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What would you vote if you lived in ...?

 
 
Einherjar
 
  3  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 10:24 am
As a general rule I'm with the (Classical) Liberals. In countries suffering from rampant corruption, I'd want to keep government small, simple, transparent, and accountable. In countries where bigotry seemed to impact the political landscape signifficantly, fighting it would be a priority.
Thus I'd side with the liberals in eastern europe.

In Italy its the same story. I'd be most concerned with organised crime, and with the freedom of the press. I don't know what political alternatives are offered though.

In Spain I might side with the left to champion the rights of various minorities. Corruption is a problem, but the conservative side of the political spectrum have failed to solve the problem for too long.

In Germany I am right of center again, market oriented reforms are needed to get germany back on track. I personally think that high tarrifs are instrumental in holding Germany back, but the unions don't seem to be challenged.

I've got to go, I'll finish replying tomorrow.
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Steve 41oo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 10:29 am
ah but the Monster Raving Loony Party is the oldest.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 10:35 am
Thanks for joining in, Einherjar!
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 10:48 am
From an interview with Hegedus, FKGP. Some funny stuff (well, funny to me, anyway). nimh might get a kick out of it. Remember he thought I was Czech, haha.:
"The best united Europe for us was Austro-Hungarian Empire, but that's over. Czechs are interesting for us, even for me. I was a visiting professor in Texas few years ago, in physics and matemathics. There were some Czechs, not so much Slovaks. And Czechs' environment - houses, swimming pools, tennis playing, was very nice. Sometime nicer than Germans' or Hungarians' environment. That's why the Czech culture is very interesting and the Czech and Hungarian relationship is very difficult. Slovaks are culturally and in business lower than Czechs and Hungarians. The spirit is a problem, the public spirit. The evaluation system, the way, the approach they use, they are not satisfied. Czechs is OK, they are more educated than Slovaks. And the Romanians perhaps. That was an ancient part of Hungary, Transylvania, almost the spiritual heart of Hungary, I can say. That was a very big problem that we lost Romania. One day we want to get a double citizenship. Not a status law, double citizenship. Look at what the Jews did. They are Hungarian and in Israel… But not Hungarians, we are the Jews of Europe. Hungarians are everywhere. That's why we want double citizenship. But the Socialist Party doesn't want. And the Free Democrat Party, nothing. But we want to get it, moving, changing information, culture. "
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nimh
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 01:55 pm
Lots of interesting stuff in Dag's post, tho its probably impossible to follow for an outsider. But interesting.

- Fierce take on Vaclav Klaus and his Civic Democratic Party (ODS) there! Ha. We should match you up against Thomas in a debate on Czech politics, could be exciting ;-)

Talking about Czech politics though, did you see my post to Thomas re: alternatives to Klaus? What about the Freedom Union/Democratic Union? They once polled as the largest party in the country (in opinion polls, that is), might still have potential. In their Coalition with the Christian-Democrats they still got 14% of the vote last time, after all. Course, the Christian-Democrats are the dominant party there, and they're against gay rights and so on...

- Slovaks voting for the Hungarian Coalition Party because its simply the sanest in the country. Thats fascinating. I did spend some time studying ethnic minority parties in the region in the nineties, and I dont think any previously had significant impact beyond its own and, at most, other ethnic minorities?

I mean, several tried to turn themselves from a specifically ethnic party (Bulgarian Turks, Latvian Russians) into a multiethnic umbrella party for all ethnic minorities in the country, with varying degrees of success. One of the SMK's original constituent parts, Együttélés-Spolužitie-Wspólnota-Soužití, presented itself as such as well (hence the quadri-lingual name). But an appeal to the majority group <thinks>?

Well, Ahmed Dogan, the ever smooth-operating leader of the Bulgarian Turks, for some time set up a common group with centrist Bulgarian liberals, the Zhelev-oriented ones say, that had become politically homeless after the popular anti-communist movement (Union of Democratic Forces) turned very conservative when the only other option was still the ex-communists. The Liberal Democratic Union (LDS) it was, Zhelev loyalist Dimitar Ludzhev was the big Bulgarian name there - here, I found a link. (Reads it: oh, Zhelev himself was honorary president of the union, and they got membership in the Liberal International!). It never actually stood in an election as a common list though, by the 2001 elections Dogan's Turkish party DPS ran on its own again.

And true! In Slovakia itself, the third of the three original constituent parts of the SMK, the Hungarian Civic Party (MPP-MOS), also presented itself as liberal first, ethnic second, and tried to be a "bridge"-party between Slovaks and Hungarians (without much success, got 2,3% of the vote in '92).

