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April 16, 2014, 08:02:02 pm
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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Forum turnout poll: Will you/Would you vote in the EP elections next month ? on: Today at 09:08:10 am
I obviously won't. I would probably vote if I could but I hope I will never be in the position to do that. Wink
2  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Based God Polling: At-Large Senate Possibilities on: April 13, 2014, 05:16:34 am
I guess shua will get my first preference this time. He's one of the few federal officeholders who consistently stands for something else than the broad (center-)left consensus which permeates large parts of the Labor and Federalist Party as well as the People's Party.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: April 12, 2014, 04:54:18 am
The polling institute gfs.bern has released its first opinion poll regarding the federal ballot on May 18. Swiss citizens are going to have their say on three constitutional amendments (an amendment to establish a federal minimum wage of CHF 4000, a proposal to ban convicted paedophiles from working with children, and an proposal to boost the role of family doctors in the Swiss health System) and one bill (the planned purchase of 22 Swedish Gripen fighter jets for 3.1 billion):

4  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What general doctor do you have ? on: April 09, 2014, 09:35:46 am
A very friendly, laid-back and slightly overweight man in his fifties.
5  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Are you a strict grammarian? on: April 09, 2014, 01:20:28 am
The more interested in historical linguistics I have become the more I have distanced myself from being a strict grammarian. After all, many of today's mistakes will be part of tomorrow's set of norms. Even if we wanted there is hardly anything we could do to stop ongoing language change.
6  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: Office of former Governor ZuWo on: April 06, 2014, 10:40:16 am
On the gubernatorial election and other issues

It looks like there is going to be a competitive election for Mideast Governor next month. Indeed, that's very positive for the region and I'm looking forward to seeing how the campaign unfolds.

I worked with both Spiral and Riley Keaton in the past and consider both of them allies and friends in the context of Atlasia. Since I have already been asked whether I would publicly endorse one of them I feel that it's necessary to announce that I can't make an endorsement at this point. Indeed, I sincerely believe that both Spiral and Riley have the ability to serve the Mideast well.

Speaking of the Mideast in general, I must say that I am not at all happy about the way things are going at the moment. While some may believe that it is the Governor who is to blame for the recent lull in activity, many factors are responsible for this unfortunate development.
The last legislative session was certainly a disappointment so I call on all members of the Assembly to start working harder and introduce more bills. The Mideast doesn't need an abortion debate every two months but there are many more issues that can be discussed.  
7  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: March 2014 At-Large Special Senate Election on: March 31, 2014, 05:16:38 am
1. Simfan
2. Deus
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: March 30, 2014, 02:36:37 pm
All the votes have been tallied and the results of the elections in Bern are as follows:

Election for parliament (Grosser Rat)

SVP: 49 seats (+5)
SP: 36 (-2)
FDP: 17 (0)
GP: 15 (0)
BDP: 14 (-11)
EVP: 12 (+2)
GLP: 11 (+7)
EDU: 5 (0)
PSA: 3 (0)
GPB-DA: 1 (+1)

Both the Swiss People's Party and the Green Liberals are the winners of the election. The BDP suffers a landslide defeat while there aren't any major changes on the left of the political spectrum. The balance of power remains essentially unchanged since the center-right parties still have a comfortable majority.

Let's focus on the election for cantonal government (Regierungsrat), which has produced a somewhat weird result:

1. Béatrice Simon (BDP - incumbent): 128,862 votes
2. Christoph Neuhaus (SVP - incumbent): 119,509
3. Bernhard Pulver (GP - incumbent):  118,732
4. Hans-Jürg Käser (FDP - incumbent): 109,600
5. Andreas Rickenbach (SP - incumbent): 108,822
6. Barbara Egger-Jenzer (SP - incumbent): 105,006
7. Philippe Perrenoud (SP - incumbent, candidate from Jura Bernois): 86,469
8. Manfred Bühler (SVP - candidate from Jura Bernois): 94,957

As you can see, Philippe Perrenoud was re-elected despite receiving fewer votes than Manfred Bühler. Both candidates are from Jura Bernois, the French-speaking part of Bern which has a constitutionally mandated right to one of seven seats in the cantonal government. How is such an outcome possible? We need to have a separate look at the Perrenoud's and Bühler's vote share in Jura Bernois to get an answer to this question:

1. Philippe Perrenoud: 5,889 votes
4. Manfred Bühler: 4,919 votes

The Bernese constitution states that the winner of the "Jura Bernois" seat shall be determined according to a specific mathematic formula, the details of which I am not entirely familiar with. In short, the candidates' vote shares in both the Jura Bernois region and the entire canton are weighed separately. Apparently Perrenoud's lead of 980 votes in this particular region were just enough to offset Bühler's lead of nearly 8,500 votes at the cantonal level.

This voting system was established more than 20 years ago in order to ensure that the citizens of Jura Bernois get the representation they want. It will undoubtedly come under scrutiny in the next legislative period.

