Monday, 12 December 2011

Russian elections and social media

Interesting article in French about the harassment and arrest of Russian bloggers following the recent electiosn. Includes links to relvant Russian language resources and examples. Material via Rue89

Saturday, 10 December 2011

Russia votes

Russia Votes
Last week Russia held parliamentary elections. A good starting point for academic information is the Russia Votes website. This site is maintained by the Centre for the Study of Public Policy University of Aberdeen, which specialises in studies of post soviet regions.
It has explanations of the electoral process, presidential election results 1996-2008For the Duma explanations of the system, plus some useful voting behaviour studies of the electorate from 1933-2011.

Other good starting points are the Central Election Commission official website which has an English language section with legislation, regulations and some results.
The Itar-Tass Russian News Agency also has news and commentary about political events. However do note this is a state funded agency which will impact on the stance of the news presented.
Further basic information on Russian elections and the electoral system can also be found on the IFES website election guide and the OSCE which has conducted observation of past elections. A number of think tanks and human rights bodies have had concerns about the elections. NDI has reported on the harassment of civil rights organisation GOLOS. It also has other papers and reports.
Human Rights Watch has also commented on harassment. Chatham House has podcasts and comment on the predicted results on its website.
In terms of other russian resources.
COCOREES Searchable catalogue of East European and Slavonic book and journal holdings in major Uk Libraries.

REENIC: Russian and East European Network Information Center
Maintained by the University of Texas. Extensive regional and subject directories of academic resources with helpful comment on content.
REESWEB: Russian and East European Studies Server
Maintained by the University of Pittsburgh. Interdisciplinary. Search by keyword or browse to find websites (organisations, journals indexes etc.) Annotations on content provided.

Friday, 2 December 2011

New Zealand elections: results and drinking games!

Last week New Zealand election results were announced. I have just been looking up places where you might find the results and analysis of the outcome.
Elections New Zealand - is the official website with results and information on the electoral system.
The website also has an excellent research section with literature reviews and papers on election related topics.
It includes voter satisfaction research from earlier elections.
There is also a dedicated area just for election results.
The New Zealand Election Study has monitorign study and data on its website for all elections since 1990.

For newspaper analysis try
The New Zealand Herald which also has electoral maps and polls
the Listener which also offered an election night drinking game
finally see the twitter messages relating to the elections.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Spain - the election game!

Here are some sites for Spanish voters.

Aritmetica 20N- Maths to break the electoral game.
calculates which party would have more chances of breaking 2 party politics in each province. It aims to encourages people to vote for a potential third party force.
Find out which political parties are closer to your ideology, answer some questions, choose topics and discover the parties.

Coming soon Spanish elections!

Spain will soon be going to the polls. Here (with some help from my colleague Eugenie Gozalo-Velasco) are some recommended starting points!

Official website from the Ministry of the Interior
Use this to check for legislations, electoral laws, regulation of candidates and parties. Also has online collection of previous election results.
Includes a 2011 section.Earlier election results can also be found from Manuel Álvarez-Rivera's site which includes results from 1977 onwards.

Junta Electoral central has further official documents.

The Electoral Census Office/ Oficina del Censo Electoral
Get official statistics on voter registration.
Tribunal de Cuentas- The Spanish Court of Audit. Includes documents and press releases relating to elections.

Centro de Investigaciones Sociológicas
Major conductor of public opinion polls amongst the Spanish public. Its website has information about its work and access to recent findings. Consult the databank for the latest barometers. These include recent voting intentions. Some information is offered in English.

El MundoIncludes polls analysis.
RTVE TV coverage Includes extensive video , analysis, films and graphs.
ABC. ES – TV coverage and analysis
EL Pais
Includes blogs with political satire cartoons
YouTube Channel contains videos, Google tendencies. site by Gonzalo González has news links to recent polls and surveys relating to Spanish 2011 elections.

OSCE will be assessing the conduct of the elections. See previous assessments on the website

Friday, 4 November 2011

Irish presidential elections 2011

This week the irish president was elected. here are some starting points for good quality facts about the election.
The Presidential Returning Officer website has the official results. Good graphs of the percentage achieved by each of the candidates. There is also a simple leaflet which explains the election process.
Results of past elections from 1938-2004 can also be downloaded.
RTE news has a special section with reports, analysis and social media from the election.
The Irish Independent also has a special section where you can find similar features.
Irish Times - special feature. This includes opnion polls, blogs and other social media. Look for vote 2011 external feature 2011 which highlights youtube videos from the campaigns - including today dancing candidates!
Other useful sources for Irish presidential elections are the website which is strong on data. based on the work of Seán Donnelly.

