Electomatic Political News

Gossiping The Elections, The Policians & The Electorates

Clever move by Theresa May – a quick election whilst Labour is in disarray, Ukip is without solid leadership and the Libs are well, gone. It looks like an easy majority (only problem being continued internal brexit-strife)

Latest poll average:
Tories 43% (+5), Labour 24% (-7), Ukip 10% (-3), Libdem 12% (+4), Green 4% (-1), SNP 6% (+1), Other 1%

Looking ahead: May will get the legitimacy she craves. Corbyn will be knifed by his own on June 9, Ukip and the Greens will get 0 seats each and particularly the former will be in civil war, SNP will solidify in Scotland and get a new referendum, Libdems will declare themselves comeback kids and nobody will care.

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To the disbelief of many political pundits, Donald Trump emerged victorious in the presidential elections of November last year by a comfortable lead. Riding on the wave of populism, his appeal to American working class stemmed mostly from his radical worldview and the promises to reignite the faltering economic engine.

The talk of financial reforms and recreating jobs though, did not make up the most flashing headlines worldwide – that status was hogged by a seemingly ceaseless stream of eccentric views on a number of foreign policy issues. Often expressed through twitter and in the media interviews leading up to the poll, – these statements made frequent mention of Mexico, Iran, Russia, and China.

Trumps China Policy

China can be said to have occupied a central place in Trump’s pre-election rhetoric. During his election campaign the president vowed to take on a harder line towards the Asian giant over, what the analysts have dubbed, a number of highly sensitive issues. Chief among them is Beijing’s assertion of its territorial sovereignty over reefs and artificially made – and now militarized – islands in South China Sea.

An important Trump aide, Rex Tillerson, who was also recently confirmed as the secretary of state is reported to have suggested, in his confirmation hearing before the senate committee that US should beef up its military footprint in the volatile region to deter Beijing’s emboldened regional ambitions and even consider imposing a naval blockade surrounding the contested waters. These remarks have been a cause of growing concern not only in Beijing but also among former White House officials and diplomats who have described Trumps remarks as incoherent and worrisome and earnestly cautioned the newly elected administration from escalating tensions with China.

The One China Policy

One China Policy – a policy principle that demands states would not dispute China’s claim over Taiwan, a small democracy in Pacific – also seems set to travel uncertain roads under Trump. Upon his election, the new president spoke with the island nation’s president over phone, which was perceived by many to be a step in the direction of ultimately breaking away from long standing US diplomatic tradition of recognizing China’s territorial unity.

That phone call, coupled with Trumps earlier statements signaling his publically declared intent to reconsider diplomatic norms as sacrosanct as ‘One-China Policy’ once he takes the helm has evoked strong diplomatic reprisal from Beijing, further straining already tense relations between the two countries.

Trade arrangements between the two countries, perceived by Trump to be sharply tilted to favor China, have also been in the crosshairs of president’s vociferous criticism. Resolute statements from the newly elected president have emerged during the run up to the election where he called for a reexamination of trade terms with China.

Beijing’s alleged devaluation of its national currency to boost its exports at the cost of US manufacturing is another subject Trump has spoken about with great deal of dissatisfaction. Trump believes Beijing is involved in crafty manipulation of its currency which has served to undermine US economic interests.

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Kenya’s General Elections for President and other positions will be held on Tuesday August 8th 2017. Kenyan politics is seeing the excitement and tension is building up towards that day, especially with regard to the Presidential election. The key to Kenyan politics will likely be found in the struggle between Uhuru Kenyatta vs Raila Odinga. Yet again.

One of the expected candidates is the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta, who will be vying for a second term. Mr Kenyatta was declared the winner of the 2013 elections, after his main rival, Raila Odinga, disputed the results of those elections and filed a suit in the Supreme Court of Kenya. The Supreme Court upheld the declaration of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission and Uhuru Kenyatta was sworn in as President a few weeks later.

President Kenyatta is expected to run on the recently formed Jubilee Alliance Party – a party formed out of the coalition of parties under which he vied for presidency in 2013. Mr William Ruto, the Deputy President, is expected to be his running mate once again.

Kenyan Politics - Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as President of Kenya

Kenyan Politics – Uhuru Kenyatta sworn in as President of Kenya by Kiprutokelvin

Raila Odinga – The Eternal Contender

Many people believe that the 72-year-old Raila Odinga will again be running for president – for the fourth time. Mr. Odinga and his political party, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) have joined other political parties to form what they have called the National Super Alliance (NASA). ‘Nasa’ also means ‘to seize’ or ‘capture’ in Swahili, Kenya’s national language, and the opposition has declared their determination to capture the Presidency this year.

There are a number of other notable political leaders in NASA, and it is yet to be known who among them will eventually be the coalition’s presidential candidate.

Raila Odinga Supporters marching. Kenyan politics are set for another clash between Raila and Uhuru Kenyatta

Raila Odinga Supporters marching. Kenyan politics are set for another clash between Raila and Uhuru Kenyatta By DEMOSH

The 2007 Election Violence

Mr. Kalonzo Musyoka, 63, is the leader of the Wiper Democratic Movement. He also served as Vice President from 2008 to 2013. He was a presidential candidate in the 2007 elections, and after those elections, he was appointed vice president, even as the country was engulfed in violence as the opposition disputed the election results that declared Mr, Mwai Kibaki the winner of the Presidential race.

This violence eventually led to the current President, Uhuru Kenyatta, and his Deputy, William Ruto, (the two being in opposite political camps at the time) being brought, with others, to the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity. The cases against them were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.

Mr. Odinga, who believes he was the actual winner of the 2007 elections, was appointed Prime Minister in April 2008 in a power-sharing deal with Mwai Kibaki.

Turmoil in Kenyan politics 2007-2008 came close to civil war after the 2007 elections in Kenya

Turmoil in Kenyan politics 2007-2008 came close to civil war after the 2007 elections in Kenya By DEMOSH

The New Kenyan NASA Alliance

Another NASA leader, Mr. Musalia Mudavadi, 56, is the leader of the Amani National Congress. He once served as Kenya’s Vice-President of Kenya for a brief two months around the time of the 2002 General Elections. He was also a presidential candidate in 2013 and he came third.

Mr. Moses Wetangula was born in September 1956, and is currently the Minority Leader in the Senate. He is also the leader of the Ford Kenya party and one of the principals, alongside Mr. Odinga and Mr. Musyoka, of the CORD coalition (Coalition for Reforms and Democracy) that took part in the 2013 elections.

There are also a few other people who have declared their interest in the presidency, such as Nairobi lawyer and former Public Prosecutor Mr. Philip Murgor of the United Democratic Movement and Dr. Ekuru Aukot, former member of the Committee of Experts on Constitution Review that worked on Kenya’s 2010 Constitution.

Kenyas opposition NASA alliance leaders hoping to end Kenyatta presidency

Kenyas opposition NASA alliance leaders hoping to end Kenyatta presidency By Jpmudavadi

Kenyan Politics – Tribalism vs Ideology

Kenyan politics, to a significant extent, is based on tribal affiliations. Presidential candidates usually get major support from the areas largely inhabited by their ethnic communities. It is likely that tribal arithmetic will play a significant part in the 2107 elections, but there are also emerging voices of opposition to this approach. A number of people in their forties and younger, are declaring that supporting a candidate based on tribe does not benefit them, and they would rather vote in competent leaders from whichever tribes.

For example, there has been a strike by doctors serving in public hospitals, which resulted in their union leaders being jailed for a few days (for failing to call off the strike). The fact that the doctors come from various ethnic backgrounds and have stood together for their cause may be seen by some as an indication that the tribal mindset may be weakening among the younger generation.

As the elections near, it is expected that the opposition will continue to point out the various failings of the government as a reason to vote out the ruling party, while the ruling party will cite their own various achievements as a reason to vote them back in.

