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Fri Dec 6th, 2013 at 01:19:27 PM EST
How to Exit Austerity, Without Exiting the Euro Rob Parenteau New Economic Perspecitves
First of all, if a government stops having its own currency, it doesn't just give up `control over monetary policy'...If a government does not have its own central bank on which it can draw cheques freely, its expenditures can be financed only by borrowing in the open market, in competition with businesses, and this may prove excessively expensive or even impossible, particularly under `conditions of extreme urgency'...The danger then is that the budgetary restraint to which governments are individually committed will impart a disinflationary bias that locks Europe as a whole into a depression it is powerless to lift.
So wrote the late Wynne Godley in his August 1997 Observer article, "Curried Emu". The design flaws in the euro were, in fact, that evident even before the launch - at least to those economists willing to take the career risk of employing heterodox economic analysis. Wynne's early and prescient diagnosis may have come closest to identifying the ultimate flaw in the design of the eurozone - a near theological conviction that relative price adjustments in unfettered markets are a sufficiently strong force to drive economies back onto full employment growth paths.
Rob Parenteau notes that countries caught in the deflationary vise brought about by the EMU and the associated policies would face a high cost for exiting the Euro and proposes an alternative.
Fri Dec 6th, 2013 at 05:02:48 AM EST
Israel and the white-supremacist regime of South Africa, a stain on all leaders from Labor to Likud. Working together as two-apartheid regimes on the nuclear bomb and most horrific biological and chemical weapons. One apartheid state still exists, I hope it encourages Obama and other world leaders to push forward on a two-state option and an independent Palestinian state recognized for Arab citizens only. Just as Netanyahu wants recognition for a Jewish state of Israel.
Mandela and Israel
(JPost) - Asked why he had finally decided to visit Israel, he replied, "To the many people who have questioned why I came, I say: Israel worked very closely with the apartheid regime. I say: I've made peace with many men who slaughtered our people like animals. Israel cooperated with the apartheid regime, but it did not participate in any atrocities."
Mandela voiced his vehement opposition to continued Israeli control of the territories it had "occupied" in the Six Day War, and he urged Israel to concede land to the Palestinians and Syrians, just as it had done with the Egyptians, for the sake of peace.
"My view is that talk of peace remains hollow if Israel continues to occupy Arab lands," he said. "I understand completely well why Israel occupies these lands. There was a war. But if there is going to be peace, there must be complete withdrawal from all of these areas."
by Frank Schnittger
Fri Dec 6th, 2013 at 02:09:57 AM EST
I first became aware of Nelson Mandela in a personal way, when, as a 17 year old undergraduate student, I came in contact with South Africans who had been banned by the Apartheid regime for their political activities and who were now campaigning for an end to Apartheid throughout Europe.
Basil Moore, author of an anthology of Black Theology which included a contribution from Steve Biko had been banned for campaigning against Apartheid in his role as General Secretary of the South African University Christian Movement. He lived under house arrest, his neighbours hung and strung up the the family pet from a lamp post outside their home, and he eventually escaped by sneaking across the border into Zimbabwe. Eva Strauss was banned for marrying a black man (and also perhaps for her outspoken political and feminist views). Colin Winter, Bishop-in-exile of Namibia had been deported for his opposition to Apartheid in Namibia and support for striking migrant workers.
All spoke with a moving personal touch. Politics was no longer some remote political struggle thousands of miles away. It wasn't just a cerebral and ideological battle: It was about how you lived your own life; it was also about the struggle against racism here at home. It was about the structures of international capitalism which made Apartheid possible, and which could also be part of its downfall.
front-paged by afew
by Frank Schnittger
Thu Dec 5th, 2013 at 04:09:49 PM EST
The owners of England's 12 elite Premiership professional rugby clubs have confirmed that they are pulling out of next years Heineken Cup, the elite European professional Rugby Union Club competition, having failed to persuade their French counterparts to join with them in a breakaway "European Rugby Champions Cup". This means that (just as in 1998/99) the Heineken Cup will be competed for just by the leading French, Irish, Welsh, Scottish and Italian Clubs. It is unclear, at this stage, whether English clubs will compete in the secondary Amlin Cup, which is also open to clubs from other European countries.
