Monday, July 31, 2017

Update: 31JUL2017

This post is unfinished, but has been pre-scheduled to help the author with planning.

Fortnightly Update on events:

Not much. The US has had political occurrences; but I don't follow the US much as readers know. BC's new NDP government was sworn in, and they appear to be softening on pipelines. More importantly, Christy Clark resigned, not just as Liberal leader, but as MLA. I'll go into greater detail when I cover BC on Wednesday.

Poland perhaps has had the biggest update, with the President vetoing the more controversial legislation which would have allowed Parliament a great deal of power over the judicial branch.

I'll make a post shortly covering the countries I've already done in greater detail, in the way I intended, and from there we will continue our summer look at various countries and provinces.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Schedule change (again?)

I've had a few time syncs build up over the past two weeks, so am adjusting the schedule to include two locations, and a weekly update.

I also may redo some previous countries as my time has become too limited to do the posts properly as I had intended.

I may change the country-province-country-province ordering, as provinces are much easier to write about and are good to do during a time crunch

Friday, July 28, 2017

Christy Clark resigns

Christy Clark resigns as BC Liberal Leader

I will be doing a full post on BC within the next week; but wanted to provide this update.

I suspect and expect my readers follow political news, so I won't say things that I expect to fill the papers today; rather I want to speculate on the politics.

The smart strategy, politically, is to bring down the coalition and go to an election. It still is. This is easy to do so long as all BC Liberal MLAs remain in the Legislature.

This is why Clark's resignation from the legislature makes little sense; unless...

This strategy works brilliantly if someone is waiting in the wings to take over the party, someone Clark approves of. The problem is who?

While names like Sam Sullivan or John Reynolds come to mind as possibilities, and other names like Kevin Falcon can be floated, none of them really strike me as having the kind of "star power" that is needed to really make this work. In fact the only BC MLA or MP in the past decade that does is Stockwell Day, and I honestly can't see him making the jump to provincial politics at all.

As such the question of who will take over remains a mystery to me.

Thursday, July 27, 2017


Since our last look at Germany, things have returned to stability.

The CDU is hovering around 40% in the polls with the SPD back at 25%. An improvement for the SPD over the previous leader, but not by much. All 4 other parties, meanwhile, hover at or around 8% or 9% in the polls. The 4 parties in question are the Greens, the Left party, the liberal FDP, and the nationalist AfD.

With these numbers, it is quite likely the CDU could win a majority with only FPD support. SPD and Green support, even with Left support added, has trouble getting to the level of the CDU alone. The AfD, meanwhile, while at one time polling over 15%, is now even with the other parties, and does not, at this time, appear strong enough to spoil a CDU-FPD victory. This is a change from the previous update on this blog where the math did not work so well for Merkel.

At this time, as such, it looks like a CDU-FPD majority is, indeed, possible, but would possibly be a narrow one depending on how well AfD does in the election itself. All the CDU-FPD alliance needs is one or two more points in the polls to secure a victory, and current trend lines suggest that remains a possibility.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017


The recent vote to merge the PC and Wildrose parties into the UCP confirms what we already expected was going to happen. What is new is the move to the Alberta Party of many disgruntled PC members.

I've taken some of the math from the federal CA-PC merger, and applied to to this one; as well, I've looked at recent polls. I've come up with a figure that I feel best represents the current standings of both parties. I've also been able to re-balance the sub-regional standings of the parties.

Regardless, this is a topic I've spoken about before.

Kenney and the UCP should not count on an automatic victory. Federally,  the merger did not result in a simple addition of one plus one. You will always run in to people who vote for certain parties for various reasons. Many people vote for parties they disagree with because they may like the leader, or, more commonly, may want to hurt another party in particular. There will be both PC and Wildrose voters who will vote NDP just to hurt the UCP because they disagree with the merger as a concept. Not many, but enough to boost the NDP by a few points. Additionally, the two right-wing parties, with different policies, could attract more voters than a single UCP could with a single policy booklet.

