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June 29, 2016, 04:58:14 pm
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News: Election 2016 predictions are now open!.

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76  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Best and Worst Senators of the Past 50 Years: Massachusetts on: June 26, 2016, 12:57:35 am
I'd like to remind everyone that Kennedy committed manslaughter.

One can be a horrible person privately and still do good work in politics. I'm not saying the two should be entirely separated, but in cases like Ted Kennedy it would be dishonest not to acknowledge both.

(I was a bit uncomfortable putting his quote in my sig, but it's just too good and fitting to avoid right now)
77  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Americans: If you could vote to join an EU-style organization on: June 26, 2016, 12:53:11 am
There is no equivalent to the US for what the EU is to the UK, because the US already has the EU's demographic and economic size and scope.

The best possible comparison would be if the US was still under the Articles of Confederation, and Texas had voted to secede.
78  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Who is more insufferable? on: June 26, 2016, 12:27:09 am
I'm more disappointed with Bernie.  Grace and dignity will enable him to gain more concessions at the Democratic National Convention than being viewed as a sore loser.

Did I miss something? He just conceded.
79  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Potential UK General Election Late 2016 / Early 2017 on: June 26, 2016, 12:19:33 am
Hopefully, after Brits start feeling the consequences of Brexit, there will be a swing back to Labour.
80  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Italian Elections and Politics, 2016 ed. on: June 25, 2016, 04:20:58 pm
Also, if anyone's interested, I can do graphs comparing 2016 results in big cities with the previous elections. I might end up doing them even if nobody is interested, but any interest would provide additional motivation. Wink

Please do!

Here are the compared results for the Big Four. I calculated the candidates' results as percentages of the valid votes in order to visualize the evolution of turnout, both over time and between the two round. The system is two-round FPP (runoff results for the two candidates who advanced are shown through the bars to the right, with a darker shade). The color scheme is, roughly speaking, yellow for M5S, red for PD or PD-endorsed, blue for the mainstream right, pink for candidates to the PD's left, orange for De Magistris (left-populist maverick), turquoise for the center-right, and brown for a candidate to the right of PdL/FI.


The PD municipal councilors collectively resigned earlier this year in order to trigger an early election and get rid of the controversial Marino. The campaign was marked by the massive scandal involving pervasive mafia influence in the city government. Although Marino himself is one of the few officials who hasn't been involved in this scandal, his management of the crisis was seen as weak and ineffectual.

This is the only major city where turnout actually increased compared to the previous, which is quite surprising considering the context, but might speak to the M5S' success in winning over disaffected voters. Virginia Raggi has a comparatively strong mandate, having won the support of 30% of the electorate (more than twice as much as the PD's Giachetti) in the runoff. The most striking pattern is the massive increase in support for Raggi between the two rounds, over 13 points. This clearly means that right-wing voters (especially those of the nationalist and euroskeptic Giorgia Meloni). By contrast, Giachetti picked up very little.


2011 was a triumphal year for the Italian left, and nowhere was this more obvious than in Milan, the birthplace of Berlusconism and a longtime stronghold of the right. Giuliano Pisapia, the left-wing independent who beat official PD candidates in the coalition primary, went on to win the strongest percentage of the electorate in any of these charts (in terms of valid votes, he won 55%). Pisapia remained popular throughout his term and many begged him to run again, but he honored a campaign promise and retired after one term. The left and right's candidates this year, respectively Sala and Parisi, have been described as almost identical (both have a background as technocrats and managers).

Milan was one of the few places where the traditional bipolarization held up, with the two main candidates winning over 80% of valid votes by the first round already. As a result, neither of them picked up much ground in the runoff. Sala had a slight edge in the first round, and (despite predictions that anti-Renzi mood would benefit Parisi) held on it in the runoff. It seems a majority of M5S voters still prefer the left-wing Tweedledee to the right-wing Tweedledum. Still, his mandate is weak, with barely a quarter of the Milanese electorate expressing support for him.


