Articles Posted in Politics


Americans Assess the National Economy and their Personal Finances

Since hitting the lowest point in mid-2009, ratings of the national and local economies have seen fitful improvement. Americans (32% very good/somewhat good) are in the lower to middle of the pack in assessing the current economic situation in their country among the 24 countries studied. This measure has improved over the last couple months.

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Teetering on the edge: The 2013 Kenyan Presidential election

Today, Keynans will vote for a new president.  The whole world is watching as well.  Why?  The last Kenyan presidential election in 2007 lead to widespread violence as supporters of Raila Odinga accused Mwai Kibaki and his supporters of stealing the election. Given that politics in Kenya is often strongly linked to tribal affiliation, much of the violence was directed by members of one tribe toward those of another. At its core, much of the violence found its origins in many long-standing economic grievances. Against this backdrop, the international community has kept a close eye on this election.

One constitutional change resulting from the violence in 2007 was that if no one candidate gets a majority of the votes, there will automatically be a second round run-off election between the top two vote getters within 30 days of the first round election-day.

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From “Bowling Alone” to Bowling Online: The Link between Social Media and Social Capital

In 2000, Robert Putnam wrote Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community in which he chronicled the decline of “social capital” in the United States. Putnam described the decline in the in-person social intercourse that Americans had used to found, educate and enrich the fabric of their social lives. Putnam also discussed the ways in which Americans have disengaged from political involvement including decreased voter turnout, lower public meeting attendance, fewer serving on committees and working with political parties. At the time, these same trends were being noted in Canada and other Western countries.

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Owning the “Change” Agenda: The 2013 Italian parliamentary elections

On February 24th and 25th, Italy will hold a general election which will produce a new Prime Minister.  This occurs against the backdrop of a dismal economy where over the last 10 years the GDP did not expand –a net 0% growth rate—and with  an unemployment  rate in the double digits.  Mario Monti,  the present Prime Minister who came to power in November 2011 after the fall of Berlusconi’s government, was the consensus choice among all parties  to push needed economic and market reforms.  In the wake of the Greece default, Italian politicians and policy makers wanted to staunch the credibility bleed  by chosing Monti, a technocrat and university professor, as Prime Minister.  It was thought that he would be the one to push the necessary but unpopular reforms—those most demanded by investors and other international stakeholders.

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Just more about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs or Setting the stage for Long-Term Economic Competitiveness

Just more about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs or Setting the stage for Long-Term Economic Competitiveness?

Today, February 12th 2013, President Obama will give the 227th State of the Union address and the 5th of his presidency. This specific speech will have special significance because it is the first of his second term as president. It is his opening volley and will help set the policy tone for the next four years.  It, in other worlds, is an important speech.

But what should, and ultimately what will, Obama say?

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American Pragmatism or American Radicalism?

Public Opinion Support for a ‘Mixed’ Deficit Reduction Solution

Washington is presently in crisis mode as time is running out before automatic tax increases and spending cuts go into effect in early 2013. Many analysts believe such measures—the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’—would have a strong negative effect on the economy, pushing the US back into recession.

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Chávez, Variable Polls, and Misiones: Reflections on the Venezuelan Presidential Election

On 7 October 2012, Venezuelans showed up to cast their vote for president on Election Day with an unprecedented sign of voter enthusiasm pushing final turnout up over 80%. This race pitted Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, the incumbent and long-sitting president, against the 40-year-old opposition candidate, Henrique Capriles Radonski. Just this on its own would provide sufficient suspense for most. This electoral campaign, however, was one of particular drama and uncertainty

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