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October 23, 2014, 12:10:19 pm
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News: Don't forget to get your 2013 Gubernatorial Endorsements and Predictions in!

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics on: Today at 03:53:41 am
Oh, how I love this "Would you let them sleep in your own bed" strawman.
2  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Where would you rather want to live ? (Tender Branson edition) on: October 16, 2014, 05:44:11 am
The total darkness of Tromsø in the winter would drive me directly to suicide.
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Christopher Columbus on: October 16, 2014, 01:19:45 am
Christopher Columbus is one of the most despicable human beings that has ever existed.
Probably not. Beware the Ides of Hyperbole!

How is that hyperbole?
To be fair, at first I read "the most despicable human being" and that would clearly qualify. But even your notion would heave Columbus on a podest of cruelty that he would share with several hundred thousand human beings, at least.

2. It's of course pretty comfortable to personalize the cruelty of colonialsm and state that it was that way, because Columbus was so vile.
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Euro 2016 Qualifying on: October 16, 2014, 12:50:28 am
Jokemany! Hahaha
A one-goal win against the total football superpower of Malta is not too impressive either. ;-)
5  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Christopher Columbus on: October 14, 2014, 07:04:57 am
Christopher Columbus is one of the most despicable human beings that has ever existed.
Probably not. Beware the Ides of Hyperbole!
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Is the European Union project a threat to stability, democracy and peace? on: October 14, 2014, 03:01:15 am
Just no.

I'm very surprised every time, when  US-Americans, that have a federation with a strong role of the states (I'm oversimplifying, here), don't get it that European integration is a long-term process with difficult negotiations and sometimes backlashes, but has been an appealing goal for many Europeans for many decades.

There is a lack of democratic control in EU institutions, but the provisions of the Lisbon treaty have actually reduced this, as they strengthen the role of the EU parliament. (The revision of the treaty after the Irish "no" - that had not much to do with its actual provisions, anyway - helped the interests of the Irish government - like upholding the "every state must have its own commissioner" crap). But the main problem with democratic lack of control is not so much the commission's burocracy, but the national government's outsourcing all the unpopular stuff, that they want to do but not be held accountable for to the EU via the European Council and the Council of the European Union (where they gather themselves) and than blaming Brussels for it.

The European Integration project has actually helped stability, peace and prosperity in (Western and later Southern and Eastern) Europe, e.g. through free trade, giving a forum for negotiations and providing funds to help poorer regions. At the moment, it seems we are at a watershed: A joint currency actually needs joint fiscal, economic and social (European meaning)  policies to work in the long run. So several paths seem to be possible. The best probably would be to provide these joint policies, but most of the contemporary political class isn't very visionary, fearing the loss of influence in their petty national states and the rise of euroscepticist populism (that they are actually firing up by bad policy decisions, communication and using the comfortable option of blaming Brussels for everything. The other point is, weither such joint policies (e.g. transfering competences to the European level) would need more common European political culture and discourse (that is slowly developing via the instrument of the European Citizens' initiative and the strengthened role of the parliament, but it will take time, until people notice that.

The second possibility would be some rollback of the integration, but their is no easy level to return to as integration has been in flow permanently and the process in different spheres has been intertwined for the last 25 years. And their really is no precedent how to accomplish a smooth disintegration. The most I can think of is actually some split in the EURO currency if the costs of keeping it would get out of control totally. Some egoisms could be appeased by giving some other competences back to the states, but where to go? It won't be something interfering with the EG/EU "common standard in a common market" approach. It won't be the agaric sector, because that would be highly unpopular with a core constituency of the centre-right parties in the long run. There is not much room for feasible returns of security policies in the environment of "international terrorism" and "international crime" (Actually much could be done to improve the cooperation between the normal police on different sides of intra-Schengen borders).

The third possibility would be having some kind of both as is often adressed with the slogan of a "Europe of different speed levels": Having a core Euro-zone that is integrating further politically and economically while having a bunch of others where only the common market things apply. (Actually, the provisions of EURO currency introduction and the Schengen treaty, that is not part of the EU treaties already follow this part.)
7  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Genghis Khan? on: October 09, 2014, 12:36:26 am
All I have to contribute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_ZKxA25nk8
8  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: maoist, trotskyst, moderate...but where are stalinist parties ? on: October 08, 2014, 04:31:49 am
The main question is, in which category you would put "unreformed orthodox" "parties" with an "antirevisionist" tendency, like the KPD, that was founded in the GDR in 1990 and still exists.

9  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Official 2014-15 Club Soccer/Football Discussion Thread on: October 08, 2014, 12:52:59 am
They should have fired the whole management responsible for hiring the players and so on instead of the coach.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Polish parliamentary election, 2015 on: October 02, 2014, 04:00:31 am
Ah, I probably mixed KPN up with KNP and then thought the words "catholic" and "national" would be in both. So I totally screwed that up.

