Archive for category Elections
Azizah’s solid and impressive win in Permatang Pauh by-election paves the way for her to be re-elected as Parliamentary Opposition Leader
Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s solid and impressive win in the Permatang Pauh by-election paves the way for her to be re-elected as Parliamentary Opposition Leader.
UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders had belaboured under the mirage that the Permatang Pauh by-election was a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to wrest back the seat which for the past 17 years had been the command-and-communications centre for political change and the concept of Ketuanan Rakyat.
Despite UMNO Vice President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s promise of “shock and awe” at the beginning of the by-election, the UMNO/Barisan Nasional campaign, which was one of the dirtiest and dishonest in Malaysian election history exploiting and abusing the social media with lies and falsehoods, fizzled out and did not even materially improve on UMNO/BN’s share of the total votes cast.
UMNO/BN had the Election Commission to be grateful and thank, for if the polling had been held on a weekend, allowing more voters from outstation to return to vote, and the voter turnout had reached 80% and not just 74% recorded yesterday, Azizah would have no problem securing a bigger majority than the 11,721-vote majority won by Anwar Ibrahim in the 2013 general election (when voter turnout was as high as 88.2%). Read the rest of this entry »
2 May 2015
The United Kingdom election will be held in five days on Thursday. The current UK Polling Report (UKPR) poll average has the Tories on 34%, Labour on 33%, the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) on 9%, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) on 14% and the Greens on 5%; this represents a 1% gain for the Tories since last week.
Based on uniform swings in England and Wales, and a separate uniform swing for Scotland, UKPR has Labour winning 290 of 650 seats, to 263 for the Tories, 19 for the Lib Dems, 60 for the Scottish National Party (SNP) and a few Others, and 18 for Northern Ireland parties. My adjustment to this is to take 20 seats off Labour and give them to the Tories owing to sophomore surges; this method gives the Tories 283 seats to Labour’s 270. If this is the result, the Tories would be the largest party by 13 seats, but Labour would form some sort of government with SNP support.
There are some signs that Labour has regained ground in the last few days. Four of the last five polls have given Labour a 1-2 point lead, and the fifth was tied. As a result, the May 2015 poll average now has a dead heat between the major parties, after showing a slender Tory lead. A caveat is that the most recent polls are Internet based panel polls, and phone polls have been better for the Tories.
The last three Scottish polls all give the SNP over 50% of the Scotland vote, with Labour in the low to mid 20’s. As a result, there has been some speculation that the SNP could win all 59 of Scotland’s seats. The latest forecasts have the SNP winning between 49 and 56 seats. Read the rest of this entry »
Two speeches by UMNO Ministers in Permatang Pauh yesterday highlighted the urgent need for UMNO to get a real education in democracy by being sent to Opposition benches with the end of its national monopoly of power since Merdeka in 1957 and Malaysia in 1963
Two speeches by UMNO Ministers in the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign yesterday highlighted the urgent need for UMNO to get a real education in democracy by being sent to Opposition benches with the end of its national monopoly of power since Merdeka in 1957 and formation of Malaysia in 1963.
The first was the haughty, arrogant and insufferable statement by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who said that applications for agricultural funds and projects in Permatang Pauh will not be approved if Pakatan Rakyat wins the by-election again.
Speaking at the Kuala Mengkuang polling district, Ismail said:
“This is an agricultural area. I will surely approve if it is Suhaimi Sabudin (BN candidate) who is making the applications.
“If it is (PKR’s president and candidate Datuk Seri Dr) Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail), she will not even get past my office lobby.
“There is no reason for me to see her. She is from the opposition.”
Ismail, of the “call to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses” notoriety, who not only highlighted the ingrained racist thinking of certain UMNO Ministers but also the double standards in the “administration of justice” by the Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers, clearly had no notion that his Ministerial responsibility is to 30 million Malaysians regardless of race, religion, territory or political affiliation; that he is not paid by UMNO funds but by public funds by all taxpayers and his duty is to be a Minister for all Malaysians, and not just to UMNO (which, eventually, ends up in only UMNO cronies)!
In a truly democratic administration, a Minister who make such petty-minded, anti-people and undemocratic sentiments would be immediately hauled up by the Prime Minister and made to retract his statement, even facing the risk of being sacked from the Cabinet, with or without such a retraction. Read the rest of this entry »
The focus of 14GE will be on eight states, led by Johor, as to whether state power and government could change hands
The focus of the 14GE will not only be on Putrajaya, as to whether Federal power could change hands, but also on eight states led by Johor, as to whether state power and government could change hands.
These are Johor, Kelantan, Pahang, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kedah, and Perak.