Only after NASA declares its official presidential candidate, and after the whole field of candidates is known, and as the elections near, will it be possible to make educated guesses on what the main issues will be and what the likely election outcomes are.

Raila Odinga supporters

Raila Odinga supporters By DEMOSH

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Turkish Politics and Tayyip Erdoğan’s Reality. Todays political climate in Turkey and the clash with western perceptions. A guest post by Turkish political commentator Nauman.

As you read this, a tumultuous revolution is underway in Turkey. The country’s ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party is pushing propositions through parliament that would radically alter the system of government. By halting Turkey’s long-established system of collective cabinet government, the AK Party says it will stabilise and strengthen the country and streamline decision-making. But the proposed law will pool power in the hands of the president and dramatically reduce the top job’s accountability to parliament. In effect, it establishes a system of one-man rule for Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
To understand the political situation of a country needs to be aware of ground realities. The ground realities are in the case of Turkey, there are three major schools of though, the Muslim, the Nationalist, the seculars. There is another very important and powerful opposing entity present, the Kurdish. The seculars don’t want Tayyip Erdoğan and The Muslims are considering him an Islamic revolutionary leader. The Nationalist they can merge their self with any of above on the name of the Turkish nation. Turkey is state of war with their own Kurdish population. There is a new challenge for the government that is security. Turkey is facing suicide bombing and violent activities. Turkish Tourism industry is under threats because of security reasons. The Turkish economy is collapsing and the common man is not happy. The value of Turkish currency is having descent approach. Once a wise man said that “economy is the biggest religion of the world”. These all problem are not at their worst and can be treated in a good manner.

Western Perception of Turkish Politics

International and Western Media is exaggerating the situation, like always. Nowadays media is not for awareness but earnings. On 15 July 2016, a coup t was attempted in Turkey against state institutions, including, President Erdoğan. This was an attempted coup but all international media was shouting army took over and coup occurred in Turkey. It was even declared by the world’s biggest media houses as a breaking news.
It is a fact like death, Political parties always use the situation for their political benefits, Turkish national parties are no different than others in this prospect. Even the government had taken full advantage of the attempted coup. The popularity and fame of AK party and President Erdoğan were declining. The performance of the Government was questioned and there was a big chance to overcome AK party in next election. This coup attempt once again gives life to AK parties future.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York with, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey and his wife, Mrs. Erdogan

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York with, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan Prime Minister of the Republic of Turkey and his wife, Mrs. Erdogan

Turkish Politics and Tayyip Erdoğan’s Reality

One thing is clear that there are flaws in Erdoğan’s most recent policies, especially in last two years. A couple of years before no one can deny, The progressive and improving Turkey is also because of Tayyip Erdoğan’s policies, and there is no doubt about it. The local population were having very uncertain and mix opinion because they are frightened from their past before the time of Erdoğan.

They respond to the questions about President Erdoğan, he is still the best among others. Yes the things are getting bad in the last couple of years but it happens sometimes but it is not the time to leave Turkey helpless and alone. It is the time to help and stand with Turkey against international waves of terrorism. Turkey is still a haven for refugees. It is one of the most beautiful countries of the world with a great attraction for tourists. It is the gateway between two big continents of the world, with a big army. If there is No peace in Turkey there is no peace in the world. National and international leadership must have to do right on right time.

Turkish Politics and Tayyip Erdoğan's Reality

Turkish Politics and Tayyip Erdoğan’s Reality

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Analysts need the answer of just a simple question; why there is so much peace and stability in the Pak’s Kashmir and why India has failed to stabilize its occupied part with o.7 million army personals.

It is evident that we share the common quality of lack of trust. India says that Pak has to act against banned terrorist organizations and Pak wants the Modi government to stop interfering in Baluchistan. Pakistan has also set Kashmir, the pivotal point of negotiations.

PM Modi’s these two years was the biggest opportunity as Modi has credible fame in India and in Pakistan; security establishment approach has been relaxed in context of India. Some analysts give credit to Pak China economic corridor as China wants Pakistan and India to settle down some core issues. With the passage of time, the general election will not let the Indians to put all things on table and anti Pakistan slogans shall be heard again.

Economies That Bind

Nothing can bind us except economy. India feels that economic corridor is a threat to its national security, with the rise of Chinese involvement in Pakistan and they are trying to turn every stone to establish a counter strategy e.g.  ChahBhar Port. However, Indians know that Chah bahar needs the stability in Afghanistan for its operations in region while the C-PEC will produce result just after the last day of its completion.

Indian political elite and media object that in Pakistan, the government has no cards in its hands and it is the army which manipulated the policy to India. To some extent, it is right as in our foreign policy – security establishment has more than required role which did not let the diplomacy to work properly.

Pakistan has to realize that terrorism hit our growth that is just 4. 6 % while India with its economical strategies in foreign policy hitting the figure of 7.9 % in GDP.

Without economy, what’s the future of Pakistan? Europe’s example is in front of us, where the nations set the highest examples of cruelty in wars but now put past aside and diverted their attention from defense to human development.

Budget of both sides did not allow them to exceed from certain limit in defense spending and poverty in both countries demands some kind of maturity.

India can’t become the guard of this region with America’s support – a reality, India has to accept. While, credible relations with Pakistan can boost its global image and economy.

War is no option and according to Manmohan Singh “You can change your friend but not your neighbor”- this lesson should act as the ideology for any composite dialogue. Kashmir solution and water security is must for sustainable peace and yes! Pakistan can’t get the fruitful result except with the action against banned organizations.

History looks beautiful in books and for wisdom but in reality, the 21st century proves that you have to compromise on your hard memories and ideological approaches for the betterment of future generations.

Londres, Inglaterra, 07 de julio de 2005.
El Presidente Vicente Fox, acompañado del Excelentísimo Manmohan Singh, Primer ministro de la India, volaron juntos a la ciudad de Prestwick, en el marco del diálogo ampliado de los Jefes de Estado y de Gobierno de la República Federativa de Brasil, República Popular de China, República de la India, Estados Unidos Mexicanos, y República de Sudáfrica, (G-5).

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Albanian Election 2017 are fast approaching. The Albanian elections which will be held within a few months this 2017 are going to have a huge impact in the political makeover of this prolonged transitional phase which Albania has been experiencing this 25 years. Since the fall of communism this small country in southeastern Europe has faced constant political and social upheavals which have led the country several times at the brink of destruction. Inefficient policies, corruption within the elites, and organized crime have been one of the main problems which the Albanian society had to go throw in these 25 years of transition.

The elections therefore this year have taken a considerable interest by the international players who are on the midst of a “political war” with the corrupt elites who are not willing to leave their position of power. Their endemic nets of corruption after 25 years had started to consolidate and take shape, therefore seriously putting in risk the European future of this small Mediterranean nation in the heart of Europe.

Albanian Election 2017

Albanian Election 2017 – By Albinfo

Albanian Election 2017 – Continued Faith ?

The current government is led by a large collation of the leftist parties, mainly Socialist Party, and the Socialist movement for Integration (Levizja Socialiste per Integrim LSI). They took power in 2013 amid great hopes and promises, the people voted their political program in an absolute majority making this government the first in 25 years to have the absolute number of seats within the parliament (2/3 of all seats in parliament). However, 4 years later the situation hasn’t changed much. Efforts were made by the government to reinstate the rule of law in many lawless aspects of Albanian society like energy, and illegal housing.

It has almost completely reorganized the Police turning it again into efficient force capable of protecting and safeguarding the live of the citizens. However, there are many doubts concerning the involvement of senior political figures of the coalition government in organized crime and drug cartels. This is a serious accusation which has left many to doubt the good will and intentions of this government. The public administration more than anything has been sparked by inefficiency, corruption within its ranks and a general “rough and harsh” treatment towards its citizens. Although the Prime minister itself is a popular figure, the inefficacy of his cabinet has left for the public a big question mark on whether he should be re-elected for a second term or not.

