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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: Today at 12:28:26 pm
Van der Bellen plays chicken and pulls out of the ORF "Citizen Forum" debate, where the audience was to ask questions to the candidates.

http://www.oe24.at/oesterreich/politik/Van-der-Bellen-kneift-vor-Hofer/234128083

Van der Bellen only agreed to a moderator-led debate on the ORF 3 days before the runoff.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: Today at 12:03:49 pm
What's also important:

Both Hofer and Van der Bellen have said they will veto the TTIP treaty, if it passes in the Austrian Parliament.

Which probably means that TTIP won't take effect in Europe for the next 6 years.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: Today at 11:52:48 am
vdB is so blah..... I would not be surprised if he lost. If he does win, it be because of any of his own attributes. Were there not any better candidates the non-FPO parties couldn't put up and support?

I would also not really be surprised if Hofer wins the runoff big time. Many (rural) Austrians have strong reservations against a Green President. While they like basic Green Party policies on the environment, agriculture and TTIP opposition, they are strongly turned off by their strongly pro-immigration policies.

If Van der Bellen still somehow wins, it's probably because voters already sent a strong signal to SPVP in round one, but when push comes to shove they are more likely to weigh their options and opt for the less controversial candidate. But I consider this scenario less likely.

...

Looking back, it probably would have been better if SP and VP ran a joint candidate, which would have made the runoff against Hofer. But the question remains if this candidate would actually have beaten Hofer in the runoff, considering 80% of voters disapprove of the government work.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 12:42:33 pm
Assuming Hofer's and Lugner's voters are turning out again like in round one, Hofer has ca. 37.5% for sure.

That means he needs just 12.5% of the 41% of Griss/Hundstorfer/Khol voters to win.

Or just 3/10 of their voters.

Also, the Gallup poll shows that higher turnout would be good for Hofer too: He leads VdB among previous non-voters by a 2:1 margin ...
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 12:33:57 pm
Richard Lugner (who got slightly more than 2% in round one) endorses Hofer:

http://derstandard.at/2000036054129/Lugner-Hofer-steht-fuer-Machtwechsel

Not really a surprise.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 12:26:26 pm


In the background: "Werner, the course is right !"

Yeah, the course is definitely right ...

7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 10:14:48 am
Hofer (FP) in an interview today:

"I will get between 55-60% in the runoff."

And he said that he'll not sign any law with a tax increase, because the government could easily cut spending for administration (which is indeed true, because according to the Court of Audit the Austrian administration is extremely expensive when compared for example with the Swiss one and spending could be cut by at least 3-5 Bio. each year. Also, there's a lot of spending that is going to SP- or VP-affiliated groups, which could be cut significantly => "pork").

http://www.oe24.at/oesterreich/politik/Hofer-Ich-hole-zwischen-55-und-60-Prozent/233996736

Looks like Hofer wants to be an active checks-and-balances President ...
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 09:41:47 am
It's obviously beyond time for Faymann to just go away, but I suspect they don't want to "waste" a new leader, because a huge loss at the next elections will be inevitable. Basically, I think the SP has two roads going forward:

Dumping Faymann now -> installing some old, "caretaker" PM that still enjoys some respect but has no more political aspirations for his future (they could dig out some old Vranitzky/Klima-era ministers, or maybe the GB leader Foglar?) -> that guy loses the next election -> they get a new leader, this time to stay (Kern?), who would hypothetically be in the position to rebuild the party and reposition them in opposition

Keeping Faymann on now -> Faymann loses the election (probably more badly than someone else would) -> Faymann gets dumped, replaced by some other guy (Kern?) -> again, the last point from above is possible; but I fear not really likely...

Yeah, the signs are pointing in the direction that the SP will spend the next years in opposition (which would suit them well).

Let's assume Hofer wins the runoff and becomes President. He could then either be a relatively moderate President with high approvals after some time (except the fringe from the Left, which will always oppose him) and let SPVP in office until they implode themselves and new elections are held either in the fall or next year. Or Hofer goes confrontational against SPVP and after some talks dismisses the government. New elections are held, after which FPVP takes power ... I see FPVP as more likely than FP-SP right now, unless the SP chooses the Cranberry-mentioned union leader Foglar as their new leader. He recently said the SP needs to take a new approach regarding the FP and how to work with them. Apparently, this is because he sees every day how many former, unionized SP-voters are abandoning the party in disgust for the FP ...
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 09:25:07 am
Article:

Quote
Austrian chancellor booed at party rally after election drubbing



Austrian Chancellor Werner Faymann faced a barrage of boos and whistles at his Social Democratic Party's May Day rally on Sunday as his opponents demanded that he resign after the party was thrashed in last week's presidential election.

