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Wednesday, December 1, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Haiti election valid despite ‘irregularities’, says OAS.

Filed under: Latin America,elections | Comments Off|
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

And, in this case, the convergence of royal weddings and a referendum.

Via the Daily ExpressLIB DEMS FEAR ROYAL WEDDING DATE WILL SCUPPER VOTE REFORM FIGHT

The April 29 date falls less than a week before the national referendum on electoral reform on May 5.

Campaigners fear the wedding and bank holiday weekend will scupper any hopes of turning the voting issue into a major debate.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

In the aftermath of the 1994 “Republican Revolution” there were a further handful of Democrats in the Congress that decided that being in the minority stinks, so went on to switch parties (Senators Richard Shelby of AL and Ben Nighthorse Campbell of CO come to mind).  Now the same phenomenon is taking place in Alabama at the state level.  I noted a few weeks back that the GOP finally captured control of the state legislature for the first time since Reconstruction.  That victory has now lead to some Democrats to jump to the Republican Party (again:  being in the minority stinks).

Via the Montgomery AdvertiserFormer Democrats bolster GOP power

The four Democrats in the Alabama House of Representatives who switched par ties Monday, give Republicans the necessary majorities in both chambers of the Legislature to vote as a bloc to bring up their agenda or to shut down delays from Democrats.

Alan Boothe of Troy, Mike Millican of Hamilton, Lesley Vance of Phenix City, and Steve Hurst of Munford announced their switch, which was reported by the Montgomery Advertiser on Friday.

The shift brings the number of Republicans in the House to 66, compared to 39 Democrats.

Filed under: 2010,Alabama Politics,elections | Comments Off|
Sunday, October 31, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Brazil votes for new president, Rousseff tipped to win.

This is the second round of a two-round process, and Worker’s Party (PT) candidate Dilma Rousseff is the clear favorite after coming within shouting distance of an absolute majority in the first round.

The other candidate is Jose Serra of the Social Democratic Party.  Rouseff had a 14 point advantage over Serra in the first round.

A win for Rousseff will mean a continuation in the presidency of the PT which has held the office for two terms (eight years) under President Lula da Silva.

Rousseff will also be the first female president of Brazil and will join Latin American neighbors Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua and Panama as having had female presidents.

Filed under: 2010,Latin America,elections | Comments Off|
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Brazil presidential hopefuls clash in TV debate.

Not that it is a surprise if one knows the politics of the region, but I was struck as to how much this could have been from a debate between US candidates:

In Sunday night’s TV debate, Mr Serra accused Ms Rousseff of abandoning her position on moral issues in a bid to win over religious voters.

"You clearly said you were in favour of legalising abortion and then you changed and said the opposite," said Mr Serra, a former Sao Paulo governor.

"In some interviews, you doubted God’s existence and now you are a believer."

Dilma Rousseff is the PT (Workers Party) candidate, and the favorite going into the second round.  Jose Serra is the Social Democratic Party candidate.

Ms Rousseff, who won 46.9% in the first round to Mr Serra’s 32.6%, has seen her lead in the opinion polls narrow.

The polls show:

Latest opinion polls put Ms Rousseff, who fell short of a first round win on 3 October, on 48% and Mr Serra on 41%.

Some 11% of voters say they are undecided.

Sunday, October 10, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

From me @ OTB:  O’Donnell Uses Palin Playbook

Filed under: 2010,OTB,elections,media | Comments Off|
Thursday, October 7, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

From me @OTB:

Filed under: OTB,US Politics,elections | Comments Off|
By Steven L. Taylor

Some post on the convergence of clowns and politics this week:

From [email protected]From the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” File

Also from [email protected]Speaking of Politics and Clowns…

And, from Matthew Shugart:  Grumpy about the Brazilian election

Filed under: Latin America,OTB,US Politics,elections | Comments Off|
Monday, October 4, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Rousseff falls short of outright win in Brazil election

Brazil’s presidential election will go to a second round after Dilma Rousseff failed to gain the 50% of votes needed for an outright victory.

With 98% of votes counted, President Lula’s former cabinet chief has 47% with Jose Serra trailing on 33%.

The two will contest a run-off vote in four weeks’ time.

A strong showing by the Green Party candidate, Marina Silva, who polled 19%, may have cost Ms Rousseff a first-round win.

With a 14 gap between the top voter-getter and the second place finisher, the results of the final round are basically a foregone conclusion.  This is certainly a good example of where the use of an instant run-off would have saved time and expense (or several other variations).

There is little doubt that Rouseff is a shoe-in for final victory.  As the BBC puts it:

Many analysts believe a scandal involving her directly would be the only scenario under which she could lose a runoff.

In other, as I like to say, unless she shoot a man in Reno (or in this case, Rio) just to watch him die, she’s in.

My question would be:  who are the analysts not included in the “many” above who think that there is a chance of any other outcome?

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Monday, September 27, 2010
By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Chavez foes advance in election

The Venezuelan opposition has performed well in elections, overturning President Hugo Chavez’s two-thirds majority in parliament.

Mr Chavez’s United Socialist Party (PSUV) still won a majority of seats in Sunday’s poll, but will now be unable to pass major legislation unaided.

[…]

Electoral authorities announced that the PSUV won at least 90 seats, and the MUD at least 59 – surpassing the key target of 55 required to overturn the PSUV’s two-thirds majority.

This is interesting for a variety of reasons.  One is that there has not been a relevant opposition in some time in Venezuela, so it will be interesting to see if this outcome actually produces an active and significant bloc within the legislature.  Along those lines it is worth noting that the opposition boycotted the 2005 elections, which instead of damaging the legitimacy of those elections simply gave the PSUV more power.

The second noteworthy element here is that we do again see elections in Venezuela that appear to be genuine.  This is not to say that there are not a variety of serious problems with the quality of democracy in Venezuela, but the fact of the matter remains it is not the simple autocracy that many like to paint it.  I say this, by the way, as a critic and a skeptic regarding Hugo Chávez’s overall interest in democracy.

I will further present the following caveat to the point in the previous paragraph:  the issue of Venezuela’s qualified democracy and how it should be viewed, described, and evaluated is a more complicated issue that an early morning blog post can tackle.

A few more things worth noting:

the new parliament will not convene until early January, leaving Mr Chavez three months to push through any key reforms.

This will be interesting to watch, especially as it pertains to the question of whether especially dramatic legislation is passed.

Also, the role of the electoral rules are of interest:

The MUD also claims that it actually won an overall majority – 52% – of votes cast, but that changes to electoral districts and voting rules prevented that being translated into parliamentary seats. However, the breakdown of the popular vote has not been confirmed by the National Electoral Council.

Filed under: Latin America,elections | Comments Off|
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