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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: Bosnia and Herzegovina general election - October 12, 2014 on: Today at 08:55:23 am
SNSD now call on SDA and HDZ, to start talks on forming a government, since they have a clear majority between them.

Meanwhile DF is still pondering whether to try to get into government, whereas SDS leader Mladen Bosic has said his party wants to get into the Council of Ministers (Bosnian central government - or as close to a government as  Bosnia has..).

The Council of Ministers must by law comprise three ministers from each of the three main ethnic groups, making nine + a tenth minister from the category of "others", meaning ethnically undeclared or minorities. According to the agreed principle of rotation the Prime Minister will be a Bosniak this time round. So SDA will likely get to chose between the two big Serbian parties.

SDA spokesman Adil Osmanovic has said that both the cantonal assemblies in the Federation and the Federation entity government have to be formed before they will talk Council of Minister distribution, since it would be best for the parties that form majorities in the entities to replicate the same pattern at the state level since “the experience of the last four years in the Federation is that when we have different political parties at different levels, the authorities cant function” (he thinks this could be done by February)

According to this principle it will likely be SNSD that gets into the council since SNSD chairman Igor Radojicic says SNSD and its partners in DNS and the Socialist Party have enough seats in the National Assembly to form the entity government,

With Dodik winning the Presidential election SNSD are hanging on to power in Srpska, but it looks shaky. They cant afford many deserters.
2  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Bosnia and Herzegovina general election - October 12, 2014 on: Today at 08:32:03 am
The vote count is progressing incredible slowly, no info about why it is so hard to count the results from the remaining 5-11,5% of polling stations (depending on election type), probably lots of challenges regarding the validity of ballots. The Central Electoral Commission has said the final results will be confirmed by the end of the month. They are by law required to publish the official results no later than 30 days after the elections, so November 11 should be the latest date possible.
3  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mozambique presidential and parliamentary elections - 15 October 2014 on: Today at 07:23:04 am
While still awaiting the final result it may be time to do a bit of status on this election:

1. Violence paid off for Renamo, which doubled their votes from 2009. Going into the bush and not returning before they had gotten concessions from Frelimo regained the trust of the dissatisfied, that Renamo is the only force capable of shaking the Frelimo hegemony.

2. MDM's success in the municipal elections last year was just because Renamo boycotted them. Even in a town like Quemane where MDM is in charge and has apparently done a good job, they don't get more than 10-12% of the national vote. It is of course very disappointing from a pro-democracy POV, that violence paid off and good governance wasn't rewarded.

3. Neither Renamo's populism nor MDM running on liberalism regarding constitutional rights, direct democracy and strengthening the private sector appeals to people in southern Mozambique. To cut into Frelimo's southern hegemony a party would need to run to the left of Frelimo criticizing the government for being too pro-business and neglecting rural areas and the poor. Dhlakama tried to position himself as the champion of the poor and gained a bit, but most southerners will never vote Renamo, the scars from the civil war runs too deep.

4. With a reduced Frelimo majority the interesting thing is if the Frelimo left wing around Luisa Diogo will get more leverage. If Frelimo only has around 140 of 250 seats, 15 deserters would be enough to vote down the government. The best thing for democracy would be a Frelimo split between leftists and the dominant pro-business wing, but given how valuable the Frelimo brand is and how beneficial it is to be a member of the party of power, this is unlikely. Still, there are obvious fault lines within Frelimo and one can always hope. It happened in Botswana with the BDP split i 2010.

5. Turnout is still dismal, even if it did go up from 45% to 50%. This probably reflects that many people are fed up with both Frelimo and Renamo and see no point in choosing between them and MDM is not seen as attractive by most poors and rubes (and in Mozambique that is 90% of the population), since it is viewed as the party for the well educated middle class.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mozambique presidential and parliamentary elections - 15 October 2014 on: Today at 06:22:40 am
Renamo boss Afonso Dhlakama believes he won the election last Wednesday (but then again Dhlakama believes he has won every elections since 1994), and says he wants a national unity government and are calling for negotiations between Renamo and Frelimo to establish such a government with the task of totally restructuring the state apparatus and security forces to remove Frelimo influence. There would then be new elections in two years.

He says the polling on Wednesday was not a real election, and that "the world community should not accept in Africa an election which would not be acceptable in Europe" and instead support a unity government that would finally bring democracy to Mozambique.