Albania Elections 2017

The Albanian Opposition

The opposition is led by the Democratic party, who is currently leading a coalition of right wing political movements which sparked after the regime collapse back in the early 1990s. After 8 years in power, amidst endemic corruption and inefficiency the people gave a punishing vote which sended the DP in opposition and opened the way for a new and refreshed government.

The opposition has been trying ever since to regain its tarnished reputation which almost crumbled after a second 4-year mandate which proved to be disastrous. However even in opposition the Democratic party could not find the proper strength to reorganize its structures and to open it to intellectuals and new elites, instead the same people who potentially destroyed their reputation in the first place now are in leading party positions. The opposition although being stiff has been mainly inefficient, it has even been accused by the international embassies allocated in Tirana to have been intentionally blocking the currently undergoing justice reform.

It is rather unclear who will win the elections but one thing is certain, Albania is passing into a very delicate phase which will have serious re precautions for the future to come. The people are increasingly losing faith in both the government and the opposition creating a general atmosphere of uncertainty and distrust which if not controlled may lead to dangerous chains of events in the near future.

Albanian Election 2017

Albanian Election 2017 – By MSzybalski

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Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades. An intercontinental trade war. Even actual military action could be on the horizon following increased tensity during the first weeks of the Trump presidency.

To the disbelief of many political pundits, Donald Trump emerged victorious in the presidential elections of November last year by a comfortable lead. Riding on the wave of populism, his appeal to American working class stemmed mostly from his radical worldview and the promises to reignite the faltering economic engine.

The talk of financial reforms and recreating jobs though, did not make up the most flashing headlines worldwide – that status was hogged by a seemingly ceaseless stream of eccentric views on a number of foreign policy issues. Often expressed through twitter and in the media interviews leading up to the poll, – these statements made frequent mention of Mexico, Iran, Russia, and China.

Chinese Party Congress

Chinese Party Congress

The One China Policy

China can be said to have occupied a central place in Trump’s pre-election rhetoric. During his election campaign the president vowed to take on a harder line towards the Asian giant over, what the analysts have dubbed, a number of highly sensitive issues. Chief among them is Beijing’s assertion of its territorial sovereignty over reefs and artificially made – and now militarized – islands in South China Sea. An important Trump aide, Rex Tellirson, who was also recently confirmed as the secretary of state is reported to have suggested, in his confirmation hearing before the senate committee that US should beef up its military footprint in the volatile region to deter Beijing’s emboldened regional ambitions and even consider imposing a naval blockade surrounding the contested waters. These remarks have been a cause of growing concern not only in Beijing but also among former White House officials and diplomats who have described Trumps remarks as incoherent and worrisome and earnestly cautioned the newly elected administration from escalating tensions with China.

One China Policy – a policy principle that demands states would not dispute China’s claim over Taiwan, a small democracy in Pacific – also seems set to travel uncertain roads under Trump. Upon his election, the new president spoke with the island nation’s president over phone, which was perceived by many to be a step in the direction of ultimately breaking away from long standing US diplomatic tradition of recognizing China’s territorial unity.

That phone call, coupled with Trumps earlier statements signaling his publically declared intent to reconsider diplomatic norms as sacrosanct as ‘One-China Policy’ once he takes the helm has evoked strong diplomatic reprisal from Beijing, further straining already tense relations between the two countries.

Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades

Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades

Trump Vs China

Trade arrangements between the two countries, perceived by Trump to be sharply tilted to favor China, have also been in the crosshairs of president’s vociferous criticism. Resolute statements from the newly elected president have emerged during the run up to the election where he called for a reexamination of trade terms with China.

Beijing’s alleged devaluation of its national currency to boost its exports at the cost of US manufacturing is another subject Trump has spoken about with great deal of dissatisfaction. Trump believes Beijing is involved in crafty manipulation of its currency which has served to undermine US economic interests.

Trump vs China – is it going to unfold or fade ? With Trumps unpredictability and declared ‘US First’ policy combined with China’s growing assertiveness over its South China Sea claims, the two largest world economies seem to be moving on a path of mutual confrontation. Suffice to say, if impulsive actions come to dominate rational decision-making, the already fragile regional stability would be strained to its limits, precipitating far reaching consequences. This is something security establishments in both Washington and Beijing ought to be mindful of as they perform their strategic calculations.

Trump vs China. A break with the one China policy spanning decades. An intercontinental trade war. Even actual military action could be on the horizon following increased tensity during the first weeks of the Trump presidency

Trump vs China. Newly Sworn in Donald J Trump.

 

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We live in a country where a two party system reigns supreme over who or who does not take political office. Every major election, like the presidential election for example, always has to come to either a Democrat or a Republican choice. Why are we a nation built on the notion that a third or fourth party is not necessary? Why is it that we use the same broken system over and over and over again expecting a different result each time? What about diversifying political affiliation is so scary to the ‘powers that be’? These and so many more questions are vital to understand our current political climate predicament.

Thanks to the U.S. Constitution, we have been given the Bill of Rights and all so important Amendments we need in place to securely govern the nation. Seeking after the common good of all people should then be the goal for each and every one of us. For most of us, all we have armed on us is our conscience, whether that is properly conformed or not, for better or for worse it is what we have. So why then are we expected to mash our unique or even ancient standard of beliefs into just two parties? If I could address the two party people, can you honestly say, whether you claim Republican or Democrat, that you FULLY identify with your chosen party?

The ENTIRE platform of that party? So when you proclaim your political affiliation, you can without a shadow of a doubt say that your party is entirely you? Of course not, that would be impossible as we cannot simply fall into just two categories when it comes to politics. If we were all given a canvas to paint upon, would we all do it the same? Certainly not! Some of use would scribble, others with long broad strokes, many would joyfully make a mess and a multitude would express themselves in such a way as to never be imitated again. So when one thinks of the “scribbles and broad strokes” of the thoughts and beliefs we hold so dear, why is it so hard to realize we need a multitude of voices talking about what truly matters to them?

If I got a dime every time I spoke to a serious voter, whether Democratic or Republican affiliate, where they stated at most times regardless of the party they registered with, they feel more like Independents. In a Democratic society, we are supposed to be given a voice, aren’t we? Yet we are given two choices… “the Left” or “the Right”…1 or 2 and if we are using the spectrum of “Left to Right” or rather 1 to 2, why can’t we have a 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, etc.? Not to mention, the utter hypocrisy of the two parties as they stand now concerning this dramatic display of Democrats and Republicans going head to head but behind closed doors they largely work to the same goal and often times not for our benefit?! In my opinion, it would also cut down the level of control certain lobbyists and power brokers have over a vast amount of people all situated within just two parties. In other words, it is easier to control two parties for malevolent reasons than a multitude of parties with different platforms. So should there be a vast amount of people standing up for what they believed in?

Well, our founding fathers thought so, otherwise they would not have given the authority to the people in order to set proper representation for their beliefs. Will this catch on? It’s hard to say but the more we make the same mistakes with the same old broken system, the more people will wake up and realize they aren’t being truly represented. Until then, I’ll see you at the voting booth!

Third Party Candidate Vermin Supreme

Third Party Candidate Vermin Supreme By Marc Nozell

Third Parties 2016 Elections

Every presidential election in the US has seen a wide range of third party candidates competing for the presidency. The 2016 elections will be no different but exactly as in previous elections the perspective of a third party securing a single state win, a single electoral college member or indeed being competitive anywhere is a long shot.

A few of the notable third parties running for the 2016 presidential elections:

The Libertarian Party

The libertarian party is one of the oldest in the US. They have never gotten an electoral breakthrough but do influence the policies of especially the Republican party that has a significant libertarian wing.

The Libertarian party is still in the process of finding their presidential nominee. The favorite being former republican Gary Johnson.