The dispute centred on money - the shareout of the proceeds of TV rights, the qualification process, and governance, with the Clubs wanting to take over the running of the competition from the ERC, which is in turn run by the National Unions of France, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Italy. Up until now, each national Union was guaranteed a specified share of the proceeds and the number of clubs from each country which would qualify. This had the effect of ensuring that weaker countries, (and smaller commercial markets) had a guaranteed share of the spoils.
The smaller Unions - Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and Italy - agreed that in future the qualification process and share of the proceeds would be shared equally between the three major leagues - the English Premiership, the French top 14 and the Rabodirect Pro-12 - which would effectively mean that the Welsh, Scottish, Irish and Welsh Unions and their clubs would collectively receive no more than one third of the qualification places and share of the spoils - the same as the English and French Clubs.
by Frank Schnittger
Thu Dec 5th, 2013 at 12:59:40 PM EST
Ajai Chopra (left) of the IMF and an unidentified colleague pass a beggar as they make their way to the Central Bank in November 2010. Photograph: AP
It's easy to be Snarky about Ireland exiting the Troika Bail-out on the 15th. December, but it really is a big deal for the Austerity Hawks: It proves (to them) that they were right all along, and that austerity "works". Ireland is the shining poster child to be waved in front of Greece, Spain, Portugal and every other prodigal state should they waver from the approved path of austerity. Some in Ireland are attributing historic significance to the bail-out exit, whilst others see it as merely escaping the tyranny of the Troika for the tender mercies of the international sovereign debt markets.
But it also does no good to deny that a significant economic recovery is now underway in Ireland (from a very low base), so does this prove all the Keynesians wrong? I would argue that neither proposition is correct: Ireland has succeeded (insofar as it has) for neither of the standard Austerity or Keynesian reasons and has done so for reasons that are mostly non-generalizable to other economies. To understand the Irish recovery, you have to understand an almost unique combination of factors that is making it possible.
Given that the scope and sustainability of Ireland's economy is still under debate, I will begin by offering some evidence for and against the recovery hypothesis and then suggest some reasons as to why it might be happening.
Thu Dec 5th, 2013 at 10:44:38 AM EST
A few hopeful signs that this period we live in, where a large pool of labour has entered the world economy and as a by-product put "capital" in an incredibly strong position can come to an end:
Farmers Face Labor Shortages As Workers Find Other Jobs
FRESNO, Calif. -- With the harvest in full swing on the West Coast, farmers in California and other states say they can't find enough people to pick high value crops such as grapes, peppers, apples and pears.
In some cases, workers have walked off fields in the middle of harvest, lured by offers of better pay or easier work elsewhere.
The shortage and competition for workers means labor expenses have climbed, harvests are getting delayed and less fruit and vegetable products are being picked, prompting some growers to say their income is suffering. Experts say, however, the shortage is not expected to affect prices for consumers.
But farmworkers, whose incomes are some of the lowest in the nation, have benefited, their wages jumping in California to $2 to $3 over the $8 hourly minimum wage and even more for those working piece rate.
The shortage - driven by a struggling U.S. economy, more jobs in Mexico, and bigger hurdles to illegal border crossings - has led some farmers to offer unusual incentives: they're buying meals for their workers, paying for transportation to and from fields, even giving bonuses to those who stay for the whole season.
front-paged by afew
Sat Nov 30th, 2013 at 04:44:40 AM EST
here's a shot in the dark:
anyone around London free for an ET
meet-up sharing between Christmas and New Year's, or in the week following New Year's?
Thu Nov 28th, 2013 at 02:42:20 AM EST
In a memo that we saw here, French bank Natixis' chief economist Patrick Artus, a well-known pundit on French media, describes Germany as a misfit in the single currency area, and outlines the macroeconomic case for D-exit.
This is a quick rundown of his points. The memo, in French, pdf, is here.
With the disclaimer that other fields than macroeconomics may be involved, Artus offers the following reasons for Germany to leave the euro:
- asymmetry of cycles between Germany and Rest of Euro Zone (ROEZ)
- weakening economic links between Germany and ROEZ
- structural asymmetries between Germany and ROEZ
- different foreign exchange needs between Germany and ROEZ
- impossibility for ROEZ countries to carry out internal devaluations
Cycles: absence of asymmetrical cycles is a condition for a shared currency. But GDP growth and the unemployment rate show strong asymmetry:
(Real GDP, annual change in %)
The asymmetry stems from structural differences (see further down), and differences in how credit supports demand:
(Credit to households and business, annual change in %)
The result of this asymmetry is that common monetary policy is not adapted to the whole of the Euro area. Between 2002 and 2007, it was too restrictive for Germany, too expansionist for ROEX; since then, it has been the reverse:
(Repo rate and nominal GDP)
Sun Nov 24th, 2013 at 12:10:55 PM EST
I've received definite confirmation of the itinerary to Vilnius to attend the closing conference of the European Year of Citizens on 12 and 13 December as representative of European Tribune.
