Benin has legislative elections on 31 March (originally scheduled for the 25th, but postponed). Benin is a presidential system (“pure” not “semi”) and is one of the few such systems to have nonconcurrent elections. It has had regular elections now for about fifteen years, making it one of the real success stories of Africa’s recent democratic wave. The president, Yayi Boni, who was elected a year ago, recently was ambushed. He was unhurt.
Benin’s constitution establishes a presidential system. Unlike many African democracies–especially many former French colonies–Benin’s constitution does not establish a premier as the head of government. That makes Benin more akin to the USA or typical Latin American presidential systems (as well as Liberia and a few former British African colonies), in that the president is head of government as well as head of state.
Aside from not having to share executive powers with an assembly agent, the president of Benin is quite weak constitutionally–one of the weakest in the world, actually. Consider his veto power. He may return a bill to the assembly, which must debate it again, but then:
In other words, his veto cannot be sustained against the wishes of a majority of all members of the assembly, and the constitution has safeguards against the possibility that the president might still refuse to carry out his administrative duty to promulgate a law (provided it is constitutional) that was passed over his veto.
The executive has some additional lawmaking power, through constitutional delimitation of policy areas that are in the domain of ordinance rather than loi, but this list of areas in domaine de la loi (Art. 98) is quite extensive (more so than in the French constitution, for example, where the assembly has a premier whom it may oust via a no confidence vote, unlike in Benin). There is even a striking limitation on the potential tendency of a pro-presidential majority to want to delegate its lawmaking powers to the executive (which is a common practice in many Latin American presidential systems, for example): If a policy area is in the domaine de la loi, an act of delegation may be passed, but only by a two-thirds majority (Art. 102).
Benin’s record of democracy, while hardly unblemished, is quite good and thus defies the claims of many political scientists (not me among them) that presidential systems are inherently prone to crisis in less developed countries.1 The constitutional powers were allocated as if the designers were well aware of this political-science literature, seeking to delimit and constrain presidential authority.
With such a weak veto, a president who faced majority opposition would be the executive in only the most literal sense: Executing laws that he opposed, and seeing his own legislative initiatives blocked. Given that the two big legislative alliances hide considerable internal fragmentation,4 such a clearly opposed executive-legislative division would seem unlikely, and that is probably a good thing for democratic stability. It has now been a full year since Yayi Boni’s election, and unfortunately I have no idea how the branches have worked together (or not).
1. Lately, I have been thinking it is particularly prone to crisis in developed countries.
2. Notwithstanding that I consider a certain 2006 nonconcurrent election to have been a splendid idea!!
3. The electoral system is closed-list PR, but based on rather small districts. With 82 seats and 24 districts, the average magnitude is just over 3. In fact, no district elects more than five, and most elect either three or five members.
There is nothing like some major winter chill, followed by a good spring warm-up, to bring out the fruit-tree flowers. This is the ‘Hosui’ Asian pear. It’s never bloomed this heavily before. I have also seen the first signs of blossoms on the ‘Korean Giant,’ a variety that had not bloomed in its four previous springs here.
I won’t game out the parliamentary confrontation that seems almost certain, except to point this much out: the assumption until now was that the ADQ would arbitrate, between Libs and PQ, as to who formed the government. But if the ADQ and the Libs turn out to be rivals, with Charest unable to lead (what will still be, constitutionally, until a confidence vote) his government from within the National Assembly, then it is at least conceivable that the arbitrator’s role falls to the PQ. Does the PQ vote no confidence in a Liberal government? Does it then support Mario Dumont? That dilemma would risk tearing the PQ apart.
Yes, this is going to be fun to watch.
And then things are also going to be pretty interesting in Ottawa:
Also recommended on what this three-party dynamic, with the “ethnic nationalists” in third place, might mean: The Pithlord, Scott Lemieux, Jacob T. Levy, and various others that they link to. Quite an interesting discussion.
In particular, reflecting on Premier Charest’s interest in parlaying his new federal money into a tax cut that the ADQ will have to support him on (thereby postponing the PLQ-ADQ rivalry that Wells referred to), Pithlord notes:
Harper’s shown that you can play a minority with strength if your opponents don’t want an election. Charest isn’t as clever, but the way seems clear.
The results of the Quebec provincial election were stunning enough, as we have been discussing in the previous planting. No one saw the strong showing of the ADQ coming. The fall of the ruling PLQ to minority status was expected, but there was quite a late swing away from the PQ. A few days before the election, it looked as if a PQ minority government was possible, but the party wound up in third place.
In this entry, I want to look not at the shifts in voter sentiment, but rather at how the electoral system took those actual votes and turned them into seats. This is a politically relevant question for Quebec given that the province: (1) has never before had an election result in a minority situation, and (2) has had a recent electoral-system review process. The minority government might be seen as a sign of the “failure” of the FPTP system just at a time when there has been discussion of replacing FPTP with some form of PR.
