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1  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Which European Social Democratic party is the most pathetic? on: January 25, 2015, 06:29:21 pm
Let's remember the Flemish socialist party is the only one openly admitting to being different.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election - May 7th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 05:50:48 pm
Happy news from Michael Green.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 05:23:20 pm
Tsipras may prefer 149/150 over 151/152. With the latter you give significant power to individual members of your party who are willing to make demands...

That's just as much the was in a minority government situation as with a 1 or 2-seat majority, tho.
4  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Unmournable Frenchies (reaction to Charlie Hebdo) on: January 25, 2015, 05:21:36 pm
I read the Cole article when it was published. This article flat-out lies about what Cole means by 'unmournable'. And about the tone and content of the Cole article in general, really.

Dolan doesn't really aim for factual accuracy or nuance, that's an essential part of his schtick.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Unmournable Frenchies (reaction to Charlie Hebdo) on: January 25, 2015, 05:12:53 pm
Like John Dolan, dislike Teju Cole, agree about ridiculous Anglo-Saxon obsession with calling names and the unsavoury Frenchmen who do it, disagree that Menocchio was 'an obscure 16th-century Italian theologist' (unless you're quite liberal with your definition of 'obscure' and 'theologist').
6  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: And the Atlas Forum's favorite President is... on: January 25, 2015, 04:46:53 pm
I'd have thought it was Mujica.
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 04:45:44 pm
SYRIZA at 149 seats.

Inching towards 150/151 at this rate, I'd say.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics on: January 25, 2015, 04:13:15 pm
And the Netherlands, jammer, look at the latest polls Sad

The word you're looking for is 'helaas'.

If it's any comfort, Dutch polls this far out mean less than nothing. Their electorate is crazy volatile.
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 02:57:25 pm
A minority government only works if at least one of the parties agrees to vote with SYRIZA on confidence motions though, right?

I can't imagine KKE, for example, would be overly eager to bring down a Syriza government. If Syriza is at 148ish seats, they'd just have to limit defections to a minimum and they'd be fine for the first few weeks to months, I'd say.
10  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Ministry of Purity Crimes Self-Reporting Thread on: January 25, 2015, 02:50:53 pm
Another alternative is to use she as the neutral option. It may seem artificial at first, but there is a certain logic to it. All humans start out as proto-females before some of them become males. The female sex is the basic one, the male a deviation.

This is a convention of sorts in much writing in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, actually.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 02:48:41 pm
Syriza has made it rather clear they're not interested in governing alongside anyone else. Besides, could you imagine Venizelos as Finance minister under Tsipras?
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Do you support Grexit? on: January 25, 2015, 02:42:01 pm
It might be somewhat positive for the Eurozone at this point, but I'm afraid it has the capacity to be pretty catastrophic for the Greek people. So, no, I don't.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Do you think democracy can actually work in China? on: January 25, 2015, 02:39:27 pm
I imagine a democratic China would look like a lot of countries - a sprawling dirigiste conservative party that runs things and a liberal opposition who occasionally try to run things

There are three main tendencies ideologically in CPC.

Maoists, Centrists ("Social Democrats") and Conservative Nationalists. A democratic China would have a viable Maoist party and its main opposition party would be more leftist (=statist) than the ones in South Korea and Japan.

Sure, there are Maoists in the communist party, but I don't know if anything beyond ceremonial Maoism will have any resonance in an increasingly urbanized, middle-class-oriented society that the Chinese are building

China is a very divided society with enormous inequality.

So is the US, but you don't see any Maoists

You'd think the US not being China might have something to do with that.
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 02:19:14 pm
PASOK in single digits everywhere except Laconia (Sparta!)

Laconia is also where XA has its highest percentage at the moment.

Like half the party leadership hails from the Mani.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 02:11:28 pm
Where's everyone getting official results? Interior's website is still blank.

http://ekloges.ypes.gr/current/v/public/index.html?lang=en#{%22cls%22:%22main%22,%22params%22:{}}

It is showing results to me.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Greek election - January 25th 2015 on: January 25, 2015, 02:06:41 pm
I'm actually surprised noone has mentioned the very low turnout yet. At 58%, it's down 4 points on June 2012, which already was pretty low in a country where prior to the crisis elections would generally have turnout in the mid-70s.

EDIT: Scratch that - The turnout figures on the official results page seems to be only about votes already counted and continue to shift.
17  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: January 25, 2015, 01:14:46 pm

Yes, but also WTF.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Saudi King Abdullah has died on: January 24, 2015, 05:03:24 pm
Regarding Simfan's posts on this page: As I said recently in another thread, at least we can trust the people in charge of Iran not to bulldoze Persepolis to build a parking garage or something.

Well, that may certainly be true nowadays, but it's not for lack of trying by some. However it certainly does not compare to the apparently serious consideration currently being given to the idea of demolishing the tomb of Muhammad and re-interring him in an unmarked grave (as king Abdullah has been), an idea endorsed by the Saudi Grand Mufti and the late khatib of the Masjid al-Haram, and something Wahabists have been trying to do since the early 19th century.

The Wahabis already destroyed most of the artifacts of the Prophet's time: Muhammad's birthplace, his house in Medina, the tombs of his mother (which they doused in gasoline and burnt), father, wives, and daughter, to name a few. From a historiographical perspective it is a tremendous loss, an act of mass vandalism; from a religious perspective the toll must be incalculable. I'm surprised that you don't hear more about it, even from Islamic sources. It's the same thing al-Qaeda did in Bamiyan, Ansar Dine in Timbuktu, and what Da'esh is now doing in Iraq and Syria, and for the same reason.

