For those already missing all the fun from the US presidential election primary season, we are expecting results soon from the Centre-right presidential primary runoff in France, in which the Conservative “Thatcherite” Francois Fillon is anticipated to defeat the centrist Alain Juppe for the nomination.
Fillon enters the second round with a big lead after scoring 44 percent of the vote in the first round, a result that knocked Nicolas Sarkozy out of the race. Live blog of the results is here.
Update: so far, Fillon is cruising to victory with 68.6 percent of the vote.
While waiting for the big ‘Riders CFL game to start (last one at Taylor Field), and in further proof that I am a geek, I am tuned in to live results of the Iceland election.
I am streaming live TV from Iceland, watching their Election Night coverage. Honestly, I have no idea what is going on, this Icelandic language of theirs is indecipherable. Also indecipherable is their electorate. A lot of polls are predicting the big winners could be the radical, anti-establishment Pirate party(!). This is a group that, according to this BBC News piece, believes in freedom from copyright restrictions, more protection of peoples’ data, and greater transparency.
These folks really do strike me as kind of Julian Assange/ Ed Snowden types of people. In any other civilized country, this group would be regarded as lunatics; yet in Iceland, this party is supposedly winning! They could win the election and be the government!
I suppose desperate times call for desperate measures. Despite its outward appearance as a first-world type of place, the fact is Iceland’s financial system collapsed a few years back, and then just this year their prime minister resigned when his offshore holdings were revealed in that Panama Papers leak. So Iceland has been through a lot. But if the Pirates do take over, that’s going to shock a lot of people — especially in Hollywood and the music industry. They will definitely not be impressed.
Update: hold on, it looks like the Independence Party has the lead in early returns.
Also — why the heck should I need to be watching Iceland election results on my weekend off?! I’ve already covered an election live this week as part of my job; I don’t need to tune in to another one.
The polls close within the half-hour in the province of Manitoba which is holding its provincial election today. The expectation is that tonight will be the latest in a long string of bad news for the New Democratic Party as it is expected the PCs will win a massive majority. I find this race particularly interesting because I covered PC leader Brian Pallister while I was a reporter in Manitoba years ago, when he was the local MP. That he may become Premier is something I find amusing.
For that matter, I also interviewed the current Premier Greg Selinger a couple of times, so it will be interesting to find out his fate as well. Anyway, results can be found here from the CBC, CTV Winnipeg, and Global. Polls close at 8pm CDT.
(But if you are more interested in American politics than Manitoba politics — polls close in New York State at the same time.)
Just going to head off to cover the election night but so far it is shaping up as a big start for the Liberals in Atlantic Canada, winning 31 of 32 seats there. Results here.
The Conservatives getting clobbered which is no surprise in that region, but the NDP have no seats there and that is astonishing.
Another important result — the Blue Jays lead the Royals 3-1 in the second inning. Yes, we have our priorities.
Welcome to an Election Eve edition of News from Nowhere. Yes, like most people I am glad the election is coming to a close tomorrow, because finally I might be able to relax a little afterwards.
It increasingly looks like Canada could be in store for a change in government tomorrow with Justin Trudeau and the Liberals ahead in most of the major polls. Of course, election polls have become increasingly unreliable as the folks in the UK found out, and as folks in Israel also found out during their election.
But I do believe there is an undercurrent out there. All these latest Liberal TV ads seem to be doing a number of the Conservatives. The latest one featuring Hazel McCallion was particularly funny. “Stephen, do I look scared to you?”
Beyond that, voters just seem fed up with Stephen Harper and the Tories, and it’s all because of their style of government. It seems like people think this government is all about “politics” and “partisanship”, and about getting every political advantage for themselves over their opponents.
What boggles my mind is that this Conservative government has a pretty good record on a lot of things. They have kept taxes low, have finally balanced the books and done a far better job in managing the economy than any other Western democracy did during this Great Recession. And they’ve taken principled stands against ISIS, and against the Russians on the Ukraine.
People ought to be hailing the Tories as heroes! But they aren’t, and as I said before, it’s because people don’t like Harper’s style and don’t like the way the Conservatives play politics. And of course, there’s the Senate and what has gone on there. Still, it boggles the mind that Trudeau is promising to run deficits and that people now say they support that, after spending years harping on Harper over deficits.