As such a close two way race is likely. It is always possible, if the NDP keeps making mistakes in office, or the UCP jerks itself to the right, that one or the other party could gain a strong lead, but until then, I expect the election itself will be a contest between two strong parties, even if the polls say otherwise right up to the dropping of the writ (as it did last time)

Popular Vote

44% NDP (42)
44% UCP (42)
8% ALB (3)

44.2% UCP (13 seats)
41.6% NDP (11)
8.6% ALB (1)

58.1% NDP (23)
32.1% UCP (1)
6.0% ALB

Smaller Cities (Med Hat, R.Deer, Leth, G.Prairie, Airdrie, F.Mac)
43.1% UCP (6)
42.3% NDP (3)
11.4% ALB (1)

Rural North
49.2% UCP (10)
39.6% NDP (4)
8.9% ALB (1)

Rural South
61.5% UCP (12)
27.9% NDP (1)
6.8% ALB

Sunday, July 23, 2017

United Kingdom

Theresa May's position has been progressively weakened since the election, with suggestions that David Davis may take over as Prime Minister.

There is still some thought to calling a snap election to help sort out this mess. Any such snap election could look like this:

Labour seems to be in lead, and that lead seems to be slowly growing.

It is not unreasonable to think that Corbyn could win a majority if a snap election were called. Additionally, with a stronger leader, the Liberal Democrats could slowly grow in strength, perhaps gaining a few seats as well.

Not much else to say at this point. Corbyn is in a very strong position as it is, and the Tories will need to get their house in order if they plan to win the next election.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Prince Edward Island

Not much to say here that I've not already pointed out before. The Green Party is polling very well, and has been in second place during the term. Pever Bevan-Baker, party leader, is extremely popular.

I know quite a bit about PEI politics, and much of the Green Party vote is similar to the NDP vote in that it is a vote against the two major parties. As such I expect a degree of fluidity of the NDP vote willing to swing to the Green Party should the Greens be doing very well at the time of the next election.

PEI as well, being a smaller province, can easily see apparently major swings in various ridings based on local factors and candidates. However, presuming province-wide trends remain stable, it is possible to make a projection of sorts.

Thus, assuming the Tories fall to 3rd, and more importantly, the Greens were to take around 35% of the vote, and, were to attract the majority of NDP supporters (ideally including a few of their stronger candidates) we could expect to see a result that looks somewhat like this:

This would, of course, mark a radical shift in politics for PEI and would make headlines across the country.

In the end, however, I expect that this result is unlikely as it is far more likely the Tories will return to a stable second place and the Greens will fall back into a clear third.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Plan for the summer

As I've mentioned before, I will be making 3 posts a week. Ideally, this will be a post every 2 days, meaning some weeks will have 4 posts, but I can't guarantee that. I've decided that for the next 10 weeks I want to cover all 10 provinces, and, look at 10 countries, in particular: The UK, Belgium, Ireland, Germany, Italy, Spain, New Zealand, Japan, Lebanon, and Norway. 

I can't guarantee the order in which they will be covered, events may happen (or not happen) that cause me to bring up (or delay) a certain country (or province) but in general, I want to get places where things are happening (UK, BC, etc) out of the way first and save places where (outside of polling) things are stable and are expected to remain that way (such as Italy, or Nova Scotia) for the latter weeks.

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Next Israeli Election

In the last (2015) election, 10 parties won seats.

30 Likud (Conservative)
24 Zionist Union (Progressive)
13 Joint List (Pro-Arab)
11 Yesh Atid (Liberal)
10 Kulanu (Centrist)
8 Jewish Home (Nationalist)
7 Shas (Religious)
6 Yisrael Beiteinu (Populist)
6 UTJ (Religious)
5 Meretz (Left)

Current polls show that some shifts would occur. The following is a rough average from prior to June of this year.

28 Likud (Conservative)
25 Yesh Atid (Liberal)
13 Joint List (Pro-Arab)
11 Jewish Home (Nationalist)
10 Zionist Union (Progressive)
7 Kulanu (Centrist)
7 Yisrael Beiteinu (Populist)
7 UTJ (Religious)
6 Shas (Religious)
6 Meretz (Left)

Since then, Labour (part of the Zionist Union) has elected a new leader who is seen as more moderate. Polls since this have shown a shift.

