Manitoba Tories are often showcasing held constituencies in election campaign
The Toronto Star
As the Manitoba election campaign reaches its halfway point, the Progressive Conservatives are playing defense, holding news conferences in constituencies they already hold and featuring candidates seeking re-election. The Tories are seeking a rare third consecutive mandate and are behind in opinion polls, so their central task is to avoid losing their majority in the legislature. Meanwhile, the NDP is on the offensive, trying to make the election a change election and find the 11 or more seats needed to form government. Both parties are focusing on swing constituencies that will determine the outcome of the election.
Arizona county elections leader who promoted voter fraud conspiracies resigns
Bob Bartelsmeyer, the elections director of Cochise County, Arizona, has resigned after promoting false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election. Bartelsmeyer, who was hired five months ago, announced that he will return to his previous job as elections director in La Paz County. Bartelsmeyer had publicly shared memes on his personal Facebook page supporting former President Donald Trump's claims of fraud and promoting the lie that Dominion voting machines manipulated the outcome. The two Republicans on the Cochise County Board of Supervisors, who hired Bartelsmeyer, had attempted to hand-count ballots in the 2020 election but were ordered by a judge to certify the election results.
Trump ex-aide claims he wrote ‘to-do lists’ on classified documents
Former President Donald Trump allegedly tried to silence a former aide who knew about boxes of classified documents he kept at Mar-a-Lago after leaving the White House, according to a report by ABC News. Molly Michael, who worked as an assistant to Trump at the White House and after he left office, reportedly told federal investigators that he told her to stay quiet when he learned they wanted to speak to her. Trump denied the claims, with a spokesperson stating that he "did nothing wrong." It is also reported that Trump responded to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's challenge during his speech at the UN General Assembly to reveal his plans to end Russia's war with Ukraine in a single day by joining in the far-right outrage over the US's spending on Ukraine.
Democrats think Trump is the opponent they want. They’re wrong, again
Joe Biden may be benefiting from promoting Donald Trump as the standard-bearer for the Republican Party. By highlighting Trump's positions on issues like abortion, Biden is able to rally support from his own base and strengthen his own candidacy. This strategy has been successful for Democrats in the past, as they have used negative partisanship to boost vulnerable Republican candidates and ultimately defeat them in general elections. However, the article warns that this is a high-stakes gamble, as Trump's surprise win in 2016 caused near-existential despair among Democrats.
Can India benefit from simultaneous elections?
The Indian government has set up a committee to explore the feasibility of holding simultaneous elections for the lower house of parliament and state assemblies, municipalities and village councils. The proposal has been criticised by opposition parties and political commentators, who argue that it would undermine the federal structure of the country and the autonomy of state governments. Supporters of the move argue that it would reduce the cost of elections and allow governments to focus on governance rather than campaigning. The committee is expected to assess the logistical requirements for holding simultaneous elections.
Aide says Bolsonaro floated Brazil coup with military officers after election -reports
According to reports from O Globo and UOL, a close aide to former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has told police that Bolsonaro and senior military officers met last year to discuss a military intervention to overturn the result of the election after he lost. The former aide, Mauro Cid, agreed to cooperate with Federal Police in their investigation into Bolsonaro for possible crimes including embezzlement and inciting the January riots in Brasilia. Cid allegedly told police that Bolsonaro had spoken with armed forces commanders about a draft decree to overturn the election. Bolsonaro's lawyers and the Federal Police declined to comment on the reports. Bolsonaro has already been banned from seeking office until 2030 by Brazil's federal electoral court.
Socialists would win Spain election over conservative PP, poll shows
A new survey by Spain's Centre for Sociological Studies (CIS) has shown that the Socialist Party (PSOE) would win a new general election by a narrow margin and fall short of a parliamentary majority. The survey shows the PSOE with 33.5% of voting intentions, while the conservative People's Party (PP) lags behind at 31.7%. The country could face a repeat election in January if the candidates for prime minister from either of the two main parties fail to achieve sufficient majorities in the hung parliament to form a new government.
Miliband regrets Russell Brand interview in 2015
Former Labour leader Ed Miliband has expressed regret over giving an interview to Russell Brand during the 2015 general election campaign. Miliband said he agreed to the interview to encourage people to vote but now regrets it after the recent allegations of rape and sexual assault against Brand. Miliband stated that he was not aware of the allegations at the time and would not have done the interview if he had known. He stood in solidarity with the women who have come forward with their stories. Miliband rejected claims that there were no women in the room when he agreed to the interview but acknowledged that figures like Brand were given too much latitude in the past. Brand has denied the allegations against him.
