There are some promising candidates to support
Awesome! I hope they all win… none in GA, though.
From the article:
[quote]“I like the idea of saying, ‘We can do much more,’ because we can,” Biden said…
“I don’t think any Democrat’s ever won saying, ‘We can’t think that big — we ought to really downsize here because it’s not realistic,’” Biden said. “C’mon man, this is the Democratic Party! I’m not part of the party that says, ‘Well, we can’t do it.’”[/quote]
I wonder how close Cow is to this ballot measure. Sounds like his kind of thing in his state…
The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog
Not liking it at all so far. But the world won’t be ending any time soon, and neither will democracy in Austria.
What’s at stake? The presidency in Austria is largely ceremonial - comparable to the Governor General in Canada, not to US, French or Russian presidents.
Basically, the worst a hypothetical president Hofer might be able to do is to trigger parliamentary elections just at the time when it suits his own party the most. Or to use that as a threat to extract some minor concessions from the actual government.
How right-wing is the “Freedom Party” FPÖ? Depends. Mostly to the left of Le Pen and Wilders, last time I checked. Not worse than Fidesz in Hungary or PiS in Poland (though a lot less religious than the latter). Definitely opposed to immigration, especially from islamic nations. Compared to other parties that exist in Europe, I would think that the label “far-right” that the BBC gives them is wrong. They are right-wing populists, not “far right”. Like many European “right-wing” parties, they’d qualify as left-wing In some respects on the American political spectrum.
Supporters of the welfare state; in fact, they are using the welfare state as a major argument against immigration.
Not very religious, but tends to view Christianity as an integral part of Austrian culture; i.e. atheists are fine, as long as its the Christian God they disbelieve.
Slightly homophobic on average, opposed to marriage equality and adoption by homosexual couples, with some party members referring to homosexuality as a sickness. Also has openly homosexual politicians in its ranks, on the other hand.
Male-dominated party; does not approve of “feminist activism”. They do support equality of the sexes in theory, though. Have recently discovered “women’s rights” as a reason why excessive immigration from Islamic countries is a problem.
The only party with a significant number of people who own a handgun.
Anti-TTIP. Anti-EU, though ostensibly not to the point of threatening to leave the union.
Avoiding the FPÖ is usually my top priority in voting, but I think I would still prefer them to most, if not all, republicans.
What happened the last time they were in power? In 2001, the FPÖ won 27% in the parliamentary elections, and became part of a coalition government until 2006. By the end of it, they had split into two parties totalling 15% at the 2006 elections and cost the Austrian state an estimated 10-20 billion Euros through corruption and incompetence.
Who’s the other guy? Alexander van der Bellen, head of the Green party 1997-2008. Officially stood as an independent candidate but was supported financially by the Green party.
Who will win the run-off vote? Unclear. Van der Bellen happens to be my favourite candidate, but he’s the wrong person for the run-off. If the third candidate, Irmgard Griss (truly independent, harmless moderate conservative), had made it to the run-off, she would have definitely won. The Green party, that van der Bellen is still associated with, usually represents the leftmost ~15% of the political spectrum, and thus might be unelectable for most conservatives. Van der Bellen is probably the only candidate (besides Richard Lugner, the slightly senile 2%-candidate that no one ever took seriously) that Hofer is likely to win against.
Voting systems Hofer is definitely not the Condorcet winner. Having a single run-off election ended up pitting the very extremes of the candidate spectrum against each other. On the other hand, I’m really glad that we don’t use the American system; Hofer is the strongest candidate in allmost all districts except for the cities of Vienna, Graz and Innsbruck.
Why are they so strong? I blame the refugees. In late summer/fall of 2015, Austria basically lost control over its borders. About 200,000 people entered the country in September alone, most of them headed for Germany. something between 500,000 and a million people transited through Austria in 2015; 95,000 stayed to apply for asylum (slightly more than 1% of the population). Government and police looked a bit out of their depth. Border police were literally shoved aside and ignored by groups of young male refugees at the border with Slovenia.
Add to that the terrorist attacks in Paris and France; several of the terrorists are said to have entered Europe (re-entered, I think) hidden among the stream of refugees. The “cologne” attacks weren’t a good advertisement for immigration from islamic countries, either. And the FPÖ was the traditional anti-immigration party.
Run-off elections are on May 22nd. Then, we’ll either have the most progressive president in the history of the country, or an asshole elected into an almost but not quite powerless office.
Was that with Jörg Haider?
