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International Events VIII: Been living under a rock so long


TheLastWolf
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4 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

I'm not anxious to eat these newly thriving shrimp from the Pacific Garbage Patch.

Sad thing is it was always going to be the case that some life forms will start ingesting that garbage. And then the cycle of spreading through the foodchain begins.

We will eventually be ingesting our own plastic garbage, I guess that is our deserved karma for mindless consumption in the first place.

Thats allready happening. We have been eating sea animals with microplastics for some time now. I think almost everyone has consumed food with microplastics on it and we have it in our bodies. 

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57 minutes ago, Gorn said:

From what I've read of him, Zemmour appears to be a candidate of those on the far right who consider Le Pen to be too liberal, and apparently there's 10-15% of those voters in the electorate.

Yes, Zemmour somehow manages to make Le Pen look moderate. He openly questions the need for democracy and has a history of condemnations for hate speech.

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9 hours ago, DireWolfSpirit said:

I'm not anxious to eat these newly thriving shrimp from the Pacific Garbage Patch.

Sad thing is it was always going to be the case that some life forms will start ingesting that garbage. And then the cycle of spreading through the foodchain begins.

We will eventually be ingesting our own plastic garbage, I guess that is our deserved karma for mindless consumption in the first place.

One silver lining, at least it won't be floating about in the atmosphere as CO2. One method of carbon sequestration: eat a diet high in plastic. You just have to say you don't want to be cremated in your will. We gotta bury that shit, real deep.

Edited by The Anti-Targ
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15 hours ago, Varysblackfyre321 said:

And he wants to do the ethnic cleansing.

Pretty much, yes.

For anyone interested, one of the the latest polls has 5 candidates above 10%:
- Macron - 23%
- Le Pen - 18%
- Pécresse - 14%
- Zemmour - 14%
- Mélenchon - 11%

Of these numbers, Mélenchon's and Le Pen's are the only ones which I'd kinda trust.
Macron at 23% seems very unlikely: he got 24% in 2017, and I think it's almost impossible he'll do as well this time, since his term has been a succession of blunders and scandals. Incumbents don't get as big an advantage in France as in other countries (Hollande famously didn't even seek a second term in 2017, and Sarkozy lost in 2012).
It's also worth noting that Macron is not officially running for a second term yet.
Pécresse at 14% is way too low. Her party's candidate (Fillon) got 20% in 2017 despite a fresh indictement for embezzlement. Because her program is so close to Macron's, I expect her numbers to rise rather soon. In fact, other polls already give her 17%, and experts think her chances of reaching the second round are excellent. Needless to say, if Macron decided not to run, she would become the de facto favorite.
Zemmour at 14% is too high. While he is popular, many experts have underlined that his popularity will not necessarily translate to votes in the actual election. With his first campaign meeting ending in violence, I think his voters will flock to the safer and more palatable Le Pen option. I would expect Le Pen to end up with a solid 20% (she got 21% in 2017) and Zemmour around 10%.
Mélenchon at 11% seems accurate. That may seem low for the only credible left-wing candidate, but it's actually not that bad. He was under 10% at this point in the last election, and rose to 19% in the end, because left-wing voters progressively switched their vote to their most credible candidate. He will still struggle to reach 20% and the second round though, because the switch always has limits, and there are too many candidates on the left.

At this point in time, my money would still be on a Pécresse - Le Pen duel, with Pécresse easily being elected president.
I can't rule out Macron reaching the second round, but i) that would be mildly surprising and ii) that would be very dangerous, as Macron is hated by many throughout the country (Pécresse is more of an unknown quantity).
Of course, it's way too early to be sure. The way the right-wing vote might split between Macron and Pécresse is as uncertain as the way the far-right vote will split between Le Pen and Zemmour.

The only certainty is that the left has still not recovered from Hollande's betrayal. 70% for the right still seems a bit high however (it got closer to 65% in 2017).
Abstention will be key. In the last few years, the population's anger has turned to outrage. Abstention was rather low in 2017 (around 22%), and given how pissed everyone is, I would expect it to be even lower this time. Except the pandemic has the potential to change everything. Right now there is a vaccine passport in place, and whether polling stations enforce it will have a huge impact. Most of the antivaxxers would be closer to the far-right, which should mechanically bring Le Pen and Zemmour's numbers down. Mélenchon's a bit, to be fair, though not as much.
There is, of course, still a possibility of Mélenchon creating a surprise here. Historically speaking, about half of the country is on the left (though you wouldn't think it with the data above). Hollande got 28% in the first round in 2012. If Mélenchon somehow manages to run a decent campaign, he could reach the second round ; the duel with Le Pen would prove complicated however, because the media has a history of presenting him as far-left (which he actually isn't <_<).

