Thursday, May 7, 2020

07MAY2020 updates and thoughts

Israel and Ireland are still waiting to form a government.

Ireland is taking the usual path, but slowly. FF, FG, and the Greens have all formed a basic agreement, and will be going into coalition together (unless something totally unexpected happens). The three parties have 37, 35, and 12 seats respectively, and took 22.2%, 20.9%, and 7.1% of the vote respectively. This is a total of 84 seats, and 50.3% of the vote. A key part of the coalition agreement includes a 7% reduction in greenhouse gases. This would still be a narrow majority, as the other members would hold a combined 75 seats (the speaker traditionally is not counted with either side). Within those 75 seats are 19 Independent members, many of whom already generally support the incoming government; thus with or without a formal agreement with these members, government will have a bit of extra elbow room on votes.

Israel is taking a non-traditional path. The coalition is ready and willing to take office, but the court is examining the deal itself. I tend to focus on places with systems similar to that in use in Canada, or the UK; and Israel clearly has a system that takes elements from elsewhere. As such, I won't pretend to fully understand all the nuance in what is going on, only that everything is expected to be settled by the end of the month, and the new government sworn in.

I am still, of course, keeping an eye on events elsewhere. One interesting thing that has caught my eye is that Lega in Italy is dropping in the polls during this crisis, and M5S is rising. Salvini is a much better 'salesman' than any of his opponents, and it seems quite likely that voters who drifted from M5S to Lega during their coalition government, are now realizing that M5S is still where they want to be, and that Lega is not what they expected. This thus puts the next election in play, as the combined M5S-PD-IV vote is hovering around 40%, while the Lega-FI-FdI vote is closer to 45%, meaning that smaller parties could determine the winner.

In Japan, the ruling LDP is down in the polls. Interestingly, unlike previous times they've dropped, the vote seems not to have gone to the main opposition party, and instead, is going to their coalition partners, Komei.

Beyond that, there are not many countries to follow. Canadian polling is useless without regional breakdowns; I do not follow US politics on the blog; the UK recently had an election and there is thus little point to covering what amount to small movements in the polls. The same is true for South Korea. I am following Germany, they just are not doing anything different from my last post. Info about Italy is above, as is Ireland, Israel, and Japan. South Korea voted recently, as did Spain. Norway, Iceland, does not vote until the fall of 2021. Sweden 2022. Denmark, Poland, Finland until 2023. Belgium until 2024. The Netherlands does go in the spring of 2021, but given the current situation, polling won't tell the whole story until the end of this year.

There are other countries that I'll peak in to from time to time, but in general, there's nothing exciting coming up. The little that is, has been delayed indefinitely.

Lastly, virus talk.

One thing to keep in mind is that one of the fastest ways to learn how to deal with the situation correctly, is by dealing with the situation incorrectly. This is how and why the longer this goes on, the more we learn what we can get away with. From what I understand, the virus spreads easiest among people who are crammed together indoors and talking. This means things like church, the theatre, going out for dinner, bars, and similar venues, are likely to remain closed for extended periods. While things like the barbers (only 2 people needed), outdoor sports (outside), the park (spaced out), and retail stores (little/no talking), are likely to re-open first.

Keep in mind, I am not a doctor by any means, and all of this is just what I've picked up from what I've read. I could easily be wrong.

Basically, the problem is being too close to people who have their mouth's open while there's no wind to blow anything away.

This includes a lot of social activities, but, means many social activities could resume.

One thing I also want to address is how "big" of a deal this is, and will be in hindsight. How "world-changing" will Covid-19 end up being when we look back decades from now.

My guess is that it will easily be on of the three top events since the end of WW2. Likely, it will top that list.

The collapse of the USSR had a major impact in many countries, but, there are others where it had little to no impact. The 9/11 attacks had a similar regional impact. The 2008 great recession is another possible candidate as well. Despite these, I think that in hindsight, Covid-19 will end up being seen as far more impactful in all sorts of various places across the world.

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