Looking ahead to 2017

Well, no one can accuse 2016 of being boring.  I managed to get the big calls right – I predicted back in November 2015 that Trump would become president, and thought that Britain would vote to leave the EU (in both cases, reluctant urbanites were up against an enthusiastic (and angry) countryside, and the countryside won).  But when your predictions align with your preferences you probably can’t claim too much credit!


Looking ahead to some of the political events of 2017, it’s harder to have a sense of the likely outcome.  Proportional representation systems like Italy’s are designed to prevent meaningful change, so the effect of the recent constitutional referendum on Italian politics (which tends to be all froth and no substance) is likely to be limited.  France’s presidential elections pose a greater chance of political disruption.  Although it’s hard to imagine the National Front actually winning the election, as with Trump and Brexit there is once again the potential ... Read More

Who’s afraid of a big bad recount?

Funny how everyone was concerned that Trump might not accept the results of the election, when all along it was Green Party candidate Jill Stein we had to worry about.

As you’ll know, Dr. Stein has been raising money to request recounts in the three mid-western states that propelled Trump to victory: Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania.  The deadline for submitting a recount request in Wisconsin was 5pm last Friday, and Stein managed to lodger her petition there with 90 minutes to spare.  So there will definitely be a recount in Wisconsin.  Deadlines for challenging the results in Pennsylvania and Michigan are today and Wednesday, respectively.

The 2000 Florida recount was a formative experience for me and for many others of my generation.  Any mention of a recount brings up the spectre of hanging chads and divided Supreme Court decisions.  Despite the fact that the recount didn’t change the outcome of the election ... Read More