Sunday, February 22, 2015

Updates (Israel, PEI, Manitoba, Australia)

Within the next 5 weeks there are a number of 'elections' taking place.

We start in the past; this weekend, when the PEI Liberals picked a new leader. Given the ballot only had one name on it, Wade MacLauchlan, it was an easy choice. MacLauchlan will become the Premier of the province tomorrow.

One thing I consider positive is how little I am hearing about how he is gay. PEI has been seem by some as rural and backwards, but they province is will have a gay premier, and not many seem to care.

In the style of PEI politics, he is a moderate, and will likely run a moderate campaign in the coming election.

Opposing him will be the leader of the PC Party; who will be elected at the end of this month.

There are three candidates. Darlene Compton ran in an election once. Rob Lantz was a councillor in Charlottetown for 2 terms.

James Aylward, however, seems to have it locked up. Not only did he perform very well in the 2011 election - Translation; he's popular in his riding - Translation: he's popular - but he has the endorsement of the other two MLAs as well. In addition to this, he has the endorsement of nearly all previous cabinet ministers (who have endorsed someone) leaving only one to endorse someone else (Lantz)

Disclosure: I know that cabinet minister as an acquaintance.

Aylward will almost certainly win. While I don't know much about him, he also seems to be a moderate.

The likely result of the next PEI election is 20 to 25 seats for the Liberals, 1 to 7 for the Tories, and perhaps a gain of one seat by the NDP or Greens or someone else.

The following weekend, the Manitoba NDP elects it's leader, and Premier. While it is not the only thing he tweets about, Earl Washburn posts maps and delegate counts. As of the last update, Selinger is leading 272 to 232 against Oswald, with Ashton at 202. Selinger is also expected to have strong support within the union vote.

At the end of March is state level elections in New South Wales, Australia.

Like Queensland, 4 years ago, an election tossed a Labor government out and elected the Coalition.

Like Queensland, that election 4 years ago saw Labor defeated very very heavily.

Unlike Queensland, polls say the coalition should be able to hold on. The last 2PP was 53% to 47% and this was after Queensland and the Abbott troubles. This indicates there is some support for re-electing the existing government.

The end result is likely to be somewhat in the area of 50 seats for the coalition and 40 for Labor with the possibility of a wider gap.

Last is Israel. They hold elections on the 17th of March, St. Patrick's Day. The most recent news is the "green" parties are doing well.

That is, the rookie or new parties. The Joint (Arab) List is stable if not growing, while Koolanu has also found it's niche, and Yachad (an alliance of far-right and hyper-religious members) is on track to win seats.

Due to an announcement from the President about how he plans to decide who to ask (first) to form government, this election is seen as a race between various potential coalitions.

Likud stands at around 24, while Jewish Home, their best 'ally' stands at 13.

Labour - part of the Zionist Union (or Union) - stands at 24. Their best ally is Yesh Atid at 11.

After that is gets complicated

The Joint List, which is between 12 and 13, will block any attempts to create a Likud government. What is interesting is a poll taken of Arab voters in Israel showing that a full 58% of Arab voters want the Joint List to sit in coalition.

On the flip side is Shas and the UTJ, two ultra-orthodox parties. While they have worked with Labour before and could do so again, they are much closer to Likud. They stand at a combined 14.

There is also the matter of Yachad (at 4 seats) and Meretz (at 6) who have their own natural right or left allies.

This places these two "alliances" at 55 (right) to 53 (left)

In the "Middle" sits two more parties. Yisrael Beiteinu is considered by some to be a 'moderate' party. Frankly, I don't see it. They seem, for lack of a better term, populist to a degree. Despite that, given how the election is shaping up, they best fit the definition of a "middle" party in this specific instance. They sit at 6 seats.

Last, but not least, is Koolanu, at 8. I've spoken on their kingmaker role before, and it still seems that this will determine the final election result. The general and unspoken consensus seems to be they will side with Netanyahu, and thus will re-elect, by in large, the existing government.

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