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76  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Hypocritical Germans refuse to aid the countries that aided them on: February 05, 2015, 11:48:53 am
This is all well and good, but you still have to explain how austerity has helped Greece "reconstruct itself, so that it can eventually stand on its own feet". In fact, it has achieved the exact opposite! Even Greek debt is bigger now than when the crisis began!

So I'm not an economist and I can't tell for sure which policies are going to work in solving Greece's economic problems (although cracking down on corruption and tax evasion, which is what Tsipras has vowed to do, certainly can help a lot), but anyone can easily tell which policies haven't worked.

You guys are hilarious, trying to defend failed policies through strawmen of other policies nobody has argued for.

Now who is using strawmen? I'm certainly not defending Samaras or his policies, or holding him up as an example to be followed, and I don't really see anyone else doing so either. It is clear that tax evasion and corruption are two big issues that need to be handled for Greece to get back up. Obviously you have to have an income. If you collect no money it doesn't really matter how much you cut your spending, we all now that. New Democracy's failure to tackle those problems is a failure indeed, and I don't mourn their passing one bit.

I do hope that Tsipras will follow through and try his best to accomplish something on both tax evasion and corruption. But what if he doesn't? What if his government just raises the spending limit and don't actually do something to collect more revenue? Do you still think they should be handed money unconditionally? That is the central question. The Greek state will never reform, if they know that they can just carry on as always and just get saved by Northern Europe. The money they get need to be conditioned.   

You see I don't like austerity because I believe the Greeks need to be punished, or because I think it is a useful lesson for them. But what I do believe, and what I feel very strongly in my gut, is that you don't get to spend money you don't have, and then expect someone else to come and pick up the tab for you. That is why there is a need both to curve spending and to raise income by collecting tax revenue. If that is your goal, people should help you get there, but not if you intend to sail by.

The problem with the anti-austerity camp is that so far I've never seen anyone of you present any options to the current policy. Do you want to keep pouring money into Greece indefinably with-out any sort of counter requirements?

Do you mean people on this forum? There are competent and more skilled people out there proposing other alternatives. Another question is that you can agree or not with one proposal or another. Personally, I don't believe that the solution is pouring money indefinitely in exchange for nothing. Varoufakis seems to be in the same opinion, since he says that Greece doesn't need more "doses of dope" (loans) to pronlong its agony. My impression is that he is saying that Greece needs some air to breathe, as well as he's willing to undertake reforms in his country. On the other hand, it's easy to check (even for non-experts) that austerity has been extremely costly (both socially and economically), aside an utter failure.

I generally meant people on this forum yes.
As I said, I believe we should help Greece out, but only if they themselves help them out. Now I'm not saying that should happen with spending cuts only, major structural reform is needed much more. But that doesn't mean the Troika and Germany is wrong for giving the  Greece conditions for their loans, that just means their conditions are wrong, and that I'm willing to concede, but that doesn't mean that Greece should all of a sudden be given a Get Out of Debt Free Card, it just means that the conditions should be renegociated.       
   

       
77  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Hypocritical Germans refuse to aid the countries that aided them on: February 05, 2015, 09:57:19 am
You're right, it's not a Scandinavian thing. All the North European countries (even France, to some degree) have the same smug attitude and feel entitled to educate those lazy southerners about how to best manage their economy.

Well that is because those countries are actually able to manage their economies...

The problem with the anti-austerity camp is that so far I've never seen anyone of you present any options to the current policy. Do you want to keep pouring money into Greece indefinably with-out any sort of counter requirements?

That is like giving money to someone who has gambled away all their money in Vegas, that will just gamble away the money once you give it to them. It's not social justice, it's idiocy.

It's not that we shouldn't help those who are in a weaker position economically than we are, indeed I believe strongly that we must help them. But the help should be in order to reconstruct them, so that they eventually can stand on their own feet, and in order for that to happen they must do what they themselves are able to do to achieve that goal. It's all really simple, and can be applied to individual citizens, as well as countries.
78  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Big Bad Swedish Politics & News Thread on: January 29, 2015, 08:03:13 am
Christian Democrat leader Göran Hägglund announced today that he would step down as party leader at an extra congress to be held in the spring. Somewhat expected, although his departure has pretty much been speculated on at various times through the past five years or so. It did however take some attention away from the Liberals' Jan Björklund who has really been exposed to the majority of the resignation speculations in the past two weeks or so. 

