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1  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: Single Most shocking county result? on: November 30, 2016, 02:30:33 pm
Michigan-
Sorry to be such a local yokel, but Washtenaw County voting more D than Wayne County. Macomb going 10 points more R than Oakland, the biggest gap between the two counties since 1968. Lapeer going more Republican than Livingston. Also, Ottawa County (most Republican county in MI for many years) not even in the top 5 for Trump.
It's not even in the top thirty.
2  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: It's the year 2050. Which states will have had the longest R/D streak? on: November 26, 2016, 05:52:49 pm
For the Democrats New York, Massachusetts, Hawaii and Washington (last voted Republican in 1988).

For the Republicans Idaho, Wyoming, the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas and Oklahoma (last voted Democrat in 1964).
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: current anti-bellweathers after 2016 on: November 26, 2016, 05:45:08 pm
Orange County is a McCain-Romney-Clinton county and I'm sure there are a couple others. Are there any Kerry-McCain-Romney-Clinton counties out there, or even more luckless ones than that?
This is particularly notable since Orange County is quite large. I doubt there are any Kerry-McCain-Romney-Clinton counties of any appreciable size, since the demographics of the 2004-08 D trend are almost diametrically opposed to those of the 2012-16 anti-D trend.
There are none. The areas which swung Republican in 2008 swung even more Republican in 2016.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 13, 2016, 06:00:45 pm
As to the more pressing issue on the government crisis - Borisov is submitting his resignation tomorrow. Parliament can vote on it as soon as Wednesday - after Borisov's statement, there is no chance it gets rejected. After that the current president needs to offer the mandate to GERB, BSP and a party of his choice. My reading of the constitution is that the president can postpone starting this procedure, but once it starts, it has to finish in 3 weeks at the most. And for many reasons it's unlikely for Plevneliev to stall for 3 months so that Radev gets to appoint a caretaker government of his own. Probably the likeliest scenario is for Plevneliev and Radev to settle on a mutually acceptable caretaker prime minister and key ministers, but, of course, Radev is free to dismiss the Plevneliev cabinet and appoint a caretaker government of his own after he is inaugurated.
There is apparently further complication - if this reading of the constitution is to be believed - the president can't actually set a new date for the elections without dissolving parliament and since Plevneliev currently is unable to dissolve parliament the very date of the election will not be known until Radev comes into office and dissolves parliament.

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Borisov's gamble - presumably to change the conversation from the comprehensive defeat of GERB - is that he will propose calling elections for a Grand National Assembly, amending/replacing the 1990 Constitution. To do that, the current Parliament must formulate a constitutional proposal and approve it by a 2/3 majority (ie 160 out of 240 deputies). IMO it's unlikely that such a majority can be found, but it's far from impossible. The single members districts, however, can pass on the strength of the GERB/DPS/ABV unholy alliance that has already formed a few times in this parliament.
Why would ABV agree to such an obviously suicidal move? Of course there are plenty of independent deputies which can be bribed, so GERB probably doesn't need them.

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BSP would look really ridiculous voting for a GERB government
As if looking ridiculous ever stopped the BSP Tongue I'm currently listening to them berating Borisov for resigning. I can't think of any other example of a main opposition party demanding that the sitting government stay in power.
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There is nothing ridiculous in berating Borisov for resigning. First, there is the fact that Borisov irresponsibly caused the fall of the government at the worst possible time (no budget has been passed, the referendum results must be considered within three months, complicated formation of a caretaker government due to President's term running out) for perfectly petty reasons - his unwillingness to face his first defeat in an sensible manner and insistence to turn it into national drama. The second is that he somehow is attempting to blame the opposition for his resignation and subsequent early elections.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Norbert Hofer (FPÖ) to host US-Russia summit in Vienna if elected President on: November 13, 2016, 02:36:44 pm
Probably, but there are two troubling factors in play:

1. Putin makes mistakes like everyone else.
2. Putin may not be able to stop due due to internal factors.
Contrary to popular stereotypes, there is little popular support in Russia for serious wars or conquest of unwilling foreign countries. As for mistakes, reducing the current level of tension would make the effects of these mistakes less costly
 
