Tag Archives: Elections
Tribal women in line to vote.
Today concluded the first of five phases of the Indian election, where 60% of voters turned out to the polls. (Refer to my earlier post for the basics of the Indian political system.) The states where voting began were Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Lakshwadeep and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.Â Thousands of troops have been deployed to the states to
With month-long elections in the world’s biggest democracy, it can’t be expected for the process to without a few kinks — or violence. Maoist insurgents in central and eastern India, with landmines and rocket bombs, killed 17 people in 14 attacks at poll stations across India. The Naxalites, the Maoist insurgents, have been battling with the Indian government forever and a day.Â One would think with so many troops deployed, even localized events like this could be avoided.
Currently, it seems as though the current Congress (I) Party and the Bharataya Janata Party will get the majority of votes, while some smaller ethnic and minority parties will take a smaller piece of the pie. Regardless, after the election, new coalitions will have to be stitched together to keep the Indian government in functioning order. The Congress Party, as a reminder, is Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s party and India’s explosive economic growth is attributed to them. On another note, the Congress Party has often been criticized for its handling of the 11/26 terrorist attacks in Mumbai last year. BJP, on the other hand, tends to take hardline stances on terrorism, while inciting friction between Indian Muslims and Christians.
With this only being the beginning, it will be interesting to see the elections pan out. (A whole month of election day coverage? Yes! I know you’re pumped!) Have any questions? Field them here! I’ll definitely do some research and incorporate it into any future blog posts.
Our democratic BFF in Asia, India, has finally announced the polling dates for the country’s upcoming elections: April 16, April 23, April 30, May 7, and May 13. Why the phased election? Holidays, festivals, possible monsoon weather, harvest season, and most importantly, school examinations. India’s elections will undoubtedly be intense — 714 million eligible voters? 4 million election workers? Oh, it’ll be glorious, you betcha.
Yeah, that’s right. India’s electronic.
As BBC tweeted this news to me, I realized I had no idea how the Indian government is structured. (Shame, isn’t it?) Still, with the Interweb at my fingertips, I decided to compile a little government guide (sans the judicial branch) for my benefit and yours becaues I didn’t want to study. (Yes, yes, I know. An educational blupdate. Exciting!) Read more and get informed!
The latest election news, for those who have not been aggressively following every development related to the 2010 Senate races, is that Republican George Voinovich is going to be retiring. That makes four Republicans who have already announced their retirements, including from the very swingable states of Florida, Missouri, and now Ohio. This is a great chance to see if Democrats can gain Senate seats for the third election cycle in a row. Not losing any seats in the last two is unprecedented on its own, but gaining in three consecutive cycles like this would simply be amazing. It would be especially awesome because it means the few remaining members of the Republican caucus would probably be engaged in the game show below with the same level of accomplishments:
I found this on West Michigan Rising – a great blog about West Michigan Democratic politics – written by a man I worked with on a State rep campaign back in Holland… Joe Zainea.
It nagged at me though as something I had to know for sure; so I called the City Clerk of Holland.Â She sent me an Excel spreadsheet showing the vote totals for each precinct.Â As I looked it over, I sat there in stunned disbelief.Â On November 4th, Barack Obama carried the City of Holland! Out of 14,537 votes cast, Obama won 7,337, 50.4% of the total.Â He carried 8 out of the 16 precincts.
I was shocked to read this: Barack Obama won the City of Holland? I went to the elections results from Ottawa County and just starting searching for all the HOLLAND precincts… and I was completely surprised. Barack Obama won Holland, Michigan.
As Joe points out:
Anyone can correct me but I believe that this may be the first time the City of Holland has gone for a Democrat since 1864 when the good people of Holland chose not to support Abraham Lincoln in his second bid for the presidency during the civil war.Â It just goes to show what a great candidate, excellent organization and hundreds of dedicated volunteers going door to door can do.
The remarkable thing is that this amazing win has gone completely unreported by any newspaper or TV station in the state. Not even the Holland Sentinel (a bastion of hard hitting and professional journalism) reported this win. I think it is time for a LTE!
Like their state, Ohio’s seal shows a bleak field stretching into the distance with the hope of something interesting on the horizon. Also, I am pretty sure OSU students use that arrow bundle in their rioting.
We all dislike Ohio. The state to our south smells, we consider it’s citizens hicks, it screwed up the last election for the Democrats, and OSU is great demon, but a crafty loop hole in their election law provides Barack Obama with a huge advantage in the 2008 election.
From Talking Points Memo:
Ohio has created a window in the election calendar that would allow residents instant gratification â€” register one minute, vote the next. It’s also given the campaigns of Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain a chance to bank thousands of first-time voters during that Sept. 30 to Oct. 6 window.
Weeks prior to November 4th voters in a select few counties in Ohio will be permitted to register and vote at the same time. It is being implemented in counties that urban, college town where Obama enjoys a 2-1 advantage amongst college students. The Obama campaign is expecting to be campaigning exclusively in Ohio during this week, almost like it was another primary.
In addition to helping Obama Mary Jo Kilroy, a Democrat runnign for a competitve seat in Columbus, sees this as the possible deal breaker for her campaign:
“There is no question that the huge effort to register and turn out voters at Ohio State University is going to have a positive impact on our race,” said Brad Bauman, a spokesman for Kilroy.
