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 Candidate.ie 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 KildareStreet.com. 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.

Elections Ireland.org
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.