27 Likud (Conservative)
20 Zionist Union (Progressive)
20 Yesh Atid (Liberal)
12 Joint List (Pro-Arab)
11 Jewish Home (Nationalist)
8 Kulanu (Centrist)
7 UTJ (Religious)
5 Shas (Religious)
5 Yisrael Beiteinu (Populist)
5 Meretz (Left)

An election is not expected for years however.

It is unclear what coalition could be formed from this, but some people seem to think the Joint List could get in on a government in the future. If this were to ever happen, a Zionist Union, Yesh Atid, Joint List, Kulanu, Meretz government would have a majority. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

Update - 14JUL2017

The only ongoing political stories are about Trump, which I go out of my way to ignore.

In the coming week we'll look at the Israeli political situation along with keep up to date with current events

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Summer Schedule

July and August tend to be quiet months for politics, so posts might be a bit spotty.

As such I'm scaling back the schedule slightly, but will always try to make at least 3 posts a week.

I will try to use this time to examine certain nations in more detail without only doing so as they near an election. Places like Germany, Italy, Israel, Japan, and so on.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Results of a Fictional Election

I've been involved in a political simulation (a game) on reddit called CMHoC.

The Canadian Model House of Commons recently held elections for all 54 seats of Parliament. You can watch the livestream of the results here

CMHoC is part of the "model world" where a reality of an earth is shared with other model sims, such as in the US or UK. An election in CMHoC was called at the end of June and election day was July 3rd.

In the last election in February, the New Democratic Party took top spot with 11 seats, followed by the Liberals at 8, the Libertarians at 8, the Conservatives at 7, the Socialists at 5, and the various others at 2.

Since then the Libertarian party all but folded, and the Socialists faced serious stability problems. The governing coalition heading into the election of the NDP, Liberals, and Socialists, faced a challenge in getting re-elected.

CMHoC changed its election system from STV to Proportional Representation. It was decided that each MP would have an individual riding, but they would be elected regionally. Thus, 4 people, for example, will win seats, proportionally, in the Atlantic, but, each of the 4 MPs can choose a riding to represent within the Atlantic itself, as, this helps with realism.

The election saw 3 major parties and 6 minor parties contesting for seats.


The New Democratic Party of CMHoC is similar to the more moderate wing of the NDP in real life (IRL) or the more left wing of the Justin Trudeau Liberals. Their leader and Prime Minister is VendingMachineKing or VMK who has served as leader for 18 months, which, in game terms, is equivalent to serving for 18 years.

The Liberal Party of CMHoC is lead by Karomne, who has played the game since its opening rounds in 2015, 25 months ago. The Liberals are similar to the right-wing of the IRL Liberals and the more moderate wing of the IRL Conservatives. They entered the election leading in all the polls.

The Conservative Party of CMHoC is more libertarian than the IRL Tories, but has a wide range of members including moderates and even progressives. Their leader is Wagbo, who has been in the position for nearly a full IRL year.


Two things make the Socialists much smaller now than at the previous election. The first was a purge of older and inactive members from the party, done, if I understand, to prevent people with connections to these inactive members from staging a "coup" of sorts against the party (as many of these inactive members may well be active elsewhere in the model world) The second thing damaging the party is defections. Both the ACF and Radicals are full of former Socialists. The party is lead by Hayley. She was elected in April and has held the leadership since that time.

Lyra, the Libertarian leader, is a highly controversial figure. She decided to donate all of her party's seats to the Conservatives in the middle of the last term. She is the only Libertarian candidate in this election, but is a highly public figure in CMHoC and may thus be able to count on grassroot support from voters. The party has sometimes been accused of being AnCap (Anarcho-Capitalist)

The Christian Heritage Party is mostly populated by members active elsewhere in the model world. They contested the last election but failed to win a seat. They are similar to the IRL CHP in policy.

