Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
The thread was becoming one-word-wide, so reply to rootless2:

You produced no evidence whatever for your assertion that the debt brake was designed as a gimmick. It was and is part of Merkel's requirements for eurozone partner countries in the German my-way-or-the-highway "solution" to the crisis. If you were following European affairs at all, you would know that.

I also pointed out that blocking it was facilitated by a considerable electoral victory for the PS and the French left as a whole, which now limits Sarkozy's power to obtain constitutional amendments. That victory is the culmination of a long process of winning and consolidating local and regional power. Hardly an image of the powerless "left" you excoriate, in which, to judge by your scorn, you include the French Socialists.

This is strange, considering that the PS is a centre-left party of government of the kind one might expect, in the light of your arguments here, that you would support. But finally, what is the "point" you are bringing to this discussion? Anything beyond "Go USA!" and "Obama Rah-Rah-Rah!"?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 02:07:25 AM EST
My response was to the note in the article that the "left" was telling people not to vote for either party - which I find to be a common argument both in the US and EU from people who think that withholding a vote from a social democratic party somehow "punishes" it and has some unclear political benefit.

As with the US Democrats, I find a lot not to like in the PS, but think that they are highly preferable to the existing alternative.

by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 03:55:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"My response was to the note in the article that the "left" was telling people not to vote for either party"

There was no such note in the article and you've been told that before.

by Katrin on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:05:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well
So here is a brief description of PP and PSOE positions and the small parties. Be aware, though, that the left is basically in the streets shouting "do not vote PPSOE". Unfortunately, all polls suggest that this is the sociological left, the one in the streets, you know.
Still, the contention is that there are ample opportunities for third party votes.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:25:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There were no calls not to vote for "either party" (i.e. neither party in the political spectrum). There were enough parties to choose from. It's what Rootless is distorting, and I admit I have developed an allergy against a certain kind of trans-Atlantic arrogance. It makes my fingers itch.
by Katrin on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:43:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Either implies "between two".
by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:14:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you had said "call not to vote for either of the major parties" we wouldn't be having this silly subthread. The other parties exist - they have representation at all levels of government from local to continental, and not just testimonially in the parliaments but also in executive functions (from mayors up to regional governments).

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 02:28:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly! So you could have said:
My response was to the note in the article that the "left" was telling people not to vote for two out of a dozen parties.

You didn't, because you wanted something to hinge your weird theory about the left on.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 02:30:57 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But I note that in most electoral districts it was known that the other parties would not obtain any representation.
by rootless2 on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:49:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, but so what? In a 3-seater you know the result is going to be 2-1 no matter what because third parties don't poll above 25%.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:57:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
In the event, if I am not mistaken, relatively few voters passed from PSOE to left wing parties and even fewer seats were obtained - due to the voting system. Most disaffected PSOE voters apparently either did not vote or voted PP - or am I reading the results wrong?
by rootless2 on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 10:43:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't know...

		 2008  2011
eligible voters 35.0M 34.3M
abstention	 9.2M  9.7M
votes cast	25.9M 24.6M
null votes	 0.2M  0.3M
blank votes	 0.3M  0.3M
votes to lists	25.4M 24.6M
PP		10.3M 10.8M
PSOE		11.3M  7.0M
CiU		 0.8M  1.0M
IU		 1.0M  1.7M
UPyD		 0.3M  1.1M


To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 12:00:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Do you know why the quantity of eligible voters went down so much?

The Hun is always either at your throat or at your feet. Winston Churchill
by r------ on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 12:45:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is easy: The number of eligible voters was deflated by the quasi gold-standard policy of the bundesbank.

Do you also want to know why the chicken crossed the road?

More seriously,

the PSOE lost 4.3 million votes.

Participation dropped by 1.3 million,
CiU, IU and UPyD gained 1.7 million,
and the PP gained 500,000 votes.

