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23 minutes ago, Rick said:

My understanding is that there are several political parties in Germany that one can vote for in the, for want of a better term, final national election. Do these same parties have elections for their candidates prior to the national elections similar to the U.S. primary elections in the Democrat and Republican parties?

The kind of US primary elections is more or less unique in the world.

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Yeah, certainly in the way they're being organized by public bodies. The idea as such is making inroads lately, for the same reasons it emerged in the US: taking the choice of candidates away from the backroom dealers and power brokers and giving it to the party base. Under the specific German conditions, it usually occurs as a national mail-in or online closed referendum.

As so often, parties on the left were first to adapt American patterns in politics; the Social Democrats selected their national chairman in a non-binding referendum (by law, a party leader has to be voted for by a convention of delegates which are nominally free in their choice) in 1993, and again in 2019 - though the latter was rather born out of exasperation after the incumbent suddenly resigned over internal strife and noone had a good idea who should succeed her. The Conservatives did it in 2021 when the party was trying to find its way after two decades of Merkel leadership.

The Greens did this for their top candidates ahead of national elections in 2013 and 2017, but not in 2021 when they had an actual shot at the chancellorship for the first time - their two co-leaders made the choice between themselves in the backroomiest of all backroom deals, deciding for current foreign minister Anna-Lena Baerbock; probably because she satisfied the Green demand to always go with a woman if in doubt, and because she had the better power network. The thing is, her male counterpart Robert Habeck was and remains more popular at the base, and would probably have won a "primary" - as well as possibly the general election, which Baerbock promptly messed up with various bloopers despite leading the field at times.

Cynically speaking, the base seems to be only ever asked if it doesn't matter anyway, or the party brass has no clue where they should go. As soon as there's a real chance to come out top in the actual elections, even the Greens who talk a lot about grassroots democracy seem to consider the decision too important to entrust it to the grass leaves. Per their recent experience, maybe they should.

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Poland: Morawiecki loses crucial confidence vote

18 minutes ago

Acting Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki lost a pivotal confidence vote in Poland's parliament. The vote signals a major political shift, ending conservative rule and paving the way for the return of Donald Tusk.

Poland's new parliament voted on Monday to reject the proposed conservative government of acting Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, a widely expected outcome that paves the way for the rival pro-EU alliance to form the next government.

Only 190 deputies voted in favor of the Morawiecki government, while 266 voted against it and there were no abstentions.

Morawiecki's Law and Justice (PiS) party lost its majority but retained its status as the largest single party in October's elections.

Morawiecki's failure opens the door for former Polish Prime Minister and former European Council President Donald Tusk.

Tusk led a broad pro-EU opposition coalition in a bid to unseat PiS after two terms in power. 

Why was Morawiecki nominated if PiS lost its majority? 

The decision on who to nominate for the first shot at forming a government after an election rests with Poland's president, Andrzej Duda, previously a PiS ally. 

Duda nominated Morawiecki and PiS, despite them not commanding a majority, saying it was customary to give this chance to the largest party.

Morawiecki's caretaker government was technically sworn in, but under Polish rules it had to win a vote of confidence within two weeks to cement its position.

And what happens next?

Since Morawiecki's government failed, parliament is then supposed to put forward a candidate for a vote instead. 

This will most likely be Tusk, whose chances of winning the vote seem considerably better, and who has said he believes it's only a matter of time until he emerges as the next prime minster. 

The alliance of pro-EU parties signed an agreement last month, paving the way for a coalition government.



I thought giving the strongest party the first shot even if there was little chance for them to get a majority was legit, despite the suggestions that Duda was just setting his rival Morawiecki up to fail, and of course making time to get more PiS people into official positions, etc. What really made me laugh is them going "look, we took over some opposition planks for our government program, and we have the first-ever majority female cabinet, the voters don't want discord, so we shouldn't dwell on the past, let's look into the future!" This after prosecuting Lech Walesa for allegedly having been an informer for the communists, accusing everyone in the opposition of being a German agent, demanding reparations from Germany, I cud go on nad on. 😄

Edited by BansheeOne
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Dutch official says Geert Wilders and 3 other party leaders should discuss forming a new coalition


Updated 6:15 PM MEZ, December 11, 2023

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The far-right party led by Dutch election winner Geert Wilders should open negotiations with three other parties on forming a new government, the official appointed to investigate possible coalitions said Monday.

