Daily Archives: October 28, 2009

World Elections: 1 year

1yrWorld Elections is happy to celebrate it’s first birthday, which is officially on October 28, 2009. The first post, concerning the Quebec provincial election of December 2008 was posted on October 28, 2008 and the blog started from there. In one year, I’m pleased to report that over 23,600 people from all over the world have visited this blog for various reasons. In addition, we now get between 140 and 200 visits to this blog each day.

These numbers are impressive considering that most blogs tend to have little traffic and often become the interwebs equivalent of a private diary, although read by some who know of it. Of course, World Elections resembled that last year, but the rise of traffic and visits was quite steady and we already had over 200 visits for the month of December 2008 alone. To date, September 2009 remains the most productive month, with 4,407 visits. The unfinished month of October 2009 trails with around 4,370 visits.

At any rate, the high traffic is undoubtedly a success and, as editor, I am happy of the success this blog has had. I started this blog last year in an effort to provide something which was generally hard to find or even lacking on the vast empire of the interwebs, an English-language, (generally) non-biased and (generally) analytical view of elections of interest in all countries holding elections, regardless of the coverage of these elections by the print and televised media or the native language of these countries. It is a very large field, and few people realize how many people are voting at any place in the world on any given day in either a regular general election, a regional election, a referendum or even by-elections from the local level in a ward in isolated Labrador to a crucial congressional by-election in California. I obviously don’t cover all of these, and this isn’t the place for coverage of many local by-elections, but I attempt to cover all those of interest to psephologists, observers and keen election-nerds around the world. Election nerds aren’t something you often find in your neck of the woods, but the vast empire of the interwebs allows them to find some place to read up on their interests.

This blog has covered elections at the four corners of the world: from Argentina to British Columbia, from Portugal to Japan, from Norway to South Africa, from India to Australia and so many more. As editor, I will do my best to continue building upon the list of countries covered and I will do my best to continue providing what I hope is an accurate, interesting, and generally non-biased coverage of world elections.

On a final note, a big thank you to all readers and to those who have linked to this blog from their own blogs, sites and so forth. Thank you: you really keep this blog going.

Uruguay 2009

Uruguay voted in a general election for its President, its 99-seat Chamber of Deputies and 31-seat Senate. In addition, two referendums were held, including one on revoking the amnesty law prohibiting all criminal inquiries into crimes perpetrated under the military dictatorship (1973-1985).

Uruguay has been dominated by two parties since independence: the conservative National Party (PN), commonly known as the whites (blancos) and the liberal Colorado Party (PC), also known as the reds. In that way, Tabaré Vázquez’s election as President of Uruguay in 2004 was a truly historical feat: he was the first President, save for (right-wing) military generals, not from either the PN or PC. Vázquez was the candidate of the much younger left-wing Broad Front (FA), a coalition of the left going from the centre-left/Christian left to the hard-left and the Communist Party. Tabaré Vázquez, who cannot run for a second consecutive term, was often classified as one of the ‘moderate’ left-wing Latin American leaders. He led a successful anti-poverty agenda, and Uruguay’s economic outlook is less bleak than most countries in the region and the world. Despite factions of his party favouring a liberalization of the country’s strict abortion laws, he vetoed attempts to liberalize abortion in Uruguay.

The candidate of the Broad Front is Senator José Mujica, a former rebel on the left of the coalition with an anti-consumerist and humanist philosophical message. He defeated Danilo Astori, the centrist ex-Economy Minister, though Astori is Mujica’s running mate.

Former President Luis Alberto Lacalle (1990-1995), who led a neoliberal economic policy, was nominated as the White (PN) candidate. Jorge Larrañaga, defeated by Vázquez is Lacalle’s running mate. Lacalle, despite executive experience, is tainted by corruption scandals.

Pedro Bordaberry, the son of former dictator-President Juan M. Bordaberry was nominated as the PC’s candidate. He chose former soccer player and coach Hugo de León as his running mate. There were two minor candidates: Pablo Mieres of the christian socialist Independent Party and Raúl Rodríguez of the far-left Popular Assembly.

Uruguay counts white and invalid votes in the final tally. The final results are:

José Mujica (FA) 48.16%
Luis Alberto Lacalle (PN) 28.94%

Pedro Bordaberry (PC) 16.90%
Pablo Mieres (PI) 2.47%
Raúl Rodríguez (AP) 0.67%
white and null votes 2.18%

Uruguay 2009

Unlike in 2004, a runoff will be held opposing Mujica and Lacalle. This is due in large part due to the Colorado’s good showing, and it is likely Bordaberry will back Lacalle over Mujica, although polls say Mujica would defeat Lacalle in a runoff and most other indicators say Mujica, helped by Vázquez’s popularity more than anything, should win and the anti-leftist coalition between whites and reds which defeated Vázquez in 1999.

In the Chamber of Deputies, the FA keeps its overall majority:

FA 50 (-2)
PN 30 (-6)
PC 17 (+7)
PI 2 (+1)

In the Senate, the FA also keeps its overall majority, barely. There are only 30 seats allocated as of now, as the Vice President sits in the Senate.

FA 16 (-1)
PN 9 (-2)
PC 5 (+2)

PI 2 (+1)

The referendum on repealing the amnesty law failed, barely, with 47.36% in favour. A referendum giving a postal vote to Uruguayans abroad failed by a much larger margin, with only 36.93% in favour.