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01 Nov 2011 10:25


World: Stocks hate democracy: Greek PM puts aid package up for referendum

  • cause In a surprising move that threw off the entire world market, Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou said that he would put the country’s aid package up to a public referendum.
  • reaction Stocks worldwide reacted to the news poorly, including the U.S., which fell by more than two percent. The markets were already volatile; the danger of Greek default made things even worse. source

21 Mar 2011 23:50


World: More on Egypt’s recently-passed constitutional referendum

  • Oh yeah, that: With all the chaos in Libya and Japan, there hasn’t been much attention paid to what’s happened in Egypt in the wake of President Hosni Mubarak’s ousting. So, here’s the skinny: Over the weekend, the country voted on a referendum containing substantial changes to the country’s Constitution. Both of the country’s two major political parties, the National Democratic Party and the Muslim Brotherhood, supported the changes, which passed with 77% of the vote. Now, it has to pass a parliamentary vote, which could come as early as September. But what was actually in it, and how is it playing out in Egypt?
  • Limits on the Presidency In addition to reducing the length of presidential terms from six years to four, the new Constitution, if adopted, will instate a two-term limit for future presidents (Mubarak led for thirty years). Also, it requires the President to select a deputy within thirty days of assuming office, and bars anybody under 40 from running for President.
  • High Voter TurnoutBack in the Mubarak days, many Egyptians thought leaders rigged the elections, so there wasn’t much of an impetus to vote. This time, 41% — or 18 million people — came out to vote. Not staggeringly high, for sure, but nothing to sneeze at, either. If anything, this turnout bodes well for the prospects of a democratic Egypt.
  • Mixed Reactions Some pro-democracy groups are upset that the reforms didn’t go far enough. Activists claim the changes will benefit the two major parties, and some want to tear up the constitution and start over. Perhaps. Even so, the referendum’s passage seems — tentatively — like a good step towards rebuilding the country. source

19 Mar 2011 15:52


World: Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei: I was attacked

  • Went 2 vote w family attacked by organized thugs. Car smashed w rocks. Holding referendum in absence of law & order is an irresponsible act.
  • Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei • Explaining what happened to him today as he attempted to vote in a referendum on the constitution. While ElBaradei’s brother confirms the Nobel laureate was attacked, the Egyptian military denies the incident. “There have not been any incidents of violence or clashes,” said spokesperson Major Alla al Iraqi. “Any minor arguments I witnessed between those who were voting yes or no were resolved between one another. Today, has been a model for democracy.” source

14 Feb 2011 14:57


World: Higher Military Council in Egypt issues timeline for reforms

  • 2 months maximum expected before Egypt’s constitutional referendum source

29 Nov 2009 09:41


Politics: Here’s what one jerk says about the Swiss minaret ban referendum

  • Forced marriages and other things like cemeteries separating the pure and impure – we don’t have that in Switzerland, and we do not want to introduce it. Therefore, there’s no room for minarets in Switzerland.
  • Ulrich Schlueer • Co-president of the Initiative Committee to ban minarets in Switzerland. Nothing like the small of racism in the morning, or at the very least, a wedge issue to emphasize our differences in an ugly way. source

29 Nov 2009 09:34


World: In an anti-Muslim move, the Swiss appear likely to ban minarets

  • What is up with the Swiss? First the bank accounts, then Roman Polanski, now this. It’s like we don’t know you anymore. Anyway, it appears likely that the country will constitutionally ban minarets – one of the strongest physical features of most mosques – after a referendum. 59% of those who voted favored the ban, according to exit polls. source

02 Nov 2009 11:49



29 Jun 2009 10:23


World: The scene from Honduras: A giant freaking mess of protests

  • As you can tell, the coup in Honduras sure had the side effect of messing everything up. All because Jose Manuel Zelaya wanted the right to put a constitutional referendum up for a vote. Seems like that would’ve been easier.source

28 Jun 2009 11:30


World: Just this morning, Jose Manuel Zelaya didn’t see a coup coming

  • Everything was in place for the coup and if the U.S. embassy had approved it, it would have happened. But they did not … I’m only still here in office thanks to the United States.
  • (Uh, former) Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya • Quoted this morning in Spain’s El Pais as saying he would not in fact, be couped. Way to speak too soon. Zelaya tried to put in a referendum which the country’s Supreme Court decided was unconstitutional. He said he was going to do it anyway. He had completely noble reasons for the non-binding referendum, he said, which would have encouraged a constitutional referendum at the same time as the 2010 elections to allow for future presidents to be re-elected. Instead, he’s been put into exile. • source

28 Jun 2009 11:20


World: Honduras’ president, Jose Manuel Zelaya, just got couped today

He tried to put a referendum on a second referendum to allow for re-election of presidents. Instead, he got arrested by the military. source