Saturday, January 26, 2008

Perennial election season

Some regulars might have noticed my passion for matters electoral, and campaigns of course. I thought it might be time for a general round-up.

Election: Italy

Romano Prodi displaced Silvio Berlusconi as Italian Prime Minister back in 2006. It was a shaky centre left coalition, with the promise of delivering a model for stable and effective government for te country.

Under Berlusconi the country was dogged by corruption allegations, not to mention self serving government. That Prodi lasted 20 months is a minor miracle, but his government was bought down with the resignation of the Justice Minister.

Clemente Mastella and his small family-run centrist Udeur party pulled out of the coalition so Mastella could concentrate on corruption allegations against him.

Calling early elections or asking a politician to try to form another government are among President Giorgio Napolitano's options as head of state. Napolitano will now start consulting with political leaders to help him decide.

Elections: Pakistan

Pakistan's cricket hero-turned-politician Imran Khan has called on the United States to pressure President Pervez Musharraf to reinstate sacked top judges or face the prospect of Kenya-type post-election violence.

Khan, speaking in Washington, said that if Musharraf, a key US "war on terror" ally, rigged February 18 parliamentary elections as speculated, "it is, in fact, going to exacerbate everything".

"The chances are that we would have a Kenya-type situation, where people are not going to accept their election results" and "the country will sink into a deeper crisis," warned Khan, leader of the marginal Tehrik-e-Insaaf (Movement for Justice) party, which is boycotting the polls. SMH

I recently commented on the need for International observers for US elections, so here is the reverse, US intervention in Pakistani elections:
Eight US senators ask for UN probe into Benazir’s murder Daily Times
US senators urge steps for genuine democracy Pakistan Dawn
Senator Casey Urges Bush to Restore Stability in Pakistan All American Patriots
US Senators press for restoration of deposed judges The Nation, Pakistan
Sherry urges US to use its influence to ensure free and fair elections
Daily Times, Pakistan

Election: Zimbabwe

Meanwhile the world is mute on Zimbabwe elections, which sounds like an oxmoron anyway. Robert Mugabe has announced that presidential, general and local elections will be held on Saturday, March 29, following the dissolution of parliament on March 28, drawing fierce criticism from the opposition.

Election not: Britain

Old Blighty isn’t sure when their general elections will be held. Seems the governing Labour Party needs to sort out a few corruption inquiries first. It is likely British Prime Minister Gordon Brown will put off an election until at least 2009.

Meanwhile Musharraf arrives in Britain on pre-election European tour, a great example of democracy in practice.

Election not quite yet: Canada

Prime Minister Stephen Harper zeroed in on the economy in an election-style speech suggesting the potential of taking his minority Conservative government to an early election. It is a matter of watch this space, I’m a sucker for Canadian elections.


enigma4ever said...

wow....that was great , you have us all updated...and nothing is stable, or perdictable right now...the world needs balance again....somehow...

TomCat said...

Corruption seems to follow politics everywhere. I wonder if Bush will send an army of Diebold workers to Pakistan to make sure his dog stays in power.

Cartledge said...

Thanks enigma, they are a worry. Mind you, Canada seems to float above it all somehow. I'm not sure how Harper's lot have survived this long.

tom, it's sad to know that Pakistan will be even more corrupt than the NH primary. I'm sure the right technology will be imported if needed, but they are pretty competent in that department.

TomCat said...

Cartledge, as it turns out the NH primary was clean. The recount was abandoned at 40%, because the machine count and hand count matched.

Cartledge said...

Tom, it is not the count, per se, that concerns me, but the chain of custody and tampered ballot boxes. have a fairly compelling photo essay on that.