Faymann defended the course his coalition government has taken despite the drubbing both ruling parties suffered last Sunday, when the far right achieved a record result.

"We need laws and measures that ensure humanity and order," he said in a speech to tens of thousands of party supporters in front of Vienna's city hall, a phrase he has often used when referring to the government's hardening immigration policy.

Calls have grown within the party for Faymann to take personal responsibility for the election result and step down. Many of his critics want a party conference to be brought forward so that senior figures can be replaced.

Faymann's opponents at the rally on Sunday held up placards saying "resign" and "party conference now". They booed and blew whistles as he spoke and when his name was mentioned.

Faymann, who has been head of the party and Austria's chancellor since 2008, dismissed his critics last week, saying they did not represent the majority and that he intended to stay on. He adopted a slightly more conciliatory tone on Sunday.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-austria-chancellor-idUSKCN0XS190
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: IN-NBC/WSJ/Marist: D: Clinton 50% Sanders 46%; R: Trump 49% Cruz 34% Kasich 13% on: May 01, 2016, 09:08:13 am
Good to see that Bernie is still competetive in some states, even though voters might get the impression now that it's already over and start supporting Hillary in higher numbers ... but that seems not to be the case though.
Being competitive is not enough. Bernie must win by huge margins if he wants to be the nominee.

That's virtually impossible now because of the idiotic superdelegates who are blindly loyal to their beloved princess ...
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Age That You First Got Drunk on: May 01, 2016, 09:04:51 am
13 or something.

The regular age for Austrian youngsters to have their first Rausch ...
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Primary Election Polls / Re: IN-NBC/WSJ/Marist: D: Clinton 50% Sanders 46%; R: Trump 49% Cruz 34% Kasich 13% on: May 01, 2016, 09:00:02 am
Good to see that Bernie is still competetive in some states, even though voters might get the impression now that it's already over and start supporting Hillary in higher numbers ... but that seems not to be the case though.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: If Trump wins Indiana Tuesday, is Trump the GOP nominee? on: May 01, 2016, 08:58:39 am
It was already over on Tuesday ...
14  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: IN-NBC/WSJ-Marist: All Republicans ahead of Clinton on: May 01, 2016, 08:51:33 am
Good numbers for Bernie.

Hillary still polling like crap, as usual.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 08:49:01 am
The SP base today:



"Faymann, resign !"

"Upper cap for electoral defeats ! Faymann resign, now !"

Tongue
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 06:56:31 am
Two very different May 1 parades today:

* On the one hand, a disillusioned/internally divided SP with their traditional May 1 parade in Vienna - where Faymann got shouted at by some of the SP-voters who were there (30-40 years ago, 100.000-200.000 SP folks showed up - today not even 20.000-50.000 attended).

* On the other hand, a triumphant FP at a Linz beer tent, which was packed with 5.000 supporters. Presidential candidate Hofer and FP-leader Strache attacked both the SP and the Green presidential candidate Van der Bellen and described themselves as the "heirs of Bruno Kreisky" and urged disillusioned SP-voters to join them. Also, Hofer said: "While Van der Bellen refers to our police as a latent, violent force - I will make sure the police has the funding they need." and "While I have served in the military and will visit our soldiers guarding the border and properly fund the army again, Van der Bellen has never served in the military."
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 06:37:46 am
Here is an analysis about why Hofer actually could win the runoff, by Prof. Reinhard Heinisch (professor of Political Science with the University of Salzburg Austria, specializing in comparative populism and party politics):

A far-right president of Austria is all but inevitable

Quote
Norbert Hofer, the Freedom Party candidate in Austrias current presidential elections fits exactly with this strategy. Ostensibly amiable, mild mannered yet youthful and dynamic, he knows how to couch his controversial rhetoric in carefully chosen words.

Yet, he also understands how to send subtle signals to the partys far right base to alleviate any concerns that, like in 2000, the party would tumble to the center and end up again in disarray. When he claims that Islam has no place in Austria, that Austrians needed to come first, and that he would refuse to sign the TTIP, Hofer finds applause in many quarters.

With Hofer as the partys candidate for the federal presidency, the FP achieved in the first round vote - its biggest electoral triumph at the national level to date.

Some 35% of the voters opted for Hofer, especially men aged 16 to 29 (51%) and 30 to 59 (45%), blue collar workers (72%), and those with primary and secondary education (51%).

This success is owed principally to three factors: first and foremost, the general mood in the country is rather negative. About 76% of the people claim to be angry with, or disillusioned by politics. Confronting uncharacteristically high levels of unemployment, Austria is simultaneously facing 100,000 asylum applications along with the need to feed, house, educate and eventually integrate tens of thousands of refugees amidst an increasingly hostile population.

