Art, Writing, and Learning: The Clerisy Quarter => Discussion and Debate - The Philosopher's Plaza => Topic started by: Jubal on March 15, 2021, 11:30:11 AM

Title: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Jubal on March 15, 2021, 11:30:11 AM
A catch-all for countries that don't have their own threads.

The interesting one that's just happened has been two elections in southwest Germany - both were really bad for the CDU (centre-right), which is suffering badly after some corruption scandals relating to COVID procurement. Unlike in Britain, in Germany it turns out that politicians can't just ignore that sort of thing. The CDU still has a lead in national polls, but both the states that just voted, Rhineland-Palatinate and Baden-Wurttemburg, can now have "traffic light" coalitions of Greens, Social Democrats, and the right-liberal Free Democrats running them. This coalition might be functional enough to work at the national level if the CDU keeps slipping. Also, in really nice news, the AfD fell back pretty hard in both states: that's especially interesting because often if a hard-right party falls back it tends to be the conservative party that picks up the votes, whereas here both the centre-right and far-right lost out and the centre & left broadly gained.

The Dutch election will be in the middle of this week, after the government resigned over a scandal of failing to pay people benefits they were owed (again, something I can't imagine happening in UK politics any more). That looks less interesting, though it's hard to read much into the myriad small parties of Dutch politics: the left parties may reshuffle the deckchairs, with the Labour party recovering a tiny bit since the last election at the expense of the socialist left and the Green Left, but none of them are likely to be in power. PM Rutte's conservative-liberal party, the VVD, looks like it'll easily come top, with the Christian-Democratic CDA and the centre-left liberal D66 looking like they'll retain enough support to continue in the PM's coalition. The far right PVV look like they'll do about as well as in the last election. Polls are also suggesting that Volt, a rare example of a pan-European political party, may enter the parliament for what I think would be the first time in a national election: they're hardline European federalists.
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Pentagathus on March 16, 2021, 09:08:26 AM
"Unlike in Britain, in Germany it turns out that politicians can't just ignore that sort of thing." I would imagine if we had an election coming up anytime soon the conservatives would not exactly do well. Maybe it's just wishful thinking though. Unfortunately I don't think the next general election is expected until 2024 so :/
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Jubal on March 16, 2021, 01:55:39 PM
The Tories are still, as per current polling averages, on 43% and seven points clear of Labour. The vaccine rollout working seems to have played very well for them.
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Pentagathus on March 16, 2021, 06:06:27 PM
Wow, that was not what I'd have expected.
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: dubsartur on March 17, 2021, 12:51:44 AM
Doug Ford in Ontario and Legault in Quebec are also doing well in the polls despite handling the pandemic with a fair bit of of callous incompetence.  But polls are not so reliable these days, especially in countries with less money in politics and more complicated party balances than the United States.
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Jubal on April 11, 2021, 01:28:22 PM
So the Dutch election went very well for both the centre-left liberals (D66) and the centre-right liberals (VVD) who will basically mathematically have to form the backbone of the next government. Really rare example of a smaller leftier party being in a centre-right government and actually doing well out of it. Rutte has been badly damaged by some of the scandals whereas the D66 leader Sigrid Kaag did extremely well in the election - but Rutte will probably still remain as PM given his party still have 34 seats to the D66's 24. The VVD have come top in every Dutch general election since 2010, when they took over from the CDA as the main party of the right.

We've also had the Bulgarian election, which has resulted in deadlock: the socialists, who are the remnants of the Bulgarian communists, and GERB, the main centre-right party, have been the major forces in government. GERB is still the largest party, but after a load of protests a bunch of new anti-corruption parties, a lot of them with really weird policy mixes, are now in parliament, so there's like three blocks none of which will work with the others. The Socialists and MRF, the slightly liberal ethnic minorities party, have both said they'd back the biggest of the new opposition parties to form a government, but it's not clear that said new party will work with the Socialists especially to do that.

Oh and Israel is still in electoral deadlock, which barely counts as news any more.
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Jubal on April 30, 2021, 11:32:22 AM
Bulgaria is now heading for fresh elections. In Israel, Netanyahu has days left to form a government before Yair Lapid gets  to try.

Perhaps the biggest political development lately though is that the centre-right CDU/CSU alliance in Germany is bickering and has nominated a slightly lacklustre candidate for Chancellor in the elections later this year - whereas the Greens, having had much more message discipline and with a fairly popular candidate, seem to be surging ahead. Polling averages have now hit crossover with the Greens leading, giving a really genuine chance of them holding the Chancellor's post after the elections. That would be fairly seismic: having possibly the most powerful political role in Europe in the hands of a centre-left, nuclear-sceptic, environmentalist with a very different focus to Merkel (and a very high tolerance for European integration even compared to Merkel) would be a very interesting change indeed.
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Jubal on May 03, 2021, 09:16:21 AM
Some major Indian "local elections" (which seem odd to compare to those in other countries given how big their states are) just happened. Biggest headline is that the huge effort the BJP put into capturing West Bengal did not pay off amid Modi's failure to control the pandemic, and the AITC, the ruling party in West Bengal, have instead solidified their position. The BJP did increase their seats significantly from having barely historically competed in the state, but are still in a very very distant second in a state they were playing to win. The BJP have held onto Assam.

In the southern peninsula, in Tamil Nadu BJP allies the AIADMK lost power to the DMK, who are more aligned to Congress (though I'm not sure how tight those attachments are - I'm certainly no Indian politics expert). In the Union Territory of Puducherry the allies of the BJP, the AINRC, have however taken power. Puducherry is a territory that retains the borders of bits of French India - that is, it's formed of four small urban port enclaves that are miles from each other. To get from Yanam to Mahe would be over a thousand kilometres by road and they're on the opposite sides of the peninsula! Meanwhile Kerala continues to do its own thing: the BJP lost their sole seat in its legislature, which is contested between a Congress led centre-left alliance and more solidly leftist alliance, with the leftists having handily retained power in this election. There is also a lot of splitter-ism going on: five of the eleven parties in the leftist alliance include "Congress" in the name, whilst the Revolutionary Socialist Party, the Communist Marxist Party, and the Revolutionary Marxist Party of India are all in the alliance led by Congress. These parties in the Congress alliance should not be confused with the leading party in the left alliance, which is the Communist Party of India (Marxist), nor with its ally and the second largest party in that alliance, the Communist Party of India...
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: dubsartur on May 04, 2021, 08:13:44 PM
Martin R has some thoughts on the switch of rural male Swedes without immigrant relatives from the Social Democratic party to the local franchise of the Xenophobe Party https://aardvarchaeology.wordpress.com/2021/05/01/open-thread-for-may-3/#comments
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Jubal on June 02, 2021, 10:17:39 PM
Benjamin Netanyahu is finally going to be leaving office as Israel's Prime Minister. The coalition formed against him jumbles everything from the far right to the left and Israeli Arab parties, cobbled together mainly by the centrist politician Yair Lapid, and will be led first by the hard-right Naftali Bennett until 2023 and then by Lapid from 2023 onwards. It'll also, I think, be the first Israeli government to rely on Arab-Israeli support in parliament. I've no idea if it'll hold together, it may well not be noticeably better than its predecessor government on a lot of issues, but sometimes you need to make a raft out of twigs and string to start moving somewhere and it's hard to imagine it being overall worse than someone as militaristic and flagrantly corrupt as Netanyahu.
Title: Re: World Elections/Politics 2021
Post by: Pentagathus on June 04, 2021, 04:48:34 PM