Once upon a time I even new some random right wing libertarian Korwin-Mikke supporter.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Polish parliamentary election, 2015 on: October 02, 2014, 12:44:47 am
Is KNP a renamed LPR or "only" a similar outfit?
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: September 30, 2014, 12:44:42 am
And is Left-SPD-AfD coalition viable?
Just no!
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Sweden election results thread (Sept 14, 2014) on: September 26, 2014, 03:20:52 am
This has probably been asked before, though in other wording, but why is there this political divide between the parts, that had been danish in medieval and early modern times (Skane and the western coast) and the rest?
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: September 25, 2014, 12:51:50 am
The migration of 39.000 "other" voters to the AfD in Saxony is quite doubtful, of course. I would guess that there are at least some proxy 2009 NPD votes in there. There isn't much room for that. Of the small right wing parties DSU is stable, the NPD offshoot SVP (Sächsische Volkspartei - Saxonian People's Party) has merged into the "pro movement" and got there votes.  "Freie Sachsen" in 2009 was merely a Freie Wähler proxy, and they got more votes in 2014 than their antecessors.
Small right wing parties not competing this time (PBC, REP, FPD [sic],)  added to about 12.000 in 2009
So the possiblities were the missing votes come from (other than proxy NPD) would be:
* Tierschutpartei (Animal protection): They lost half of their 36000 votes and are quite socially conservative (but I'm not sure many of their voters are aware of that)
* Some Pirate voters of 2009 (I quess, most of them went crazy with Sonneborn this time, but maybe I'm wrong). The areas Pirates are strong are not the typical AfD ones.
* Freie Sachsen: If their voters of 2009 differ much from "Free voters" supporters in 2014, but actually I see not much room for that
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State elections in Brandenburg and Thüringen!) on: September 24, 2014, 12:20:53 am
They got the exemption because Christoph Schulze won a FPTP seat. At the federal level you need 3 FPTP seats so that the 5% treshold isn't applied (basically assuring that the CSU will always get in the Bundestag) but in Brandenburg one seat is enough.

Interestingly, only Brandenburg, Berlin, Schleswig-Holstein (1 seat) and Saxony (2 seats) have those Grundmandatsklauseln in their state electoral law.
16  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Opinion of the previous poster's display name on: September 23, 2014, 06:14:26 am
All hail the emperor!
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics (State elections in Brandenburg and Thüringen!) on: September 15, 2014, 09:44:16 am
Where can we find recent polling for Bremen and Hamburg?



The most "recent" polls from Hamburg and Bremen are already several months/half a year old, which makes them meaningless, considering AfD's recent surge.

AfD will crash in Hamburg for sure, they profit the most from EU. I'm not sure about Bremen's demographics but keep in mind these are two free cities we are talking about and not regions. AfD took votes of Die Linke in the urban centres of the two states here so I can only see the making inroads in Bremen where Die Linke did well 10 years ago.
East isn't West
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: September 12, 2014, 12:25:56 am
Interesting, do you think this trend could improve LINKE's performance in west Germany, to the detriment of GRÜNE?
I was actually talking about the east, esp. Saxony, where the left is breaking into this urban, youngish leftish milieus that reshape their appearance. In the west, parts of this milieus are already in their column and shape their apperance.

But if their is some equalisation between the results in east and west it would still be the Left dwindling in the east and the greens rising a bit for demographical reasons.
19  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: US States Flags Survivor on: September 10, 2014, 01:22:43 am
Alaska for survivor!
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: German Elections & Politics on: September 09, 2014, 06:30:16 am
Does the Linke face generational challenges as well, given that younger voters have no memory of the GDR?  As former SED members age out of politics, will a nationwide SPD-Linke-Green alliance become more likely?  Or is the Linke still have too great a stigma?
Generational changes, yes, but I would not call them challenges. Linke is still getting good results with those, born in the eighties and nineties who were politically socialized in the years of the total disruption of economy and society that where the nineties and 2000/02, then came the Hartz reforms, that aren't that well for young people struggling in an environment of structural unemployment. As the LINKE staff is getting younger, they also get more greenish, less structurally conservative, more 'hipster urban' to some extent, and GDR nostalgia has never played a large roll in the official party platform. This switch can be seen. The newly-directly-elected Juliane Nagel from the south of Leipzig is an antifascist and antiracist activist from parts of the town entrenched in 'left-wing alternative culture', whereas the old guard types were not able to win direct seats.

Organised labour is also friendly to the Linke in the East (well, they are the main left wing party). I think, one has to abstract from the common knowledge cliche that LINKE voters are all disgruntled ex-Stasi retirees. There aren't many people left who were in some charge until 1989 and play a role in the party, by now (There is a list regarding to their Bundestag faction somewhere in this or the election 2013 thread). Today the seventies 'new left' sectarian types that undeservingly benefited from the PDS/WASG merger and came into positions on Lafontaine's coattails seem to be a bigger problem for the prospects of a red-red-green government.

