Archive for the ‘elections’ Category

Mexico: The independent El Bronco

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Jaime Rodríguez, a.k.a. “El Bronco,” is the frontrunner in the race for governor of the border state of Nuevo Leon, a major economic hub and home to the third-largest metropolitan area in Mexico.

Just a few years ago, such an insurgent candidacy was not even possible. A constitutional change in 2012 allowed candidates to run as independents in Mexico, a major shift for a country that was governed by the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) for most of the past century. Many people say it is no coincidence that an independent is leading in some polls in a key state at a time when corruption scandals have rocked the national government and many people are searching for alternatives.

El Bronco has guts,

Initially, Rodriguez gained fame in his state primarily by staying alive. During his time as mayor of the suburb of Garcia, from 2009 to 2012, drug-war violence had transformed the Monterrey area from an industrial metropolis known for its wealth into one of the country’s deadliest urban centers. After Rodriguez was elected, his 22-year-old son — one of his six children — was abducted and killed. Rodriguez said his 2-year-old daughter was also briefly kidnapped. He was one of numerous municipal officials in Mexico targeted by traffickers; he survived at least two assassination attempts, including one in which he said gunmen riddled his car with bullets.

Risky business: VIOLENCE GRIPS MEXICO AHEAD OF MIDTERM ELECTIONS

The elections are scheduled for Sunday, June 7.



Would Peru go for Chavismo?

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Mary O’Grady writes about the reasons behind Peru’s recent economic success: A market model that allows for

  • a vibrant consumer class that is entrepreneurial and creative
  • openness to imports
  • structural reforms that included ending a punishing system of import tariffs and quotas
  • fiscally conservative governance.

However,

Still, the downturn in commodity prices is eating into growth and the slowdown that began last year continues. Market forecasts for GDP growth are in the 3% range for 2015. Peru’s economy is performing far better than most in the region, but lackluster is not what Peruvians have come to expect.

The obvious answer to this lethargy is more aggressive trade opening on key products like sugar and corn, more tax cutting and deregulation. But Mr. Humala’s popularity is sagging and he is unlikely to do anything bold. Meanwhile, opponents of economic freedom will turn slower growth into opportunity by linking stagnant incomes in the market economy and corruption.

As O’Grady points out, this means Peru Is Chavismo’s Next American Target
Corruption scandals give the left an opening in the 2016 presidential election.

On a seemingly unrelated topic,
The Obama administration insists on easing restrictions on Cuba’s merciless Communist dictatorship while Cuba’s dependence on Venezuelan oil goes bust. Once Cuba’s economy improves cosmetically (because you can bet those in power will not give up their acquisitiveness), the Cuban propaganda machine will use this as another tool in its propaganda arsenal against market economies.

No matter how ruinous Cuban-driven Chavismo is in real life; propaganda is the only thing Cuba’s regime is good at, and it is particularly effective in Latin America.

Face it: The fact that the article talks about Chavismo – instead of Castrocommunism – itself is a success for the Cuban propaganda machine; in reality, “The Venezuelan regime is a puppet controlled by the Cubans.”

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Related reading:
Hernando de Soto’s excellent book, The Other Path, available on Kindle for under $10, and Ian Bremmer’s The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations?

Ted throws his hat in the ring

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

and he didn’t need no stinkin’ teleprompter, either (video of full speech here, text of full speech here),

TedCruz.org

Why weren’t taxes an issue in the last election?

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

Having voted with my feet, I’m asking Why weren’t taxes an issue in the last election? at Da Tech Guy Blog.

Weren’t they?

Brazil: A petition to the White House

Thursday, November 6th, 2014

Brazilian blogger Rafael Merlo of Observatório Conservador, who uncovered Dilma Rousseff’s fake Twitter followers back in July, is petitioning the White House, and emailed me the following (emphasis added),

Two weeks ago (26/10) took place the presidential election in Brazil. By a narrow gap of votes (3%) Dilma Rousseff, the current president and candidate for the socialist Workers Party, was reelected.

Although the international community reported the election as democratic, this is not the perception of significant part of the Brazilians. The election was marred by allegations of corruption and embezzlement of public funds by the Rousseff’s campaign. Other sordid attitudes were taken by the socialists during the election, for example:

– the constant threat of ending the food allowance of the poor people if Rousseff was not reelected;
– attack to the building of the largest circulation magazine in the country, which had denounced government corruption;
– incitement to prejudice and confrontation between Brazilians from the south and north, etc.

