Daily Archives: April 6, 2016

The Netherlands | Referendum in the Netherlands

Today a referendum on association between Ukraine and the EU was held in the Netherlands. According to the latest exit poll turnout was 32%. https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2016/04/06/live-nederland-naar-stembus-voor-oekraine-referendum According to Dutch law it is enough that the referendum was declared valid. Preliminary data shows that 64% people voted against the agreement on association between Ukraine and the EU.

France | Scores arrested as French labour reform protest turns violent

Police in Paris arrested 130 people on Tuesday amid country-wide protests by students opposed to controversial labour reforms being championed by the Socialist government, the same day the bill was due to go before parliament.

USA | Down the tube: Television, turnout and the US election-industrial complex

By Andrew Cockburn, ‘Letter from Washington’, in the April 2016 issue of the monthly Harper’s Magazine

“I never met a politician who started out to be a fund-raiser,” remarked Mike McKenna, a Republican energy lobbyist and recipient of constant pleas for cash from lawmakers. For years, he has watched them dial for dollars and endure nightly gatherings convened for the extraction of donations — “grim affairs,” in his phrase — because they have been convinced such efforts are vital for survival at the polls. “Most of them run for office because they want to achieve something,” he told me. “But once they get there, they spend their time raising money. I don’t know a single one who enjoys it.” Ironically, he explained over a beer on K Street, most of the money they raise is wasted, especially on expensive TV campaigns that do nothing to move voters. The principal effect of these labors, he insisted, is to “feed the consultant class.”