Thursday, 27 May 2010

Bangladesh elections - new report

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) in Bangladesh has just launched a new independent study Elections in Bangladesh 2006-2009: transforming failure into success.

Intute has a good collection of links to other websites on this topic

The official Election Commission website has recent results, lists of candidates and full text legislation

The Alliance for Democracy and Reform in Asia also has some useful press releases and news about the state of democracy in the region.

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Landslide victory in Ethiopia polls

A fourth term landslide victory was announced in the Ethiopian elections for Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and the ruling EPRDF party. Listen to the BBC world service coverage of the events.
The site also includes a montage of opinions from Ethiopians and some assessments of alleged poll irregularities.
The National Election Board of Ethiopia has some provisional results, lists of candidates and background information on the elections.

Further news coverage is on the IRIN news and All
Human Rights Watch has condemned government repression during the elections
The EU is observing the elections and has placed a preliminary statement on the website.
Background facts, figures and results from past elections can be viewed on the African Elections Database
The IFES website which has some reports from 2005 and coverage of democratization programmes
Further background on security can also be obtained from the International Crisis Group website.
Finally a really good website which is summarising all the news and reports is Ethiopia Election Watch It is maintained by human rights group Aigawatch

Friday, 21 May 2010

Presidential elections in the Dominican Republic

This week there have been some elections in the Domenican Republic. here are some recommended starting points for research.

The Official Electoral Junta website has official details on the poll, candidates and results.

newspaper coverage can be found on the websites of these national newspapers:
Hoy digital
El Nacional
Dominican Today
A number of international observation teams witnessed the elections. Their reports and press releases might also prove useful.
see OAS at present just a press release
Carter Center has reports on earlier missions in the 1990s
NDI also has reports on previous elections
if you are interested in historic information the Political database of the Americas maintained by George Washington University has local and national election results since the 1960s.

Report on Uk voting problems published

2010 UK Parliamentary General Election Interim Report: Review of problems at polling stations at close of poll on 6 May 2010 - Electoral Commission. According to the commission at least 1,200 people lost their chance to vote on election night because of bad planning by councils

The Guardian datablog has a useful spreadsheet of places where the electorate couldn't vote.You can donload it directly from the website.

The OSCE ODIHR also deployed a mission to the Uk elections - some preliminary needs assessments are currently online.
In response to the elections Institute Public policy research has published a report Devising an Electoral System for the 21st Century: The case for AMS

Monday, 17 May 2010

Philippine elections online- harassed voting machines and more!

Following on from the Earlier postingon evoting in the 2010 Philippine elections. Here is some more on the use of the web.
The elections have been characterised by increased use of social media. Some interesting examples include the cult following for the twitter feed from a harassed vote counting machine!
Bloggers were also accredited by the election body to provide official coverage of events.
They include BlogWatch
Vote Report Philippines 2010, a project of the Computer Professionals Union which has examples of google maps being uused to monitor individual polling stations.
Kontra Daya 2010, a multisectoral and interfaith elections monitoring watchdog
and, a collaborative 100-day online countdown to the elections which also has some interesting materials on the elections online and an election day blog.

citizen net juan watch also united to monitor the elections. Their site has examples of recent postings.
USHAIDI technology has also been used to map incidents of failures of voting machine technology

Purple Thumb Live created a site for live blogging of the elections. Take a look for entries throughout the day.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Philippines elections evoting and more!

Of course the Uk is not the only nation which has recently gone to the polls. Millions have been voting to queue in the Philippines where national and presidential elections have been held. They include widespread use of voting machines. A twitter feed has even been launched which claims to be a harassed machine and attracted 100s of eager followers!
Here are some useful starting points for finding out more.