Meanwhile he is maintaining the always implicit threat of violence. Young Renamo supporters attacked polling stations in Tete and Ihla de Mocambique on election day, and Renamo has not demobilised or disarmed all the forces remobilised for the 2012-13 insurrection. Dhakama says he doesn't want violence, but his supporters are angry and he just isn't sure he can control them (all those young hotheads..). He also utters enigmatic statements such as: "Violence is not necessary if Frelimo negotiates and is not itself violent, as the "Frelimo police" were on polling day". So violence isn't in itself violent, gotcha Aphonso!

Dhlakama is citing as examples the national unity governments in Kenya 2008-13 and Zimbabwe 2009-13 (and we all now how well they turned out...).

Frelimo will obviously not accept a unity government. In the 1990-92 Rome peace talks Renamo had to accept the legitimacy of the government and constitution, which Dhlakama finally agreed to after two years of dragging his feet - and for Frelimo that is the basis for modern Mozambican politics. But as observers point out the importance of the Kenya example is that there was high level international mediation and the government was hugely expanded to create posts for the opposition. Dhlakama probably hopes that diplomats will put pressure on Frelimo and the government to make major concessions, even if not granting a unity government at least more Renamo people in state institutions. He already got a lot of his guys into the army and provincial administrations following the 2013 peace talks.
5  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Mozambique presidential and parliamentary elections - 15 October 2014 on: Today at 05:40:21 am
First provincial result - Maputo City:

Turnout 60.2%. Almost 282,000 registered voters in Maputo did not cast their ballots.


Presidential Election:

Filipe Nyusi (Frelimo) 287,674 (68.8%)

Afonso Dhlakama (Renamo) 86,326 (20.7%)

Davis Simango (MDM) 43,868 (10.5%)


Parliamentary election:

Frelimo 257,829 (62.7%) (11)

Renamo 82,447 (20.0%) (3)

MDM 64,490 (15.7%) (2)

The remaining 2,6% were scattered among 24 minor parties, only five of whom picked up more than 0.1% of the votes.

Frelimo's share of the vote has fallen significantly since the 2009 elections, where Guebuza won 80.4% of the Maputo presidential vote and Frelimo won 76,5% of the parliamentary vote

The parliamentary results mean that Frelimo takes 11 of the 16 seats allocated to Maputo city, Renamo 3 and MDM 2. In 2009 the city had 18 seats, 14 went to Frelimo, 3 to MDM, and 1 to Renamo.

The result is very disappointing for MDM, which failed to build on its succes in the 2013 municipal elections. But the 2013 polls were boycotted by Renamo, so MDM picked up the entire opposition vote.
Renamo's re-entry into electoral politics has clearly stripped away most of MDM's support.

The provincial results are still provisional. They will not become definitive until they have been confirmed by the National Elections Commission (CNE), but that should be a formality, since all major parties agree on them.
6  General Politics / International General Discussion / SAGD: Pistorius only gets 5 years for killing girl friend. on: October 21, 2014, 06:52:02 pm
Paralympic sprint icon Oscar Pistorius (who also competed against able bodied runners) has been sentenced to five years' imprisonment for the killing of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines day last year + three years suspended (for five years) for discharging a firearm in a Johannesburg restaurant. His defence team expect him to only spend 10 Months in jail and the rest in house arrest. Hashtag #Nojustice trended worldwide on twitter after the lenient manslaughter conviction.

The background for the sentencing is South Africa's horrific jails. Pistorius' defence team compellingly argued that prison was an unsuitable and unsafe place for the athlete to rehabilitate, but since this is of course also true for thousands of other (primarily poor and black) offenders living behind bars, its a controversial argument.

The case also has some OJ type elements. He fired four times through a locked batroom door - claiming that he thought it was an "intruder" and that Steenkamp was in their bed when he left to look (he changed his story on that one a couple of times). She was scared of him and his violent temper and they had a row after some text messages from her former boyfriend, a rugby star named Francois Hougaard. Ironically she had planned a lecture about violence against women on a school the following day. The judge claimed their prior history was irrelevant, because they had "a normal relationship" despite threats, violence, rage fits etc. since human beings are fickle and relationship varies, says somethig about domestic violence as an accepted aspect of relationships in SA.

