Thursday, September 28, 2017

Update - Catalonia, Kurdistan, and more

The Spanish Government is moving to block the referendum in Catalonia.

Iraqi Kurdistan voted heavily for independence, as expected, but Iraq is rejecting the results, as are Turkey and Iran. More to come.

Iceland will get its own update. Election on the 28th. The old Prime Minister (the Progressive one, tossed for corruption, not the most recent one) is trying to start his own party. The current government is sitting on a potential 15 seats in the polls as are the left-greens. The Pirates are closer to 7 as are the Progressives, while the Peoples Party are on 6, the Socialists are on 5, Reform is on 3, and Bright Future is on 2.

Japan is in a state of flux. They got o the polls on the 22nd. I'll do a far more detailed post once news becomes more clear.

And lastly, fictional CMHoC, which I've mentioned before, is also holding a snap election; a great time to join and campaign for your fav party.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Shake up in Japan

As reported earlier, Japan is headed to the polls.

What's suddenly changed is not only the creation of a new Tokyo based party, but it's merger with the Democratic Party.

This has the potential to make a large change to my earlier projection, and as such, I present an updated projection:

265 LDP
35 NKP
300 GOV

115 KnT
25 IO
25 JCP
10 OTH


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

German election results maps and data

Having some writers block as of late, but I thought I would share the maps I've made showing some data. Interesting numbers between West and East germany.






Monday, September 25, 2017

Japan calls snap election

Shinzo Abe has called a snap election.


current projection:

295 LDP
35 NKP
330 GOV

70 DP
30 IO
30 JCP
15 OTH


More to come, as always.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

German Election

Sorry for the late post, the NZ election has a way of ruining a sleep schedule.

this
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV9mc9sOmDs&ab_channel=DWEnglish
seems to be a good english livestream.

My last minute projection is as such:

224 - CDU
131 - SPD
76 - AfD
60 - FPD
58 - LNK
49 - GRN

95% chance of a grand coalition (CDU/SPD) and 5% of a Jamaica coalition (CDU/FPD/GRN)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

NZ election results

Counting continues, and NZ is infamous for taking forever to count. Final results, in fact, will not be in for nearly a month! Unlike political parties in Canada, of the UK elections agency, any postal ballots only need to be sent by, not received by, the date of the election.

As such, my post that explains the results in greater detail will be a few days away.

However, the results we have are somewhat clear.

At current, expected seats are as follows:

58 - National
45 - Labour
9 - NZ First
7 - Green
1 - ACT
0 - Maori

National has clearly won the election, but the coalitions are not yet formed and Labour could still find a way in to government.

Chances are, however, that Winston Peters of NZ First will choose to go with National; but will leverage the possibility of going with Labour to get the best deal possible.

Friday, September 22, 2017

New Zealand - What to expect

Exactly 24 hours from now we should be getting a good idea of what the new government will look like as the results come in. What kind of results can we expect?


The most recent polls show Labour falling behind. It is unclear if this is simply due to the margin of error, or a swing back to National. Due to the general lack of polling it is difficult to tell what kind of results are most likely.

My current projection is as follows.

53 - National
48 - Labour
9 - New Zealand First
8 - Green
2 - Maori
1 - ACT

121 seats; 1 overhang.

It is likely that National and New Zealand First would form a government in this scenario.

Keep in mind that we could still see a 10 seat variance on either of the top two parties, and it is, in fact, possible for New Zealand First, or the Greens, to take 0 seats due to failing to meet the threshold.



Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Emergency Update - Europe

There are enough small stories going on in Europe I decided for an emergency update.

First off, more of a public service announcement, the UK terror level has been raised. Trump has tweeted about related events, and May has attacked him for it (as usual) but this does have the potential to change views politically.

A politician in Sweden was raped for being a leftist. The details of his attack are outlined in the article. It's very very rare to hear about something like this, and hopefully it remains that way.

The government in Iceland has collapsed. It fell apart due to accusations of pedophilia and links to the Prime Minister through his father's support of a convict.

And the Spanish government is making threats to take over effective operation of one of its states, Catalonia, which wants Independence.

Not Europe, but in the neighbourhood, Iraqi Kurdistan will vote on Independence. It is always difficult to get news from non-english nations. Lebanon, for example, was supposed to have an election this year, but, just, didn't. Details on the election being called, and on it being cancelled, are scant at best; so confirmation of a poll (like this article) is always great.