Closing Conference of the European Year of Citizens 2013 "How to make every year a year for citizens" | International level and Expert Meetings | Political meetings | Events | Lithuanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union 2013
Opening addresses will be given by the leaders of Lithuania, the Vice-President of the EC and Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights, and Citizenship, Viviane Reding, European Ombudsman Emily O'Reilly, the first leader of Lithuania after the restoration of independence Prof. Vytautas Landsbergis.
During the Conference's two days, six topical discussions (sessions) will be held. Representatives of NGOs and members of the EC and EP will cover the following topics:
- The role and future of civil society organisations in building Europe's future,
- Shaping Europe from the bottom up,
- Fostering EU citizens' rights,
- New ways for citizens to influence policymakers,
- Why wait to vote? Other ways to engage
- Towards the 2014 European elections.
During the last plenary session (13 December), announcers will present the topic of each group and summarize the discussion.
While I've received little to no further information on the definite programme, the draft programme outlines this in further detail. A brief introduction on the EYCA and a request for input below the fold.
Sat Nov 23rd, 2013 at 01:20:55 AM EST
[Update] Because of strong opposition from Israel, Knesset members, US Congress key members and Saudi Arabia, this was a do or die moment in Geneva.
Landmark nuclear deal at Geneva talks
(RT) - The P5+1 world powers and Iran have struck a historic deal on Tehran’s nuclear program at talks in Geneva. Ministers overcame the last remaining hurdles to reach an interim agreement, despite strong pressure from Israel and lobby groups. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists:
“This deal means that we agree with the need to recognize Iran's right for peaceful nuclear energy, including the right for enrichment, with an understanding that those questions about the [Iranian nuclear program] that still remain, and the program itself, will be placed under a strictest IAEA control.”
Under the agreement, Iran will freeze its nuclear program for six months. It will not build new centrifuges or in some other way expand its nuclear facilities. The nation has also agreed to halt construction of a reactor in Arak for the next 6 months.
[Israel will wake up Sunday to a new reality. Only key senators in US Congress and the Saudi Kingdom will remain on Israel's viewpoint. - Oui]
Iran nuclear talks in Geneva have reached the 'final moment'
(PressTV) - "Minister Wang Yi left Beijing earlier this morning for Geneva to join the Iran nuclear talks," the Foreign Ministry said on its website on Saturday.
"The nuclear discussions are entering their final phase," it added.
Hopes are now rising that a final deal that many say could end the standoff over the Iranian nuclear energy program is just around the corner as US Secretary of State John Kerry and other foreign ministers of world powers gather in Geneva to join the talks.
French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and his German counterpart Guido Westerwelle are set to join the talks, while British Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Twitter that he would be in Geneva on Saturday.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov arrived in the Swiss city on Friday afternoon and held a meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and later with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.
Continued below the fold ...
Thu Nov 21st, 2013 at 11:05:50 AM EST
I'll take you on a little trip to Australia again...
My husband just celebrated his 60th birthday so we have spent two days in nearby Sunshine Coast Hinterland town Montvile obviously here in QLD / Australia.This little town always fascinate me as it is romantic place that somehow seems not to belong to today's world of hassle...There was not too many visitors as summer here is yet to come but temperature is as it is in summer time.
Wed Nov 20th, 2013 at 04:53:51 PM EST
I've been asked for a list of books by someone who wants to become more aware of politics and economics.
They have a long trip coming up, likely without internet - hence the need for books, rather than me just saying "Read ET."
All suggestions welcome!
Tue Nov 19th, 2013 at 02:54:44 PM EST
Cambridge, MA has been debating a net zero energy and/or emissions standard (http://www.netzerocambridge.org) for new buildings over 25,000 square feet since the Spring of 2013, partially because of an ecodistrict plan with MIT and others on a large parcel in East Cambridge (a plan MIT refused to make net zero even though they are rumored to be building a net zero project with some of the same partners in Basel, Switzerland).