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Also, annexation is not the only way of taking over effective control.
Yes, but the combination of EU and US influence, plus popular anti-Russian feelings in nearly all Eastern European countries, makes this very unlikely. Even Belarus is trying to balance between the EU and Russia.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Norbert Hofer (FPÖ) to host US-Russia summit in Vienna if elected President on: November 13, 2016, 01:52:35 pm
I wonder who are you going to throw under the bus? Would that be my folks? The Baltic Republics? Or maybe just the rest of Ukraine.
I find it extremely unlikely that he wants any of these. At this point, the best he could get (and probably wants) would be recognition of the annexation of Crimea and re-absorption of the two secessionist republics on his terms.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 13, 2016, 01:29:36 pm
While Radev's victory was very likely, it certainly wasn't expected to be by this margin. Of all the major first round candidates only Traikov's supporters supported Tsacheva over Radev (and a surprising percentage of them did vote for him).
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 13, 2016, 01:13:23 pm
The first exit polls of the run-off have been released and Radev has won in a landslide:

Radev: 58.1-58.5%
Tsacheva: 35.3-35.7%
Against all: 5.8-6.6%

This improves upon the previous record victory margin, Peter Stoyanov's 18% in 1996 (I'm not counting Parvanov's blowout victory in 2006, since he wasn't facing serious opposition).
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 13, 2016, 01:08:38 pm
Hm, I personally was surprised to see Izmir (Smyrna) vote for Tsacheva, Bursa close to a 50:50 split and Istanbul having a sizable GERB vote. Even Kardzhali did not produce a majority win for Oresharski, just a plurality. Mestan has already done better than any of the other DPS spin-offs, iirc. But you and I both know that what happens between DPS and DOST is not going to be determined in Bulgaria alone...
Exit polls showed that Oresharski still got over 60% of the Turkish vote and only between a half and a third of the rest went to Tsacheva. So Mestan probably did not manage to get more than about a sixth or fifth of DPS voters. Still impressive, especially considering the votes he's likely to gain from Turkey.

I must mention, though, that the electoral rules referendum pt.2 - electric boogaloo fell just 13 000 votes short of being binding. The major parties have promised to implement it (in some form) nonetheless. There is a lot of pre-second round posturing in this pledge, of course, but compulsory voting will certainly be extended to referendums (referenda?) and the party subsidies will be reduced. From what I gather, the GERB idea is to split the 240 MPs, having half elected proportionally, either through a nationwide list, or more likely in multi-member districts like now, and half - in single member districts. We'll see if they have the time and/or the will to pass it through.
This is probably the time to mention that when the President is in the last three months of his term, parliament is not dissolved when a caretaker government is appointed. So there is plenty of time for GERB to introduce single member districts voting and guarantee (looking at the analysis presented earlier) a absolute majority even with a reduced lead against BSP.

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The quick and dirty polling done since the underwhelming first round result for GERB - their lowest share of the vote since the party was founded - indicates that instead of the earlier 30%:15% advantage over the BSP, the lead is now just 6-8%. So of course the BSP have dropped their demand for early elections. For different reasons, a sizable majority of the current parliamentarians do not want to go to the polls soon, so it's possible that the Borisov resignation is rejected by Parliament, or, more likely, that some 'compromise' is worked out, in which the current government holds on at least until Radev is inaugurated. Still, I'm pretty sure there will be a parliamentary election in 2017.
I find this unlikely. DPS would probably want elections earlier before DOST manages to become even stronger, the nationalists might very well want them so they could form a coalition before their hasty unity disappears and BSP would look really ridiculous voting for a GERB government.
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: At what point in the day do you think Hillary's team knew things were rough? on: November 12, 2016, 03:27:30 am
Personally I started sh**tting my pants when I saw the early Virginia returns.  I imagine they knew at least by then or more likely before.

Don't know how many elections you've watched closely.  But eventually you'll watch enough of them to know exactly how Virginia counts....and you won't be fooled by VA early returns again.  There's no other state like it out there.  The Republican areas always report early and the Dem areas always report late.