I'll be reporting on the latter of these 5 when the vote occurs on the 25th and results come in, and almost certainly will cover the Spanish situation as well. Given previous coverage of Iceland, its safe to say I will also be covering any election in that nation.

Quick Update - Germany

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_German_federal_election,_2017

I've been keeping track of this page, and wanted to give everyone a heads up on recent movements.

AfD is on a minor uptick. While this might not seem like much, it has pushed a CDU-FDP coalition, and a SPD-GRN-LNK coalition into very unlikely territory. As such, the bump by the AfD makes a continuation of the CDU-SPD coalition much more likely.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Norway - Coalition Negotiations

The final results in the Norwegian election have become clear.

49 - AP - Labour
45 - H - Conservative
27 - FrP - Progressive
19 - SP - Centre
11 - SV - Socialist (Left)
8 - V - Liberal
8 - KrF - Christian Democrat
1 - MDG - Green
1 - R - Red (Communist)

A few notes about how I've been referring to the parties. The Socialists I've been calling the "Left"

Left in Norwegian is Venstre. There is a party called Venstre, the Liberals. Hoyre (actually H√łyre) meanwhile means right, and Hoyre is the Conservatives. It's generally and widely accepted that Venstre is the "Liberal" party, and Hoyre is the "Conservative" party, when translated to English. However, technically, the direct translation, is Right and Left. As such I've decided to start calling the Socialist Left party, the Socialists.

Additionally, the Red party is separate and distinct from the actual NKP, or Communist Party.

Moving on

The existing government coalition, and previous government coalition, provide us with these results.

88 - Right Coalition - H + FrP + V + KrF
79 - Left Coalition - AP + SP + SV
2 - Others - MDG + R

This is a clear victory for the government, however, there is a problem.

The Progressives (FrP) are very much a party in line with Trump policies on immigration and very nationalistic. Forming the coalition 4 years ago was difficult, due to how controversial the Progressives are, and, this is happening again.

The Liberals and Christian Democrats are both looking for changes. Without them, the Conservatives and Progressives only have 72 seats, compared to a total of 97 for the other parties. There is a chance that the Liberals and Christian Democrats could sit with other parties.

A possible alternative coalition is V+KrF+SP+AP. The Centre Party, along with the Liberals and Christian Democrats, have a total of 35 seats, and could easily work with one another. The problem comes with who else they sit with. If they chose Labour, you end up with a "left" coalition. However, you have the problem that this is only 84 seats, not the 85 needed for a majority.

This is why it is likely that the current coalition will continue. In the end you may end up with a coalition of just the Conservatives and the Progressives, with "support" from the Liberals and Christian Democrats.

In the end this will likely take some time to play out, as European coalition negotiations tend to. When all is said and done, I suspect that the current coalition will continue, even if in another form.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Norway election results

85% counted, in norway. Compared to my projection the biggest change is that the Greens did not meet the threshold.

Current results show the following:

49 - Labour (L)
45 - Conservative (R)
28 - Progressive (R)
18 - Centre (L)
11 - Left (L)
8 - Christian Democrats (R)
8 - Liberals (R)
1 - Greens (L)*
1 - Communist (L)*

This is a victory for the right-wing coalition, but only just. The Liberals are just on the very edge of the threshold, and if they fail to meet it, the left parties could still manage 85 seats compared to 84 for the right. Despite this, Labour's leader has admitted that he fully expects the Liberals to pass the threshold when all is said and done. 

I'll make another post in a day or two once the dust settles. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Norway election tomorrow, how to watch it

Since my last update, the right-wing coalition government has appeared to have solidified their lead, and as such, are all but certain to be re-elected.

You may be wondering how you can watch the election live. I'll detail how I find the answer to this, as, simply giving you a fish is less efficient than teaching you how to fish.

First off, note the time zone difference. Norway is in Europe, which, generally, is an hour beyond the UK. This means a 5 hour difference with Toronto.

Elections can begin at varying times. Some places start counting as early as 6pm and others as late as 10pm, and still others, even later. 8pm seems a generally good estimate. Given that we are talking about a 5 hour difference, it means results can be expected to begin at 3pm here in Toronto, give or take the aforementioned two hour window.

As for how to watch, I find the "media of" pages on wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_of_Norway

From here I'd go to Television, and when possible, Newspaper as well.

NRK appears to be the top broadcaster and after a quick visit to their wiki page, you can easily get the link to their actual website.