Sort of. Yes he was the head of the party. But to keep the president from trying to instate a social-democrat minority government, and ot mitigate protests from abroad, Haider did not take an office in that government and even resigned as head of the party (for a while). He continued to have a big influence on “his” party as a “simple party member” (that’s what he called himself; it sort of became a joke in Austria).
Maybe not quite everything.
To further co-opt this ‘US Election’ thread.
Ken Livingstone really is an idiot. I’m sure this will really help Labour in the upcoming elections.
And to stray even further off-topic, there were even suggestions yesterday that Labour might slip behind the Conservatives in Scotland…(any comment, @miasm?)
Have you seen the turnouts for our elections? 50% is good! Ugh.
It appears that the massive turnout for the devolution referendum might have radicalised more people on both sides of the spectrum, and it maybe seems like without the coordinated media campaign against the referendum, those who opposed it are more likely to stay home than those who campaigned for the yes vote. The ‘deal’ we were offered in order to vote no has been revised and downplayed and now there’s the prospect of the fucking brexit hanging over people’s heads. That in itself could be a radicalising factor, and whilst I welcome greater participation from the electorate, there’s a stripe of anti-european feeling even within the nationalists.
So there’s also a new dynamic to consider this year, for the first time, 16 and 17 year olds are eligible to vote, and whilst I don’t believe many of them will, I suspect that those families of conservative support in Scotland are more likely than those of other party affiliations to radicalise their children with the lying lies of tory lies.
I’m terrified that Scotland’s general apathy towards its independence spreads to its children who, upon seeing the adults throwing in the towel with the devolution referendum, inculcate the defeatist mindset and either don’t vote (because what’s the point, the adults have fucked it up already) or vote tory, having internalised their position of ideological slavery to their ‘betters’. There’s an undercurrent of supplicant defeatism in Scotland, and what I’ve seen of youth in the business world they tend to be buttoned down and attracted to the most conformist of ideas and that means ‘sensible’ politics like austerity and cuts, because that’s what seems most adult, especially when many adults in positions of power around them are parroting the same conservative rhetoric.
There’s a light though, many young people in some of the major cities have been bitten by the social justice bug, especially in Glasgow, where the largest chunk of the country lives, 1.2 mil in Glasgow, 4 mil spread around everywhere else. (I know there’s hardly any of us) I expect Glasgow and Dundee at least to continue their lead in the push for independence and that means a continued lean from the tories and labour toward the SNP and another devolution referendum down the road some ways. And this is the fucked up part, probably more assuredly and more soon if the UK exits Europe… Like I’ve said, it’s not the road I want to to go down and I’ll be voting no, but if ever there was a sure fire way to really radicalise the public into finally getting a large enough percentage to vote to devolve, that would be it. Hopefully Europe would take us back!
The most troubling infection is the rise of the tories, and by connection, fucking ukip, down in the south. I don’t know what weird virus is spreading around down there but it also seems to have jumped up around the North East, I expect to see the SNP hold up here, but damned if I haven’t gotten the impression of a conservative hotbed fomenting lies and austerity propaganda in the businesses around the oil industry.
I think the corporation types in the oil industry feel like labour has failed them, so are turning towards the tories. Did I ever tell you that I was in an AGM for the oil company I worked for up here the day before the devolution referendum and several of the top men in the company, some flown in from abroad, made obvious and unchecked comments about voting ‘NO’ in ‘this ridiculous vote’ etc?
That was to a room of (hmmm, maybe 700+) or so people, who were at that time working in one of the few oil companies which hadn’t lost money, and were not firing people left and right. I can’t imagine what the fallout from desperate company execs sounds like now that everyone is losing their jobs. But I suspect the worst, and that’s when the tories seem to pick up the protest vote. When people feel like ‘fuck it!’
I’m holding out hope against hope that the Greens are actually the party to whom people turn instead of the tories, Labour seems like a lost cause and anyone without an ideology of obstructionism might be turned toward the mostly progressive greens, but I suspect the worst.
The defeatist mindset is shockingly popular over here. It bugs me the fuck out.
Well, here are some depressing articles.
Tim Kaine sounds awful.
I haven’t watched Larry Wilmore’s WHCD appearance yet, but this makes it sound good.
What I saw on Twitter was good. Yep, white people are freaking the frak out
Wilmore was OK. His big problem was that Obama did a great job, and Wilmore’s routine was a little less sharp and low energy by comparison. He also punched down a couple of times at some of the media; unlike Obama, who made some similar jokes, he did not have the standing to do that by virtue of having been a target for them, as a result some of the same jabs that work well on his show seemed a little mean in this venue.
I thought Wilmore was kinda dull, but I really enjoyed most of the jokes the audience took offense at.