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Random International Political Babbling thread

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Ragusa, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    For remarks that don't warrant opening a new thread and that are not about US domestic politics:

    I saw Ghaddafi's speech yesterday. If there have been any doubts that the guy was moon howling mad, he dispelled them. He wants to be a martyr? Now, something can be done about that. If he goes on like that he will end like Mussolini or Ceausescu, just that I presume they won't be as 'gentle' with him.

    And then, the Israelis get all upset about the Iranians sending an obsolete destroyer with a supply vessel to the Mediterranean, and that it has passed the Suez canal (utterly legal under the treaty covering passages through the canal) where it is sailing in international waters (equally uncontroversial). They are entitled to it, and Israel can do nothing about it. It's like the occasional Nazi rally - an inconsequential nuisance. The ship is crap, and not the best crew in the world can change the fact that against the Israeli Navy it is a sitting duck that they can destroy at will with impunity. But Israeli pols hysterically threaten 'measures'. Stupid.
     
  2. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I was impressed by the "fight to my last drop of blood," part. I thought it was a mistake in translation and he meant to say "fight to my soldiers' last drop of blood," actually.

    It's kinda hard for me to take the guy seriously, even though I am aware he is still the commander of most of the military and has many of the resources of the state. I can't help but think "If it weren't for this brutal dictator business, this guy would be comedy gold."

    I hope he gets that "last drop of blood" wish of his, though - and sooner rather than later.
     
  3. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    I would never stop laughing if he died from tripping and falling down steps or something.
     
  4. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    It is a distinct possibility that my province will soon have female leaders for all of the main political parties, meaning that come election time we will then have the first female Premier of Alberta. Interesting, for a "redneck" place.
     
  5. Aikanaro Gems: 31/31
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    Our politicians are stupid. Yesterday one of our MPs was doing the hokey pokey in Parliament. What the ****? If you don't like the carbon tax, could you at least express it in a less retarded way? Even Abbott's hysteria and hyperbole is better than this.
     
  6. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Well the election season is starting to be noticable with the parliamentary elections being a bit over a month away. The tanking economy is giving the populist right a huge boost and might be getting them in to the next cabinet. Immigration, taxes and cutting spending seem to be the central election themes this time around. I've skimmed through pretty much all the election programs of the major political parties and there were very little surprises. I have personally no Idea which party I'll vote for come election day but there's plenty of time to choose and a lot of debates coming up including one at the university which I have some responsibility in organizing.
     
  7. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    Good idea for a thread, I'm sure there is lots of stuff in smaller countries that's worth a post even if it's not worth starting a thread over. We've just had elections in Ireland and the results are a huge shift in the political landscape. The ruling party, Fianna Fail, has gone from 71 seats to 20 and has seen its status as the perenially largest party smashed. In my area they are without a seat for the first time since they were formed in 1926. The fall in their support is very similar to the collapse of the Canadian Conservatives in 1993, 43/42% down to 16/17%. As we've a proportional election system though they obviously didn't suffer the 169 seats to 2 drop suffered by the Conservatives under first past the post.

    The Greens have been completely wiped out overnight for their role in propping up the old government. The next two largest parties are in the middle of forming a government to pick up the pieces left behind. A whole raft of smaller parties and independents have been elected also, many of them on the far left.

    None of the above matters all that much anyway though. Our EU/IMF overlords will be running the country for the forseeable future.
     
  8. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    That result is pretty predictable, isn't it Deise, after all the fun you guys have had with your economy? No party could weather that storm without suffering some serious damage. Would be interesting to see how long the swing-back takes.

    ---------- Added 0 hours, 52 minutes and 42 seconds later... ----------

    Just to add, we've got our election season slowly spinning into gear. Going to prove a much more interesting election than the last one. Last election saw the outing of the Labour government (Centre-left) who had been in nearing a decade. The large swing was predicted, as Labour was becoming stale and needed a shift. The current leader of the National Party (Centre-right - the other big party), John Key, has really managed to handle the parliamentary system like an artist, weaving alliances between a big strew of parties who would typically never side with National. The Maori Party, in particular, has it's ranks drawn mostly from old Labour MPs who left after some controversy a handful of years back, so seeing them side with a Right-winged party is fascinating.

