Thursday, June 25, 2020

Election results and more

While the Serbian election turned out mostly as predicted, with SNS winning 191 of the 250 available seats, on 61.6% of the vote, other elections in other countries have provided some interesting results.

Malawi held elections that saw Lazarus Chakwera of the MCP defeat the incumbent president. This follows a botched 2019 election that the President had narrowly "won", that was thrown out by the constitutional court due to irregularities. While it is never good when the courts have to overturn an election because of how dirty it was, it is good to see that the opposition can still win in in these cases.

In Mongolia, the ruling Peoples Party has been re-elected to a majority of similar size that they obtained previously. The party itself is interesting, having transformed into the modern from from the previous ruling Communists. The party maintained a massive share of election seats won to 1996, when the opposition Democrats won. The Peoples Party was then returned in 2000, and ruled until 2012, before returning again in 2016. It is interesting for a former governing communist party to be so electorally popular, and yet, also willing and able to honestly stand aside for opposition victories. This is rare within the former Soviet sphere of influence.

Lastly, update on Israel, and party numbers in cabinet:
14 - Likud 
12 - Hosen 
2 - Labour 
2 - Shas 
1 - UTJ 
1 - Jewish Home 
1 - Gesher 
1 - Derekh Eretz 

As well as the latest polls:
41 - Likud (+5) 
16 - Yesh Atid (-1) 
16 - Joint List (+1) 
11 - Hosen (-3) 
9 - Shas (+-0) 
8 - Yisrael Beiteinu (+1) 
7 - UTJ (+-0) 
7 - Yamina (+2) 
5 - Meretz (+2) 
0 - Labor (-3) 
0 - Derekh Eretz (-2) 
0 - Jewish Home (-1) 
0 - Gesher (-1) 
0 - Otzma (+-0) 

64 - Likud and Allies (+6) 
40 - Non-Arab Opposition (-7) 
16 - Joint List (+1)

Friday, June 19, 2020

Serbia votes on Sunday

On Sunday, Serbia votes for a new Parliament. The governing SNS coalition, lead by president Aleksandar Vucic, is seeking to be re-elected. They obtained a narrow majority in the last election. SNS is a coalition of many different parties; some left-wing, and some right-wing; but they generally average out to being a conservative party with some liberal tendencies. 77% of the seats the coalition holds in Parliament is held by the Serbian Progressive Party (also known as SNS) which is pro-europe and national conservative. SNE's main enemy historically has been DS, a party in the Alliance for Serbia.

The Alliance for Serbia, or SZS, is boycotting the election. They are an alliance of anti-government parties that include member parties with views as diverse as Syndicalism - which some see as 'more marxist than marxism' - and anti-immigration national conservatism. 13 of their 24 seats are held by the Democratic Party, which is generally liberal in nature.

The parties that make up SZS took roughly 11% of the vote in the previous election, and, were polling at or around 11% prior to their announcement of a boycott. Polls at the time consistently had the governing SNS averaging around 50%-55%.

It should be noted that SNS governs with SPS (among others) and that SPS is polling around 10%. No other party has been able to regularly hit 5% in the polls snice 2018, though, PSG and SPAS have come close. It should be noted SPS is the former party of Milosevic.

In the end, none of that matters, as, it is clear SNS will win the election, by a wide margin. It is not for me to say if this is due to an unfair playing field, or due to actual popularity for the party. (But as someone who has seen unfair elections, it is likely a combination of both; SNS would win the election even with a fair playing field, with a significant plurality, and enough coalition partners to continue; but probably not with a majority of their own.) Regardless, the outcome is known in advance, and unless there's some totally unexpected result, I will not be commenting on the results themselves.

Monday, June 15, 2020

Ireland to have new Coalition government

A draft agreement has been signed between FF, FG, and the Greens. This will bring to a close the process started by the results of the February 8th election. The coalition will have 84 seats, giving it a majority. As a result the incoming Dail will be as follows:

84 - Government
37 - Fianna Fail
35 - Fine Gael
12 - Greens

75 - Opposition
37 - Sinn Fein
6 - Labour
6 - Social Democrats
5 - Solidarity-PBP
1 - Aontu
20 - Independents

1 - Speaker

The draft agreement spells out some of how the government will operate. While the agreement itself does not mention it, it appears as though FF leader Micheal Martin will take over as Taoiseach (PM) very shortly, and in 2022, the FG leader (currently Leo Varadkar) will then take over and serve out the remainder of the term.

Nothing in the draft agreement jumps out at me as being particularly notable; but it is a long agreement and I may have missed parts of it. What I have noticed is that things such as public transit and social support payments for welfare and disability are being protected from cuts.

Additionally, the draft agreement itself is still being finalized, with the final agreement to be released shortly.

Regardless, this will bring in a new stable government for Ireland.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Black Lives Matter

I've not had much to say this week. I had planned a post on police reform to follow on from my previous post. The reality is that I'm not the one who should be listened to right now. Bluntly, it is African Americans and other oppressed minorities who deserve the stage.

As such, today, I offer that stage to Dave Chappelle

Friday, June 5, 2020

Policing London - series on police history

With the murder of George Floyd by a Police officer in Minneapolis, there has been a lot of focus on the idea of "Police" recently.

As such, I wanted to share this video series, about an hour long (50 minutes plus a 25 minute endcap) made by the guys at Extra Credits for their Extra History series.

The playlist is here:

and, if I've gotten all the embedding right, you can watch it here:

(if not, click the playlist link to watch the videos)

Monday, June 1, 2020

reminder of an old post

Just a quick reminder of this post I made in 2016:

here's a quote to catch your attention:

When police were caught on TV assaulting a protester by hitting her on the head with a baton, Joh gave them a pat on the back. The protesters, enemies of 'order', were the bad guy.