The UMNO/Barisan Nasional Federal Government is a minority government, securing the support of only 47% of the national electorate.
Based on the 13GE results, there are eight states where the political party/coalition forming the State Government has secured 55% or less of the total state votes cast and are vulnerable to change of state government in a general election. Read the rest of this entry »
April 15, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — The oil palm-growing district of Gedong in the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak is too tiny to get its own zip code. Even so, its 6,712 voters will soon have their own government representative.
Electoral officials are adding 11 seats to the Sarawak legislative assembly by carving out new constituencies ahead of a state election due by next year—wards that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will want to go to his ruling coalition. The Sarawak vote is a test for Najib as he seeks to shore up his leadership amid criticism of his economic and social policies and public demands by a former leader that he step down.
Najib’s efforts to retain support in the resource-rich state has seen his government build more municipal facilities from hospitals to water treatment plants. His Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is banking on the states of Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo island — its traditional strongholds — to keep it in power as Chinese voters on Peninsular Malaysia defect.
“BN not doing so well in Sarawak will weaken Najib within the coalition and add to criticisms against him,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of the Kuala Lumpur-based Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. “A strong win will give him a reprieve from all the unhappiness on imposing a goods and services tax this year and concerns about growing debt of government entities.” Read the rest of this entry »
PAS is in danger of losing nearly all of its parliament and state seats outside the northern states as a result of the tabling of the hudud private members bill
I am amazed at the gullibility and naivete of the Deputy Kelantan PAS Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who could say that he does not believe non-Muslims in the country are against hudud and that it was only the DAP which has been making noise.
Let me state that PAS is in danger of losing nearly all of its parliament and state assembly seats outside the northern states as a result of the enactment of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 2015 and the tabling of the private member’s bill by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on hudud implementation in Kelantan.
PAS won 21 parliament seats in GE2013, 7 of which were outside its northern strongholds of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. In the same election, PAS won 85 state seats, 29 of which were outside Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.
Many non-Muslim voters were willing to give their support for PAS candidates in GE2013 because of their desire to kick BN out of office, their trust in the promises of Pakatan Raykat in the Common Policy Framework and the PR Manifesto, and the spirit of comradeship which existed among PR leaders. Read the rest of this entry »
by Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
7 March 2015 8:11 PM
Sarawak DAP has accused the Election Commission (EC) of breaking its rigid “closed door” rule in the public objections to its proposed redrawing of the electoral boundary in Miri with the presence of four police personnel, believed to be from the Special Branch Unit.
DAP Senadin branch chairperson, Eunice Lim questioned why the cops were allowed to take part but barred the public and media from the series of hearings in Kuching and other major towns in the state.
“Why were the SB officers allowed inside the hearing?” she asked.
“Their presence create a sort of fear to those who were making their presentation,” Lim said, referring to an incident last Thursday.
“I did not realise their presence when I was making my presentation,” she said.
“We only came to know about it when my colleague (Piasau assemblyman Alan Ling) spotted the officers sitting with the EC officers before making his own presentation.” Read the rest of this entry »
BY DESMOND DAVIDSON
The Malaysian Insider
24 February 2015
Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 will proceed to make good its promise to get a court injunction to stop Sarawak’s redrawing of the state’s electoral boundaries after Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof snubbed a meeting with them.
Bersih’s vice chair for the southern peninsula, Thomas Fann said he had followed Abdul Aziz for 60km from Kuching, the Sarawak capital, to the market town of Serian, hoping to meet with and persuade the EC chief.
Bersih wants the EC to stop the local inquiries on the new electoral boundaries pending the outcome of PKR’s judicial review on the constitutionality of the EC’s proposal.
Abdul Aziz and the rest of the seven-member commission were in Serian to hear the objections of voters from the state seats of Triboh and Tebedu.
Fann, who managed to have a 10-minute meeting with Sarawak EC director Datuk Takun Sangguh at the Serian community hall where the hearing took place, said he was given a “flat ‘No’” on the grounds that Bersih had no capacity or locus standi to be part of the redelineation process in Sarawak.
Bersih had on Sunday warned that the EC’s refusal to halt its inquiry sessions, which are mandated by law on any proposed boundary redrawing, may result in application of injunctions.
“We’ll file the application as soon as possible. Before the inquiries end,” Fann said.
The application would not be in Bersih’s name, but that of a local voter. Read the rest of this entry »
Feb 21, 2015
Malaysia has the worst electoral boundaries in the world and among the worst set of election laws, the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) found.
This places Malaysia among countries with ‘low electoral integrity’ ranking 114 out of 127 nations surveyed along with the likes of Angola, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Egypt, EIP’s 2014 report said.