The City Manager (Cambridge has a city manager form of municipal government, along with proportionate representation so city politics get weird fast) has established a "Getting to Net Zero" Task Force to study the issue. Cambridge Community Development Department produced a fine overview of the state of the art in larger buildings for zero net emissions at (pdf alert) http://www.cambridgema.gov/~/media/Files/CDD/ZoningDevel/Amendments/2013/Connolly/zngamend_connolly_
As the national Ecodistrict Summit was in town recently, the Community Development Department and Sustainable Performance Institute (http://www.sustainable-performance.org) hosted experts from Integral Group (http://www.integralgroup.com/), a deep green engineering firm to present lessons from the more than 40 net zero buildings they've worked on.
Tue Nov 19th, 2013 at 12:40:01 PM EST
[Update] Richard Silverstein's take on the event in Lebanon - Hidden-Hand Behind Beirut Bombing.
Lebanon blasts hit Iran's embassy in Beirut
(BBC News) - At least 22 people have been killed and more than 140 injured in a double suicide bombing outside the Iranian embassy in the Lebanese capital Beirut. There are conflicting reports as to whether the Iranian cultural attache survived the attack.
Lebanese officials said the first suicide attacker was on a motorcycle, while the second was in a four-wheel drive vehicle.
A jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda said it carried out the attack. The head of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades described it as a "double martyrdom operation carried out by two heroes from the heroic Sunnis of Lebanon".
The Daily Star - Suicide bombers kill 25 near Iran embassy in Beirut
Qaeda-affiliated group claims Beirut blast
(Ynet News) - Sunni Sheikh Sirajeddine Zuraiqat, affiliated with radical global jihad organizations in Lebanon, tweets: 'Abdullah Azzam Brigades – the Hussein bin Ali cells – are behind the attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut.'
The report has not been confirmed by any other source. According to Zuraiqat, the suicide bombing was carried out by "two heroes from the Sunni faction in Lebanon."
Lebanese officials condemn Iran Embassy bombings
The leader of the al-Qaeda affiliated Abdullah Azzam Brigades is Saleh al-Qarawi. Al-Qarawi was reportedly seriously injured by a US drone attack in Waziristan in 2012 and flown to Saudi Arabia for treatment of his injuries. He was later arrested and imprisoned. Social media attacked the Saudi Kingdom for failing to keep a commitment. Jihadists claim that the Saudis struck a deal with al Qaeda that would lead to al-Qarawi's freedom.
Terrorist Designation of Saleh al-Qarawi- Dec. 15, 2011
Prior to his activity with the Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB), al-Qarawi fought against U.S. forces in Fallujah, Iraq. While there, he worked with now-deceased Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the former head of al-Qa'ida in Iraq. Al-Qarawi is a Saudi citizen currently wanted for extradition by the Government of Saudi Arabia for participating in extremist activities abroad. He is also the subject of an Interpol Orange Notice issued on March 25, 2009, for activities related to terrorism.
Terrorist Designations of the Abdallah Azzam Brigades - May 24, 2012
The Abdallah Azzam Brigades (AAB), a militant organization based in both Lebanon and the Arabian Peninsula, was formed in 2009. AAB is led by Saleh al-Qar'awi, who was designated by the Department of State under E.O. 13224. The Department of State also designated AAB's bomb maker, Abu Jabal, under E.O. 13224 on November 22, 2011.
AAB carried out a July 2010 attack on the Japanese-owned oil tanker M/V M.Star in the Strait of Hormuz. According to a statement released online, AAB claimed that the attack was carried out by its Arabian Peninsula Branch, which calls itself the Yusuf al-'Uyayri Battalions of the Abdullah Azzam Brigades.
Saudi prisoner release for jihad in al-Sham, did Prince Bandar release AAB terrorist al-Qarawi?
More below the fold ...
Mon Nov 18th, 2013 at 05:35:10 AM EST
Via Paul Krugman, I saw that Larry Summers had given a presentation on the topic of secular stagnation at the IMF conference (admittedly, I wasn't invited this year, well, the letter must have been lost in the post ;-) ). If you'd rather read than watch, Krugman's summary is a nicely written one, and adds a few comments which can be interesting in themselves.
