Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Austrian "election" finally "ends", general update, and notes on 2020

This bit of news caught my attention (link) Austria has a new government. As I expected, the Conservatives and the Greens have nailed down a coalition agreement, and will form the new government.

RTE is one of the news websites I regularly check, mostly for international news (IE not news from Ireland or even Britain.) The reason is that RTE's main front page tends to not have much in the way of international news stories, as such, if I see something there, there's a good bet it is actually 'notable' VS being something the media of one country has decided to focus on for some absurd reason (this, of course, being if said news story is either of note, like the one I just nabbed, or is also in other news sources like the BBC or CTV.) As such, it helps provide me with a bit of a 'sanity check' as to the news of the day from around the world.

Secondly, you'll notice in the title I've claimed the "election" has ended. I define "election" for the purposes of this blog in a unique way. An "election" begins, generally, with the dropping of the writ. However, some countries have laws of Purdah, for the "Pre-Election Period" where you could also claim an "election" begins. Lastly, some countries with different systems, notably the USA, have their own election start dates. The US, for example, traditionally sees their "election" start today, January 1st, in the year containing the presidential election.

All of this is simply in the context of me writing content for this blog. Countries can define election periods as they see fit. By that same token, and far more important, I need an "end" date of the election, as, that tends to be when coverage here stops.

Elections end when governments are formed, or, when, due to the failure of the former, a new election is called. Spain, for example, has been in an election since February 12th of 2019. Sure a second election was called during that period, and the election wasn't called until the 13th, vs the budget (VoNC) failure on the 12th, but for the purposes of this blog - which I remind you focuses on writing about elections - Spain entered an "Election" period on February 12th, and has yet to come out of said period, even if a new election was called in the interim.

Which brings me to 2020

One thing I want to do this year is to catalogue, in new blog posts, all the various things that mention from time to time, such as what an election is, or what I mean by the new left vs new right, or finishing all those half-finished projects, like my series of posts on Senate reform. To this end, I'm going to try to make such posts so that I can point to them in the future and say "this is what I mean."

Lastly, general updates, including upcoming elections.

Italy is having regional elections in Calabria on the 26th. Normally I wouldn't follow these, and I'm unlikely to post about it until the 27th, but this is a southern region and I'd very much like to see what kind of support LN and FdI can draw there, as it will help focus projections for the next national election in Italy. Polls suggest Lega Nord is leading is this Southern region, if this remains true, it would solidify a major shift in Italian politics for just who carries the banner for the right.

No other local elections before the traditional early May UK local elections catch my attention. Further elections into the summer, including one in an Australian territory, or the Fall elections in Hong Kong, will be focused on as the date draws nearer.

In terms of National-level elections, Taiwan is the first that catches my eye. It takes place on the 11th. The Pan-Greens seem to be sailing to victory; they are not environmentalist, but rather take their name from the main colour of the DPP. The DPP is the more anti-China party of the two main parties. I'll certainly cover the results, and may do a pre-election post as well.

Peru votes on the 26th, I may cover the results, and pending other factors (level of writers block vs itchy fingers) could even do a pre-election post.

Iran's election on Feb 21st will deserve a mention. Israel's election on the 2nd of March certainly is going to get a close look by me, including multiple posts. South Korea's election on the 15th of April will get a results post, and likely will see a pre-election post as well. Serbia's elections on the 26th of that might will likely see results coverage, and maybe a few pre-election posts explaining the history of Serbia, in sum, over the past few decades.

Other elections I'll likely comment on later in the year include but are not limited to Poland, Mongolia, Georgia, Ghana, New Zealand, as well as possibly Romania, Egypt, Belize, and for a laugh, maybe Belarus.

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