Right wing commentary on world politics from a man on a mission to prove that Conservatism transcends national boundaries. Thoughtful comments from people of all political persuasions are welcome and encouraged. Contact the blogger at elephantman.conservaglobe@gmail.com.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Ecuador Moves Left

Ecuador's presidential election has been won by Rafael Correa, a left wing economist and admirer of Hugo Chavez. During the campaign, he called President Bush "dimwitted" and threatened to reduce payments on Ecuador's foreign debt in order to pay for new social programs.

Two words: Oy vey.

Click here for an AP report on the election

PERSON OF THE WEEK - Nov. 19-25, 2006

Alexander Litvinenko
Poisoned Former KGB Agent
First Person of the Week to have died over the course of the week.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

This is strange..

I could comment on the actual political ramifications of today's parliamentary elections in the Netherlands, and I will summarize them at the end of this post. However, I find one piece of the results far more intriguing than the others...

One of the biggest surprises in Holland tonight came not from the major parties, but from a small party that gained its first ever seats in parliament... Partij voor de Dieren (Party for the Animals). Winning 2 out of the 150 seats, Partij voor de Dieren is the first animal rights party ever elected to any European parliament. I'm going to try not to make fun of this party, as their aims are obviously serious. Regardless of my opinion of their platform, the leaders of this party are to be congratulated for catapulting a fringe party into parliament. That said, I find myself scratching my head in amusement and wondering why so many Dutch people would vote for a party whose logo is a cartoonish dairy cow munching on a dandelion ....and is it just me, or does party leader Marianne Thieme bear a striking resemblance to Lindsay Lohan? (No offense intended to either Thieme or Lohan)

Click here to link to the official site of Partij voor de Dieren (English version)

Endnote: The results of the election left the centrist Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) party, which formed the last government, holding the most seats (41). The social democratic Labour Party was second with 32 seats. The CDA and its former coalition partners do not have enough seats to form a majority, so the government may have to be formed by a coalition of both the CDA and Labour. Two smaller parties made major gains, with the Socialist Party jumping from 9 to 26 seats and the anti-immigration Party of Freedom surged upward from 1 to 9 seats. I am not pleased with the rise of the Socialists (I am never pleased with any gains by any Socialist), and I don't know enough about the Party of Freedom to comment. I am generally opposed to European far-right anti-immigration movements (which tend to be tinged with racism and anti-Semitism), but my reading so far indicates that that this new party has a classical liberal worldview and therefore may be a kinder, gentler movement in the mold of America's Tom Tancredo (who I am not a huge fan of, but I think adds a valid point of view to the immigration debate).

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Sunday, November 19, 2006

PERSON OF THE WEEK - Nov. 12-18, 2006

Congressman (D-MD)
U.S. House Majority Leader-Elect
Column Coming Soon...

Honorable Mentions: Senator Trent Lott, Congolese President Joseph Kabila

Friday, November 17, 2006

Trouble in Paradise: Riots Engulf Tonga


The South Pacific islands of Tonga may be a may be a picturesque land of palm trees and sandy beaches, but just a few days ago it's streets are also filled with rioters, looters, burning cars, and broken glass. Riots erupted in the capital city of Nuku'alofa when the nation's parliament seemed ready to adjourn without passing promised democratic reforms. Luckily, the legislature got the message and changed the country's election laws so that the majority of parliament will be elected by the people in the 2008 election, but not before 80% of the buildings in Nuku'alofa's main business district were destroyed. Calm has prevailed, but Australia and New Zealand have dispatched several hundred military and police to keep the peace.

While I am glad that Tonga is becoming more democratic, I think that this is a perfect example of how NOT to petition your government. Letting politicians know how you feel is one thing, but these riots led to mass chaos and eight deaths. Looting businesses and torching automobiles is not a form of political protest - it's just common thuggery.

PLEASE LOOK AT THIS LINK: The site "Planet Tonga" has posted this photo gallery of downtown Nuku'alofa in flames, these pictures should help you understand why I think it that it is so important to let people know about the events in Tonga.

This BBC photo essay is also a good snapshot of the violence, and you can also click here to link to an AP news story on the subject.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

In Memoriam: Milton Friedman

Milton Friedman

I am not an economist, so I am nowhere near qualified to outline all of the contributions made by the great Milton Friedman, who died Wednesday at the age of 94. However, I can tell you that Friedman had an amazing impact on modern conservative and libertarian thought. His message was simple, the more freedom people have, the more prosperous they will be. His suggestion to the governments of the world was equally simple - quit messing around in the economy, you'll only screw it up! This may sound like common sense, but the Keynesian economic theory that dominated in the mid 20th century actually advocated active government intervention in the economy in the form of increases in government spending. Friedman's ideas revolutionized economics. They earned him the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1976 and many people (until Wednesday) considered him the world's greatest living economist. Milton Friedman proved that freedom isn't just a pie-in-the-sky idea, but rather that it actually creates a stronger economy. Lovers of liberty everywhere are in his debt.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

South Ossetia "Votes For Independence"

South Ossetia

Yesterday, South Ossetia held a referendum, and almost 100% of voters said that they wanted their region to become an independent nation.

