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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Zambia presidential by-election - January 20, 2015 on: Today at 03:57:51 am
Peter Sinkamba claims his proposal to legalize commercial marijuana production in 129 farm zones will provide an additional US$15 billion income, which will be "a quantum leap" for the country (their current GDP is US$20 billion). He also claims it will.create about 200, 000 jobs within a year.The Greens cite the Israeli success of growing medical marijuana as their model.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Zambia presidential by-election - January 20, 2015 on: Today at 03:46:05 am
Miles Sampa says that the reconciliation was a fake media stunt, that the party structure is still divided and that his supporters are being discriminated against. He is considering forming his own party to contest the 2016 elections and will announce his decision in a couple of days.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Zambia presidential by-election - January 20, 2015 on: Today at 03:00:14 am
The Electoral Commission has published their nomination schedule for all registered parties, that say they plan to field a candidate. A lot of them are empty shells owned by someone, so there should be ample opportunity for Sampa or Nevers Mumba to find a sponsor if they want to. I don't understand why exactly the parties needs to declare on different dates, since they don't seem to need signatures that have to be controlled. General Myyindas Heritage Party is not on the list, which is surprising as he has already declared his candidacy (as usual). The ones marked with # have already declared a candidate (well, PF has declared two..).

The Electoral Commission of Zambias schedule for Presidential nominations:

Wednesday, December, 17th 2014
The Forum for Democratic Alternative.
Green Party #
The Redemption Party.

Thursday, December 18th, 2014
The Forum for Democracy and Development (FDD) #
National Restoration Party (NAREP) #
The United Poor Peoples of Zambia Freedom Party

Friday December 19,2014.
The United Independence Party (UNIP) #
The Fourth Revolution Party
The United Party for National Development (UPND) #

Saturday, December 20th, 2014
The Movement for Multiparty Democracy (MMD) #
The Patriotic Front (PF) #
The Christian Democratic Party #

Sunday, December 21st, 2014
The National Revolution Party
The Democratic Front party

Monday, December 22nd, 2014
Common Cause Democracy,
Nationalist Party
National Party

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014
Zambia Direct Democracy Movement

Cosmo Mumba from the tiny National Revolution Party failed to file his nomination. Of the 13 parties that has so far been before the ECZ 9 have had their candidate approved: PF, MMD, UPND, FDD, UNIP, Green Party, FDA, NAREP and the Christian Democratic Party, while  Fourth Revolution Party, National Revolution Party, the Redemption Party and The United Poor Peoples of Zambia Freedom Party all failed, so bad news for the revolutionary redemption of poor people..

The five parties left are all tiny, so the field is beginning to shape up.

Main candidates:
PF: Edgar Lungu
UPND: Hakainde Hichilema

FDD: Edith Nawakwi

Some support:
MMD: Nevers Mumba

Marginal candidates:
UNIP: Tilyenji Kaunda
Greens: Peter Sinkamba
NAREP: Elias Chipimo
FDA: Ludwig Sondashione
Christian Democrats: Daniel Pule
4  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Which show is more left-wing? on: Today at 02:09:09 am
Also most of The Daily Show's coverage of Occupy Wall Street was pretty bad. I bet if John Oliver's Last Week Tonight was around then Oliver's piece would probably be like "Yeah look at these OWS folks, a lot of them are pretty silly. But let's listen to their points" and then touch on the issues of income inequality and corporate greed that were fueling the movement and point out those are WAY bigger issues. TDS was mostly "haha look at these silly hippies...oh but look a their conservative critics too! Yeah admittedly those people are a lot worse", which strikes me as similar to if someone right after WWII did some comparison of the Dachau Massacre and the whole Nazi concentration camps with equal focus but then said something like "But yeah, of course what the Nazis did was a lot worse."

bad analogy is bad
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Australia General Discussion on: Today at 01:47:47 am

Defender of the Aussie housewives.
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Italy 2014: Try to take over Europe! on: Today at 01:37:41 am
For the time being at least things look weirdly like how they were 'supposed' to be after Mani pulite, before Forza Italia turned up.

Well, if you consider the PD to be the PCI/PDS' heir in any meaningful sense, then yeah. Tongue

This is probably a naive question, but is there any chance of PD purging itself of the non-SD elements to become a bit more ideologically coherent?
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Slovakia gay marriage/adoption/sex education referendum - Feb. 7, 2015 on: Today at 01:30:10 am
Slovak opinion on gay rights has turned a lot more liberal in recent years

By "a lot more liberal" you mean going from 86% opposition in a 2006 poll to ca. 80% in the 2014 poll I posted above ?