The judge was a Zulu woman (second female black judge in SA), who worked her way through law school while taking care of a family as a single mother - took her 10 years of night school to graduate.
So you got both ends of the traditional racial and social hierearchy represented by the defendant and the judge.

http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/oscar-pistorius/53387/oscar-pistorius-sentenced-to-five-by-judge-masipa-today-watch-live

On Pistorius defence and the well entrenched "fear of the black intruder" in white South Africa:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/12/oscar-pistorius-verdict-reeva-steenkamp-defence-implausible



7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Brazil Election - 5 October 2014 on: October 21, 2014, 06:18:43 pm
On the other side, some of the attacks suffered by Dilma in 2010 were dirty. It is not fair to discuss if she is religious or not because this issue belongs to her private life. Other attacks were fair. For example, when it was told that she entered the university but did not write the thesis. Concerning this information, the voters have right to know. This issue belongs to her public life.

The religious beliefs of a presidential candidate are not a private matter.

Should be.

Why? Religious beliefs can affect policy making and they are an integral part of who that person is.

I'm sorry, you're right. After all, under JFK presidency, the United States was transformed into a Catholic theocracy, ruled directly from the Vatican.

Getting snarky, are we? I said can, not will. There is obviously no determinism in this.
My take is that if you run for President in a country where that office has real power you should play with an open hand. Voters are entitled to know about every important part of your personal history, your economy, network and belief system.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: October 21, 2014, 06:09:51 pm
There's a big difference in lib dem voters between regions. Lib Dem voters in, say, cornwall are very different socially and politically from Lib Dem voters in, say, Sheffield Hallam.

It would be very interesting if one of you Brits could make a short description of the (stereo)typical LibDem voter in each of their strongest areas.
(or give us a link if someone has already done it)
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: AZ-2016: McCain taking steps towards reelection run on: October 21, 2014, 08:34:25 am
Article.

Quote
Sen. John McCain has scheduled a breakfast meeting for Nov. 6 at the Ritz-Carlton, Phoenix, where he will discuss with supporters his "thoughts" on seeking re-election in 2016.

Earlier this month, McCain told reporters after an appearance in Mesa that the odds of him running again in 2016 "are pretty good."

"On November 6th, Senator McCain will bring together longtime supporters to discuss a possible re-election bid," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers wrote in a Monday e-mail to The Republic. "As he's said, Senator McCain hasn't yet made a decision on running again, but he's certainly considering it, and is doing everything necessary to be ready should he decide to seek re-election."

McCain doesn't seem to know when to quit.
10  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Best President, of these three on: October 21, 2014, 08:32:09 am
Korea was pretty awful though.

What were we supposed to do, just let the Soviets incorporate all of Korea into their proxy sphere? Stare down the possibility of a Finlandized Japan? Unacceptable.

Korea could have been won without the mass killings of civilians resulting from bombing damns in North Korea and the extreme brutality against communities housing/supporting leftist guerrillas in South Korea committed by the Syngman Rhee regime - which the US could have influenced to some degree if not stopped all together. It is often forgotten that Korea was much worse regarding both civilian casualties and atrocities against the civilian population than Vietnam.
11  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Brazil Election - 5 October 2014 on: October 21, 2014, 08:01:05 am
On the other side, some of the attacks suffered by Dilma in 2010 were dirty. It is not fair to discuss if she is religious or not because this issue belongs to her private life. Other attacks were fair. For example, when it was told that she entered the university but did not write the thesis. Concerning this information, the voters have right to know. This issue belongs to her public life.

The religious beliefs of a presidential candidate are not a private matter.

Should be.

Why? Religious beliefs can affect policy making and they are an integral part of who that person is.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Electoral College problems for Republicans on: October 21, 2014, 07:51:47 am
I wouldn't rule out Wisconsin.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Brazil Election - 5 October 2014 on: October 21, 2014, 07:42:32 am
On the other side, some of the attacks suffered by Dilma in 2010 were dirty. It is not fair to discuss if she is religious or not because this issue belongs to her private life. Other attacks were fair. For example, when it was told that she entered the university but did not write the thesis. Concerning this information, the voters have right to know. This issue belongs to her public life.

The religious beliefs of a presidential candidate are not a private matter.
14  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How would you have voted in the preceding election? on: October 21, 2014, 06:44:29 am
Wayne Barnett

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tongan_general_election,_2010
15  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update XVIII: 15 Miles From Lunch on: October 21, 2014, 04:57:28 am
What the Inks is a supply preacher?

16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Congressional Elections / Re: Which Senator(-elect) will have won by the widest margin? on: October 21, 2014, 03:29:19 am
Not counting Sessions, Enzi. The only way Wyoming will ever vote Democrat again is if you relocated a few million hipsters there and force them to vote.