 

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2 hours ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

Paris Mayor (forgot her name, sorry, Hidalgo or something?) not running afterall?

She's somewhere around 5% right now, which is consistent with the previous election in which the "socialist" candidate (Hamon) got 6%.
Except Hamon was rather popular and had the support (among others) of Piketty for his economic program.
By contrast, Hidalgo lacks credibility, especially since she made a few major blunders as mayor of Paris (closing the wrong roads/streets, raising the wrong taxes... etc), where she is despised by the right (and quite a few centrists too).

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Here's some good news for trans, non-binary, intersex and their allies. The New Zealand parliament just voted UNANIMOUSLY (yes that's right liberals, conservatives, libertarians and socialists all of them) to make it easy to change ones birth certificate to the gender one identifies as. Good to see that all of our politicians recognise that an individual's right to self-determination trumps the personal religious, moral or ideological views of the politician. A small step for trans acceptance, but a great day.

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So did anyone see the story about Finland's prime minister?  She got a text advising her to isolate because she came in close contact with a covid case (her foreign minister), but she didn't see it until the next morning because she was out clubbing until 4 am. 

While reading this story - and also finding out the prime minister, Sanna Marin, is six months younger than me - I couldn't help thinking Finland would be a really cool place to live if it wasn't so cold.

Edited by DMC
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Investigative reporting, the real thing, in action. 

This is quite a story; a long read.  The outline has long been known to people who pay attention to Haiti, but we didn't have it in this specific detail.

"Haiti’s Leader Kept a List of Drug Traffickers. His Assassins Came for It.
In the months before his murder, President Jovenel Moïse took a number of steps to fight drug and arms smugglers. Some officials now fear he was killed for it."

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/12/world/americas/jovenel-moise-haiti-president-drug-traffickers.html
 

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On 12/7/2021 at 7:47 PM, Rippounet said:

She's somewhere around 5% right now, which is consistent with the previous election in which the "socialist" candidate (Hamon) got 6%.
Except Hamon was rather popular and had the support (among others) of Piketty for his economic program.
By contrast, Hidalgo lacks credibility, especially since she made a few major blunders as mayor of Paris (closing the wrong roads/streets, raising the wrong taxes... etc), where she is despised by the right (and quite a few centrists too).

So is the French left doing a primary, or will they just give up on all hopes to have candidate in the second round?

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9 minutes ago, A Horse Named Stranger said:

So is the French left doing a primary, or will they just give up on all hopes to have candidate in the second round?

At this point: option b. The only candidates interested in a primary are those at 5% or below. And then, not even all of them!

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There are personal egoes involved, but the French left was never unified to begin with.

The fundamental problem is that Hollande embracing neo-liberalism during his term devastated the "Socialist" Party (despite being highly critical of the financial sector, among other things, during his campaign), which was seen as the "government" party on the left. So now the "left" is a collection of parties with very different traditions and goals. There is very little to unify the Communists and the Greens for instance. It doesn't help that many politicians on the left see this as an opportunity to boost their own profile, which means there are way too many candidates.

1 minute ago, DMC said:

Sounds like a primary to me!

Yeah, these morons are basically trying to use the first round of the presidential election as a primary.

On the plus side though: not all of them will end up actually being candidate.
I totally forgot to mention that i) to be a presidential candidate, one needs the support (i.e. signatures) of at least 500 elected officials (like mayors or regional officials) and ii) a presidential candidate gets most of their campaign expenses reimbursed if they reach at least 5% of the votes (47,5% of maximum campaign expenses allowed, i.e. 8 million euros).
There are a few additional rules involved. Anyway, what this all means is that one can expect at least some of these "candidates" to give up before the election. At this point, several of them are in fact trying to convince officials to support them and hoping to reach at least 5% in the polls. Many will succeed, especially those who can rely on a party apparatus ; many will also fail.
Not that this is that helpful: the Socialist, Green, and LFI candidates will no doubt remain, which is enough to disastrously split the left-wing vote.

Edited by Rippounet
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25 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

It doesn't help that many politicians on the left see this as an opportunity to boost their own profile, which means there are way too many candidates.

Sounds like a primary to me!

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47 minutes ago, Rippounet said:

Not that this is that helpful: the Socialist, Green, and LFI candidates will no doubt remain, which is enough to disastrously split the left-wing vote.

Yeah seems to me this is the fundamental problem - both Melenchon and Jadot are opposed to a primary, and according to this, between the two parties that'd already be 16%, or tied for third.

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