Ronald Plasterk, who acted as the “scout” in two weeks of preliminary talks, said it was “too early” to say how long it might take to form a new government amid significant policy differences between some of the parties.

Wilders’ Party for Freedom won 37 seats in the 150-seat lower house of the Dutch parliament in the Nov. 22 election, making it the biggest party and putting the veteran anti-Islam lawmaker in pole position to form the next ruling coalition.

Plasterk said that Wilders should hold coalition talks with New Social Contract, a reformist party formed over the summer that won 20 seats, the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, or VVD, which was led by outgoing Prime Minister Mark Rutte, and the Farmer Citizen Movement, or BBB.

Together, the four parties have 88 seats — a comfortable majority in the lower house. However, the four parties don’t have a majority in the Dutch senate.

Coalition talks will be tricky as the parties have significant ideological differences to bridge if they are to form the next Cabinet. Wilders is likely to have to convince potential partners that he will shelve some of his controversial policies — including his call for a ban on mosques, Islamic schools and the Quran — which breach the freedom of religion that is enshrined in the Dutch Constitution.

Plasterk’s report acknowledged the issue and said that the first stage of the coalition talks should be to investigate if the leaders can agree “on a common baseline for guaranteeing the constitution, fundamental rights and the democratic rule of law.”

The aim of the initial round of negotiations that should be completed by the end of January is to “establish if there is a basis for a next round (of talks) about a form of political cooperation that would form the foundation of a stable Cabinet,” Plasterk said in his report.

That could be a minority administration without the VVD. The party’s new leader, Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, said shortly after the election that she wouldn’t join a coalition led by Wilders, but would be prepared to support it from parliament.

Plasterk said that if the leaders can agree on the constitutional issues, then they should move on to discuss whether there is “a real perspective” for cooperation on key election issues, including migration, good governance, foreign policy, climate, pollution and agriculture.

Plasterk held several days of talks with political leaders before writing his report. The recently installed lower house of parliament will debate his findings on Wednesday and will then likely appoint an “informer” to lead the coalition talks over the next two months and report back to parliament by early February.

Coalition talks after the last Dutch general election were the longest ever in the Netherlands at nearly nine months.


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TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Based on the Central Election Commission reporting vote totals from over 90% of polling stations as of 7:45 p.m Taipei time, Lai Ching-te (賴清德) of the Democratic Progressive Party is set to win the election as the next president of Taiwan.

In the national election held on Saturday (Jan. 13), Lai received over 5 million votes, winning over 40% of the vote share, and performing five points higher than expected based on polling in late 2023.

Previously undecided voters split three ways among the candidates, giving Lai a seven-point lead over Kuomintang candidate Hou Yu-ih (侯友宜), who received 33% of the total votes. In third place, the Taiwan People's Party candidate Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) took 26% of the national vote, performing marginally better than expected.



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A Chinese mainland spokesperson on Saturday commented on the outcomes of Taiwan leadership and legislature elections.

Chen Binhua, a spokesperson for the State Council Taiwan Affairs Office, said the results reveal that the Democratic Progressive Party cannot represent the mainstream public opinion on the island.

Noting that Taiwan is China's Taiwan, Chen said that the elections will not change the basic landscape and development trend of cross-Strait relations, will not alter the shared aspiration of compatriots across the Taiwan Strait to forge closer ties, and will not impede the inevitable trend of China's reunification.

"Our stance on resolving the Taiwan question and realizing national reunification remains consistent, and our determination is as firm as rock," Chen said.

"We will adhere to the 1992 Consensus that embodies the one-China principle and firmly oppose the separatist activities aimed at 'Taiwan independence' as well as foreign interference," Chen said.

He said the mainland will work with relevant political parties, groups and people from various sectors in Taiwan to boost cross-Strait exchanges and cooperation, enhance cross-Strait integrated development, jointly promote Chinese culture, and advance the peaceful development of cross-Strait relations as well as the cause of national reunification.


