Emmanuel Macron is headed for victory. Then what?

by Ken Feltman

The French are voting in numbers that suggest some left-of-center voters just cannot bring themselves to vote for Emmanuel Macron despite the fact that they abhor Marine Le Pen. The Radnor Conflict Index
predicts that Macron will win by about 20 percentage points.

Some voters who cannot stomach Macron are staying home rather than “sending a message” by voting for Le Pen or writing in another name. After all, even Le Pen’s own father has said he will not vote for her, calling her “unprepared.”

The French – unlike the British and the Americans – are quite practical in their voting. Even with unemployment at crisis levels, the French retain their practical approach to politics. They are not sending messages to their parties or political leaders. They are voting for what they believe is best for their families. (A downside to that attitude is the fact that about four in ten French voters believe that Le Pen’s far-right ideas offer the best answers to France’s problems – cutting off immigration, quitting the European Union, etc.)

These are the people who worked to create a European Union with a common European currency to replace their weak franc and, in the process, weaken the stronger currencies of their traditional rivals, the Germans and the British. The British have voted to leave the European Union. When the French vote to leave the EU, it will be because the EU no longer works for the French. At this point – even if the UK leaves – the French find sticking with the EU their better choice.

These practical and pleasant people realize that they have many problems. They know the shortcomings of their political leaders. They know that François Hollande was a bit of a dunce, sometimes doing clumsy and embarrassing things (such as wearing that crazy disguise when he went to visit his mistress). But they respect him for how he handled the attacks by terrorists. They admit that they will miss much of what he did and how he did it even as they laughed at his foibles. Politics, after all, is entertainment, too.

Tomorrow, they will begin thinking about the next election. They will not expect that their new leader will satisfy their hopes. That is what it is to be French – and the French love being French.
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Posted in European Union, Political parties, Politics

Brexit Part XIV: The State of the Nation?

By David Murrin

On Wednesday, March 29th, Britain will once more officially begin to chart its own course as a sovereign nation. 288 Days after the famous Brexit referendum vote, Sir Tim Barrow, the British Representative to the EU, will hand a letter from the Prime Minister, Mrs. May to Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council. The contents will notify the 27 members of the EU that Britain is commencing its exit process outlined in Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. The formal declaration of Britain’s intention to leave the EU, will commence a divorce process that will last two years. On the eve of this momentous event, how should the landscape for Britain and its impending negotiations with the EU be viewed?

Sentiment within Britain and its national energy

After an exceptionally charged referendum and its surprise outcome, it is a credit to Britain’s national character that with only a few exceptions like George Osbourne, the majority of the population have accepted the outcome and that divisions have begun to mend. Indeed, against the expectations of the remaining camp, both in the UK and in the EU, Britain has gone through its democratic process and maintained its course to trigger Article 50, enacting the will of the people. This process has at times been torturous for Mrs. May, but it has ultimately reinforced the nation’s respect and understanding for the importance of an independent legal system. Additionally, the importance of the role of the House of Lords in its balancing relationship with the elected body of the House of Commons should not be underestimated.

In effect, Britain’s institutions of government have been tried, tested and reinforced by this outcome. In terms of the sentiment across the nation, the positive sense of self-belief has been a surprise to those that wished to remain. However, they forget that the vote to leave derived from an innate sense of self-belief and national confidence that has now been allowed to be manifested. This underlying sentiment will continue despite any severe economic downturn in the next couple of years and this resilience will serve the nation well and provide the energy to chart an independent path in the years ahead. Indeed, this new found sense of the national identity of Britain can be clearly seen in its measured and defiant response to the repugnant suicide attack on the Houses of Parliament and the innocent people walking over the bridge.

Looking forward in the future, such attacks will only continue the process of polarisation of Britain’s national identity. The enduring image of the medical response teams trying to save the life of the attacker that had caused such mayhem, was the most powerful signal of the core values that Britain stands for as a nation. Indeed, what better response could there be to counter such extremism but a combination of strength, humanity and resilience? As we have discussed before, the national energy of Britain is high (see “Breaking the Code of History”) and we should expect to see this driving force urge Britain forward through some inevitably challenging time, when its European cousins falter.

continue reading Brexit Part XIV: The State of the Nation? 

Posted in David Murrin, European Union, Politics, United Kingdom

Are the political parties looking for clues from a 2005 special election in Ohio?

by Nathan Gonzales (Roll Call)

Are Democrats in the early stages of their own tea party movement? It’s one of the biggest outstanding questions at this point in the cycle. But as we collectively look at the past for prologue, I don’t understand why our memories only go back eight years.

Read more: http://sco.lt/82tHgv

Posted in Candidates, Congress, Democrats, Elections, Political parties, Politics, Thought-Provoking Analysis

Trouble understanding Trump? George Lakoff may help: “Idea Framing, Metaphors, and Your Brain”

Whether you agree with his politics should not keep you from learning from his research into language and how ideas are processed in the human brain.

Video: http://sco.lt/8Vsl4T

Posted in Controversial, Donald Trump, Politics, Thought-Provoking Analysis

When Will The World End? Artificial Intelligence Scientists Discuss Doomsday Plans In Arizona Desert

By Juliana Rose Pignataro

Scientists have begun actively preparing for the end of the world. A group of experts met in the Arizona desert to discuss potential nightmare scenarios that could take place in the future and how humanity might handle them, Bloomberg reported Thursday.

Funded by Tesla co-founder Elon Musk and Skype co-founder Jaan Tallinn, the meeting was comprised of 40 scientists, policy analysts and cyber security experts. The group was tasked with coming up with increasingly likely “doomsday scenarios.”

Read more: http://www.ibtimes.com/when-will-world-end-artificial-intelligence-scientists-discuss-doomsday-plans-arizona-2500991

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Controversial, Cyber security, Science, Technology