It trails far behind neighbour Indonesia, which ranks 51st for its presidential elections. The Philippines and Thailand ranks 91st and 88th place respectively.
Malaysia was dragged down by its score for voting boundaries, where it scored 28 out of 100 – the worst in the world. The average global score was 64.
International and domestic experts who responded to EIP’s survey after GE13, said Malaysia’s electoral boundaries discriminated against some parties, favoured incumbents and were not impartial.
Similarly, Malaysia was in the bottom five in electoral laws by scoring a dismal 33, far behind the global average of 64, the report found. Read the rest of this entry »
Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
6 February 2015
According to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, only 12.5% of the world’s population in under governments that practice “full democracy”. The EIU index further identifies that only 24 countries are “ull democracies” whereas 52 countries are regarded as “flawed democracies”. Malaysia, our great nation, is one of these countries.
Flawed democracies are defined as countries that even with the presence of free and fair elections,therein lay considerable drawbacks and limitations that magnifies the inadequacy of present political systems.
Although basic liberties or rights are recognised, they may sometimes only exist in theory and may not be practiced or applied. Read the rest of this entry »
With UMNO’s Kangkong Professors running riot with their illiterate interpretation of national developments, Malaysia’s university ranking can only plunge further south without hope of restoring our former world-class university status
UMNO’s Kangkong Professors have been running riot with their illiterate interpretation of national developments, and the most recent example is the Bernama report yesterday entitled “Local Council Elections Contravene Constitution, An Attempt To Create Autonomy: Analysts – by Erda Khursyiah Basir”.
It quoted Kankong Professor (1), Universiti Utara Malaysia’s Dean of the College of Legal, Government and International Studies, Asso Prof Dr. Ahmad Martadha Mohamad and Kangkong Professor (2), Universiti Utara Malaysia senior lecturer in Political and International Studies, Md Shukri Shuib, to ground the allegations that the “DAP’s endeavour to hold local elections in Penang” is seen as “an attempt to challenge the Federal Constitution” and “turn the Pearl of the Orient into an autonomous states” which “only serve to shatter racial unity and adversely impact nation-building efforts”.
It is sad and tragic that the Dean of the College of Legal, Government and International Studies of a local public university does not understand the Federal Constitution or he would not say such a nonsense about the DAP challenging the Federal Constitution for holding the view that local government elections should be restored 50 years after suspension in 1965, at the time on the ground of threat of Indonesian Confrontation.
Can the Kankong Professor who holds the exalted position of Dean of College of Legal, Government and International Studies explain how the DAP’s position that local government elections should be restored, which the then Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman had promised would be done once Indonesian Confrontation ended? Read the rest of this entry »
Four lies which UMNO front organisations and cybertroopers have been spreading about the DAP on the “third vote” issue in past week which must be debunked
The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has today ordered the police to investigate a Twitter user for claiming that the disappearance of flight MH370 was a conspiracy and not an accident.
In a text message to Malaysiakini, Khalid said that the twitter user’s message was “disturbing” and had “bad intentions”.
“We are trying to calm down the next-of-kin. So if you don’t know what’s really going on with MH370, don’t just shoot your mouth off and say something senseless which is uncorroborated by evidence,” he said.
At 11.12 am today, a Twitter User put up a message on my Twitter account alleging that I had caused the May 13 race riots and that on May 12, 1969 I had said: “Melayu Balik Kampong. Melayu sekarang tiada kuasa. Sekarang kita Cina sudah control.”
This was an utter lie and falsehood as I was not in Kuala Lumpur on May 12, 1969. In fact, I was not in Kuala Lumpur from May 11 – 13, 1969 as Special Branch records can prove.
This mischievous and evil tweet is not the first of its kind, but the latest of a mountain of lies and falsehoods against DAP leaders by UMNO cybertroopers fomenting hatred, intolerance and extremism which will destroy Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious fabric if not checked.
Khalid cannot be unaware of such dangerous tweets as I had publicly denounced such chicanery and dastard abuses of the social media several times before.
Why hasn’t Khalid instructed the Police against such Twitter users among the army of UMNO cybertroopers whose only mission is to spread and foment lies, hatred and extremism in Malaysia?
Does Khalid wants me to furnish proof of such mischievous Tweets before he would take action? Read the rest of this entry »
Restoration of local government elections was a DAP issue in the Oct 1968 Segamat Utara by-election where Musa Hitam was first elected MP
A commentator Hafidz Baharom in his article “On Local Council Elections” in The Malaysian Insider yesterday asked:
“Why is the DAP suddenly asking to call for local council elections. Have they run out of friends in the NGOs to place on the local councils?
