Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Looking ahead to 2022

 The year is ending and it is time to look forward to upcoming elections in 2022!

Jan 16 : Serbia Referendum
Jan 30 : Portugal General
Mar 09 : South Korea President
Mar 27 : Lebanon Parliament (if)
April? : Hungary General (date?)
Apr 03 : Serbia General
Apr 10 : France President
May 05 : Northern Ireland
May 08 : Schleswig-Holstein
May 09 : Philippine General
May 15 : North Rhine-Westphalia
May 21 : Australia General (date?)
Jun 02 : Ontario
Jun 12 : France Parliament
Jul 25 : Japan Upper House
Sep 11 : Sweden General
Oct 02 : Brazil General
Oct 03 : Quebec
Oct 09 : Lower Saxony
Nov 08 : US Midterms
Nov 26 : Victoria

Hopefully that's clear enough. I have doubts Lebanon will manage an election on the date listed. Also Hungary's election date is unclear. Also unclear is the election in Australia; however, I've made my best educated guess as to when such elections might occur. 

In general, things will remain somewhat quiet until March, and then get crazy busy in May. While the fall/autumn might seem to not be very busy, keep in mind that snap elections can happen at any time, and we may see a few of those during this period. 

Also note that just because an election is listed here does not mean I will cover it in detail, nor does an election being missing from the list mean that I will not cover it.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Bulgarian government to be sworn in

 Bulgaria is going to finally have a new government. The incoming coalition has been worked out, and the new government is expected to be sworn in tomorrow. The new government will have 134 members, exactly half of which will come from PP (Continue the Change party). 26 are from the social-democratic BSP, 25 from anti-corruption ITN, and 16 from anti-corruption DB. A note that DB has more seats from urban areas (8) than ITN (4) and it thus could be viewed as being more "progressive". 

The cabinet will have 7 PP members, 3 'pro-PP independents', 4 ITN members, 3 DB members, 4 BSP members, for a 10-11 balance between the lead party and other parties; similar to the new coalition cabinet in Germany denying a majority to the lead party. 

PP will hold the post of prime minister, and a number of other key posts such as finance, and health. ITN will hold the foreign post,  DB the justice ministry, and BSP the Labour portfolio. 

Kiril Petkov is the incoming Prime Minister. He has a Canadian connection, having graduated from UBC, and holding a dual citizenship until a few months ago. 

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Germany's new government sworn in.

 We are in the winter doldrums, when politics slows down in the countries we generally cover. As such, no regular updates, as, nothing has changed, and there is nothing to update. However, one change is the new government of Germany has been sworn in. A list of cabinet members can be found here.

What In find interesting is that the cabinet has 8 SPD members, 5 Green members, and 4 FDP members. Why is this interesting? Because if you went purely based on share of seats in parliament, the SPD would have 9 members, the Greens 5, and the FDP 4. Basically, the Greens and FDP were able to convince the SPD to drop one member. The impact of this is that Cabinet has 8 SPD members and 9 non-SPD members, giving these two parties a majority around the cabinet table. I suspect when I saw the Green and FDP leader smiling at one another during the post-election debate, that this is why. Both knew they had the numbers to make this demand a reality. 

The new government will have 416 members, 210 are from outside the SPD and 206 are from the SPD. From outside the party, 118 are Greens and 92 are FDP. 

Interestingly, in the upper house, the "government" only has 7 seats. In Germany, each state has a certain number of seats in the upper house, and all those seats are under the control of the state coalition government. As such, the 3 members from Hamburg as under the control of the SPD-Green coalition. This means there are not 2 SPD and 1 Green member, but, 3 SPD-Green members. The same is true for the Rhineland-Palatine coalition, which has 4 seats, and the same makeup of the federal coalition. 

I say this is the only "government" members, because all other states have a party outside the government as part of their coalitions. 4 include the left party, while 10 include the CDU/CSU. This means the state CDU parties hold the ability to vote "no" on legislation. However, this 'veto' is only a time lock. The lower house can simply pass the bill again. The 'catch' is that the re-passed bill must have 50%+1 of all lower house members, not just 50%+1 of all voting lower house members. In a coalition of this size, this effectively does not matter, meaning the upper house can only stall bills. The veto, however, is a true veto when it comes to bills that could impact the powers of the individual lander (states). Historically, however, German governments have chosen to work with the upper house to pass legislation rather than against it.

The 416 seat government will be facing off against a 320 seat opposition. A majority of which, 197 members, come from the CDU/CSU coalition. Of those, 152 are from the CDU and 45 are from the CSU. Additional opposition members include 83 AfD members, 39 Left members, and 1 member of the danish minority SSW.