Prior to the mass seat donation, the Libertarians had an internal civil war sparked by a change to the party constitution that some members felt violated the amending process. As a result, two high profile Libertarians were removed from the party and, along with other disgruntled Libertarians, went on to form what is now known as the Liberty Party. The party is lead by Redwolf, and was formerly known as the "Reformed Libertarians" until action by the Lyra lead Libertarians forced a change to their name.

The Anti-Capitalist Front is a left-wing party with many former Socialist members. Lead by Kinth, the party has been accused by some of being a "one man band"

The Radical Party is lead by Partisa, a popular figure and a known left-wing rabble rouser. The party was able to score many high-profile defections from a number of different political parties including the Socialists, NDP, and Liberty.

Polls indicated an interesting race shaping up.

Things began to change with the campaign. Prior to the start of the campaign, voters had only been looking at things like bills passed or which MPs actually bothered to turn up and vote; but once things started rolling, voters also began to take into account debate performance, and performances at Question Period, and so forth. As well, the campaign itself had an impact on the race, especially in areas like Toronto.

In the end, the results were as follows:

The Liberals managed a plurality of seats. The Tories were damaged in Toronto by their decision to run weaker candidates, bringing down their vote in the area, as well as the design of the system itself, allowing only 4 seats from the area. Elections Canada CMHoC will be looking at this when making refinements to the system before the next election.

The Liberals were helped by an endorsement by Liberty in areas where Liberty had no candidates.

In what followed, we saw a surprise, with the Liberals forming an official coalition with Liberty, and working out a confidence and supply arrangement with the Conservatives. Parliament itself will look like this:

All in all a great election and process, and its still not over. Many Liberals are unhappy with the C&S with the Tories as it binds them to some quite right-libertarian policies, and at least one plans to vote against the Throne Speech itself. I meanwhile get to watch the fun from my seat in the Senate.

This is what's been sucking my time in the past few days, but with a Throne Speech expected soon (hopefully) that should release the pent up activity levels and allow things to return to normal.

I highly recommend CMHoC for anyone looking for a low-roleplay canadian political simulation

Friday, July 7, 2017


I've been having a bit of a rough week in my personal life; just a lot of bad luck things happening in a short period. Regardless, politics has been a bit quiet, at least, in terms of the kind of elections I cover.

Regardless, on the 18th the BC NDP-Green coalition is to be sworn in.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

An updated basic income proposal

For some context, you might want to re-check my old post on the topic.

The new idea is as follows.

First, every family / household would get a payment from the Federal Government. This should be set at $700 but the Federal Government can change that to a number they feel works better.

Second, every adult would get a payment from the Provincial government. This should be $700 but the Provincial Government can change that to a number they feel works better; this is likely to be done as each province has different costs of living.

Half of the Federal amount would be a "unit" and half of the provincial amount would be a "unit". In these examples, both are $350, but, again, these are just example amounts.

Each child, up to 3, would get one extra provincial unit.

The first child would get 2 extra federal units. The second and third children would each earn 1 extra federal unit.

Remember; the $700 is just an example unit. The actual number can be changed.

Using this as an example:


(NOTE: all these examples presume people who are not getting ANY other income)

An individual single person would get $1400. This is $700 from the Federal government, $700 from the Provincial government.

A couple would get $2100. $1400 from the Province and $700 from the Federal government.

A couple with one child would get $3150, $1750 from the Province and $1400 from the Federal government.

A couple with two children would get $3850, $2100 from the Province and $1750 from the Federal government.

A couple with three children would get $4550, $2450 from the Province and $2100 from the Federal government.

A couple with four or more children would get $4900, $2450 from the Province and $2450 from the Federal government.

FTR, and for comparison; a couple with four children on ODSP, would get $2000 from the Federal Government, and $2377 from the Province, for a total of $4377, so this is an increase but not a massive one.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Apologies for the earlier post

This one, which I will leave up.

This is a work in progress post that was mis-scheduled, and this went up before it was ready.

The final version will be posted when complete.