Well, I have not usually been inclined of late to say nice things about Larry Summers, although that was probably more about Summers the political persona. His academic research deserves more credit. So, much of it is interesting, although some of the conclusions he derives (and here Summers the neoliberal may be showing, for instance when he suggests that proper financial regulation may be a bad thing in the context of stagnation, which is bonkers) appear to either be there purely for provocation sake, or to be pre-conclusions looking for a justification. Still, I would have a few things to add, and I believe that the conclusions fall short in a couple of ways.
front-paged by afew
by Ted Welch
Fri Nov 15th, 2013 at 01:43:07 PM EST
Carlsen beats Anand in Game 5 of World Chess Championship Nov 15, 2013
CHENNAI: The worst fears for the chess fans backing defending champion Viswanathan Anand came true as the Indian blundered in a drawn endgame to go down against challenger Magnus Carlsen in the fifth game of the World Chess Championship on Friday.
The hallmark of Carlsen's play has been to mesmerize opponents from seemingly innocuous positions and to make them commit mistakes. This was exactly what happened at the Hyatt.
You can follow game 5 move by move here:
and there's detailed analysis here:
But you'll have to look hard to find much about it in UK media - even the Guardian hasn't reported it yet, despite this yesterday:
Despite there being 20,000 committed club chess players in the UK, several hundred thousand casual players and a strong chess presence in schools, especially at primary level, this great event is being seriously under-reported. What coverage there has been is of Carlsen, who is portrayed as a kind of geeky Matt Damon. There is no attempt to get to grips with the actual chess.
The game has slipped off the mainstream media agenda in the UK. In India and Norway, there is of course huge excitement about the match ...
But in the UK, one of the top chess-playing nations in the 1980s and 90s as a result of the generation of players led by Nigel Short who were inspired by Fischer's victory in Iceland, it has been marginalised. Hence my Amis-like fantasy of Premier League games being played in front of a handful of spectators at tatty grounds, while chess is shown live on TV with Alan Hansen bemoaning the inadequacies of the Sicilian Defence.
Kasparov on why he's rooting for Carlsen:
Some have suggested my rooting loyalties should lie with my fellow "old man," Anand, and not with the 22-year-old who broke my rating record and who will share my record as youngest world champion ever should he prevail in Chennai. But while I cannot say I feel joy when one of my records falls, a win for Carlsen will also be a win for the chess world. Changing of the guard, new blood, a fresh face - all these clichés are clichés for a reason. Magnus is a dynamic young man eager to promote the sport, to raise its profile along with his own, and who can inspire a new generation of chess kids (and chess sponsors!) around the world.
Anand is a fantastic chessplayer who brings honor to the sport and to his nation with his skill and his boundless good nature. If he wins this match his high place on chess Olympus is assured. I am predicting a Carlsen victory because of his talent, his results, and the tides of chess history. I am rooting for a Carlsen victory because a new generation deserves a new champion. Most of all, I am hoping for big games, a hard fight, and a great boost for chess around the world as a legend and a legend in the making do battle in Chennai.
Thu Nov 14th, 2013 at 03:49:40 PM EST
U.N. officials report slowdown at Iran's atomic facilities in lead-up to nuclear talks
(WaPo) - Iran appears to have dramatically slowed work on its atomic energy program since the summer, U.N. officials said Thursday in a report that could add momentum to diplomatic efforts to resolve a decade-old dispute over Iranian nuclear activities.
The report by the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran all but halted the installation of new centrifuges at its uranium-enrichment plants beginning in August, the same month that moderate cleric Hassan Rouhani was sworn in as president. Work on a controversial nuclear reactor also slowed, the U.N. watchdog agency said. Iran continued producing low-enriched uranium, but at a slightly reduced rate, it said.
The findings provided a boost to the Obama administration, which has joined five other major powers in seeking to negotiate a deal on permanent limits to Iran's nuclear program. The report suggests that Iran has been unilaterally implementing key parts of a nuclear "freeze" that Western nations have been pursuing during nuclear talks.
The expansion appears to have halted around the time that Rouhani took office. At Natanz, where Iran had been adding centrifuges at a rate of 600 a month, only four new machines have been put in place since the summer, the IAEA report said. No new centrifuges were installed at Fordow, and work on new reactor components at the Arak plant appears frozen, the report said.