No other state has such a strong and consistent tendency to give misleading early counting results.
In this election however the early returns in Virginia were even more Republican than usual. In Virginia itself this didn't due to the even greater swing towards the Democrats in their strongholds, but it was an early sign that Trump was doing better than expected.
11  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Results / Re: 2016 New England Town Map on: November 12, 2016, 02:42:07 am
I wonder what happened in northern Vermont?
Probably the same thing that happened in northern New Hampshire and Maine.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Juanita Broaddrick: thanks for ending her "nightmare", gets called c-word & pig on: November 12, 2016, 02:29:04 am
At least now Trump can't get put into federal prison for raping a 13 year old girl with force and brutality because he will have the luxury of prosecutorial protection for at least the next four years just like Berlusconi had while still a prime minister. Too bad for Berlusconi that he was thrown into prison as soon as he was no longer Italy's prime minister lol.

You read it here first: Trump will be the first president in US history who will go directly from the White House to a federal high security prison somewhere in Virginia. Wink

Unless he asks for forgiveness to the 13 year old girl and signs a decrete that he will trust her with his entire wealth once he dies. Then maybe she will forgive her.
Fortunately for Trump he can always pardon himself.
13  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump's German harvest on: November 11, 2016, 11:26:08 am
You know who ELSE came to power by harnessing the frustration of German people?

Otto Von Bismarck and Kaiser Wilhelm I? They used Pan-Germanic thought to turn a middle-tier great power into one of the three greatest powers on Earth, with a superb military and a roaring economy. This is actually good comparison for a Red Avatar to make, thanks!
Russian hegemony is not a "balance of power".
What Russian hegemony?
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 11, 2016, 04:49:36 am
Mantis, did you return to the BSP fold this election?
Yes. Not so much because of the BSP who I still don't trust after all the sheenanigans they've pulled over the years, but because I feel that Radev is the best candidate running (with the possible exception of Velisar Enchev, but he has no chance of winning).
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: WSJ: President Trump should pardon Clinton on: November 10, 2016, 04:01:10 pm
You can't pardon someone simply because you think they committed a crime; there's nothing to pardon her for.
Of course the President can do this, there is no limitation to this power. See here for the most obvious example.

And for the OP, if you're going to give links to articles behind a paywall, you also need to quote the text of the article.
16  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How did Clinton come so close? on: November 10, 2016, 02:12:47 pm
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and who only got to her position based on marriage,

Lost all credibility.
It's a harsh truth, but Clinton's entire political career was based on being the First lady. She would have never been picked to run for Senator in New York, considering her lack of any connection to the state, nor have been the obvious front runner in 2008, if based only on her rather modest achievements as Senator.
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Could tomorrow be the biggest polling error since 1948? on: November 10, 2016, 02:02:19 pm
No. The national pollsters missed by 3 points. That's pretty normal.
The polling error in many key swing states was significantly greater, however.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How many Clinton counties will Clinton win? on: November 10, 2016, 01:46:17 pm
So Hillary ended up winning just one Clinton county (the one in New York) and barely at that.
19  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Georgia seems to be first sign of concern for Trump on: November 09, 2016, 03:31:20 am
And the last.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which counries would be classified as neither republics nor monarchies? on: November 06, 2016, 05:20:15 pm
North Korea is an obvious example. It pretends to be a Republic, but it has monarchical rules of succession.
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 06, 2016, 05:07:50 pm
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Side note: There is a tenuous assumption that a Bulgarian whose first and last name match (eg. John Jones) or with alliterative first and last names is coming, well, not from a ‘backward’ family, but at least from an ‘unhip’ one. Indeed, these frontrunners have not gone to the ‘elite’ high schools during Communism and are from humble backgrounds.
I think this is putting it too strongly. Last name with the same root as the first name might be considered somewhat provincial, but alterations don't have such a reputation.

It should be noted that Tsacheva does have a name problem since her first name is one that seems quite old fashioned and rustic, as well as somewhat childish.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 06, 2016, 04:10:39 pm
An excellent analysis, Beagle and quite fair from my point of view, considering the obvious differences in our political views. Though I do have some quibles...

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* I feel I need to make a distinction here. While I, among others, often joke about the corrupt electoral process in Bulgaria, actual vote rigging – as in stuffed ballot boxes, falsified reports, electoral ‘tourists’ voting multiple times etc. – is exceedingly rare. Even with vote buying, on a national scale fraud does not amount to more than 2-4% of the votes – enough to move 3-6 MPs from one party to another, but usually not enough to change the results. It’s probably only coincidence that for four parliaments in a row (from 2001 to 2013) a change of 3-6 MPs would have made a massive difference to the government composition. Anyhow, officials’ incompetence has certainly had more of an effect on electoral results than their malfeasance.
Vote fraud can however have effects in local elections, where the electorate is smaller. GERB in particular was particularly egregious in 2011 and to a lesser extent in 2015, where I suppose their coalition partner restrained them to an extent.