21  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: US States Flags Survivor on: September 09, 2014, 05:51:00 am
New Mexico
22  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Favorite beers? on: September 09, 2014, 02:03:04 am
Let's go for some European beer cultural chauvinism:

As it goes for pilsner, it is clearly Pilsner Urquell/Plzeňský Prazdroj. The one and only. But I also like Jever, Staropramen, Budweiser/Budvar (the real one, from České Budějovice in the Czech Republic), Radeberger and Wernesgrüner. As it goes for Schwarzbier I prefer Březňák or Eibauer Dunkel. When it comes to ale I prefer Kilkenny.
23  Forum Community / Survivor / Re: US States Flags Survivor on: September 08, 2014, 01:26:49 am
3 Maryland
2 New Mexico
1 Texas
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics (Next: Vorarlberg state election - Sept. 21) on: September 07, 2014, 07:20:18 am
"Wer ist der stärkste Zwerg in Vorarlberg?" Really? Is this a legit campaign poster? Sounds more like Martin Sonneborn and the like.
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austria as a German state (Federal & State election results) on: September 05, 2014, 04:26:27 am
A rough scenario, how this could have happened

It is said, that Berija and his likings weren't very interested in Germany, especially after the 17th of July. So if they had succeeded it probably would open a window for German reunification in a neutralist manner (no Nato and Montanunion integration and now ousting of the SED/KPD/KPÖ whatsoever. Maybe the Germany-USSR-relations would have some Finnish style in it.

Konrad Adenauer sees the possibility of bringing the Austrian brethren home (Centre Party had at least some "großdeutsch" allures at the beginning), to balance the loss of the Western integration possibility, to bring the catholics home and balance protestant dominance. Austria is hoping for more security and economic benefits from the unified nation. ÖVP seems to be more in favor, the "third camp" obviously, SPÖ is quite reluctant. In a referndum the motion to achieve unity passes 52 percent.

Longer negotiation between the allied powers and the three governments start and lead to the 1954 23rd October Paris treaty which is highly disputed in Germany as unified Germany has to accept the Oder-Neiße-border and some reservations of the allied forces in what is the official peace treaty of WW II.

The transition phase is iffy, especially in the GDR. SED feels betrayed by the USSR. They claim it to be a tactical restart. The negotiations lead to the solution, that many changes of economy, agriculture (land reform!) and society in the former GDR may stay the way they are.

Adenauer is percieved as the chancellor of unity and fairly popular by many, the German right wing sees him as the "chancellor of betrayal" for giving away the eastern territories. Some even call him "the new Esau" (although the Austrian wouldn't call Austria a mess of pottage of course).

SED collapses to its communist core and some left wing socialists who think that a renewal is possible, merges with KPÖ and KPD (which had to be relegalized). The communists still do not know what to do about their name, identity and what their prospects are as they lost support of the USSR. Vote shares in the East will be higher, because of those who benefited from land reform and so on. They start as highly polarizing figures and quite unreformed, claiming to "prevent the achievements of socialism from counter-revolution, but also try to use "socialist unity" rhethorics. Wilhelm Pieck is their leading candidate.
They start with about 15 percent in the old East, 5 percent in Austria and 3 percent in the old West

The "Gesamtdeutscher Block/Block der Heimatvertriebenen und Entrechteten" is merging with the Austrian right wing and the right wing of the FDP and also protestand nationalists from the CDU and some the remnatnts of the NDPD (some claim them to be a fifth column, though) under the name of "Gesamtdeutscher Block/ Deutschnationale Partei". They clearly want their east back.

CDU merges with CSU (they are quite in danger at this time) and ÖVP under this name, though their state chapters may change their name

FDP is reduced to their liberal protestant bourgeois cores. They also start quite high in East Germany, but very low in Austria for obvious reasons

SPD is still pre-Godesberg and is nominating Ollenhauer (as ususal). They are starting well in the industrial regions of the east, their traditional strongholds, but fail to overcome Adenauer's popularity.

German Party is still competing on its own and tries to compete in protestant rural areas of East Germany.

The party system of East Germany also sees some own creations: The "Movement of 17th July" which is a staunchly anti-communist protest party, that claims the parties of the centre-right would be "soft towards marxism" and the "Deutsche Reformpartei" who is vastly an offshot of people from the block parties who were more integrated into the GDR system.

In Austria there is an "Austrian Party" that is calling for greater autonomy and is campaignin together with Bavarian Party, Centre party, the Christian People's Party of Saar and other regionalists in a "Federalist Union"

The national assembly of Frankfurt that is elected on the symbolic date of 18th of may

(I think, I should do an election game out of this, but well...)
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