Now this is when a problem hits that I've become used to but that you may not have necessarily realized. None of this is in English. I use google chrome which translates a lot of this for me automatically. Doing so leads me right to the news tab from which I can see a tag that says "election 2017"or "vlag 2017" in the original norwegian.

A quick click and we get to the meat and potatoes.

Norwegian parties use legally approved acronyms. In fact, many countries do this. While in Canada you may see CPC for the Tories, Elections Canada does not enforce that, and the Communist Party of Canada is free to use CPC if they wish. Many countries, however, have strict limits on acronym use. Wikipedia provides a guide to who is who. Additionally, the colour scheme for the parties is consistent across multiple platforms.

At this time, the H party, light blue, is on 24.2% in the polls. These are the Conservatives. FRP is on 17.0% with their dark blue, these are the progressives. AP, red, or Labour, are on 25.8%, with SP, light green, or the Centre Party, are on 9.6%

This is when a solution hits that, again, I've become used to but which not everyone may necessarily have realized; elections are numbers. To a degree it does not actually matter if you understand the words around the numbers so long as you understand what the numbers themselves mean.

In fact it becomes obvious the little graphic on the right with the poll bars is some kind of polling bank. Clicking on it confirms this. It shows you all the various coalition possibilities given the current polls.

Now there is an issue with "watching the election". It will all be in norwegian. Personally, I watch anyway, numbers are numbers and they'll show them on the screen, even if I can't understand a word they are saying. Sometimes, with larger countries, you'll get lucky and find an english feed. France 24 had an english feed for the French elections, for example, but for countries like Norway, you can forget about it. This is why, sometimes, you want newspapers.

While TV networks are great at making video, they are not always the best at making easy to follow content full of numbers. By that I mean content like this, from the UK's Guardian newspaper about the 2016 US election. Maps, numbers, graphics.


These are the general strategies I use to find live results coverage video on the date of elections in various countries. Another prime source is actually youtube. Increasingly, more and more major media outlets are realizing the benefits of streaming their election coverage to youtube, and more are doing so. For the New Zealand elections on the 23rd this is what I plan to use, as it's almost certain TVNZ will stream to youtube.

For the German election on the 24th I will look for an english stream, and if I find one I'll share it, but in the past I've had no luck. German TV however tends to have streams, and there is a website I consistently forget about until I need it that has truly excellent graphics and information about all german elections, national or state.

Regardless, I hope these skills serve you well in watching your own international elections.

Friday, September 8, 2017

NZ Labour in the drivers seat

Just a quick update, Labour is in the drivers seat in New Zealand.

54 - Labour (16 list, 38 electorate)
48 - National (17 list, 31 electorate)
10 - NZ First (10 list, 0 electorate)
7 - Green (7 list, 0 electorate)
2 - Maori (0 list, 2 electorate)
0 - ACT (0 list, 0 electorate)
0 - Mana (0 list, 0 electorate)

A newsroom poll shows Labour leading National 45% to 30%. However, Newsroom has not done many polls before; polls from One News and Bauer show leads of 43% to 39%, and 37% to 34% respectively. All 3 shows Ardern leading English by a margin of at least 3 points as best PM. 

If you are interested, you can do a vote compass for NZ 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Norway; government re-election likely

Polls are showing that the right-wing government is likely to win re-election.

As mentioned in my last post, there were tight polls, but that has changed through August.

I've been attempting to pinpoint exactly why, but this seems to be a more widespread and general feeling that a change is not needed.

Solberg, the Conservative Prime Minister, is popular. Oil prices have recently bumped up, important for this oil producing nation, and there have been increasing concerns that a Labour lead government would need support from parties that wish to reduce oil production. Additionally, the economy has performed better than expected.

Based on current polls my current projection is as follows. (L) / (R) indicate likely left or right coalitions

47 - Labour (L)
43 - Conservative (R)
28 - Progressive (R)
19 - Centre (L)
10 - Left (L)
8 - Christian Democrats (R)
7 - Greens (L)*
6 - Liberals (R)
1 - Communist (L)*

It is possible for the Greens and Liberals to fail to meet the threshold, if this only one of the parties fails to meet it, it helps the other coalition significantly. It is also possible the Communists will actually make the threshold, which would help a potential left government significantly.

This projection would see 85 (R) members elected and 84 (L) members, however, 8 of those noted with a * are parties not currently working together with the left coalition, and may thus decide to not participate in any such left coalition.

The TLDR is that the government (the right-wing coalition) is in the drivers seat, and has a good chance of winning

Friday, September 1, 2017

Germany

Germany is going to the polls on the 24th of September.