Libertarian Party Candidate Gary Johnson

Libertarian Party Candidate Gary Johnson By Steve Terrell

The Green Party

With Jill Stein as a prolific candidate the Green Party has gotten some attention with an environmentally friendly, progressive left-wing platform this season. The Green Party will be hoping to pick up some Bernie Sanders supporters once Hillary Clinton is officially named the Democratic candidate

Jill Stein - Third party candidate for the Green Party 2016

Jill Stein – Third party candidate for the Green Party 2016 By Paul Stein

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Panama Leaks Update – 8th April – 2016

The Panama Leaks keep drawing headlines. Causing problems for leaders across the globe. Currently a lot of attention is focused on the UK, which appears to be the center of the links to the Panama tax haven. Calls for the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron are sounding loud on social media and in British press after his admissions that he indeed held personal stock in his late fathers Panama based fund and sold them for a profit.

Further government links in the UK have been hinted in the British media with George Osborne being accused of stashing away profits from a 6m pound property deal in a Panama company.

Aside from the UK there is still talk about Russian president Putin having links to the Panama scandal. However, no further solid evidence has been presented and in fact Kremlin has hit back with accusations of the leak being information warfare aimed at their president.

In Iceland the prime minister quickly resigned following the scandal. New polls in Iceland show The Pirate Party surging to more than 40% support, however for now the government there is attempting to avoid elections by simply naming a replacement prime minister.

The Panama Papers

The panama papers have already started making heads roll. The Icelandic prime minister resigned after being directly implicated in the leak. Several others are taking heavy fire in the media. However, the Panama Papers have the ability to topple many more heads of state and public servants across the globe.

What are the Panama Papers ? Basically a leak of files from a law-firm helping high earners move income and wealth to Panama to avoid paying taxes in their home countries. As such the Panama Papers are a simple whistle blower case. The unique thing about the Panama Papers is that they do not expose the wrongdoing of any specific person or government, but the potential legal and moral wrongdoings of thousands of government members, public servants and business people across the world.

It is worth noting that sending money to Panama, having a company or a bank account there is not necessarily illegal in any way. In fact usually it is specifically set up not to be. In terms of perception however being named as making maneuvers of this sort is what is damaging, it is not about legal but moral.

Panama Papers Downfalls ?

The panama papers signify a new form of information warfare. Someone found the files. Sent the file to a newspaper and exposed thousands of people across the world. We have no overview yet over everyone implicated. We do not know if the whist blower had a hidden agenda. Was he targeting someone in particular. Has he deliberately left someone out? Months of investigations of the terabytes of documents might reveal the answers down the line.

What we know right now is that several prolific politicians have found themselves in the firing line. First to fall was the Icelandic prime minister as mentioned. Highest in the headlines so far has been Vladimir Putin of Russia and David Cameron of the UK.

Putin is not actually directly implicated by the papers, but media reports link him to funds moved to Panama to the tunes of 2bn dollars via friends, backers and family members. Is that a problem for Putin ? Honestly. No. Whilst democratically elected Vladimir Putin is in a uniquely strong position in Russia in which a perception of him being a bit too close to something dubious matters little and surprises less. As such, Putin does in fact seem like more of a distraction for more vulnerable targets tarnished by the leak.

David Cameron Tax Dodging Links

David Cameron, prime minister of the UK, is a bit of special case in relation to the leak. He is not yet directly implicated, however his father is and several primary donors of his party are as well. That in itself is embarrassing, particularly the family link to tax evasion. However, David Cameron has himself raised himself above the fray on tax evasion by publicly maintaining that being legal is not enough, acting morally is required too.

For instance David Cameron was explicitly outspoken on the amoral but not illegal tax dealings of British comedian Jimmy Carr:


Aside from these moral stances on creative tax dodging David Cameron has stated that the UK was a world leader in combating tax havens and curbing tax dodging. Such statements obviously sound almost outer worldly after the revelations that “the UK are at the heart of tax dodging networks“.

And worse: David Camerons own father was an active perpetrator of these tax avoidance schemes, thus raising clear questions about David Camerons own wealth, efforts to combat tax dodging and honesty in general.  To make matters almost comical David Cameron chairs an international conference about stopping international tax evasion schemes next month.

David Cameron is unlikely to fall as a consequence of the Panama Leaks despite being heavily tainted. He has a solid majority in parliament backing him and is not running for re-election. As such the opposition has no possibility of removing him. His own party could but given he is already a dead-man-walking politically it would make sense to keep him in nr.10 till after a potential EU referendum loss, another unpopular budget and other issues that would harmfully tarnish a new Conservative leader.

Vladimir Putin and David Cameron in Panama Papers Leak

Vladimir Putin and David Cameron in Panama Papers Leak

Prominent Casualties ?

Are we likely to see other prominent casualties of the leak ? Yes. But exactly who is quite unpredictable. Aside from David Cameron, the Icelandic Primeminister and Vladimir Putin most of those implicated are either having more indirect links to the scandal or they are simply difficult to remove by democratic means.

For instance the King of Saudi Arabia has been named. Does it make him unpopular at home? Maybe. Does it topple him? Unlikely. There is no process for removing a Saudi king, nobody to do it and presumably no great shock that he has wealth stashed away either. Similar is true for several Middle Eastern, African and South American leaders and ex-leaders.

In several cases it is possible that the revelations could have influence down the road.  The scales could be tipped for the next presidential elections in Argentina. The Ukrainian president could stumble to uprisings or votes. The United Arab Emirates president could face problems. But there is no automatism to it. It would require local public outrage

Is There More ?

More ? The Panama Papers are but a fraction. These are the papers from one big law firm specialized in helping companies and individuals stashing away cash in Panama. Several other companies have the same metier. Plenty of other tax havens are as big or bigger destinations of wealth than Panama. Hong Kong. Cayman Islands. Seychelles. Andorra. Bermuda. British Virgin Islands. Switzerland. Mauritius. And many many more. Each one could have its own leak. From each of the law firms working it. The current leak is might look enormous but it covers a fraction of the entirety.

This of course means too, that nobody is off the hook simply because they are not listed as implicated in this leak. They might simply keep their stash elsewhere. The interesting thing for us though is the political and electoral outfall. We have seen one actual fall. Plenty of humiliation. The longer term consequences are harder to predict. Voters might rise to demand a stop to these practices. Voters might demand measures to hold their leaders accountable, personally and politically. Or. We might settle back into X-Factor and Big Brother when the Panama buzz is over.

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The path forward for the republican frontrunner Donald Trump basically has 3 possible outcomes this point. He can win the nomination outright, he can enter a contested convention being just short of 1237 or he can opt to run as a third party candidate.

If Donald Trump wins outright the road ahead is clear for a general election, presumably against Hillary Clinton. However, unless Trump reaches the magic 1237 delegates he seems like a certain loser in every scenario, unless he pulls a clever rabbit out of the hat.

Donald Trump Rally - Contested Convention Ahead ?

Donald Trump Rally – Contested Convention Ahead ? by Ed Ouimette

Contested Convention Scenario

A contested convention occurs when no single candidate reaches 1237 delegates on the first vote. What happens next is basically quite messy and not yet set in stone as the republican convention committee has not yet written or published the actual rules for the upcoming convention. What we do know is that the majority of delegates are set free for the second and subsequent votes.

This is where Donald Trump gets in trouble. Not only would he need to attract votes from more delegates for the second vote, he would need to retain his own delegates too. Both seem extremely difficult for him. The delegates won by and pledged to Donald Trump are generally not Trump supporters. Quite to the contrary, they will typically be elected to fill the role by local GOP committees at the lower level of the republican establishment. In other words they are going to the convention bound to vote for Donald Trump on the first vote but likely with no intention of doing so in following votes after they have been set free.