“To be frank, the timing for the call for local council elections is highly suspect particularly at a time when half the country is trying to recover from floods; an economic ‘non-crisis’; and a government trying to reduce spending”.
I will fully agree with Hafidz that at a time when “half the country is trying to recover from floods; an economic ‘non-crisis’; and a government trying to reduce spending”, it would be highly suspect for the DAP “to suddenly…call for local council elections”.
Except that the DAP had not been “suddenly calling for local council elections” at a time when the country was trying to recover from the worst floods catastrophe within living memory. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysian Cabinet probably the worst in Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not
The Malaysian Cabinet Edition 2015 is probably the worst in the 58-year Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not.
Did the Cabinet repudiate and reprimand the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan for his irresponsible and reckless statement that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization when supporting the equally bizarre statement by the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that the restoration of the third vote could cause a repeat of the May 13 race riots?
Abdul Rahman is the most irresponsible Local Government Minister in the nation’s history for no other Local Government Minister had ever made such a statement in the past 50 years since the suspension of local government elections on March 1965 on the ground of threat from Indonesian Confrontation.
And yet nobody in Cabinet dared to confront him and propose that the Cabinet should reprimand him and dissociate itself from the Local Government Minister’s irresponsible and reckless remarks on the restoration of local government elections.
Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had dismissed the previous Cabinet as “half-past six” and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had shown utter contempt of what he described as “deadwood” Ministers. Read the rest of this entry »
– Lim Kit Siang
The Malaysian Insider
28 January 2015
Mesyuarat Kabinet hari ini patut menegur dan menolak pendirian Menteri Kesejahteraan Bandar, Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan (PBT) akan memburukkan lagi polarisasi kaum kerana ia bukan sahaja tidak benar, malah membuka ruang kepada penggantungan pilihan raya Dewan Negeri dan Parlimen pada masa akan datang.
Ini kali pertama dalam masa 50 tahun mana-mana menteri kerajaan Barisan Nasional mahupun Perikatan mengambil pendirian yang mengarut pelaksanaan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan polarisasi kaum yang lebih buruk, atau berkemungkinan mencetuskan semula rusuhan kaum 13 Mei seperti disebut Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yang mendapat sokongan pimpinan tertinggi Umno.
Pada Mac 2010, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang dan Selangor mengutus 2 surat berasingan kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya memohon supaya pilihan raya PBT dijalankan di negeri masing-masing.
Alasan mereka berbuat demikian untuk mengukuhkan demokrasi dengan memilih ahli-ahli majlis tempatan melalui pilihan raya dan bukan lantikan, yang akan menambah akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan urus tadbir yang baik.
Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dalam satu reaksi pantas menolak permintaan ini, sambil menyatakan mengembalikan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan politik di peringkat kerajaan tempatan dan tidak akan memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai.
Beliau berkata tumpuan seharusnya diberikan kepada usaha memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai dan bukannya proses yang terlibat dalam memilih ahli majlis.
Tidak pernah ada yang menyebut tentang polarisasi kaum atau representasi kaum yang tidak seimbang dalam masa 50 tahun lampau sebagai sebab kenapa undi ketiga tidak boleh dikembalikan. Read the rest of this entry »
COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
28 January 2015
Nearly two years after the last Malaysian general elections, both the ruling and opposition coalitions are imploding – one with internal leadership crises and the other with public quarrels over policies.
In the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Umno and MIC leaders past and present are tussling for influence and leadership, the MCA is largely irrelevant while Gerakan and PPP are absent.
On the other side, Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) DAP and PAS are crossing swords and PKR is just opposing everything with a street protest always a handy tool to keep it seen as championing a cause.
The big loser? Ordinary Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »
Cabinet should reprimand and repudiate Abdul Rahman’s stand that local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue but opens the dangerous door for future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections
The Cabinet meeting today should reprimand the Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman and repudiate the stand he has taken that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue, but opens the dangerous door for the future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections.
This is the first time in 50 years that any Barisan Nasional (previously Alliance) Government Minister has taken the ridiculous and outrageous stand that the holding of local government elections would lead to greater racial polarisation – or even risks the repeat of May 13 race riots, as stated by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang which has received the support of top UMNO leaders.
In March 2010, the Penang and Selangor state governments wrote separate letters to the Election Commission asking for local government elections to be conducted in their respective states.
Their reason for doing so were to strengthen democracy by having local representatives elected and not appointed, which would enhance accountability, transparency and good governance.
In an immediate reaction, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejected this, stating that reviving local government elections would only give rise to politicking at the local government level and would not improve services for the people.
He said the focus should be on improving services to the people and not the process involved in selecting councillors who would serve.
