Elections

Sanders, Harris, Biden… can anyone beat Donald Trump to become the next US president?

No sooner had the US midterm elections for Congress concluded than jockeying began for the presidential elections in 2020. Dennis Altman The Conversation Barring either impeachment, which seems unlikely, or a health crisis, Donald Trump will seek re-election. Although the last sitting president not to be re-elected was George Bush Sr in 1992, polls suggest Trump is consistently disliked by a majority of Americans. Democrats see a remarkable opportunity to regain the White House. It’s all about the Electoral College ... Read More »

Vestager faces brutal obstacle course to succeed Juncker

The EU’s high-profile antitrust chief will struggle to secure Denmark’s nomination to remain in the commission. By CHARLIE DUXBURY AND MAÏA DE LA BAUME Politico Margrethe Vestager’s quest to succeed Jean-Claude Juncker as European Commission president kicks off on Thursday, but the EU’s high-profile competition chief risks falling at the first hurdle. While Vestager’s battles against U.S. tech giants such as Google and Apple have won her wide support in Brussels — and make her the female superstar candidate in Europe’s liberal camp — ... Read More »

Why Emmanuel Macron’s plan for a European agency to fend off fake news makes sense

When French president Emmanuel Macron sent an open letter to the people of Europe, he said their first freedom is democratic – “the freedom to choose our leaders as foreign powers seek to influence our vote at each election”. Alexi Drew The Conversation He went on to propose establishing a European agency to protect this right. The idea would be to provide European states with experts to help them fend off cyberattacks and other kinds of threats to their elections. ... Read More »

Ardern is a leader for our times, and we should follow her example

This nation needs more leadership, across all levels, in all parties, like that provided by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the wake of Christchurch’s mosque massacres. Peter FitzSimons The Sydney Morning Herald With steely calm, with inclusive language, seeking to unite rather than divide, she told the world, “To the people who did this: you may have chosen us, but we UTTERLY reject and condemn you.” Ms Ardern is one out of the box, a leader for her ... Read More »

Anti-corruption candidate wins first round of Slovakia’s presidential election

Zuzana Čaputová will face Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič in final vote. By ANCA GURZU AND LAURA GREENHALGH Politico Lawyer Zuzana Čaputová won the largest share of votes in Slovakia’s presidential ballot Saturday, making her the frontrunner ahead of a second round later this month. Čaputová, a newcomer to politics who has run a campaign focused on tackling corruption, won 40.6 percent of the vote, ahead of government candidate and European Commission Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič on 18.7 percent, according to the… The two will face off in ... Read More »

What Jesse taught Bernie about running for president

The significance of Sanders’ endorsement of Jackson in 1988 is not that he supported a black candidate but what it taught him about the power of working inside the Democratic Party. Michael Kruse Politico The night of April 19, 1988, in the tense, people-packed auditorium at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vermont, Bernie Sanders strode stern-faced into enemy territory. The city’s crotchety, socialist, obstinately independent mayor planted himself at the center of the stage at the Democratic Party’s caucus, an ... Read More »

Banks Pull Back From Funding French Politics

The money has always followed the power in French politics, as the party in office has built-in advantages for financing campaigns. Gregory Viscusi Bloomberg Now, that gap is widening, with banks becoming more reluctant to make up the shortfall. As he prepares for European Parliament elections in May, President Emmanuel Macron has a two-part edge: free airtime from a series of public debates and enough money to fund his party’s activities. Cash-strapped rivals are begging for donations and relying on ... Read More »

Far-right parties poised to double seats in EU Parliament: poll

Far-right parties are set to double their seats in the European Parliament election in May, according to a new poll. The survey showed far-right parties were ahead in countries like France, Italy and Poland. Deutsche Welle A new poll released by Germany’s Bild newspaper on Saturday, conducted in six countries in late February and early March, showed the far-right Europe of Nations and Freedom Group (ENF) was likely to win 67 seats in the… Europeans go to the polls on May 23-26 to ... Read More »

