Tag: election

Day of reckoning in Sweden

Sunday, 9 September, 2018

The polls have opened in Sweden’s general election and pundits predict that neither the governing Social Democrats nor the Moderate Party is likely to win a majority. The big story, of course, is the rise of the Sweden Democrats (SD), who may end up taking second place, which would be a huge shock for the Swedish and European establishments. SD leader Jimmie Åkesson says that Sweden had become “an extreme country in many ways, not least when it comes to immigration” and that his plan to take in fewer migrants should be regarded as “normal politics in the rest of Europe”. From Brussels to Berlin, from Rome to Madrid, all eyes will be on Stockholm tonight.

“Everything I read about the Swedish Social Democratic government of the last century suggested an organization that was driven by one single, overarching goal: to sever the traditional, some would say natural, ties between its citizens, be they those that bound children to their parents, workers to their employers, wives to their husbands, or the elderly to their families.” — Michael Booth, The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia

UPDATE: The Swedish election has left the two main political blocs almost tied. With all ballots counted, the governing centre-left coalition is marginally ahead of its centre-right Alliance rivals, with around 40% each. The Sweden Democrats (SD) won about 18% of the vote, up from 12.9% in the previous election. A lengthy battle to form a working coalition now looks certain.

Mrs May: The charisma of a carrot

Saturday, 10 June, 2017 0 Comments

Writing about what he calls “Britain’s Election Disaster”, Theodore Dalrymple, a contributing editor of City Journal, says “Theresa May’s political incompetence carries a high price.” His displeasure is such that he goes all ad hominem: “It did not help that she had the charisma of a carrot and the sparkle of a spade,” he notes. And then he gets political:

“Technically, she won the election, in the sense that she received more votes than anyone else, but few voted for her with enthusiasm rather than from fear of the alternative. Her disastrous campaign included repeated genuflections in the direction of social democracy. Even after her defeat, moral if not quite literal, she burbled about a society in which no one was left behind — never mind that it would entail a society in which no one would be out in front, that is to say, a society resting in the stagnant pool of its own mediocrity.”

Many great leaders discovered their greatness only in the wilderness of exile and the bitterness of defeat and although Mrs May is now the subject of ridicule, she might yet develop the “steel” that’s needed for surviving in times of adversity. The clock is ticking, however, and she has, at most, six months to prove that she’s got the stuff of Thatcher within her. If she cannot find it, she will have to live with those carrot comparisons and toast analogies and worse.

Trump: the candidate of Control-Alt-Delete

Wednesday, 25 May, 2016 0 Comments

On Sunday, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal presidential election poll put Donald Trump at 43 percent and Hillary Clinton at 46 percent, but an ABC News/Washington Post poll published the same day saw Trump at 46 percent and Clinton at 44 percent. To understand what’s going on, a reading of “The Meaning of Mr. Trump” by Walter Russell Mead is very highly recommended. Snippet:

“What makes Trump so appealing to so many voters is that the establishment does seem unusually clueless these days. The great American post-Cold War project of seeking peace and security through the construction of a New World Order based on liberal internationalism and American power doesn’t seem to be working very well, and it’s not hard to conclude that neither the neoconservatives nor the Obama-ites really know what they are doing. When it comes to the economy, it’s been clear since the financial crisis of 2008 that something is badly awry and that the economists, so dogmatic and opinionated and so bitterly divided into quarreling schools, aren’t sure how the system works anymore, and have no real ideas about how to make the world system work to the benefit of ordinary voters in the United States. With the PC crowd and the Obama administration hammering away at transgender bathroom rights as if this was the great moral cause of our time, and with campus Pure Thought advocates collapsing into self parody even as an epidemic of drug abuse and family breakdown relentlessly corrodes the foundations of American social cohesion, it’s hard to believe that the establishment has a solid grip on the moral principles and priorities a society like ours needs.”

This summary of Trump is classic: “He is the candidate of Control-Alt-Delete.” Mead accepts that the Trump movement is not the answer to the myriad problems facing the US, but he’s on they money when he sees the rage that’s powering it as a vibrant expression of democracy: “The tailors are frauds and the emperor is not in fact wearing any clothes: it is a good sign and not a bad sign that so many Americans are willing to say so out loud.” This is going to be a pivotal election, and not just for the US.

