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News: Cast your Ballot in the 2016 Mock Election

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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: June 22, 2017, 12:51:04 pm
Why can't Melenchon play nice with the Communists?
To be fair, the question can also exactly be asked in reverse.

Also, it's better they have two groups, that's twice the number of assisting positions, and they would have perpetually fought and eventually split rather sooner than later. And anyway, a 27-member group can't do much more than two 16-member and 15-member groups... They don't even have half a motion of no-confidence (58 seats needed) between them !

You know, at some point the left is going to have to form some semblance of unity if it is to ever have power again
That unity is going to come from the street, not from the National Assembly. Key question is if they can build NuitDebout into a larger movement, not whether their groups merge or not.

That still requires there to be a political force capable of capitalizing on a social movement like this. The PS doesn't seem like it can, while FI will always remain Mélenchon's personal vehicle.

And the problem with PCF, I guess, is that it still explicitly identifies as communist and/or is perceived by many as a relic of the past.
2  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Macedonia considering renaming itself to end Greek opposition to it joining NATO on: June 13, 2017, 07:38:39 pm
No FRYOM should be partitioned between Bulgaria and Albania.

Macedonian Slavs are not Bulgarian.

And Moldovans are not Romanian.

That isn't a relevant comparison. Ukrainians aren't Russians or Norwegians aren't Swedes would be more like it.

What, if anything it's the opposite with Russia trying to assimilate Ukraine, while in the cases of Macedonia and Moldova regional dialectics were exaggerated to the point that people thought they were a seperate ethnic group.


There is no strict border between a language and a dialect, and there are several different definitions of "language" and "dialect", and a lot depends on politics and self-identification of language/dialect speakers. Ukrainian was recognized as a dialect 100 years ago in Britannica and other encyclopedias of that time. Sicilian, Sardinian and other languages of Italy were also regarded as dialects then, but now are officially recognized as languages. And what we usually call dialects of Arabic or Chinese are even more different from each other than Venetian from Sicilian.

But at least Ethnologue and other similar sites dedicated to catalogizing language recognize Macedonian as a language but don't recognize Moldovan. Curiously, though, their position coincides with official positions of Macedonian and Moldovan governments. And very likely their position on, say, Moroccan Arabic or Egyptian Arabic would be also very different if the respective nations promoted their varieties of Arabic as separate languages.
3  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: French legislative election, 2017: Hypothetical IRV vote on: May 31, 2017, 08:39:36 am
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_legislative_election,_2017

Me:
1. LREM
2. Misc. center
3. MoDem
4. LR/PS dissidents
5. UDI
6. PRG
7. EELV
8. LR
9. PS

Some of these would not be separate options that people would get to choose from, correct? MoDem is in alliance with En Marche, UDI with LR, and PRG with PS.

And LR/PS dissidents are in de facto alliance with LREM/MoDem.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 31, 2017, 07:35:07 am
in a part of the country with absolutely no left wing tradition
This could be one of the reasons why there are so many left-wing candidates: if any of them had a chance to win, it would make sense for some of the others to endorse him.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Afraid of becoming majority-muslim country, Russia plans to naturalize millions on: May 19, 2017, 08:12:25 pm
Ugh, Russia turning Muslim is an alarmist myth (maybe resource named "Islamophobia Watch" isn't the best source but they cite Forbes article; I would link this article directly if it wasn't deleted).
6  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Iranian Presidential election, 2017: HE'S (no longer) BAAAACK on: May 19, 2017, 01:33:38 pm

What do these ideological labels mean in the context of Iranian politics (aside conservatism and reformism), especially "clericalism"? Aren't they all Islamists to one or another extent? And isn't it better to describe Rouhani as a reformist, at least moderate?

All Iranian political parties are roughly divided into these two camps:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Principlists

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iranian_Reformists

I know this :-). My question (which has been answered now) mostly was to which of these camps belong Raisi and Mir-Salim (whose ideologies were described as "clericalism" and "Islamism" respectively).
7  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Brazil Presidential Election 2018 on: May 19, 2017, 05:05:40 am
I know little about him, but isn't this Bolsonaro less a religious conservative (despite his party's name) and first and foremost a fan of military junta? Which means he doesn't have a close analogue in the US.
8  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 18, 2017, 01:31:52 pm
PS is 5 points above its score in the Harris poll