The seat-vote result is striking in being almost proportional:
We certainly do not normally expect such close correspondence of votes and seats percentages in FPTP systems.
To get an idea of whether this aspect of the election is a “surprise” or not, I turned to one of my favorite tools, the seat-vote equation (originally devised by Rein Taagepera). If you are unfamiliar with the seat-vote equation, I suggest clicking on those words at the top of this planting and scrolling back in time–especially to the first planting in that orchard block (an estimation of seats in the then-upcoming Canadian federal election). But the short version is that the seat-vote equation allows us to estimate a “normal” seats distribution based on the following inputs (and only these inputs):
The votes shares of the leading parties
The total number of votes cast
The number of seats in the legislature
The number of electoral districts
Naturally, in FPTP systems, those last two are the same quantity.
The s-v equation does not incorporate any information about the geographic distribution of the parties’ supporters, notwithstanding the obvious importance of such distribution to the actual outcome. Parties win seats in FPTP systems solely based on where their votes are–no district-level plurality, no seat–rather than as a function of their jurisdiction-wide votes shares.
So, how did the equation perform in this election? Asking this question is really another way of asking a more politically relevant question: How did the electoral system perform? The latter question assumes that there is some “expected” relationship between jurisdiction-wide party support and their legislative support. Deviations from the s-v equation estimates would suggest that the electoral system is not translating votes into seats in a predictable manner. Again, we should not necessarily expect such a predictable translation when the system is FPTP, because of the dependence of parties on local pluralities rather than on jurisdiction-wide support in order to win seats.
Following are the (rounded) predictions of the seat-vote equation, based on the known values of the input variables indicated above:
These hardly differ from the actual result (48, 41, 36). The s-v equation expects the largest party to get a bigger bonus than it actually got and the third party to get slightly more punished than it actually was. But it tells us that, in a jurisdiction with FPTP and the number of seats and voters that Quebec has, an election so close among the top three parties in votes should produce a fairly close correspondence of seats and votes. The predicted advantage ratio for the PLQ was 1.23; its actual ratio was 1.16. Even FPTP with three-way competition can produce moderate deviations from proportionality and Quebec’s 2007 result was one where moderate deviations were both expected and actually materialized.
As for the impact of this outcome on the electoral system review, I am not in a position to predict the political consequences of this outcome on that review, but I would conclude that the outcome has not made the objective case for PR stronger. None of the formal review processes in FPTP jurisdictions in the last four decades stemmed from a minority situation, and Quebec’s result was not even disproportional. The existing electoral system gave Quebec voters pretty much what they voted for.
Update 2: Democratic Space provides an overview of the projections and where they were wrong. Excerpts:
Our under-estimation of the ADQ came from a greater than expected swing towards the ADQ in just 2 regions: Lanaudiere-Laurentides and the Monteregie (largely due to the abandonment of the PQ in these regions). [...]
Overall, of the 21 incorrect ridings, 16 were in our â€œtoo-close-to-callâ€ or â€œtight raceâ€ categories. So there were 5 genuine surprises.
(Well, the real surprise is that virtually every close riding swung the same way. In other words, it was not a case of “too close to call” but of the pollsters having missing the underlying trend.)
The remainder of this planting is unchanged since last night, but comments have kept coming in.
The Quebec provincial election has produced a Liberal minority government, the first resulting from an election in the history of the province (and the first at any time since 1878).
The ADQ, which had five seats in the previous parliament, will have 41 members in the new one, just seven seats behind the Liberals. Current Premier Jean Charest barely held his own riding. The PQ has 36 seats.
(originally from 23 March, with updates on 26 March)
With polls now open across Quebec, Democratic Space has posted its detailed final pre-election analysis, noting the election is too close to call but that a PLQ minority government now looks more likely than one headed by the PQ. A few days ago, the ADQ was within two percentage points of overtaking the PQ for second place in votes, but the PQ had the narrow edge in projected seats. (I don’t think it has ever happened anywhere that the seat plurality went to a party with the third most votes; it still won’t have happened.) In the interim, the ADQ has lost about a point and a half in votes to the PLQ, but the latter has picked up about 5% in projected seats, mostly at the expense of the PQ (thanks to the vagaries of three-way competition under FPTP). Of course, all of this is well within margins of error, so several scenarios remain in play. But a PLQ minority appears most likely.
The voting intentions of voters have not changed all that much at the aggregate level, but three-party politics under FPTP can be volatile, and as the ADQ grows even slightly, it is cutting more into the potential PLQ seats than to those of the PQ.