Real Clear Politics

Trump: shocking, vulgar and indisputably true

Friday, 26 February, 2016 0 Comments

Tucker Carlson is a true Washington insider and his 28 January analysis of the Trump phenomenon is fascinating and prescient. Snippet:

“Consider the conservative nonprofit establishment, which seems to employ most right-of-center adults in Washington. Over the past 40 years, how much donated money have all those think tanks and foundations consumed? Billions, certainly. (Someone better at math and less prone to melancholy should probably figure out the precise number.) Has America become more conservative over that same period? Come on. Most of that cash went to self-perpetuation: Salaries, bonuses, retirement funds, medical, dental, lunches, car services, leases on high-end office space, retreats in Mexico, more fundraising. Unless you were the direct beneficiary of any of that, you’d have to consider it wasted.

Pretty embarrassing. And yet they’re not embarrassed. Many of those same overpaid, underperforming tax-exempt sinecure-holders are now demanding that Trump be stopped. Why? Because, as his critics have noted in a rising chorus of hysteria, Trump represents ‘an existential threat to conservatism.’

Let that sink in. Conservative voters are being scolded for supporting a candidate they consider conservative because it would be bad for conservatism? And by the way, the people doing the scolding? They’re the ones who’ve been advocating for open borders, and nation-building in countries whose populations hate us, and trade deals that eliminated jobs while enriching their donors, all while implicitly mocking the base for its worries about abortion and gay marriage and the pace of demographic change. Now they’re telling their voters to shut up and obey, and if they don’t, they’re liberal.

If you live in an affluent ZIP code, it’s hard to see a downside to mass low-wage immigration. Your kids don’t go to public school. You don’t take the bus or use the emergency room for health care. No immigrant is competing for your job. (The day Hondurans start getting hired as green energy lobbyists is the day my neighbors become nativists.) Plus, you get cheap servants, and get to feel welcoming and virtuous while paying them less per hour than your kids make at a summer job on Nantucket. It’s all good.”

Why is Trump so popular? Because he’s an outsider. Voters cannot tell the differences, if any, between the professional Republicans so each of them will get a percentage of the vote on Super Tuesday from those who prefer insiders, but Trump will get 100 percent of the vote from those who prefer an outsider. If nominated, Trump would certainly get the Christian, white and blue-collar vote. Both Romney and McCain lost because middle-income whites in Ohio and Pennsylvania didn’t bother to vote, but they should turn out for Trump. And what about the Latino and African-American vote? It will all depend on what the pollsters call “voter engagement numbers”.

Think Tank: “Trump is the GOP’s Frankenstein monster. Now he’s strong enough to destroy the party,” writes Robert Kagan, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

This is ready to be tweeted

Tuesday, 6 May, 2014 0 Comments

The key to leading Europe into an era of growth is the digital economy, says Jean-Claude Juncker, the EPP candidate for President of the European Commission. He’s right, of course, and his sense of humour, which mocks his analog activity, might even win him some extra votes. The charming pronunciation of “techie” as “tacky” is good, too.

There’s going to be a Ruddbath Down Under

Thursday, 5 September, 2013 0 Comments

Australians vote on Saturday to elect a new parliament. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd is hoping to win a third term for the ruling Labor Party and he’s up against a coalition led by Tony Abbott of the Liberal Party. But wait, wasn’t the election planned 14 September? That’s right. Back in January, Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the election would be held mid-September, but following a nasty Labor leadership struggle in summer the shrill @JuliaGillard was ousted as leader by the bland @KRuddMP, who then abandoned the originally planned date.

On Saturday night, Rudd will be abandoning government as well because all the indications are that Labor is going to get hammered. Australians are sick to the teeth of the leftist/greenish ideology they’ve been force fed by the Gillard-Rudd axis. Polls show that the coalition is walking it home:

“Tony Abbott has overtaken Kevin Rudd as the nation’s preferred prime minister for the first time in their four-year rivalry as support for Labor fell to its lowest since Julia Gillard was removed.

Going into the last week of the election campaign, Labor’s primary vote support has slumped to 33 per cent — the lowest ever under Mr Rudd as Prime Minister — after Treasury and Finance repudiated the government’s claims on the cost of Coalition promises.”

Hope ‘n change, and all that.

Meanwhile, the loony left is expressing its pre-mourning, pre-grieving post-mortem op-ed rage.

Events are unpredictable until, quite suddenly, they occur

Thursday, 13 September, 2012

Tuesday, 9/11/12, was the day the roof fell in says Walter Russel Mead in a great post about the unpredictable nature of events. Snippet: “As the dust settles, there will be more to say — about the politics of Egypt, the chaos in Libya, the President’s leadership, the strike in Chicago, the nature of blasphemy, […]

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