Chavez Defeats the Recall

Not surprsingly, President Hugo Chavez won the recall election in Venezuela. Not surprisingly, the losers are claiming fraud (check out Al Giordino for more on this one). The OAS has yet to file its report as an election monitor, so this story may not be over yet. Still, don't expect Chavez to be removed form power anytime soon.

Chavez Looking Strong in Venezuela

The recall election against Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is on August 15th. I can't claim to know a whole lot about the internal politics of the country, but I do know I strongly dislike it when the U.S. government instantly recognizes a military coup against an elected official while claiming to be a great exporter of Democracy (how embarrassing it must have been for the administration when it turned out Chavez had managed to hang on). U.S. recognition of a coup is especially suspicious when it happens in an oil rich country and the elected official is, at least ostensibly, a leftie. Thus, I am glad that Chavez looks like he will survive the recall attempt:
Poll taken on July 4th
No on recall	57
Yes on recall	41
A victory for Chavez is a defeat for Bush.

Canada Wins

The final election tally from Canada is:

Lib: 135 (37%)
Con: 96 (30%)
BQ: 54 (13%)
NDP: 22 (16%)
GP: 0 (4%)

Previously, liberals had 168 seats, the conservatives 73, the New Democrats 14 and the Bloc Quebecois 33. So, as predicted, the Liberal/NDP will likely become the next government, with 157 seats, just 2 seats above the amount needed for a clear majority. This is good news on multiple levels.

First, it is a clear rejection of the conservative agenda in Canada. The marker by which to judge CRAP/PC alliance is what they would have garnered in the previous election, had they not been separated.  That would have been 115 seats. So that, even though CRAP/PC combined for more seats than their combined total fom the previous election, the current 96 falls below the 115 total that CRAP/PC would have garnered in in the previous election. The conservatives got beat in Canada. A rejection of their devisive social politics opposing abortion and legalized gay marriage, a rejection of Harper's support of the US invasion of Iraq, and a rejection of Harper's corporate-minded economic agenda.

Second, Canada just took one giant step to the left. The Green Party won zero seats, but gained 4% of the national vote, up from .08% in the previous election. Not only does the Green party qualify for national funding in the next election, they will gain a seat in the debates. The radical progressive agenda in Canada is alive and well.  

Third, the Liberal Party must now be reformed, and not through ceding to the right, but to the left of the political spectrum. The Liberal Party will have their choice from which to work with, the NDP being the obvious choice. Canada will move even further away from Bush, and even further away from backing the global positions of the Republican Party of the US.

Fourth, first on the reform agenda will be proportional representation, which will allow the 56% that voted Liberal/NDP/Green their representational majority in the next election.

And fifth, the polls were wrong, overcounting the conservatives, and undercounting the liberals.

In short, a terrific beginning in 2004 for North America for progressive politics. Canada will not increase their military budget or reduce social spending. National healthcare and progressive taxation of corporations will proceed. Now roll the momentum on down south of the border.

Canadian Election Results Thread

Follow the results here, starting at 7pm EST. For background, read Jerome's recent post about it here. Expect either Jerome or I to present updates in this space (probably Jerome). Personally, I am going to go try and finally see Fahrenheit 911. It's only playing at four theaters in the entire Philadelphia area (5M+ people), and has consistently been sold out everywhere.

Update (Chris): The Liberals survive, but they will need the NDP--a little piece of Europe right here in North America. The future is uncertain. If only minority governments in America were viewed in the same manner. Sorry I did not post more--I could not possibly begin to explain why tonight was so difficult for me.

Monday is Election Day in Canada

    Latest poll: June 25 (June 22)

  • Liberals: 32 (34)
  • Conservatives: 31 (28)
  • NDP: 17 (16)
  • Bloc Quebecois: 12 (12)
  • Greens: 6 (6)

On Monday, national elections will be held in Canada, the latest Ipsos-Reid poll shows the conservatives with the momentum (see graph). However, I fail to see how making the liberal party a minority ruling party would be a bad thing, especially given if they were made to form a coalition with the NDP and/or the Green Party. Giving Labor and the Environmentalists a stronger seat at the table would be a terrific thing for Canada, as it would move them to an even more progressive and anti-Bush agenda.

The poll from June 22nd showed the Liberal/NDP/Green bloc with 56% of the vote, and this latest poll, from June 25th, shows the Liberal/NDP/Green bloc with 55% of the vote. SES Canada Research polling conducted over the same period found slightly different results, with an even stronger 58% majority:

  • Liberals: 34
  • Conservatives: 30
  • NDP: 20
  • Bloc Quebecois: 12
  • Greens: 4
Either way, it's a strong majority for the center-left parties; it's just a matter of whether that majority amounts to the same majority of seats, because the national vote total means little, and the seats won mean everything else.

Based on their polling, Ipso-Reid predicts the following seat projection:

  • Conservatives: 115 - 119 seats
  • Liberals: 99 - 103 seats
  • Bloc Quebecois: 64 - 68
  • NDP: 22 - 26

    (For a full explantion of their seat model, see Turning Votes Into Seats)

These projections don't include the Green Party winning any seats, however, neither did the polls project the NDP winning any seats in 1994, when they broke through to win 9 seats. The GP would most likely, if they are able, to gain a few seats in BC. At the least, the GP is set to get the two per cent of the vote nationally it needs to qualify for federal financing, and be included in the next election's debates.

For this election, I predict the new government will be a Liberal-led minority government supported by the NDP.

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