Also, a lot of newspaper endorsements seem to be endorsing the Tories, but I question whether they will sway voters at all, because all those newspaper endorsements did nothing to save Jim Prentice in Alberta’s election this year.
Anyway, that is my read on the situation. I am convinced we are going to get “Prime Minister Trudeau” on Monday — at least a minority government, maybe a majority if the NDP freefall gets to be any worse than it is. But we’ll see.
Here is my last local election story before the vote. I’ll be busy Monday night with election coverage but I might post something at this blog when I get a chance to.
Also, might I add there seems to be a new political party running in the election called “the CBC”. Lots of lawn signs popping up that say they support the CBC.
Other news from the world:
Most of the news this week is from the Unfun States of America, which continues its war on fun at a fast clip.
Just this week, Nevada announced a ban on unlicensed Daily Fantasy Sports sites in their state – FanDuel, DraftKings etc. – and you won’t guess why. The reason? Because they consider these to be gambling sites.
Folks, you read it right. Nevada is cracking down on gambling.
Honestly, this makes absolutely no sense. The world keeps getting stranger.
In other strange news, here’s more on the fallout from that wacky decision by Playboy this week to drop the nudity in their magazine. It continues to provoke reaction. Former Playmate of the Year Jenny McCarthy, a woman not known for being bashful, declared this week she would be willing to do the last nude pictorial in Playboy ever.
However, McCarthy won’t be the last in any event, because many of Playboy’s international editions are not going along with this move. Among the editions who say they are keeping the nudity are Germany, the Netherlands, Argentina, Venezuela, and Mexico.
Mexico?! Time to go there, clearly, as there is no fun to be had anymore in the Uptight States of America.
Lost in the shuffle is news that Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke was named Esquire’s Sexiest Woman Alive. Of course, Clarke is not known for being bashful, either, appearing on that notoriously scantily-clad HBO show.
In other magazine news, it sounds like Maxim is having problems, they are doing a redesign again and have cut their base rate. Clearly, desperation moves such as putting guys on the cover aren’t working over there.
They’ve apparently gone back to doing covers with gorgeous women such as the stylish and sexy Lea Seydoux. That’s more like it.
Speaking of desperate times, here’s another story about another iconic American brand: McDonald’s. Lots of worry from the franchisees about the brand being in “terminal decline” and this being the “end of days”. And so on.
That’s funny — everyone I talk to around here doesn’t believe McDonald’s is in trouble for one second, because they are everywhere.
But Woolworth’s used to be everywhere, too. So if it could happen to Woolworth’s it could happen to anyone, including McDonald’s.
I do think there are probably too many McDonald’s. Also, the general perception in the USA is that their food is just too unhealthy, and that has caught up to them. They need to do something different, for sure. The way America is going, the edict from head office could come soon to eliminate all hamburgers from the menu! Bye bye, Big Mac.
I’m joking, I think.
In other USA news, everyone is wondering whether or not Joe Biden is ever going to make a decision on whether to run for President. That decision could come soon. Or not.
And the sad news of the week was about former NBA player Lamar Odom who was found unconscious and was in a coma, but now seems to be improving.
That is it for the moment.
We are one week away from the Oct. 19 Election Day — a fact you are reminded of whenever you watch any big sporting event on TV. They are loaded with political commercials such as the Conservatives’ “Just not ready” ads targeting Justin Trudeau, countered by Trudeau’s “ready” ads, countered by ads with smiling Tom Mulcair of the NDP trying to sell you on what he’s selling.
I thought I would put up a bunch of my stories I’ve done from the Battlefords-Lloydminster riding from the last few weeks. After a very slow start, the race has gotten really interesting — though perhaps not for good reasons (!). We have seen candidates dropping out, and even an Independent dropping into this race. The election forums have been something else, too, with booing, apologies, you name it.
So here are those stories.
First, my story on ex-MP Doug Anguish entering the race as an independent.
Then I did a story on the Lloydminster forum last Wednesday.
