[Discussion] European Political Landscape

There are three elections occurring over the coming year that are of huge importance. They are:

Italian Constitutional Referendum - 04/12/16
French Presidential Election - 1st Round 23/04/17, 2nd Round 07/05/17
German Federal Election - 22/10/17

This thread is to discuss the political realities, results and fallout around these elections. The scope is broad but try to keep the post relevant to the elections referenced above.

Edit - Updated thread title

AUs_TBirD wrote:

Given how it seems like George Soros, no matter which country you look at, is accused of all sorts of covert anti-government activities, and apparently pays thousands or tens of thousands of protesters every week, often including travel (bus/train/airfare/lodging).....the guy must have more money than all but the biggest countries in the world!

Where have I heard that accusation about a group of people, before?

Sounds like Erdogan has, unsurprisingly I guess, secured the support for making himself supreme ruler for life.

I was so wrong on Erdogan. It actually is beginning to sound that there has been some very questionable results.

And we now have an email claiming the bombing of the Dortmond team bus was a far-right group. Who knows. I suspect that this will turn out to be a dead end. Not that I'm ruling out who did it but manipulation of perceptions seems to be the order of the day.

Robear wrote:
AUs_TBirD wrote:

Given how it seems like George Soros, no matter which country you look at, is accused of all sorts of covert anti-government activities, and apparently pays thousands or tens of thousands of protesters every week, often including travel (bus/train/airfare/lodging).....the guy must have more money than all but the biggest countries in the world!

Where have I heard that accusation about a group of people, before? :-(

And right on cue... The Dirty Tricks that Demonise George Soros.

Axon wrote:

I was so wrong on Erdogan. It actually is beginning to sound that there has been some very questionable results.

To no ones surprise. This is scary sh*t and I can only hope the EU will never allow turkey into it.
I actually hope the EU will collapse sooner than later. So we can close our borders and boycott turkey.
No good can come from this maniac and his followers.

John Oliver takes on the French Election. The ending is not entirely safe for work.

"Funny" thing in the Turkish election is how Turkish people living in EU seem to have voted much stronger in favor of Erdogan, than those living in Turkey. Quite disturbing.
And all kinds of great how people who wont have to live with the consequences, can vote on how another country should be. Though that is not only a specific Turkish issue.

Again, probably not surprising. In Denmark there have been a news story a few weeks ago, that Turkish descendents speaking openly against Erdogan, has been "reported" back to a Turkish agency, and should not travel to Turkey, due to risks of being detained.
I kinda doubt they would be detained, too big a risk for Erdogan. But the story itself, the fear it brings for anyone speaking up, that was the goal.

Sparhawk wrote:

To no ones surprise. This is scary sh*t and I can only hope the EU will never allow turkey into it.

Even if EU survives, pretty big IF these days, Turkey as it is today, will never get into EU.
Of course Turkey can change, but it will be a loong time.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

John Oliver takes on the French Election. The ending is not entirely safe for work.

Hah. Awesome.

That is an ongoing story here in Germany as well - of Turkish government "spies" going to mosques and other public venues and filming/photographing people critical of Erdogan (and even religious leaders not toeing the party line), getting their personal information, etc, and sending it back to Turkey.

Sparhawk wrote:
Axon wrote:

I was so wrong on Erdogan. It actually is beginning to sound that there has been some very questionable results.

To no ones surprise.

Well, given the military's history in Turkey it is surprising it's gotten this far. In only recent history the military was prepared to act as a counter balance to government overreach. In dreadful ways, yes, but it was there. So with that working assumption, prior to the recent coup attempt I was willing to give Erdogan some benefit of the doubt and even in the days after. However, it was clear after a few weeks that something has altered and the military on a wider front are happy to work with Erdogan for now.

This is scary sh*t and I can only hope the EU will never allow turkey into it.
I actually hope the EU will collapse sooner than later. So we can close our borders and boycott turkey.
No good can come from this maniac and his followers.

