Tag: election

Hong Kong Election Results: Pro-Independence Sweep

Hong Kong’s political opposition won a majority 19 out of 35 seats in the city’s legislative election on Sunday, September 4 — a significant victory that allows them to hold onto their veto power against the pro-China establishment.

Marginalised by Hong Kong’s undemocratic political system, in which half of the 70 Legislative Council seats are elected by “functional constituencies” — business, professional, religious or specific social groups — the ability to veto proposed laws in the legislature is the last resort for the opposition to exercise their political influence.

This power has become especially important in recent years as Beijing has tried to tighten its grip on the city. Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, and that status is supposed to mean a high degree of autonomy.

How Gabon handles election fraud

Presidential elections took place in Gabon on August 27, 2016. On August 31, both the incumbent president, Ali Bongo Ondimba and his main opponent, Jean Ping, announced that they won the elections. The official results, however, declared Ali Bongo Ondimba the winner, with a total of 177,722 votes to the incumbent, while Ping and his political party Union of Forces for Change collected 172,128 votes.

The news resulted in immediate and massive street protests from the opposition. During clashes between the police and protesters, at least five demonstrators were reported dead. In addition, 200 stores were ransacked and the national parliament building was set on fire:

4 Reflections on Podemos and the Spanish Elections

The European left can’t catch a break. There is more sad news from Spain. After the December 2015 elections shattered the traditional two-party system, and six months of failed negotiations detonated a call for re-elections, the new left coalition, Unidos Podemos, has failed to meet the number of seats that all polls had lined up for them. Last night, Pablo Iglesias’s plan to ‘take the heavens by storm’ has suffered a major setback since Podemos’s meteoric rise began two years ago.

1. Great expectations, mediocre results.

The polls didn’t even get the voter turnout right, which remained higher than assumed (69%). But the real problem came in estimating the vote transfers of left-wing voters.

For weeks, polls were suggesting a low mobilisation of centre-ground parties and a sharp polarisation on both ends of the ideological spectrum. The 7.30pm exit polls confirmed these expectations and projected a whopping 95 seats for Unidos Podemos (up from a combined 71 in December), overtaking centre-left rival PSOE (the party of old social democracy) – the main objective of these re-elections. Three hours later, as results started coming in, this didn’t happen: Unidos Podemos had stagnated at 71 seats and lost over a million votes. Against all odds, PSOE has somehow resisted the encroachment of the anti-austerity radicals and defended the throne of the parliamentary left.

Hacker “Guccifer 2.0” Complicates The Offical Narrative Of The DNC Hack

Hillary Clinton

Recently, hackers breached the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) servers, making off with political opposition files. Although initial reports outed a collective of Russian hackers, a lone infiltrator now claims full responsibility. What the files reveal, as well as the drama surrounding their identities, offers an unusual view of modern digital espionage.

It began with the infiltration of the DNC’s servers by adept virtual spies, and the confidential files they downloaded. Hackers, noticed a month ago, first accessed DNC data for over a year. Their breach of communications was described as “unimpeded” by New York Times, requiring outside intervention. Cyber-security firm CrowdStrike, founded in 2011, was then recruited to expel and identify the hackers.

Freedom or Slavery: Which Will It Be?

As the Fourth of July approaches and social media is once again bombarded with falsely patriotic notions, I feel the need to ask: America, what do you know about Freedom? Are you truly free? With the stipulation that you are not inflicting pain upon another human being, are you free to live as you so please? No? That’s what I thought.

So, now I ask you this, at what point did slavery become perfectly acceptable for the whole of society? Or any part of society for that matter? Certainly our chains may not be visible, however, one should have no doubt that they are ever present in this world of modern slave masters.

Not Voting Is a Powerful Form of Dissent

It’s also a human right

Imagine living in a country in which the two major parties had nominated a statist, war-mongering crook and a nasty authoritarian narcissist. Imagine being embarrassed that after more than two centuries of existence this apparently was the best your beloved country could do. Imagine considering that the best option on Election Day might be committing ritual Seppuku, but deciding to stay home instead.