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WASHINGTON--Former Prime Minister Taro Aso said a military conflict in the Taiwan Strait would lead Japan to exercise its right of collective self-defense including taking steps to protect the lives of Japanese nationals. 

“There is an extremely strong possibility that the government will conclude Japan’s very existence is at stake (if a military conflict broke out in the Taiwan Strait),” he told reporters here on Jan. 10.

The comment from Aso, currently the vice president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, followed a speech he gave at an event sponsored by the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress, a think tank. 

A situation in which Japan’s existence is in peril after a close ally, such as the United States, comes under attack is one condition for the government to move to use military force and exercise the right to collective self-defense.

In his earlier speech, Aso added there was a need to heighten international deterrence to prevent China from invading Taiwan.

Aso pointed out to reporters that if a military conflict arose in the Taiwan Strait, Maritime Self-Defense Force ships would have to be sent to Taiwan to evacuate Japanese nationals.

“China must understand what steps Japan might take (if fighting breaks out over Taiwan),” Aso said.

While Aso said in his speech that greater international deterrence was needed to prevent a Chinese invasion, he also expressed hope for peaceful dialogue between Beijing and Taipei.



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China strongly opposes the visit of high-ranking officials from the Japan Self-Defense Forces to the war-linked Yasukuni Shrine, the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Japan has said, sternly urging Japan to completely sever ties with militarism.

According to information released on Saturday by the Chinese Embassy in Japan, its spokesperson said: "High-ranking officials of the Japan Self-Defense Forces visited Yasukuni Shrine, which enshrines many Class-A war criminals from World War II. This openly defiles historical justice and gravely insults of the people of the victimized countries involved. We firmly oppose this and sternly urge Japan to face up to and deeply reflect on its imperialist history, completely sever ties with militarism, and gain the trust of neighboring Asian countries and the international community through practical actions."

Hiroki Kobayashi, vice-chief of staff of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Force, visited Yasukuni Shrine on Tuesday with dozens of senior GSDF members. Japan's Ministry of Defense is investigating whether the visit went against a vice-minister directive that bans group visits by SDF members to religious facilities, as reported by Jiji Press, a Japanese news agency.

In addition, Taro Aso, former Japanese prime minister and vice-president of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party, said in a speech at a Washington think tank meeting on Wednesday that a military unification of Taiwan will only disrupt the international order and this will not be tolerated.

In response to Aso's remarks, the spokesperson for the Chinese Embassy in Japan said on Friday that the resolution of the Taiwan question is entirely a matter for the Chinese people themselves and does not require acceptance by anyone else, nor does it tolerate interference from any external forces.

"The priciple of 'peaceful reunification, one country, two systems' is the best way to achieve cross-Strait reunification. We insist on striving for the prospect of peaceful reunification with the greatest sincerity and efforts," the spokesperson said.

"At the same time, in response to external interference and the activities of a very small number of 'Taiwan independence' separatists and their separatist activities, we will never promise to give up the use of force and reserve the option to take all necessary measures," he added.


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The real results will only be known by 2025, when Trump is president and allows to re-count correctly.

One of the logical consequences must be that the limitation to 2 terms needs to be removed and Trump can be elected for a third or fourth term.

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7 hours ago, seahawk said:

The real results will only be known by 2025, when Trump is president and allows to re-count correctly.

One of the logical consequences must be that the limitation to 2 terms needs to be removed and Trump can be elected for a third or fourth term.

And 148869th term as an Emperor of Mankind too.

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Geert Wilders’ hopes of becoming Dutch PM dim after centrist party quits talks

NSC’s Pieter Omtzigt said to be shocked by public finances as he abandons talks to form coalition under far-right leader

Jon Henley Europe correspondent

Tue 6 Feb 2024 16.32 EST

Geert Wilders’ chances of forming a majority government in the Netherlands have been dealt a heavy blow after one of the far-right leader’s three potential partners abruptly withdrew from coalition talks citing concerns over public finances.

Wilders, whose Freedom party (PVV) shocked Europe by finishing first in elections last November, said on X he was “unbelievably disappointed” by the decision of New Social Contract (NSC) to declare it was “finished” with the current round of talks.