There is a set of membership criteria that every state has to reach in order to join. Turkey was decades of that prior to the most recent coup attempt. I think your concern is a little misplaced and dismantling the largest free trading block in the world on the basis of a non-existent threat is over-reacting.

The coup attempt was fake. That's general knowledge.

The EU is not just a free trading block, it has become the united nations of europe with a president that hasn't been elected. I wish it was just about free trade. But even that part has just become all about big corporations, doing whatever now.
The criteria they say they have (the EU) is good, but they will just gloss over the non existent human rights etc etc etc.
Go ahead, find it misplaced and over-reacting. It's a free world. Just watch what you say and think in turkey, you will find yourself dead or jailed.

Sparhawk wrote:

Go ahead, find it misplaced and over-reacting. It's a free world. Just watch what you say and think in turkey, you will find yourself dead or jailed.

Aren't you conflating two very separate things there? "Go ahead, say I'm over-reacting about the EU, but if you do Turkey will throw you in jail!"

What about the people that think you're over-reacting about the EU but simultaneously think that Erdogan is a bad guy.

Sparhawk wrote:

The EU is not just a free trading block, it has become the united nations of europe with a president that hasn't been elected.

And a president that has pretty much no power.

Sparhawk wrote:

The coup attempt was fake. That's general knowledge.

I certainly wouldn't be surprised if Erdogan faked a military coup, to take absolute power. Still, we dont really know if it was fake or not. It was so amateurishly bad though, that even if it was not fake, there cant have been many high ranking military people involved.

But really, even if Turkey was living up to every single requirement for joining the EU today, they would not be allowed in. EU is in crisis, and pretty much nobody want to make it any larger right now. Look how awesome some of the last new members are currently (Poland and Hungary).

Shadout wrote:
Sparhawk wrote:

The EU is not just a free trading block, it has become the united nations of europe with a president that hasn't been elected.

And a president that has pretty much no power.

And of course he's been elected. The leaders of all the member states elect him to do their bidding. He has no power and is basically a civil servant.

I mean, every system of governance has "unelected" individuals if your criteria is "without a plebiscite. Ironically, the Netherlands still has a constitutional monarchy.

Shadout wrote:

But really, even if Turkey was living up to every single requirement for joining the EU today, they would not be allowed in. EU is in crisis, and pretty much nobody want to make it any larger right now. Look how awesome some of the last new members are currently (Poland and Hungary).

Yep, have to agree. Sparhawk seems to think that countries are just made EU members by back room deals but they require 27 or 28, Brexit depending, parliaments to ratify. Some member states have to have referendums on the membership. There is no political appetite for expansion anytime soon and as Shadout states above, Poland, Hungary and Romania will remain the constant reminder that expansion was done too quickly last time. The political realities make any Turkish membership a fantasy.

Election monitors are not happy. File under "Colour me surprised".

Sparhawk wrote:

The coup attempt was fake. That's general knowledge.

You're confusing general knowledge with conspiracy theory.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

John Oliver takes on the French Election. The ending is not entirely safe for work.

I'd kinda stopped watching John Oliver, but I watched this one! I've been thinking, wonder if maybe I'm better off abstaining. I always vote, but the candidates this time around... **sigh** But seeing as Le Pen and Mélanchon are on the rise, I can't let that happen. I'll be going for the lesser of evils. I think you can guess who that is judging by my previous posts (did I mention that Fillon announced this weekend that if he were elected, he'd name radical Catholics as ministers and advisors? particularly some anti-abortion #%@¤£['ers. Yeah, so not him).

*offers hugs to Eleima*

I'm glad you're thinking in terms of practical choice. Way too many people in the U.S. I think have taken voting as some sort of ideological affirmation, when it really needs to be about doing the thing that you believe will actually produce the best result. (Even if it's not the best possible result or the result you want, it's better than the other options.)