The Freedom to Stay Home

But then imagine government officials showing up at your door, demanding that you accompany them to the polling place to vote for one of the candidates who you would scratch your eyes out before actually watching speak. That is the world which some high-minded “civic activists” desire.

Every election can be expected to unleash ponderous commentaries bemoaning low voter turnout. Many Americans don’t register, let alone cast ballots. Why, oh why, won’t they get out and participate—which usually means vote left? It is so unfair, we are told. The wealthy, elderly, and well-educated disproportionately participate, which “skews policymaking,” complained the Economist. Just think of all the government programs the underrepresented could vote for themselves if only they showed up on Election Day.

Call It What You Will, Torture Is Wrong

The Republican candidate for president of the United States speaks and writes approvingly of so-called “enhanced interrogation techniques.” He is referring to a program run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) that subjected people the US detained after the September 11, 2001 attacks to what amounts to torture.

Among other practices, government agents forced detainees into painful positions for days with no sleep, poured water through their noses and mouths until they nearly asphyxiated, and chained them to the ceilings of their cells.

Brazil has its own torture problem, despite many legal advances in recent years. The tribute paid by the parliamentarian Jair Bolsonaro—at the vote on the impeachment process against President Dilma Rousseff—to a notorious torturer from the period of the dictatorship leaves no doubt: Brazilian politicians, too, attempt to justify what is unjustifiable.

What is Donald Trump’s Endgame?: Revisited

Back in February, I wrote an article speculating about what Donald Trump was trying to achieve with his bid for the presidency. Given the strong social ties between the Trump and Clinton families, I concluded that Trump does not actually want to be president and that the likely reason for his candidacy was to help Hillary Clinton’s campaign. I argued that his campaign was a deliberate attempt to alienate the demographics that the Republican Party needs to win the general election. Since I wrote that article, Donald Trump has done just that and has become the GOP’s presumptive nominee. Hillary Clinton has also come close to winning the Democratic nomination. In light of these developments, it is worth revisiting my previous theory about Trump.

Since my previous article, Trump’s actions have largely conformed to the theory that I put forth. I argued that Trump would probably gain a following amongst the most extreme parts of the GOP and then leave the party, which would leave the Republicans divided and unable to contest the general election. However, Trump’s campaign has been unexpectedly successful and he has since become the frontrunner of his party. In this position, Trump has been able to sabotage the Republican Party. Trump has increasingly taken extreme “policy positions” and has, in the process, made him and the Republican Party very unpopular with important voter demographics. This has basically assured his defeat in the general election. His antics have also tarnished the reputations of many of the other Republican candidates and are threatening the reelection prospects of Republicans in the House and Senate. This has caused civil war within the party that has left them in disarray.

This Election Season Must Remain Non-Violent

With both Ted Cruz and John Kasich dropping out of the race, Donald Trump has become the Republican candidate for the general election. This nightmare scenario has set the stage for a turbulent general election season. This development, which has raised the specter of a dysfunctional future in which fascism rules America, has left many people in the US scared and angry. This has driven many people who oppose Trump to violently lash out, most recently at protests in Costa Mesa and Burlingame in California. This, however, is very short sighted and will only divide the country further.

I have previously written about how the use of violence in the name of anti-fascism will inevitably be used by Donald Trump to discredit his enemies. Despite this, anti-fascist protesters have continued to use violence to express their displeasure about Trump’s vitriolic ideology. They often justify this by arguing that anti-fascists and the United States as a whole will lose their credibility if people don’t make a vocal stand against Trump. In addition, they would argue that the public’s failure to react to Trump would amount to appeasement to fascism, which is comparable to how the Weimar Republic reacted to Hitler in the 1930s.

What role can external actors play in Uganda’s post-election plunge?

In any true democracy, the streets are filled with rejoicing upon a popular candidate’s electoral victory. The majority are excited and satisfied for a new beginning. In Uganda, the only things filling the streets after the February 18 voting day were military machinery and silence. General Yoweri Museveni’s continued stranglehold on his 30 years in power was underway.