Half way through 2017 and for those who stake their political hopes on election results (caveat: not necessarily a good idea) it’s been a lot brighter than 2016. Here are the good results… hmm actually there weren’t any, here are the Not Quite Disastrous results:
UK: Jeremy Corbyn loses gloriously to Theresa May, then wins Glastonbury so is absolute boy/lad/aging man etc.
France: Egomaniac neoliberal Macron beats frothing far right populist Le Pen in France (and the actual left almost got third place with hologram demagogue Melenchon, nice job!)
Netherlands: Boring neoliberal right-winger Rutte (too dull for a photo) beats far right populist Geert Wilders in Netherlands – actual left parties come in 4th and 5th with 9% each… not… bad! (anyone picking up a theme?)
All those other parts of the world that also have elections:
East Timor: Nominally socialist party FRETILIN, which spearheaded the independence struggle, wins the presidency for the first time with candidate Francisco Guterres
Iran: “Moderate” life-long servant of the Islamic Revolution Hassam Rouhani beats Mass Exectutioner of Communists (It was the 80s, everyone did it!) Ebrahim Raisi.
The Gambia: After the much-delayed replacement of the oppressive, homophobic President Yahya Jammeh, parliamentary elections strengthen the hand of new president Adama Barrow, a shifty real estate mogul who has reintroduced gambling. Two steps forward and one step back still means you’re moving forward!
Ecuador: Gloriously named but actually rather dull ‘left’ candidate Lenin Moreno (Brown Lenin) beats run of the mill right wing candidate Guillermo Lasso, and will continue extracting oil from the Amazon like his ally Rafael Correa before him, a global warming double whammy (whoops this was meant to be optimistic, sorry, climate change is always such a downer).
Brazil: No elections but outrageously corrupt impeachment/coup installed President Michel Temer has been recorded literally telling a businessman to keep on giving hush money to a jailed ally, said he was taken out of context, and now faces constant rolling strikes and protests and the loss of support of his own coalition of rural landowners (they may be corrupt but not they’re not stupid).
South Korea: After the impeachment of former right wing president Park Guen-Hye due to the unseemly influence of her aide Choi Soon-Sil, a shamanic Rasputin figure (you know the type), the moderately more-or-less-left-of-centre candidate, Moon-Jae-In, won the subsequent elections. This means that one of the four leaders of North Korea, South Korea, Japan and the USA is not a hyper-nationalist warmonger. Maybe we can avoid nuclear war! Maybe not! Let’s find out!
Still to come in 2017: Elections in Papua New Guinea (you know, that country up north which used to be Queensland/Australia’s colony), New Zealand/Aotearoa, Rwanda, Kenya, Germany, Chile and more, plus a referendum on Catalan independence!