Plus, a story on a couple of local campaign events from the NDP and the Conservatives a day later — an NDP office opening and a Conservative fundraiser luncheon in which Gerry Ritz gave a speech. In the interest of fairness, I also included quotes from the other candidates at the Lloydminster forum the day earlier.
Also, I coordinated efforts at the paper to set up the all-candidates pages in the Regional Optimist. Those have been running for a couple of weeks and the last one featuring submissions from the main candidates will run on Thursday.
Advance polls have been going this weekend across Canada, and many Canadians have already gone out and voted. It should be another hectic week on the campaign trail — hopefully, I’ll be able to survive until Election Day, which promises to be another late night. Thanksgiving Day today has proved to be a much-needed day off, given my schedule as of late.
“NDP Alberta.” I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.
I never thought the day would come when the socialists would be in charge of Alberta. But I also never thought the day would come when the most conservative, entrepreneurial, free-enterprise province in all of Canada would be Saskatchewan.
It’s as if our two provinces have totally flip-flopped — we’ve turned into them, and Alberta has turned into us. The old us.
All I have to say is, boy, will radio host John Gormley have a lot to say when he gets back from his Mediterranean vacation.
And for all you folks who left for Alberta in order to escape the NDP, who will soon be packing up to escape them again, I just have two words to say:
I had long promised a post about the Republican race for President, especially on this day of news as Texas Senator Ted Cruz intends to announce tomorrow he is running for President.
I didn’t think he was eligible to run, though, because he was born in Calgary, Canada. But I guess according to the rules he’s eligible.
To be honest with you, I cannot say I am impressed with the Presidential race in the Republican Party so far. Not a single one of these prospective presidential jokers has a hope against Hillary Clinton as far as I am concerned, especially if the Republican platform ends up being as far removed from the mainstream as I think it will be in 2016.
The biggest issue is not so much with the candidates but with the party’s grassroots, who have moved this party way, way too far to the right of mainstream Americans. Too much of this party is too socially conservative and too anti-immigration and anti-immigrant, and prospective candidates are having to come up with policies to appease these people. It’s too bad.
I guess what I really want to see is the Republicans stick to being pro-business and pro-freedom generally, yet their rank and file seems too concerned with fighting culture wars and limiting freedoms, and other items I have no interest in.
With Cruz, my issue with him is less about what he stands for, and more with his style of politics. The fact is he is far too partisan for his own good. He never seems willing to compromise or make deals or do the kinds of things you need to do to get legislation passed. I could see “President Cruz” as being absolutely impossible for any Congress to deal with — even one led by a GOP Speaker in John Boehner in the House. Expect a new and glorious era of gridlock in Washington if Cruz is elected.
Another person being talked for President has been Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin. But I am really not happy with what happened with his campaign this week when political strategist Liz Mair got in trouble with Iowa Republicans over some Tweet she sent out which insulted the Iowa wing of the party, so she walked the plank.
People have been writing about this and see it as not being a good move by the Walker campaign. In general, they think he should have stood up for his hire. Personally, I think this is another example of why social media is evil, with people rifling through Tweets looking for things to use against people to get them fired. It’s classless behavior, and people ought to put their foot down and stand up to this sort of thing, yet the Walker campaign seems to have caved in to the pressure. What happened this week leaves me shaking my head about the state of politics and life in general in America.
Anyway, this post has turned into yet another big rant session by myself about what I think is going on down there in the Uptight States.
Looks like Likud gets 30 seats in the Knesset.
So much for the polls — all of them, including the exit polls — when it came to estimating the actual support for Benjamin Netanyahu and his party. Hope the pollsters and pundits in our part of the world learned a few lessons from this absolute polling debacle out of Israel.
Well, results are coming in in Israel. In spite of what the recent polls were saying about the governing party being in trouble, it appears the last-minute election pronouncements may have worked in Likud’s favor as prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu is tonight declaring victory.
I don’t know how you can declare a victory when results are showing you are basically tied with the opposition, but Netanyahu must figure he has a far better chance to carve together a coalition government based on the composition of the incoming Knesset.
Just a reminder to myself this is Election Day in Israel and I plan to follow the results live on i24 News. That’s that new 24-hour English language all-news channel from Israel that beams all around the world.
