Democracy

A Turning Point for Turkey’s Opposition?

The AKP’s losses in key major cities in Turkey’s local elections provide opposition parties the opportunity to hold the ruling party accountable. A.Kadir Yildirim Carnegie After an unusually quiet campaign season in Turkey, the March 31, 2019 local elections delivered one of the most stunning results in recent memory. While securing a majority of the votes nationwide, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP) lost major ground. Interestingly, from a historical perspective, the AKP outperformed ... Read More »

When Socialism Was Tried in America—and Was a Smashing Success

For much of the 20th century, Milwaukee was run by socialists—and Time magazine called it “one of the best-run cities in the U.S.” John Nichols The Nation “If I owned all the real estate in the world, I wouldn’t feel so powerful as I do on the streets of this socialist city,” declared former New York City councilman Baruch Vladeck when he arrived in Milwaukee in 1932 for the Socialist Party’s national convention in that city. Norman Thomas, the famed ... Read More »

Egypt targets artists in ongoing crackdown on dissent

Egyptian actors Amr Waked and Khaled Abu El Naga face accusations of “high treason” in Egypt after criticizing alleged human rights violations by the Egyptian government at a March 25 meeting with US members of Congress in Washington. Shahira Amin Al-Monitor Waked and Abu El Naga also used their meeting with the US lawmakers to lobby against proposed constitutional amendments that would allow President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to remain in office until 2034 and would also, critics say, “enshrine military rule.” The controversial proposed ... Read More »

Trump Threatens to Blow Up the U.S. Economy

The same dynamics that preceded Trump’s decision to cut off aid to Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala are now playing out with his threats to shut down the Mexican border. It all starts on Twitter. Nancy LeTourneau Washington Monthly According to CNN, some members of his administration are warning him that such a move would result in catastrophic consequences, while others are cheering him on. Stephen Miller—more than likely in the latter group—suggests that the president is not bluffing. In ... Read More »

A randomised route to better government

An evaluator-general would help policymakers understand which policies work, and which to drop. Andrew Leigh The Canberra Times In the mid-1990s, researchers embarked on a massive clinical trial. More than 16,000 post-menopausal women volunteered to be assigned randomly to a treatment group, receiving hormone-replacement therapy, or to a control group. Many expected that the study would back the common view – based on observational studies – that taking estrogen plus progestin was good for these women’s health. Five years in, ... Read More »

Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas

An Open Letter addressed to the President of the Republic of Cyprus and the President of the European Commission Klearchos A. Kyriakides Assistant Professor, Cyprus Campus, University of Central Lancashire (UCLan Cyprus) 2 April 2019 Brexit, the Republic of Cyprus and the Sovereign Base Areas Published by Agora Dialogue on 2 April 2019 Read More »

The Catholic Church is not exempt from the laws of Australia

How much will it take for the Catholic Church to accept, openly, that it is, and always will be, subject to the laws of Australia? The Canberra Times ACT Attorney-General Gordon Ramsey was right to excoriate Catholic Archbishop Christopher Prowse, after the latter, currently head of the Canberra-Goulburn Archdiocese, confirmed his priests would not break the seal of confession to report child abuse. Archbishop Prowse told parishioners the priest hearing the confession would instead encourage the person to report the ... Read More »

The Brexit Plan B Options Parliament Will Vote on: A Guide

British members of Parliament will once again take control of the Brexit process on Monday, voting on a platter of alternatives to Prime Minister Theresa May’s thrice-defeated deal. Jess Shankleman Bloomberg After an initial round of voting last week failed to reveal a majority for any Brexit outcome, MPs will have another opportunity to try to break the impasse. The result isn’t binding on the government, but the House of Commons could try to make it so. Eight motions have ... Read More »

Brexit’s Endgame

The next ten days will bring to a head the Brexit drama. It has strained the UK’s constitution, threatened its social cohesion, terrified its businesses, appalled its friends, and delighted its enemies. Peter Kellner Carnegie Europe Each morning, the editors of the Oxford English Dictionary email a word of the day to their subscribers. It is often a little-known word with topical relevance. On Saturday, March 30—the day when the UK was scheduled to wake up for the first time ... Read More »

Erdogan tried to make local Turkish elections about national security, but it didn’t work

Votes are still being counted in local elections that took place across Turkey on Sunday, but so far it appears that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s party has lost key cities and towns. Authors: The Conversation That includes the Turkish capital Ankara, which has been run by Islamist mayors for the last 25 years. When Erdoğan won Turkey’s presidential election in June last year, he effectively became an autocrat with few checks and balances. Since then, parliament has lost its significance ... Read More »

Algeria’s president might resign: Reports

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika might resign this week, the private Ennahar and El Bilad TV channels said on March 31, after mass protests and pressure from the army demanding he end his 20-year rule. ALGIERS- Reuters Hurriyet The reports come after the army chief of staff, Lieutenant General Ahmed Gaed Salah, renewed a call on March 30 for the Constitutional Council to declare the ailing 82-year-old Bouteflika unfit to rule. Seeking to defuse the demonstrations, Bouteflika said on March 11 he was dropping plans for a fifth term. ... Read More »

Secret tape increases pressure on Trudeau in SNC-Lavalin affair

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is under new pressure after his former justice minister released new documents relating to the SNC-Lavalin affair. BBC Jody Wilson-Raybould says government officials tried to persuade her to shield the company from prosecution in a corruption case. She gave an audio recording and other materials to a Commons committee. The files were released publicly on Friday and are likely to increase pressure on Mr Trudeau. He has struggled for weeks to contain the fallout from ... Read More »

Government faces tense week over Brexit border plans

Cliff Taylor: Government would support long UK extension to avoid a no-deal nightmare The Irish Times The United Kingdom was meant to have left the European Union at 11pm last night. Now you can take your pick on Brexit day. April 12th. Later in April or early May. May 22nd. The end of the year. Some time in 2020. Another date of your choosing. Never. As this all develops over the next 10 days, there are tricky times ahead for the Irish ... Read More »

UK Parliament rejects Theresa May’s Brexit plan for the third time

London: UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan has been voted down again, in another heavy blow to both her premiership and her strategy for taking the UK out of the European Union. Nick Miller The Age The UK is now set for an April 12 Brexit deadline, when it will either crash out of the EU without a deal or have to come up with an alternative way forward and plead with the EU for another delay in order to ... Read More »

Venezuela’s Maduro blocks Guaido from office as the opposition scoffs

Venezuela‘s opposition leader Juan Guaido will be barred from public office for 15 years, the government comptroller said on March 28, as it seeks to crack down on the U.S.-backed rival to President Nicolas Maduro. CARACAS – Reuters Hurriyet Guaido has been recognized as head of state by most Western countries after invoking the constitution to assume the interim presidency, arguing Maduro‘s 2018 re-election was illegitimate and that he became a usurper when his second term began in January. Maduro dismisses Guaido‘s claim to the presidency as a Washington-backed ... Read More »

Brexit was designed to fail

Too big to fail? Please. The 2016 referendum on the United Kingdom’s membership in the European Union involved a constitutional question so large it was too big to succeed. The Week This is the only reason the national vote on Brexit was ever allowed to take place. Like Ted Heath and John Major before him, former British Prime Minister David Cameron found himself faced with the impossible task of placating the Tory Party’s right wing. His exceedingly clever answer was ... Read More »