Gay rights is about more than gay marriage and the numbers on the "soft stuff" has moved a lot. Seen from a SoCon POV the SoLibs seem to be winning the long game and they react against that.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Greece General Discussion on: Today at 01:24:45 am
Samaras offered to widen the governing coalition and to organize early elections before the end of 2015 once the bailout talks are complete. Apparently several independent MPs see that as an acceptable compromise, and the leaders of ANEL and the Democratic Left rejected the offer (but party discipline does not seem really high). We will see on the 23rd what difference it makes.

Its basically the core of the original part of DIMAR-Indie compromise proposal, so some DIMAR MPs are bound to suppoort it.

EDIT: It seems to be identical to it, which makes sense. First Pasok said they supported it and then ND budged.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion II on: Today at 01:19:20 am
Basically there are all sorts of stories out there.  Some of them may be true, and if they are and they actually get out before the people concerned die, there's going to be a huge fuss.  But obviously you have to be very careful with them.

"A witness who has played a critical role in the inquiry so far, known only as “Nick”, is understood to have told detectives he saw a Conservative MP strangle a 12-year-old boy to death at an orgy in around 1980."

If proven stuff like that should guarantee "a huge fuss" whether the perpetrator was dead or not.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Slovakia gay marriage/adoption/sex education referendum - Feb. 7, 2015 on: December 21, 2014, 11:43:51 pm
From what I understand, the Slovak constitution already bans same-sex marriage.

Does anyone know if this is a referendum that would change the constitution if a majority votes "No" and has 50%+ turnout, or not ?

If not, what's the point of asking Question 1 (SSM), if there's already a ban ?

They could just ask Q2 and Q3.
It may be that a no vote would make the government reverse the constitution - to allow same-sex marriage. The question seems to be slanted towards a positive response though...

Alliance for Family wants to make it as hard as possible to revert the constitutional ban on same sex marriage. The current ban was approved as part of a horse trade. The ruling SDs in Smer wanted some judicial reforms and they got them through by agreeing to the gay marriage ban. Prime Minister Robert Fico doesn't seem to give a damn about this issue, but they can not be sure a future Smer leader would not reverse the party's position. Slovak opinion on gay rights has turned a lot more liberal in recent years, so its a safeguard against future attacks on the ban. You only need a 3/5 majority in Parliament to amend the Constitution (=90 seats, Smer got 83 now), but it would be politically very risky to do so by overruling a referendum. So if they get the ban confirmed in a referendum they are de facto guaranteed that it can only be changed by another referendum.

So the context with a dominant party that is on the left and not "naturally" SoCon is important, as is the increasing support for some rights to gay couples (joint property ownership, bereavement leave, medical info on partner and all the other soft stuff).
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Canada General Discussion 1.5: The Countdown Begins on: December 21, 2014, 02:13:46 pm
People laugh when I say "pro-union centre-rightist," but I do think that's the most accurate description.

That's a common position here in Denmark based on the belief that strong unions allow employers and employees to work things out without the government having to interfere (or having a pretext to do so). Our Conservatives have generally been quite union friendly for that reason, but it seems to be an exotic position outside of Scandinavia,
12  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Africa Liberal Network on: December 21, 2014, 12:11:38 pm
Essentially a bunch of perpetual no-hopers (apart from the Oranges, who seem rather out of place).

Good at providing token opposition though.

Not all of them. UPND has a very good chance of winning the Zambian presidential election. I would say they are favoured at this point (if no foul play) and CUP has 40% of the seats on Zanzibar (with some rigging - would have won otherwise) and a good chance next time.
I think some of them will prevail with elections generally becoming fairer in a range of countries.
13  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Election type events: Uzbekistan on: December 21, 2014, 11:40:54 am
Is Islam Karimov the most loathsome specimen in the CIS?

Possibly, but there is very stiff competition for that title.
14  General Politics / International General Discussion / Election type events: Uzbekistan on: December 21, 2014, 11:08:59 am
Today the population of Uzbekistan has the "choice" between four parties with no ideology or policy positions - and all supporting President Islam Karimov (76) - for 135 seats in their 150 member parliament. The remaining 15 seats are preallocated to the bizarrely named Ecologcal Movement, which is the Presidents own fanclub.

The parties are: Liberal Democratic Party, People's Democratic Party, Democratic Party of National Revival and Social Democratic Party - Justice. So all very democratic..

Turnout has already past 51% and the elections are thereby valid.

15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Nigeria General Election - February 14, 2015 on: December 21, 2014, 09:25:04 am
Good piece on Olusegun  Obasanjo. Ex dictator and PDP godfather turned major league troll and possible kingmaker.

16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Zambia presidential by-election - January 20, 2015 on: December 21, 2014, 09:02:27 am
I should say he very publicly Catholic then. Basically every profile written about him always mentioned that in the first paragraph.

PF has lots of Catholics, mostly because it has lots of Bembas.