Lin Wood insists he’s not flipping on Trump
Lin Wood, an election conspiracy theorist and supporter of former US President Donald Trump, has denied turning against Trump after it was reported that he had been subpoenaed in a criminal case against one of Trump's allies. Wood vehemently denied testifying against Trump, stating that he supports the former president "117%". Wood, who joined lawsuits to overturn election results in states that Trump lost in the 2020 election, has faced accusations that he infiltrated the "MAGA movement" and is now "flipping" on Trump.
4 political takeaways from Rupert Murdoch’s exit
Rupert Murdoch has announced he will be stepping back from his media empire and handing control to his son, Lachlan Murdoch. Rupert Murdoch has long been a dominant figure in American politics with his media empire which includes Fox News, the New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal. Fox News has been the go-to news outlet for the Republican party and the American right. However, in recent years, Fox News has been at the center of controversy for promoting false claims about a stolen 2020 election. Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox News for defamation and the network recently reached a $787.5 million settlement with Dominion. During the trial, it was revealed that Fox News had pushed false claims about the election to keep Donald Trump happy and maintain the viewership of his supporters. Lachlan Murdoch is set to take control of the media empire, however, questions remain about how much will change. In November 2020, Lachlan Murdoch objected to skeptical coverage of a Trump rally by Fox News’ “news guys” and encouraged them to celebrate Trump instead.
Pakistan elections will probably be held by end of January, interim PM says
Pakistan's caretaker Prime Minister, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar, has stated that elections in Pakistan will likely be held by the end of January. Kakar explained that the process of creating new constituencies by the Election Commission of Pakistan and public consultations on this would take around three to three and a half months. The announcement comes after the Election Commission of Pakistan declared that a general election would be held in January, three months later than scheduled, in order to help stabilize the country's falling economy.
Rishi Sunak keeps relief in check after week of upbeat UK economy data
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has received three pieces of good news for the economy this week, including a drop in inflation to 6.7% and the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) holding interest rates at 5.25%. However, Sunak and Prime Minister Jeremy Hunt have reasons to be cautious. The UK faces a mortgage "time bomb", with 800,000 households expected to roll off fixed-rate deals in H2 2023 and 1.6 million needing to refinance in 2024, an election year. Sunak and Hunt are eyeing the spring Budget as the moment for pre-election tax cuts and declaring victory in the fight against inflation.
Lib Dems commit to pensions triple lock in challenge to Tories
The UK's Liberal Democrats have announced that they will commit to keeping the pensions triple lock beyond the next election. The party's leader, Sir Ed Davey, stated that the Conservatives and Labour have caused "huge anxiety" among pensioners by refusing to clarify their position on the policy. The triple lock ensures that pensions rise in line with inflation, wages, or 2.5%—whichever is highest. The Liberal Democrats hope that their commitment to the policy will help them win seats in the so-called "Blue Wall" in the next general election.
Record numbers of Australians enrol for referendum on Indigenous recognition
A record number of Australians have enrolled to vote in next month's referendum on recognising the country's Indigenous people in the constitution, according to the Australian Election Commission. The proposed amendment would create an Indigenous advisory body called the "Voice to Parliament" that can provide advice on matters affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Recent opinion polls have suggested that the proposal may not achieve majority support. However, the high turnout for the referendum suggests strong engagement from the Australian public on the issue. The referendum requires a national majority in favor and majorities in at least four of Australia's six states to pass.
Nevada Republicans brace for confusion as party eyes election rules that may favor Trump
The Nevada GOP, led by Trump allies, is insisting on moving forward with a presidential caucus on February 8 despite a new state law that set a primary election two days earlier. The proposed rules, copies of which were obtained by The Associated Press, include provisions to bar any candidate from the caucus if they’re on the primary ballot. They would also restrict super PACs, like the one Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is relying on, from trying to bolster support for candidates in a caucus. The result, some Republicans and Trump rivals argue, will be chaos at a crucial point in the presidential nomination process. Voters could be confused about which election to participate in and risk being disenfranchised if they vote in the primary. The Nevada GOP says it will only recognize — and award delegates to presidential candidates — based on the results of the caucus. “Trump hates rigged elections, except when he’s doing the rigging, like he’s doing in Nevada,” said Ken Cuccinelli, who was the deputy secretary of Homeland Security during the Trump administration and is now the founder of the Never Back Down super PAC, which is backing DeSantis’ campaign.
