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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 20, 2014, 03:19:03 pm
Do we know the internal breakdown of seats within electoral alliances yet?
Yes. The reformist bloc has 7 deputies from DSB, 6 from DBG, 4 from UDF and one each from the Bulgarian Agrarian People's Union and the Freedom and Dignity Party, as well as four who are not members of any of the coalition parties, including three from the so-called "Citizen quota".
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 19, 2014, 01:14:56 pm
That one area Bulgaria Without Censorship won, is that where Lider is based?
Not exactly.The municipality in question is entirely dependent on coal - it contains the largest coal mine in Bulgaria and a large coal fired power plant. And both are controlled either directly or indirectly (along with many other mines and power plants in Bulgaria) by the oligarch Hristo Kovachki , who founded Lider and allied himself with Bulgaria Without Censorship for this election. He is probably the best know example of the so-called "company vote" where oligarchs "influence" their employees into helping them gain political power.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bosnia and Herzegovina general election - October 12, 2014 on: October 19, 2014, 10:37:02 am
It is now official that all 10 cantons in the Federation will be ruled by one of the two big ethnic parties. The seven Bosniak majority cantons by SDA and the three Croat majority by HDZ.
....
I thought there were four Croat majority cantons, though one of them (Herzegovina-Neretva) has only a slim majority. That's what the latest estimates seem to show, anyway.

By the way: What does the latest Census - published last year - say to rumors, that the Bosniaks would have an overal majority now?

Those numbers are not out yet.

"final results of the Census shall be published successively after completed data processing that is, in the period from 1 July 2014 to 1 July 2016."

They were expected to be released in July, but I think they (along with religion and other sensible data) were deliberately held back to after the election. They would be a confirmation of the ethnic cleansing (especially in Srpska) and with a 600.000 population drop the ethnic balance might also have changed.

Also, the census may not be that accurate. There was a campaign for people to register as "other" to break the ethnic quota system. In 1991 5% registered as Yugoslav, and it is also intereresting how those people and their descendants would identify now - possibly also as "other".
If the above mentioned estimates are correct, not many have done so, except in Velika Kladuša where they are probably still bitter at being treated like traitors.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 19, 2014, 09:59:02 am
Is that "GERB/BSP" tie in your city-map a tie in votes or a rough tie in percentages ?

Because the fact that GERB an BSP are tied in so many cities would be kinda fishy, considering Austria for example has 2400 cities and there are hardly any ties, not even to mention ties between the same parties.
It's an exact tie. But what do you mean under many ties? There is only one tie, in Pordim in the central north, marked in a light purple color.
By the way, you can't really compare Bulgarian municipalities with Austrian ones - they tend to be much bigger and include multiple settlements (though usually only one town), so one can't really call them cities either. There are only 264 of them, while there are about five thousand settlements.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 19, 2014, 07:07:32 am
Results of the election by municipality:
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bosnia and Herzegovina general election - October 12, 2014 on: October 11, 2014, 05:08:23 pm
SDP may primarily attract Bosniak voters in the Federation, but it is a party with both Croat, Serb, Jewish and Roma members and a long term goal of a united multiethnic secular Bosnia.
While these declared aims are very noble, a party that receives most of its voters from only one ethnicity is not likely to be very interested in addressing the issues that matter to other ethnicities. And having representatives from other ethnicities won't help if they're considered traitors by their co-ethnics (like the above mentioned Komšić). And depending on how "united" is interpreted, it's not something that would be popular among the Serbs or the Croats.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Czech Senate & Locals - October 10-11/17-18 2014 on: October 11, 2014, 04:24:46 pm
Why exactly does Czechia have a Senate?
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bosnian parties on: October 11, 2014, 03:34:32 pm
Parties in the Federation:

Multiethnic parties

#Social Democratic Party of Bosnia and Herzegovina - SDP HiP is the successor to the old Communist party and a multiethnic, secular Social Democratic party in favour of a united Bosnia. Has 8 seats in the House. It is countrywide and also has a few seats in the Srpska National Assembly.