But what’s even scarier is that there were evidences of fraud in the elections, and the Brazilian authorities are silent about that. The Superior Electoral Court, the highest court of the election, is chaired by a Workers Party former lawyer. The defeated candidate Aecio Neves, who belongs to the Social Democratic Party, accepted the result quickly and without question. People are outraged and there is no leadership to guide them and give them voice.

That growing wave of outrage is taking the streets. Last Saturday, thousands of people protested in major cities across the country calling for an audit of the election, the investigation of complaints and, if proven, the impeachment of President Rousseff. All this is being muted and distorted by the Brazilian media, which is totally left-biased.

Rousseff and the Workers Party are implanting the Bolivarian comunism in Brazil. And that should concern the Americans as well, because the growth of bolivarian regimes in Latin American is the result of a major plan put into action by an international enemy called Sao Paulo Forum. The Sao Paulo Forum is the most powerfull political organization in Latin America. It was created in the 90’s by Fidel Castro and Lula to “recover in Latin America what was lost in Eastern Europe”. You can read more about the Sao Paulo Forum here:http://bit.ly/1usa4DV.

With the petition to the White House (http://1.usa.gov/1tJ5bUN) the Brazilians are not expecting any kind of support from president Obama itself, of course, because we know well what we can expect from liberals. But the White House and the US government is much more than Obama and the liberals: we would like to talk to the good American citizens concerned with the future of our continent. And this petition serves two purposes:

1) call the attention of Americans regarding the political situation on the continent, especially the alignment of the Bolivarian communist regimes with declared enemies of the United States, such as Russia and Iran.

2) put in circulation in the US and international media the name of the real enemy that must be fought on the American continent: the Sao Paulo Forum, the agent that is creating a new soviet union in Latin America.

I would be very grateful if you could help spread this petition among your family, friends, and readers of you website: http://1.usa.gov/1tJ5bUN

The petition reads,
WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:
Position yourself against the Bolivarian communist expansion in Brazil promoted by the administration of Dilma Rousseff

On 10/26, Dilma Rousseff was reelected, and will continue his party’s plan to establish a communist regime in Brazil – the Bolivarian molds propounded by the Foro de São Paulo. We know that in the eyes of the international community, the election was fully democratic, but the ballot boxes used are not reliable, apart from the fact the heads of the judiciary, are mostly members of the winning party. Social policies also influenced the choice of the president, and people were threatened with losing their food allowance if they do not re-elect Dilma. We call a White House position in relation to communist expansion in Latin America. Brazil does not want and will not be a new Venezuela, and the USA that need help the promoters of democracy and freedom in Brazil.
Created: Oct 28, 2014

Neves’s acceptance of the results may be due to several factors, which, unfortunately, I am unable to discuss since I am not well-versed enough on Brazil’s internal politics. However, Merlo is accurate when he says that the Foro de Sao Paolo was Castro and Lula’s creation.

Professor Luis Fleischman points out regarding the election,

The vote shows a deep division in the country between the richer South and the poorer North. The North has been the largest recipient of social welfare programs from the Federal government. It is precisely because of these welfare policies that a large majority of people in the North voted for Rousseff, giving her a narrow margin of victory. . The business sector, unhappy with high taxes and other obstacles imposed on them definitely voted against Rousseff. The middle class, that was the key to the protests over the poor quality of health and educational services last year, also voted against Rousseff.

Bottom line, it is populist policies that enabled Rousseff to get reelected.

As Fleischman says,

Populism is not just an economic burden. It also makes the party in power feel more complacent and entitled as it enjoys a degree of popularity.

A lesson Americans should keep in mind.



Comparing voting in NJ to voting in FL

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

IMG_0743Today I’m Comparing voting in NJ to voting in FL at Da Tech Guy Blog.

I didn’t go into the local politics in my article, but after decades of political campaigns in four states, I had never experienced such bombardment as the local Florida Crist-Scott campaign this year. You could not escape the campaigns: TV, radio, robocalls, internet (Google ads ran Crist ads in my blog), knocking on doors, campaign workers at the mall, both sides did not let up.

Brazil: The election was tweeted

Wednesday, October 29th, 2014

After Vote, Brazilians Lash Out on Social Media
A day after President Dilma Rousseff squeaked out a close electoral victory, Brazilian voters vented their frustrations one way they know best: on social media.

