Daily Archives: May 10, 2009

Indonesia 2009: Final Results

Well, one month later, the final results have been announced for Indonesia’s massive election.

PD 20.85% (+13.35%) winning 148 seats (+91)
Golkar 14.45% (-7.15%) winning 108 seats (-20)
PDI-P 14.03% (-4.47%) winning 93 seats (-16)
PKS 7.88% (+0.58%) winning 59 seats (+14)
PAN 6.01% (-0.39%) winning 42 seats (-10)
PPP 5.32% (-2.78%) winning 39 seats (-19)
PKB 4.94% (-5.66%) winning 26 seats (-26)
Gerindra 4.46% (new) winning 30 seats (new)
Hanura 3.77% (new) winning 15 seats (new)
PBB 1.79% (-0.81%) winning 0 seats (-11)
Others I’m too lazy to list winning 0 seats (-38)

Islam-based parties 25.94% (-9.06%) winning 166 seats (-52)

Golkar seems to have formed a coalition including PDI-P, Gerindra, Hanura, Prosperous Peace Party (a Christian party), Reform Star Party (Islamist), PKNU (also Islamist), People’s Concern Party, the Labor Party, and another small thingee. This coalition has 246 seats (a majority is 281). Jusuf Kalla (Golkar), the current Vice President, will run for President with General Wiranto (Hanura). However, Megawati Sukarnoputri (PDI-P) will also contest the election. The PD seems to be interested in forming a coalition with PAN and other Islamist parties to get an absolute majority.

The presidential election will be held on July 8. PD incumbent Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is heavily favoured, though the entry of Kalla/Wiranto in addition to Sukarnoputri might imply a runoff on September 8.

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Election Preview: New Caledonia 2009

Warning: Extremely long and detailed post. I always write too much on New Caledonia.

New Caledonia will hold provincial elections on May 10. Ethnically, New Caledonia is around 44% Melanesian (Kanak), 34% white European (often known as Caldoches, descendants of convicts or free settlers from Alsace, Nord, but also Brits from Australia, Germans, Italians, and Belgians), 9% from Wallis-et-Futuna who came in the ’60’s and ’70’s to work in the nickel mines, 3% Tahitians, 1% from Vanuatu and also an Asian community from Vietnam and Indonesia. Note that Wallisians and Tahitians are Polynesians, and not Melanesians. The two don’t like each other a whole lot.

New Caledonian politics are based quasi-entirely around a marked dichotomy between full independence and staying within France (as an autonomous territory).

There was some awful violence in the ’80’s between loyalists and nationalists, which culminated in the Matignon Accords and later the Noumea Accords (1998), which ended up giving extensive powers to the local government and guarantees for the Kanaks. The Noumea Accord plans a referendum on independence between 2014 and 2018.

New Caledonia’s reponsible legislature is the Territorial Congress, made up of 54 members. The Congress itself is made up of representatives from each provincial (Sud, Nord, and Iles de la Loyauté) assembly. The Sud holds 71% of the population. The provincial assemblies are elected every 5 years by 5% PR. New Caledonia is governed by a collegial leadership, led by a President. After each election (or resignation of a President/government etc), there is an election in Congress to form the government. Parties run lists, which receive the votes of their members. The winning list gets the President, and the cabinet positions (today there are 11) are given out proportionally based on the results of each party’s list. So, the government is effectively a permanent Grand Coalition.

The anti-independence side, or loyalists, are almost entirely identified with the metropolitan right (RPR, UDF, UMP). Jacques Lafleur, a Caldoche, is the main figure of the loyalist movement. In 1977, which saw the start of an outright nationalist movement on the left, Lafleur founded the Rally for Caledonia (RPC) which became the Rally for Caledonia in the Republic (RPCR) in 1978 following its affiliation with the RPR. The RPCR was originally a big tent for a large majority of loyalists, whether they were liberals or Chiraquistes (like Lafleur, in the mold of Michaux-Chevry in Guadeloupe and Flosse in Polynesia). However, the first cracks in the RPCR appeared in 1995, when Lafleur broke his historical friendship with Chirac to endorse Balladur in the presidential election. Didier Leroux, the strongman of the local managerial trade union and a Chiraquiste, left the RPCR to found a party with the awfully tin-pot name of Une Nouvelle-Calédonie pour tous (UNCT, A New Caledonia for All). However, the RPCR remained, by far, the largest loyalist party in the 1994 and 1999 elections. It became the Rassemblement-UMP after the RPR became the UMP, but kept the RPCR acronym.