That’s good, because in the old days I tuned in the Hebrew language TV coverage on the Internet and tried, usually in vain, to figure out what the heck was happening in the election. Now I can watch Israel election coverage, direct from Israel, in English, for a change. Much easier. (I guess I could also watch CNN, or Al-Jazeera, but I prefer to tune in the locals.)
There have been some last minute developments in this tight election. Apparently Tzipi Livni has dropped her plans to rotate the PM job with Isaac Herzog, which means Herzog could serve the full four years if their “Zionist Union” coalition is elected. This move is widely seen as an act of political desperation, even though these folks are supposedly leading the polls.
The other big news from the other day is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of the Likud party has declared there will be no Palestinian state. This announcement, too, is also widely seen as an act of political desperation.
In other words, everyone is desperate in this election. See, this is why Israeli campaigns are better than what you see in most countries around the world. Good stuff. Anyway, we’ll see what happens when polls close later today.
The final act of this 2014 U.S. Election year has taken place in Louisiana, where Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu has lost her runoff to Republican Bill Cassidy by a substantial margin. Election results here. That means the GOP now is up to 54 Senators in the U.S. Senate.
Also, I notice former Gov. Edwin Edwards lost his bid for Congress in the 6th District, and I’m surprised he even ran for office at his old age of 87 — especially after being a convicted felon. Surely, that’s a lost cause race if there ever was one, given his record. Anyway, that’s that for the midterm elections, now get ready in 2015 as the U.S. presidential candidates start launching campaigns.
You know, the more I think of it, the more outraged I am with the New Brunswick election results.
If I were a young person living there, or someone who voted in the election there, I would be in total despair about my long-term prospects for the future and making plans to move west.
What else is there to say about an electorate that votes against a plan to develop shale gas? It sure seems like a vote against jobs to me. Meanwhile, the Liberals there are promising to turn on the spending taps, and you know what that will ultimately mean in the end — higher taxes.
Mind you, Saskatchewan people used to have much the same attitude as New Brunswick people towards their own local economy. That is, until people here realized they were sick and tired of seeing their younger family members leaving the province for Alberta because they couldn’t get good jobs at home.
Today, you see a different attitude here, a go-ahead attitude. You see a lot of activity and interest in resource development here. My own complaint, though, is that for all the talk from Saskatchewan people and the government about creating jobs to keep young people here, they still haven’t gone far enough for my liking. They pretty much ran the entire film industry out of the province, for one thing, and while there is an abundance of jobs in the mines and oil fields, there are not enough head offices and good-paying white collar jobs compared to next door in Alberta. That’s a problem, folks, whether the people in charge of things here admit it or not.
Still, at least folks in Saskatchewan are trying to move ahead and talking the talk about it, and walking the walk to some extent. New Brunswick voters, on the flip side, are clearly intent on doing absolutely nothing given these election results.
Give it a few years and maybe residents there will finally see the light, and get fed up with missing out on the prosperity and seeing their younger family members moving on to jobs and permanent lives in western Canada, and they might actually do something that goes beyond simply sitting at home and complaining like they’re doing now.
Down in Estevan, prosperous oil country in Saskatchewan where there should be plenty of opportunities available for expatriate New Brunswickers, columnist Brian Zinchuk had his own ranting to do about the election and the whole issue of fracking, and you can read it here.
I was expecting some sort, or any sort, of finality from the New Brunswick election.
But the tabulation, done under their new electronic vote-counting system, has run into some problems and the count has stalled with the Liberals leading/elected in 25, PC 23 and 1 Green.
It appears that one of the big issues in the NB vote, in addition to the whole “shale” issue, is the “Alberta issue”. As in, the jobs situation is so bad in New Brunswick that the young people are having to move to Alberta to work.
Personally, I don’t see what the problem is — Alberta is a nice place. But if New Brunswick insists on sending people on their way out of the province, it ought to be their election officials who should go because they have made a hash of it. Even the Scots did a better job counting the votes last week.
UPDATE: Apparently the vote count has just resumed and the Liberals have extended their lead.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Now CBC News says it’s a Liberal majority government.