Irish National Election study has research and discussion of voting in Ireland. covering the period 2002-7

The Irish Social Science Data Archive also has further references to social and political attitude surveys covering the Irish electorate.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Tunisian elections: an Arab Spring victory?

This week Tunisians went to the polls in what was regarded by some as the first election of the Arab Spring
The BBC has a good FAQ on the importance of the elections.
Other sources of news include
The Official Tunisian News Agency (TAP) which has government press releases in English. - is a really good 'post revolution website' set up by Tunisians. It has blogs, podcasts and video and image content.
CNN coverage
Other sources of background information on Tunisia include:
Amnesty International
Frontline Defenders also has reports from human rights agencies/ grassroots groups working in the region.
Carnegie Endowment - website has an Arab Reform bulletin which contains a range of articles on political reform in the Arab World. These include some covering Tunisia.
Also interesting is the Arab Reform Initiative which has been set up by a network of independent research and policy institutes. There are some recent articles and opinion pieces on Tunisia
However for the latest comment try the Global voices online project which has blogs.
finally the EU sent an observation mission to cover the elections. their findings can now be found on their website

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Oman elections - did they answer activist demands?

Recently Oman went to the polls. A number of newspapers asked the question of whether the elections would settle protestors demands.
Times of Oman reported a poll turnout success.
Al- Jazeera also referred to high turnout. as did the Oman Observer
The Government Ministry of information also hailed the success.
However in the past Freedom House has been critical of the state of democracy in Oman. Likewise
Human Rights Watch

Gulf Analyst JE Peterson
has a number of articles on the political situation in Oamn which can be downloaded free from his website.
The Gulf Research center think tank also has analysis and news.
Arab Human Rights Index also has materials.
Finally try looking at Human Security Gateway which links to a collection of recent academic papers on politics and human rights from think tanks

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Cameroon Presidential elections were they fair?

Cameroon presidential elections took place on the 9th October.
the IFES website is a good starting point for data on the electoral system.
According to AfricaNews the official electoral body has suffered a blow to its credibility. reported that the opposition called the vote a 'mess'
Brookings Institution has also voiced doubts
Cameroon Center for Democracy and Human Rights - also has materials on its website discussing the state of democracy in the region.
The Commonwealth - had observers at the election. So they are likely to submit their reports soon. Though at present information is limited to a press release only.
Transparency International Cameroon also has information in French about elections and the state of democracy in the region.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Saudi Arabia women win right to vote

This week it was announced that in Saudi Arabia women will soon be able to vote.

The bbc discusses some reaction from Egyptian citizens via social media sites
Global voices is a good place for finding up to date comment (In English)
Al Arabiya also has well regarded news in English for instance see this article
You can find further articles from its journalists on the Arab Insight site. Arab Insight is a project of the World Security Institute, a non-profit organization committed to independent research and journalism on global affairs.

For example this article Stuck at a Red Light
Journalist and Women’s Rights Activist; Online Editor for Al Arabiya; Saudi Arabia

Other organisations who regularly comment on womens political and civil rights in the region include:
Centre for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabi
Amnesty International and Human Rights watch
General databases on womens political participation worldwide include:
Women In politics Bibliography - search for references to articles. Maintained by the IPU
They also maintain statistics on women in Parliaments Worldwide. Compare data by country

Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Singapore presidential elections

Tony Tan narrowly won the singapore elections a few days ago
see the official announcement of the count on the official elections website
The Straits Times also has news coverage of the count, plus interviews and analysis. It alos has discussion of the use of facebook by candidatesfor discussion of the state of democracy in the region try these useful websites
Amnesty International
see how it rates on Transparency International's global corruption barometer
IFES has recent news which focuses specifically on elections
for election monitoring reports see
Maruah who worked on behalf of ASEAN. and monitored mainstream media coverage of the campaigns.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Where can I find election data? part 2 the UK

Electoral Commission
Independent body established by the UK Parliament. Website provides access to local, national, devolved assembly and European Parliament elections since 2005. Also available is data on political spending and analysis of the election campaigns.

