Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Exhuming Macarthy (again); rogue neighbours and the US election outcome

The US election is open to all manner of capricious intervention, but the view from Europe suggests Kerry is now in a very strong position. Funnily enough, I suspect the coverage of 'key states' may be concentrating on the wrong ones. Much has been made of the possible influence of new voters, particularly those who have registered but cannot be polled as they do not have or do not answer landlines. The consensus is that Bush needs a slight lead in states like Florida to soak up this unpolled, supposedly Democrat vote. In my view, these marginal states are as close as they look and will be a fairly fair split. To win one party needs to spring a surprise somewhere. How about Bush in Pennsylvania? Worth (I think) 21 college votes, and polled as being marginaly Democrat, it strikes me as one of the few states where the previously unmobilsed vote may spring a surprise by voting Democrat. Here, perhaps, the approach to public spending proposed by Bush (highly centralised education budgeting etc) may seem both more stable and less "nannying" than the impression given by the Kerry spending plan. To win either side needs to control some "swing" states like Iowa, but ultimately a surprise elsewhere could be decisive...

The disappearance of an anti Daily Mail rant was caused by a naughty neighbour divulging his darkest desires in the comments section. They're not all locked up yet...

As we smirk at Putin outlawing swearing <http://www.inebriantia.org/2003/10/russia_makes_sw.html>, perhaps of real concern should be his reversal of the burden of proof for terrorist trials (for an endearingly bonkers Christian critique of such ideas: http://www.biblebelievers.org.au/nl130.htm). Not intending to bang on about his constitutional changes (lets worry about Blair first http://www.deadbrain.co.uk/news/article_2003_06_18_0358.php for a spoofy version) it is worth thinking about how the US will react to Putin's retreat into isolationism. The nation is simply too big for the US not to worry about, and positioned, as it is near countries more barmy than Afganistan - have a look at Turkmenistan among others - it is likely to be of economic as well as anti-terrorist interest. American interests in central asia makes for interesting reading. http://commdocs.house.gov/committees/intlrel/hfa48119.000/hfa48119_0f.htm. Meanwhile, we have a Labour-Republican alliance, the Tories want the Democrats to win, and not even the Tories can make a coherent statement of a smaller govenment ideal. Should a referendum on Europe ever come, the UK will stick 2 fingers up at the EU, whose borders are about to be closer to Russia than we are used to. The map of international alliance is being redrawn in the most dramatic way since 1989. It is impossible to believe tensions will not result, and the question is: who will be the new "reds under the bed"? While we are shoulder to shoulder with the US of A, this is a question that matters quite a lot.


At 3:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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