Luigi De Magistris is a strange case, and to describe him properly I would need several long paragraphs. In a nutshell, though, he was an insurgent left-wing candidate endorsed by the now defunct IdV (Di Pietro's anti-corruption party) who went on to edge out the establishment candidate run by the PD and subsequently trounce the right-wing candidate in the runoff. In office, he has developed a very personalistic style, with a strong anti-establishment vibe (he notably clashed with Renzi) and an image as champion of lawfulness and popular participation. I'm not familiar enough with Naples to judge how truthful his image is, but, considering this year's results, at least a few Neapolitans appear to buy it.

The between-rounds swing in 2011 was stunning, with De Magistris more than doubling his first-round showing while the right's Lettieri somehow managed to lose some of his initial voters. It's hard to tell exactly what happened, but it seems likely that many voters hadn't really considered him in the first round, and when presented with a choice between a career politician and an outsider, chose the latter by a wide margin. Turnout in 2016 dropped sharply (in the runoff, it amounted to barely a third of the electorate), which cast a shadow on De Magistris' massive victory. The two opponents in the runoff turned out to be the same as in 2011, with the official PD candidate once again failing to make it in what was seen as a personal humiliation for Renzi. And, as in 2011, Lettieri managed to lose voters in the runoff (although this time that was probably due to the fact that he was seen as a lost cause).


Poor, poor Piero Fassino. Despite having been by most accounts a good mayor, the PD bigwig went from winning an absolute majority by the first round in 2011 to a humiliating defeat in 2016. This was the first time ever since the popular election of mayors was introduced in 1993 that the left lost Turin. Along with Naples, this is the most burning defeat for Renzi's PD. While Fassino had an apparently comfortable lead in the first round, his M5S opponent Chiara Appendino, just like Raggi in Rome, made massive gains between the two rounds. She clearly took some votes from the right, which completely imploded this year and scattered between three candidates, and possibly from the left-wing dissident as well. This ability of M5S to gather broad-based support from anyone who opposes the incumbent will certainly be something to look out for in future elections.
81  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Remain supporters, would you have been comfortable if Remain won on the backs of on: June 25, 2016, 01:33:07 pm
The only Remain victory that would have made me happy would have been an overwhelming one (>60%). A close Remain result would have been the most frustrating outcome.

Admittedly, I'd feel very differently about that if I were British.
82  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should life imprisonment without parole be abolished? on: June 25, 2016, 01:28:38 pm
Yes. Everybody, even the worst criminal, deserves a chance to redeem themselves.

Even those who commit mass murder or genocide?  Some people are bad enough that releasing them after a few decades doesn't seem right.  Maybe if people lived for eternity, you'd have a point.

Theoretically, yes. Of course, the standard for what constitutes redemption should be proportional to the gravity of the crime, which in those cases would make it almost impossible. But the possibility exists and it ought to be preserved.
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Lief Reservoir of Simple Truths and Smart One-Liners on: June 25, 2016, 11:38:12 am
Lots of stupid people have college degrees and lots of intelligent people are high school drop outs.
84  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Malcolm X (poster) on: June 25, 2016, 10:47:45 am
Massive FF, despite his tendency to play sneaky bastards in ASOIAF roleplay games. Grin
85  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: british frantically googling what e.u. is, hours after voting to leave on: June 25, 2016, 10:41:05 am
Why is everyone presuming that it's the Leavers who were googling that question? It seems more likely to me that it was the non-voters who were doing that.

I'd argue nonvoters deserve even more blame and scorn than leavers.
86  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of "Valley Girl" speech patterns? on: June 25, 2016, 05:51:30 am
So as you might guess from the sig, I finally saw Clueless! I actually liked it a lot more than I thought I would (as in, not just for the Valleyspeak). It's a fun movie that knows not to take itself too seriously but still feels somehow genuine in its own way. What I really appreciated about it is how little "meanness" there is, in comparison to every other teen movie I've seen. In almost every story, character like Cher (the popular, shallow, spoiled and fashion-obsessed High School girl) is supposed to be the villain or, if she's the hero, it's a deliberately cynical story. Instead, she turns out to be a really kind person who actually tries her best to help others. That was really refreshing.