However, the RPCR started massively cracking ahead of the 2004 elections. In 2004, a group of RPCR dissidents who opposed Lafleur’s authoritarian leadership. Among these is Marie-Noëlle Thémereau, who left the RPCR in 2001 and supported Jospin in 2002 (fail); Harold Martin, once Lafleur’s dauphin but excluded in 2003 for running a dissident list in the 2001 locals; and Philippe Gomès, a friend of Martin. These dissidents formed a party called “Future Together” with the UNCT (or Alliance), which had become closer Bayrou’s New UDF but still UMP. Among the Alliance members is Didier Leroux, by now Bayrou’s representative on the island; Sonia Lagarde, a Chiraquiste; and Jean-Pierre Aïfa, a non-nat autonomist. There was also a lone right-wing nat, Christiane Gambey. In the 2004 election, Avenir ensemble shocked observers by winning as many seats as the RPCR. However, since New Caledonia is French and French centrism is so divided, Avenir ensemble split in 2008. This split started in the 2007 legislative election, when Gomès (President of Province Sud) ran in the 1st constituency (Lafleur’s stronghold) while Didier Leroux was supposed to run. Both ran in the end, and both polled 14%, but got third and fourth leaving the RPCR Gaël Yanno (yay, a Gaël!) against a nat, which Gaël ate alive in the runoff. Martin was also defeated running the 2nd constituency. Poor results in last year’s local elections precipitated an open split between Gomès and Martin-Leroux. In 2008, Gomès and 12 Avenir ensemble (including Thémereau) formed Caledonia Together. However, a smaller Avenir ensemble still includes Harold Martin (President of the Government) and most members.

Back to the RPCR. In 2005, Lafleur announced his intentions to step down in favour of Pierre Frogier, a Sarkozyste and his chosen successor. However, he came back on this decision and ran against Frogier for the RPCR leadership at the party congress. Frogier ate Lafleur alive, and Lafleur left the RPCR to form the Rally for Caledonia (RPC), which included New Caledonia’s lone Senator, an anti-independence Kanak Simon Loueckhote. However, in 2008  Loueckhote founded the Movement for Diversity (LMD).

The metropolitan National Front, contrarily to other overseas region, is relatively strong in New Caledonia, taking the most radical Caldoche votes. In fact, the FN openly opposed the Matignon Accords in 1988. In 2008, a number of local FN members founded the French Caledonian Movement (MCF), which joined the Martin-Leroux AE to form a parliamentary group. There also exists a small section of the MPF.