Göran Häglund is one of Sweden's most likable politicians in one of its least likable parties, which is of course why he has survived all these years despite the awful awful polling numbers through-out his tenure. I have to say I really didn't expect him to go this soon, maybe in 2016 or 2017, but definable not now.

Jan Björklund on the other hand became a huge liability for his party a long time ago and he becomes worse for every passing day. I would expect him to survive until the summer though, as FP is scheduled to have a party conference this autumn, and there is no reason to have an early conference just to sack Björklund a few months in advance.   
79  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 26, 2015, 08:37:04 am
Hard to see these guys just bow their heads and adapt to a Syriza-Anel alliance. They got 30% at the founding congress in Syriza.

We should not forget the possibility that it'll be ANEL, and not the SYRIZA left-wing that gets the short stick in this agreement. I think it's much more possible that Syriza runs over ANEL with left-wing policies, that will cause ANEL to rebel, than it is that they take a huge leap to the centre thereby annihilating their own caucus.

I have so far never heard of a coalition government where the dominant party didn't get to decide 90-95% of the policies leaving just crumbs to their partners, so I don't see why SYRIZA would actually give ANEL any meaningful influence on the new governments policy.   
80  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 26, 2015, 07:04:36 am
Tsipras will break the tradition by not being sworn in by the head of Greece’s orthodox church, Archbishop Ieronymos.

Pissing off ANEL before he even gets started? Tongue
81  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 26, 2015, 06:22:27 am
Well, the problem I pointed out still exists. We do not know exactly how many of the new MPs that are Left Platform, but it is about 25% of the party and they will be alienated from the start. This is going to be a trainwreck.

Also, you obviously love to say "I told you so" Wink Don't be a hypocrite.

I always assumed Syriza would be pragmatic when it came to coalition partner if they really needed a lot of seats (although I thought they would try Potami first), but not in a 148-149 scenario. This seems like an unnecessary gamble with possibly 30-40 left wingers among the MPs.

I also think Potami would have been a better choice as they are more close on matters not relating to the troika, but who still isn't tainted by the unpopularity of the current government. Syriza and Anel will obviously run into trouble agreeing on policy quite fast.

Still, I would expect Tsipras to have enough political savvy to know if this would cause mass defections from his caucus, so I don't think, initially at least, that that part will turn out to be a problem. Let's not forget that he is one of few leaders who managed to keep all his MPs through the last parliament.

(And yes, I do love it. Wink)    
82  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 26, 2015, 05:56:05 am
Tsipras has promised not to enter coalition with others than KKE. If he breaks that promise he risks defections from his left wing (which will be bigger than any potential coalition partner), so it wont be worth it.

If KKE says no, and the only way to obtain a majority is through To Potami or ANEL, he will break the promise.

Bam! Hate to say I told you so... (/Yes I am an insufferable person)
He didn't even wait for KKE to say no. ^^
83  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Do you think democracy can actually work in China? on: January 26, 2015, 05:27:28 am
The idea that China would not work as a democracy simply because they have no "democratic tradition" is one of the most ridiculous things I've read on this forum... guess what neither did most of Western Europe 100 years ago.
84  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: has tinder ruined our society once and for all? on: January 25, 2015, 07:40:04 pm
like I've known what tinder is IN THE ABSTRACT of course, but I've been in a monogamous relationship since before it was invented, but tonight I went out with two dudes and they were on their phones swiping left and right and making awkward texting flirtations all goddamn night, and I've only just really realize the GRAVITY of the situation I suppose, jesus christ what have we done, we finally really did it



Oh you're only scratching the surface to the gates of hell, you should get antiquated with Grindr...


I'm not a big fan of Tinder but I also don't mind it that much. Never used it myself though. Did give my friend a job!

A blow job?
85  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 03:36:08 pm
Tsipras has promised not to enter coalition with others than KKE. If he breaks that promise he risks defections from his left wing (which will be bigger than any potential coalition partner), so it wont be worth it.

If KKE says no, and the only way to obtain a majority is through To Potami or ANEL, he will break the promise. I'm sure a SYRIZA minority government would be fine for a few months, but what happens once they have to push their first controversial vote through parliament, or if a few MPs desert? If Tsipras wants to survive as PM, and actually accomplish something of value, he needs a coalition partner, and KKE isn't it. It is just a simple reality, and an election promise can't change that.  
86  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 03:07:58 pm
I generally believe that KKE are more genuine in their very old stance to never work with the bourgeois traitors in SYRIZA, than SYRIZA is genuine in their very recent stance to not work with To Potami. The idea that KKE would abstain to help SYRIZA survive requires that you think KKE actually wants to take responsibility in making the country operate... which is not how KKE works.

