Islam Takes Tunisia

This is the first election held in one of the countries that have undergone “Arab Spring” uprisings. And predictably, probably foreshadowing the outcome in upcoming elections in other “Arab Spring” countries, secularism took a beating and a backseat to the Islamists.

Secular party concedes defeat in landmark Tunisian election

Tunisia’s leading secularist party conceded defeat on Monday after unofficial tallies from the country’s first free election showed a victory for an Islamist party.

The election came 10 months from from the moment street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in a protest that started the Arab Spring uprisings.

More than 90 percent of the 4.1 million registered voters cast ballots, officials said.

See also:
Tunisian Islamist party claims election victory, set to dominate writing of new constitution
Tunisian Islamists to gain huge victory in first elections of the Arab Spring
Tunisia’s Islamists claim election victory
Tunisia’s Islamist party claims election victory
Islamists set for power after strong vote for Muslim parties in Tunisia’s first democratic elections since revolution
Early sign in Tunisia of strong Islamist vote
Tunisia elections: An-Nahda party on course to win
Moderate Islamists lead in early counting of Tunisian votes
Islamists claim win in Tunisia’s Arab Spring vote
Islamist Party Takes Half Of Overseas Seats In Tunisia
Tunisian liberal party dismayed at poor elections show
As Tunisia Counts its Votes, Can the West Stop Worrying and Learn to Love the Islamists?

Could these Tunisian elections be the first stepping stone toward a wider, regional Islamic Caliphate?

/stay tuned, Egypt has elections coming up and if the Islamists win there . . .

Egypt Votes, But For What Exactly?

Egypt had a free and fair vote to amend the Egyptian constitution, that’s a good thing, right? Not so fast.

Egypt Approves Amendments

Egyptians voted in overwhelming numbers to approve a set of constitutional amendments, setting the stage for Egypt’s first truly contested parliamentary and presidential elections in decades.

Saturday’s historic referendum on the amendments saw millions of enthusiastic Egyptians wait patiently for hours to cast ballots in what for almost everyone was a novelty—a vote in which the result wasn’t effectively predetermined.

The largely peaceful and fraud-free vote was a marked contrast to past elections and a glimpse of how much has changed in Egypt in the weeks since President Hosni Mubarak stepped down amid widespread unrest, ending decades of single-party, autocratic rule.

Yet Saturday’s referendum also offered early clues into the rifts likely to shape Egyptian politics in the coming months and years. Many of the largely secular liberals who led the revolution that ousted Mr. Mubarak were opposed to the amendments, strongly suggesting the protest leaders have fallen out of sync with the vast majority of Egyptians.

Protest leaders criticized the amendments as part of a rushed and problematic timeline for establishing democracy; approving the changes started the clock on a race they said they are unprepared to run because they are still setting up parties.

Almost alone among the political groups in support of the amendments were the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist group outlawed under Mr. Mubarak, and the National Democratic Party, the former president’s ruling party. Both hope to capitalize on their already strong organizations in summer elections for parliament, which will then be charged with writing an entirely new constitution.
. . .

Journalists covering the announcement abandoned any pretenses of objectivity and yelled “Allahu Akbar!”—”God is Great!”—when the tallies were read out by officials.

See also:
How Egypt’s historic referendum could now bolster Islamists
Big majority vote for constitutional changes in Egypt
Egypt Backs Constitutional Changes That May Aid Brotherhood, Mubarak Party
Egypt: Constitution changes pass in referendum
Egyptians approve constitutional amendments in referendum
Egyptians overwhelmingly approve constitutional changes
Egyptians set for summer elections
Egyptian voters say ‘yes’ to speedy elections
Egypt’s Historic Referendum: Rushed But Moving
Egypt referendum results: 77.2 per cent say ‘Yes’ to the amendments
Egypt approves amendments, prepares for next step
Egyptians get taste of democracy in post-Mubarak era
Egyptians approve constitutional changes, clearing way for elections

Egypt has zero recent history of democracy or diverse political parties. So, obviously, whatever groups are already the most organized will benefit the most from the early elections just approved. And what’s the most organized group in Egypt? The Muslim Brotherhood. What happens if the Muslim Brotherhood comes to dominate the democratically elected parliament after this summer’s elections and, therefore, gets to write the new Egyptian constitution?

/it could very well turn out to be “one man, one vote, one time

Impasse On The Ivory Coast

Here we have another example of where an election was held and the loser refuses to give up power peacefully.

African Presidents Urge Gbagbo to Resign

Three African heads of state are in Abidjan, on behalf of West African regional bloc ECOWAS, to urge incumbent Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, to step down and bring a peaceful end to a violent, month-long, political power struggle.

It has now been a month since Ivory Coast’s November 28 presidential runoff that was meant to mark an end to more than a decade of internal division in the post-conflict country, but has instead led to a tense political showdown that the United Nations says has killed more than 170 people.

The presidents of Benin, Sierra Leone and Cape Verde are set to meet with incumbent president, Laurent Gbagbo, in Abidjan Tuesday to deliver an ECOWAS ultimatum: Gbagbo can step down peacefully or face removal by force.

. . .

The United Nations and much of the international community say challenger Alassane Ouattara won the presidential election.

. . .

Original electoral commission results said Ouattara won the poll with 54 percent of votes. The constitutional court, led by a Gbagbo ally, then annulled 10 percent of ballots as fraudulent and proclaimed Gbagbo the winner with 51 percent of votes.

. . .

ECOWAS has threatened a military intervention if Gbagbo refuses to step down, but some analysts doubt whether West African nations have the operational capability, manpower or political will for such an effort and worry that any attempt at a forceful removal could trigger open conflict.