Moreover, there is widespread frustration about the governments political performance. For nearly a decade Austria has been governed by the same Social Democratic-Conservative coalition, which has not only seen its electoral fortunes erode in election after election, but has been trailing the FP in opinion polls for over a year now.

Necessary economic, social, political, and administrative reforms have been constantly delayed or their impact has been overshadowed by bickering between the two governing parties. Critics accuse them of being more interested in playing political games and pandering to clientele groups.

A host of protest formations sprung up but quickly lost momentum so that the Freedom Party has emerged as the most credible change agent. Because of its anti-corruption, anti-globalization, and anti-Islam rhetoric, it is best positioned to appeal to the large groups of Austrians plagued by anxieties about losing their identity, economic prosperity, and accustomed security.

The second major reason for the FP֒s success is the refugee crisis, which is symptomatic of broader problems. The government mishandled the issue form the start by first pretending it was business as usual and denying that conditions in crammed and squalid refugee camps needed attention.

https://www.opendemocracy.net/can-europe-make-it/reinhard-heinisch/far-right-president-of-austria-is-all-but-inevitable
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 06:24:14 am
Van der Bellen tries to win over rural, conservative VP-voting farmers by "promising" them quick aid from the natural disaster fonds - after the recent cold weather destroyed most of their apple, strawberry, wine crops etc.

http://www.krone.at/Oesterreich/Van_der_Bellen_fordert_rasche_Hilfe_fuer_Bauern-Frostschaeden-Story-508051

At least he was quicker than Hofer to do so, which means he might have scored a point or two for the runoff ...
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 01, 2016, 06:18:43 am
Anyone else notice her resemblance to the female Ted Cruz lookalike?

LOL.
20  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who do you think will win ... on: May 01, 2016, 06:17:23 am
The Fascist

Please specify (since you are a Republican): Hofer or VdB ?

Wink
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: April 30, 2016, 10:51:56 am
Another good poll for Hofer, for Profil magazine:

"How concerned are you about the fact that Hofer might become President of Austria ?"

44% concerned (25% very concerned, 19% somewhat concerned)
50% not concerned (34% not concerned at all, 16% not really concerned)
  6% undecided

http://www.profil.at/oesterreich/umfrage-sorgen-hofer-bundespraesident-6344252
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: April 30, 2016, 10:49:55 am
   Ok, another what if Austria question.  If current Nationalrat polls are roughly correct and the FPO wins a solid plurality of seats in the next parliamentary elections, say 35% or so, but nowhere near a majority, would they be able to form a coalition government?  Would the OVP be willing to be a junior partner with them, or would they try to form an OVP, SPO, Green coalition or something like that?

I'd say the VP would enter a coalition with the FP right now because they are simply tired and annoyed of being in the Grand Coalition.

Would the FP deliver the chancellor in this case or will they do the same as in Denmark where a smaller centre right party (in Austria's case the VP) delivers the chancellor since a (far) right wing populist as chancellor would be rather controversial?

Strache said that if the FP is the strongest party in the next election, he has a "mandate" to become the next Chancellor and that he won't back down. Which means either Strache becomes Chancellor, or there will be a coalition without the FP ...
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: April 29, 2016, 11:17:35 pm
   Ok, another what if Austria question.  If current Nationalrat polls are roughly correct and the FPO wins a solid plurality of seats in the next parliamentary elections, say 35% or so, but nowhere near a majority, would they be able to form a coalition government?  Would the OVP be willing to be a junior partner with them, or would they try to form an OVP, SPO, Green coalition or something like that?

I'd say the VP would enter a coalition with the FP right now because they are simply tired and annoyed of being in the Grand Coalition.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: April 29, 2016, 02:19:45 pm
Another German satirical show from the main broadcaster ZDF creates some controvery by showing this:



Quote
"Austrians are voting just the way they know it from their Schnitzel: Preferably flat and nicely brown."

Like Erdogan, one Austrian has already sued the ZDF because of it ... Tongue

http://derstandard.at/2000035923715/Anzeige-heute-show-zeigt-Hakenkreuz-Schnitzel-auf-Facebook
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: April 29, 2016, 01:31:22 pm
If they underpoll like in Sachsen-Anhalt, the AfD could win the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state election in early September, according to a new poll by Infratest dimap:

24% CDU
22% SPD
18% AfD
16% Left
  8% Greens
  4% FDP
  4% NPD
  4% Others

https://www.ndr.de/nachrichten/mecklenburg-vorpommern/umfrage878.pdf
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