Elections

Liberalism needs to be rebuilt – just not by the Lib Dems

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Insurgent forces of the far left and right have resulted in a hollowing-out of centre politics. But Vince Cable’s tribe is not up to filling the void. Rafael Behr The Guardian If it is true that failure makes a great teacher, the Liberal Democrats must know a lot about British politics. Currently they are learning about Brexit by failing to capitalise on the… In 2016 support for EU membership was 48%, yet the Lib Dems struggle to reach double digits in opinion ... Read More »

Paul Manafort Agrees to Cooperate With Special Counsel; Pleads Guilty to Reduced Charges

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WASHINGTON — Paul Manafort agreed on Friday to tell all he knows to the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, as part of a plea deal that could shape the final stages of the inquiry into Russian interference in the… By Sharon LaFraniere and Kenneth P. Vogel The New York Times The deal was a surrender by Mr. Manafort, President Trump’s former campaign chairman, who had vowed for months to prove his innocence in a case stemming from his work ... Read More »

Why Rahul Gandhi is wrong on the issue of lynching

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According to a recent survey, Indian National Congress (INC) President Rahul Gandhi is the favorite alternative candidate to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, way ahead of other opposition stalwarts like Sharad Pawar, Mamata Banerjee and… Sagarneel Sinha Asia Times But despite this, his poor logic continues to hurt his image. His recent comment in Germany that incidents of lynchings are attributable to demonetization, unemployment and the GST (Goods and Service Tax) is surely not something that is expected from ... Read More »

Dangerous Democracy: The Problem With ‘The Will Of The People’

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Westerners don’t really live in democracies, at least not ones where the true majority prevails, writes Stuart Rees. New Matilda Characters in Australia who advocate government by plebiscite think that such a voter mechanism would represent the will of the people and would therefore be truly democratic. A quick look at the political impasse in the ol’ mother country shows the absurdity of such thinking. To justify exiting Europe, Britain’s Brexit politicians keep repeating that they are following ‘the will ... Read More »

Sweden election: yes, the far right made gains, but we’re not falling apart

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Sweden is recovering after a very tense election night. The centre-right and the centre-left blocs have effectively secured very similar shares of the vote, but neither have come away with quite enough leverage to form a strong government alone. Anamaria Dutceac Segesten The Conversation The far-right Sweden Democrats, a niche party campaigning on a nationalist agenda, registered its highest electoral score to date. Under different circumstances, its vote share of around 4.7% would put it in the position of kingmaker. ... Read More »

Sweden heads for political deadlock as Sweden Democrats surge

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Stockholm: Sweden is heading for a hung parliament after an election that saw the popularity of the nationalist Sweden Democrats surge, as one of Europe’s most liberal nations turns right amid fears over… Johan Sennero and Helena Soderpalm Reuters WAtoday Far-right parties have made spectacular gains throughout Europe in recent years amid growing anxiety over national identity and the effects of globalisation and immigration following armed conflict in the… In Sweden, an influx of 163,000 asylum seekers in 2015 – the most in ... Read More »

The cost of Sweden’s silent consensus culture

NYKOPING, SWEDEN - SEPTEMBER 07: An SD flag seen during a political rally for the right wing Sweden Democrats party, campaigns at Traffens Outdoors Theater ahead of the Swedish general election on September 7, 2018 in Nykoping, Sweden. The election will be held on September 9, 2018.  (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Mainstream parties’ failure to break taboos on crime and immigration has empowered country’s far right. Tino Sanandaji Politico STOCKHOLM — Swedish elections are rarely exciting or unpredictable events. This year, things are looking rather different. The rise of the right-wing populist Sweden Democrats has put the taboo subjects of crime and immigration front and center in the campaign, forcing the mainstream parties to reckon with their failure to address the issues — and the connection between them — amid an unmistakable rise in crime and gang ... Read More »

Brexit racist? UK is Europe’s ‘ONLY member’ not to have anti-immigrant party in parliament

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BRITAIN has the most positive view of immigration in the European Union despite claims on the Continent that the Brexit vote was fuelled by racism and xenophobia, Dan Hannan has declared. Harvey Gavin Express Much of the bloc now sees the UK as “intolerant, introverted and unwelcoming” to Europeans – but in fact the opposite is true, the leading Brexiteer said. Mr Hannan said the British electorate has rejected populist, anti-immigrant politics and is the only EU member to not have a ... Read More »