After Jacinda Ardern, a ‘Scary Time’ for Women in New Zealand Politics
The political landscape in New Zealand is unrecognizable from three years ago when Jacinda Ardern was prime minister. This year’s election is likely to result in a less diverse and more conservative government than Ardern’s. The country’s political discourse has also become more hostile for women; politicians have reported facing abuse and some have not sought office because of safety concerns. The incumbent Labour Party, led by Ardern’s successor, Chris Hipkins, is predicted to lose, with the centre-right National Party, led by Christopher Luxon, expected to form a coalition government with the libertarian Act party. Ardern’s tenure has been criticised by some commentators, including conservative political commentator Heather du Plessis-Allan, who questioned whether she had achieved anything. However, supporters argue that Ardern’s government achieved significant advances in women’s rights, including extending paid parental leave, decriminalising abortion and strengthening pay equity and domestic violence legislation.
Virginia governor urges Republicans to vote early despite Trump’s skepticism
In Virginia, early voting for the state senate and house of delegates elections is set to begin on Friday. Early voting has found an unexpected ally in Virginia's Republican governor, Glenn Youngkin. In previous years, a sitting governor rallying fellow party members to vote early would have been unremarkable. However, Donald Trump’s unfounded claims about widespread fraud in the 2020 presidential election, which he frequently attributed to early and absentee voting, have upended the Republican party’s traditional campaign strategy. Youngkin must now strike a delicate balance between maximising his party's turnout and not alienating voters who remain deeply sceptical of early and absentee voting due to Trump’s falsehoods. Although Youngkin's allies in the state legislature have worked to restrict voting access, the governor has argued that Republicans must make the most of voting rules previously implemented by Democrats, which allow Virginians to cast early and no-excuse absentee ballots beginning 45 days prior to an election. Youngkin has also launched the Secure Your Vote Virginia initiative to provide Republicans with easy-to-follow instructions on how to vote either by mail or early in person.
How the Biden White House became a trap for US Democrats
President Joe Biden's recent speeches have raised concerns about his age and mental acuity. Critics say his whispering and mumbling at the United Nations speech and his rambling during a press conference in Hanoi suggest he is unfit for office. A Wall Street Journal poll found that 73 percent of voters thought Biden was too old to seek a second term. Even the Washington Post columnist David Ignatius and the author of an admiring biography of Biden have suggested that he not run again. Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone, said that a recent poll indicated that 77 percent of people did not want Biden to run again. Democrats are worried that the 80-year-old president's low approval rating and concerns about his health could lead to former President Donald Trump being re-elected. Biden's approval rating is 39 percent, and Vice President Kamala Harris is even less popular. Biden's campaign promise to only consider black women as his vice president means that if he drops out, another Democratic candidate would have to be nominated. Democrats are now debating scenarios in which Biden dies or becomes incapacitated before the 2024 election. In 1912, Vice President James Sherman died six days before the election and was replaced by Nicholas Butler, but William Taft had already lost the election. If Biden were to drop out before the August convention, Harris would likely be nominated as president.
Rupert Murdoch exit may give Trump a Fox News 'reset,' Republican strategists say
Rupert Murdoch's departure from Fox Corp and News Corp could open the door for a reconciliation between former President Donald Trump and Fox News as the 2024 election approaches, according to Republican strategists. The relationship between Trump and Fox News soured after the network's coverage of the 2020 election and the Capitol Hill riot. Fox News recently settled a defamation lawsuit with Dominion Voting Systems for $787.5 million over its amplification of Trump's false vote-rigging claims. Trump is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination in 2024, and strategists believe there is an opportunity for a reset with Fox News.
No EU election team for Bangladesh amid concerns over free and fair vote
The European Union (EU) has announced that it will not deploy a full election observer team to Bangladesh for the upcoming general election due to a lack of "necessary conditions." The decision has prompted the opposition to declare that the polls will not be fair. Several Western governments have expressed concern over the political climate in Bangladesh, where the ruling party dominates the legislature. The opposition has staged protests demanding that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina resign and allow a neutral caretaker government to hold the vote. The EU's decision comes after accusations of vote rigging and targeting of the opposition marred previous elections in Bangladesh. The EU is Bangladesh's largest trade partner, with over half of its $55bn export merchandise shipped to the bloc.