House of Commons Library Research Papers
Produced by staff of the House of Commons Library to brief MPs, these regularly cover by-elections, general elections and devolved assembly elections, offering facts and figures on seats, votes cast and party representation.

Elections Centre at the University of Plymouth
Collates and analyses electoral data with a particular emphasis on local elections. Some results online. Also Produces the Local Elections Handbook, published annually since the 1980s, which is a comprehensive source of voting and electoral statistics for every local authority in Great Britain.

Several good printed series held by major research libraries and traceable via COPAC are
Times Guide to the House of Commons
Long established series, written by Times political journalists. Copies cover most general elections since 1885, offering election results, analysis, manifestos since 1950 and biographies of candidates.
Britain Votes
Series of volumes containing full election results; plus scholarly essays analysing key themes. Volume 1 edited by FWS Craig and published by Parliamentary Research Services in 1977 covered the general elections of 1974; subsequent volumes (compiled by different editors) covered the succeeding elections

British Election Study
Long established study of the attitudes and behaviour of the electorate. Covers general elections from 1963 onwards. Information, research papers and some quantitative data can be downloaded from the website. Earlier sets can be obtained via the ESDS data service

Elections - where can I find data online?

Elections have been very quiet over the summer. So here instread are a selection of my favourite recommended resources for finding election data on the net.

International resources.
ACE Electoral Knowledge Network
Free access to a wealth of election information about 100s of nations worldwide. Maintained by a collaboration of authoritative institutions including International IDEA, IFES. It contains an encyclopedia, election calendars and extensive country level information. The latter includes information on electoral systems, results, analyses and examples of electoral materials produced by the nation.

Constituency-Level Elections Archive (CLEA)
Project led by Professor Ken Kollman of the University of Michigan. It aims to create a public repository of election results by constituency for parliamentary (lower house legislative) elections worldwide. Data includes results, votes cast, votes received by individual candidates and parties.

Election Guide

Compiled by IFES (the International Foundation for Election Systems). A key starting point for research. Free access to authoritative national and presidential election data since 1998. Also offered is expert analysis, links to national electoral commission websites, and a calendar of forthcoming events.

Lijphart Elections Archive
Research collection of district level election results for national legislative elections in 26 countries which is based at the University of California, San Diego. Covers the period before 2004. The website can be useful for tracing printed sources containing election results.

Psephos Adam Carr's Election Archive
Extensive online archive of recent and historical election results maintained by Dr Adam Carr. It contains entries for over 160 nations worldwide, offering election results and statistics for national and local elections. Dates differ according to individual nation, but in some cases (such as Britain and Australia) extend beyond 1900.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Thailand elections- use of social media

Recently elections took place in Thailand. These sites have some basic suggestions for keeping up with events.
IFES election site has facts and figures about the electoral system.
A number of news services discussed the use and limitations of social media in thailand. For instance see this article by Reuters
The Asian Correspondent also has some discussion of twitter. as does Global Voices online.
on YouTube this video from the Asian news Network argues that web 2.0 had limited impact.
Further discussion of thai politics can be found in the Bangkok Post which has a special elections section.
Council on Foreign Relations - US think tank.

NDI Thailand - which reviews the poltiical and democratic situation in the region.
Finally dont forget the Thai Politics @Leeds archive. This is a specialist research centre at Leeds University. Look at the resources section to see some recent articles on politics in Thailand. There is also an online image archive where you can find photos from 20 years of Thai politics including Thai political protest and 2007 election campaigns.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Turkey elections 2011 will they make a difference?

Another nation experiencing elections this week was Turkey
According to LSE Bloggers the political parties often stay the same IFES provides basic background on the electoral system and recent results
Key resources (in Turkish) include the official election commission website and a special website created by Google which has statistics and graphs of the results. These include details about trends in searches for specific candidates.
Newspaper coverage is available in
Hurriyet daily news which has a special section with results, news stories and analysis
Al-Jazeera also has a special English language section with coverage.
Istanbul notes is a well regarded blog which also has discussion.
Think tanks with discussion on the state of the Turkish political system and possible outcome. Include:
Council for Foreign Relations
Brookings Institution
and Carnegie Endowment
Finally view the findings of the Council of Europe fact finding mission to the elections

Friday, 10 June 2011

Portugal elections

Portugal also had some snap elections recently. see discussion of how the economic crissi effected the election on the Guardian website.

for further information onn the results see these websites.
The Official Portuguese election commission website has information on regulations, plus results.
The Minister of the Interior also has clear graphs of the results.