Democratic Front - DF is a Socialist/Social Democratic, multiethnic and secular party started in 2012 by the Croat member of the Presidency  Željko Komšić as a breakaway from SDP in protest against that they accepted the right wingers in HDZ joining the government. Komšić is an outsider in Bosnian Croatic politics and was elected mainly on Bosniak votes, so he is seen as an illegitimate representative for the Croats by many Croats (and Serbs). No seats in the House.

#People's Party for Work and Betterment - NSRzB is a small Social Liberal, secular and multiethnic (but mainly Croat) party with 1 seat in the House.

Democratic People's Union - DNZ is a strange mix of economic Libertarianism, euro-scepticism, homophobia and local patriotism  founded in 1993 by oligarch and war criminal Fikret Abdić, who led the small Velika Kladuša enclave in NW Bosnia during the war and collaborated with the Serbs. It is Bosniak-Croatian bi-ethnic and committed to regional autonomy for Velika Kladuša. Abdić was in jail 2002-12 for war crimes and is no longer leader of the party. It has 1 seat in the House.
Of course multi-ethnic is a bit of a misnomer. The SDP, for example receives nearly all of its votes from Bosniaks. On that note, will the Croats' representative again be elected by the Bosniaks for them?

http://balkanist.net/bosnia-herzegovina-election-guide-personalities-parties-prospects/2/

Komsic's Democratic Front party could unite the ethnicities in an anti-corruption movement. Though I can't see any progress in Republika Sprska, where reform is most needed, until Dodik is out of office.
Why would reforms be more needed in Republika Srpska? Unlike the Federation, it isn't divided into cantons to further complicate governing and their citizens seem to be more satisfied than those of the Federation, considering their low participation in the demonstrations at the beginning of the year.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 11, 2014, 03:14:19 pm
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3. For other parties, differences between age groups aren't large (I supposed that Ataka voters should be older, but it turned out not true).
Why would they be older?
Older people tend to be more conservative/traditionalist, and Ataka ideology includes elements of traditionalism (I mean, for example, Orthodox Christianity). And as a Russophile, anti-European, anti-NATO party with left-wing economic policies they, as I thought, should get more votes from those who were grown up in socialist Bulgaria (it seems that for roughly the same reasons - relatively left-wing and pro-Russian stance - older Bulgarians tend to vote for BSP).

I would have guessed Attack voters were older too. Although I know they have ties with the National Bolsheviks, so maybe they have a street punk contingent.
These kind of voters tended indeed to vote for BSP, though I wouldn't be surprised if many switched to Attack this time around. But Mortimer is right about their street component - much of their support has always been young or at most middle aged nationalists and I suppose enough of them managed to somehow managed to accept that a nationalist party could indirectly support a government partly controlled by the MRF.
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Most despicable personal attack during an election on: October 11, 2014, 03:08:27 pm
I'm kind of shocked the LBJ apologists haven't tried to argue against it yet.  Probably the types that like to sleep in though... Wink
I'm not a LBJ apologist and I'm certainly prepared to argue against this. Considering Goldwater's political positions and some of his very controversial statements, alleging that he was more likely to start a nuclear war was certainly not a personal attack, nor was it especially unfair in the general context of the kind of ads that were often made in this period on this topic. Of course, the ad was unduly alarmist, but it can hardly be compared with the other ads cited here, which are  baseless personal attacks
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 10, 2014, 03:29:12 pm
What percentage of Roma are Muslim? Does that percentage more or less line up with the percentage that vote for the MRF?
There are different estimates varying between a third and a half. And yes, Muslim Gypsies are far more likely to vote for the MRF, especially those who identify as Turks or speak Turkish - mostly those living in Thrace or in the northeast. But most Gypsies living in western Bulgaria are Christians and the MRF has substantial support among them. In fact,  they provide the vast majority of votes for MRF in Western Bulgaria (except in Blagoevgrad province).
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 10, 2014, 03:19:06 pm
Results of the election by electoral district:

13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Who will win the Nobel Peace Prize 2014? on: October 10, 2014, 09:51:13 am
Another year, another peace prize. We're already reaching the end of the nobel Nobel Week and tomorrow, Friday, the final one of them, and some say most prestigious, the Nobel Peace Prize, will be announced. So who will win it? A record 278 candidates have been nominated, and up above in my poll you can find 38 of the most frequently mentioned names, by bookmakers and media outlets. You can vote for up to 7 candidates who'd you think would be most likely to receive the prize this year. Smiley
This is a dire insult to the five prices that are actually worth something Wink
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 10, 2014, 09:26:20 am
[quote author=Zuza link=topic=196107.msg4330062#msg4330062 date=1412887739
2. MRF voters are youngest. I don't know why, it doesn't seem that Turkish birth rate significantly higher than Bulgarian (number of Turks in Bulgaria decreases even faster than number of ethnic Bulgarians). Probably turnout of Turkish youth was higher than that of Bulgarian?[/quote]
Yes - the MRF has a much better voter turnout machine than anything the other parties can manage. Also, while Turks are on average only slightly younger than Bulgarians, Gypsy (Roma) are quite younger.

Quote
3. For other parties, differences between age groups aren't large (I supposed that Ataka voters should be older, but it turned out not true).
Why would they be older?

Quote
4. Reformist Bloc electorate is the most urbanized and best educated (unsurprising), MRF electorate is very rural and uneducated. This explains why percentage of those who used preference voting was highest for RB voters (55%) and lowest for MRF voters (24%).
Also a large proportion of the MRF electorate is not very fluent in Bulgarian (or not at all, like many of the immigrants to Turkey). As for the Reformist Bloc, they're composed of five parties which have little friendship between each other and since candidates from different parties run on the same list, their voters were probably trying to move up candidates from their own party, leading to higher preference voting.

Quote
5. Plurality of ethnic Roma (44%) voted for MRF.
The MRF leadership has been trying to win them over for years, with fluctuating results. My guess is that they tend to vote for the party in power. Of course, there's also all the vote buying, for which there are indications that the MRF has been the most active this election, though I'm not sure whether that would show up in the exit poll results.

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7. 3% of Romas voted for Ataka. Are they crazy?
My best guess is vote buying.

Quote
Aside from MRF, GERB is the most popular among Turks and BSP among Romas.
8. "Other" parties received much more votes from younger well-educated urban dwellers (so their electorate is very close to RB electorate) and 0% from Turks. I know too little about these parties to explain this.
One should be cautious about putting too much stock in these numbers, which are likely based on small samples and are probably not statistically significant.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 08, 2014, 06:02:31 am
All it takes is a single defection and MRF becomes the official opposition. That's rough.

Mantis, did you vote for the BSP again?
No, I couldn't vote for them again after the way they screwed up during Oresharski's government. I believe that political parties should be punished for their failures and not rewarded by voting for them again. Plus, I'm not at all convinced that the new BSP leadership is actually committed towards leading the BSP out of the quagmire where Stanishev lead it.
Since voting for a party that hasn't a chance to enter parliament is the same as not voting, I had to vote for the least evil - which by the process of elimination turned out to be the Patriotic Front.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 07, 2014, 03:40:26 pm
English Wikipedia is giving these numbers, don't know where they came from:

GERB 84
BSP 39
MRF 38
Reformist Bloc 23
Patriotic Front 19
Bulgaria Without Censorship 15
Attack 11
Alternative for Bulgarian Revival 11

GERB+Reformist Bloc+ABR = 118 if those numbers are true, 3 short of a majority.

They would need to bring on the Patriotic Front or Bulgaria Without Censorship.
These are the correct numbers. You can see here (only in Bulgarian) the distribution of seats by electoral districts.
As for the scenario where the coalition is a few seats short of a majority (including the above scenario, but also the more likely case where they ally with a bigger party, but get support from only part of Reformist Bloc) a few MRF deputies may decide "spontaneously" to support the Borisov government.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 07, 2014, 03:33:24 pm
Apparently all the votes have been counted. I don't know why it's taking so long to work out the seats.
They have been worked out, it's just that the Electoral Commission hasn't got around to publishing them yet.