The centrist party’s leader, Pieter Omtzigt, did not rule out lending parliamentary support to a minority government, but appeared to have excluded any possibility of formally joining the putative right-wing coalition, the public broadcaster NOS said.

Geert Wilders’ chances of forming a majority government in the Netherlands have been dealt a heavy blow after one of the far-right leader’s three potential partners abruptly withdrew from coalition talks citing concerns over public finances.

Wilders, whose Freedom party (PVV) shocked Europe by finishing first in elections last November, said on X he was “unbelievably disappointed” by the decision of New Social Contract (NSC) to declare it was “finished” with the current round of talks.

The centrist party’s leader, Pieter Omtzigt, did not rule out lending parliamentary support to a minority government, but appeared to have excluded any possibility of formally joining the putative right-wing coalition, the public broadcaster NOS said.

Ronald Plasterk, the former minister who is acting as an intermediary in the talks, had already flagged finances as a key stumbling block after economic experts warned that the new coalition would need to find €17bn (£14.5bn) in structural spending cuts.

Wilders’ PVV won a shock 37 seats in the election but fell far short of a the 76 seats needed for a majority. His preferred coalition was with the NSC, which won 20 seats, the BBB agrarian party (seven seats), and the centre-right VVD party (24 seats).


Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius, who succeeded the outgoing prime minister, Mark Rutte, as leader of the VVD, said she was “very surprised” by Omtzigt’s decision, adding that she hoped the four parties could “sit down together soon to hear what exactly is going on here”.

Caroline van der Plas of the populist BBB called the NSC leader’s withdrawal “baffling”.

If no combination of parties can agree to form a coalition, new elections are an option – although polls suggest support for the PVV has surged since November.


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On 11/7/2023 at 2:34 PM, lucklucky said:

Portuguese Socialist Prime Minister  António Costa falls on criminal corruption charges.

Edit: Corruption charges linked to Lithium and Hydrogen deals.

A majority government that has been very turbulent and decadent - even in socialist own turfs like the National Health System with lot of people having to get private health insurance to get medical support on time -  i don't see how it can survive, but it is not out of question with our feckless "socialite" 74 years old President.

Edit2: seems the President will not have much chances than dissolve the parliament and set new elections for January.  No one until now defended other solution and he follows the wind 99% of the time.


After the long silly interregnum without a Government, elections today - so not not January as i expected but March! - first projection appear to show a rout in the left.

Socialists - Left. Former majority government. The party that think it owns the regime   - 29% from 41% in 2022

Social Democrats - centre - mentally weak they end up always managing socialism -   33% from 27% in 2022

Chega - right - called by the left and media extreme right - 18%  from 7% in 2022 , the party with biggest growth.

Liberal(Libertarian) Initiative - pro business centrist with libertarian bent - 7% from 4.9% in 2022

BE Left Bloc- modern extreme left - the party that have been controlling agenda due to its influence in media and academia - should maintain around 5%



Edited by lucklucky
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Portugal's conservatives win election as far-right surges

By Sergio Goncalves, Catarina Demony and David Latona

March 11, 2024 4:23 AM GMT+1 Updated 6 hours ago

LISBON, March 11 (Reuters) - Portugal's centre-right Democratic Alliance (AD) won Sunday's general election, its leader Luis Montenegro said, though it was unclear if he could govern without the support from far-right Chega, with whom he again refused to negotiate.

Chega's parliamentary representation more than quadrupled to at least 48 lawmakers in the 230-seat legislature, giving the combined right a majority.

The result underscores a political tilt to the far right across Europe. Portugal, which only returned to democracy after the fall of a fascist dictatorship 50 years ago, had long been considered immune to the rise of right-wing populism across the continent, which is expected to result in gains for far-right parties in European elections in June.

Earlier, Montenegro's main rival, Pedro Nuno Santos, conceded defeat after his left-leaning Socialist Party (PS), in power since 2015, came in second by a razor-thin margin. He ruled out supporting the AD's platform which includes across-the-board tax cuts.

"The AD won the election," Montenegro told a crowd of ecstatic supporters in the early hours on Monday, adding that it was crucial for parties in the new parliament to act responsibly and "comply with the wish of the Portuguese people".

President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa still has to formally invite the AD leader to form a government, which Montenegro said he expected to happen.