The Democrats’ dilemma

What Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips tell us about the future of the Democratic Party. Tim Alberta Politico MINNEAPOLIS — They have gathered in defiance of the freezing temperatures on a late February’s night, scores of them twirling Somali flags in one hand and American flags in the other, crowding around the arrivals terminal and waiting to welcome one of their own. The vast Somali community in the Twin Cities is like one sprawling extended family, explains Ali Aden, a ... Read More »

Greens propose private sponsorship program for new refugees

Private citizens could sponsor up to 10,000 new refugees each year, under a Greens plan. The Greens have proposed establishing a program where Australians can sponsor individual refugees, taking in an additional 10,000 people per year who have been displaced around the world. Nick Baker SBS Based on a Canadian model, the program would allow private citizens to provide financial support and settlement assistance for one year after arrival, or until the refugee becomes self-sufficient. The initiative was one of ... Read More »

Sánchez bets big on women in Spanish campaign

The ruling Socialists have strong feminist credentials, but an anti-feminist party is on the rise. MADRID — Pedro Sánchez made feminism a banner as soon as he became prime minister nine months ago, and now he’s doubling down on women’s votes to keep him in office after Spain’s election on April 28. Diego Torres Politico With an openly anti-feminist party — the far-right Vox — on the rise, Sánchez’s Socialists and their mainstream rivals trampled on each other to get the… The ... Read More »

Vital conversations: older women have their say about the challenges of life in a city like Melbourne

Who decides what matters in the lives of voters? In the run-up to the 2018 Victorian state election, media focused on a few potential big issues of concern or interest. Harriet Radermacher The Conversation Newspapers featured pieces on the consequences of uncapped population growth in Victoria, particularly suburban housing sprawl and unaffordability. Public transport and the growing economic divide between communities also attracted media attention. Against this background, and in light of concerns raised by previous research, we wanted to engage with older women ... Read More »

Burnside: why I have decided to stand at the next election

I’ve always said I wouldn’t go into politics. “Don’t wrestle with a pig,” the saying goes, “because you both get covered in mud and the pig loves it.” Julian Burnside The Canberra Times But I am breaking that vow because our political system is broken. I have been a critic for too long: it’s time to throw my hat in the ring. Representative democracy depends on our parliamentarians actually representing us. Unfortunately, that’s just not happening at the moment. Far ... Read More »

Bashir Moves Sudan to Dangerous New Ground

Faced with the most serious protests against his 30-year rule, President Omar al-Bashir’s declaration of a state of emergency will not save his bankrupt, unpopular regime. ICG Instead, security forces must halt worsening violence, Bashir should step down and all sides should work on a broadly inclusive transitional government. President Omar al-Bashir’s address to the nation on the evening of 22 February attempted to defuse the crisis that has engulfed his administration in the longest wave of protests in decades. ... Read More »

Scott Morrison to reboot Tony Abbott’s emissions reduction fund with $2bn

PM to announce ‘climate solutions fund’ to appeal to voters concerned about Coalition’s record Katharine Murphy The Guardian Scott Morrison will attempt to appeal to voters deeply concerned that the Coalition have been been wreckers on climate change by rebadging Tony Abbott’s emissions reduction fund as a… Attempting to draw a line over years of destructive in-fighting within the Coalition that has cruelled various emissions reduction policies, the prime minister will use a speech in Melbourne on… The emissions reduction fund is a ... Read More »

Political corruption scars young voters forever, new research finds

Twenty-five years after the Clean Hands scandal in Italy, those who voted for the first time in 1994 still record less trust in democratic institutions and are more likely to vote for populist parties, according… AAAS and EurekAlert! New research finds that political corruption has a long-term scarring effect on trust in democratic institutions and on voters’ behavior and that such an effect differs according to one’s age cohort, with first-time voters at the… In particular, Bocconi University’s Arnstein Aassve, ... Read More »