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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: 2016 - a bad year for election nerds on: Today at 08:32:06 pm
Is it me or is 2016 incredibly top heavy with elections? Most of the interesting ones are from January to May.

Ghana in December made it less extreme, but it is 8:2 for me with only the two African elections (Zambia and Ghana) in the second half. Then there are three jokers: Australia, Netherlands and Greece, but Greece will likely be this year - and if 2016 it will surely be in the first quarter of the year. If you like Eastern Europe you got Romania, Lithuania and Montenegro, but only the last of them is semi-interesting to me. If you do not care about either Africa or Eastern Europe it gets very lopsided.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: 2016 - a bad year for election nerds on: Today at 08:29:30 pm
Is it me or is 2016 incredibly top heavy with elections? Most of the interesting ones are from January to May.

Ghana in December made it less extreme, but it is 8:2 for me with only the two African elections (Zambia and Ghana) in the second half. Then there are three jokers: Australia, Netherlands and Greece, but Greece will likely be this year - and if 2016 it will surely be in the first quarter of the year. If you like Eastern Europe you got Romania, Lithuania and Montenegro, but only the last of them is semi-interesting to me. Onthe other hand: If you dont care about either Africa or Eastern Europe it get extremely lopsided.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: 2016 - a bad year for election nerds on: Today at 08:27:36 pm
Is it me or is 2016 incredibly top heavy with elections? Most of the interesting ones are from January to May.

Ghana in December made it less extreme, but it is 8:2 for me with only the two African elections (Zambia and Ghana) in the second half. Then there are three jokers: Australia, Netherlands and Greece, but Greece will likely be this year - and if 2016 it will surely be in the first quarter of the year. If you like Eastern Europe you got Romania, Lithuania and Montenegro, but only the last of them is semi-interesting to me. If you do not care about either Africa orEastern Europe it get very lopsided.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: 2016 - a bad year for election nerds on: Today at 07:49:19 pm
The Ghanaian election will be on 7 December, not in February. Smiley

source?
5  General Discussion / History / Re: Adolf Hitler: left or right? on: Today at 05:26:30 pm
This is not really worth debating. Hitler was left wing is a bogus claim.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Who would you prefer to moderate the Atlas forum? on: Today at 05:18:52 pm
Pope Francis.

Trump should moderate AAD.
7  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Boy Scouts Lifts Ban on Gay Scout Leaders on: Today at 05:17:02 pm
13-18 year old boys 13-18 year old girls a little love might happen.

So you are anti-love?

In all seriousness gender integrated scouting troops (and patrols) work just fine. Lots of countries have them.
Not anti-love but boys and girls are stupid at our age and most boys in my troop talk about their girlfriend and how they've done it with her. It also sets a bad example on younger scouts. Bottom line they shouldn't be allowed to sleep near each other on a camp out.

I don't want to sound facetious, but why does it matter? Like, who cares? Most people lose their virginity in their teens, so why does it matter if they lose it while wearing a sash with loads of badges on it?

They are minors. Lawsuits baby. Case closed. Next!

16-18 year olds are not in a large number of states.
8  General Discussion / History / Re: Opinion of the 1970s? on: Today at 05:12:37 pm
Freedom decade

Surprised. It was about as left wing as they come. All that Kapitallogik and Marxist study circles. With Marxist students and teaching assistants basically taking over the humanities and destroying academic tradition and quality. Also produced some of the worst literature ever written:  Socialrealism and hack pieces making private trivialities  into pseud-autobiographical gibberish; broken prose displacing real poetry etc.  Add disco and you got  a low point of Western civilization. How can a Conservative like the 70s? A Neo-Liberal maybe (it was the decade those guys took off), but not an actual Conservative.

For me: Worst decade of the 20th Century apart from the two with world wars and the 30s. Even then all of those decades produced more valuable art and scholarship than the 70s.
9  General Politics / International General Discussion / World population growing faster than expected - 11 billion+ in 2100 on: Today at 04:53:55 pm
According to a new UN report "World Population Prospects: The 2015 Revision" we will in 2100 be 50% more people on the planet than today. Still more will also have a higher standard of living and a higher consumption than now. And an increasing proportion will be in the non-working age.

If all this really can be done, and is not limited by lack of food and resources, devastating climate change and environmental degradation, social conflicts and wars - or as a result of wise decisions (last thing not bloody likely).

The report estimates that the global population will grow from 7.3 billion people today to 9.7 billion in 2050 and then to 11.2 billion in 2100.

Both the estimates for 2050 and 2100 are upward revisions compared to the previous forecast from 2012, when the UN scenario said 9.6 billion. and 10.9 billion. The 2012 forecast contained in itself an upward revision compared to the version from 2010, when world population was estimated to hit 10.1 billion. in 2100.

