Procesos electorales (Continuación)

Quizás la razón primordial detrás del triunfo de Ley y Justicia (PiS, en siglas polacas) en las elecciones del domingo sea que durante su mandato llevó a cabo un programa de políticas sociales de redistribución de riqueza muy generosas. Empezando por el programa de “500+” de ayudas directas a familias con más de un hijo. No sirvió para elevar la tasa de natalidad, pero sí supuso una ayuda para las familias con dificultades y —en palabras del partido gobernante— “una redistribución del prestigio”.

Los críticos acusan al Gobierno de compra de votos con dinero público. Vistas las promesas de campaña (segunda paga extra para jubilados sin mirar al presupuesto) es razonable verlo así.…  Seguir leyendo »

The button of a PiS supporter on election day. Photo: Getty Images.

The Polish election on 13 October resulted, as expected, in a victory for of the ruling Law and Justice party (PiS).

But despite again securing a slim majority in parliament, it has not been wholly a triumph for PiS. And though there continue to be concerns about the party’s authoritarian tendencies, the election has illuminated some important nuances to its support and appeal, which hold lessons for politics across Europe.

Even though some opinion polls had suggested PiS were close to winning a supermajority in parliament that would have allowed it to pursue constitutional changes, the party fell short of that target, while it lost its majority in the Senate.…  Seguir leyendo »

President Trump is lashing out against the media and his opposition as he faces impeachment for turning U.S. foreign policy into an extension of his reelection campaign. The British Parliament is poised to vote down Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s legislative program next week, raising the prospect of a “zombie government” crippled by a deepening split over Brexit. And a Polish election has delivered a resounding win for the authoritarian Law and Justice party — effectively rewarding it for a systematic assault on press freedom and other democratic institutions.

This is not a happy time for advocates of liberal democracy.

And yet there was one dazzling bolt of good news that emerged from the darkness this weekend: Tunisia just held the second round of its presidential vote — and the people won.…  Seguir leyendo »

Poland goes to the polls this Sunday

On Sunday, Poland will elect a new Parliament. Over the past four years, the ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party has made international headlines for policies that undermine democracy. Despite this, the party is on track to remain the strongest faction in the lower house of Parliament, the Sejm. However, it’s not clear that the party will win the majority of seats.

In the 2015 election, PiS won 235 of 460 Sejm seats with only 37.58 percent of the vote. That’s because more than 16 percent of votes were cast for parties that failed to clear the minimum national electoral threshold to be seated in Parliament.…  Seguir leyendo »

‘Despite polling that suggests Law and Justice will secure the best results of any single party in the post-1989 period, there is much to suggest the country is increasingly divided.’ Photograph: Wojtek Radwański/AFP via Getty

In the decades since the end of Communism, Poland has rarely been a country of mass demonstrations. It has never had its equivalent of Ukraine’s Euromaidan, for instance. But the four years since the Law and Justice party (PiS) came to power have been marked by public demonstrations – from nationalist commemorations of independence day and Catholic-run “marches for life and family” to LGBT rights parades, pro-choice protests and the Campaign to Defend Democracy’s [KOD] fight against the government’s perceived weakening of the constitution.

Sunday’s parliamentary election can be viewed as a test of the relative success of these different campaigns.…  Seguir leyendo »

Winners and losers of Tunisia’s parliamentary electionsMembers of Tunisia's Independent High Authority for Elections count votes a day after the parliamentary election. (Riadh Dridi/AP)

Tunisians voted in parliamentary elections on Sunday, their second of three elections scheduled this fall. About 41 percent of registered voters turned out to vote, slightly lower than the 49 percent in the first round of the presidential elections held Sept. 15.

The elections will create a highly fractured parliament, with no party or list receiving more than 20 percent of the vote. While results will be announced Wednesday, exit polls suggest a narrow victory for the moderate Islamist party Ennahda, with about 18 percent of the vote, followed closely by newcomer Qalb Tounes, with about 16 percent. Five smaller parties secured between 4 percent and 6 percent of the vote.…  Seguir leyendo »

One big thing is clear after Sunday’s snap election in Austria: Sebastian Kurz not only survived a scandal but also seems back on top of his game.

The former Austrian chancellor scored a clear election victory only four months after a video sting ended his coalition with the far right. His conservative People’s Party exceeded poll estimates and won 37.5 percent of the vote.

The Social Democrats took 21.2 percent — the party’s worst-ever result since 1945. The far-right Freedom Party suffered a sharp blow and received 16.2 percent of the vote, down from 26 percent in the 2017 election.

Who polled particularly well in Saturday’s election?…  Seguir leyendo »

Figura 1. Victorias opositoras en América Latina, 2017-2019

Tema

Las elecciones del próximo octubre en Bolivia, Uruguay y Argentina cierran el actual trienio electoral latinoamericano (2017-2019), durante el cual 15 de los 19 países de la región habrán celebrado comicios presidenciales y otros dos (Cuba y Perú) han cambiado de jefe de Estado, transformando profundamente el panorama y los equilibrios políticos regionales.