IAEA: Implementation of the NPT Safeguards Agreement and relevant provisions
of Security Council resolutions in the Islamic Republic of Iran - Nov. 14, 2013
Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 02:43:21 PM EST
I have grave concern, the sabotage of the nuclear agreement between P5+1 by France will have closed the small window of opportunity. The confidence build-up by President Rouhani has evaporated and accusations of who is to blame is doing the ultimate damage. Months of negotiations led to no deal when France FM Fabius flew into Geneva with orders from Hollande. With the threat of a French veto at the United Nations, all Kerry could do was to bow out and tell the lie of a united Western front to safe face. The Iranians are furous and Russian FM Lavrov tries to stay calm, hoping for another chance on November 20. IMO, no deal will be reached and the right-wingers will succeed to apply more sanctions on Iran.
Iran blames Western powers for nuclear talks failure
(BBC News) - During a visit to Abu Dhabi, Mr Kerry told reporters that the P5+1 had been "unified on Saturday when we presented our proposal to the Iranians".
"The French signed off on it, we signed off on it, and everybody agreed it was a fair proposal," he added. "Iran couldn't take it at that particular moment."
Later, Mr Zarif responded to the claim on Twitter.
"No amount of spinning can change what happened within 5+1 in Geneva from 6pm Thursday to 5:45pm Saturday. But it can further erode confidence."
Mr. Secretary, was it Iran that gutted over
half of US draft Thursday night? and publicly
commented against it Friday morning?
○ NYTimes Lede Blog Iran's Foreign Minister Subtweets Kerry
○ France L'Express La France accusée de "hold-up" sur le nucléaire iranien
○ RFE/RL Iran's Foreign Minister Criticizes Kerry Over Geneva Remarks
Iranian press reaction
Ali Bigdeli in reformist daily Sharq: "The additional pressure exerted by some Arab countries as well as Israel on the US and France is believed to be the main reason for the postponement of an agreement... Kerry and Fabius came to an arrangement based on which the French foreign minister took the role of the objector."
Abbas Hajinajjari in conservative daily Javan: "Given the hegemonic system's intention to prolong the talks in order to exhaust the Iranians and implement the scenario of making [Iran] surrender, it seems that the Iranian diplomatic apparatus should take the leading role in the next round of talks by changing the way the talks are conducted and presenting its conditions."
Continued below the fold: French derailing of Iran deal, scoring points with Israel, selling guns to Saudis.
Tue Nov 12th, 2013 at 05:06:11 AM EST
The European Green Party is organizing a primary for the two posts of leaders of the cross-Europe campaign for the European Parliament elections next year. (Twitter hashtag #GreenPrimary).
Greens select four candidates to run in primaries ahead of 2014 elections | EurActiv
Four Green MEPs [in fact 3 MEPs and one ex-MEP - note by afew] are entering the race for two top positions in the EU elections campaign ahead of the vote in May 2014.
On Thursday (7 November), the European Green Party (EGP) announced the four contenders who will take part in the primaries: French MEP and syndicalist José Bové; Italian MEP and co-chair of the European Green Party Monica Frassoni; German MEP and co-chair of the political group in the European Parliament Rebecca Harms; and German MEP Ska Keller.
Bové is arguably the most well-known among the contenders, but all contenders have a strong support in their home countries, party sources said. Ska Keller carries the nomination of the Federation of Young European Greens and has a profile that appeals to young participants in the online vote.
The candidates had to seek a nomination from a member organisation of the European Greens, as well as support of at least four member parties, to participate in the upcoming online vote. Frassoni got the support of five member parties, Harms and Keller from seven and José Bové secured the highest support with eight endorsements. [For lists of supporting parties, go here - afew].
The EGP requires the two candidates to come from different national member parties. This rules out having Rebecca Harms and Ska Keller runing as a tandem. Although the Greens traditionally have a man and a woman sharing lead positions, this is not a requirement, and the duo to lead the campaign could very well be two women.
What's this about?
|Harms, Bové, Frassoni, Keller|
The Greens ran the first cross-EU campaign for the EP elections in 2009, and will do so again, with the added attraction of this primary open to all sympathisers. This is also a step towards designating their candidate for Commission President. On this point see:
EUobserver.com / Political Affairs / EU Greens launch US-style primary elections
European parties hope to reverse this trend with trans-national campaigns and lead candidates who run for the top post at the European Commission, a novelty introduced by the Lisbon treaty.
