Wednesday, 30 June 2010

German presidential elections 2010

Today Germans are going to the polls in a snap presidential election which is widely seen as a test to the authority of referendum on the government of Chancellor Angela Merkel.
A brief summary of why the elections are taking place and the main candidates is provided by the Robert Schuman Fondation.
The American Institute for Contemporary German Studies at John Hopkins University has a number of links to English and German articles where you can read more about the issues at stake
Readers of German should take a look at the civic education site maintained by BpB
This has background information on the history and purpose of the elections. Ther eis also an online dictionary of political terms which you can get for your mobile phone!
Get some up to date newspaper coverage from the main daily German newspapers
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung has news, videos and polls
Der Spiegel coverage includes an interactive map
Zeit online coverage
Mediaskop Politics maintained by the Universit├Ąt Hohenheim provides regular updates on coverage of political issues in the German Media - find out which politicians and parties are making the news.
ZDF Politbarometer maintained by ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen) also provides free access (in German language only) to a collection of political opinion polls and recent interviews where you can examine recent trends.
Fot those who cannot read German some English language summaries of recent polls can be found on the Augus Reid Global Monitor website.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Guinea election will technology enhance democracy?

Elections have been taking place in Guinea
According to news posted on sms texting will increase democracy by enabling closer voters to receive messages and report abuses
CENI the official electoral body has a website where you can find out more. This includes news and background information on the electoral system
All also offers free news headlines from Guinea on events

A number of monitoring organisations have websites which are observing the conduct of the elections, including the work of CENI
EU observation mission
The Carter Center which has a blog from reporters in the field
EISA - a body from South Africa
NDI has worked in the region in the past and its website has historic reports on democratization initiatives.

Another good starting point fro news espacially up to the minute use of technology) is the twitter feed from the African Elections project. This is co-ordinated by
The International Institute for ICT Journalism. The main website has useful news stories and background information in French

There is also some discussion from bloggers on Global Voices onlineincluding this useful posting on the role and usage of twitter.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Slovakia elections - who won?

According to unofficial results released by the Slovak Statistical Bureau yesterday, Saturday’s parliamentary elections in Slovakia were won by Slovak PM Robert Fico’s left-wing Social Democrats
articles and discussion of the election outcome can be found in the following news resources -
Radio Slovakia International This includes a collection of articles on the elections
Some commemntators have claimed that the exit polls did not reflect the final result. You can check some polls on the FOCUS research site. English language translations and summaries are on the Angus Reid site
Other useful sources of information on the state of democracy are
IVO - the institute for Public Affairs. This has some free access to papers and reports about politics and foreign policy in Slovakia

Transparency International Slovakia has recent surveys and news stories on political, social and economic corruption. Although much of the site is not offered in English.
More historic materials on democratization programmes can be found on the NDI website
finally you might like to take a look at the OSCE election observation mission to the 2010 elections. At present this has a preliminary needs assessment but fuller reports are likely to be aded in the near future.

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Voting at railway stations in the Netherlands

This week voters in the Netherlands went to the polls. Radio Netherlands reported that the decision to place some voting booths in stations was a success.
In 2008 researchers from Stanford University argued that location effects voting bhaviour see the abstract and references for Contextual priming: Where people vote affects how they vote on the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences website.

The UK Political Studies Association database also has papers from its conferences (1994-2010) which cover voting behaviour.
And American Political Studies Association conference papers 2002 onwards can also be viewed from their website

The ACE Electoral Knowledge Encyclopedia contains articles on arange of topics covering all aspects of elections and electoral systems.

finally it might be useful to take a look at the International Idea voter turnout database - does a differnet electoral system or method of voting increase political participation?

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Historic Netherlands election resources

On a related theme the Netherlands has also digitised some excelelnt historic materials relating to its political and electoral history.

Databank verkiezingsuitslagen - Dutch election results
created by the Dutch Election Council to provide free access to information and statistical data from Dutch election. These include the results from Senate, House, local, European elections and Dutch referendums. Many materials are offered from 1848 onwards.It is possible to get tables of results for years, regions and parties. Some are offered in Dutch only.

This site has been created by the Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse Politieke Partijen (Documentation Centre for Dutch Political Parties) which is based at the University of Groningen. It provides free access to an online collection of political posters from Dutch political parties. These cover the period 1918 onwards, with new materials being added regularly. They include examples from the mainstream and smaller parties and posters used in election campigns in the Netherlands. Posters can be sorted by party or year. Some annotations on content are provided in Dutch.

The main website of the Documentation Centre for Dutch Political Parties also has a section for publications where you can find full text copies of the yearbook of the DPP and information on political party archives.

Archipol is a joint project of the Documentation Centre for Dutch Political Parties (Documentatiecentrum Nederlandse politieke partijen; DNPP) and the Groningen University Library. It aims to electronically archive the websites of the main political parties in Holland. Its website provides information on the aims and progress of the project. It includes access to technical papers and presentations on its work from 2000 to the present day. It also includes online access to the archived websites. These include coverage of the websites of political parties during the 2006 Netherlands elections

Dutch Parliamentary Election Studies is developed and maintained by the board of SKON (the Dutch Foundation for Electoral Research). The site is offered in Dutch or English. The English language version contains information on the Dutch electoral system and all parliamentary results in the Netherlands from 1848 to the present day. It also offers some information on the election studies of the Dutch electorate. Users should note that at present most datasets are not available for downloading. There are links to data archives where statistical information can be found.

Finally for general interets the great Memory of the Netherlands website offers free access to a vast collection of online resources (images, photographs, documents) relating to Dutch economic, political and social history.

Netherlands snap election June 9th

A snap election will be taking place tomorrow in the Netherlands. The government collapsed on 20 February 2010 when the Labour Party ministers resigned over differences on whether to extend the country's military mission in Afghanistan.
Here are some useful starting points for following events.
A basic guide to the electoral system as well as results of previous elections can be found on the IFES website
The Dutch Electoral Council has official information in English about the elections. This includes an explanation of preocedures and regulations. The Dutch version of the website sems to have more detailed statistics on past elections.
In terms of news coverage - a good starting point is the Radio Netherlands website. Take a look at the weekly press reviews for summaries of recent Dutch articles.There are alos videos of Dutch politics
Another useful site with election news is NRC. Take a look at the primer on Dutch elections and parties.
the Instituut voor Publiek en Politiek (IPP) also has a excellent dossier on the elections. some of it is in Duttch. But there are good listings of links to parties manifestoes, political leaflets and posters from the campaigns

Predict who is going to win by looking at opnion polls on these websites.
Politieke Barometer
and TNS
Finally the OSCE will be reviewing the elections. Look for current and past reports of missions on their website

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Have Czech electors moved to the right?

According to the BBC voters have moved to the right in the Czech elections of the
28th May. But is this right get some more information from these useful websites.
Basic background information on the elections and past election results can be obtained from the IFES website which has an excellent election guide.
the osce has also sent an observation mission which has a preliminary needs assessment and reports on earlier elections from 1998 and 2002.
The Czech Statistical Office has an English language website with official results, turnout and parties. Volby.Cz also has statistics from past elections from 1996 onwards.
Newspaper coverage of events can be found on the following sites.
The Prague Post has an election Watch section
Prague Daily Monitor
Czech happenings (English title) has a section of press reviews from the campaigns. These are a useful starting point for finding out Czech opinions.
Transitions online last week discussed concerns that the facebook generation were boycotting the polls.Note that many items on the site are offered to subscribers only.
For those who can read Czech SANEP has opinion polls and market research relating to the elections. English language summaries of some of the polls can be read on the Angus Reid monitor website