In other words: The global population increases by more than the experts previously predicted. According to the new report the curve has still not completely bottomed out and growth is not even stopped at the end of the century (as previously expected).

It is  unsurprisingly especially in poor countries that population growth is still high. More than half of the growth until 2050 is expected to be in Africa, where 28 countries will double their population. This is because the continent's young population has a continued high fertility rate of 4.7 births per woman - three times as much as a woman in Europe.

In total the African population will grow from 1.2 billion now to twice as many in the middle of the century and almost 4.4 billion. in 2100!

By 2050 Nigeria is projected to overtake the United States and become the world's third most populous country.

The growth concentration in the poorest countries presents its own challenges and makes it even more difficult to eradicate poverty and inequality, fighting hunger and malnutrition and improve education enrollment and health care systems - all crucial for the success of the UN agenda of sustainable development.

The most populous region in the world will still be Asia, and especially India's large population continues to grow significantly. While China's population has almost stabilized around 1.38 billion. people India's population is expected to grow from today's 1.31 billion to 1.7 billion in 2050. In just seven years the number of Indians will exceed the number of Chinese.

The only major region in the world where the population is projected to fall noticeably is Europe. From 738 million Europeans today it is expected to fall to 707 million in the middle of the century and drop to 646 million in 2100. This means that where 1:10 people in the world today are European, it will at the end of the century only be 1:20.

Fertility in all European countries is now below the level needed to fully maintain the population in the long run - on average about 2.1 children per. woman. The current birthrate in Europe is 1.6.

Despite an expected increase in fertility in the middle of the century it will not be enough to slow the decline in the European population.

The big joker when it comes to European population development is migration in the form of immigration and refugee flows. A continuing poor Africa with a significantly growing, young population may well intensify the exodus to Europe.

The report says:

"Large and persistent economic and demographic asymmetries between countries is likely to remain powerful drivers of international migration in the foreseeable future."

With great reservations the UN report estimates that up to 2050 there will be a net immigration to Europe of 31 million people. The low birth rate, however, means that at that time there will be 32 million fewer people in Europe despite immigration.

The forecast, which says 11.2 billion people in 2100, presuposes that today's global average birth rate of 2.5 children per woman will have dropped to 2.0 in 2100.

A scenario where all countries  had a fertility rate that was half a child higher than in the middle scenario would result in a population of 16.6 billion in 2100, more than five billion. higher than the mean projection.

The decisive factor is therefore whether we manage to reduce the number of births per woman.

According to the report only about a third of women with childbearing potential who live in a relationship with a man in the least developed countries use contraceptives, while just one in five women in the same group doesnt get contraceptives despite a formulated request for them.

Where it took the entire period from the origin of man on Earth until about 1800 to reach the first billion, there has since 1960 been added one billion for each 12-13th years. The eighth billion will probably be reached in less than 10 years from now.

The report discusses  how a rapidly growing population that can reach 9.7 billion in the middle of the century and 11.2 billion by its end can live in harmony with access to resources, land, water and space as well as in balance with the environment and in accordance with the climate's carrying capacity.

Most of the population growth will occur in countries that are already struggle to provide enough resources for sustenance.

Many countries with rapidly growing populations are threatened by water scarcity or deforestation, others are struggling with conflict or political instability. Although progress can not be ruled out, a rapid population growth in these countries multiply the challenges. Their populations are demographically vulnerable and at greater risk of suffering from hunger, poverty, water shortages, environmental destruction and political upheaval.

The report cites as examples that Haiti already has lost 98 per cent of its forest cover and is expected to have a population growth of 50 per cent up to 2050, while Uganda - which today uses the country's natural resources twice as fast as the are restored - must look forward to a population growth of 168 per cent during the same period. Yemen, which is one of the countries in the world with its greatest pressure on water resources, can await 49 per cent. population growth, while Pakistan and Afghanistan with a corresponding water pressure can count on 80 percent. growth. In politically fragile, conflict-ridden countries such as Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo the report predict a population growth of 151 and 172 per cent 2050.

These perspectives may imply rapidly deteriorating problems in vulnerable countries as well as, perhaps, that the predicted population growth does not reach the expected levels because communities are affected by large environmental problems or climate disasters, food and water shortages or new wars and conflicts

The Population Institute points to reproductive health and reproductive rights as the key tool to curb birth rates and thus population growth in vulnerable countries.
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Poland election - October 25 2015 on: Today at 03:44:35 pm
Polls in Poland are useless. That is why I do not post them in this topic. But maybe I will write something about smaller parties which have plans to participate in the elections if anybody is interested. This is more interesting than PO vs PiS struggle.

Please do. I'm very interested in this.

Yeah, since Kal's thread about Polish politics was somehow deleted there's a void to be filled.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Mullah Omar dead. on: Today at 02:10:03 pm
Hepatitis B.