Compare the results with voting intention polls on this website maintained by ERC.

Some newspaper coverage and comment can be found in the website created by Jornal de Noticias

RTP - TV coverage.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Macedonia set for early elections June 5th - how is the web helping voters?

Macedonia has announced snap elections on June 5th
Reuters reported that it was seen as a way out of political deadlock.

Some useful sites for following the elections are
Offocial website of the Election Authority of Macedonia

Balkan Insight which has news stories, analysis and an interactive election map showing top candidates in the different regions.
SE times - also has news headlines.

Voters are being offered new web-based tools to help them keep track of politicians’ promises and the degree to which they fulfilled them.
Vistinomer - is a truth meter which compares promises made in 2008 with actions taken.
Glosmer - gives voters questions that help them decide which party is nearer their viewpoint.
Metamorphosis Group website discusses in English the development and use of these tools. It also has other documents on the use of ICT by government and democracy in Macedonia.
Another useful source on the state of democracy is watchdog MOST
and the OSCE which has deployed an observer mission and has copies of past reports on its website.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Cyprus elections close vote

this week there was a close race in the Cyprus elections.
Basic facts on the electoral system can be obtained on the IFES website and the ACE Electoral encyclopedia
The official Cyprus government website has official press releases on the final results.
The Ministry of the Interior also has more graphics.
The OSCE deployed an observer mission which will be reporting soon on the conduct of the elections. See details and statements
there are news stories and reports in the Cyprus mail.
Good places for looking for articles on cyprus and its political relations see the International Crisis Group.
Human security gateway aggregates reports from leadign policy institutes.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

AV debate online

Useful new addition from Backdoor Broadcasting listen to Is the Alternative Vote worth voting for?A debate on the AV referendum
The UCL Constitution Unit and the Centre for British Politics & Public Life at Birkbeck College, 11th April 2011.
Speaking in favour of a ‘yes‘ vote:
• Billy Bragg (singer and political campaigner)
• Peter Facey (Chair, Unlock Democracy)
Speaking in favour of a ‘no‘ vote:
• Jane Kennedy (National Organiser of Labour) No to AV
• Charlotte Vere (Finance Director / National Organiser) ‘No to AV’

Monday, 9 May 2011

AV referendum final results

The official results from the AV referendum can now be viewed on the Electoral commission website.
For a more visual display see the Guardian datablog where you can get maps for your area.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Referendum- who is ahead in the polls?

With one more day to go. Use therse resources to track who is ahead in the polls.
the UK Polling report is an excellent site for aggregating recent results.

some academic political blogs which are discussing the issue include:
The LSE British Politics and Policy Blog According to the most recent post from Robin Archer (comoparing the situation with Australia) AV may bring unexpected benefits.
David Hugh-Jones' blog a postdoctoral researcher ar the University of Warwick has some AV simulations on his blog
Alan Renwick from the University of Reading has produced a briefing paper for the Political Studies Association.

The Nottingham University blog ballots and Bullets also has some discussion.

Introduction to politics blog at Warwick also has a posting

Thursday, 21 April 2011

AV - referendum who stands where

Here are some quick links to think tanks and organsiations both for and against. Most have news and reports on their website.

Yes Vote
Yes to AV - formed from the original make my vote count campaign.
Take back Parliament - campaign group
Unlock Democracy - incorporates materials from Charter 88
Electoral Reform Society Long term campaign group. Website has numerous briefings and reports.
Compass - associated with the left recently published a pamphlet Democracy by Machines or Morals?
Operation Black Vote campaign group

Negative aspects of AV
Centre for Policy Studies Evaporating Case for Electoral Reform
GMB union - truth about AV

Other papers assessing the possible changes include.
British Academy report: 'Choosing an Electoral System':prepared by Professor Simon Hix, Professor Ron Johnston FBA and Professor Iain McLean FBA with research assistance from Angela Cummine
Constitution society briefing paper
Hansard society has some archived articles.

AV Referendum : news sites

Of course most newspapers have special coverage of the issues. Here are some recommended resources

BBC has good coverage of the position of the different parties. plus a special section with news and views You can also see video coverage from BBC programmes such as the daily politics.
The Guardian (which broadly supports AV) has a special feature.
It alos has video content of key speeches and an interactive guide which explains how AV works
Independent coverage

AV Referendum 6th May - starting points see Victor the Vote Counter and More!