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There are always the minorities, of course… but the newest breakaway from the DPS, led by the 2012-2015 DPS leader Mestan, threw their support behind Tsacheva, making it difficult for the DPS proper to endorse her for the second round – not that they will hesitate to do so if the deal is good, but for many reasons it’s unlikely.
Judging by the initial results, DPS has not been seriously weakened by Mestan's defection, so there is little hope there for GERB.

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Side note: DPS support in the run-off is a fickle thing – in 2001 Parvanov got 400 000 votes from the predominantly Turkish/Roma DPS strongholds, which proved decisive in his upset win, in 2011, when the DPS had endorsed Kalfin, turnout in those regions was in the mid 20s in the second round and he got only around 100 000 votes from them  – had the DPS gone all out for him, he would have won, but at that time the DPS wanted to keep the door open for future cooperation open to GERB
The claim that Parvanov won because of DPS is dubious, considering that as you pointed out Indzhova who DPS supported in the first round won only 140 thousand. In addition, DPS won only 340 thousand votes in the 2001 parliamentary elections and turnout was notably lower during the presidential election in the provinces with a large Turkish population. In my opinion, Parvanov might have lost if DPS had backed Stoyanov (though narrowly), but would have still won if they did not issue an endorsement.
As for 2011, DPS probably contributed as many as 350 thousand voters for Kalfin in 2011. I think it would be somewhat unlikely that they would have been able to supply another 260 thousand.

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Side note: The BSP, alongside almost all other parties in the leftist/nationalist spectrum, are making a huge deal of the fact that the government has passed a program for the permanent settlement of up to 2000 refugees in depopulated small towns and villages. Apparently it is all a plan of a large conspiracy to replace the approximately 1.2 mil. people who have emigrated in the past 25 years with, and I quote, ‘Mujahideen with 4 wives and 20 children’. At the current rate, with 21 people having taken advantage of the program, by the year 14 000 or so we’ll all be replaced!  
This assumes that they will remain 2000 (which is unlikely considering likely future immigration, plus chain immigration if they become legal residents). There is also the fact that there is no screening and that Germany would likely keep the best immigrants for themselves and out-load the rest to other EU countries.
And of course, there is the principle that we shouldn't be the dumping ground for people who were invited in the EU by another country.

are employing far-right rhetoric against the refugees, vote for extreme left candidates.
This seems unlikely, considering that BSP's supporters have never been the kind of people who would look kindly upon the emigration of Muslim Mid-Easterners  that are so common in European left parties. You can find more of these among the supporters of the RB.

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Road to the nomination: After being left standing at the altar, Parvanov felt he needed not only to run an ABV candidate against Radev, but to run the best possible candidate. The choice was clear: run himself! There was just one tiny problem - the constitutional ineligibility…
This was actually disputed, since the constitution states that the president may be re-elected once. Since Parvanov is not running for re-election, it could be argued that he is eligible. Of course it's the Constitutional court who decides the correct interpretation and considering who appointed the current court, it's unlikely that they would support such an interpretation.


I think 'chinless wonder' might be the right expression to describe the public image Traykov has. He was given (somewhat against his will) the unenviable task of trying to unite the various factions of the RB behind his candidacy and also to peel off pro-Western GERB supporters who may be wavering in light of the Tsacheva candidacy and some... interesting recent observations by Boyko Borisov (for instance: "The Occidental countries must stop exporting democracy and apologize for the bombs and missiles they've dropped over Libya and Syria"). Obviously Traykov can't do that, but he'll have to get 200k votes, otherwise one more of the RB parties has promised to leave the government.
This might be a factor, but Tsacheva is a particularly unpleasant candidate for highly educated voters who are disproportionately represented in RB.

