will succeed, but unlikely.

As such, I will save more commentary for then. Unless there's a sudden and surprise resignation, snap election, or coup; nothing will change until tomorrow.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Updates in Sweden and Israel.

In Israel there's been another political shakeup with Ta'al withdrawing from the Joint List. Ta'al is heavily associated with its leader, Tibi, and is seen by many as a personal vehicle of his to gain seats. Unless I'm missing something, it is unlikely Tibi will win any seats, and Joint List will take less than expected.

I may be, however, missing something, as the decision by Labour to split the Zionist Union has served them well in the polls with the party averaging only a single seat less than ZU, and with Hatnuah usually not being able to meet the threshold.

In Sweden there are reports that the Social Democrats have secured a government deal with the Greens, Liberals, and Centre Party.

If true this would create the following parliament:

167 Government
92 Alliance (Moderates and Christian Democrats)
62 Sweden Democrats (Neo-Nationalist)
28 Left Party

This would leave the government without a majority; however, in this situation it would be likely that such a deal would not have been struck without some tacit agreement from the Left Party. Governments in Sweden can be sworn in so long as a majority does not vote "no" meaning a Left Party abstention would result in this government being approved as only 154 members are either Alliance or SD.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Israel - Zionist Union splits

Just a quick poll average update now that the Zionist Union (Labour + Hatnuah) has broken apart.

28 - Likud (Conservative, Netanyahu)
13 - Resilience (Progressive, Gantz)
12 - Yesh Atid (Liberal)
12 - Joint List (Arab)
8 - New Right (Nationalist)
7 - Avoda (Labour)
7 - United Torah (Ultra Orthodox)
6 - Kulanu (Centrist)
5 - Meretz (Left)
4 - Shas (Ultra Orthodox)*
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu (Right-Populist)*
4 - Jewish Home (Nationalist Orthodox)*
4 - Gesher (Centre-Right)*
4 - Hatnuah (Centrist)*

Monday, December 31, 2018

Israeli polls

Just an update now that 5 polls are out after the new party, I can do some poll averaging.

27 - Likud (Conservative, Netanyahu)
13 - Resilience (Progressive, Gantz)
13 - Yesh Atid (Liberal)
12 - Joint List (Arab)
10 - New Right (Nationalist)
9 - Zionist Union (Labour Progressive)
7 - United Torah (Ultra Orthodox)
6 - Kulanu (Centrist)
6 - Meretz (Left)
5 - Shas (Ultra Orthodox)
4 - Yisrael Beiteinu (Right-Populist)*
4 - Jewish Home (Nationalist Orthodox)*
4 - Gesher (Centre-Right)*

* = Has fallen below the threshold at least once recently in polls.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

More news from the Israeli election

Just a quick update that Naftali Bennett, the leader of Jewish Home, has left the party to found a new party, saying that Jewish Home was too religious. He left with Ayelet Shaked, who may, in the long term, play a major role in Israeli politics.

The new party will be similar to the old party, but far more secular. 

There's only been one poll with the new party; so what I've presented below is a bit of a mash of a poll average that heavily depends on that single poll with some additional artistic liberty taken to ensure everything adds up:

25 - Likud (Conservative, Netanyahu)
15 - Resilience (Benny Gantz)
12 - Joint List (Arab)
11 - New Right (Secular-Nationalist)
10 - Yesh Atid (Liberal)
9 - Zionist Union (Progressive)
7 - United Torah (Ultra Orthodox)
6 - Kulanu (Centrist)
6 - Meretz (Left)
6 - Yisrael Beiteinu (Right-Populist)
5 - Jewish Home (Orthodox-Nationalist)
4 - Shas (Ultra Orthodox)
4 - Gesher (Centre-Right)

It seems increasingly likely that one or more parties will fall below the threshold and likely not be able to rise above it before election day.