Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Emergency Update - Europe

There are enough small stories going on in Europe I decided for an emergency update.

First off, more of a public service announcement, the UK terror level has been raised. Trump has tweeted about related events, and May has attacked him for it (as usual) but this does have the potential to change views politically.

A politician in Sweden was raped for being a leftist. The details of his attack are outlined in the article. It's very very rare to hear about something like this, and hopefully it remains that way.

The government in Iceland has collapsed. It fell apart due to accusations of pedophilia and links to the Prime Minister through his father's support of a convict.

And the Spanish government is making threats to take over effective operation of one of its states, Catalonia, which wants Independence.

Not Europe, but in the neighbourhood, Iraqi Kurdistan will vote on Independence. It is always difficult to get news from non-english nations. Lebanon, for example, was supposed to have an election this year, but, just, didn't. Details on the election being called, and on it being cancelled, are scant at best; so confirmation of a poll (like this article) is always great.



I'll be reporting on the latter of these 5 when the vote occurs on the 25th and results come in, and almost certainly will cover the Spanish situation as well. Given previous coverage of Iceland, its safe to say I will also be covering any election in that nation.

Quick Update - Germany

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_German_federal_election,_2017

I've been keeping track of this page, and wanted to give everyone a heads up on recent movements.

AfD is on a minor uptick. While this might not seem like much, it has pushed a CDU-FDP coalition, and a SPD-GRN-LNK coalition into very unlikely territory. As such, the bump by the AfD makes a continuation of the CDU-SPD coalition much more likely.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Norway - Coalition Negotiations

The final results in the Norwegian election have become clear.

49 - AP - Labour
45 - H - Conservative
27 - FrP - Progressive
19 - SP - Centre
11 - SV - Socialist (Left)
8 - V - Liberal
8 - KrF - Christian Democrat
1 - MDG - Green
1 - R - Red (Communist)

A few notes about how I've been referring to the parties. The Socialists I've been calling the "Left"

Left in Norwegian is Venstre. There is a party called Venstre, the Liberals. Hoyre (actually H√łyre) meanwhile means right, and Hoyre is the Conservatives. It's generally and widely accepted that Venstre is the "Liberal" party, and Hoyre is the "Conservative" party, when translated to English. However, technically, the direct translation, is Right and Left. As such I've decided to start calling the Socialist Left party, the Socialists.

Additionally, the Red party is separate and distinct from the actual NKP, or Communist Party.

Moving on

The existing government coalition, and previous government coalition, provide us with these results.

88 - Right Coalition - H + FrP + V + KrF
79 - Left Coalition - AP + SP + SV
2 - Others - MDG + R

This is a clear victory for the government, however, there is a problem.

The Progressives (FrP) are very much a party in line with Trump policies on immigration and very nationalistic. Forming the coalition 4 years ago was difficult, due to how controversial the Progressives are, and, this is happening again.

The Liberals and Christian Democrats are both looking for changes. Without them, the Conservatives and Progressives only have 72 seats, compared to a total of 97 for the other parties. There is a chance that the Liberals and Christian Democrats could sit with other parties.

A possible alternative coalition is V+KrF+SP+AP. The Centre Party, along with the Liberals and Christian Democrats, have a total of 35 seats, and could easily work with one another. The problem comes with who else they sit with. If they chose Labour, you end up with a "left" coalition. However, you have the problem that this is only 84 seats, not the 85 needed for a majority.

This is why it is likely that the current coalition will continue. In the end you may end up with a coalition of just the Conservatives and the Progressives, with "support" from the Liberals and Christian Democrats.

In the end this will likely take some time to play out, as European coalition negotiations tend to. When all is said and done, I suspect that the current coalition will continue, even if in another form.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Norway election results

85% counted, in norway. Compared to my projection the biggest change is that the Greens did not meet the threshold.

Current results show the following:

49 - Labour (L)
45 - Conservative (R)
28 - Progressive (R)
18 - Centre (L)
11 - Left (L)
8 - Christian Democrats (R)
8 - Liberals (R)
1 - Greens (L)*
1 - Communist (L)*

This is a victory for the right-wing coalition, but only just. The Liberals are just on the very edge of the threshold, and if they fail to meet it, the left parties could still manage 85 seats compared to 84 for the right. Despite this, Labour's leader has admitted that he fully expects the Liberals to pass the threshold when all is said and done. 