    With the way the government has handled the two big earthquakes that have rocked Canterbury recently, Key's popularity (and hence National's) has maintained pretty steady, currently consistently polling higher than they were last elections. Not a common thing. To add to the mix, Goth (current leader of the Labour Party) is an absolute buffoon, with no real policy in place other than We Disagree With National! The only reason he's still Leader is that Labour caucus knows they're going to lose so want Goth to do it before they kick him out. Usually if Party A has just got into power, their results will slowly go down, until Party B gets in. Rinse and Repeat. Seeing a party gain in popularity through-out the term is definitely not the norm. The other common trend : When one (or both) of the two big parties are popular, smaller parties do ****. If Labour is unpopular, the left-winged small parties will do well, and if National is unpopular, the right-winged small parties will do well.

    Things of interest this time around:
    -> New Zealand First. A party lead by a charismatic, populist, ass-hole. Peters has managed to become more or less a king-maker numerous times over the last few years (when Labour and National both fall just short of making a government - both needing his support), giving him quite a bit of sway over politics. He's popular with the elderly population. His party lost all their seats in 2008, so we're all crossing our fingers that the same happens this time around.

    -> Maori Party. The Maori Party were new in 2008 - just managing to get registered in time. They had almost a clean sweep of the Maori seats, but since then they're got into bed with National - not the done thing. They're been in quite a bit of controversy, having just kicked out one of their members (from 5 to 4 MPs - quite a heavy drop). Will be interesting to see how they fear, against challenges from Labour.

    -> Labour. They're going to lose, that's a given. Possibly by more than last time. The interesting thing to see is how things shape out following the election. Goth is definitely going to be chucked out straight afterwards. But as far as I can tell, there's no one really lined up to take over from him. The next real leadership is still another generation shift away and given the last shift happened with Goth, it's unlikely the next will be so soon. Unless they can find a proper leader to challenge Key, Labour is just going to have to wait for the political tide to swing naturally their way.
     
  9. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Huckabee is an idiot. Just wanted to get that off my chest for a few days.
     
  10. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    It really beggars belief that anybody voted for them really. The global downturn was very much just the trigger for the economy, most of what happened is the party's fault. They spent years stoking a colossal housing bubble and then failed abysmally to respond when it burst. It's really difficult to tell what was corruption or croneyism or stupidity but all three featured strongly.

    It's still unreal to see though. It'd be like one of the big two in England not just falling behind the Lib Dems but barely coming in ahead of the BNP. I wouldn't be sure there will be a swing back. Their voter base is now almost exclusively elderly and rural. They took only 1 seat of 47 in the capital and have no woman anywhere. The brand is extremely toxic. In Irish elections you rank the candidates in your preference. They've actually managed to overtake Sinn Fein (the IRA party) as being the worst at attracting support from voters of other parties.
     
  11. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    T2,
    but he's for Jee-zuz, big time. That makes him prime Republican candidate material even if he is an complete idiot (think of the adorable Christine O'Donnel). Also, he manages to come across affable and grandfatherly in places like the Daily Show, never mind what a reactionary prick he is.

    In that sense, his comment on Natalie Portman was a gaffe in the truest sense of the word, him accidentally saying what he really thought.

    On a related note:
    Will GOP candidates out-devout each other in Iowa?
    Turning the Iowa GOP caucuses into an extremism limbo
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2011
  12. Rotku

    Rotku I believe I can fly Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!)

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    So Canada's government down again. I'm wondering what are our resident Canadians thoughts on this? Good that such a horrible, terrible corrupt government has been brought down, or a waste of time given that you just had elections three days ago?
     
  13. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Rotku - you forgot to mention that our Prime Minister raised $100,000 for earthquake relief by hitting the world's greatest spin bowler for 4 in a charity cricket game!
     
  14. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    The Canadian govt was defeated in a motion of non confidence by filthy, power hungry socialists and separatists in a bid for power. They are evil people who do not give a damn about everyday Canadians.
     
  15. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Veteran

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    That doesn't sound polarised LKD. If a government can be brought down then it obviously doesn't have enough support and a new one needs to be formed. It is one of the fundamentals of democracy.