The Official election Commission site has the latest results . It also includes an explanation of the e-voting procedurewith sample ballot papers. Other features of the site include explanations of electoral law and procedures.
Sites containing election news - including the following national newspapers and news services Manila Bulletin
The Inquirer which has a large specialist politics website with polls, interviews and comment.
ABS News
GMA news where the website features video interviews, interactive maps of election campaigns and more.
Yahoo also has a good aggregation of election news
The Asia Foundation has some comment on its In Asia newsletter
Opinion poll results can be viewed via the major companies Social Weather Stations and PulseAsia
A number of independent watchdogs are also monitoring the conduct of the election. Their websites include press releases, comment and report on conduct.
National Citizens Movement for Free elections It includes some papers on electronic voting.
AFREL - Asian Network for Free Elections has sent an observation mission. Some preliminary statements have been posted on the website.
International Foundation for Electoral Systems has a programme in the Philippines to strength democracy. Its website includes background information on democratization and voter education.
NDI National Democratic Institute also has a Philippines delegation. Read their comments on e-voting and find out more background on democracy strengthening programmes
Finally Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) has some useful materials. Thes einclude reports, press releases and some voter education materials. The latter include online videos of mock voting demonstrations and presidential forum discussions.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Who is the new prime minster?

Yesterday it was announced that David Cameron had become the new Prime Minister
Here are some sites where you can find out more.
His official website tells you that his hobbies include growing vegetables. You can also download details of expenses and look at recent speeches.
the 10 Downing Street Flickr
and YouTube channels now contain information on Cameron. You can watch his acceptance speech and recent conversation with Barack Obama

However more detailed information on Cameron can be found on these websites.
The BBC has photographs and comment on Camerons life
the Guardian Aristotle database has facts and figures, the paper also has videos and recent news stories.
TheyWork for you has an excellent listing of recent parliamentary activity, questions, expenses and work in his constituency.
Finally the Political Studies Association Uk (PSA) conference proceedings database has some full text papers on David Cameron's leadership of the Conservative Party. See this example from 2007 which considered whether Cameron had feminized the party

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Did you have any trouble voting?

One of the news stories relating to election day was the claim that many people did not get to vote as the polling stations closed before they got their chance.

The Electoral Commission has now launched an investigation where members of the public can write in with their experiences.
The BBC website provides an introduction to what they regard as the root problems. It also contains a discussion forum where members of the public have put their comments This includes footage of queues shot from mobile phones.
The Channel 4 factblog considers claims that the problems were caused by high turnout and ultimately finds them to be a fiction.
Finally another interesting site to watch is the OSCE election observatiuon team who will be reporting on the consuct of the British elections.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Lib-Dems - what will they do?

The final results have indeed revealed a hung parliament. The Guardian has a spreadsheet where you can download date for each constiuency
But the question now seems to be what will the libDems do? Most of the Uk newspapers have columns discussing this at length
See David Camerons offer to them via the BBC website
and Gordon Brown's statement
The Official LibDem website has Nick Cleggs statement and will be posting further press releases
LibDem blogs has some comment on the situation from his supporters
as does the LibDem Voice website where members are being urged to have their say. They also have a twitter account
The Next Left blog from the Fabian society today said most of the public supported a coalition.
The BBC also has a good text feed of comment including postings from bloggers and journalists
Finally you might want to compare the content of the manifdestos yourself. The Guardian has a good visual display of the words which may offer insight as well as links to the full text.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Hanging on - with the election news!

As Britain edges towards a hung parliament. You can catch up with hours of last nights events condensed in a 17 minute election night podcast from the BBC Today programme. Download from their main website
Or alternatively Take a look at some TV footage on the BBC website and find out what happens in a hung parliament.
Read the log entries from the LSE Election Night event. A live webcast was broadcast which may be made available on the website .

Following on the theme of hung parliaments which has been covered earlier in this blog The blog from the University of Nottingham School of Politics has some interesting comment on events and the history of hung parliaments in Britain.
Also useful are some comments from historians on the History and Policy website
and a recent posting from Progressives on the history of Labour coalition governments.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Made up your mind who to vote for?

If you havent decided which party you want to vote for yet why not try the vote match tool developed by Unlock Democracy, the Joseph Rowntree Trust and the Telegraph Answer some questions and see which party your opinions most closely match.

CEP LSE 2010 election analysis - 110 page book discussing some research on the key issues. These include health, immigration, the economy.

