ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘election

Gut Feeling On AV.

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Looking through Twitter can often provide an imperfect, but relevant sampling of people’s preoccupations. Scanning through the entries it seems to me that the metropolitan elites are drawn towards voting Yes to AV.

I can’t say that is the case, irrefutably, but that’s the impression I’m getting.

Certainly Norm is pro-AV and the Guardian. The Green Party is pushing for a Yes to AV too.

The Right-wing media are for the status quo, and saying No to AV.

As far as I can see much of this Yes to AV sentiment is based on the notion that there is a malaise within the electoral system and that AV will change that, or at least that is the hope.

I can’t quite see the evidence behind it, or how it will galvanise a largely cynical population to vote for mostly useless politicians with their own agendas. I think that the problem of electoral participation in Britain and many other countries is more deeply seated than the choice of voting system. There is a significant disenchantment with bourgeois politics in general, and voting specifically. I suspect the problem of voter participation has more to do with the social hegemony and class nature of a society than the selection and use of any particular voting system.

My sense is that in Britain there will be a low turnout for this referendum, those particularly keen on AV will vote for it and will make the effort to vote. Those disenchanted won’t bother, many others voting against it as the Yes to AV arguments don’t seem to have won people over. My gut feeling is that it will fail.

I would like to think that the political consequence of a defeat of AV could be the eventual disintegration of the Tory-Lib Dem coalition, but we’ll see.

Written by modernityblog

05/05/2011 at 15:23

Thoughts On AV.

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The discussion on the Alternative Vote scheme in Britain is stupefying, even for those with an interest in politics.

Whilst I wouldn’t dream of ever telling my UK readers how to vote, I did come across one gem on AV, by Waterloo Sunset.

I will paraphrase:

1. The vote on AV was a concession to the Lib Dems.

2. They have always been keen on voting reform and will swallow many of the unpalatable measures put forward by the Tories, for the sake of voting reform.

3. Should the Lib Dems not achieve voting reform then it increases the likelihood of the coalition breaking up.

4. If the coalition breaks up then probably there will be an election, and the Tories could lose.

5. So voting no to AV is one way of getting rid of the Lib Dem-Tory coalition.

A fine argument in my view.

Written by modernityblog

03/05/2011 at 14:00

Soviet-Era Portrayals And The Jobbik.

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The JPost has a good article:

“In August, the leading Hungarian weekly Hetek sent reporters to cover a right-wing rally and musical festival in the city of Veroce. The reporters were welcomed at the gate with horse-whips. Organizers spewed lethal threats at the “filthy liberal” journalists, and assigned “escorts” to harass and prevent them from covering the event.

Last year, journalists received similar treatment at the annual ultra-national gathering, and were even forced to wear vests matted with dog feces. Masked men greeted them with mock guns and swords, shouting in German: “Deine papieren, Jude!” (“Your papers, Jew!”).

Hetek’s ordeal reflects the recent dramatic turn in Hungary toward neo- Fascism, dating to a spate of fierce anti-government riots in 2006. There were anti-Semitic and racist manifestations before, such as vandalizing cemeteries. However, since 2006 the neo-Nazi movement has become bolder and more aggressive, carrying out violent and sometimes deadly attacks against Gypsies and Jews, stoning synagogues and homes of rabbis during Passover, and staging paramilitary marches across the country to intimidate the local population.”

Written by modernityblog

15/10/2010 at 00:24

The Draw Of Power.

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According to Henry Kissinger, power is the ultimate aphrodisiac.

I am not sure if that is true but I am trying to work out why anyone would want to meet President Ahmadinejad?

Unless it is to be close to his power, to be able to say they have actually met a President, even if his election win was fiddled and anti-Ahmadinejad protesters killed as a result.

Why would supposed radicals in North America wish to meet Ahmadinejad after he’s just given a conspiratorial speech on 9/11?

Why would anyone, with any sense, want to meet this certifiable racist?

Apparently, over a hundred people, including some radical political leaders met him recently, Fightback News covers it:

“New York, NY – Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad met here, September 21, with 100 leaders and representatives of anti-war, labor, alternative media and Iranian and Palestinian solidarity organizations. Among the participants were Sarah Martin, Freedom Road Socialist Organization, Margaret Sarfehjooy, board member of the Minneapolis-based Women Against Military Madness, former attorney general Ramsey Clark, former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, Sara Flounders from the International Action Center, Brian Becker of the ANSWER coalition, Ramona Africa of the Free Mumia Coalition and Amiri Baraka, poet and activist.

The meeting was called by the president of Iran with the hope that a frank and honest exchange of views will help activists further the cause of peace between the people of Iran and the U.S.

Specific demands raised include to oppose war, occupation and hostility worldwide; oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries; support the right to nuclear energy for all, but nuclear weapons for none; and to support dialogue, justice and equality among all countries in the UN.

