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Sunday, February 28, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor

Doggie Ignores the Camera

365.59 (2/28/10). She isn’t fond of the camera-always looks away.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the BBC:  Chilean quake toll jumps to 708

According to President Bachelet:  “541 had died in Maule region, 64 in Biobio and 103 and other regions.”

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By Steven L. Taylor

Via the Times:  Gordon Brown on course to win election.

The YouGov survey places David Cameron’s Conservatives on 37%, as against 35% for Labour — the closest gap between the parties in more than two years.

It means Labour is heading for a total of 317 seats, nine short of an overall majority, with the Tories languishing on a total of just 263 MPs. Such an outcome would mean Brown could stay in office and deny Cameron the keys to No 10.

If those numbers were to hold, the following scenario could play out:

Under the British parliamentary system, the prime minister remains in office after a general election until he either tenders his resignation or is defeated in a Commons no confidence vote.

If the election result leaves Labour just short of an overall majority, Brown is likely to battle on, with Labour running the country as a minority government. The party would seek to do deals with minor parties such as Ulster’s Democratic Unionist party or, if necessary, Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats, to get its legislation through parliament.

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By Steven L. Taylor

The AJC’s Jim Galloway reports:  John Linder announces retirement from Congress.

Linder is a Republican who represents the 7th District of Georgia.  The district would appear to be safely Republican.

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By Steven L. Taylor

The BBC has a pretty thorough run-down of the known effects of the quake:  Chile quake affects two million, says Bachelet.

The current known death toll stands near 300.

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Saturday, February 27, 2024
By Steven L. Taylor


365.58 (2/27/10)

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By Steven L. Taylor

In reading through some of the US coverage of the aftermath of the Colombian Constitutional Court’s ruling that stopped any chance of a third term for Álvaro Uribe, I have noted a mini-theme.

The LAT: “ The highly anticipated ruling comes before a presidential election scheduled for May 30, opening the way to an exciting, compressed campaign with no clear front-runner.”

The AP:  “What Colombia lacks is a front-runner…”

I think that this is an inaccurate characterization.  What the race now lacks is a prohibitive favorite, which Uribe would have been had he been able to run.  While it is true that in a recent poll Santos only received 12.1% (which was top in that poll), but that was in a very crowded list of 14 candidates (plus “not sure”).  He also led polls in July and September in a list of 17 candidates (plus “not sure”), the polls aren’t the issue, per se.  The fact of the matter is that Uribe and his “democratic security” policies remain quite popular.  Juan Manuel Santos is the clear and natural heir to that current of Colombian politics, and as such has to be considered the front-runner as a result.

Further, if the race makes it to a second round, voters who may have gone with Cambio Radical, the Conservatives and a lot of Liberals1 will likely migrate to Santos.

If there is a second round, it will probably be between Santos, as the heir to Uribe, versus a candidate of the center-left, such as independent Sergio Fajardo or the PDA’s Gustavo Petro.   And, at this point, it seems more likely it would be Fajardo than Petro.

As such, the Latin American Herald-Tribune gets it closer to right than the papers noted above:  “Santos is as close as there is to a front-runner” and Reuters hits the nail on the head:  “The race for Colombia’s presidency began Saturday, with former defense minister Juan Manuel Santos the favorite.”

  1. Indeed, Santos comes from a prominent Liberal family and Uribe was once a member of the PL.  Indeed, Santos’ granduncle, Eduardo Santos, was a Liberal President of Colombia from 1938-1942.  Further, the Santos family used to own El Tiempo, long known as a Liberal paper—especially in the earlier part of the 20th Century when Colombian papers were quite partisan. []
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By Steven L. Taylor

Via El Tiempo (La pregunta ahora es: ¿Quién remplazará a Álvaro Uribe en la presidencia de Colombia?) here’s a list of the potential candidate in May’s presidential election:

1.  Juan Manuel Santos, del partido de ‘la U’;

2. Rafael Pardo, del Partido Liberal

3. Sergio Fajardo, independiente

4.  Gustavo Petro, del Polo Democrático Alternativo 

5.  Germán Vargas, de Cambio Radical;

6. Noemí Sanín o Andrés Felipe Arias, del Partido Conservador (primary on 3/14);

7. Lucho Garzón, Antanas Mockus o Enrique Peñalosa (Partido Verde—primary on 3/14)

Source:  El Tiempo.

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By Steven L. Taylor

Now that Álvaro Uribe’s (presumed)1 dream of a third term are officially dead, former Defense Minister2 Juan Manuel Santos is going to jump into the electoral fray.  This is a wholly expected outcome.

El Tiempo reports:  Santos aspira a ser el candidato presidencial de la coalición uribista y a ganar en primera vuelta [Santos Aspires to be Presidential Candidate of the Uribe Coalition and to Win in the First Round].

Santos is hoping for a coalition of la U,3 portions of the Conservatives,4 portions of Radical Change,5 and other uribista parties.

It is unclear to me if he will run as the official candidate of la U or as an independent affiliation with la U and other parties (which was the Uribe way).  The proof will be in how he inscribes he candidacy and how it appears on the ballot.

At the moment, I would predict that Santos will win in May, but that he will have to take it to the second round, but it is early-ish in the campaign cycle, since not all the candidates have been selected.6  One very interesting issue will be to see if all of the current candidates remain in the race (which, actually, I expect them to do).  It seems that while an Uribe candidacy might have led to a winnowing of the field, the fact that the seat is now open will encourage the various parties to keep their candidates in the field.

  1. He was always quite cagey in terms of making an official pronouncement as to his actual desires on the matter. []
  2. Amongst other things—he has an impressive resume. []
  3. The Partido Social de Unidad Nacional []
  4. Although at the moment they are going to nominate a candidate on the 14th of March. []
  5. Although CR has a candidate already. []
  6. Not exactly the protracted US campaign calendar, now is it? []
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By Steven L. Taylor

NYT’s The Lede has a lot of updated info on the quake, including numerous news clips and feeds plus info on the Tsunami Warning:  Latest Updates on Earthquake in Chile.

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