Fresh Brexit row over UK’s Johnson ‘suicide vest’ jibe

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Britain’s ruling Conservative party was locked in a new row over Brexit on Sept. 9 after Boris Johnson said the government’s strategy put the country in a “suicide vest”, with Brussels holding the… LONDON-Agence France-Presse Hurriyet The former foreign minister’s remarks ramp up his criticism of Prime Minister TheresaMay‘s approach to leaving the European Union, amid speculation he is positioning to replace her. Writing in the Mail on Sunday newspaper, Johnson repeated that May‘s plan to follow EU rules on trade in goods after Brexit — a plan over which he ... Read More »

Lies, ‘fake news’ and cover-ups: how has it come to this in Western democracies?

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The Liberal leadership spill and Malcolm Turnbull’s downfall is but the latest instalment in a game of musical chairs that has dominated Australian politics for the best part of a decade. Joseph Camilleri The Conversation For many, it has been enough to portray Tony Abbott as the villain of the story. Others have pointed to Peter Dutton and his allies as willing, though not-so-clever, accomplices. There’s also been a highlighting of the herd instinct: once self-serving mutiny gathers steam, others ... Read More »

Me and Mr Jones: What I know about media bullies

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I identify with Malcolm Turnbull. With Mike Baird. With Kevin Rudd. Jenna Price Brisbane Times And (more predictably) with Julia Gillard. I haven’t got tickets on myself. I am not now and will never be a member of any political party. I will never be elected by the Australian people. But like those four, I was targeted. Vilified. Mocked for my appearance. Been subjected to false and malicious commentary. Like those four, I’ve experienced emails demanding the Powers That Be ... Read More »

Alan Jones contacted MPs to urge change

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Controversial radio host Alan Jones has opened up about his role in last week’s Liberal leadership spill, saying he contacted MPs to say the party had to change direction. 9news “I contacted certain MPs, yes, and encouraged them to recognise that if they wanted to go, Australia wanted to go the same way, there had to be change,” he told the ABC TV’s 7.30 program on Monday. “I didn’t turn against Turnbull, but I turned against the (energy) policy,” he ... Read More »

Fascism: Are we there yet?

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There’s a lot of discussion about Fascism at the moment, in the media it’s “this is fascism, that’s fascism”, which indicates there’s some confusion about what fascism actually is. IA Political editor Dr Martin Hirst interviews Australia’s most prominent Nazi-hunter, Andy Fleming, to better understand this vexing term. THE TERM “fascism” and descriptor “fascist” have been bandied around by ill-informed members of the commentariat in the last few weeks. The decision to remove Sky News from televisions in Victorian railway stations was… Fascism: ... Read More »

No-deal Brexit ‘could lead to break up of UK’

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Former European Council president Herman Van Rompuy has warned that a no-deal Brexit could cause the United Kingdom itself to collapse. Angus Howarth The Scotsman The ex-Belgian prime Minister told the Observer that crashing out without a deal was “an existential threat to the UK itself”. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has previously said she will decide whether to call for a second Scottish independence referendum by the end of this year. Van Rompuy believes a… No-deal Brexit… Read More »

A new dawn or more of the same for Zimbabwe?

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Many Zimbabweans hope inauguration will usher in new era but critics raise concerns over Mnangagwa’s ties to old guard. Tendai Marima AlJazeera Harare, Zimbabwe – A loud and familiar chant rang out across the tightly-packed arena as Emmerson Mnangagwa took to the stage to be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s president. “ED Pfee! ED Pfee!” the crowds roared in unison, echoing the ruling ZANU-PF party’s election campaign slogan for Mnangagwa to “get in there” in the hope that Zimbabwe’s second president will deliver a new era of ... Read More »

After Elections, Zimbabwe Government’s Legitimacy in Limbo

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Zimbabwe’s disputed elections have reinforced political divisions as the Constitutional Court hears an opposition challenge of the results Piers Pigou The military crackdown on opposition protesters highlights the urgency of reform if the government is to preserve stability and, by extension, its re-engagement strategy with international donors. ICG The Zimbabwean government posited that the first elections after the November 2017 ouster of Robert Mugabe would enhance the state’s credibility and strengthen the country’s prospects for economic recovery. Voters responded in ... Read More »