Resumen

Al arrancar este trienio electoral en América Latina (abril de 2017 en Ecuador), la tendencia indicaba que la región se aprestaba a confirmar un cambio de ciclo, caracterizado por el “giro a la derecha” que venía produciéndose desde 2015. Tras tres años consecutivos de citas electorales y a falta de completar las últimas elecciones del período (Bolivia, Uruguay y Argentina), todo apunta a que ellas ratificarán sus dos características principales: (1) la mayoría de los comicios se convirtieron en un voto de castigo al oficialismo; y (2) la heterogeneidad ha prevalecido sobre un teórico y uniforme “giro a la derecha”.…  Seguir leyendo »

Members of the Joint List Osama Saadi, Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi and Mansour Abbas arrive for a consulting meeting with the Israeli President, to decide who to task with trying to form a new government, in Jerusalem on September 22, 2019. AFP/Menahem Kahana

As Israel’s politicians negotiate what government can take power after the 17 September elections, it is worth noting a historic step taken by ten out of thirteen members of the country’s Joint List of small Arab-Palestinian majority parties. Their recommendation of Blue and White’s chairperson Benny Gantz for prime minister is the first by an Arab-majority party or list for a Zionist party since 1992. That Blue and White is headed by three former Israel Defense Forces (IDF) generals, one of whom campaigned on his heavy-handed treatment of Gaza, makes this doubly ground-breaking.

What explains this reversal? For one, the Joint List’s recent decision to move by majority rather than consensus vote allows it to better reflect the views of Israel’s Palestinian citizens.…  Seguir leyendo »

Outcome of 2019 U.K. election with Labour-Liberal Democrat tactical voting, and 50 percent of Brexit Party supporters moving to the Conservatives. Prepared by authors using analyses of polling data and 2017 general election results.

The “Battle of Brexit” has left British politics in chaos. After Boris Johnson became leader of the governing Conservative Party on July 23, he promised to take the United Kingdom out of the European Union by Oct. 31, “do or die.” To achieve this, he prorogued (suspended) Parliament and wants to hold a general election.

Opposition politicians, assisted by Conservative rebel MPs and Speaker John Bercow, have thwarted Johnson’s efforts, promising to not let the United Kingdom leave the E.U. without a deal. They maintain they will allow an election only after the Oct. 31 deadline has passed. Some time in November seems likely.…  Seguir leyendo »

Por fin, Israel dio un paso para alejarse del abismo nacionalista‑religioso al que lo estuvo conduciendo el primer ministro Binyamin Netanyahu. En la elección parlamentaria del 17 de septiembre (segunda que se celebra en el país en cinco meses), la “coalición natural” entre el partido Likud de Netanyahu, grupos judíos ortodoxos y facciones protofascistas no consiguió alcanzar el umbral de 61 escaños que hubiera permitido a Netanyahu formar otro gobierno.

Para Netanyahu, que pasó 13 años en el poder, esta elección sólo tuvo que ver en parte con su proyecto político nacionalista. Su principal objetivo era reproducir la única coalición que podría otorgarle inmunidad parlamentaria contra el juicio político que se cierne sobre él por acusaciones de fraude, soborno e incumplimiento de los deberes de funcionario público.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dans un monde de plus en plus polarisé entre, d’un côté, un « axe illibéral » Chine/Pakistan/Iran et, de l’autre, un « axe néolibéral » Japon/Inde/Etats-Unis, le futur président de Taïwan, allié traditionnel de Washington au territoire réclamé de façon toujours plus pressante par Pékin, aura fort à faire pour préserver l’identité composite et la réussite économique de la seule démocratie libre du monde sinophone.

Depuis le 17 septembre, tous les candidats pour la présidentielle de janvier 2020 sont connus.

Lutte « classique »

Jusqu’au bout, le suspense des nominations aura tenu Formose en haleine : tout d’abord, c’est la création d’un nouveau parti par le populaire maire de Taipei, Ko Wen-je qui avait alimenté les spéculations ; ensuite, c’est la candidature annoncée, puis abandonnée au dernier jour, de Guo Tai-ming, dirigeant de Foxconn, qui augurait d’une confrontation inédite avec trois candidats de poids électoral quasi équivalent.…  Seguir leyendo »

Manifestantes a favor de despenalizar la migración en Estados Unidos se presentaron en el debate del Partido Demócrata.CreditCreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

Tal vez la característica más destacada del debate presidencial del Partido Demócrata en Houston, el jueves 12 de septiembre, fue lo que los candidatos no dijeron sobre América Latina, la inmigración, el asilo y la seguridad fronteriza.

En cambio, hubo un marcado énfasis en los servicios médicos, la educación, el control de armas y la guerra en Afganistán. Su silencio, sus verdades a medias o lugares comunes sobre estas cuestiones fue sorprendente.