An inglorious death for an inglorious bastard.
12  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Faroe Islands Parliamentary Election - September 1, 2015 on: Today at 01:23:32 pm
If there is a political potential in it will  be related to security, border control  and Sea Sheppard's Sleppiđ Grindini campaign, which continues to October.

Immigration and police are union matters, so the Faroese can not stop the activists, but rely on Danish authorities - but the Danish government (and opposition) has backed the Faroese and sent a couple of naval vessels up there among other things. I doubt the lack of Faroese control of the maritime borders and airport security can be politicized. Maybe if th activists commits violence of some sorts and the police can be blamed somehow.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Faroe Islands Parliamentary Election - September 1, 2015 on: Today at 12:56:48 pm
Even setting aside the thousand year old cultural tradition thing and only looking at it from a practical angle it is hard to argue against grindadrap without suggesting the population should go full scale vegetarian (unpopular and expensive in a country where you generally can not grow vegetables and fruit outside hothouses and all imports are expensive). With modern methods it takes on average 22 seconds for a pilot whale to die after it has been hooked. That is pretty quick and of course far quicker than it takes for a whale trapped in a fishing net to die. It is not an endangered species, so basically you are down to the stress of hunting. Which is less than the stress of an animal in an industrial slaughterhouse (not to mention the transport to the slaughterhouse).

If the Faroese did not kill pilot whales they would have to import industrially produced meat from animals treated worse. So it is one of those: "Become a vegetarian or shut up" things. With the caveat that there actually are poor people who can not really afford to become vegetarians on the Faroes.

Given that the meat is shared and benefit the poor and it is not a good case for the left (+ Republic are Faroese nationalists) and the right wing is naturally pro-tradition/national culture. The Self-Government Party with its Social Liberal and urban base might be the most likely to become critical, but again: They are the scions of a nationalist tradition.

Outlawing some less efficient methods would be the only thing politically realistic. They are being phased out anyway.

http://arcticjournal.com/opinion/1729/hypocrisy-its-whats-dinner

http://www.nammco.no/assets/Publications/Hunting-Methods-Committee/Final-Report-Export-Group-meeting-assessing-hunting-methods-for-small-cetacean.pdf
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Faroe Islands Parliamentary Election - September 1, 2015 on: Today at 10:03:17 am
Their gay pride parade was on July 27. Too bad, I was hoping they would have it during the campaign. Wink

Pretty big thing nowadays. It has had up to 5 000 participants in a country with 49 000 people.



"Socialists for love" on this banner.

15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Poland election - October 25 2015 on: Today at 10:01:00 am
Polls in Poland are useless. That is why I do not post them in this topic. But maybe I will write something about smaller parties which have plans to participate in the elections if anybody is interested. This is more interesting than PO vs PiS struggle.

It was the small party results that were crazy in that one. They bounce back and forth. NPL from 1 to 6%, ZL/SLD swings almost as much. So yeah Polish pollsters must be pretty bad.

16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Poland election - October 25 2015 on: Today at 09:25:17 am
Pretty crazy poll from GfK Polonia. Gotta be an outlier.
 
PiS 47%
PO 30%
Kukiz 10,5%  
--------
PSL 3,7%
KORWiN 2,2%
ZL (United Left) 1,1%  
NPL 1%  

17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Faroe Islands Parliamentary Election - October 28, 2015 on: Today at 08:29:56 am
Kaj Leo Johannesen has just called it to be held on September 1. Trying to silence the critics in his own party and avoid a leadership challenge.

A selfish move since his party would likely have done quite a lot better without him, but it was the only weapon he had left. Half his party wanted him gone and if he had waited they would have found someone to run against him.

This election hasn't been polled since April and the Folketing result is useless in predicting the Lřgting, since voters use different criteria, so it is anybody's guess who is ahead.

Johannesen used his speech at the opening of the Lřgting on the Faroese national  day Ólavsřka (Olaf's Wake  - in memory of the death of the Norwegian King Olaf II (lSaint Olaf)'s death at the Battle of Stiklestad in 1030). So all very patriotic.
18  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Nordic Thread on: Today at 07:28:28 am
IP leader Bjarni Benediktsson wants to combine the Presidential election with a vote on a new watered down constitutional bill. This will put voters in a dilemma since they approved a more far reaching constitutional proposal in 2012, which was then stalled by the pols, and can now either vote "No" in which case the government can claim the staus quo is OK or approve  a constitution that doesn't really change that much.

Still, IP and PP will in all likelyhood be out of office in 2017 and the centre-left more or less have to implement a direct democracy/public ownership to natural resources constitution if they win. Their failure to do so was one of the main reasons they lost in 2013. Also one of the key factors behind the rise of the Pirates.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Italian Elections and Politics, 2015 ed. on: Today at 06:44:49 am
Dennis Verdini, the leader of the pro-compromise faction of Forza Italia, is leaving the party with his supporters after Berlusconi made clear he's in full opposition mode against Renzi. This ensures that, even withoutthe PD's left, Renzi will probably have a majority to pass the Senate reform.