While this isnt an election as it is a major referendum and will effect future voting patterns. This blog will be presenting a toolkit of useful sites over the next few days. Here are some basic starting points. Use these tro find out what is going to happen in the referendum and the nature of the changes proposed.

About My Vote is a public site maintained by the UK Electoral Commission. It provides information on the issues and how to vote. See Victor the Vote Counter for an explanation of different votong systems.

AV and electoral reform- this This report from the House of Commons Library gives in depth analysis of the proposed AV electoral system, its history in the UK, and an examination of its advantages and disadvantages. It also includes notes on the Regulation of holding a referendum in the Uk and existing voting systems in the UK You might also for background information like to look at the Jenkins report 1997 which reviewed electoral systems for the government. It constains in-depth analysis of different alternatives and recommended a form of AV

the main campaign sites are No to AV
yes to fairer Votes
Both have blogs, discussion forums and online campaign materials.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Nigeria election observation missions

The following organisations have notifed that they will have a presence covering the elections. Their websites will therefore be good places for keeping up to date.

European Union
African Union
relief web has a statement on its remit and methods.
NDI supported earlier elections. It has some useful comment on the website.

More on the Nigerian elections: follow these good news sources

See the official Nigerian election authority website for the latest updates in the delayed elections. The The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) also has official press releases, lists of candidates and information on procedures.

A number of Nigerian newspapers have online coverage of events see,.
Nigerian Guardian
This day
Nigeria Nation.
Nigerian tribune has a special section covering both the parliamentary and presidential elections.these include reports from local journalists. also look at the links on the left of the page for facebookk and other media pages covering the elections.
For Instance Reclaimnaija is using Ushahidi to map instances of electoral fraud and violence.

Sahara reporters has analysis and interviews.

Global voices online has some recommended tweeters to follow.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Nigeria elections will they take place?

Nigeria has again postponed its parliamentary elections.
here are some sources for finding out more about why this has occurred.
IFES has some general news and discussion.
Find more detailed materials on the ACE Electoral site. This includes current news stories, plus links to recent reports and assessments of the political system.
For discussion of the human rights situation excellent starting points are:

Amnesty International
Human Rights Watch
International crisis Group
and the Human Security Gateway The latter is a particularly good site which aggregates articles and reports from a number of different sources. It also has maps and statistics.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Haiti presidential elections

This week voting took place in the Haitian presidential elections.
here are some starting points for finding out more.
basic information on the electoral system and past results can be found on the IFES website.
The Haitian Election authority has its own website with official information in French about results counting and candidates.
The UN Mission in Haiti also has coverage of events, including statements, press releases and photos.
The OAS and Caricom observed the elections - statements on the conduct can be viewed on the OAS website.
Other observations on election conduct can be viewed in local newspapers:
Haiti Observer- which also has texts of debates between the presidential candidates.
Le Nouvellist -is one of the oldest newspapers. Headlines and coverage in French.
Haiti Libre - aims to offer alternative news from the people.
Alterpresse also aims to offer some alternative viewpoints.
Finally the Haitian Democracy Project has recent articles and analysis. This is a think tank launched by the Broookings Institution in 2002. It has received USAID funds

Wednesday, 9 March 2011

More receommended sites for welsh devolution

Following on from last week's referendum. A few more favourity sites for finding digitised materials on the progress of Welsh devolution

Ymgyrchu! : a century of political and social campaigning in Wales The website Ymgyrchu! presents a history of social and political campaigning in Wales throughout the twentieth century. Published by the National Library of Wales it uses a range of digitised resources, including documents, photographs, audio, and video files, which have been sourced from Library collections The content can be accessed through the timeline, by searching the site, or by a thematic approach. There are six themes, the Ballot Box, Labour Struggles, War and Peace, Devolution, the Welsh Language, and the Water Industry. These cover political themes like General and By-elections, women's suffrage, and the main political parties with a presence in Wales, labour history such as the Penrhyn Quarry Strikes, the General Strike of 1926, and the Miner's strikes throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Welsh involvement in the First and Second World Wars, the Spanish Civil War, and in CND and pacifist organisations. In addition to this there are also resources on disestablishment and devolution, Welsh language and education, and local campaigns such as those in Clywedog and Tryweryn. Also available on the site are educational notes, suggesting how the content could be tied in with the National Curriculum, and a bibliography.