While reiterating his election promise not to rely on the right-wing populists for support to govern, he expressed hope the PS and Chega "do not form a negative alliance to prevent the government that the Portuguese wanted".

The AD and its conservative allies in the insular Madeira region won a total of at least 79 seats, ahead of the PS's 77.

Four seats were yet to be attributed after the final count of ballots from abroad.



This seems to be a somewhat earlier count:


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No, your post is the correct count, but there is still 4 chairs from emigration to fill , My post above were projections(estimates)

Of note.

The Social Democrats even in this big failure of Socialist party can only basically tie with them at 29%. Their leader said before elections will not negotiate with Chega trying to force a vote in his party only and failed spectacularly.

Chega right  (far right for MSM)  almost triples their percentage and gets more than 1.1 millions votes at 18%. The 2 historical parties above get about 1.8 million for comparison. 

The various splinter leftist parties get same cumulative result generally, but the less immoderate Livre gets 4 chairs in  Parliament from 1 and the historic Leninist communists continue their slow move towards "ash heap of history" losing  another 2 chairs from 6 . For first time they don't get any chair from the poorest region Alentejo. A region they dominated 20-30 years ago.

Libertarians with a lacklustre leader basically stagnated too.

Many predict new elections in 6-12 months. Socialist already said they want nothing with Social Democrats.They will not vote yes to a censure vote but they will vote no to the budget so if Chega also votes no to the budget the Social Democrat minority Government will certainly fall.

The elections had one of the least abstention levels of last 30 years. 

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That chart is from Wiki and was updated since I posted it; then it showed only 77 seats for AD, 74 for PS and 46 for Chega, less than noted in the Reuters blurb. ISTR it was uploaded in the small hours of the night and there were still some white circles in the Lisbon area, now filled in.

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Side note the "far right" party is the only one that has black parliament members. 2.

This is some sort of tradition,  the historical now basically inexistant conservative-social -democratic-party that aligned itself with Catholicism had for more than a decade as a parliament leader an Hindu.


Edited by lucklucky
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Posted (edited)

Far-right firebrand Geert Wilders to forgo Dutch PM job

1 hour ago

Months after surprisingly coming out on top in the Netherlands' election, far-right leader Geert Wilders has said he does not have the political support to become the next prime minister.

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders said Wednesday he would not be the Netherlands' next prime minister.

Wilders' Party for Freedom won the most votes in national elections last year, but he failed to persuade potential coalition support to get the top job. 

"I can only become Prime Minister if all parties in the coalition support it. That was not the case," Wilders wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Right-wing coalition on the cards

Wilders, known for his radical anti-immigration, Islamophobic politics and staunch Euroskepticism, was in talks with the center-right People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, populist Farmer Citizen Movement, and centrist New Social Contract to attempt to form a right-wing coalition.

"I really wanted a right-wing Cabinet. Less asylum and immigration. Dutch people number 1," Wilders wrote on X. "The love for my country and voters is bigger and more important than my own position."

Dutch national broadcaster NOS had earlier reported they were considering a scenario in which the party leaders would remain in parliament and not join the new government.

"My expectation is that these parties will take the next step in the Cabinet formation," the man overseeing the negotiations, Kim Putters, said on Tuesday. He was due to report to Dutch lawmakers on Thursday.

That sets up the likelihood of a technical Cabinet where politicians and experts not considered closely allied to any of the parties would be appointed to top government posts and work closely with parliament.

Although Wilders will not lead the government, he and his Party for Freedom will remain a significant force behind the administration.


Or more likely, new elections in a couple months I guess.

Edited by BansheeOne
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On 3/11/2024 at 9:48 AM, BansheeOne said:

In another shining example of mainstream media incompetency or worse Financial Times wrote before elections that Portuguese youngsters were going to emigration due to Extreme Right rise. An absurd argument that not even the extreme left makes here.

The Emigration vote results came and gave the win to Chega"extreme right"with 2 chairs, Socialists 1 chair, Social Democrats 1 chair. Last  election was Socialists 3 Social Democrats 1

Of the 3 parties with more votes from youngsters that remained in Portugal,  Right party Chega is in front.

Edited by lucklucky
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