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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Militants loyal to IS now control some Libyan territory on: November 21, 2014, 03:23:36 am
Looks like a lot of people (including BRTD) owe Dennis Kucinich an apology.

Seeing as how Gaddafi promised to kill more people than ISIS has...no. Libya is in some rough times now, but I don't see how it'd be better off with Gaddafi completely annihilating Benghazi.
How exactly could you know that Gaddafi wanted to completely annihilate Benghazi (something which was probably impossible, anyway)?
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: FC Chess Tournament 5 on: November 09, 2014, 01:31:41 pm
I didn't get the chance to say this earlier but congratulations to gmantis for a great game against me Smiley
I should thank you for being a worthy opponent in arguably my best game in this tournament Smiley
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of Keystone Phil on: November 08, 2014, 04:09:26 am
He was wrong about Santorum

And Sarkozy.
And Roussef.
And Italy winning the  Euro, World Cup, whatever.
He was right about there being an inverse relationship between Italy's success at the the Euro or World Cup and the Republican success in elections Wink
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: November 07, 2014, 02:16:00 am
ABV aren't a member of the coalition but they have a minister? That's just stupid. Who's the minister?
Ivaylo Kalfin, the BSP candidate for President in 2011, who will be Vice-Prime Minister and minister for demographical and social policy. He seems to be a example of not learning from one's mistakes: he once left the BSP to join another independent leftist party (the Euroleft) which was destroyed due to collaborating with a right-wing party and now he's done it again...
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Gubernatorial/Statewide Elections / Re: Who/what is to blame for Charlie Crist's defeat? on: November 06, 2014, 05:25:30 pm
I think it was mainly the environment, as well as statistics in Florida.

From my understanding, the state economy was doing pretty well. That marks a good time to be Governor.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/business/article1967029.html
http://today.ucf.edu/florida-economy-outpacing-national-recovery/

Bill Nelson might have won, but Crist was likely the best alternative to him that Democrats had.
It doesn't seem as if this helped him much, considering his approval rating. This defeat  is rather clearly mainly the fault of Crist. I mean, he even looks untrustworthy.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: November 06, 2014, 03:00:12 pm
Including ABV was quite a clever move. This reduces the threat of the Patriotic Front ending the government at any time they want and gets the coalition 11 guaranteed additional deputies, since ABV certainly won't want new elections after they eliminated any chance of entering Parliament again. What's less clear is why ABV agreed to this...

The government is supposed to last the full 4 year term (lol, no).

Well the coalition has 118 deputies now (see above for why). Add the six who have already switched from Barekov's party and most of the rest who'll inevitably gravitate to the government and I don't see any reason why the government shouldn't last four years.
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Mediterranean Europe: Spain vs. Italy vs. Greece on: November 05, 2014, 07:56:17 am
Uggg, it's like being one of the sheep that votes for a lesser of two evils (or three in this case).  Give me Greece and a line of credit please.
Unless you're a banker, a country's worth is not measured only in its financial situation.
8  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: 2014 national exit poll on 2016 candidates on: November 05, 2014, 07:51:47 am
It seems once again that Generic Republican is the best GOP candidate. Too bad he never runs Wink
9  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Germany vs. France: which do you like more? on: November 05, 2014, 05:50:12 am
I dislike Germany slightly less than France.
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: More historically significant President: FDR vs. JFK on: November 05, 2014, 05:47:42 am
FDR, with his 12 year administration, his presiding over the war that turned the US into a superpower, plus the domestic policies he introduced, is the most historically significant US President after Lincoln. Kennedy is probably less historically significant than Eisenhower or Lyndon Johnson.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Embittered election postmortem (please let's just have this one thread to vent) on: November 05, 2014, 05:44:17 am
I probably should feel upset, but then again Obama has been a colossal disappointment, especially in foreign policy and most of the senate Democrats have been even worse on this point, so I can't really pretend to care too much about this.

I'm sure that after losing elections to people who want to abolish the Department of Education that the Democrats will really veer to the left. Roll Eyes
Considering the disastrous turnout among the so called Obama coalition, this might not be such a bad idea.
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Embittered election postmortem (please let's just have this one thread to vent) on: November 05, 2014, 05:25:30 am
I probably should feel upset, but then again Obama has been a colossal disappointment, especially in foreign policy and most of the senate Democrats have been even worse on this point, so I can't really pretend to care too much about this.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: So........ democrats registered 300,000 blacks in Georgia over the past year on: November 05, 2014, 03:22:50 am
Losing only by 8% under the current conditions in Georgia is not a bad result, especially when looking at the performance of the other southern Democrats.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Craziest results of this election on: November 05, 2014, 03:14:14 am
When was the last time an election had as many shockers? Like 2010 was a big Republican win, but there weren't any really crazy results where they way outperformed the polls and expectations.