Gbagbo has warned any attempt to remove him by force could reignite civil war.

See also:
African leaders meet with Gbagbo to deal with Ivory Coast crisis
Three West African presidents try to convince incumbent Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo to step down
African Leaders Visit Ivory Coast to Pressure President Gbagbo to Quit
Ecowas pressures Gbagbo to step down, as refugees flee to Liberia
Ivory Coast’s incumbent president locked in crucial negotiations
Gbagbo defiant at African ultimatum
Ivory Coast Leader Insists He is Rightful President
News Analysis: Cote d’Ivoire at crossroads of war and peace
UN convoy attacked in Ivory Coast
UN says crowd attacked peacekeepers in Ivory Coast
Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS)
Cote d’Ivoire
Côte d’Ivoire

Judging by the mutually exclusive stances of the two sides, it sure doesn’t look like there’s going to be a peaceful transition of power here.

/I hope I’m wrong, but I predict there will be blood

The 2010 Aftermath

Not total victory, but all in all, it was a very good day for Republicans.

After GOP landslide of Election 2010, what next for Obama?

The Republican Party has swept the Democrats out of power in the House and gained seats in the Senate, sending a strong message of voter discontent to President Obama on the economy.

Republicans scored at least a 60-seat gain in the House, the biggest partisan shift since the Democrats lost 75 House seats in 1948. In the Senate, the Republicans fell short of the 10 they needed to take control, and failed to capture their most-hoped-for quarry: the seat of Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D) of Nevada, who defeated tea partyer Sharron Angle by five percentage points. It is the first time in 80 years that the House has changed hands without the Senate following.

The historic wave that makes Rep. John Boehner (R) of Ohio the expected next speaker of the House also hands Mr. Obama the biggest challenge of his political career. Suddenly, the president has no choice but to work toward his unfulfilled 2008 campaign promise of greater bipartisanship. The alternative is gridlock and the appearance of ineffectiveness. But if Obama concedes too much to the Republicans, he risks losing the support of his Democratic base when he runs for reelection in 2012, as expected.

Maybe even more impressive and certainly just as important was the Republican near sweep at the state level. Republicans will now be in charge of redistricting in the majority of states, which will set legislative boundaries for the next ten years.

Forget D.C., look what Republicans won in state legislatures

This is especially important in years ending in ’00 because these newly elected governors and state legislators will (with the exception of California) be the ones redrawing legislative and congressional district lines that will stand for the next decade until the 2020 census. And occupying the governor’s mansion puts that party in control of an immense statewide political apparatus to help its presidential ticket two years hence.

Come January, Republicans will now run crucial governors’ offices in….

…major presidential battleground states like Florida (Rick Scott), Ohio (John Kasich), Pennsylvania (Tom Corbett) and Iowa, where former Gov. Terry Branstad returns. New Mexico voters elected their first female governor, Republican Susana Martinez, a Latino. Sometimes-maligned South Carolina voters chose Nikki Haley, who is not only the state’s first female governor but only the nation’s second of Indian American descent (Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal being the other.) Oklahoma also picked its first female governor, Republican Mary Fallin.

According to the authoritative Stateline.org, the country’s contests for governor and lieutenant governor cost $850 million. Heading into 2012, the GOP will control at least 29 of the 50 governor’s suites.
Perhaps more importantly, the Republican wave at the national level was also felt at the grass-roots level, where Republicans gained control of at least 19 more state legislative chambers, possibly two dozen as vote-counting continues.

The GOP will have a majority in at least 54 of the 99 state legislative chambers, including a minimum of 53% of state legislature seats (about 3,900). That’s the most the party has controlled in 82 years — and up about 700 seats from Monday.

Of course, we didn’t win them all and this one personally sticks in my craw. If it wasn’t for third party spoiler candidate Tom Horner (former Republican), Republican Tom Emmer would already easily be the next Governor of Minnesota. Mark Dayton should send Horner some flowers or candy or a tip or something.

Guv’s race: Long ride, no end in sight

A seismic shift in Minnesota’s political landscape unfolded Wednesday as the most game-changing election in a generation sent Republicans and the DFL scrambling for the last undecided prize — the governor’s office.

DFLer Mark Dayton unofficially leads Republican Tom Emmer by 8,856 votes — a margin so slight that it could trigger a hand-ballot recount for the second election cycle in a row.

Officials began the tedious, nerve-wracking task of locking up ballots, which both parties may guard around the clock.

The day’s events placed the state, yet again, in political suspended animation, awaiting the prospect of another recount brawl that could take months to resolve and get tangled in the courts.

See also:
2010 Elections Exit Poll Analysis: The Political Price of Economic Pain
Election Day 2010 and its aftermath
Exit polls Election 2010
Karl Rove, U.S. Chamber Amass Winning Record in 2010 Elections
Tea Party Top 10 biggest winners and losers
Statehouse wins put GOP in redistricting driver’s seat
Vote 2010 Elections: What’s Your Reaction to Republicans’ Big Win?
With 2010 Behind Us, A Look Ahead To 2012
Republicans celebrate, outline legislative goals
In Social Media Election, The GOP Capitalizes
How will Obama react to GOP gains?

Tuesday’s vote was an absolute thumping repudiation of Obama and the Democrats and their big government, far left agenda. Now that the Republicans have a tight leash on the Democrats, will the Democrats learn to play ball in the poetical center? Will the Democrats learn to at least read the destructive legislation they vote to cram down the throats of the American taxpayers, over the vociferous objections and protestations of the electorate.

/because, if the Democrats don’t learn their lesson this time, they’re going to get thumped even harder in 2012, the American people have spoken and they’ve had enough of Obama and the Democrats’ progressive socialism

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