Sin embargo, el hecho de que ninguno de los participantes reafirmara el compromiso a despenalizar la entrada no autorizada de personas a Estados Unidos fue digno de alabanza. El ingreso no autorizado, en efecto, debe despenalizarse, pero decirlo durante una campaña contra el presidente estadounidense, Donald Trump, equivale a un suicidio político.…  Seguir leyendo »

Supporters of Tunisia's jailed presidential candidate, Nabil Karoui, attend a campaign event in Tunis on Friday. (Fethi Belaid AFP/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Tunisia is holding the second free presidential election in its history. The Tunisian democracy faces high uncertainty, with a populist candidate, Nabil Karoui, leading in the polls. Among other unprecedented circumstances, the presidential election will precede parliamentary elections set to take place next month. This is due to an exceptional case: the death of the first democratically elected Tunisian president this past July. The reversed order of operations and the unique variety of candidates pose a threat to an already fragile process. Here’s what you should know.

The top two candidates identify as populists.

The name Nabil Karoui may be the biggest surprise of the presidential election.…  Seguir leyendo »

La avenida 9 de Julio, en Buenos Aires, después de un apagón que afectó a Argentina en junio de 2019CreditCreditTomás F. Cuesta/Associated Press

Es sabido que Buenos Aires toma como modelos ciudades europeas por encima de urbes más próximas. Que se compare a la capital argentina con París es una tradición ya centenaria que ha arraigado en sus residentes, así se emplee sobre todo para marcar las distancias entre una y otra.

Más allá de sus verdades y mentiras, este mito fundacional sirve para entender la dicotomía que enfrentan los votantes de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires, que en octubre eligen nuevas autoridades. Los porteños deben decidir entre el actual modelo de gestión corporativa, representado por el jefe de gobierno, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta —miembro de la alianza de derecha Juntos por el Cambio, que lidera el presidente Mauricio Macri— y Matías Lammens —una figura nueva en la política y su principal opositor—, quien promete políticas sociales de inclusión.…  Seguir leyendo »

A torn election campaign banner of Germany's far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) in Saxony. (Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters)

When the two eastern German states of Saxony and Brandenburg went to vote on Sunday, Germans held their breath fearfully. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s grand coalition government had seemed fragile for months. In 2018, wrenching losses for her Christian Democrats (CDU) in two successive regional elections had caused her to step down as party head. A rout in this May’s European Parliament elections had led to the resignation of Andrea Nahles, leader of her coalition partner, the Social Democrats (SPD), who are still struggling to find a replacement.

Would yet another drubbing for either or both parties be a death blow for the government?…  Seguir leyendo »

On Sept. 8, Russians will vote in municipal and regional elections, and the authorities are afraid. Not of any foreign power’s interference in Russia’s elections — there have been no fair elections in decades — but of Russia’s own people and opposition candidates, who are far more popular than the official nominees.

Moscow’s old bag of electoral tricks survives — for example, moving elections from December to early September so that summer vacations would leave challengers little time to organize. The authorities have resorted to new tricks too, like clogging the electoral system with fake candidates and putting party loyalists on the ballot as independent candidates.…  Seguir leyendo »

People hold a banner on Sept. 7, 2018, reading "We are the people" during a march organized by the right-wing populist "Pro Chemnitz" movement in Chemnitz, the flashpoint eastern German city that saw protests marred by neo-Nazi violence. (John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images)

In eastern Germany on Sunday, two populous states (or Bundesländer) will elect their regional legislatures — in votes that are quite important for German politics at large. For months, polls have shown the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) competing for first place both in Brandenburg, the state surrounding Berlin, and in Saxony, with Dresden and Leipzig as major cities.

While the AfD has significant support throughout Germany, the party is particularly strong in many of the neue Bundesländer, or new federal states, created in the territory of the former communist German Democratic Republic (GDR). Here’s what you need to know about Sunday’s vote.…  Seguir leyendo »

The funerary procession of late Tunisian president Beji Caid Essebsi on 27 July. Photo: Getty Images.

After close to 100 candidate applications, Tunisia’s presidential election on 15 September will feature 27 confirmed candidates, reflecting the country’s fluid political situation and an ongoing split between traditional parties and alliances and enduring anti-establishment populism. The election has been moved up from its originally scheduled November date following the death of President Beji Caid Essebsi on 25 July.

Since the 2011 revolution, the Tunisian political landscape has shifted significantly as electoral coalitions have been made and unmade, and as established political parties have fractured into smaller parties or collapsed amid leadership disagreements. In this context, presidential candidates reflect less party platforms and affiliation and more the ambitions of self-styled charismatic figures.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Tunisian independent electoral commission announced last week the 26 candidates running in next month’s early presidential election. From among Tunisia’s political elite, the list includes the current and multiple former prime ministers, its defense minister and a former president. That’s in addition to a media mogul, a fugitive and, for the first time, an official candidate of the Ennahda Party.

Even though Tunisia has seen multiple elections since its 2011 revolution, this year’s presidential race is shaping up to be an exceptional one: hugely competitive and remarkably unpredictable.

The death of Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi on July 25 crucially reshaped the structure of the contest and upended the calculations of parties and candidates.…  Seguir leyendo »