Category: Politics

Macrosnap Argentina presidential election?

  • Argentina votes for change and moves to right.
  • Conservative Mauricio Macri narrowly defeats populist/Peronist Scioli.
  • Voters seek reboot after 12 years of mismanagement under Kirchner husband-wife duo.
4037

What Obama administration wants from Paris climate summit?

  • Prefers to join an accord by executive agreement (i.e. a swish of Obama's pen).
  • If accord contains legally binding obligations, Obama will need to put it to the Senate.
  • But the Republican majority in the Senate is hostile to scientific consensus vis-à-vis climate change.
3998

Why is a binding global climate accord so difficult to achieve?

  • Because there's a divide between rich and poor nations.
  • Rich nations' industrialisation resulted in global warming - now poor nations want their own share of industrial wealth.
  • Also, the Republican party in the US is hostile to to scientific consensus vis-à-vis climate change.
3995

Macrosnap Myanmar election?

  • Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition party's (NLD) historic win against ruling military-backed elite.
  • Despite landslide electoral win, 25% of parliamentary seats are allocated to the military, so they will have huge influence.
  • So she will need to work with them.
3960

Macrosnap Modi in India?

  • Narendra Modi is India's PM and head of ruling BJP - landslide election win 2014.
  • His dominance of the party has been unchallenged since then, and he has moved to centralise power.
  • But BJP defeat in the state of Bihar this last weekend resulted in unprecedented criticism from within his own party - Modi magic is waning - he's accused of being divisive instead of consensual.
3939

Macrosnap Saudi oil strategy?

  • Oil price has more than halved in the last year, so as OPEC cartel leader, one would expect Saudi Arabia to cut output (and hence force the price up).
  • But instead they have chosen to maintain supply, despite the financial pain this is causing domestically.
  • Strategy is to prioritise its own long-term market share, and perhaps to inflict pain on fellow OPEC members Iran and Russia (who Saudi Arabia believes have destructive geopolitical ambitions in the Middle East).
3932

Obama blocks Keystone Canada-US Pipeline?

  • Debate and decision were largely political.
  • i.e. both the democrat-against argument (bad for environment) and conservative-for argument (creates jobs) were exaggerated according to energy & policy experts.
  • Major victory for environmental movement, gives US credibility ahead of Paris December climate talks + boosts Obama's environmental credentials during last year in office.
3912

Macrosnap this weekend’s China-Taiwan summit?

  • First meeting between leaders of Chinese Communist party and Taiwan's Kuomintang since 1945.
  • Chinese motivation: Good for international image + concerned about strength of pro-independence opposition party in Taiwan.
  • Taiwanese motivation: Current president wants to boost image domestically as opposition party looking poised to defeat him in January.
3898

Macrosnap current Taiwan politics?

  • These days governing Kuomintang is relatively pro-China and anti-independence.
  • Pro-independence opposition DPP has gained strength in recent years.
  • Looks like DPP could win January Presidential election, and also win majority in legislature.
3896

Explain the current political status of Taiwan?

  • Not strictly recognised as a country, but 22 small countries/entities have diplomatic relations with it.
  • Lost its UN seat in 1971, but it has it's own military.
  • US established diplomatic relations with China 1979, but also committed to defending Taiwan's self-governing status.
3894
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