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Obama wins 2012 Elections

November 7, 2012 Leave a comment

At 1:45 East Time Obama declared victory.  Four hours later the republican candidate conceded a defeat.

Here is how the map of the states look like: http://elections.nytimes.com/2012/results/president

Clearly, all toss-up states were won by the incumbent. He won with less than last time when he campaigned with the message of hope. Also, less people voted, with the difference between the two candidates around 800 000 votes.

I just listened to the speech of the “new” president – it was a very strong one: here is what he said in front of his supporters to all Americans.

***

We are the wealthiest nation in the world but this is not what makes us rich
We have had the strongest military in the world historically but this is not what makes us strong

Our universities are the envy of the world, but this is not what makes people come to our shores

It is what binds us together as the most diverse nation that makes us the greatest nation in the world. It is the understanding and commitment that if everybody takes their obligation to the other that makes thing work.

What makes us the greatest nation is that we are more than the sum of our individual ambitions. We will continue to be not only red and blue states but the United States!

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Categories: Elections, US

6 May Election Day

IN the year with highest number of elections, today 6 may is the polling day of the year. There are elections in France, Greece, Armenia and 2 votes in Serbia. There are regional elections in Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, which will test the strength of the incumbent chancellor Merkel to win elections before the federal ones next year.

6 May is an important day for Europe as it will show to what extend the family of the European People’s Party  will retain its dominance across the 27 member states. This is paramount for the political set up in Europe and the difficult decisions that are still to be taken to solve the euro crisis. For now, the France-German axis was the engine of the decisions and not least this rested on the centre-right parties that are in power in the big two. Or were.

The odds are high that Nicolas Sarkozy will out of office after today’s vote. Perhaps the French will never forgive him for the extravagant behavior in the first half of his term. Even though he changed his communication and wrote several books over the last year, he still does not behave presidential, i.e. a little like a monarch in l’Elysee.

More importantly however, Sarkozy did not have the winning strategy for the election. He was convincing, he had great speeches and mobilized totally the UMP vote. But he made a major mistake when he hardened his discourse on Europe and adopted anti-immigrant stance that rather made him look too radical for many French voters. It was natural that the current president tries to snatch abig chunk of the vote of Front National (Marine Le Pen won 18% on the first round) However his team of advisors did not realize that the people who voted for the french far-right id so not because of the policies articulated by Le Pen, but out of disappointment with the current political elite. Thus by turning to the far right rethoric Sarkozy alienated the centrist voters. This became evident when a few days ago Francois Bayrou. And will determine the result, expected in about an hour from now.

Francois Holland seems to me a very pragmatic man and I hope his presidency will not be like his campaign. The socialists do not have a great (if any ) economic program. In the debate last Wednesday with Sarkozy the former socialist senator and leader of PS mumbled about his plans how to reduce the deficit and the debt of France. Instead, Holland insisted on creating 60 000 new jobs in the state administration and imposing a 75% tax on the rich. The tax by the way, according to Holland himself is total nonsense fiscally (see interviews from January 2011).

Instead, what the next French president should focus on is primarily creating economic policies, solving the long-term fiscal problems and making labour market as well as budgetary reforms in order to give a boost to the French economy. The state should not be an employer of last resort.

So far Holland seems to me like an old school spend-a-lot socialist and behaves rather like a populist when it comes to the real issues of France- he is compassionate with the worries of the French, bit does not seem well-armed to solve the problems from which they stem. He fails to articulate clear policies except his call for a growth pact (and socialists of his party understand growth mainly as public spending).

But Mr. Holland is a witty man. He has managed to keep away from far-fetching promises. He also succeeded in turning the whole presidential campaign into a referendum for Sarkozy’s tenure. Indeed, the incumbent president was alone against 9 other candidates and was the challenger throughout the whole process with Holland clearly considered more likely to win from the outset.

I hope when elected Mr. Holland gets as pragmatic in his policies as he was during the campaign. He should under no circumstances use his (likely) parliamentary majority – legislative elections are in June- to block the referendum of the Fiscal Compact. This is paramount for the Future of Europe!

France holds a key position between the fiscally rigorous north and the lax on spending south. IF France drops the policies aimed at solving the euro crisis may bring yet another disaster to the EU and its member states.

The Republicans – who wants to be a President (Part 2)

January 3, 2012 1 comment

The Republican Party after George W. Bush has failed to produce convincing small-state, free-initiative conservatives with a far-reaching appeal among independents. While Mr. Romney may be the least conservative to qualify for the Republican nomination, it is a wide-spread view that he lags behind some of his rivals in the ability to mobilize a strong republican vote (at least stronger than the low 20s). Ron Paul’s appeal on the other hand reaches deep into the republican heart with his principles of small government, hands-off on personal matters and tax policies. He is also pro-life but at the same time does not oppose gay marriages, saying that this should be a matter not to be decided at Federal level. And it is exactly because of these that he has a strong appeal beyond the traditional GOP voter. Instead of threatening to strike Iran or proposing to double the Guantanamo (as some of the other candidates) Paul is making a strong campaign on rule of law and civil liberties. He is fighting to repeal the Patriot Act and has opposed the war in Iraq from the beginning.

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The Republicans – who wants to be a President (Part 1)

January 3, 2012 1 comment

The new season kicks off with more than intriguing political competition in the USA. Tomorrow, January 3rd, the Republican Party holds the first caucus. It opens the quest for obtaining the nomination of the GOP in this year’s presidential elections. Obama is not unbeatable, but have the republicans finished their soul-searching after the Bush era? I do not think so, and this is exactly why the republican caucuses will be so interesting. With Ron Paul running as a strong mainstream candidate and Mitt Romney holding his ground (with far from reassuring 20%) it is all very promising.

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Burma’s elections: dictatorship in retreat – not yet

November 14, 2010 2 comments

This week’s elections in Burma marked a new beginning for the country. 20 years after the legitimate winner Aung San Suu Kyi and her party the National League for Democracy were denied the right to govern, the military junta organised elections. Yet far from free and fair.

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Burma’s military democracy

August 26, 2010 27 comments

The new legislative season is soon to start in many legislatures around the world. Yet in many countries Parliaments will not be convened because they simply do not exist. Burma (officially Myanmar) is one of these countries where a military junta illegitimately decides what is good and bad on behalf of the 50 million citizens. The Junta is calling elections on 7 November 2010 – the first since 1990. Can we believe that this time it will lead to democracy and expression of free people’s will ?

 January 2012 Update on Reforms in Myanmar – read here.

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Conservatives in Office

May 17, 2010 Leave a comment

David Cameron is the new UK Primer Minister

He went to school in Eton, graduated from Oxford with honours degree. He was a special advisor in John Major’s government as well as a chairman of Aston Villa Football Club. He became an MP at 31 and at 39 led the conservative shadow government as the newly-elected leader of the Conservative party. Now David Cameron is the youngest British Prime minister in 198 years and the only one to govern the country with a coalition government after the Second World War.

 

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