Both sides use religion against each other. Lungu is a Catholic, but his opponents claim he is a Muslim convert ("Edgar Muhammed Lungu"), trained in Yemen and financially supported by Somali fundamentalists, while Hichilema is a Seventh Day Adventist and a Free Mason, which many on the other side claim is a non-Christian cult trying to impose a New World Order.

EDIT: At todays rally in Kabwe excommunicated Ortodox Bishop Edward Chomba kicked it up a notch when he said Hichilema was a Satanist and would devour their children! (quoted by several media, so I assume its true. This election is getting crazier all the time.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Ed Koch on: December 21, 2014, 08:42:58 am
Anyone with that last name = HP it seems.

Maybe in America, but not:




18  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: NYPD officers shot dead as "revenge" for Garner decision. on: December 21, 2014, 08:01:13 am
the two situations are identical.

19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Liberia Senate Election - December 20, 2014 on: December 21, 2014, 07:40:04 am
Very low turnout according to reports. Hardly surprising, but I wonder if the bad result from the leftist APD is due to depressed turnout. The poor are generally more scared of the epidemic than the better off.

BBCs Africa editor on the election:
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Croatia Presidential Election - December 28, 2014 (run-off January 11) on: December 21, 2014, 07:08:17 am
Short intro to Sinčić:


"fighting for the liberation of Croatia and against the tycoons and bankers who robbed and destroyed Croatia."
21  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Is political violence inherently wrong? on: December 21, 2014, 06:00:04 am
Snowstalker's position always seems to be that violence towards his end is legitimate, but other violence isn't. Once you open the door for condoning violence for political objectives, you're at least recognizing the right of the oppressors to use violence to keep their own power from the oppressed. If violence from the workers to seize the means of production is legitimate, is violence by the owners against the workers to preserve their ownership of the means of production also legitimate?

Not to defend Snowstalker, but any fundamental change of ownership to the wealth in society (a "social revolution") requires violence, so if you believe such a transition is necessary and moral then you have to condone violence - you can to a certain extent redistribure through taxation, but you need force to fundamentally redistribute property (you can do it through democratic control of the state apparatus, but if the wealthy are in any position to retaliate (by setting up a rebel army, attempting a coup, seeking foreign intervention etc.) such a confiscation of property will still require armed force.
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Zambia presidential by-election - January 20, 2015 on: December 21, 2014, 05:28:47 am
Zambia Railways Director of Finance Elijah Nyirenda has died under mysterious circumstances  a day after objecting to a PF manoeuvre to syphon money from the railways to fund Lungu's campaign.

Zambia Railways is controlled by PF cadres with Lungu appointed SG PF Davis Chama as chairman of the board and Muyenga Atanga, husband to dismissed Scott wing SG Bridget Atanga as managing director.
23  General Politics / International General Discussion / ISIS uses access to sex slaves as part of recruiting strategy on: December 21, 2014, 05:19:29 am
ISIS does not just practice sex slavery, it is a core component of their recruiting strategy. Scary stuff. They have also issued a guide for sex slavery incl. a permission “to have intercourse with a female slave who hasn't reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse.”



24  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Greece General Discussion on: December 21, 2014, 04:56:02 am
"Everything you wanted to know about the Independent Greeks bribery scandal / fiasco / circus but were afraid to ask"

25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Liberia Senate Election - December 20, 2014 on: December 21, 2014, 03:33:50 am
Preliminary results:

No numbers, but according to Liberian media the following will win:

George Weah (CDC) in Monterrado County (with Robert Sirleaf last!)

Varney Sherman (UP) for Grand Cape Mount County,
Conmeny Wesseh (UP) for River Gee County,
Steve Zargo (LP) for Lofa County
Clarice Jah (LP) for Margibi County,
Jewel Howard Taylor (NPP) for  Bong County (gay hater no. 1)
Zoe Pennue (Ind.) for Grand Gedeh County
Lahai Lansanah (NPP) for Bomi County
Bhofal Chamber (CDC)for Maryland County
Jonathan Kaipay (LP) for Grand Bassa County
Milton J. Teajay (UP) for Sinoe County
Edith Gongloe-Weh (LP) for Nimba County - so thankfully Johnson is out!

The remaining three have not been called.

So 3 seats to Sirleafs UP, 4 to LP, that was in coalition talks with CDC and seems "benign", 2 to CDC, 2 to the Horrible People in NPP and an Indie. Generally that's a consolidation behind the big parties and a win for the opposition so far, but if UP takes a couple of the remaining seats it's an okay result for them.

EDIT: The Liberty Party is officially Liberal, but led by Charles Brumskine, who was a Taylor ally until 1999, when they fell out and is a bit of a religious nutcase.
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