Gathering the Jewels The Gathering the Jewels website provides free access to a fascinating collection of over 20,000 images of books, letters, photographs, prints and objects relating to Welsh economic, social and political history from Pre-history to the current day. It was created by a consortium of leading museum and libraries in Wales, including The National Library of Wales, National Museums and Galleries of Wales Federation of Welsh Museums, Archives Council Wales Royal Commission of Ancient and Historic Monuments Wales and Council of Museums in Wales. Themed topics include: education, health, the economy, the workplace, Welsh arts and culture, daily life, sport and leisure, law and order, protest and politics.

Constitution Unit UCL - was a major body which monitored the progress of regional government in the UK from 1999-2008. Read sopreports on progress during this time period from its website.

Cabinet office Devolution website provides access to information from the British government about the constitutional aspects of political devolution in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions. It includes information on government policy, plus the full-text of key documents

Wales Governance Centre The Wales Governance Centre is based at Cardiff University. It conducts research into legal and political issues surrounding the Welsh Assembly and the devolution of government powers in the UK. Its website provides details on the purpose of the Centre and its current activities. It includes lists of its publications and links to other websites relating to the Welsh parliament and Welsh legislation.

Also useful is the conference paper archive of the Political Studies Association (UK) get free acess to relevant papers from academics.

want to learn more?
Politics of devolution: OpenLearn Course OpenLearn is a website produced by the Open University in the UK, that is making available free of charge thousands of hours of educational content to learners and educators interested in studying subjects at a higher education level. This section provides free access to an online course about political devolution and the relationship between the different nations that constitute the UK. It includes clearly defined learning outcomes; online readings; audio and video clips and exercises for self paced distance learning.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Wales referendum starting points

Votes are being counted in the Welsh referendum. The electorate are voting on increased decision making papwers.
The BBC has a good introduction to the issues at stake. It also has a live report and interactive polls on a special section of the BBC Wales website
Wales Office has some details about the organisation of the elections.
However the main source on the adminsitration and conduct is the Electoral Commission. it website has a wealth of leaflets, legal documents.

for information on the campaigns for against. including acess to their literature, profiles see the websites.

Yes for Wales.
Tomorrows wales - multi-faith Yes group
True Wales - No campaign
Mark Beech - No vote
finally a good place for specific political news is epolitix

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Did digital media revolutionise the Irish election?

According to some sources a digital election hit the Irish elections 2011 with parties and candidates increasingly using the web to campaign.
Here are some useful examples.
Unlock democracy with Irish TV channel TV3 launched the first ever Vote Match in Ireland. This enabled voters to answer questions and see which party to voter for. Try the interactive quiz
More 'traditional use of the web' included discussion by bloggers. Notable examples were Slugger O'Toole. and Politics in Ireland which aggregated postings from major political and party blogs.

Sociable Blog used twitter to map possible election outcomes. See the analysis and judge whether the results were right.
Reform Card was launched by Joseph Curtin and Johnny Ryan. It evaluated the reform proposals of the main parties in 25 indicators before scoring them out of 100. Results were then examined by leading academics. The website actively sought collaborative involvement using web 2.0 tools was accompanied by a facebook site and twitter news updates a Google group has also been created to seek further help.
For more useful analysis of social media in the campaigns see launched by Ciarán Mc Mahon a lecturer in psychology at Dublin Business School.This discusses, analyses and profiles distribution and use by parties and in specific regions of ireland.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

Irish elections manifestos and literature

Read the official manifestos on the party websites
Fianna Fáil: Real Plan Better Future

Fine Gael: Let’s Get Ireland Working A number of useful sites have been created which are storing examples of election literature.

Green Party: Renewing Ireland

Labour Party: One Ireland - Jobs, Reform, Fairness

Sinn Féin: There Is A Better Way
Election Leaflets 2011 is a real-time election leaflet project. It is maintained by John Handelaar, who's also responsible for and encourages citizens to upload examples
Irish election literature blog has some useful examples of images and texts from the recent election. Plus some older materials

Irish elections - starting points for tracing results.

This week Ireland has been to the polls.
Here are some good sites for background information on the Irish system
the ifes website has information on the electoral system.
Oireachtas Library & Research Service has 2009 Profiles of Each Dáil Constituency
Trinity College Dublin has produced a guide which reviews recent elections, highlighting good sites and sources. It includes materials relating to 2011.
Citizens information - has basic facts for electorate on how to vote and the electoral system.