Of course, the best thing about it is still the Valleyspeak. Tongue How come "As if!" never caught on the way other colloquialisms did? It's really awesome. Cheesy
87  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite State That Favors Your Political Opposition? on: June 25, 2016, 05:37:41 am
North Carolina.
88  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Name your future children on: June 25, 2016, 05:35:06 am
Oh God, I don't want to allow myself to even think about that.
89  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: San Francisco or Los Angeles? on: June 25, 2016, 05:33:49 am
This might be the first time ever in a poll like this where I've actually lived for an extended amount of time in both places and as such can actually make an informed judgment.

San Francisco by a lightyear.
90  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: british frantically googling what e.u. is, hours after voting to leave on: June 25, 2016, 05:28:11 am
This whole debacle is making it very hard to keep any shed of faith in democracy.
91  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Guess the previous poster's real name on: June 25, 2016, 05:25:34 am
Charles Xavier Smith?
92  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the "whites are always won over by racism" theorizing posters on: June 25, 2016, 05:24:19 am
it's an exaggeration, but certainly happens more than many people would like to believe \_(ツ)_/
93  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Which of these banned or inactive members would you like to return? on: June 25, 2016, 05:19:33 am
OC is gone? Shocked Shocked Shocked

Yep. A month ago, he just disappeared without a trace.

94  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone IV - Hungover on: June 25, 2016, 05:17:43 am
Well I'm back to Paris. Still awfully jet lagged. I've slept 3 hours in the past 35 hours.

Is this just a short vacation or a summer thing? Or permanent?

Just for the summer. I'll be back in LA mid September. I still have a minimum of 4 years (and possibly more like 5) left... unless I get deported for breaking campaign finance regulations, of course. Tongue
95  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Does this forum completely fail to understand working class whites? on: June 25, 2016, 04:44:51 am
A solid majority of working class whites (outside of the South) are loyal Democrats, and most have more liberal views in general (but particularly on economic issues) than middle and upper class whites (which are the bulk of this forum's posters, so...).

This might be true if you set the income level low enough - it really depends on what constitutes "working class" - but even among the $50k and less crowd, whites are quite surprising in some states.

And holy crap: look at those "white working class" states that are supposedly voting said way because of racism. Look at West Virginia. Of course Atlas doesn't get it:

What's your source for these maps? This looks like absolutely fascinating stuff.

BTW, I made a very similar point 4 months ago.
96  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: The Sam Spade Memorial Good Post Gallery on: June 25, 2016, 04:42:56 am
The irony is, of course, is that the edgy anti-Semites who hate "globalists" are actually useful idiots for the true megarich elite. Because they prefer the murky world of quasi Nationalism, where they can hide behind shadows and squirrel their fortunes away from the public eye. The EU, for all its flaws, is an attempt to control the forces of globalisation and put it in control of the people and avoid the rush to the bottom. It didn't always work out the way (because - you guessed it "anti-globalists" eroded the ability of its democratic structures to regulate the nationalistic attributes of the Commission) but it is an effort. But no, even that is too much for the economically illiterate protectionists of this world who prefer to hide away in their safe space nation state pretending that they somehow have axhieved a victory over anybody. Sad!
97  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Military Industrial Complex Debate on: June 25, 2016, 04:27:31 am
Worth noting that, in many ways, the US military-industrial complex works as an (extremely inefficient) substitute for the glaring lack of a comprehensive Welfare State. Which is part of why it's so hard to get rid of.
98  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should life imprisonment without parole be abolished? on: June 25, 2016, 04:23:11 am
Yes. Everybody, even the worst criminal, deserves a chance to redeem themselves.
99  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Who has a better political/governmental system, the USA or the UK? on: June 25, 2016, 04:20:42 am
The parliamentary system is better, but redistricting would most definitely have to be done by independent third parties. FPTP is unacceptable.
100  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: Should the officer who killed Tamir Rice be charged with murder? on: June 25, 2016, 04:12:58 am
Yes. Police violence is one of the most horrific social plagues, and must be combated with zero tolerance.
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