Tag Archives: elections

Brexit referendum 2.0

Source: The American Conservative
by David A Cowan

"To the surprise of Britons, this week Prime Minister Theresa May made her boldest move yet by calling a snap general election for June 8. It is a gamble that has caught her political rivals off-guard and promises to be a game-changer for Brexit, the country’s ongoing process of leaving the European Union. … This snap election could give May the personal mandate, large majority, and lengthy timetable she needs in order to secure a successful Brexit. It could also produce a renewed and united Euroskeptic party ready for the parliamentary battles of the future. If May fails to win a landslide majority, then the process of Brexit will be put in jeopardy." (04/19/17)


Ecuador: Assange hints at running for UK parliament

Source: Sydney Morning Herald [Australia]

"WikiLeaks head Julian Assange has hinted he may run for the UK parliament in June's snap election…. On Twitter on Wednesday he asked his followers what they thought of the idea of his running, adding 'the government has detained me without charge for seven years.' His followers strongly approved. … British MPs are not obliged to attend parliament in person. However if elected Assange would be unable to cast a vote unless he could somehow make it to Westminster without being arrested. Assange is holed up in London's Ecuador embassy, where he sought asylum in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face [questioning over] rape allegations[, likely to be followed by rendition the US for political prosecution]." (04/19/17)


Why Hillary Clinton really lost

Source: OpEdNews
by Robert Parry

"An early insider account of Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign, entitled Shattered, reveals a paranoid presidential candidate who couldn't articulate why she wanted to be President and who oversaw an overconfident and dysfunctional operation that failed to project a positive message or appeal to key voting groups. Okay, I realize that people who have been watching Rachel Maddow and other MSNBC programs — as well as reading The New York Times and The Washington Post for the past four months — 'know' that Clinton ran a brilliant campaign that was only derailed because of 'Russian meddling.' But this insider account from reporters Jonathan Allen and Annie Parnes describes something else." (04/19/17)


Indonesia: Voters oust renowned Christian politician in show of Islamist power

Source: Washington Post

"Jakarta’s first Christian governor in generations lost his reelection bid Wednesday, according to unofficial results, after a heated sectarian campaign that underscored the influence of hard-line Islamists in the world’s most populous Muslim nation. Although the results were not final, early counts showed a decisive victory for Anies Baswedan, a Muslim candidate whose supporters portrayed the race as a referendum on the power of Islam in shaping the politics of Indonesia’s capital. … The incumbent governor, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, was known for tough anti-corruption drives and challenges to hard-line Muslim groups that have taken on an increasingly central role in Indonesian politics. Comments he made last year led to charges of blasphemy that hung over the campaign. His blasphemy trial is scheduled to resume Thursday; if convicted, he faces up to five years in prison." (04/19/17)


GA: Special election for formerly "safe" GOP House seat goes to runoff

Source: Los Angeles Times

"Republicans on Tuesday forced the front-running Democratic candidate for an Atlanta-area House seat into a runoff, extending until June a congressional contest that has become a nationalized referendum on President Trump. With a small percentage of votes uncounted because of a balloting glitch, Jon Ossoff, a 30-year-old former Democratic congressional aide and filmmaker making his first run for public office, easily finished in first place. But he narrowly missed the 50%-plus-one-vote mark that would have given him the seat outright. Instead he will meet Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, in the June 20 runoff. … the district is strongly Republican in registration. Until February, the seat was held by Trump’s new Health and Human Services secretary, Tom Price." [editor's note: Republicans are trying to paint this as a victory, but the last time a Democrat won the district was 41 years ago. That Democrat was replaced by Newt Gingrich, and Price won re-election last year with 61% of the vote before moving to the executive branch. For a Democrat to even come close there is a very bad sign for the GOP – TLK] (04/19/17)


France's Bernie Sanders started his own party and is surging in the polls

Source: The Intercept
by Zaid Jilani

"Jean-Luc Melenchon, an insurgent left-wing candidate for France’s presidency, is surging. His candidacy, organized under the newly-established party La France Insoumise ('Unsubmissive France') has gone from a quixotic bid to a viable challenge in just a few months. … Many have drawn comparisons between Melenchon and Bernie Sanders. … But there is a major difference between Sanders and Melenchon. The American chose to run within an existing political party, while the Frenchman seeks to compete against them. That’s why, unlike Sanders, Melenchon is still in the running at this late stage, as the voters are souring on the candidates of the far-right and co-opted center." (04/18/17)


Turkey: Opponents seek to annul referendum result as Erdogan's new powers become reality

Source: Reuters

"Turkey's main opposition began a battle on Tuesday to annul a referendum handing President Tayyip Erdogan sweeping new powers, while the bar association and an international monitor said an illegal move by electoral authorities may have swung the vote. A defiant Erdogan, whose narrow victory exposed the nation's deep divisions, has said Sunday's vote ended all debate on the more powerful presidency he has long sought, and told European observers who criticized it: 'talk to the hand.'" (04/18/17)


Trouble over term limits

Source: Common Sense
by Paul Jacob

"Americans are hardly alone in strongly supporting term limits. All over the world, people who care about limited government also care about limited terms for officials wielding government power. Especially the people of Paraguay, who remember all too well the dictatorship of General Alfredo Stroessner. He seized power in 1954, securing it with fraudulent elections and the arrest, torture and murder of thousands of political opponents, until being removed by a 1989 military coup. After that ugly 35-year episode, strict term limits were established in the Paraguayan Constitution: one five-year term for the president — no re-election possible. Fast-forward to the last few weeks, when the country’s Senate violated its own rules by holding a secret session — of which even the head of the Senate was unaware — and approved a constitutional amendment allowing re-election of the president." (04/18/17)


A mockery of democracy

Source: spiked
by Jacob Furedi

"When, on Monday morning, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan retired to his newly built $600million, 1,100-room presidential palace, his sense of victory would have been somewhat muted. Yes, he had secured victory in Turkey’s constitutional referendum, but it was close: only 51.4 per cent of Turks voted for Erdogan’s proposed changes, while 48.6 per cent stood up to the president with a resounding No. Of course, a victory — however slender — is still a victory, and Erdogan now has a mandate to make 18 amendments to the constitution. By 2019, the office of prime minister will be abolished, and Erdogan will be handed executive power. … this referendum was never truly democratic. Ever since the referendum was proposed, the debate has been undermined by the government’s brutal censorship of its critics. In Turkey, opposition to the government is equated with terrorism. Since the attempted coup last July, 100,000 Turkish officials have been dismissed, and 228 journalists have been thrown in jail — more than in any other country — for questioning the government." (04/18/17)


UK: May to seek snap election for June

Source: BBC News [UK state media]

"UK Prime Minister Theresa May has announced plans to call a snap general election on 8 June. She said Britain needed certainty, stability and strong leadership following the EU referendum Explaining the decision, Mrs May said: 'The country is coming together but Westminster is not.' There will be a Commons vote on the proposed election on Wednesday — Labour have said they will vote with the government. The prime minister needs Parliament's backing to hold a vote before the next scheduled date of 2020." (04/18/17)