SYRIZA has an interest in getting a stable majority however, so that they are not throttled at their first unpopular decision, and a coalition is the only way to accomplish that if they don't crawl above 150 when everything is said and counted. 
87  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek parliamentary election predictions thread on: January 25, 2015, 06:11:30 am
34,70% SYRIZA
30,20% ND
  8,50% XA
  6,20% To Potami
  5,60% PASOK
  4,80% KKE
  3,30% ANEL
88  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Italy 2014-2015: Brace Yourselves, the Presidential Election is Coming on: January 23, 2015, 09:20:34 am
Although I agree with Politicus that the fair representation principle is more important in the abstract, such principle can only fully prevail in "civilized" countries like the Scandinavians, where a hung parliament doesn't result in utter chaos.

You haven't been paying attention to Sweden much this past autumn I hear. Tongue


When it comes to electoral law it does seem that Italy has a preference for making things as complicated as possibly imaginable. Which of course is fun for us election geeks, but must be really confusing for the average voter. And it does inevitably seem that no matter which system you have the voters seem to hand you unstable situations anyway.

I do really think Politicus raises an important point. The political system forms the political conduct, not only for the voters but also for the politicians. The reason that things are (supposedly) more civilized in Scandinavia is because our system forces there to be broad coalitions, while politicians in Britain are incapable of compromise with the other party because they're used to either always having all the power.

I don't think this system will last. What happens for example if the Lega becomes second largest party at the next election? Southern right-wingers voting for the Lega in the run off? I do really think you guys would have been much better off by just keeping the old system and just neuter the Senate's power, alternatively reforming the senatorial electoral law.   
89  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Denmark Parliamentary Election 2015 on: January 22, 2015, 06:21:50 pm
Yes, but a DPP in government long enough could give way for something to emerge on its right, pretty much like AfD is doing for CDU/CSU right now.

Clearly and it could IMO also develop while they are in opposition, but would be very marginal. I see a 2-4% fringe party (dependent on how radical it became).

DPP is unlikely to enter government because 1) they don't want to lose their free rider status (and have seen what government did to SPP) 2) they could never agree with the Liberas on a common EU policy. Basically DPP will only get into government if they are significantly stronger than the three other blue bloc parties combined and can dictate EU (and immigration) policy to the others and this is completely unrealistic at the moment. You need a whole new balance of power with something like DPP 30%, Liberals 18%, Conservatives 3%, Liberal Alliance 4%.

How big can DPP grow before it's just silly to stay as simple government support though? I'm sure they like governing from the Folketing benches (we all know government is hazardous for your health) where they can pretend to be the opposition while de facto being in power. But at some point if the DPP continues growing that will become ridiculous. Can there really be a minority government that is smaller in support than the parties in parliament that it relies on? 
90  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Italy 2014-2015: Brace Yourselves, the Presidential Election is Coming on: January 14, 2015, 07:25:38 am
What are the potential candidates for new president?
91  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 14, 2015, 05:58:16 am
Tsirapas now rules out cooperating with both Pasok, Potami and MDS and says he prefer to rely on support from KKE if Syriza doesn't get a majority.

LOL, has he checked that with KKE?
92  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Elections Without Thresholds on: January 13, 2015, 10:09:41 am
Sweden 2014:

Social Democrats - 109 (-4)
Moderates - 82 (-2)
Sweden Democrats - 45 (-4)
Greens - 24 (-1)
Centre Party - 22 (+/-)
Left Party - 20 (-1)
People's Party - 19 (+/-)
Christian Democrats -  16 (+/-)
Feminist Initiative - 11 (+11)
Pirate Party - 1 (+1)

Sweden 2010:

Social Democrats - 107 (-5)
Moderates - 105 (-2)
Greens - 26 (+1)
People's Party - 25 (+1)
Centre Party - 23 (+/-)
Sweden Democrats - 20 (+/-)
Left Party - 20 (+1)
Christian Democrats -  20 (+1)
Pirate Party - 2 (+2)
Feminist Initiative - 1 (+1)

Sweden 2006:

Social Democrats - 123 (-7)
Moderates - 92 (-5)
Centre Party - 28 (-1)
People's Party - 26 (-2)
Christian Democrats -  23 (-1)
Left Party - 20 (-2)
Greens - 18 (-1)
Sweden Democrats - 10 (+10)
Feminist Initiative - 2 (+2)
Pirate Party - 2 (+2)
Swedish Pensioners Party - 2 (+2)
June List - 2 (+2)
Health Party - 1 (+1)

93  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where do you rank on the "privilege index"? on: January 12, 2015, 09:17:25 am
I would be a 2. (3, if you redefine American as citizen in a developed western democracy)

But really it's a junk index. Case in point, according to this measurement 1) Margret Thatcher was less privileged than the male coal miners she was battling against during the miners strike, 2)  my self being less privileged than a poor black, but straight and Christian man in Mississippi, and 3) the Queen of England being less privileged than BRTD.