Looks like the coalition will be GERB + Reformist Bloc + Alternative for Bulgarian Revival (+ Patriotic Front if that isn't enough).
A coalition with the left-wing ABV doesn't seem very likely. I would say the Patriotic Front or Bulgaria without Censorship are more likely partners.
And of course there is no need for formal coalitions. It's quite possible for GERB to attempt to form a minority government, relying on the votes of other parties (or parts of coalitions - the Reformist Bloc is not exactly stable) without actually promising them anything. As to why the other parties would agree to this, there are plenty of incentives: they'll have financial difficulties participating in another election, they may achieve worse results the next election (seems especially likely for Bulgaria without Censorship, which declined from their European election results) and they might receive backlash for failing to form another government - GERB is already preparing a media campaign to transfer blame to the others if there are new elections.
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 06, 2014, 08:46:21 am
Do you know within the Reformist Bloc, which parties favor a coalition with GERB and which are opposed?
None of them have opposed a possible coalition -  of course, with certain conditions. The problem will be finding a third coalition partner, since GERB and the block together can't form a government. It seems quite possible that the UDF and DSB won't like a coalition with the MRF, while the Patriotic Front will certainly not want a coalition with an alliance containing a nationalist Turkish party, especially one more extreme than the MRF (the Freedom and Dignity Party). And of course Borisov stated that he won't form a coalition with the MRF or with Bulgaria without censorship, the only other possibility.

Bulgarian Socialist Party is embarrassingly close to being overtaken by the Turkish party.
This is what happens when you abandon most of your core positions (most notably, support for social welfare and having better relations with Russia), ally for nearly a decade with the most hated party in Bulgaria (at least for the ethnic Bulgarian majority) and on top of that, the popular former president abandons the party because he didn't get to be leader.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 05, 2014, 03:09:27 pm
8 parties in parliament would be a record.
The situation is further complicated by the fact that two of these parties are actually coalitions with only loose association between the parties within them and liable to collapse under pressure.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 05, 2014, 11:10:26 am
First exit poll results:

Gallup
GERB 33.2
BSP 16.5
MRF 14.1
Reformist Bloc 8.7
Patriotic Front 6.3
Bulgaria without censorship 6
Alternative for Bulgarian Development 4.1
Attack 3.9

Alpha Research
GERB 33.9
BSP 16.1
MRF 14
Reformist Bloc 8.6
Patriotic Front 6.3
Bulgaria without censorship 5.6
Alternative for Bulgarian Development 4.9
Attack 4.4

It's too close to call whether ABV and Attack will enter parliament.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 05, 2014, 08:10:50 am
No results yet but wikipedia now lists all the polls if anyone is interested:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgarian_parliamentary_election,_2014

They even list them down to the Attack party and the Alternative for Bulgarian Development.
There have been other polls which showed them close or even over 4%, especially the later.

Now, in the tradition of election day only "rankings", the following popularity chart of Russian and Ukrainian music has been released:

My General by Marina Hlebnikova - 34.5%
Red Riding Hood by Nastya Kamenskih - 17%
Eastern Tales - 11.5%
We go to fight the Bolshevics by Bloc Post - 9.7%
Everyone left for the front by Vladimir Visotsky - 6.9%
In nature without censorship by Potap and Nastya Kamenskih - 5.5%
Lili Marleen - Russian version of a popular WWII German song - 4.9%
Alphabet by Olga Loginova - 4.6%
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 04, 2014, 06:28:22 pm
There I was thinking that I had to write something about this election and someone has gone and explained everything as well as I would have done (or perhaps better Wink) A few comments and answers to the questions raised here:

Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria (GERB): Populist, cartoonishly corrupt party currently acting the part of the centre-right opposition.
What's the centre part doing here? The finance minister in the last government was a former World Bank employee and he certainly did his best to do in practice what he had worked in theory in his former job.

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Bulgaria Without Censorship: This election cycle's new flash in the pan Western style free market conservative party.
More like yet another pseudo-populist party designed to get its leader (former popular journalist Nikolay Barekov) into government. In fact, judging from the results of the last European election, it probably took more votes from BSP than GERB


Alternative for Bulgarian Revival: Party led by former President Georgi Parvanov, who broke away from the Socialist Party, slightly to the left of the Socialist Party.

Quote
GERB will probably win.
The key point is whether they'll be able to form a coalition only with the Reformist Block or whether they'll need another partner (most likely Barekov's party, though MRF is also possible)

Quote
It's a Bulgarian party so ... yes. They also have been accused of electoral tourism - Turkish voters voting once at home and then again in foreign consulates; and various quasi-legal means to boost Turkish voters.
Probably even more since the other parties are occasionally punished by their voters for being too corrupt, while MRF's voting share is not dependent on it actions and so there is little incentive for it to be at least somewhat discrete about its corruption.