The Elections Ireland.Org website is produced in association with renowned Irish political commentator Seán Donnelly. It provides listings, and some analysis, of all general election results in The Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland since 1918. It also covers by-elections in Northern Ireland and Ireland from 1918 onwards, European Parliament elections in the region since 1999, and Irish presidential elections from 1938 onwards. Includes the latest results.

Newspaper coverage of the results, along with polls can be found on the following major services.
Irish Times
Interestingly enough the Houses of the Oireachtas Library & Research Service has compiled a detailed study which examined the influence opinion polls may have on voter behaviour and considered their accuracy in predicting Irish election results.

Friday, 18 February 2011

Ugandan elections: what are the issues?

AS Uganda goes to the polls- here are some starting points.
The Guardian has a good discussion of the issues which it feels are at stake.
An excellent basic guide to the electoral system and past elections results is on the IFES website
Official information from the Ugandan government is located on the electoral commission website. Some of its materials are also loaded on the ACE project website
Up to date news coverage can be found on the
All Africa website - which has some reports from African journalists.
Uganda newspaper - the Daily Monitor has a special section with profiles of the candidates, polls and analysis. Another local news service is the New Vision online
Other sources of reports on human rights are big agencies such as
Amnesty International which reported recently on intimidation and abuses.
and Human Rights Watch and the Ugandan Human Rights Commission.
Global voices online - has a guide and comment from bloggers about the process.
Finally Uganda Watch 2011 is a website created to provide Ugandans with a way to share their observations about elections and to provide comprehensive information about elections from a variety of sources. Citizens can SMS 6090 to report election abuses, ask questions, or praise individuals or groups that are contributing to a good election. Messages are reviewed and validated by a team of trained reviewers employed by the Democracy Monitoring Group (DEMGroup).

Friday, 11 February 2011

Looking forward to elections in Chad

Elections should be taking place in Chad on 13th Feb.
On of the best sources for starting research on the background and conduct of these seems to be EISAThe Electoral Institute of South Africa has a country profile page. This has facts and figures on previous elections, the full text of the constitution and some electoral laws.
Also valuable is the ACE elections website which has news, plus encyclopedia type entries on the electoral system with some examples of online electoral documents.
The Inter-Parliamentary Union website has an archive of information on the electoral system and past election results.
If you can read French you can also consult the official electoral commission website CENI - which has lists of candidates and decrees.
For up to date news. Try the EU election observation website. This will be reporting on the conduct of the elections.

AfrolineContains news stories from African reporters.
Charity Counterpart International has some news on its election promotion programmes.These include some useful example of Youth vote intiatives and gender intiatives.
Finally an excellent gateway to a wealth of materials discussing the politics and human rights is the Human Security gateway

Friday, 4 February 2011

Niger elections - were they well conducted?

According to EU observers the elections that took place in Niger this week were well conducted.

But why were they concerned.
The BBC has a basic timeline of events.

Good sources of news (although not all articles are free ) can be found on
EIN News
Jeune Afrique
Le Niger dans le web from Tamatinfo
Le republicain Niger

More detailed analysis can be obtained from the observers websites.


also useful for background on the democratic evolution of the area are the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie which has a collection of reports in French.
The ACE Project (supported by an international coalition which includes International IDEA) also has an electoral encyclopedia with facts and figures on the electoral system and more

Thursday, 27 January 2011

More on Portuguese elections

Here are some useful sources of research on Portuguese elections which you might want to explore further.

Direcção-Geral da Administração Interna. This is an official website of the Portuguese government It provides access to Portuguese election results from parliamentary elections, presidential elections, local elections, referendums and European elections in Portugal from approximately 1999 onwards. It is possible to view statistics and tables relating to total results, results by party
ODIHR - OSCE organisation which produces election monitoring reports. These assess the state of democracy and conduct of elections.
Another excellent staerting point for elections research are election studies. These often involve surveys with voters, offering insight into voting behaviours, sources of information and more. GESIS has a catalogue of studies conducted for different nations.
The Portuguese Voting Behavior website has useful information and free access to some papers related to this.