    Minority governments are always risky business, we have one now with the "evil selfish" socialists in opposition. The funny thing is that even the opposition quite openly show their preference for a liberal government over no government to such an extent that members of parliment have been "in the bathroom" and "forgotten to call in sick" during key votes just to not bring down the government or give any power to the conservative nationalistic party as they lack the seats themselves to form a government. Swedish politics really lack any rough edges or grand differences, makes it dull but also makes it damn stable and sensible I must say.
     
  16. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Pics or it didn't happen. They seemed quite clean the last time I checked ;). And if the Quebecois decide to secede, that means they'll have to pay their own bills and pay for all the embassies, army and everything else... I expect them to get cold feet about it very, very fast.

    Anyway, from what I hear the current government was a minority one, and these tend to be shaky to begin with. If a scandal galvanizes the opposition and public opinion - and as far as I can see the conservative government did get in hot water over some issues such as the costs of its tax breaks and military spending - no confidence votes are certainly a problem. When you are in the minority, you either get a coalition or run the risks of something like that happening.

    The opposition tried to form a coalition before, after Harper won minority re-election in 2008. But before he could be defeated in a no confidence vote Harper shut down parliament for three months and successfully whipped up public opposition against the coalition.

    Eh, I can't say he's winning my support with moves like this. I guess Canadians will have another option to say whom they want in power - if they decide they want Mr. Harper as their PM, good for him.
     
  17. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    On a real computer now, so I can make a more comprehensive post.

    Harper has a Charisma score around a 7 or so. But he gets the job done. Canada has come out of the recent economic storm relatively unscathed thanks to the Conservative common sense policies. While it is true that the Harper government is a minority one, which means that they did not receive a clear mandate from Canadian voters, the important thing in my mind is that they have more of a mandate than any of the other parties.

    An election is not necessary at this time. Most Canadians don't want it, and many feel that it is a waste of money and time. The only reason that the opposition parties are forcing one is because they want to grab power. They are not doing it because they believe it will benefit the workaday Canadian.

    The funny thing is, I'm not sure what polls and research they are reading. The Conservatives are consistently polling ahead of either major national party, and the Liberal leader Ignatieff (known as The Visiting Professor by his enemies) has a Charisma around 4 or so. No one likes him or respects him, and he has a major albatross around his neck from his party's previous scandals -- scandals which resonate with many \canadians far more than any the Conservatives have had. The best thing the Liberals could do would be to turf him. As for the NDP, they are way, way too far to the left for mainstream Canada to stomach -- I don't think they\ve ever got more than 20% of the popular vote in a federal election in the last 50 years, and they've held an even smaller percentage of seats. Canadians have pretty well told them that their ideas are not what we want, yet like a stubborn zit they just stick around and cause trouble.

    Given the vast differences between the NDP and Liberals, and don't even get me started on the Bloc Quebecois, I cannot see how they'd be able to form a coalition government that would function with any degree of efficiency. The Libs and NDP would also face a huge backlash from the rest of the country were they to crawl that far into bed with the separatists -- I just don't see it happening.

    So the only thing I can think of is they've got some sort of ace up their sleeve that no one at this time outside their back rooms knows anything about. I'd be interested to see what it is.
     
  18. Morgoroth

    Morgoroth Just because I happen to have tentacles, it doesn'

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    Read an interesting piece today about the crisis of social democracy in Europe. Socialists and Social Democrats are more and more finding themselves in opposition positions. The left is in many cases polling historically low in elections and right wing governments dominate European politics. Britain, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and heck even the "socialist" Sweden currently have right-wing governments and even the populist right is creeping itself forth. The only major country I can think of with a left-wing government in Europe at the moment is Spain. The conservative bloc also dominates the European Parliament. What's more surprising is that the left has seemingly been unable to capitalize on the financial crisis something which should traditionally favor the opposition. It will be interesting to see whether or not this trend will continue and if the left has to reinvent itself somehow or if this is simply a passing phenomenon.
     
  19. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    It's been an interesting feature all right. One major factor I'd attribute to it is that in many countries spending does need to be reined in. If people are prepared to take the cuts then promises to maintain spending by socialists may not be as popular as one would think.
     
  20. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    I think it's a bit of a subjective viewpoint - people are quite ok with cuts that impact other people. When it is their own funds that are at stake... Well, I think demonstrations around Europe aren't exactly on the wane ;)
     
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