What is definitely true is that at the last Slovak elections already the SMK scored clearly higher than the proportion of Hungarians in the country. The SMK got a record result of 11,2% while the Hungarians make up only 9,7% of the population, according to the last census. It was also a surprisingly good result compared to 9,1% in 1998 and 10,2% in 1994, and to (an added total of) 9,7% in 1992 when the MPP-MOS still ran separately as well.

I'd assumed the high score had to do with a higher-than-average turnout among Hungarians, but perhaps it was already a question of cross-over appeal then?

- Hungary now is hopeless, I have the same thoughts as you. Not Fidesz (the conservatives), not MSzP (the ex-communists), so probably the Alliance of Free Democrats (SzDSz) after all, though by now they're a shadow of their former self, both in numbers and political profile. They're almost just a sophisticated adornment of the MSzP by now, no? Wish there was a classic, independent social-democratic party again, the MSzDP was big here before the communists took over...

And yeah, the FKgP - do they still exist? Havent they just been swallowed by Fidesz? And whatever happened to Joszef Torgyan anyway, that crude fool?

- Kukan vs Butora ha, I can see the dilemma. Sounds like when all those French lefties thought they could vote for some sympathetic Trot in the presidential elections, and then to their horror saw Jospin bypassed by Le Pen for the second round. Butora was an attractive candidate though... But yes, at some point in time you've got to go with the lesser crook, I suppose.

Over time that has made the exclusion of the ex-communist party as a possible choice more abstract, also ... I mean, so many ex-communists scattered and are now represented in centrist or right-wing parties too. One of the two cores of the Slovak Democratic Coalition party is the former Democratic Union (DU), which consisted in former Meciarists who gradually crossed over ... it becomes ever more relative.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 01:57 pm
And a ha to the Hegedus excerpt :-P
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 02:24 pm
Torgyan is still in FKGP as far as i know. When I was there, they were just blocking some road near a boundary with Austria (I think) with trucks, something to prevent evil Western capitalists to leech on Hungarian resources. Quite funny. I really had a blast visiting FKGP, they're a bunch of raving lunatics.
You are right, ethnic parties are handicapped and will not make a complete crossover to include everybody. SMK is doing rather well considering this. Hungarians in Slovakia vote ethnically, nearly all of them go for SMK. That doesn't appeal to me, but SMK is doing well in the parliament and government, sane platform, sane people. They have stable electoral basis, so giving them one more vote to get bit more seats in the parliament, or one more seat in the government, would make it worthwhile for me. 12% is a lot in Slovakia. I expect they will retain it, or get a little more next time.
Hungary is hopeless. All the more fascinating. I love when some silly nationalist issue errupts.
ODS has outlived itself. Burried themselves with all the privatization scams and corruption scandals, and their economic policy is increasingly more and more libertarian. I lost all respect.
The Freedom Union - Democratic Union (US-DU): you got something there. Small parties (US-DU, Party for Open Societies, Choice for Citizen, ODA and European Democrats) - signed a Kralovehradecka appeal some three weeks back, on common course of action in the next election. Whether it will result in a coalition, we'll see. I'd be worried though that they would spend 70% of time quarreling and 30% governing, for they would have to team up with another party (ies) and they already differ on some issues... dunno...
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 03:28 pm
dagmaraka wrote:
Torgyan is still in FKGP as far as i know.

OK. I only remember the "official" FKgP kept throwing him out, resulting in a split of the party, or a multiple split, but once the smoke cleared it was always whatever splinter Torgyan had gone off with that survived as the only viable FKgP clone. Happened several times I think. I remember when I was here before, in '97, I once counted the number of parties claiming the Smallholders mantle in various permutations of the abbreviation FKgP, and there were seven I think ;-).
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 03:34 pm
We must definitely have lost everyone now Razz

Ebeth, though, you picked quite a country! Latvia, eh? Of all the countries I can think of from CEE, Latvia has the least appealing political landscape of all... a baffling myriad of fluctuating, splintered parties, many of which are extremist or one-man-shows or interest vehicles. Moderate, scrupulous parties seem to be harder to find there than in any other established postcommunist democracy.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 03:53 pm
nimh wrote:
"Latvian Luck" didn't have such, eh, luck, despite incorporating the Idiots' Party and proposing to up the number of parliamentarians from 100 to 10,000, so that every Latvian would get his turn within a decade.

Ah, addendum! Turns out I might have been using the wrong translations all the time. According to this page of Latvian election results, it was actually not "Latvia's Luck" but the Electoral Union "Happiness of Latvia". Which got all of 0,88% in 1993. That its the same party is corrobared by its listing as "Happiness of Latvia (Fool's Party)" in this fascinating List of frivolous political parties taken from Wikipedia.