Finally the Portuguese Political Science Association has specialists working on all aspects of politics relating to Portugal.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Portugal - forthcoming presidential election

On the 23rd January Portugal is due to have a presidential election.
Here are some starting points for research.
IFES has the basic facts on the candidates and electoral system
The National Electoral Commission of Portugal has far more detailed information (in Portuguese) about the process and official government documents.
All the canidadates have their own webpages.
Cavaco Silva official website
Manuel Alegre official website
Fernando Nobre official website
Francisco Lopes official website
Defensor Moura official website
José Manuel Coelho official website
Other good starting points for coverage are national newspapers which have stories, analysis and polls.
Some key examples from Portugal are:
Journal de Noticias
Diaria de Noticias
Portuguese TV station RTP1 (public service) also has information
Finally regulatory authority ERC has information about recent opinion polls

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Sudan background information on human rights

As an add on to the previous message. Here are some suggestions on where you can get further full text information on human rights in the aftermath of the conflict in Sudan. These might be helpful for considering the background to the elections.
The Human Security Gateway (a joint project of the Human Security report project and School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver)is a great starting opoint for tracing links to recent reports, plus maps, key blogs and data sites. It has a specialist Sudan gateway.

The Sudan Open Archive aims to provide free access to a digital archive of materials about Sudan. It is a special project of the Rift Valley Institute with support from UNICEF, UNEP and the Southern Sudan Centre for Census, Statistics and Evaluation. Topics covered include: economic, social and political development in the region, the civil war and peace process; conflict in Darfur. There is also general country information about the history, culture, politics and economy of Sudan.

Sudan Human Rights Watch reports. Topics include the Civil war in Sudan, human rights abuses and ethnic cleansing in Darfur and the peace process
Amnesty International Reports on Sudan full text from the mid 1990s onwards.
Sudan: International Crisis Group resources - free access to a collection of full-text briefing papers, articles and reports about Sudan, includes coverage of the elections.
Gurtong Trust - Peace and Media Project is an independent, not-for-profit, community-based project, which seeks to promote democracy and human rights in Southern Sudan. Its website provides information on its mission, organisation and recent activities. This includes some articles and discussion of politics, political reform, elections and the peace process in Sudan

Sudan Information Gateway: United Nations. Includes reports, press releases on economic, social and political conditions in Sudan.

Sudan - get the opinion of the observers

The Sudan referendum has been observed by a number of watchdogs- what did they think of the conduct?
The EU mission has made a statement. You can also find facts about its deployment on the website
The Carter Center has a number of press releases on conditions. Their website also has more detailed reports on health and democracy programmes which it has organised in the region over a number of years.
NDI has reports on observations by SuNDE, a coalition of local groups working to educate and register Sudanese voters. These are located on the right hand side of the page.
Finally the Sudan Vote monitor website has contributions from citzens mapping incidents of abuse.

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Sudan referendum - is the news positive?

To begin 2011, a Referendum is due to take place in Sudan concerning independence for Southern Sudan.
A good starting point for finding information on this is the BBC news site. This has a clear guide to the issues, plus a timeline of recent history, profiles of voters and more.

Another good basic introductory guide is the IFES Election Guide. This has basic facts and figures about the referendum and the Sudanese electoral system.

A good source of news coverage from Sudan is Afro - online news portal which contains writings from African journalists.
Global voices online also has a section for comment from bloggers. It includes links to some interesting citizen media sites including blogs and YouTube.

Background on the importance of the referendum can be obtained from the United States Institute of Peace website This has an audio file of an event which discussed the management of the referendum. The site also has a free online library of papers covering security in Sudan.
It is also creating a Sudan-North South Border intiative library which will contain documents designed to strengthen inter-group relationships in the border areas commonly known as Tamazuj (Arabic for inter-mingling).

CSIS (American research body Center for Strategic and International Studies) has some reports which have polled Sudanese viewpoints on the referendum. It also has academic comment from its analysts.

A really interesting site to watch is the Sudan Vote Monitor. This is a civil society intitiative empowered by Usuhadi technology which will enable voters and civil rights monitors to mark and record on a map any incidents of electoral fraud or violence during the polling. The site also has up to date news polls about events.

Finally another civil society intiative is Sudan votes- which is financed by the German Federal Foreign Office and produced by Media in Cooperation and Transition (MICT). It contains personal reports from Sudanese journalists, twitter feeds and videos. Some material is archived from the 2010 elections. Some offered in Arabic only.