9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: March 30, 2014, 06:41:14 am
With the results of more municipalities in the pro-SVP trend appears to solidify. The SVP gains are mostly at the expense of the BDP. Former SVP voters who switched to the BDP are coming home, it seems.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: March 30, 2014, 06:01:51 am
The results of the first three rural precincts (Corgémont, Sonceboz-Sombeval and Arch) for the parliamentary election have been reported and they seem to point to gains for the SVP.

Results can be accessed here:

11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 28, 2014, 04:15:16 am
After having played together for seven years the members of Team Ott have decided to dissolve their rink. Lead Jeanine Greiner is going to take a break from curling for at least a year, second Carmen Küng wants to start a family so I guess this means she's out for the foreseeable future, third Carmen Schäfer indicated that she wants to continue to play competitive curling and skip Mirjam Ott is going to focus on her professional career but hasn't ruled out anything at this point.

Since two players left Team Jäggi just a few days ago I wouldn't be surprised to see Carmen Schäfer join the Jäggi rink. I don't think Team Tirinzoni, who is relatively new in its current composition, and Team Feltscher, who have just won gold, are interested in a major reshuffle right now. Schäfer could perhaps join forces with Alina Pätz, skip of another competitive women's team. Pätz was the alternate of Team Ott at some of the most recent international tournaments so they know each other well.
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: March 27, 2014, 04:21:09 pm
This Sunday is going to be election day in the canton of Bern. Bern is a bilingual canton which is very rural on the one hand but has a few comparatively sizable cities such as Bern, Biel and Thun. Traditionally, Bern has always been a conservative canton. However, since the various center-right parties (e.g. CVP, FDP, BDP) and the SVP didn't cooperate in past elections the left (SP and Greens) actually holds four of the seven seats in the cantonal government. At the same time, the cantonal parliament is under firm center-right control so Bern is a canton which is notoriously difficult to govern.

This weekend's election is probably going to be different for a variety of reasons, though. For the first time in many years the three parties SVP, BDP and FDP have been able to make a deal and form a coalition for the election for cantonal government. Two SVP, one BDP and one FDP candidate are running together against the four left-wing incumbents, which makes this race quite unpredictable (what matters more - the conservative leanings of the canton or the power of incumbency?). In addition, the Bernese constitution is a decisive factor in the election as well: According to the constitution, at least one of the seven seats in the cantonal government must be held by a person from the French-speaking part of Bern ("Jura Bernois"). Indeed, both the SVP and the SP are running a candidate from that region so it will be interesting to see which of the two gets more votes.
13  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Mideast Voting Booth: Amendment to Article V, Section 2.6 on: March 26, 2014, 04:40:11 pm
14  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 24, 2014, 11:06:40 am
What a sad and beautiful picture at the same time!

Homan has a bright future ahead of her, no doubt. One thing she might have to change in the future, however, is to play more draws rather than one of her circus runback shots in critical situations. She obviously didn't have any other chance than attempting the runback in the 9th end but in the 8th it may have been wiser to try a draw and concede two to the Swiss. Of course, in hindsight that's easy to say for a club curler like myself. Wink

What makes the Swiss victory all the more remarkable is that Feltscher and hear team have put a lot less effort and time into curling than most other teams at this level. Feltscher is a mother of two toddlers and the three other players work nearly full time all year long so they can't participate in many international tournaments. Also, the Swiss Curling Association has given considerably more financial support to Ott, Tirinzoni and Jäggi, who are all ranked above Feltscher on the money list. The only thing Feltscher's team had in their favour was that they hardly felt any pressure coming into the world's. They seem to be happy with regarding curling as their (very time-consuming) hobby and you could see on TV that they are simply having fun and enjoying themselves out there.
15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 23, 2014, 08:07:59 pm
Team Feltscher scores three in the 8th and steals another triple in the 9th. A Swiss team without Ott is going to be world champion! Didn't see that coming. I feel sorry for the Canadian girls, though.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Votes and elections in Switzerland on: March 23, 2014, 03:47:41 pm
The canton of Nidwalden has elected its members of parliament as well as the cantonal government today. A new method to allocate the seats in the parliamentary election ("Doppelter Pukelsheim") which benefits the smaller parties, i.e. the Greens and the Social Democrats in this case, has been used this time. The final results in the legislative election are as follows:

SVP: 17 seats (-2)
CVP: 17 seats (-1)
FDP: 15 seats (-2)
GPS: 8 seats (+3)
SPS: 3 seats (+2)

In the election for cantonal government, which consists of seven members, the two SVP incumbents have been re-elected with the highest number of votes. Two FDP incumbents have won re-election as well. However, the Free Democrats have held three seats so far and their third candidate has not received enough votes to be elected on the first ballot. Of the three CVP candidates running to retain the two Christian Democratic seats, one of them an incumbent and the other two new candidates, only one has managed to attract a sufficient level of popular support. The two candidates that are further behind are the third SVP candidate and the only left-winger in the race, a Green Party member:

Ueli Amstad (SVP - incumbent): 9,280 votes ELECTED
Res Schmid (SVP - incumbent): 8,428 ELECTED
Yvonne von Deschwanden (FDP - incumbent): 8,169 ELECTED
Hans Wicki (FDP - incumbent): 8,075 ELECTED
Karin Kayer (CVP): 7,858 ELECTED
Alfred Bossard (FDP): 7,347
Othmar Filliger (CVP): 7,293
Alois Bissig (CVP - incumbent): 7,102
Martin Zimmermann (SVP): 5,329
Conrad Wagner (GPS): 5,203 

Full results:

17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Do you want me banned from this Forum ? on: March 23, 2014, 03:51:21 am
I voted no but you deserve a few yes votes for making this thread.Wink
18  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 22, 2014, 05:05:54 pm
Yes, the latter idea is insane. While seeming to lose touch with the world's best curling nations most US teams are still good enough to compete at the international level. Let them continue to play for the second (North) American spot against Brazil if need be.

But in general I also think that Asia/Pacific deserves a third spot at the world championship. China, Japan and Korea are now more or less credible contenders for the playoffs both in the men's and the women's tournaments and I don't see why we should regularly see teams like Latvia at the world championship. Thus, I guess it would be fairer if Europe gave up one of its spots.
19  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 22, 2014, 03:32:31 pm
Highlights from the semi-final game between Switzerland and Korea

Homan has been known to choke in Finals before. Took her a long time to win an Ontario junior final before winning, she lost in her first Canadian junior final, and she lost in her only World Junior appearance. She also lost in her second provincial women's final. And then there was last year's worlds. In all of those events, she was arguably the best team.

On the other hand, the Homan squad won the Canadian championship twice in a row and is already quite experienced despite being a very young team. I mean, from a purely Swiss-centric point of view I naturally hope that Homan and her team will be nervous and make some mistakes tomorrow but I wouldn't bet on it. Wink
20  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 22, 2014, 02:59:07 pm
The Swiss defeat the Koreans and are going to face Team Homan tomorrow! I take back all the negative words and thoughts I said and had about Team Feltscher. I don't think they can realistically expect to beat Canada - after all, Binia Feltscher just said in the post-game interview that "Canada is probably the better team but we will try" - but a lot can happen during a single game of curling.

Would be nice to see a World Championship banner in my club to go with the 2 world junior banners that John Morris won Smiley

Had Tirinzoni represented Switzerland instead of Feltscher I could say something similar now. Wink
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: Mideast Voting Booth: March 2014 Elections on: March 22, 2014, 02:42:25 pm
Assembly Election:
[6] Inks.LWC
[3] Cassius
[5] JohanusCalvinusLibertas
[1] TheRileyKeaton
[4] outofbox6
[2] hifly15
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 22, 2014, 06:12:14 am
So the 1 vs. 2 game ended with a win for Canada. I can't blame the Swiss team. Their performance was solid overall but the Canadian girls were better and simply made the big shots. Kreviazuk's triple takeouts in crucial moments (I think she played two of them) were simply amazing and Homan proved what an excellent skip she is when she drew to the four-foot against three Swiss rocks twice.
Canada now progresses to the gold medal game and Switzerland gets another chance against the winner of the Russia-Korea game. But unless the Canadian foursome falters under pressure in the final I don't see how they could lose. They are just too consistent and precise at the moment.
23  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 20, 2014, 06:25:03 am
The round robin is almost finished and the standings look as follows:

Canada (Homan) 8 1
Switzerland (Feltscher) 8 1
Russia (Sidorova) 7 2
Sweden (Sigfridsson) 7 2
Korea (Kim) 6 3
China (Liu) 6 3
USA (Pottinger) 5 4
Scotland (Barr) 2 7
Czech Republic (Kubeskova) 2 7
Latvia (Regza) 1 8
Denmark (Dupont) 1 8
Germany (Lehmann) 1 8

The fact that Canada, Sweden and Russia are still in contention for the playoffs is hardly surprising. To my great delight, however, the Swiss team has been really strong and is now a serious contender for a medal. I'm glad to see that the philosophy of the Swiss Curling Association, which is to establish a framework that makes it possible for several teams to develop rather than to fund a single "national team", finally seems to be paying off. The example of Scotland shows very clearly what can happen if the entire focus is on only one national team and all the other squads are basically irrelevant.

China and Korea have been playing quite well, too. I didn't have them on the radar at all. Denmark and Germany are a huge disappointment, though. And the USA ... well, the future for American curling doesn't look very bright at the moment.
24  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 16, 2014, 07:43:57 pm
That Canada-Switzerland game is really perplexing but since it's the result that matters I like what I see!
25  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official curling thread on: March 16, 2014, 03:16:16 pm
I'm watching the final ends of the Switzerland-China game and I'm not thrilled. The Swiss front end as well as the vice skip don't make a lot of shots and heavily rely on skip Feltscher who has had to rescue the entire team several times. Fortunately, as you said China is awful so that might be enough.

Switzerland is going to play Canada tonight. Unless a miracle happens even a decidedly average performance by the Homan squad should suffice.
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