I did not follow the primaries terribly closely Tuesday night, but was able to find a rundown of what happened here.
The big news is that incumbent Republican senator Thad Cochran survived his runoff in Mississippi over his Tea Party opponent, which is remarkable because a lot of people had thought he was doomed. Anyway, this is definitely a setback for the Tea Party insurgents just after the toppling of Eric Cantor in his House primary not long ago.
The other news, I suppose, is that Charles Rangel survived his House primary challenge in New York, with the final results not known until earlier today.
Other than that it sounds like it was a big incumbents’ election night the other night. That’s all the political news for now — back to the soccer on TV for me.
Well, after all that primary excitement Tuesday in Virginia with Eric Cantor losing in the biggest upset in history, I think it will be hard to muster the same enthusiasm for the Ontario provincial election.
In fact, I am not holding out much hope for this vote at all. I expect voter turnout to be terrible and for voter apathy to be through the roof. I wouldn’t be surprised if more people cared about the World Cup starting than about this vote.
Enjoy election night, you political junkies. Polls close at 9 ET.
It continues to be a wacky time for democracy around the world. This time the wackiness is in the USA where House Majority Leader Eric Cantor surprisingly lost his primary to David Brat. Story here. And here.
Nobody, and I mean absolutely nobody, saw this coming. Cantor had badly outspent his primary opponent, yet still lost the election. People are describing this as possibly the biggest political upset of all time in the United States. No House Majority Leader has lost since 1899.
The thinking is that Cantor’s pro-immigration-reform stance did him in with his constituents. This seems a trend right around the world these days. People around the world seem to want to seal their borders all of a sudden. It’s quite a worrisome trend, frankly.
This result is seen as a big win for the Tea Party. I notice, though, that quite a few people are saying the winner actually received no financial help from any of the national Tea Party organizations. I read somewhere that it seems like the word “Tea Party” is being used to describe pretty much anyone running against an establishment Republican, whether they are actually in the Tea Party or not — although I notice the official “Tea Partiers” are claiming victory and now claiming Brat as one of them, now that he has won.
Anyway, the whole GOP House leadership is now in chaos. Cantor had been in line to become Speaker, but after Tuesday’s humiliation he is not even going to be House Majority Leader much longer, because he resigned today. Moreover, this is a big defeat for the moderates in the party who want immigration reform. This is just going to drive the Republicans further in an anti-immigration, anti-amnesty direction and just drive away minorities, especially Hispanics, from supporting the party.
And who caused this mess? Their own supporters, that’s who. The GOP just cannot keep up with these radical hardliners who increasingly make up the party’s base. And these hardliners are driving the party away from the mainstream. It’s the GOP supporters who are running that party into the ground right now. The GOP are a mess!
That is all for now. Tomorrow is the Ontario provincial election which ought to be a barrel of laughs in its own right.
Leave it to me, a City Hall reporter, to be interested in the City Hall election night in New York City of all places, with the mayor’s race between Bill de Blasio and Joe Lhota.
Also, it was Election Day for governor of New Jersey and a guy who baffles many in his own party to no end, Chris Christie, was re-elected easily. Election coverage from NYC is here. I know, already — it was way more exciting last year.
UPDATE: Bill de Blasio has been elected Mayor of NYC. This is really hard to believe given how liberal that city is, but he’s actually the first Democrat to win the Mayor’s race in something like two decades — the first since David Dinkins, in fact. (Rudy Giuliani – GOP, Mike Bloomberg – Independent.)
ANOTHER UPDATE: More live coverage from ABC 7.
Mood is grim among the Republican operatives on TV with Barack Obama leading Florida by something like 40,000 late.
I have to agree — without Florida in the bank the night is over for Romney, we can all go home. It won’t matter at all what happens in Ohio.
Only path to victory now for Romney is to win Florida, Ohio, Virginia and Colorado, and right now he’s trailing in three of them (VA excepted). In other news, New Hampshire is now definitely gone for Romney and Iowa looks like it is also going down the tubes in the CNN exit poll.
In the Senate, the TV stations from Boston all report Elizabeth Warren (D) has beaten incumbent Scott Brown (R) in the Senate race.