Chavez referendum defeated

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez had his first ever electoral defeat this week since he came to power in 1999. Chavez had sought constitutional change that would allow him continue his rule beyond the two term limit currently stipulated, under which he must step down in 2013. The divisive figure who has gained notoriety and cult status due to his vehement criticism of the United States saw his proposals to amend 69 articles of the constitution rejected by the National Electoral Council by 51 per cent  to 49 per cent.


The future for Poland's politics

The outcome of Poland's general election represents far more then a change of regime, it is indicative of a new Poland with a maturing democracy, a country which is at last at ease with its place in Europe and whose future is no longer held in the iron fist of history but in the hands of it's citizens.

French electorate tempers 'blue wave'

Nicolas Sarkozy's Union pour un Movement Populaire (UMP) has secured a parliamentary majority but the much predicted ‘blue wave' did not materialise. Although the centre-right candidate won the presidential election by over 6 per cent of the vote, his parliamentary power was tempered by the 185 seats the electorate handed to the Socialist party.

The fringe parties of the 2007 election

Recent election results have provided us with much food for thought as the mainstream parties aim to negotiate a deal that will see sufficient Dail seats form the next government. But amidst the negotiations for power it is easy to forget the smaller parties and groups who partook in the democratic election process. What of those who stood and financed a campaign with ambitions equal to those of the mainstream parties, many who from the outset must have known in all reality that they were to fail in their quest for a seat?

The Green Dilemma

The prospect of Fianna Fail and the Green Party arriving at agreement with regard to the formation of the next Government will lead to the members of the Green Party passing a defining judgement as they cast their vote this weekend. Would a position in government dilute the party principles irrevocably or would it cement a central role for the party in any future Irish political landscape? Since its foundation in 1981 (as the ecology Party of Ireland) the Green Party has been vocal in what it stands against, can it now voice substantially what it stands for?

The pruning of the Rose

With the Labour Party meeting today to discuss the merits of forming the next government with Fianna Fail, Coleman Hudson ponders the political ramifications of Labour's strategy and performance in Election 2007.

Election possibilities

Fianna Fail, to paraphrase novelist Alasdair Gray, may be in danger of becoming the ‘party that will bake and eat itself'. Having overseen prosperity and renewed promise it is now stands on the verge of imploding due to internal strife. The electorate is about to be seated at the banquet table and it is unclear as to whether it will opt for the sweet new crème brulee of Fine Gael and Labour, garnished perhaps with a Green sprig, but most definitely with a cherry on top, or old Bertie's tried and tested recipe served on a tough PD base.