That list also includes such wonders as the Canadian Extreme Wrestling Party, the Prince Edward Island Draft Beer Party (Canada), the Ezenhemmer Plastic Bags and Child Rearing Utensils Party (Sweden), the Death, Dungeons and Taxes Party (UK) and the Guns and Dope Party (US). Doesnt list election results though. And it omits the Estonian Royalists, although they sprung from a sarcastic TV show and did best of all! Harrumph, the disrespect ... Razz
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dagmaraka
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 04:33 pm
Oooh, I'd join the Extreme Wrestling Party. No to Plastic Bags though, I'm sensory defensive (read neurotic) and sound of plastic bags crinkling drives me up the wall.

Was Russia discussed yet? That is one grandiose mess. I should read up on the previous pages, but it's late and i still gotta work.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 04:38 pm
nimh wrote:
We must definitely have lost everyone now Razz

Ebeth, though, you picked quite a country! Latvia, eh? Of all the countries I can think of from CEE, Latvia has the least appealing political landscape of all... a baffling myriad of fluctuating, splintered parties, many of which are extremist or one-man-shows or interest vehicles. Moderate, scrupulous parties seem to be harder to find there than in any other established postcommunist democracy.


I thought it would be a 'bird' country to look at Embarrassed

I think I'll put Latvia pack in the hamper and pull out another country to examine.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 04:53 pm
Sooooooo, I tried Albania.

They all kinda seem like either fools or frauds.

The only party that doesn't have anything obviously wrong with it (andtheir leader has a great name) ...

Quote:
Agrarian Party of Albania (PAS)
This party is a reformist party in favour of a free market economic system. In the June 2001 elections it received 2.6 percent of the vote and 3 members in parliament. It is part of the Socialist led government.

Party leader: Lufter Xhuveli
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 05:01 pm
I think I'm on to something. I tend to pick parties that are pro free market.

eg.

Quote:
pursues a socially liberal, pro free-market course. It rejects all extremism and fanaticism and favours European integration, rapid privatisation of the enterprises still owned by the state and decentralisation of the government.
<almost quote>
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 05:22 pm
Yes, that's probably partly because of what we were discussing earlier. In Central and Eastern Europe, the parties in the centre - the parties that tend to favour open societies and open minds - often tend to be liberal, almost libertarian when it comes to economic policies.

They're basically the equivalent of the classical liberal parties of Western Europe; economically rightwing but socially liberal. Just like them, they clearly delineate themselves from the conservative/christian parties. Unlike in Western-Europe however, they rarely have a leftwing/social-democratic counterpart with an equally open society-minded world view; at least none that do not carry the burden of being the successor party of the former communist regime.

Sucks, that.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 05:28 pm
One Albanian politician you will like is Edi Rama, the mayor of Tirana, by the way - I have a thread on him: Tirana, Albania's capital, turns VERY colorful - thank mayor.

Problem is, although elected as mayor as an independent, he joined the Socialist Party (the ex-Communists) this year - hoping to use his tremendous popularity to take over and rejuvinate and modernise the party. They blocked his way up though, and now he's lost his non-partisan sheen.

But he did a sensational job as mayor anyhow, and was elected World Mayor.
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ehBeth
 
  2  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 05:32 pm
World Mayor.

That just sounds so Eastern European.
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Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2005 11:26 pm
ehBeth wrote:
World Mayor.

That just sounds so Eastern European.



Quote:
In April 2003, a group of economists and journalists from Europe, The Americas and Asia set up the non-commercial and independent City Mayors internet platform.

Quote:
More than 550 Mayors from Asia, Africa, Europe and The Americas were nominated for the 2005 World Mayor Award.
City Mayors homepage,
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Einherjar
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Sep, 2005 03:54 am
I'll continue my reply now.

I'd probably vote new labour in British elections, though I'm not quite sure what sepparates them from the conservatives. In the US I'd vote democrat because I dislike the republicans pandering to religious interests.

Still, I would have to research what parties are running, and what constelations seem probable in case of various plausible election results, in order to really determine what I would vote in each country.
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Paaskynen
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Sep, 2005 08:02 am
I did not have time to go through the entire thread, so maybe somebody already pointed this out, but in European countries with a real multiparty system and no threshold (i.e. no need to get a certain percentage of the vote to get into parliament, which effectively blocks small parties) many people do not vote for one party in particular (like they do in Britain and the US) but for a coalition. And so voting changes from situation to situation, to the party that you think is the best insurance for a certain coalition coming to power and usually that means voting for the smaller coalition partner, since the big one might get too big and then become too self-interested.

Sometimes people also vote for fringe parties in order to ensure that the minority voice is also heard in parliament. The issues raised by these parties often signal changes in society and can serve as an information channel for the mainstream parties to anticipate problems and try to defuse them.
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