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In an alt-reality, had Trifonov organized a political party and ran in 2005, which he was considering, it's possible that today we would have been in the 11th year of his rule, that Boyko Borisov would have been either Trifonov's lieutenant or his chief opposition, and Bulgaria would be as vigorous a democracy as, say, Armenia. Trifonov's populism, sham patriotism and general against-all attitude had made him into the most popular showman in Bulgaria and his popularity rating was in the 60's and 70's back then. In the succeeding years he's been steadily losing popularity - both because he had outlived his usefulness to the party-controlled journalists, who now sensed a threat and began attacking him, and because his shtick has gotten stale
I don't think that Trifonov for all his faults was as much as a Mafia man or would have gone as far in subverting democracy as Borisov. More than likely he would have gotten bored in fairly short order and probably not last a full term.

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Question 2 for being blatantly unconstitutional, as the number of deputies is explicitly set in art. 63 and changing that number is the exclusive prerogative of the Grand National Assembly.
It says a lot (and nothing good) about the framers of the constitution that they considered the number of parliamentary deputies more important than the way they would be elected, considering that there is nothing about the later in the constitution.

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See, the problem here is that voting in elections is kinda sorta compulsory already, following an amendment to the electoral code in the spring of 2016. If you're eligible, you're obliged to vote (and as per the last minute change of last week - vote in both rounds), otherwise... well, nothing will happen. But if you miss another election of the same type - in this case the 2021 Presidential election - you will be struck off the voter rolls for the 2026 Presidential elections! Unless, of course, you had a valid excuse for missing one or both of the elections (but good luck submitting the valid excuse - there are no guidelines or procedures) or simply applying in your municipality to have your voting rights restored.
It is also likely that it will be struck down by the Constitutional court, since the Constitution strictly defines who is barred from voting (prisoners and those judged mentally incompetent) and banning anyone else from voting is an obvious violation.

My first round vote for president is obviously Traykov. Even if he wasn't the only unabashedly pro EU/US candidate in the race, and even if he didn't support the judicial reform that I find vitally important, he'd still have my vote as a fellow bookish dweeb. Plus he's warning against state capture and he refers to the Donald as a 'post-truth politician', so he's reading the same books I am.
With all respect to your political positions, I find this statement somewhat strange, considering that both Tsacheva and Radev support Bulgaria's continued EU and NATO membership. And both GERB and BSP lead a staunchly pro-EU/US foreign policy when they're in power, regardless of their public rhetoric. Unless Traykov intends to move his office to the US embassy, I hardly see how he can significantly surpass them in this aspect.






23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 06, 2016, 03:44:52 pm
Will Borisov call for early elections seriously if Tsacheva will lose or it was just a bullsh**t for the campaign needs?
The wording of his pledge was vague enough to allow him to walk it back if she finished second (he pledged he would resign if she lost the first round). On the other hand, some have speculated that he chose such an awful candidate because he wanted to lose and have the opportunity to call for early elections at an advantageous moment.


Wouldn't loosing in presidential elections cause ending of that advantageous moment? Is it possible that after such compromitation GERB would lose early elections. Although I know that they are still leading in polls I wonder if society is able to do such rapid change.
Perhaps to some extent, but presidential elections are to a large extent dependent on the personal quality of the candidates, unlikely parliamentary elections (and in the case where they have an effect, it's in GERB's favor due to Borisov's personal popularity). GERB is much more popular than Tsacheva and BSP is much less popular than Radev.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 06, 2016, 03:20:27 pm
Will Borisov call for early elections seriously if Tsacheva will lose or it was just a bullsh**t for the campaign needs?
The wording of his pledge was vague enough to allow him to take it back if she finished second (he pledged he would resign if she lost the first round, which could mean not winning or not qualifying for the run-off). On the other hand, some have speculated that he chose such an awful candidate because he wanted to lose and have the opportunity to call for early elections at an advantageous moment.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgarian presidential election - November 6, 2016 on: November 06, 2016, 01:56:08 pm
The first results are rather surprising considering all the polls until now (though the illegal exit polls got it right).

Rumen Radev: 24-26.7%
Tsetska Tsacheva: 22.5-23.5%
Krasimir Karakachanov: 13.6-15%
Veselin Mareshki: 8.3-10.2%
Traycho Traykov: 6.8-7.1%
Plamen Oresharski: 5.8-6.9%
Ivaylo Kalfin 3.4-4%
Against all: 5.5-6.2%

This should give Radev a very high chance of winning the second round, unless Karakachanov explicitly supports Tsacheva (and perhaps not even in this case).

The three referendums seem to have passed, but without sufficient turnout to come into force without parliamentary approval (which likely won't happen).
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