That's partially because Harris counts PS and EELV separately (together they would have 9 %).
9  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Iranian Presidential election, 2017: HE'S (no longer) BAAAACK on: May 17, 2017, 04:07:31 pm
Candidate | Party | Ideology

Hassan Rouhani | Moderation and Development Party | Pragmatism
Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf | Progress and Justice Population of Iran | Conservatism
Ebrahim Raisi | Combatant Clergy Association | Clericalism
Eshaq Jahangiri | Executives of Construction Party | Reformism
Mostafa Mir-Salim | Islamic Coalition Party | Islamism
Mostafa Hashemitaba | Executives of Construction Party | Reformism

What do these ideological labels mean in the context of Iranian politics (aside conservatism and reformism), especially "clericalism"? Aren't they all Islamists to one or another extent? And isn't it better to describe Rouhani as a reformist, at least moderate?
10  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: India to surpass China in both population and economy... then what? on: May 16, 2017, 12:33:18 pm
By the way, Nigeria is projected to have roughly as many people as India and China by 2100, but such predictions, of course, are even less reliable. It's possible that by 2100 all or most of the nation states, including Nigeria and India, will die out.

The reason nobody talks about THAT is because the estimates are almost certainly wrong. Nigerian population estimates are based on census figures that are widely manipulated for political gain. While the population of Nigeria is large and growing, you can probably tack a few decades on to any estimate of their growth to make up for that.

Such discrepancies are not uncommon, especially in developing countries, although we can safely say that Nigeria already has more people than Russia or Japan, and it's population is one of the fastest-growing in the world. But anything depends on whether Nigeria's birth rate will decrease as slowly as in the recent decades or there will be a rapid decline in birth rate like the ones that happened in China in 70s or in Iran in 90s.
11  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: India to surpass China in both population and economy... then what? on: May 15, 2017, 08:40:30 pm
In the 1980s, it was predicted Japan would surpass the US

Yes, but I'm very curious what was the basis for this prediction.

Quote
No one was raving about how great India's economy was in 1984.

Because it wasn't great, obviously. But it will be great if the predictions we are discussing will come true.
12  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: India to surpass China in both population and economy... then what? on: May 15, 2017, 08:31:42 pm
India is bound to become the largest economy in the world if there won't be major breakthroughs in robotics and artificial intelligence - which is extremely unlikely. India will have a plenty of cheap labor force, sure, which would be a crucial advantage now, but depending on how well machines will be able to replace humans in the future, India's enormous population could become a liability rather than an asset. China, by the way, invests in robots heavily (and apparently sees them as a solution to it's forthcoming demographic problems), from what I know.

That doesn't mean India won't be the largest economy and the most important superpower. Demographics will still matter (it just will matter less than now), and population size isn't India's only advantage, and China and other possible contenders of India have their own problems. I just want to remind how drastically technologies change anything: say, if personal computer was invented 10 years earlier or 10 years later, we would live in a very different world. And since we don't know precisely, when and where major technological breakthroughs of the future will happen, we never can be sure in our projections and predictions.

But the main reason why people rarely speak about the "Indian century" is not what I said, but just that India keeps a low profile, doesn't attract much attention and has very little interest (yet?) in what happens outside of South Asia.

And I'm curious what "other prospective countries" did you mean?

By the way, Nigeria is projected to have roughly as many people as India and China by 2100, but such predictions, of course, are even less reliable. It's possible that by 2100 all or most of the nation states, including Nigeria and India, will die out.
13  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: The rise of the right in the mid-2010s on: May 15, 2017, 09:51:08 am
On the other hand, the left radicalizes: Corbyn became the leader of the Labour in the UK; Podemos took large part of former PSOE voters in Spain; FI/PG is about to overtake PS as the leading force of the left in France; Sanders showed surprising success in the Democratic primaries; and all or almost all of the aforementioned leftists are especially popular among youth. We'll see how it ends.
14  General Politics / Political Debate / Re: For whom would the former French leaders have voted? on: May 14, 2017, 04:19:07 pm
Maximilien Robespierre: Melenchon
Both Napoleons: Fillon (?)
Louis XVIII: Fillon
Charles X: blank vote
Louis Philippe: Macron (?)
Leon Blum: Hamon
Charles de Gaulle: Dupont-Aignan or Fillon
Valery Giscard d'Estaing: Macron
Francois Mitterand: Hamon
Francois Hollande: Macron
15  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International What-ifs / Re: United Nations Triumvirate Jungle Primary on: May 12, 2017, 04:01:11 pm
There are a lot of persons of little relevance on these lists: Renato Usatîi is a mayor of a city of 100 thousand people, and this is the most significant office he ever occupied; Lidia Yermoshina hardly can be described as a politician at all: she is just a head of electoral commission of Belarus.