But EU leaders recently poured cold water on hopes that the top candidate of the most popular party will automatically land the commission job.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she "sees no automaticity" between the election results and the post.
For his part, EU council chief Herman Van Rompuy warned against parties raising "false expectations."
Don't forget, the only "automaticity" is that Germany decides.
Should that make you want to go crazy and vote in this primary, the place to go is GreenPrimary. There's a FAQ here. You'll need to give an e-mail address and a mobile phone number, and check a box that says you sympathise with the values of the Greens.
by madeleine kando
Mon Nov 11th, 2013 at 07:41:49 PM EST
In an article in the Guardian of June 5th, Jonathan Haidt gives an alternative answer to the question 'Why Do Working Class People Vote Conservative?'. According to Haidt, the generally accepted `duping hypothesis', which says that the Republican party has duped working class people into voting for them by putting the focus on cultural and moral issues rather than on economic issues, is not the real reason.
He points out that voting on a national level is more about a moral vision than about specific policies. That is true, but out of that moral vision flow the policies that a country adopts, so the usefulness of that statement is a bit doubtful.
Haidt goes on to say that most Americans don't want to live in a nation based primarily on caring. That's what families are for. Really? How can a family care for its children if the society doesn't provide specific policies that allow it to do so? If you cannot afford health insurance, you are pretty much up shit creek, no matter how much you care about your children.
Politics on a national level 'Is more about a moral vision that unifies a nation and calls it to greatness than it is about self-interest or specific policies. In most countries, the right tends to see that more clearly than the left.' That's it? No explanation, no facts to back up the statement? What about all those (left leaning) countries in Europe that have created the European Union? Is that not the ultimate vision of unification, not just for one nation, but many?
Haidt, in this article and elsewhere, compares the moral mind as being like the tongue, an organ that is sensitive to a variety of moral flavors. He identifies six moral flavors: care/harm, fairness/cheating, liberty/oppression, loyalty/betrayal, authority/subversion, and sanctity/degradation.
The first three, care, fairness and liberty are equally important to both conservatives and democrats. But on loyalty, authority and sanctity, Conservatives have a hands up, says Haidt. The immediate question that comes to mind is: loyalty to whom? As societies become more enlightened, the group to which loyalty is given expands. We are moving away from the tribal. Loyalty to a clan is no longer required or desirable. And is loyalty truly a basic ingredient of the moral cuisine, or is it more like an artificial flavor?
On the subject of authority, I would think that placing exceptional value in authority is not always a good thing. In fact, I might want to replace that ingredient on the moral palette with `freedom of thought' or `critical thinking'.
Sanctity/degradation: I agree that certain things are sacred, but they have acquired their sanctity status because they were considered true. So I would replace the sanctity flavor with the 'truth' flavor. Truth is far more morally valuable than sanctity, and much less prone to subjective interpretation. Sanctity is so intertwined with culture, whereas truth has the advantage of being cross-cultural.
Morality's ultimate purpose, if it's the right kind of morality, is to increase human well-being. If in-group loyalty, respect for authority and purity/sanctity fulfills that purpose, then they are legitimate candidates for the moral palette. If they don't, they should fall by the wayside.
Besides, who says that Haidt's analysis is correct? It is possible that fairness, liberty, loyalty, authority and sanctity are simply facets of a more general concern for harm/care (See Richard Harris' article 'A Response to Jonathan Haidt'). In that sense, if a conservative finds it very important to not blaspheme, is it truly because he finds it immoral or because he doesn't want to go to hell and be harmed?
In conclusion, if the working class is not duped by the Conservatives into voting against their own interest, then they are voting against it because of a misguided sense of morality. When a society moves away from allowing the majority of its citizens to fulfill their `capabilities', as Martha Nussbaum calls it, by removing social safety nets and allowing extreme inequality between rich and poor, then the morality of that society is misguided and should be revisited. I disagree with Haidt and believe that Democrats have a stronger sense of morality. That is why I am a Democrat.
by marco - Nov 30
by vbo - Nov 21
by Bjinse - Nov 24
by afew - Nov 28
by marco - Nov 30
by afew - Nov 28
by Oui - Nov 23
by vbo - Nov 21
by gmoke - Nov 19
by Oui - Nov 19
by Oui - Nov 12
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