I've done three previous posts that are recommended reading in general. This post outlines how much of a challenge the 3 left parties have. This projection is from exactly one year ago. This post outlines how things have been stable for a while.

It is hard to follow what the big issues are, but from what I can gather, there are none. One reason that Merkel and the CDU is doing so well is the simple lack of focus of attention on a few issues. As such voters default to their general view of the parties. The actual platforms of the (two leading) parties are not calling for much in the way of radical change. For this reason I do not expect much of a change between now and the vote.

However, I wanted to do a more full introduction to Germany, and as such, I will go through the parties contesting the election, in particular, those polling at rates to possibly win seats.


CDU

The CDU, at least, in the context I've been using it, is actually two parties. The CDU and CSU. The parties were formed after WW2 as a break from the old Centre Party (Zentrum) which had a similar political leaning and support base.

The (coalition of) parties are generally right-wing, but mostly moderate. The CSU is far more liable to have socially conservative views. The CSU itself is organized in Bavaria. It is seen as a successor to the BVP, or the Bavarian Peoples Party, which itself broke off from Zentrum during the Weimar Republic era.

The closest Canadian analogy to the CDU is probably the old PC Party.


SPD

The SPD, or Social Democratic Party, is the oldest of the major parties. The SPD was founded prior to WW1 in 1863, and won seats in the first elected of the united German Empire in 1871.

The Party is generally social democratic in nature, and has had its leanings match that of social democratic parties elsewhere in Europe and around the world, including the UK Labour Party.

The closest Canadian analogy is the New Democratic Party, perhaps a bit more left wing even.


FDP

The FDP, or Free Democratic Party, is the "Liberal" party. That is liberal in the European sense, or, more "libertarian" to most North Americans.

The party has spent nearly 60 years in government, as the junior coalition partner, due to its centrist position, a longer period of time than either the SPD or CDU.

It has no real match in Canada. In general, it can be thought of as a mash of the Liberal Party and the lesser known Libertarian Party. They are pro-business, but otherwise generally hold "Liberal" views on the issues.


Greens

Alliance 90/The Greens is the Green Party of Germany. They are generally a left-wing Green party. They current form government in one of the German states; Baden-Wurttemberg, across the Rhine river from Strasbourg in France, and bordering Switzerland. To specify, they lead a coalition with the SPD, and their 2011 victory was the first since WW2 to lead a state coalition that is not SPD or CDU (excepting a few interim FDP regimes lasting only a few days)

The party has an interesting incident. Starting in 1965, only the three parties listed above won seats. In 1983 the Greens won seats for the first time, and have always had seats since. However, in 1990, upon the merger of Germany (east and west) the same Greens that had been holding seats, lost. That is, there was a dual threshold to win seats, 5% in either West or East germany. The West German Greens did not meet the 5% and lost all of their seats; however the East German Greens, Alliance 90, managed to win 8 seats. This caused the cementing of the existing alliance (the Greens agreed to fully support Alliance 90)

The party is similar to that in Canada, except more of a traditional left-wing Greens and not the eco-Greens that are more common in Canada.


Die Linke

Die Linke, or, The Left in german, is the successor to the old Communist party in East Germany. Like most successor parties, Die Linke is fully democratic. They are strongest in the former East Germany, but have managed to win seats in a few other assemblies as well.

The party is on the hard left, and from time to time has rejected a coalition with the SPD or Greens. However, there are times that such coalitions have been formed. Die Linke currently leading the government in Thuringia, won in 2014, and is and has been the junior government partner in various former East German states.

The party has no match in Canada outside except possibly the Communist Party.


AfD

AfD, or the Alternative for Germany, is the hot new gig in town. The party failed to pass the threshold in 2013, but polls have them comfortably winning seats.

They've managed to win a few seats in various state assemblies. They are Nationalist in nature, and right-wing. They are Germany's answer to UKIP, Marie Le Pen, and Donald Trump. Given the former NAZI history of Germany, there are great concerns about this party within certain segments of the German voter base.

The closest match to the party in Canada is Kellie Leitch.



Polls suggest the SPD have returned to their low position prior to the selection of Schulz as the candidate.

Current poll average suggests the CDU and FDP could take 289 seats, short of the 300 they'd need for a majority. However, SPD, even with the Greens and Die Linke, only reach 251 seats. AfD is set to take 58, tied with Die Linke for 3rd.

As such, a continuation of the current CDU-FDP coalition, which would take 383 seats, seems most likely.