About My Vote from the Electoral Commission has information on the voting process
Channel 4 also has a more light hearted election quiz to help you decide.
and the Vote-u-Lator claims to use your social network (via Facebook) to take the 'err' out of voter. Find out more from this post
Finally for some relief try the Downing Street Fighter game from T-Enterprise - who will win through to no.10?

finally the BBC has just released an online collection of comedy election clips They include Yes Prime Minister.

What about the regions?

Much of the emphasis of the main TV and news outlets has been on the leaders debates for England. But we shouldn't forget that dabates have also been taking place in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Here are some more quick suggestions for following these.

The BBC scotland website has news stories, polls and blog. Look out for clips of the leaders debates on the BBC iPlayer
Scottish newspaper The Herald also has a scottish focus with news, polls and discussion as does the Scotsman

Another good site for polls and blogs is Scotland Votes which is maintained by Weber Shandwick public affairs with media partners including the Scotsman.


Again BBC Wales has TV programmes, polls and blogs
Also useful is Wales Online which is maintained by the Western Mail newspaper

Northern Ireland

BBC Northern Ireland includes a blog by Mark Devenport
The Belfast Telegraph also has news stories and polls coverage and famous blogger Slugger O'Toole has postings and summaries from major news sources.
Strategm a NI lobbying company has some good analysis of the polls which features comment from renown expert Nicholas Whyte
For some historic election results some excellent starting points are: CAIN CAIN is the Northern Ireland Conflict Archive maintained by the University of Ulster . Its election section contains all results from 1968 onwards. Associated with this ARK has information on all elections since 1885 with a clickable map of results since 1996.
Finally if you want to consider the impact of political devolution on politics and government in the regions, we would recommend the UCL Constitution unit website which has a major section monitoring devolution.
The Intute catalogue also has links to major web resources relating to devolution in Scotland, Wales and Government in Northern Ireland

Should you vote tactically?

Tactical voting has been in the news over the weekend.
Yesterday leading Labour Party member Ed Balls advocated using tactical voting to keep the Conservatives out
Left wing think tank Compass also polled its members on whether tactical voting was a good idea last week. Its website includes a fact sheet on marginal seats.
Also discussing the issue were Liberal Democrats. see some recent posts on LibDem Voice.
On a more satirical note, famous political blogger Guido Fawkes has also been spolighting MPs who would lose their seats if voters employed tactical voting. Take a look at his blog for more.
Also interesting is the Voter Power website. This enables voters to find out if their vote will make a difference, using a calculation based upon statistical analysis by the New Economics Foundation (NEF). In this model those living in marginal constituencies have the most power.

For some academic analysis
see the CREST website. Centre for Research into Elections and Social Trends (CREST) is a Research Centre based jointly at the National Centre for Social Research (formerly SCPR) in London - Britain’s largest independent social research institute - and the Department of Sociology, University of Oxford. They have a number of papers on tactical voting. Paper 95
Definition and measurement of tactical voting : the role of rational choice
Tactical Voting and Tactical Non-Voting
Finally why not take a look at the IPSO Mori poll site which includes recent polls where the electorate have been asked if they intend to vote tactically. This archived paper considers trends in tactical voting from 1987-2010

Saturday, 1 May 2010

What does history tell us about the elections?

An interesting site from History and policy. Historians are using their insight to explain current trends. Find out what they think about Gordon brown's microphone gaffe
if you are interested in the history of British elections here are some useful sites.
The LSE election blog has also been comparing today with the last time a hung parliament occurred in 1974

See Uk election statistics from 1945-2004 in this House of Commons research paper and find more useful facts and figures on by-election turnout and results since then from their main elections website
British election studies provide insight and data on attitudes and behaviour from the 1960s onwards. It is possible to download more recent data free of charge from the website. In general most data prior to 2005 requires a subscription to ESDS Uk data archive
Find copies of party manifestos from 1945 onwards via Richard kimber's political resources website
If you are interested in political communications you might also want to look at the Uk web archive materials relating to the 2005 elections. They include archived snapshots of blogs, campaign and party websites taken during the campaigns.