The idea of independence was born on the far-left in the ’60’s and develped in the ’70’s by Jean-Marie Tjibaou. New Caledonian independence, or Kanak nationalism, is almost entirely left-wing (Melanesian socialism) and close to the PS in France. The main nationalist movement is Tjibaou’s Kanak and Socialist National Liberation Front (FLNKS), itself an alliance of various nationalist parties of varying rhetoric and size. The two big factions are the Caledonian Union and PALIKA. The Caledonian Union was born as an autonomist cross-community autonomist party, led by Maurice Lenormand (longtime representative in Paris, affiliated with the French centre [MRP-CD-CDS] in France). However, the UC grew opposed to the arrival of Gaullist centralism in France, which undid most of the autonomist reforms of the Fourth Republic (the Defferre laws). The UC grew more and more radical, and started flirting with independence. This flirtation led to an outflow of Caldoches into new loyalist parties. This combined with Lenormand’s problems with the judiciary weakened the party considerably. In 1977 in Bourail, the UC adopted a nationalist platform, supported by Jean-Marie Tjibaou (and the rare European nationalists, such as Lenormand and Pierre Declercq). In 1979, the UC joined with Palika and other parties to form the Nationalist Front, which became the FLNKS in 1984. The UC was the largest faction in the FLNKS, led by Tjibaou. It was largely moderate, telling every to chill out and sit down. Tjibaou was killed in 1989 by some kooky Kanak nat. Rock Wamytan, the moderate leader lost in 2001 to Pascal Naouna, a radical. It has broken with Palika within the FLNKS, which has no unitary president and awfully divided. In addition, the UC has shifted to become the most radical, favouring a strict application of the Noumea Accords, no talks with the loyalists, but in favour of sovereignty-association similar to the Marshall Island’s status. The second big faction is the Party of Kanak Liberation or Palika. Palika  started on the radical left, with Marxist rhetoric, in the ’70’s. It participated, like the UC, in the Nationalist Front and later the FLNKS as the smaller, but more radical element. After Matignon, the division between Palika and UC heightened, and in 1995 Paul Néaoutyine led a dissident list (National Union for Independence, UNI) from the FLNKS (UC-Palika) united list in the Nord. In 1999, the Palika and UC ran separate lists in all provinces. At the same time, the Palika became more moderate, favouring talks with loyalists but still having as a final goal full independence. The term UNI has now been changed to include a broad coalition of Palika and smaller parties close to it, including Melanesian Progressive Union (UPM), which started as a LCR-like Trot party but more moderate today, the Oceanian Democratic Rally (RDO), the pro-independence wing of the Oceanian Union (UO) which seeks to represents Wallisians, and the UC Renouveau, a UC dissident party in the Loyalty Islands. Recently, the divide between the UNI-Palika and UC has narrowed down, and both parties agreed on a deal in the 2007 legislative elections: Palika ran a candidate with a UC suppleant in the 1st constituency and UC ran a candidate with a Palika suppleant in the 2nd. Both lost.

Other nationalist parties outside of the FLNKS include the Kanak Socialist Liberation (LKS) which started out Marxist but is now very moderate, having refused the FLNKS’ ’80’s strategy of boycotts and protests in favour of perpetual negotiation between both parties. LKS sometimes works with the FCCI, or Union of Pro-Independence Co-operation Committees, the most moderate wing of the nat movement. It was founded in 1998 by FLNKS members who refused the FLNKS’ conditions for sitting down with the RPCR (the FLNKS wanted a private nickel mining company in the Nord to sell off its stuff to a government-led mining firm). The FCCI ran with the LKS and RPCR in the Loyalty Islands in the 1999 election and the FCCI sat with the RPCR in a parliamentary group in Congress. The FCCI is now considerably weaker, with its sole Congressman having left the party in 2005. Lastly in 2007, the USTKE trade union, very radical and anti-globalization founded its own outfit, the Labour Party (PT). The PT is close to José Bové and is to the left of the FLNKS. It is classified as altermondaliste.

The 2004 election results:

Congress (average of all 3 provinces)

RPCR 24.43% winning 16 seats (-8)
Avenir ensemble 22.69% winning 16 seats (+13)
UNI-FLNKS 16.36% winning 8 seats (nc)
UC 11.86% winning 7 seats (-3)
FN 7.46% winning 4 seats (nc)
FCCI 3.2% winning 1 seat (-3)
LKS 2.87% winning 1 seat (nc)
UC Renewal 1.77% winning 1 seat (+1)


Caledonia, my country 2.13%
Other nats 3.9%
Other loyalists 3.32%
Loyalists 57.91% winning 36 seats (+5)
Nationalists 39.96% winning 18 seats (-5)

Sud Province

Avenir ensemble 33.89% winning 19 seats (+15)
RPCR 31.19% winning 16 seats (-9)
FN 11.19% winning 5 seats (nc)
UNI-FLNKS 4.62% winning 0 seats (-2)
UC Renewal 3.83% winning 0 seats (-1)
UC 3.37% winning 0 seats (-3)
Loyalists 81.69% winning 40 seats (+6)
Nationalists 16.11% winning 0 seats (-6)

The nationalists lost purely since they ran extremely divided in their weakest province.