Some guy who was expelled from the Bulgarian Socialist Party was selected to be interim PM until the elections.

Perhaps Mantis can tell us the story of why he was expelled.
For his passionate support for the protests against the government. For example, he went as far as using his position as university lecturer to call on his students to occupy the university. Of course he's been in conflict with the party for a long time, though the last straw was Ivaylo Kalfin being selected to be BSP presidential candidate instead of him. He was especially angered by the fact that while he had been always loyal to BSP, Kalfin had abandoned the BSP at one point (and he did it again recently when he joined Parvanov's ABV). Of course this might have been just posturing to get his current position (the fact that he was supposedly angry with BSP about their flat tax and now has joined an even more right-wing party)

GERB hinted at a grand coalition and then quickly backtracked.

Still, I think they really mean it.

It's pretty much the only solution besides a perpetual caretaker government.
Grand coalitions have a very low reputation here after the grotesque triple coalition of BSP, NMSS and MRF which Borisov defeated in a near landslide in 2009 (the non-MRF part of the coalition lost more than 60% of its voting strength; the MRF gained votes).

Another party which may get into parliament is the Patriotic Front.

The Patriotic Front is a coalition of two right-wing groups. One is the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria, a far-right group which split from Attack and runs a TV station called SKAT. It was also the largest party not to get into parliament in the last elections. The other component is the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization, a somewhat more traditional conservative which takes its name from a 19th anti-Ottoman movement. They ran in an alliance with Bulgaria Without Censorship earlier this year in the EU elections but decided to switch for some reason.
The Patriotic Front is actually a much saner party that Siderov's attack and some of the people working for SKAT have only the fault of being too outspoken. As for VMRO, Barekov's two main sponsors fell out, the richer one's bank almost went bankrupt and he was eventually forced to flee the country, so Barekov no longer has the financial resources which attracted the VMRO in the first place.

I'm mostly just guessing but probably their de facto support of the Socialist-Turkish government.

Also, the loss of the National Front for the Salvation of Bulgaria and their TV station couldn't have helped either, although that actually happened before the last election.
Yes, mainly that. The loss of the TV station nearly knocked them out last parliament, but then the combination of several ethnic crises in 2011 which they used to rally their voters and a sudden reversal from open support of GERB (which is what led to the split with the National Front in the first place) to becoming their harshest critics led to them clawing back enough support to enter parliament again. But this time around (hopefully) they'll be gone for good.


23  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What type of climate do you live in? on: September 16, 2014, 01:11:53 pm
Depends on what you consider the dividing line between C and D climate types. If it is set at -3 °C as is usually done in Europe, it's Oceanic (Cfb). If the much more sensible 0 °C dividing line (which is preferred in the US) is used, it's Humid Continental (Dfb).


Has anyone every stopped to consider that there is probably a strong bias toward European climate types under the Koppen system?  
Considering that under this system (especially if the dividing line preferred in Europe is used) most of Europe is classified under the same climate type  (Cfb), not really.
24  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: FC Chess Tournament 5 on: September 14, 2014, 03:31:48 am
I wonder, Franzl, if you might have had a chance to have a strong endgame yourself on move 17.  Instead of 17. Qa5, where the threat on c7 is easy for Black to parry, maybe 17. Qb4 is better, as now if Black plays 17...Rc8 then 18. Rxc8+ Qc8 19. Bb2 and it looks to me like Black's isolated d-pawn is lost.  If Black doesn't go in for that line, then he is just passive and still has to defend the weak pawns on d4 and b7.  They both make for nice targets.
Perhaps I'm missing something, but it seems to me that 19...Qc2 refutes this line, since it threatens both bishops with a similar attack as the one that happened in the game.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish independence referendum prediction thread on: September 13, 2014, 03:49:34 pm
Independence referendums tend to either succeed by a large margin or fail. So:
No 50.5%
Yes 49.5%

Turnout 91.2%

No one resigns.
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