NY-24: Maffei losing by 20 in a D+5 district???
MD-Gov: The Republican winning... by 6 points?
VA-Sen: Warner appears to barely scraped by, when the last polls had him up by 9 and previous polls had him up by double digits.
This poll predicted a much better results for Sarvis that actually happened; the polls which predicted a lower result for him gave a more accurate margin between Warner and Gillespie.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 24, 2014, 04:05:40 pm
Nice to see another poster from Bulgaria! And I hope that you will come out of lurking a bit more often!


And you'd be absolutely correct. No idea where Mantis got the numbers from, but here's the breakdown for the RB - though things are obviously volatile and may change with the constitution of the parliamentary group:
DBG - 7 (from districts 4, 13, 15, 16, 25, 26, 27)
DSB - 5 (districts 3, 14, 23, 24, 25)
UDF - 4 (1, 2, 19, 23)
Freedom and Dignity - 1 (23)
BAPU - 1 (17)
Bulgarian New Democracy - 1 (12)  [a moribund Simeon party splinter, however the deputy is personally popular in Montana]

The 4 unaffiliated are from districts 23, 24 (2) and 29.

Broadly speaking, the pro-Borisov camp is composed of the DBG, UDF, BAPU and BND deputies, while DSB, FD + 3 of the 4 unaffiliated are against a coalition (to varying degrees). The 4th unaffiliated has a very tenuous connection to the RB and is expected to jump ship (probably to GERB) at some point.

From here and I see that this was wrong about the leaders of the 4th and 29th district, though the former is certainly not a member of DBG (they protested against him leading the list) and the later is the son of the leader of DSB in Haskovo, so he's at least close to them.

There are 36 parties represented in the coalitions that have entered parliament - and both GERB and the MRF have given a seat to parties that have supported them without a formal coalition agreement. The only party that has entered parliament on its own (due to the low turnout, it has to be said) is Attack, but they can also be neatly divided into the party leader's lovers and the party leader's drinking buddies. If history is any guide, there will no significant movement away from the 3 major groups, while the smaller parties will have their MPs poached. It is virtually certain that any new government will have to rely on more than 130 votes initially in order to be stable in case of defections, but it's highly likely that whatever coalition comes out, the parliament will be short lived.
I'm not quite sure about this, what with Bulgaria without Censorship being more of a handy source of extra support for GERB than a parliamentary group. And the coalition around the Patriotic Front may not survive any attempt to leave the coalition, as past experience shows...

* Since 2001 the MRF has steadily gained control over all the state agencies of most interest to the rural communities (and mismanaged them horribly, of course, but that's not the issue). Due to the CAP, if you're a land-holder above the subsistence level, you can make a decent living, provided you get access to EU funds dispersed through a MRF fiefdom intermediary. And if you're not, you'll find out that to get irrigation water, to do some illegal logging or to go hunting etc., it helps to befriend the MRF people in your village.
Surely GERB put their own people there? Of course I expect that the MRF did its best to regain its positions there over the last year.

* The MRF may come across as omnipotent, but they have lost more than a third of their votes from the high point of Dogan's power and influence in 2009.
This is one way of looking at things. Another of course is that MRF gained 20% from last year. Partly due to the decline of the Freedom and Dignity party, but probably mostly due to their renewed power in the state apparatus.

* And let's not forget the vote buying.
This, along with their appeal as a defender of minorities to the Gypsy population seems to be the main reason for the current MRF success in rural areas outside their traditional areas. I don't think that most ethnic Bulgarians there would start supporting MRF due to their stranglehold on the agencies concerned with agriculture, in fact I expect that this made them even more unpopular. And of course a strategy aimed at maximising the vote of the Gypsies is going to lose, rather than win non-minority voters. And the geography of the increased vote of the MRF seems to show exactly such a gain with Gypsies.



What do you think would happen if there was a new election?

GERB would almost certainly still win a plurality.

The MRF would probably beat the BSP for second place.

Coalition building would still be unworkable but I'm guessing people would just be tired and let GERB have a minority government.
BSP will probably gain, both from backlash against GERB for failing to form a government and due more time for them to distance themselves from the legacy of Stanishev. And ABV will probably decline, especially after seemingly supporting GERB. But probably not too much change overall.
16  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".
17  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.
18  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.
19  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.
20  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:
21  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.
22  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?
23  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.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bulgaria elections - 5 October 2014 on: October 11, 2014, 03:14:19 pm
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?
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.
25  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
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