Nord Province

UNI-FLNKS 37.51% winning 11 seats (+3)
UC 27.12% winning 7 seats (+1)
RPCR 11.43% winning 3 seats (-1)
Avenir ensemble 8.53% winning 1 seats (+1)
FCCI 5.75% winning 0 seats (-4)
Nationalists 73.97% winning 18 seats (nc)
Loyalists 22.61% winning 4 seats (nc)

Iles Province

UNI-FLNKS 16.3% winning 2 seats (nc)
UC 22.54% winning 4 seats (-2)
RPCR 17.19% winning 2 seats (nc)
LKS 15.66% winning 2 seats (nc)
UC Renewal 11.18% winning 2 seats (+2)
FCCI 8.85% winning 2 seats (nc)
Nationalists 82.81% winning 12 seats (nc)
Loyalists 17.19% winning 2 seats (nc)

Congressional delegations.

Sud: AE 15, RPCR 13, FN 4
Nord: UNI 7, UC 5, RPCR 2, AE 1
Iles: UC 2, RPCR 1, UNI 1, LKS 1, FCCI 1, UC Renewal 1

I made a map of ethnicity using ISEE-INSEE data. I’ll make more maps if I find interesting demographic data.

Ethnicity is a very important divide in politics (sadly, no data for the 2007 or 2004 elections by commune. Gah. Bad. Fail). Do note that Polynesians are, on the whole, mostly loyalist, with some exceptions. Kanaks are strongly nationalist and Caldoches are strongly loyalist. But there’s an exception to every rule.

Last notes. The two constituencies in New Caledonia are a bit gerrymandered. The 1st one includes Noumea and the Loyalty Islands, but European Noumea outnumbers the islands so badly. The 2nd includes the Noumea suburbs, quite white. These suburbs outnumber the other parts, that is the “brousse”, mainly nationalist. The 2nd is much narrower. But neither has elected a nationalist deputy since they were created.

I calculated the 2007 results for all New Caledonia and they say 32.71% UMP, 25.44% for all AE-CE combined, 5.34% FN, 1.44% DVD (UMP dissident in 1st only), 5.87% for Lafleur-RPC (in 1st only), 23.08% for UC+UNI combined (Palika in 1, UC in 2), 5.83% for USTKE-PT candidates in both seats.

Election Preview: Nova Scotia (Canada) 2009

The Canadian province of Nova Scotia goes to the polls on June 9, a bit less than three years after the last election in 2006.

The current Premier of Nova Scotia is Rodney MacDonald, Progressive Conservative (PC). MacDonald became Premier (and leader of the PCs) shortly before the snap 2006 election in replacement of John Hamm, first elected in 1999. The opposition defeated the government on a money bill, sparking a snap election which doesn’t really surprise anyone.