Could Trump come out a winner of a contested convention ? He could of course. If he makes superior use of his self-proclaimed magnificent negotiating skills. He could secure backing from unbound delegates. He could be backed by one of his opponents in return for some future favor. He could put a scheme in motion to reach out to the individual delegates one by one and convince them. It is possible. It is not likely.

Plainly spoken all other candidates are in a better place to do the things required to tilt a convention in their favor. Simply things like easy access to the delegates by having support in the GOP locally suddenly matters. Experience with delegate math becomes important. Wheeling and dealing abilities in republican circles attains crucial importance. Trump is a beginner at those games, the establishment has decades of expertise to lend their favored alternative.

Donald Trump Supporters - Ready For #DaysOfRage ?

Donald Trump Supporters – Ready For #DaysOfRage ? Gage Skidmore

#Daysofrage by Roger Stone

What happens if Trump enters the convention a frontrunner with a lead in delegates and the popular vote but still ends up losing on the convention floor? Chaos. Turmoil. GOP splits. 3rd party run. Basically the situation becomes unpredictably volatile with a huge part of the primary voters for the GOP feeling cheated, a Donald Trump likely firing up his troops and thousands of his most ardent supporters in or around the actual convention center.

Trump-supporter Roger Stone is already rallying under a #DaysOfRage and #Stopthesteal banner. The intention seems to be getting the maximum number of riled up Donald Trump supporters riled up and rallied to the Cleveland convention site. How is that going to end? It could be anywhere from mudslinging, lawsuits and animosity to actual violent riots, a split in the party or a third party run.

Donald Trump - Taj Ma Wall - Political Satire

Donald Trump – Taj Ma Wall – Political Satire by DonkeyHotey

A Trump Third Party Run ?

Donald Trump has all but said in recent days that if he feels “treated unfairly by the RNC” he might launch a third party run. In reality such a third party candidacy has very little chance of getting anywhere close to the presidency. It will however fundamentally change the race for everyone.

Donald Trump has consistently surprised us. Doing so by being competitive on a third party ticket would require a miracle. In a general election where all states are first-past-the-post it requires amazing nationwide backing and organisation to compete. In fact it would be a huge surprise if he won a single state. Ralph Nader and Ross Perot both failed to do so. Simply put: The odds are heavily stacked against third parties. Even if they have high favorability ratings in the general population. Donald Trump does not. He has strong support from a core but incredibly high negatives with those not supporting him.

Why run as third party candidate then ? Donald Trumps only motivation does not appear to be winning the presidency. He seems to enjoy the spotlight and he has made it a brand to always counter-punch when attacked. The ultimate counter punch against a GOP that stole what he perceives as his rightful nomination would be a third party run.

Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton vs a GOP winner of a contested convention is almost certainly guaranteeing a Hillary Clinton presidency. Donald Trump will pull some white collar democrats for sure, but he is likely to draw much more heavily on those voters otherwise landing on the GOP candidate. It would further be surprising if GOP downballot tickets did not suffer too. Plenty of races at all levels are tight enough that even a small boycott of GOP candidates from Trump supporters will tilt the balance in favor of the Democrats.

Trump or Bust For the GOP ?

To sum up: Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has 3 ways forward: Winning 1237 delegates, a contested convention or a third party run. His only realistic chance of the nomination and presidency is an outright win in advance of the convention.

Does that mean the GOP is home safe if they stop Trump enough to get to a contested convention ? To the contrary. That outcome might please the #neverTrump crowd mightily, but it more or less guarantees some level of split in the party too.

Donald Trump contested convention or third party run?

Donald Trump contested convention or third party run? by Gage Skidmore

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Anti surveillance activism in an Orwellian age ? In these terror ridden times the focus of the debate tend to be about how far we should go in curtailing civil liberties. How much government surveillance is reasonable to combat criminals. How the internet is kept safe from terrorists, fraudsters and madmen. How plots and plans are spotted by intelligence agencies in advance by monitoring individuals and communities.

State Surveillance in Denmark

In Denmark it seems a small but insistent movement is attempting to turn the tide. New police cameras placed along highways in Denmark automatically register number-plates of passing drivers. Store the data and analyze the records of the drivers.

Obviously this is a classic surveillance versus freedom dilemma. A system registering and analyzing everything, suspected of wrongdoing or not, is most likely useful in tracking, finding and following people of interest. Equally clearly however such indiscriminate government surveillance without court orders or even suspicion of a crime committed is a fundamental violation of basic civil liberties considered a given not long ago.

ANPG Surveillance Cameras Destroyed by activists in Denmark

ANPG Surveillance Cameras Destroyed by activists in Denmark

Anti-Surveillance Activism

A Danish activist, or group of activists, have decided to take matters into their own hands smashing up one of these new police cameras with a hammer. The event was filmed by the activists and spread on social media. Obviously the intention being to make the efforts and resistance to government surveillance go viral. That mission was successful. Not only is the Danish ends of Facebook, Reddit and Twitter flooded with debates about the smashing of the cameras, the Danish media picked up the story too with interviews in the biggest Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet, a front page feature (ironically) on the Danish State TV website and many smaller outlets beside.

In a bizarre and rather courageous twist the activist wielding the hammer and destroying the police camera followed the viral news of his actions by publicly turning himself in. Thus of course maximizing the media coverage of the event.

The effect was not long in waiting. On the evening of these events a seemingly different activist picked up the mantle and destroyed the box controlling all these police cameras.

Anti Surveillance Activism

What is the point of anti-surveillance activism in particular and the small but seemingly growing movement to re-expand civil liberties ? Well. That is the point. For decades all problems in society have been met with laws, regulation and control. Thus slowly eroding civil liberties. Recent waves of terror attacks around the world has been utilized into upping the demand for safety through surveillance.

These are phenomenons and developments that the activists and debaters aim to combat and reverse. At first sight Sisyphus task of enormous proportions. Western democracies of today employ surveillance, control and intelligence collection on a level that could be said to transform George Orwells 1984 novel into run-of-the-mill social realism had it been written today.

Are these activists modern day freedom fighters or vandals ? That is entirely up to eye of the beholder. We have slowly but certainly lost the civil liberties our Western democracies were founded on in past decades and the development seems to only escalate. Liking the methods or not, putting the spotlight on this fact is an important and necessary task.

Anti-surveillance activism in an Orwellian age ? Terror ridden times breed curtailing of civil liberties. How much government surveillance is reasonable?

You can follow the anti surveillance activists directly via their twitter feed – @OnTheRun

The Anti Surveillance Activist Documents His Work on Facebook

The Anti Surveillance Activist Documents His Work on Facebook Photo by Torben Andersen

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Op-ed by Jake F. 

Electoral fraud in the United States. What exactly is it, does it happen, and what can we do to rectify the problem? Electoral fraud or vote rigging is defined as “illegal interference with the process of an election. Acts of fraud affect vote counts to bring about an election result, whether by increasing the vote share of the favored candidate, depressing the vote share of the rival candidates, or both.”

This unfortunate act of fraud does indeed happen and in the United States, far too often. To brush up on the history of electoral fraud, let’s take a look into the not so distant past in the Gore vs Bush Presidential election of the year 2000. The race between the two actually showed Bush at a narrow but significant lead over Gore. However, predictions of Republican strength due to the impeachment issues of the current President actually began to backfire and lean toward Gore since his platform claimed to not give tax breaks to the wealthy and cut domestic social spending. It was actually Gore that taken popularity over the industrial states of the North while Bush had the South and Southeast of the country which lead the deciding vote to fall on Florida. Keep in mind that Jeb, George W.’s brother, was governor of Florida. It came out that the popular vote sided clearly and by a vast margin Al Gore but it was the Bush’s campaign acted swiftly with intimidation to the television networks power brokers with the message that Florida would serve to be “won” by Bush. Mysteriously the networks backed down and took back their announcement of Gore’s success and stated it was “undecided”. We all know the end result from there.