I'll make another post in a day or two once the dust settles. 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Norway election tomorrow, how to watch it

Since my last update, the right-wing coalition government has appeared to have solidified their lead, and as such, are all but certain to be re-elected.

You may be wondering how you can watch the election live. I'll detail how I find the answer to this, as, simply giving you a fish is less efficient than teaching you how to fish.

First off, note the time zone difference. Norway is in Europe, which, generally, is an hour beyond the UK. This means a 5 hour difference with Toronto.

Elections can begin at varying times. Some places start counting as early as 6pm and others as late as 10pm, and still others, even later. 8pm seems a generally good estimate. Given that we are talking about a 5 hour difference, it means results can be expected to begin at 3pm here in Toronto, give or take the aforementioned two hour window.

As for how to watch, I find the "media of" pages on wikipedia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Media_of_Norway

From here I'd go to Television, and when possible, Newspaper as well.

NRK appears to be the top broadcaster and after a quick visit to their wiki page, you can easily get the link to their actual website.

Now this is when a problem hits that I've become used to but that you may not have necessarily realized. None of this is in English. I use google chrome which translates a lot of this for me automatically. Doing so leads me right to the news tab from which I can see a tag that says "election 2017"or "vlag 2017" in the original norwegian.

A quick click and we get to the meat and potatoes.

Norwegian parties use legally approved acronyms. In fact, many countries do this. While in Canada you may see CPC for the Tories, Elections Canada does not enforce that, and the Communist Party of Canada is free to use CPC if they wish. Many countries, however, have strict limits on acronym use. Wikipedia provides a guide to who is who. Additionally, the colour scheme for the parties is consistent across multiple platforms.

At this time, the H party, light blue, is on 24.2% in the polls. These are the Conservatives. FRP is on 17.0% with their dark blue, these are the progressives. AP, red, or Labour, are on 25.8%, with SP, light green, or the Centre Party, are on 9.6%

This is when a solution hits that, again, I've become used to but which not everyone may necessarily have realized; elections are numbers. To a degree it does not actually matter if you understand the words around the numbers so long as you understand what the numbers themselves mean.

In fact it becomes obvious the little graphic on the right with the poll bars is some kind of polling bank. Clicking on it confirms this. It shows you all the various coalition possibilities given the current polls.

Now there is an issue with "watching the election". It will all be in norwegian. Personally, I watch anyway, numbers are numbers and they'll show them on the screen, even if I can't understand a word they are saying. Sometimes, with larger countries, you'll get lucky and find an english feed. France 24 had an english feed for the French elections, for example, but for countries like Norway, you can forget about it. This is why, sometimes, you want newspapers.

While TV networks are great at making video, they are not always the best at making easy to follow content full of numbers. By that I mean content like this, from the UK's Guardian newspaper about the 2016 US election. Maps, numbers, graphics.


These are the general strategies I use to find live results coverage video on the date of elections in various countries. Another prime source is actually youtube. Increasingly, more and more major media outlets are realizing the benefits of streaming their election coverage to youtube, and more are doing so. For the New Zealand elections on the 23rd this is what I plan to use, as it's almost certain TVNZ will stream to youtube.

For the German election on the 24th I will look for an english stream, and if I find one I'll share it, but in the past I've had no luck. German TV however tends to have streams, and there is a website I consistently forget about until I need it that has truly excellent graphics and information about all german elections, national or state.

Regardless, I hope these skills serve you well in watching your own international elections.

Friday, September 8, 2017

NZ Labour in the drivers seat

Just a quick update, Labour is in the drivers seat in New Zealand.

54 - Labour (16 list, 38 electorate)
48 - National (17 list, 31 electorate)
10 - NZ First (10 list, 0 electorate)
7 - Green (7 list, 0 electorate)
2 - Maori (0 list, 2 electorate)
0 - ACT (0 list, 0 electorate)
0 - Mana (0 list, 0 electorate)

A newsroom poll shows Labour leading National 45% to 30%. However, Newsroom has not done many polls before; polls from One News and Bauer show leads of 43% to 39%, and 37% to 34% respectively. All 3 shows Ardern leading English by a margin of at least 3 points as best PM. 

If you are interested, you can do a vote compass for NZ