Is Verdini going to form a new party?
20  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Boy Scouts Lifts Ban on Gay Scout Leaders on: Today at 06:43:50 am
13-18 year old boys 13-18 year old girls a little love might happen.

So you are anti-love?

In all seriousness gender integrated scouting troops (and patrols) work just fine. Lots of countries have them.
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: The Great Nordic Thread on: Today at 06:15:21 am
With less than one year to go it is still wide open who will be the next President of Iceland. A new Gallup poll has 62% undecided and among the 38% with an opinion the poll is topped by two candidates who have both declined any interest in the Presidency, with another polling fourth:

Jón Gnarr 21% (after repeatedly saying he does not want to be President Gnarrs support is now mostly down to youngish male Pirate supporters and some BFs, who are likely old Best Party fans. He has 35% support among under 30s and only 3% of the 60+ segment.

LG chairman Katrín Jakobsdóttir 17%, popular with left wing women and female Pirates.

President forever (well, 20 years) Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson 11% (ironically the old Socialist is only really popular among PP voters with 40% - which is logical given his staunch Euroscepticism)

Grimsson says he may be willing to run for a sixth term, and will then retire after two years after the EU question and the constitutional bill have been handled.

Ţóru Arnórsdóttur, TV journalist who ran unsuccessfully against Grimsson in 2012 and says she has no intention of running again gets 8%.

Ragna Árnadóttir, former CEO of energy company Landsvirkjun 6%

Davíđ Oddsson, former PM, central bank director and current editor in chief of Morgunblađiđ + grey eminence of the Icelandic right wing 3% (Oddsson as President would a nightmare come through for the left, but is completely unrealistic)

Author Ţórarinn Eldjárn 2% (son of former President Kristján Eldjárn and translator of Alice in Wonderland, which would be sort of fitting in a quirky way)

Former principal of the University of Iceland Kristín Ingólfsdóttir 2%

25% mention a candidate with less than 2% support and 3% say they will vote for "any woman".

http://www.mbl.is/media/61/9161.pdf
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Faroe Islands Parliamentary Election - October 28, 2015 on: Today at 05:21:45 am
I was only familiar with this place after reading about the utterly repulsive grindadráp tradition there. Do any of the parties support banning that sick thing? Even just pictures of it look horrifying.

Nah, that would be a huge electoral liability. It is popular and they view it as a humane way of killing the animals, which is just demonized by outsiders because it is a literal bloodbath, which sheltered city folks can not handle. And they have a point.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Faroe Islands Parliamentary Election - October 28, 2015 on: Today at 03:48:43 am
Couldn't civil marriage be a thing, then ?

It is civil gay marriage that is on the agenda. That is what they voted on in 2014.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Opinion of Japanese Foreign Policy under PM Shinzo Abe on: Today at 03:11:03 am
whataboutery.
That's the third time I've seen that word.  I call bullsh**t.  The word doesn't exist. 


It certainly does in Northern Ireland.
25  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: EU population estimates for 2015 out (EUROSTAT): 508.2 million people on: Today at 03:01:51 am
Turkey has been having quite the population boom. They have a really high birth rate. If Turkey had a smaller population of maybe 15-20 million, then it would be possible for them to join. But with the anti Muslim sentiment in Europe I don't think Turkey and it's close to 80 million Muslims would be welcome.

Also I think the whole Syria civil war and ISIS being next door, has made it less like they will join anytime soon. Maybe in another generation though. 20-25 years from now things might look very differently.

Nah, that is highly unlikely. Turkey will end up with a population of about 100 mio. before it stabilizes, which would make them by far the biggest country in EU, with only Germany even remotely close. It is not just, or even primarily,  religion that blocks them, but having a country with different values from the Western European core of EU (think animal rights, ethnic minority rights, gender issues, gay rights, prison system, role of the state and military etc.). And with an enormous sense of self importance and a very nationalist and uncompromising political tradition it is just not going to fit in. Turkish EU membership would disturb the entire balance of power in Europe. No country bigger than France/UK/Italy can ever join the EU.

You can find Western European countries with some of the same problematic elements as Turkey, but Turkey combines some of the worst aspects of France, Poland, Spain and Italy all in one very big (by European standards) country. Even if it was thoroughly Westernized on social issues it would also need to be de-Kemalized and lose the Kurdish areas + make Istanbul an independent city state to be cut down to an acceptable size. Then there might be a possibility.

In short: ain't gonna happen.

(if Istanbul ever by some weird twist of history became an independent city state, that would be another matter)
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