Primary Voters Waiting In Line - Voter Fraud By Waiting ?

Primary Voters Waiting In Line – Voter Fraud By Waiting ? By Jim.henderson

Voter Fraud in Democratic Primary Arizona ?

Need a recent example of voter fraud? How about Hilary Clinton in her big “win” in Arizona? How did she do it? Russian Insider reported,

“The key to Clinton’s strategy in Arizona was early voting. In Arizona, around 70% of voters cast their ballot by mail. Why is this important? Because of the 297,714 voters who have already cast their ballots—174,706 were female, 59 percent of the total early Democratic vote. The breakdown of early Democratic voters by gender and age is shown below. The early vote by women is dominated by older age groups. Voters under 30 account for only 7 percent of Democratic early voters compared to 41 percent for the over 65 crowd. The large number of women, particularly older women, who have already cast Democratic ballots, is a good sign for Hillary Clinton….Hillary’s plan to steal Arizona was remarkably simple: Suppress voting on election day, and rely on her large lead with early voters to secure a win.”

There was even people still standing in line when Hillary was declared the winner, as AZCENTRAL Tweeted, “VOTING UPDATE: Hundreds still in line as #Arizona polls close http://azc.cc/1RyiLs3

There was also large droves of people who returned thoroughly upset because they were denied a chance to vote at all! How so, you ask? Apparently many voter’s registrations were “mixed up” and scores of registered Democrats found themselves suddenly registered as Independents which meant of course they could not vote since they were not officially registered as Democrats. Not to mention there was a need to evacuate people out of the building due to a strangely convenient bomb threat. With all of these disruptions and interference with voting it somehow played into Hillary’s benefit. Gee, isn’t that lucky for her?

Long Voting Lines For Primaries

Long Voting Lines For Primaries By April Sikorski

How To Stop Voter Suppression

So what can be done? Can we even stop this and how do we know that efforts and strategies to stop it or not just elaborate plans to further perpetuate voter fraud? Well, when illegal crap hits the fan, lawfully make the fan bigger and stronger to blow the crap right back in the face of the fraudster! What I mean is first.

  1. We need to look at the current laws that are in place to hinder voter fraud and lawfully widen their scope.
  2. Where ever a state is holding an important election there needs to be a thorough investigation with unbiased teams checked for past track record of even the appearance of corruption.
  3. Why not go all the way and make voter fraud a Federal crime and vigorously enforce laws that bind under penalty of vast fines up to and possibly including imprisonment.
  4. It wouldn’t hurt to create some sort of database that keep track of criminal voters and criminal election ballot hosts.
  5. Simplify the ballots! No complicated forms or punch cards but regular paper forms to check a name and turn in. Or if it is an electronic ballot caster, then have the program run extensively through maintenance checks for ballot errors.
  6. It would also be great to see noisy journalists flocking to every major election location looking for the next scoop who isn’t afraid to tell it like it is when they see it! I say, the more whistle-blowers, the better!

But is all this realistic? Yes! Yes it is. It just needs to be of bigger concern to us so that we may altogether, regardless of party affiliation, bang on the doors of the Department of Justice, Capitol Hill, and hell why not, the White House to send a message, “WE WANT A FAIR ELECTION! PERIOD!”

Bernie Sanders Calls Out Arizona Voting Process, Discusses Primary Results

Take note that op-ed´s do not reflect the opinion of Electomatic. Op´eds are written by readers, pundits and debaters wishing to voice an opinion. We happily facilitate such contributions to the debate and do not censor which opinions can be voiced. If you disagree with an op´ed, simply take the debate in the comments or write a counter piece.

Dont Sell Your Vote - Voter Fraud

Dont Sell Your Vote – Voter Fraud

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Bernie Sanders had a grand day in the caucuses in Alaska, Washington and Hawaii. The left-wing hero of progressive politics ran up amazingly impressive numbers in all 3 states. The foregone conclusion of Hillary prevailing is suddenly replaced by debates about a Bernie Sanders path to victory. An 69,8%-30,0% win in Hawaii. Washington voted for The Bern at a 72,7% to 27,1% ratio. Finally the biggest win of the night came in the Alaska Caucus where Bernie Sanders grabbed 81,6% to Hillary Clintons 18,4%.

In terms of delegates Bernie Sanders netted an approximate 56 delegates to Hillary Clintons 20. A commanding win of proportions large enough to catch up with Hillary Clinton were it repeated in all coming states.

Bernie Sander Rally By Gage Skidmore

Bernie Sander Rally By Gage Skidmore

The state of the Democratic Race

In terms of delegates the state of the democratic race obviously narrowed a bit with the huge Bernie Sanders wins in Hawaii, Washington and Alaska. Hillary Clinton has won 1251 delegates whilst Bernie Sanders reached 1012 delegates with this weekends additions. If we include the already pledged superdelegates the totals are 1733 for Hillary Clinton and 1039 for Bernie Sanders.

It is worth cautioning a bit about the numbers including superdelegates. First of all plenty of superdelegates have not yet pledged and as such a shadow pool of delegates exist. Further, should Bernie Sanders actually overtake Hillary Clinton in won delegates it is very likely that some of the pledged delegates will simply change their allegiance to Sanders as happened in 2008 when Hillary had a similar lead in superdelegates until Barack Obama overtook her at the ballot boxes, thus picking up the superdelegates as well.

Feel The Bern - Bernie Sanders Supporters

Feel The Bern – Bernie Sanders Supporters By Jake Bucci

Bernie Sanders – The Comeback Kid ?

A comeback kid? Well yes and no. He won big. Impressively! But he was in fact favored to win and had been all along. Obviously 3 out of 3 wins will energize his supporters, bring in fresh donations and add some positive news cycles to an already well spinning campaign. In reality though we are talking a “comeback” that added maybe 10 or 15 more delegates than expected in must-win states.

Nothing changes the media narrative like a fresh landslide victory. Bernie Sanders got 3. We are suddenly examining the Bernie Sanders path to victory. It was not really a comeback though, given he performed brilliantly exactly where he was supposed to. His campaign in fact has nothing to comeback from. It has outperformed expectations massively. It rakes in unbelievable amounts of small donor contributions. It drums up enthusiasm in young voter like never (well save Obama) before. And in pledged delegates the Bernie Sanders campaign has managed to stay within somewhat realistic striking distance of Hillary Clinton all along. A Hillary Clinton who was declared ready for coronation even before any voting began given the opposition, primarily Sanders, she faced.

Bernie Sanders Path To Victory

Given all the positives and sweeping victories, does Bernie Sanders have a path to victory ? Indeed he does. But it is as narrow as ever. The road ahead is severely bumpy in terms of the realistic delegate catches for Bernie Sanders. The trouble is clearly visible in the Democratic primary calendar:

Democratic Primary Calendar
Date State Pledged Super Total Type
Apr 5 Wisconsin 86 10 96 Open primary
Apr 9 Wyoming 14 4 18 Closed caucus
Apr 19 New York 247 44 291 Closed primary
Apr 26 Connecticut 55 16 71 Closed primary
Delaware 21 10 31 Closed primary
Maryland 95 23 118 Closed primary
Pennsylvania 189 21 210 Closed primary
Rhode Island 24 9 33 Semi-closed primary
May 3 Indiana 83 9 92 Open primary
May 7 Guam 7 5 12 Closed caucus
May 10 West Virginia 29 8 37 Semi-closed primary
May 17 Kentucky 55 5 60 Closed primary
Oregon 61 13 74 Closed primary
Jun 4 Virgin Islands 7 5 12 Closed caucus
Jun 5 Puerto Rico 60 7 67 Closed caucus
Jun 7 California 475 73 548 Semi-closed primary
Montana 21 6 27 Open primary
New Jersey 126 16 142 Semi-closed primary
New Mexico 34 9 43 Closed primary
North Dakota 18 5 23 Open primary
South Dakota 20 5 25 Semi-open primary
Jun 14 District of Columbia 20 26 46 Closed primary
Jul Unassigned 0 1 1 Closed caucus

Bernie Sanders will likely win several of these contests. Plenty of the caucuses especially are tailored to his strengths. However, Bernie Sanders is not just in need of symbolic wins and performances spinnable as momentum. He needs to make up significantly more than the 200 delegate Hillary Clinton lead in order to construct a narrative going:

Bernie Sanders leads the delegate count now. Handing it to Hillary Clinton by use of superdelegates would be undemocratic and wrong.