Wyoming got less than 600,000 inhabitants. 249,000 voted in 2012. Romney's margin over Obama was 100,700. It doesn't take many transplants to swing the state, its just hard to see why they should move there.
17  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: 1824 Presidential Election on: October 20, 2014, 06:06:38 pm
Crawford
18  Questions and Answers / The Atlas / Re: Is there a list of Mods along with their tenure anywhere? on: October 20, 2014, 04:05:24 pm
Why is there no support for Mod term limits? What kind of person would even want to be a Mod for years and years, considering how it's a lot of tedious work for no benefit and you potentially have to put up with angry throngs of haters?

The lack of gradual retirement is what puzzles me as well. Its a pity. Higher turnover would be good.
19  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Who is less intelligent: GW Bush or Sarah Palin on: October 20, 2014, 03:50:21 pm
At least Bush went to Yale.

Eh...I'm sure Palin could've went to Yale too if her daddy was a president.

Still Palin though.

Still, they must have some minimum criteria to keep up their reputation.
20  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Angola releases first Population Census figures in 44 years on: October 20, 2014, 01:11:50 pm
And it's much higher than estimated:

1970 Census:   5,646,166 people
2014 Census: 24,383,301 people

That's an annual growth rate of 3.4% between 1970-2014 !!!

http://www.macauhub.com.mo/en/2014/10/16/angola-has-a-population-of-24-3-million-people

http://www.citypopulation.de/Angola.html

It should also be noted that the 2014 Census had a very competent organisation and the public participated with almost 100% (there were a lot of ad campaigns before the census field period).

Still, Africa is a ticking population time bomb.

That is still less than half the population of Britain and they have 1,246,700 km2 to spread them on and a lot of oil wealth to care for them. Among African countries threatened by population growth Angola would be near the bottom on my list. It is mostly a redistribution problem - it will hard to solve and create social tensions, but it is definitely manageable.

(but of course they need to slow down the growth rate)
21  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Could anyone more irrelevant than George Pataki run for president? on: October 20, 2014, 12:16:12 pm
Bill Richardson.
22  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Look and Layout Preferences #10: First day of the week on the calendar on: October 20, 2014, 10:42:41 am
Well, if this map is accurate Sunday is still in the running (may even be a majority). Surprised about China/Japan/Korea. Non-Christians and generally in favour of international standardization.

Burma, Laos and Greenland should be yellow as well.



Green = Saturday (Muslim option)
Blue = Sunday
Yellow = Monday

EDIT: Wiki says that Monday is xīngqīyī (星期一) in Chinese, meaning "day one of the week", that seems to contradict blue colour on the map.
23  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Alabama treats inmates like Victorian debtors at best, stray animals at worst on: October 20, 2014, 09:36:25 am
So Cassius' brutal rejoinder to R2D2 consists of (1) a yogiism ("That isn't word, and you're using it wrong!"), (2) a tautology ("You are merely an individual!"), and (3) a demand that R2D2 produce a deity to legitimize his opinion?

+ implying that this criteria didn't apply to rich and powerful people, who are apparently the only ones allowed to make moral judgements.
24  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: How would you have voted in the preceding election? on: October 20, 2014, 09:18:21 am
Tom McClintock

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_German_federal_election,_1949

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I couldn't find much information on any other parties. Besides that, RF weren't anywhere near as bad as the National Party in South Africa.

OK, but it was still the most racist option.
25  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Christianity on: October 20, 2014, 06:19:22 am
In any case, most Christians don't follow their religion literally either. If they did, they would be stoning gays in the street. Another thing the eastern religions are superior at. Much less stoning to death of undesirable groups.

...

Yeah, because as we all know, the bible is very gay friendly.

1. "Let he who is pure throw the first stone".

2. OT clearly condemns same sex intercourse, but the extent to which OT law apply for Christians would always be a matter of interpretation, since NT contradicts itself on this issue. No literal reading of the Bible could in itself solve this issue.

3. There are only two seemingly anti-gay passages in NT (Paul, not Jesus). If you go to the original wording one of them is about boy prostitution and the other one is part of a condemnation of orgies and not necessarily relevant in other contexts.

So while the Bible is not exactly gay friendly, a literal reading of the Bible would not in itself give one reason to stone gays or hate them. There are obviously plenty of people willing to use the Bible as pretext for their homophobia, but that is another matter.

And even if you consider homosexualty a sin, executing people because of their sins would of course always contradict the Bible.
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