Nova Scotia, a Atlantic province, was one of the founding members of Confederation, but also probably the most Confederation-sceptic. The Anti-Confederation caucus in Nova Scotia, led by Joseph Howe, a Reformer provincially, won all but one of Nova Scotia’s 19 seats in the first federal Parliament and won all but two of the 38 seats in the House of Assembly. Anti-Confederationism remained an important issue (in fact, a 1868 motion which refused to recognize the legitimacy of Confederation has never been rescinded), Joseph Howe coming around to the idea of Confederation. The Liberals, who had a larger base amongst the province’s farmers and fishermen, dominated until the pro-Confederation Conservatives (supported by United Empire Loyalists and the wealthy business milieus) won the 1878 elections but was defeated by the Liberals in 1882. In 1886, William Fielding won the election for the Liberals on a pledge to remove Nova Scotia from Confederation. Fielding’s pledge was never carried out and the Liberals turned to economic development (including railroad construction, roadbuilding, and development of the coal industry on Cape Breton Island). In 1906, the Liberal instituted prohibition, though the Liberals also gave women the vote and passed a number of progressive labour legislation. Fielding moved on to federal politics in 1896 and George Henry Murray became Premier, a title he held for 27 years (the longest unbroken tenure for a head of government anywhere in Canada). In 1920, the left-wing opposition led by the United Farmers and the Labour Party won 6 and 5 seats respectively. However, the United Farmers movement was quickly destroyed due to the Liberals bribing the party’s leadership or passing legislation which redistributed the provincial surplus to the MLAs (now there’s a grand idea!). Murray retired in favour of Ernest Howard Armstrong in 1925. However, Nova Scotia (and the Maritimes) had suffered an economic downturn and the Maritime Rights Movement gathered strength throughout the region. Running on a Maritime Rights platform, the Tories won 40 out of 43 seats in the 1925 election. The Conservatives curtailed federal influence on the province and introduced old age pensions, but also solved labour disputes with miners in Cape Breton Island. After winning a narrow re-election 1928, the Conservatives were victims of the Great Depression in the 1933 election. Hurt by the the depression, which had contributed into turning Nova Scotia from the country’s richest province per capita in 1867 to the poorest by the 1930s, the Conservatives were defeated by the new Liberal leader, Angus L. Macdonald. Macdonald held office between 1933 and 1940 and 1945 and 1954. Macdonald’s long tenure saw the development of roads, infrastructures, quality education and electricity in the province. In 1945, the Progressive Conservatives were wiped out, with the Co-Operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), based in mining communities on Cape Breton Island winning two seats (the Liberals won 28). However, in 1948, Robert L. Stanfield, a “Red Tory” (in fact, a socialist in university and a life-long progressive) won the leadership of the PC Party. Since then, the PC has been of mostly moderate-to-Red Tory stock. The Liberals, divided since Macdonald’s retirement in 1954 along religious lines, lost to the 1956 election to Stanfield’s PC. Stanfield became leader of the federal PC in 1967, and the Liberals won the 1970 election. Due in part to the oil shock, the Liberals lost the 1978 election to the Conservatives. The PC lost the 1993 election to the Liberals in a landslide, thanks to disenchantment with the PC and a number of corruption scandals. John Savage, a fiscal conservative, became Premier, but was dumped by his party in favour of Russell MacLellan in 1997. In the 1998 election, the NDP (until then a fringe party limited to either Halifax Regional Municipality or Cape Breton Island) broke through and won 19 seats, tied with the Liberals. The PCs, with 14 MLAs, propped up the Liberal government until they defeated the government in 1999. In 1999, the PCs under the “shy MLA” John Hamm won a majority government, though this PC majority became a minority in 2003 and stayed one in 2006. As mentioned above, Rodney MacDonald, a Catholic from Cape Breton, became the PC leader and Premier before the 2006 snap election.

In 2006, the Conservatives lost four seats to the NDP (which also gained one seat from the Liberals) but due to MacDonald’s Catholicism, the PC took two Liberal seats on Cape Breton Islands. The Liberals won only 9 seats in 2006. Here are the full results:

Progressive Conservative 39.57% (+3.33%) winning 23 seats (-2)
NDP 34.63% (+3.52%) winning 20 seats (+5)
Liberal 23.44% (-7.99%) winning 9 seats (-3)
Green 2.33% (new)

The NDP has gathered significant strength in Nova Scotia since the late ’90’s. Throughout most of the post-war era, the NDP or its predecessor, the CCF, was either shut out or limited to a few seats. Until 1981, the CCF-NDP held all of its seats on Cape Breton Island. However, the university-urban wing of the party won out in the ’80’s when Alexa McDonough, a Haligonian, became leader. In 1981, the party won no seats on Cape Breton Island and only one seat in the province as a whole. McDonough became leader of the federal NDP in 1995.

Nova Scotia 2006

The NDP dominates in and around the HRM (Halifax Regional Municipality). It holds most seats in Halifax proper and dominates in more industrial Dartmouth and Cole Harbour. The Liberal holdouts have in common either Catholicism (Cape Breton is Catholic majority), or minority population (either Acadians or black). However, their one remaining Haligonian seat is a wealthy university constituency.

Polls have indicated that the NDP is running ahead of the PC, and the latest poll even has the PC in a close third behind the Liberals, who seem to have returned to their traditional ’90’s level of support (which is low 30s or so). The PC campaign theme seems to be the economy, but also attacking a so-called “risky NDP”. The Liberals have vowed to cut taxes (like the PC), but their website offers little to no policy details. For completion’s sake, I note that the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia are affiliated to the federal Liberals.