To do that he needs to catch, pass and continually outdo her. Is that possible? Well there are plenty of delegates still to be awarded and as such of course it is. But in realistic terms the answer is no. Primaries in delegate rich states such as New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York and California are on the menu. It is not a tasty one for Sanders. He is behind in all polls in these states whilst what he needs is something like 25% percent wins across the board. Without the collapses he experienced in southern states, letting Hillary drive up her lead.

Making up deficits is harder in the Democratic race as there are no winner-take-all contests. Deficits are made up by big wins awarding huge proportional parts of the states delegates. Sanders has momentum and could do it in quite a few places, but so far we have no indications that he is even within reach of a win in the big states that really matter.

Bernie Sanders path to victory ? It exists. But it still requires a serious game changer making him surge far ahead in current Hillary Clinton firewall states.

Bernie Sanders Path To Victory

Bernie Sanders Townhall By Phil Roeder

Democratic Primary Race Facts

The democratic candidates compete for a total of 4,051 pledged delegates primarily awarded proportionally on a per state basis. On top of that 721 individuals are appointed superdelegates by the DNC.

You can follow the latest American Opinion polls here to see if the Bernie Sanders momentum starts to manifest in crucial upcoming races.

The 3 latest contests were all caucuses:

Alaska Democratic Caucus

Alaska Votes Percent Del. (100%)
Sanders 440 81.6 13
Clinton 99 18.4 3

Hawaii Democratic Caucus

Hawaii Votes Percent Del. (100%)
Sanders 23,530 69.8 17
Clinton 10,125 30.0 8

Washington Democratic Caucus

Washington Votes Percent Del. (100%)
Sanders 19,159 72.7 25
Clinton 7,140 27.1 9
Bernie Sanders - The Comeback Kid ?

Bernie Sanders – The Comeback Kid ? By Steve Rainwater

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The GOP nomination battle is raging at hitherto unseen intensities and ethical lows. However beyond the noise it is relatively clear that the GOP establishment has finally made a decision: They are reluctantly supporting the Ted Cruz campaign in order to avoid the nomination of Donald Trump as their presidential candidate. The clearest manifestation of the Republican establishment rallying to Ted Cruz is obviously the endorsement from no other than Jeb Bush.

Had anyone predicted a few month ago the Jeb Bush or Lindsey Graham endorsement of Ted Cruz the immediate recommendation would have been a reality check or indeed psychiatric treatment. That is however the situation today. Ted Cruz happily describes it as proof of momentum for his campaign. The devils advocate might instead label it a sign of complete GOP establishment panic.

Nobody among the powers that be in the Republican party would volunteer a single kind word for Ted Cruz without a gun to their head. Thing is. They have a gun to their head. The strongest field of Republican candidates in several decades have produced the unlikeliest and most unwelcome outcomes imaginable. The Republican shot callers having to back what they consider an un-electable and inflexible evangelical with few positive traits only to desperately attempt to avoid the even bigger evil is a nightmare scenario.

Ted Cruz Presidential Campaign - GOP Establishment Support

Ted Cruz Campaigning By Michael Vadon

GOP Establishment Vs Ted Cruz

Are the GOP big Whigs going to attempt to nominate Ted Cruz then ? No! In a small piece of poetic justice they are setting him up to fail. The logic is fairly simple:

Donald Trump might well win outright by gaining 1237 delegates. In that case the choice is either rallying to Donald Trump despite his flaws and make the best of it. Or, alternatively run a third party candidate. Would that third party candidate be Ted Cruz? No. Obviously not. The third party candidate would be someone mainstream GOP candidates in primarily vulnerable blue states could cling to in their own election battles.

Donald Trump could fall short of 1237 delegates. Ted Cruz would have won significant victories in the primary battles against Donald Trump in this scenario. Thus turning up at a contested convention with a strong following of delegates in his own pocket, though not within reach of 1237. Would Ted Cruz be a potential nominee in this scenario ? Very unlikely. Cruz would have played his role as spoiler for Trump but few or no of his current reluctant backers would enter the mudwrestling contest of the convention with the intention of getting Cruz to 1237. Why would they? Largely every other option aside from Trump would be more attractive to the GOP establishment and besides Ted Cruz would be one of the hardest sells to unbound delegates. The Cruz delegates would be used to stop Trump and since captured to attempt to nominate an acceptable candidate such as Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney, John Kasich or similar.

Ted Cruz could reach 1237 delegates himself. Well no. Mathematically it is not entirely impossible yet, but in practical terms he has no path to reaching the magic number. The failure of Ted Cruz path to nomination happened long ago when he missed the low-hanging fruit for an evangelical candidate in the Southern and strongly conservative states. Having missed those Ted Cruz would have to largely clean the table in primary battles much less favorable to him.

Ted Cruz Townhall Meeting

Ted Cruz Townhall Meeting By Michael Vadon

The Ted Cruz Path To Nomination

If we look at the Fivethirtyeight delegate target tracker Trump is currently at 96% whilst Cruz is at 53% – check the Fivethirtyeight Delegate Tracker to see it in action. The point of that tracker is that Ted Cruz has currently secured only 53% of the delegates he should have won in order to be on track to win at least 1237 at the end of primary season. The tracker takes into account where each candidate should secure delegates based on demographics, ideological makeup of the electorate and so forth. As such, the 53% is a mathematical expression of Ted Cruz having missed his best opportunities already. It is extremely hard to imagine a Ted Cruz surge to victory in places like New York and California. Such a surge is exactly what he would need though.

Where does it all leave Ted Cruz ? As very close to a sure loser. He can not win outright. A Donald Trump win earns him nothing and the paper thin support from the GOP establishment will vanish the second they have even a remote alternative. Nothing is certain. Especially not this year. But Ted Cruz looks set up to fail.

Ted Cruz Caricature

Ted Cruz Caricature By DonkeyHotey

PS: Yes. We are aware that we are breaking current election cycle rules by not including any nude photos depicting family members of those mentioned. We have also failed to question the mental health, looks or endowment of the presidential candidates. We will leave that to the candidates but you can snoop in the Dirty Campaign Technique feature to see what they are up to or simply have a look at the Political Meme and Negative Campaign trackers. Largely everything uttered seems to fit there these days. Sadly. One day we will have a look at the potential effects. Not today.

Donald and Melanie Trump Campaigning

Donald and Melanie Trump Campaigning By Marc Nozell

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Far Right Rise In Europe. Europe is seeing a wave of far right parties getting their breakthrough with voters primarily based on anti-immigration policies, nationalism and anti-EU sentiments usually. The far right rise in Europe is seen more or less across the continent. Inside the European union and outside.

Almost every European country has seen a far right, dirty right or fascist party getting an electoral breakthrough in recent years. The wave of far right populism is carried by anti-immigration policies beyond anything else. Fueled by the fear of Al-Queeda, terror and ISIS. Driven by the crisis of the EU in general and refugee streams in particular.

Far Right Parties In Europe

All of those parties should not be considered equal in nature or policies. Merely part of the same wave of far right populism in Europe. Golden Dawn and the Slovak National Party are actual (roughly) examples of self declared nazi-parties whereas lots of the others try and maintain a veil of mainstream reasonableness, while pursuing far right agendas.