Many Neves supporters, hailing largely from Brazil’s wealthier south, joked they would be packing their bags to flee to Miami or Orlando. Some posted images showing Brazil divided into two, with the poorer northeastern states which supported Ms. Rousseff hived off into a separate country.

The reactions underscored the divisiveness of the elections, which were the closest in Brazilian history.

Considering all the factors, it would have taken a miracle from God Himself for Neves to win.

Dilma claims, “I want to be a much better president than I have been until now,” which rather fills me with dread, considering how

Brazil has chosen to warehouse a quarter of its population into welfare serfdom for nothing more than the benefit of leftist parties and their grasp on power.

“Better,” for what?



Elections: No change in Brazil, Uruguay

Monday, October 27th, 2014

First Uruguay: Same old, same old, in age and in politics,
Since Pepe Mujica could not run for a second term according to the Uruguayan Constitution, an election took place yesterday, which now goes to a runoff

Leftist ruling coalition candidate Tabare Vazquez led Uruguay’s presidential election on Sunday but he fell short of a first-round victory and will go to a runoff vote next month with the country’s pioneering marijuana bill hanging in the balance.

Vazquez of the Broad Front coalition said as results trickled in that the race would go to a second round and he is likely to face a nerve-jangling contest against young center-right opposition candidate, Luis Lacalle Pou.

Exit polls showed Vazquez winning 44-46 percent of the vote compared with 31-33 percent for Lacalle Pou of the National Party.

The 74 year old Vazquez first was president in 2005, and it looks like he’s going for a rerun. Lacalle Pou is 41.

Also going for a rerun, Brazilians choose to remain “the country of the future”:
Brazil Sticks With Statism
Odds are that the country’s reputation for economic mediocrity is safe for another four years.

Neither Lula nor Ms. Rousseff seem to care about development. According to Goldman Sachs , from 2004-13 government spending grew at almost 8% a year, in real terms, which was more than twice the rate of GDP growth. Inflation is now 7% year-over-year on prices for goods and services not regulated by price controls and 8.6% for services alone. Inflationary expectations are rising.

More worrying is the damage the PT might do to institutions and the rule of law over another 48 months. Civil society here jealously guards civil liberties and pluralism. But as one astute businessman told me, “We are noticing, bit by bit, a trend toward copying Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador. The tendency is to reduce democracy.” One example is Ms. Rousseff’s May decree empowering “popular councils,” which would move the country away from representative democracy à la Venezuela. Congress has so far refused to approve the measure but if the usual vote-buying goes on, that may change.

To celebrate, Dilma wore a suit that matched the drapes and her politics,

What may be the most consequential election of the decade

Friday, October 24th, 2014

I wrote today on What may be the most consequential election of the decade. Go read it at Da Tech Guy Blog.

Brazil: Aécio’s plan is the economy

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

In the wake of Dilma’s dismal administration, Aécio Neves will campaign until the Oct. 26 run-off against failing state-run economics. He has Marina Silva’s backing:

Brazil Candidate to Hit Rival on Economy
Brazil’s pro-business candidate Aécio Neves plans to hammer the state-centric economic policies of his rival, President Dilma Rousseff, before their Oct. 26 electoral showdown.

While blaming the president for Brazil’s 6.5% inflation rate, stagnant growth and lackluster productivity, Mr. Neves will tout his achievements as a former two-term governor of prosperous Minas Gerais state, taking credit for rescuing it from near-bankruptcy by cutting expenses and boosting revenue under a program dubbed “management shock.”

And he will criticize a series of scandals that have tarnished Ms. Rousseff’s center-left Workers’ Party, or PT, which has dominated Brazilian politics for 12 years, including alleged widespread corruption and cronyism at state-owned companies like oil giant Petrobras.

From commenter N,

there are some interesting voting maps around (on the web) showing that Dilma Roussef’s votes correlate almost perfectly with he number of people receiving federal government’s handouts.

Neves has his work cut out for him,

Ms. Rousseff starts the runoff as the favorite given the leftist drift of Brazilian politics, but Mr. Neves has a chance if he can convince voters that her policies are responsible for Brazil’s current malaise and that he has a better agenda. Brazil’s populist, redistributionist policies have squandered its potential for decades, and more of the same for another four years won’t bring the change the country needs.

I wish him luck.