That still leaves a remnant, but that is probably somewhere in abstentions and blank votes and minor parties. So one half of PSOE voters did go to the left or regional parties, a third did stay home and only some voted PP.    

by IM on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 01:44:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can gather from various anglo expat-pages lists of eligible voters are kept by local government. This might mean trouble for voters who become homeless.

SPAIN: Madrid Mayor Wants to Sweep Homeless Out of Sight - IPS ipsnews.net

Everyone on both sides of the argument is aware that the vast majority of the people sleeping rough and enduring the cold at nights are unemployed and homeless as a result of the prolonged global economic crisis. They are immigrants from Latin America, Africa and Eastern Europe, as well as large numbers of Spaniards.

So your snark might hold a bit a truth, austerity might have removed those voters from the rolls.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 02:48:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There is rounding errors; the new basque left independentist party got 330 thousand votes and 7 seats, but I didn't list it because it got under 1M and didn't contest the last election; the new green left party got 230 thousand votes and no seats; and then there are a bunch of minor parties. Also, roughly 1M votes are registered while resident abroad and their votes may not have been counted, though estimates are that less than 1/3 actually voted.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 07:19:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think 1 million absentee voters are not included yet.

To err is of course human. But to mess things up spectacularly, we need an elite — Yanis Varoufakis
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 07:06:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"But I note that in most electoral districts it was known that the other parties would not obtain any representation"

Priceless, Rootless. One couldn't make it up. Indeed, we sort parties into major and minor ones, and this depends on the votes they won. And you are quite right, small parties did not obtain representation everywhere. Now, who would have thought that.

by Katrin on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 01:24:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What percentage of deputies are from districts with four or fewer seats?

For deputies from districts with 5 or more seats, the third party threshold when the largest part gets 40% of the vote is 13.4 or less ~ and shifting your vote from one of the two major parties to any other party helps lower the 3rd party threshold.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 06:06:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And you complain about arrogance?
by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 11:16:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, you got that right.
by Katrin on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 01:26:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Pointing out that you are repeating canards of which you have been repeatedly disabused can be called many things.

"Arrogant" is not one of them, unless you are using a highly variant thesaurus.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Nov 25th, 2011 at 08:49:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, my opinion, the PS claim, the NYT analysis, etc. all see it as a gimmick. So we could all be wrong.
by rootless2 on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 03:57:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Oh, I have no doubt that Sarko regards it as an election gimmick. But that says more about Sarko's understanding of economics and/or views of the constitution of the Fifth Republic than it does about the importance of killing that amendment.

Sadly, demented goldbuggery does not become harmless just because its proponents do not take it seriously (if they even understand it, which in Sarko's case is somewhat doubtful).

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Nov 23rd, 2011 at 04:04:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Let me see if I can learn the correct approach. Journalists consider it a gimmick, the opposition calls it a gimmick, Sarko himself may consider it a gimmick, but yet it is not a gimmick because if passed it locks the French government into a strict financial discipline that can only be relaxed whenever it is not wanted.  Outstanding!
by rootless2 on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:53:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I don't think you can learn anything.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:57:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
You are still making out that the debt brake requirement from Germany is a "gimmick"?

I said in my comment above that Sarkozy would have liked to have made electoral capital out of it, certainly. And the Socialists' communication, understandably and to some effect, pointed that out.

But Germany's insistence on this and soon other changes at the level of treaty or constitutional law in eurozone countries is a serious matter. Forgive us poor benighted Europeans for seeing it as such.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 02:03:06 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's odd how the correct "left" interpretation requires one to take the supposed financial rectitude of the German government seriously.  Those of us ignorant foreigners, lacking the correct ideological methodology see that world-wide, the right is the party of massive public spending and debt - just only on things like bailing out banks and making irresponsible bondholders good and military equipment.
by rootless2 on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:56:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
rootless2:
the supposed financial rectitude of the German government

No. Just the not-at-all-supposed obtuse arrogance of the German government.

But I'd be asking you to learn something, and that...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Nov 24th, 2011 at 08:59:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Occasional Series