Tuesday, January 18, 2022

18JAN2022 updates

 Only one real update; the Serbian referendum, which passed.

It passed 60-40, however, the more interesting thing, is the 30% turnout. 

Serbia recently changed its laws to allow for the passage of referenda without a 50% turnout.

These are the facts; however, what is more interesting to me, is the 50% turnout threshold that many countries have.

This is where we veer off the usual fact based talk and get into more opinion based talk; but, why do such things even exist?

The answer is simple enough; to ensure that they people really want change. However; would people simply not be able to vote "no" if they did not want change?

Why are we assuming those who did not turn out are just as opposed as those who vote no?

In my opinion, such rules are silly. If you want turnout, you should simply combine two laws; first, mandatory voting, and secondly, a none-of-the-above option. This allows people to send whatever message they wish. 

Regardless, the referendum in Serbia has passed, and as such, Serbian laws will move more in line with laws in the EU surrounding judicial issues. 

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

11JAN2022 updates

 Not much to update. A state in Venezuela held elections won by the opposition. I am not a fan of the ruling party in the country, but actually counting the votes (and thus allowing the 'other guys' to win) is something I do support. Not much else to say about this at this time.


I've added new bookmarks to check regularly. I already regularly check on polls in Israel, Italy, Hungary, and France (2nd round, president). I've now added both Ireland and Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein is in an excellent position to win both. 

In Ireland, SF sits around 32%, while FG is at about 22%, and FF around 18%. No other party has more than 5% of the vote. For reference, in the last election, SF took 25%, while FF took 22% and FG took 21%. In short, this means SF can be expected to gain seats. One projection for December 2021 has SF on 63 seats, FG on 40, and FF on 35, with 24 others. 


Meanwhile in Northern Ireland, SF leads with 24%. This is down from 28% in the last assembly election. The DUP, which also took 28%, but slightly more votes, is polling far down at near 18%. The why is easy to see, the TUV is up to a whopping 11%. The party is a far more extreme version of the DUP, and on these numbers, could elect a dozen or more members. The non-sectarian Alliance Party of Northern Ireland is also up, at about 15%. Meanwhile the SDLP and UUP, and most of the smaller parties, sit roughly where they were last election. 

Elections in Ireland, in general, both in the north and south, are hard to project. If I had to make an utter mathless guess, I'd say SF could take 24 seats, and have a gap on the next party; which I suspect to still be the DUP, at 15. The TUV and APNI could each take 12, and the SDLP and UUP could also each take 12. The remaining 3 seats would be taken by smaller parties. If this came to pass, the Unionists would hold 39 seats, down from 41, while the Nationalists would hold 36, down from 39. 15 non-sectarian MLAs would set a record; and with the TUV in such a strong position (the party opposes the current way the assembly is structured, with its sectarian based co first ministry) we may be approaching a nexus point for NI; where they will need to make a decision on their long term future. 

I, for one, could see 6 party talks (SF, SDLP, APNI, DUP, UUP, TUV) take place. If they come to an agreement, which is doubtful, it could become the new way politics are done in NI. If not, it may come down to a referendum on the status of NI, one in which joining Ireland is actually a possible result. In such a result, I've put together a very rough guesstimation of a possible first election in a re-unified Ireland, based on current polls (which itself is problematic). This would see SF take 36%, boosted by a successful reunification, with FF and FG both tie at 13%. The 5 small parties would each take about 5% of the vote, with the 6th, PBP, suffering from the high SF vote, and not clearing 1%. The 5 smaller parties would be the Greens, Labour, the Alliance (which would be a vehicle for NI voters who are 'iffy' about reunification), and the two "Loyalist" parties, the Ulster Loyalists, a successor to the UUP, and the Traditional Democratic Loyalists, a successor to the TUV and much of the DUP. I could see the Ulster Loyalists sitting in the Dail, but the TDL likely would not, at least, not for the first session, and/or at least not quietly. 

All of this, of course, is just guesswork and playing around with potential future history.