Episode 173: Please Leave Some Elections Behind (for now)


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This week in quarantine land we discuss the elections that have been postponed and those (looking at you Poland) that are bafflingly going ahead!

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Also, have you considered Matteo Renzi?

No Election Left Behind

... But maybe delay them?


After much fucking around they've settled on postal only voting... which ehh.. sure. The PiS are worried their mismanagement of the health service will be a bad look for them and might affect Duda's re-election chances.

But some problems with that:

  • Poland has never had a postal election and they only have a month to arrange one (queue alarm bells ringing about fraud/mistakes)

  • Collecting millions of ballots and counting them by hand via thousands of election districts (not to mention travel to pick up)... seems a bit like a disease vector to me.

  • The Polish constitution has a very specific entry about delaying elections for up to 90 days during emergencies (https://www.senat.gov.pl/en/about-the-senate/konstytucja/chapter-xi/), so why are they having it if not for political gain?

It's clearly because Duda, like many leaders is surgingly popular

Also people want it postponed (2/3rds for postponing) https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-poland-election/majority-of-poles-want-presidential-election-postponed-amid-coronavirus-survey-idUSKBN21C23T

Elections be dangerous in pandemics, who knew?

The French had the brain wave of not cancelling the first round of their local elections (see France's 2 round system for everything). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2020_French_municipal_elections

The second round has now been delayed until after the lockdown. The lockdown began the next day on March 16... so why did they have the election?

South Korea is holding their national elections - https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/apr/14/south-korea-votes-in-first-national-election-of-coronavirus-era

but to be semi-fair they have new cases at a low and have testing/infrastructure in place to at least try do it. They've not had to rethink their voting system completely. I still think it's a terrible idea


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