Even if you belong to those that like to profess privilege to groups of people, instead of individuals (which, if you ask me, is an idiotic way to look at things, but to each his own) any index not including wealth and education are obviously a ridiculous instrument of measurement, which even the most politically correct must confess.
94  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 08, 2015, 06:17:29 am
First YouGov of the year: 34/31/14/7/8

Also, it seems that the official campaign has begun, and it will be four months long. Yet another argument for the repeal of that idiotic Fixed Terms (aka Americanization) bill.

Why is it Americanisation? Most countries have fixed terms. Why couldn't it be Germanisation, or Swedenisation? Tongue

There still are early elections in Germany and Sweden.

There still are in the UK as well, under the fixed terms bill, so that is just a further argument that it's not Americanisation. Wink
95  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Why the Sweden Democrats are rising (fast) on: January 06, 2015, 06:49:38 am
In Southern Sweden you might very well not get snow at all for years.

Lol no! We've always had snow every year for the 23 years I've lived in the far south. Sure some years it's only been a little and just for a few weeks, but the idea that we are most often salvaged from the power of snow for years down here is as faulty as the idea that there are Polar Bears roaming the streets of Sundsvall. Tongue

 
96  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 06, 2015, 06:40:30 am
First YouGov of the year: 34/31/14/7/8

Also, it seems that the official campaign has begun, and it will be four months long. Yet another argument for the repeal of that idiotic Fixed Terms (aka Americanization) bill.

Why is it Americanisation? Most countries have fixed terms. Why couldn't it be Germanisation, or Swedenisation? Tongue
97  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election 2015 on: January 02, 2015, 02:25:52 pm
Well that turned out to be anticlimactic... I had expected Papandreou to give us something with a bit of substance at least. 

"A Movement which will work in the next parliament to secure all of the necessary preconditions for a safe and final exit from the crisis."

I love a political party that tells us they will solve a problem with-out telling us how they plan solve it. Roll Eyes
The above statement could in practice mean almost anything, and since the party won't get a platform until after the elections it would seem they will fight the campaign on equally empty and meaningless rhetoric and talking points. If they actually manage to beat the 3% threshold I expect their parliamentary group to break down at the first tough vote.     

I give Papandreou an F for a jokingly bad attemt to create a new party. Someone should ask him why, since he claims to know the necessary preconditions for a safe and final exit from the greek crisis, he didn't just solved the problem when he was Prime Minister. 
98  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Greece General Discussion on: January 02, 2015, 02:18:09 pm
Well that turned out to be anticlimactic... I had expected Papandreou to give us something with a bit of substance at least. 

"A Movement which will work in the next parliament to secure all of the necessary preconditions for a safe and final exit from the crisis."

I love a political party that tells us they will solve a problem with-out telling us how they plan solve it. Roll Eyes
The above statement could in practice mean almost anything, and since the party won't get a platform until after the elections it would seem they will fight the campaign on equally empty and meaningless rhetoric and talking points. If they actually manage to beat the 3% threshold I expect their parliamentary group to break down at the first tough vote.     

I give Papandreou an F for a jokingly bad attemt to create a new party. Someone should ask him why, since he claims to know the necessary preconditions for a safe and final exit from the greek crisis, he didn't just solved the problem when he was Prime Minister. 
99  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election 2015 on: December 30, 2014, 08:09:02 pm
Would a Syriza-Potami-Papandreou (should Papandreou get over 3%) be a realistic coalition, or would Papandreou refuse to join  such a constellation.

Also around what percentage would the 50 seat bonus give Syriza a majority? 
100  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: (Sweden) THIS ELECTION has been CANCELLED. Next departure in 2018. on: December 28, 2014, 07:30:19 am
What is the majority view in Sweden with regards to immigration?

There was an opinion poll on the topic in May by SIFO which gave the following:

44% - Immigration is too high.
36% - Immigration is at a good level as is.
10% - Immigration is too low. 
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