There should be some sort of competition for the Middle Eastern country that is worst at taking care of its heritage. Egypt's ineptitude since 2011 has also been pretty horrifying. And this just is pure slapstick.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: do the MRA and HBD movements have overlap? on: January 24, 2015, 04:51:54 pm
HBD? God, the internet is full of awful people coining awful acronyms you're supposed to remember.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Gully Foyle's African News Thread on: January 23, 2015, 09:05:43 am
I'll butt in to express my scepticism about a Katumbi presidency. For one thing, I don't see how a Katanga president is supposed to fit into the country's balance of powers. Katanga has always (well, since the Belgian government propped up Tshombe in 1960) been a bit of an outlier within the Congolese constellation, and the province has been on the receiving end of a good deal of resentment from the rest of the country. Not that there is exactly a love affair between Kinshasa and Kivuland, but Katanga must take the cake for being the most 'unique' region of the nation. Let's not forget, they killed Lumumba.


Laurent-Désiré Kabila was born in Katanga and the province is also considered Kabila Jr.s home province.

But Kabila's rose to power with the east of the country and Rwanda behind him. Katanga wasn't the launching pad for the power of the Kabilas.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Gully Foyle's African News Thread on: January 23, 2015, 07:07:06 am
I'll but in to express my scepticism about a Katumbi presidency. For one thing, I don't see how a Katanga president is supposed to fit into the country's balance of powers. Katanga has always (well, since the Belgian government propped up Tshombe in 1960) been a bit of an outlier within the Congolese constellation, and the province has been on the receiving end of a good deal of resentment from the rest of the country. Not that there is exactly a love affair between Kinshasa and Kivuland, but Katanga must take the cake for being the most 'unique' region of the nation. Let's not forget, they killed Lumumba.


He has a rock solid power base and a successful track record to run on. A full integration of Katanga in the national political system would also be a precondition for moving forward.

I'm also sceptical of Congo moving forward any time soon.
22  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Gully Foyle's African News Thread on: January 23, 2015, 06:55:47 am
I'll butt in to express my scepticism about a Katumbi presidency. For one thing, I don't see how a Katanga president is supposed to fit into the country's balance of powers. Katanga has always (well, since the Belgian government propped up Tshombe in 1960) been a bit of an outlier within the Congolese constellation, and the province has been on the receiving end of a good deal of resentment from the rest of the country. Not that there is exactly a love affair between Kinshasa and Kivuland, but Katanga must take the cake for being the most 'unique' region of the nation. Let's not forget, they killed Lumumba.
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Saudi King Abdullah has died on: January 22, 2015, 06:32:07 pm
Quite an evening on the Arab peninsula.
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Italy 2014-2015: Brace Yourselves, the Presidential Election is Coming on: January 22, 2015, 04:34:57 pm

Quote
Quote
I've never got why people hate majority bonuses (even the Greek system is pretty OK to me - and it's basically the Italian system without a runoff), they're still fairer than FPP or their variants.

I think it's because they're sort of a Frankenstein of at least two different concepts for what an election should produce--'an election should produce an accurate representation of the votes cast' and 'an election should produce a stable governing majority for one political pole'. They just feel 'off' to people even though there's not really much objective reason to have a serious problem with them.

But isn't trying to concurrently maximize two desirable goals the very essence of politics? 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. In Italy, full proportionality would have a catastrophic impact, and some correction is needed. But that doesn't mean we need to completely renounce to some degree of fair representation. I think that the current bill, though far from perfect, is a decent compromise in that regard.

Hannah Arendt wept.
25  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Gully Foyle's African News Thread on: January 22, 2015, 04:18:57 pm
He wrote the damn constitution. He abolished the run-off for himself. Why the hell did he put a term limit in there? African dictators always do that. Seriously. Why? Stop it.

Kabila isn't really a dictator, nor are his powers unchecked.

Nah, many African strongmen can get away with ruling in a fairly authoritarian way if other powerful groups (including regions and ethnic groups not favoured by the ruler) know that their time in office is limited. Otherwise you need a much stronger coercive apparatus - generally incl. a national "one party system" - than most African leaders have at their disposal and/or solid foreign backing (Kabila got that, but only from Uganda and Rwanda, not from strong players).

Kabila's most likely successor is the governor of Katanga, a province which produces a very large share of the country's wealth, but hasn't gotten the equivalent political influence. They and other regional centers thinks its their turn now and will not accept Kabila going on for ever.

That's exactly my point. Kabila's rule has always been dependent on the passive collaboration of various other players, who have also served as a check on his exploits. Consider for example the position of someone like Kengo Wa Dondo, who's a political opponent of the Kabilas, but has presided over the Senate for a number of years now.

Kabila's now trying to side-track this opposition. I'm hearing it's open season on anyone wearing a TP Mazembe outfit in Kabila's heartlands. (The club is owned by Katanga governor and presidential hopeful Katumbi) That might work for him or it might not, I'm not really in a position to judge. 

Huh. I haven't actually heard that yet.

Read about it in my morning newspaper. Have been scouting for an English-language link, but my internet heuristics are a bit rusty. If you read French a pretty good summary of what's been going on can be found here:

http://www.direct.cd/actu/2015/01/21/comprendre-la-situation-en-rdc-en-10-points.html

Mind you, no mention in there of violence involving TP Mazembe fans.


What's with the Central African custom of naming things Tout Puissant (eg TP OK Jazz), anyway?

Franco!
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