This sort of creative and helpful election law is surprising in a state where the Secretary of State in 2004 allocated voting machines away from urban areas, or left machines in storage near college campuses. It will be extremely interesting to see what impact this has in how Ohio goes once all the votes are counted.
I read an article that made me rather angry here: here. I disagreed with him on the merits, that the electoral college favored Kerry, but also on the level of analysis he did on the electoral college.
There is an argument to be made about the merits of the electoral college against the popular vote. In general, I lean towards the popular vote side for reasons that will soon become apparent. I will readily concede Mellman’s point that in this one case, Kerry could have lost the popular vote and won the electoral college. It took a set of unique circumstances with a Democratic candidate who did not have the broadest appeal and a Republican president who played almost solely to his base. I accept what his computer said, but in my mind, Kerry should have lost the election by 12 votes. To understand this, we must first look at and criticize the electoral college.
The electoral college is rather simple. Each state is entitled to its total number of senators and representatives in electors who assemble to elect the president. An absolute majority of 270 of a grand total of 538 is needed to elect somebody president without throwing the election into the House of Representatives. It was designed like this for two main reasons:
a. They didn’t trust the people. This was a way to remove selection of the presidency from direct election of the people and put it in the hands of people who were removed from the rabble.
b. It reflects the Connecticut Compromise which struck a balance between the House and Senate and representation based on the states and based on population.
Both of these have intense problems. A. has led to the idea of “faithless electors”. Out of many stupid ideas that have been come up with in the Constitution, this is probably top 5. The people selected as electors are not obligated to vote for the candidate for whom they have been selected. Though it has not affected the ultimate outcome of any election, it is an absolutely ludicrous and unjustifiable process with the potential to. For instance, both John Kerry and Al Gore did not receive all the electoral votes that they were entitled to because electors in DC and Minnesota respectively decided to not vote for them for some petty reason.
That having been said, that provision, though immeasurably stupid, has not had an impact upon American history. The other provision has. The point of including the amount of senators for each team was to provide a body for equal representation for all states. This is something profoundly undemocratic. There is something to be said for giving states a voice within a federal legislative body. However, when looking at the presidency, it becomes something different all together. The president represents the entire nation. The electoral college has the effect of making the votes of voters in smaller states far more valuable than those in larger states like California. To see it, let’s go to the numbers.
“This loss is going to prompt serious introspection by our conference to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it,” said a GOP leadership aide. “We have time to do that, and we will if we learn our lessons leading into November. But the next couple of days are not going to be pretty.”
~ From the Politico
Last night Hillary Clinton won in West Virginia – we all saw that one coming. The real surprise of the night was the Democratic win in 1st Congressional District in Mississippi. This is the third time in the last couple of months that a Democrat has won in a traditionally Republican district – the first being Hastert’s former seas, the second in Lousiana – which some see now as a national trend for against the Republican Party.
In last nights race, the Democrat, Travis Childers, faced an uphill battle against a district that had gone 2-1 in favor of George W. Bush in 2004. This was a district that had been safely held by a Republican since 1995 by margins insurmountable to Democrats in the South. How did he win?
1) Childers ran from the right of the Democratic Party. Childers was not afraid to talk about his faith and connect with votes on social/religious issues that many Democrats are afraid to even touch. Many saw Childers as the populist and down to earth choice compared with the stock Republican candidate.
2) Where did the Republicans go? The republican base did not turn out. Analysts examining the race commented that the Republican party would be in a world of pain if they can’t even turn out their base in the deep south.
3) People are angry with congress! Logically this means that the Democrats should also be hurting, but it seems that the public still wants to take their anger out on the Republican Party.
4) The Republicans attempted to link Childers to “liberal” national leaders like Barack Obama. These tactics only seemed to help Childers turn out the African American vote and connect with many people, including Republicans, who just want change.
5) The Republicans brought in Dick Cheney for a last minute rally, while a host of party leaders – Bush, Huckabee, McCain, and Laura Bush – all recorded calls for the candidate. Obviously the policy of utilizing unpopular leaders is going to generally fail.
In the end – Childers won 54% to 46% – a margin unpredicted and a harbinger of doom for the Republican Party come November.
Here is great article from Entertainment Weekly (a valuable source for political news, obviously) on Saturday Night Live’s role in the election.
In an election where ”change” has been the million-dollar buzzword, Saturday Night Live has proved it’s still a formidable political and pop culture force…SNL’s first poststrike show on Feb. 23 â€” featuring the debut of Fred Armisen as Barack Obama, in a zeitgeist-tapping skit lampooning the media’s love affair with the Illinois senator â€” lured a season-high 7.5 million viewers, proving that Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert haven’t cornered the market on topical political humor. The following week, Hillary Clinton, who had already provoked what chief Clinton impressionist Amy Poehler describes as a ”crazy media frenzy” by name-checking the aforementioned SNL skit in a debate, stopped by to stand side by side with her doppelgÃ¤nger. (”It doesn’t matter who it is, it’s really weird to stand next to someone when you’re dressed up like them,” says Poehler. ”I don’t think that will ever not get awkward.”) Three days later, Clinton won the Texas, Ohio, and Rhode Island primaries, leading more than one news outlet to credit SNL for her comeback.