After listening intently to the statements of 22 of the participants, President Ahmadinejad said, “We have a treasure chest full of views. I agree with everything you have said and therefore you have spoken from my heart also. Now I will speak in my own way.”

He said that the source of war, capitalism, must be identified and pointed out. “Violent capitalism is based on superiority, hegemony and violation of rights.” He went on to say that one reason capitalists start wars is to fill up their pockets. They must empty their arsenals so they can build more weapons. As he said at a U.N. meeting earlier in the day, “Capitalism has come to an end. It has reached a deadlock. Its historical moment has ended and efforts to restore it won’t go very far.”

Ahmadinejad spoke of the U.S. wars in Iraq and deaths of over 1 million people for oil . He pointed out that in an Afghan village over 100 innocent people were killed just to get a few terrorists. He expressed anger that even with the floods in Pakistan, the U.S continues to bomb Pakistani villages. He said it is hard to sleep at night after hearing the heart-wrenching stories of the Palestinians living under siege in Gaza with no medicines, no clean water and not enough food. He expressed solidarity with the activists’ goals of struggling for peace and justice at home and abroad and he pledged that Iran will stand strong to the end.

“Speaking with Mrs. Ahmadinejad and hearing the president reinforced the importance of struggling against the U.S. campaign to isolate and demonize Iran,” said Sarah Martin. Margaret Sarfehjooy reported, “I think the meeting was important because we had the opportunity to meet with so many dedicated grassroots activists from all over the country and share our hopes for peace and justice with the Iranian people through their president and his wife.” “

Unbelievable.

I wonder if President Ahmadinejad’s old friend, David Duke, will be joining them at the next meeting?

(H/T: Contested Terrain)

Ahmadinejad’s Regime Kidnaps Trade Unionists.

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After fiddling the Presidential election Ahmadinejad’s regime has taken to kidnapping trade unionists and their relatives, and holding them incommunicado as LabourStarts shows.

In their latest affront they have taken to attacking Mansour Osanloo’s family:

“According to reports received by “Human Rights and Democracy activists of Iran Roya Samadi, daughter-in-law of Mansour Osanloo, president of the board of directors of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company, was kidnapped and savagely tortured by three agents of Intelligence Ministry.

On Wednesday 2nd of Tir (June 23, 2010) Ms. Samadi, while going home from work around 5:30PM, was attacked by three men as soon as she got off the metro train in Karaj. The agents grabbed her by hair and while pulling her by her hair were kicking and punching her. All of this in broad day light in front of all other shocked commuters. Ms. Samadi while crying for help kept repeating that she’s Mr. Osanloo’s daughter-in-law. The agents put a tape over her mouth as to silence her pleas, and kidnapped her to an undisclosed location.

At the undisclosed location she was put inside a cell, cuffed at hands and feet, with her eyes also covered, and was savagely tortured for a long while. The blows were concentrated on her face and head. Her head was repeatedly hit against the wall. Scars from the beating are evident all over her body. Her gums are torn, teeth broken, swelling of head, wound on her arms and the right foot, and bruises all over her body.

While being tortured the agents kept shouting at: “You have to promise to us if Osanloo is freed from jail, he can’t stay here, and should not do a thing.”

After hours of savage torture, beating and abuse around 9:45 PM, the agents left her shocked body under Sayed Khandan Bridge, and left her. They also emphasized to her that she shouldn’t complain about this to anyone, and if she does she’ll face the consequences.

Although almost 24 hours has passed Ms. Zoya Samadi is still in shock and has not recovered.

For some months now she has been intimated by phone calls from Intelligence Ministry interrogators, she was once even ordered to show up at the 14th District “Islamic Revolutionary” ( read reactionary) Court. When the family showed up in the court they were told that such orders had never been issued. She was also beaten up last year and they attempted to kidnap her back then.”

Update 1: Entdinglichung has more:

“Zoya Samadi also suffered a miscarriage after the attack: http://iranlaborreport.com/?p=967 … and their are reports, that Kurdish political prisoner Zeinab jalalian is in danger of execution: http://www.astreetjournalist.com/2010/06/28/un-must-interfere-to-save-zeynabs-life/

Written by modernityblog

30/06/2010 at 10:51

Compulsive Reading.

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Kirklees Unity is compulsive reading, particularly around this election time.

From the Nazi saluting candidate to the amusing tale of the London organiser of the BNP and much more.

I thought the Channel 4 exposé and the accompanying video was very informative.

Written by modernityblog

20/04/2010 at 15:12

Jobbik Doubles voters

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I had want to do more on the recent election in Hungary but can’t, so in the interim:

“Jobbik’s performance in Sunday’s first election round was a success, though it can be judged as a failure on Jobbik’s own terms of having the backing of “two thirds of the country”, the analysts told MTI.

Four years ago, Jobbik garnered 119,000 votes, last year 427,000 and 855,000 at Sunday’s ballot.

Written by modernityblog

14/04/2010 at 13:07

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