There was no reference to problems of “racial polarisation” or “imbalanced racial representation” in the past 50 years as the reason why there should be no restoration of the third vote! Read the rest of this entry »
If PAS has no confidence in Pakatan Rakyat achieving great victories if local government elections are restored nationally, PR must return to the drawing board as this does not bode well for PR’s grand design to win Putrajaya in the 14GE
I just do not know whether to laugh or to cry.
Yesterday, the Malay Mail Online carried a report entitled “DAP seeking full ‘control’ of country through third vote, Isma claims”, quoting the latest vitriol by the Deputy President of Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), Aminuddin Yahaya alleging that “the move to restore local government elections is part of the DAP’s strategy to take over Malaysia as the opposition party already has control of nearly 60 per cent of the state seats in the country”.
He said that DAP lawmakers make up 58 per cent of the total state constituencies in Malaysia and that the figure could reach 60 per cent, with the help of urban based PKR.
This caused me to tweet: “Ignoramus. Don’t even have Std 5 maths std”.
If Aminuddin is right and talking sense, then DAP on its own will be well on the way to capturing power in Putrajaya and forming the Malaysian government. But he is of course talking nonsense.
What a pity Isma has such a Deputy President who is so shallow in basic maths, which does not speak well for the organisation.
Out of a total of 505 State Assembly seats (excluding Sarawak) contested in the 13th General Elections on May 5, 2013, Barisan Nasional won 4,515,228 or 47.25% of the national vote, but 275 state assembly seats or 54% of the total of 505 seats; while Pakatan Rakyat won 4,879,295 votes or 51.06% of the national vote but only 229 State Assembly seats or 45% of the total of 505 seats. One state assembly seat in Sabah was won by a non-Pakatan Rakyat opposition party.
These statistics bespeak of the injustice, inequity and iniquity of the electoral system, with Pakatan Rakyat winning more votes but less seats! Read the rest of this entry »
– Haris Zuan
The Malaysian Insider
26 January 2015
Peristiwa 13 Mei ialah isu eksklusif Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) dan orang lain yang mahu menyebut, dan apatah lagi membincangkannya, boleh didakwa di bawah Akta Hasutan.
Hanya Umno bebas menggunakan isu 13 Mei (versi mereka sudah tentu) untuk membodoh dan menakut-nakutkan bangsa Malaysia, khasnya orang Melayu dan Cina.
Namun, kali ini, Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, mengeluarkan ancaman yang biasanya hanya dilaungkan oleh Umno – 13 Mei akan berulang jika pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan diadakan semula – dan kali ini Umno tidak pula marah dengan kenyataan Hadi Awang ini.
Kisah ini awalnya mudah sahaja. PAS membangkitkan isu pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan kerana mahu menyanggah dakwaan bukan hudud sahaja yang tidak diputuskan secara bersama di peringkat Pakatan Rakyat, pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan juga – yang diperjuangkan oleh Pulau Pinang dan Selangor.
Maka, dengan menggunakan logik ini, pada PAS, menjadi hak Kelantan untuk melaksanakan hudud di negeri tersebut secara bersendirian (atau dengan kerjasama Umno – parti pemerintah yang hanya menunjukkan minat terhadap Hudud setiap kali terdesak kehilangan kuasa). Read the rest of this entry »
25 January 2015
The rise of Syriza can’t just be explained by the crisis in the eurozone: a youthful generation of professionals has had enough of tax-evading oligarchs
At Syriza’s HQ, the cigarette smoke in the cafe swirls into shapes. If those could reflect the images in the minds of the men hunched over their black coffees, they would probably be the faces of Che Guevara, or Aris Velouchiotis, the second world war Greek resistance fighter. These are veteran leftists who expected to end their days as professors of such esoteric subjects as development economics, human rights law and who killed who in the civil war. Instead, they are on the brink of power.
Black coffee and hard pretzels are all the cafe provides, together with the possibility of contracting lung cancer. But on the eve of the vote, I found its occupants confident, if bemused.
However, Syriza HQ is not the place to learn about radicalisation. The fact that a party with a “central committee” even got close to power has nothing to do with a sudden swing to Marxism in the Greek psyche. It is, instead, testimony to three things: the strategic crisis of the eurozone, the determination of the Greek elite to cling to systemic corruption, and a new way of thinking among the young.
Of these, the eurozone’s crisis is easiest to understand – because its consequences can be read so easily in the macroeconomic figures. The IMF predicted Greece would grow as the result of its aid package in 2010. Instead, the economy has shrunk by 25%. Wages are down by the same amount. Youth unemployment stands at 60% – and that is among those who are still in the country. Read the rest of this entry »