Elections in Europe in 2017


#201

People fleeing war in Syria and Iraq - which the West has a major role in creating - are asylum shoppers?


#202

Not sure what point is being made anyway. She won a fourth term - I can’t think of any recent head of a democratic country who has seen that much support over an extended period.


#203

According to some charts of votes, the ADF increases did not come from those areas with a high refugee intake.
There are some large differences in voting patterns between the old East and West.


#204

That mirrors what you see here and abroad. The areas where mistrust of foreigners is highest are usually places where foreigners don’t actually live.


#205

Well, I suppose foreigners don’t generally distrust themselves, so… :wink:

If you want a truly unbelievable European politics story though, check out the background of the recent toppling of the Icelandic govt. Basically, the govt has, for years, secretly been pardoning child sex offenders at the request of the PMs dad.


#206

As in some other countries, Iceland’s system includes a process for expungement of criminal convictions ( including phaedophilua) after a period of time. In the present case, the Prime Minister’s father ( apparently without the PM’s knowledge) signed a recommendation to the Justice Ministry for a mate’s record to be expunged. There was a cover up of the identity of the person signing the recommendation.
As I understand it, the concerns did not relate to a paedophile ring, but to the undue influence of the boys club.


#207

Howard won 4 didn’t he?

Elections in Japan will also be interesting.


#208

Howard did win 4; a major reason some of us are bitter and twisted.

And reminding me of that is worse that revisiting Fraser Brown and the 1999 Prelim.


#209

The AfD’s vote is very similar to Brexit and to Trump. If you put a map of their vote versus GDP per capita, a lot of the poorest areas (those left behind) are the ones voting for the alternative. The four states with the largest AfD vote were ranked 12th to 14th in per capita GDP (out of 16) - all in the former East.


#210

No one wants to go back to 99


#211

Sport and politics do mix in Spain. FC Barcelona played to an empty stadium in protest after being refused permission to postpone the match against Los Palmos because of the Catalan referendum. Los Palmos waved the Spanish flag to assert solidarity with the Spanish government.


#212

My wife is Spanish so this hits very close to home. I think the central govt. over-reacted (in terms of violence) and played right in to the hands of the separatists (who, until 24hrs ago, were in a minority). Now all Catalans will be looking at the visuals of voters getting beat up and sympathizing with the separatists. What a mess.


#213

Huh, no one in here congratulated Sebastian Kurz for becoming the Austrian leader last month. At only 31 he is the world’s youngest leader and looks set to shake up the European Union. Which is exactly what it needs. Get rid of the old socialists who were running the country into the ground and bring in some younger people who are not tied to the globalist agendas and open border policies.

The lack of any commentary on him in here must be because he is conservative leaning. I guess that must make him either crazy or mad, or just crazy mad!

Good luck to him and Austria.


#214

WP. Ex-military guy who is worried about ‘deep state’, advocates wide gun ownership & congratulates Austrian right wing populist. Hmmm.


#215

We can talk about him now if you want?

Everything I’ve read describes him as pro-European, and with Austria being a fairly small country compared to others in Europe I’m not sure how much he will be able to shake things up. To form government it looks like he will forming a coalition with a right-wing nationalist party.

Most of the focus in the news here is still on Catalonia (and Brexit).


#216

The Esp stuff is more interesting.

SANTA MARIA!


#217

Looking forward to Puigdemont up on Montjüic Castle meeting the same fate as his predecessor as president of Catalunya, Lluis Companys.

Not really, but it’s a hell of a cheek declaring independence when you’ve only got about 50% of the people behind it, and then claiming a mandate when half of the population obeyed the national government and refused to vote.

From what a Spanish friend tells me, a lot of big Catalan companies like Caixa Bank (to Mallorca) and Sabadell (to Alicante) are out of there. That will have a substantial impact on their financial stability.


#218

I would suggest that 90% of non-Catalan Spaniards have had more than enough of this “separatist” nonsense. And, it would not surprise me if a narrow majority of Catalans agree too. Having spent a lot of time in Spain and visited every year for the last 15 years it is clear to me that this is a case of a vocal, very driven minority using propaganda and savvy tactics to try and build sympathy. Unfortunately, Rajoy’s central government played right into their hands with what happened during the farcical “elections” on Oct 1. Since then, however, the central government has done everything by the book.

I read an interesting article in response to some Catalans calling themselves “freedom fighters”. It asked, “what and how much are you willing to sacrifice?”. The answer is clear. As soon as it came to having to give up money - companies moving, centrally-funded retirement account at risk, having to fund their own military - there was tremendous balking.

Ultimately that is what all this is about. Money. Catalonia has 20% of Spain’s population and contributes 26% of GDP. How dare the rest of Spain take ‘their’ money? So what? I live in friggin’ California which is the 6th largest economy in the world and funds many other US states. That is what being in a country is all about.


#219

Except if the Central Government had let the vote for independence run its course and not used such robust tactics by Police then it perhaps have settled peacefully and democratically.

If the people in West Australia campaigned for independence and it was put to a vote, I doubt the Federal Givernment would send in the troops. Self determination is the right of any group of people in a democracy. And my Mates in Texas still wish they had gone harder for Independence back a long time ago.


#220

Texas was an independent republic that joined the US voluntarily, though right?