Far Right Parties in Greece: Golden Dawn. An actual national socialist party in Greek politics. They march under fascist banners. plays a Greek version of the Horst Vessel song at rallies and have armed gangs of thugs attacking political opponents, immigrants and refugees. Several members of parliament and the entire leadership of Golden Dawn have spent much of the last couple of years in jail following a judicial crackdown. The crackdown came after a Golden Dawn activist killed a political opponent.

Golden Dawn peaked at around 20% in the polls, but have dropped off to around 12-14% after their legal problems. Golden Dawn was the first nazi party since world war II to win seats in an European election. They currently hold hold 18 seats in the Greek parliament and several seats in the European parliament.

Xrysh Avgi - Golden Dawn Nazi Party in Greece

Golden Dawn Nazi Party in Greece

Far Right Parties in France: Front National. An old player on the far right scene is the French anti-immigration and anti-EU party Front National. The far right nationalists are democrats and do not officially subscribe to fascism or nazism. They were led by legendary leader Jean Marie Le Pen for decades, but received their final electoral breakthrough in recent years after his daughter Marine Le Pen took over leadership of the party.

Front National made it to the final round of the presidential elections but ultimately lost. They have however won several local and parliamentary elections and have mayors in multiple French cities, seats in the European Parliament and such.

Front National France - Far Right Rise in Europe

Front National France – Far Right Rise in Europe By Gauthier Bouchet

Far Right Parties in Denmark: Danish Peoples Party and New Right. The Danes are a bit nicer about far right populism than most of the other European nations. The Danish Peoples Party (Dansk Folkeparti) actively weed out party members stating positions too radical in nature publicly and the party acted as backers of the Anders Fogh-Rasmussen government from 2001 till 2011.

Dansk Folkeparti is nationalistic, anti-EU and anti immigration but they go to great lengths not to come across as extremists. They sugar over the more hardline stances with strong support for Israel, demands for better public services to the elderly and the fight for the little man against the system the Danes so enjoy. Currently the Danish Peoples Party have shot up to 20% support at elections and could become the biggest party in Denmark according to current opinion polls.

Far Right Parties in Sweden: Sweden Democrats (a feature on them: Sweden and The Refugee Crisis )

Far Right Parties in Finland: True Finns. The true Finns  are very similar to the Danish Peoples Party and Swedish Democrats, must be a Scandinavian thing. They muster strong support for a closed-borders policy and anti EU campaigning.

The True Finns gained approximately 18% of the vote at the latest general election in Finland but are currently polling somewhat below that on average.

Far Right Parties in Germany: Alternative For Germany (a feature on them: Far Right Breakthrough in German Politics)

Far Right Parties in Hungary: Jobbik is about as close as we get to a fascist party without it actually itself as such. They declare themselves radically nationalist, anti-establishment, anti-immigration, antisemitic and of course anti-EU. The visuals of Jobbik make them look like a classic fascist or nazi party with parades of uniformed supporters waving flags looking suspiciously like versions of the Swastika.

Jobbik scored a massive 21% of the vote in the latest Hungarian elections and have become a force to be reckoned with. Not only in the streets. But in parliament too. As the far right rise in Europe goes Jobbik is one of the more extreme parties in the same category as the Slovak National Party and Golden Dawn.

Jobbik Far Right Hungarian Party

Jobbik Far Right Hungarian Party By Rovas Foundation

Far Right Parties in Slovakia: Kotleba – People’s Party Our Slovakia and The Slovak National Party (Slovenská národná strana – can be translated as the Slovak Peoples Party too it seems) openly declares itself nationalist and socialist. They have the classic far right and outright fascist stances. They use the traditional fascist symbolism of uniformed political rallies, flags and marching.

After the 2016 elections in Slovakia the Slovak National Party entered into coalition government after coming in as the 4th biggest party. SNS has been riding the wave of far right rise in Europe but has not managed to reach 10% of the vote in Slovakia in the past 25 years. They have however gained more direct influence than most European far right parties by entering and supporting coalition governments in return for political influence.

Far Right Parties in the United Kingdom: The traditional far right party in the UK is the British National Party, BNP, they have never achieved wider support in the electorate or gained seats in parliament. In recent years a new form of right wing populism has been seen from Nigel Farage and his UKIP party. They are most certainly among the softer of the far right parties in Europe with far fewer authoritarian elements.

UKIP would have gained an electoral breakthrough more or less anywhere else in Europe. Nigel Farage secured 12,6% of the vote in the latest general election in the UK and a stunning 27,5% in the 2014 European Parliament elections. The European Parliament result is a consequence of UKIP being the only mainstream party in the UK opposing further EU integration. Whilst the 27,5% result secured UKIP a strong platform in the European parliament they still have not achieved electoral success in general elections in the UK. The reason is simple. A non-proportional electoral system. Their latest election result would have secured Ukip 60-80 seats elsewhere in Europe in a proportional system, but in the UKs first past the post electoral system it was only enough to win a single seat. Party leader Nigel Farage even failed to secure a seat for himself.

Several other far right groupings exist in the UK such as offspring’s of Pegida, the English Defence League. But none of them have achieved wider appeal.

Anti British National Party Demonstration

Anti British National Party Demonstration By James M Thorne

Other Far Right Parties in Europe

The above walk-through of political parties with radical far right platforms in Europe is far from comprehensive.

We could have examined Brothers of Italy and Lega Nord in Italy. The Austrian Freedom Party. Order and Justice from Lithuania. Vlaams Belang (Flemish Nationalist Party) in Belgium. The Party For Freedom from Holland. The SPD (Freedom and Direct Democracy Party) of the Czech Republic. The examples are basically endless.

The new thing is not the amount of radical parties though. Both extreme flanks have always been covered. The new thing is the width of support for anti-immigration, anti-establishment and anti-EU sentiments that has led to the far right rise in Europe.

Far Right Rise in Europe - Lega Nord Italy Rally

Far Right Rise in Europe – Lega Nord Italy Rally

Far Right Rise In Europe

The Anti-Immigration Wave over Europe have provided wind in the sails for the populist right across the continent. Clearly, attacks reminiscent of those in Brussels and Paris will increase the support for all of those far right parties. The same might be stated for the refugee crisis on the whole.

The individual far right parties across Europe tend to mix a few general themes with locally tailored populist positions. In Sweden the right to shoot wolves. In Denmark a ban on animal sex. In the UK a repeal of smoking bans in pubs. In Hungary strong anti-Roma policies. It all depends on the local area. The common denominator is local political populism.

On top of the local issues most of the far right parties in Europe share positions on a range of issues:

  • Closed Borders / Stop to all immigration
  • Deportation of immigrants and refugees
  • Anti Turkey joining the EU
  • Anti EU in general
  • Anti Islam / Islamism
  • Pro restoration of national culture, independence and pride
  • Anti freedom of movement within the EU
  • Anti government and establishments
  • Better service for the elderly and veterans
  • Lower / No foreign aid

A policy issue such as the future of Israel on the hand divide the populist right-wing parties. Several of the Eastern European far right parties are more or less classic antisemitic, whereas for instance the Danish Peoples Party is strongly pro-Israel.

Anti- immigration protests in Prague

Anti- immigration protests in Prague By Aktron / Wikimedia

Same Populist Wave As Donald Trump in the US ?

Several people have asked if the right wing trends, the populism and the anti immigration stances of European populist parties are in fact part of the same populist wave that has brought the rise of Donald Trump in the US. We have looked at the question Is Donald Trump A Fascist previously. But. We haven’t explored it in detail yet and as such it is only fair to give an as of yet unsubstantiated opinion:

Yes. At first look. It does appear to be the same issues. The same form of rhetoric. The same segments of voters. The same economic conditions. Similar problems used to propel the arguments. But if it holds up to closer scrutiny is not yet certain. That will have to wait till another time. The Far Right Rise In Europe is a fact. So is the rise of Trump. They look similar.

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