I know what you're thinking: "Where the heck is South Ossetia?!". Well it's a tiny region in the Northern part of the nation of Georgia (which is in the Caucus mountains between Turkey and Russia.) Back in 1991, South Ossetian separatists fought a bloody war against Georgia and set up an independent government which controls most of the region to this day. Those of us in political science call South Ossetia a "de facto state", meaning that it governs itself as an independent country but no other nation recognizes it. So, yesterday's vote was actually a mere affirmation of an independent nation which already exists.

Here's the catch, there is no way to tell how fair this vote was. Since nobody recognizes the South Ossetian government, nobody bothered to monitor the election. My guess is that, like almost every other election in the former USSR, this vote was riddled with corruption. However, I would venture to say that the majority of South Ossetians do not want to be part of Georgia, especially those members of the younger generation who have never really been a part of Georgia to begin with.

Georgia refuses to even consider the idea of an independent South Ossetia, and that's a shame, bcause only when Georgia is willing to negotiate will the will of the South Ossetian people ever be heard. This referendum was probably so corrupt that Iranian elections would look clean in comparison, and the separatist government is run by a self-appointed president who may or may not care about democracy. That said, the PEOPLE of South Ossetia have a right to be heard, and based on my reading I would speculate that most of them DO favor the separatist plan for independence (and an eventual merge with Russia).

Let's face it, the artificial borders drawn by the USSR are not working. The people of South Ossetia are not ethnic Georgians, they are ethnic Ossetians - and they would probably be a lot happier of they were independent or united with their brethren in the Russian Province of North Ossetia. I am no supporter of the South Ossetian government, but I AM a supporter of South Ossetia's right to secede if its people chose to do so. It's high time that the rest of the world stops paying attention to Ossetian politics and starts focusing on the desires of Ossetian people.

Note: South Ossetia is actually the smaller of two de facto states within Georgia. The other, Abkhazia, is much better organized and has functioned as a successful independent state for over a decade. I may be unsure about the Ossetian situation, but I think that it is an absolute joke that the world community will not acknowledge Abkhazia's independence.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Congratulations President Ford!

The Honorable Gerald Rudolph Ford, Jr.
38th President of the United States

On Sunday, Gerald Ford became the longest-living president in the history of the United States, having attained the age of 93 years and 121 days. I have long been an admirer of President Ford, who did a great service to my country by restoring the honor of the Presidency after the Watergate scandal. In my mind, he should be numbered among the greatest leaders that this nation has had, and I wish him many more happy years. Here's to hoping that he becomes the first President to reach 100!

PERSON OF THE WEEK - Nov. 5-11, 2006

If you didn't notice, America elected a new Congress last Tuesday, and the Democratic Party took control of both chambers. The change in the House of Representatives was not unexpected, but most pundits were predicting that the Republicans would hold the Senate. They didn't.

I spent some time dwelling on who most impacted the election, and it was not a leader of either party. Instead, it was the man who pulled off the most surprising Democratic victory of the night, Jim Webb of Virginia. A few months ago, few people would have thought that Webb could take down Virginia's powerful Republican senator, George Allen. However, thanks in part to a gaffe by Allen involving a word which nobody knows the meaning of, Webb was able to close the gap and make the race one of the closest in the country.

Actually, it turned out to be THE closest race in the country, and control of the Senate hinged on the results. After all of the votes were counted, Webb emerged with a razor-thin lead, handing control of the Senate to the Democrats by one vote. So for bieing the man who single handedly stole the Upper House from the GOP, Virginia Senator-Elect Jim Webb is ConservaGlobe's Person of the Week.

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Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Democrats win election

First off, sorry for being away from my computer. I have been busy with school and election work. Hopefully I will be able to blog more now that the election is over.

I have also neglected Person of the Week this week. For the record, the award goes to Senator John Kerry for his gaffe regarding the troops (whatever he actually meant to say , he caused a strit by saying it).

As for the election, I am a little disappointed but not depressed. The results of the election last night went pretty much as expected. I had personally expected for Republicans to hold Senate seats in Missouri and Virginia, but I knew that both of those races were going to be close. I was expecting to lose the House, though I was slightly surprised by the number of seats that they took.

I have thought for a long time , that Republicans needed to lose this election for their own good. Don't get me wrong, I wanted the GOP to win last night, but that's just because I put the good of my country before the good of my party (I value my civil rights and the Constitution, so voting Democrat is not an option for me). The GOP had developed a sense of entitlement to power, and hence they were not like the conservatives they claimed to be (see: spending, immigration, ethics). Now the voters have given them a spanking and a time-out, and they need to do some soul-searching (which I believe will lead them back to their core conservative values).

I would rather the Republicans lose this year than in 2008. As I see it, we have a better chance of winning that election now that we have been humbled by the voters. Furthermore, America will get to see the Democratic Party's true colors over the next two years, and I don't think they'll like what they see.

I AM NOT JUST SAYING THIS TO CHEER READERS UP. The views that you just read were my opinions long before last night. I truly believe the GOP will become stronger due to this election, and I truly believe that it gives us a better chance of retaining the Presidency in two years.

On that note, I am expecting to have to start my coverage of the 2008 election very soon, and I hope that all of you will continue reading...Because if you thought this election was wild, you ain't seen nothin' yet.