But we know nothing about the timeline where this election happens, so in theory anything is possible.
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 12, 2017, 11:45:35 am
Still, PCF will take their 2 or 3 %, and their results will be higher in the places where the Left is strong (e. g. exactly in the same places where PS or FI candidates have a chance to make into the 2nd round). Another 1 or 2 % in such constituencies can go to Lutte Ouvrière. All this means that most likely only in very few places there will be a leftist in the 2nd round.
17  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 12, 2017, 08:39:46 am

In 2012 PS obeyed the law and nominated 49 % women, while UMP, from what I know, preferred to pay the fine.

I looked this up.  It seems this law mandating 50/50 in terms of gender which I totally oppose only is in play for PR seats.

Where does France use PR at all? Only in regional and European elections?

Well, I can believe that maintaining gender equality in the lists of candidates is entirely voluntary. Even FN list has "near-gender parity".
18  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 12, 2017, 06:17:51 am

How is this a quota? They didn't stop anyone from running.

Of course it is.  REM has 428 positions to fill as those with a REM ticket.  Out of the 19,000 or so candidates that applied REM choose among the candidates such so that the 428 candidates picked are exactly 214 male and 214 female.  That is a quota.  

Of course any of the 19,000 candidates rejected are free to run as an independent but the application process was for the REM candidate of which can be only 428 of them.
For the record, it is the law that forces that. If there isnt an equal number of men and women, they get fined.

Oh, if that is the case then certainly it is my misunderstanding.  If so then I would expect that other parties like LR FN and PS to also have equal number of men and women candidates or do they pay the fine?  Of course all this means is that my ire is turned against this law versus REM.  

In 2012 PS obeyed the law and nominated 49 % women, while UMP, from what I know, preferred to pay the fine.
19  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 11, 2017, 11:37:52 am
Aren't these gender quotas enforced by law? I heard party can ignore this law but in that case it's public funding is reduced.
20  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 10, 2017, 01:43:32 pm
Is PCF still something relevant? With 1-2 % in opinion polls, it seems they diminished to the level of Trotskyists.

They have a strong local government base in parts of the country, notably in old red belt of working class residential areas around (well these days in in all senses except officially, and not even in the outer ring...) Paris and some areas of former heavy industry:



Of course given that French Commie Local Government was almost as good an argument against Communism as the USSR this fact is a bit of a mystery, but such is France.

It's so strange to see half of the Seine-Saint-Denis won by the right...
21  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 10, 2017, 12:57:56 pm
Wikipedia tells LREM will announce the full list of candidates on 11 May. I suspect this means it's already too late for possible PS, LR and other defectors to join LREM. Or maybe Macron will somehow make an exception and find place for some of them?
22  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 10, 2017, 12:50:52 pm
Is PCF still something relevant? With 1-2 % in opinion polls, it seems they diminished to the level of Trotskyists.
23  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 10, 2017, 08:37:28 am
Valls won't be LREM candidate in his constituency.

Could he run in another constituency? Or just say " it" and run as an independent in his own constituency? (is he well liked there in the first place?)

I think he'll run in his constituency.
The fact that he didn't even think to confirm his switch with the higher ups of EM (i.e EM himself) before announcing it, is just staggeringly bad political strategy.
PS have started an exclusion procedure against him.

Will this incident stop other possible defectors from PS? Or, maybe, Valls is an exception and most of them will be welcomed to LREM with open arms?
24  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 07, 2017, 07:17:25 pm
By the way, could EELV (or a part of it) join Macron's coalition?
25  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: French Legislative Election 2017 on: May 07, 2017, 07:14:06 pm
Is it possible UDI will work with EM! instead of LR?

My understanding is that UDI and LR already have an alliance worked out with UDI getting a certain bloc of seats.

Yes, Wikipedia tells 96 constituencies are reserved for UDI candidates. Also, if I remember correctly, no one of UDI leaders endorsed Macron during the presidential election. If they continued to support Fillon who was corrupt, massively unpopular and ideologically way to the right of them, I would be very surprised if they will break their alliance with LR now.
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