Do the thing that needs doing, and then keep standing up for what you think is the best and working towards it.

It remains to be seen what effect this will have. Not to be cold but I'm thinking the scale of it will limit the impact.

Edit: So, at the very least in Polling Macron has a good lead. As long as he gets to the run off, he will win it. What is more interesting is who will join him now. It's looking increasingly like Le Pen will be drawn into a three way battle for second place.

When are the results expected on Sunday night, Eleima? Counting is usually pretty quick in France.

Axon wrote:

It remains to be seen what effect this will have. Not to be cold but I'm thinking the scale of it will limit the impact.

It likely will limit the impact. Still, it is bound to be a positive for Le Pen. Just a matter of how much.

Everyone has really learned how to influence other countries elections these days :/
Yet another reason I assume France just want the election to be over.

The polls still seem so close that it is nearly a toss up who moves on. Macron obviously favored, but nothing that can't change in the last few days and random polling errors. Plus the added uncertainty from what seems likely to be a low turnout.

I think maybe 9pm'ish? I know the polls close later in larger cities like Paris, Lyon and Bordeaux. I'll definitely keep you guy posted!

Last night's attack was rather smallish. Only one cop, two wounded cops, one wounded bystander. That's not too bad. Not to sound insensitive, but if that guy had opened fire on the crowd... instead of the cops' van... it could've been a bloodbath. I'm just hoping it doesn't give the far right a boost. Le Pen, or even Fillon could benefit from this, them being so close-minded and all.

As for the turnout... I'm willing to be it'll still be a better turnout than what we get in the US any day.

Eleima wrote:

As for the turnout... I'm willing to be it'll still be a better turnout than what we get in the US any day.

That is a fairly low bar to pass

An update to the Bus attack on that top German football team. Police yesterday arrested their prime suspect. The motive appears to be greed.

The 28 year old German-Russian had, weeks ago, booked a room with a view to the bombing site, in the hotel that the team was staying at. He took out loans of several tens of thousands of Euros and invested a total of at least 78,000 EUR into derivatives betting on a sharp decline of the team's publicly traded stock (I had no idea this was a thing), which likely would have happened, had a significant portion of the team been injured and/or killed.
Most of those derivatives were purchased online, shortly before the attack, via the internet connection in the suspect's hotel room.

I'm not sure if it's possible to have more smoke without a fire.

So....apparently not motivated by either extreme end of the political spectrum, nor by Islamists....closest thing that might influence a camp, is the dual citizenship, which the Bavarian conservative party (CSU) keeps talking about eliminating, especially following the Turkish referendum. The Turks living in Germany who voted, voted far more in favor of granting Erdogan additional powers, than the average within Turkey itself.
The CSU is claiming that dual-citizenship is a barrier to integration. The opposition claims it's a populist red herring, since only approximately 3% of those with a Turkish heritage , living in Germany, are even eligible to vote in Turkish elections (I did not check these numbers), and turnout was rather low (at least in Bavaria), from what I heard.
Eliminating dual-citizenship would affect my family. I'm not a fan of the CSU (Bavaria's sister party to Merkel's CDU, which is in all other German states), especially not with its leader, Horst Seehofer, who regularly treats with Orban, undermining Merkel. He was also really quick to congratulate Trump, and regularly visits Putin.

AUs_TBirD wrote:

betting on a sharp decline of the team's publicly traded stock (I had no idea this was a thing)

One of those amazingly stupid things in financial speculation. Likewise you had people who could earn money on the global financial crash this way. What could possibly go wrong...

Technically, I meant that a sports organization has publicly traded stock, but the speculation really is like vultures circling others' misery.

Russian influence in Hungary and Europe

Pretty interesting insight into espionage and attempts to manipulate countries. As is no doubt news to anyone, far-right groups are most likely to be connected to the Russians.

Did my civic duty this morning!!!
Now to wait and hope...