For example, compare the DS projection based on polling about a month before election day (and on riding-level analysis) to the current one. Over that time, the PLQ voting intention has fallen by 2.2 percentage points, but their seats having fallen by 11.2 points (from 65, a narrow majority, to the present projection of 51). Meanwhile, the ADQ has gained 3.2 percentage points in the vote and nine seats (7.2%). The PQ is gaining in expected seats, despite no real change in votes. If the trend were to continue and be realized on election day, the PQ could wind up with the most seats, albeit several short of a majority.
I know I have several readers who are in (or follow the politics of) Quebec. I hope they will consider this an open thread on the closing days of the campaign. Thanks to all those who have commented on this campaign thus far!
Benin’s government postponed Sunday’s parliamentary elections by a week to March 31 after days of wrangling in the electoral commission meant ballot papers were not ready, a minister said late on Friday.
(The planting I had on this election has been taken down temporarily; it will go back “in the ground” the day of the rescheduled election.)
The cabinet thus fails to conform to Gamson’s Law, under which parties bargaining over portfolios split the portfolios in proportion to their contribution to the coalition’s legislative seats. We might have expected Palestine to deviate from the “Law” on account of either the Hamas majority (in which case the fact of a coalition is itself unexpected1) or the fact that this is not a parliamentary system, but rather a president-parliamentary system in which both the president and the parliamentary majority can make claims to constitutional authority over the cabinet (implying we might have expected an even split, given that Hamas controls the legislature and Fatah the presidency). And deviate it does, in a rather odd way.
First of all, Hamas has less than a majority of the portfolios, even counting the Hamas-backed independents in the party’s column. It has 48%, despite having 56.1% of the parliamentary seats.2 Its share of cabinet seats is thus closer to its percentage of the party-list vote at the last election that it is to its share of the new coalition’s seats. (The party’s legislative majority was ‘manufactured’ by the electoral system.)
Fatah has 24% of the portfolios, and 34.1% of the legislative seats, thereby having a much worse advantage ratio (% portfolios/% coalition seats) than Hamas (.704 vs. .856). If we were to ignore the five nonpartisan (and non-Hamas-backed) ministers, Hamas would have 60% and Fatah 30% of the partisan ministers.3 Not that we should ignore these, but in doing so Fatah would still be underrepresented. (See Alex’s comment for clarification; some of the “independents” are also actually parisan.)
The failure of Fatah to get the one third of portfolios to which it was Gamsonianly entitled is significant. Under article 154 of the constitution, the cabinet is considered to have resigned (and thus bargaining would have to start anew) if one third of its members resign. By having less than a third, Fatah has diminished bargaining power within the cabinet (even though having more than one third of legislative seats means it can sustain presidential vetoes).
Hamas will not be able to command cabinet votes on its own, given that it has less than half the portfolios. This is an important concession to Fatah. However, Fatah’s absence of a one-third share is at least as important and, combined with the Hamas parliamentary majority, suggests that “unity” cabinet is somewhat of a misnomer.
1. Of course, the initial experience of an all-Hamas cabinet, reflecting the party’s majority of the legislature, did not work out so well. Still, we might have expected their majority to have allowed them to hold out for an above-proportional share in a coalition.
2. Normally we would calculate the correspondence to Gamson’s Law using not the percentage of total legislative seats, but the percentage of the coalition’s seats. However, given that this cabinet is essentially a coalition of the whole, using the percentage of total seats is justified.
3. The other partisan ministers are one from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and one from the Peoples Party. Each of these represents 5% of the partisan portfolios and 4% of the total cabinet, despite not having contested the election under these party banners. I do not know if these parties won seats at the election under another party/alliance banner or not. The total share of legislative seats for independents or parties other than Hamas or Fatah is 9.8%. (See Alex’s comment for more on this point.)
Stephen Harper’s minority Conservative cabinet has tabled its 2007 budget. In a parliamentary system, the budget is by definition a matter of confidence and thus a precarious time for any minority government that lacks confidence and supply agreements with parties that could guarantee it a majority–or join in an opposition-sponsored vote to oust the cabinet.
The Bloc Quebecois will support the budget, because it addresses one of Quebec’s most important issues, the federation’s “fiscal imbalance.” With the Conservatives having 125 seats and the BQ 50 in the 308-seat parliament (in which two seats are currently vacant), the BQ’s support virtually assures the budget will pass.
The cooperation of the BQ with a Conservative government is interesting due to the competitive dynamic between the two parties. That the BQ is playing along suggests that they fear an election. And in that case, while it is good for Harper in the short run to stave off an election, he nonetheless faces a bit of a trap: Whenever he does anything subsequently to upset the BQ constituency, the BQ will be able to bail at a time when they’d have an issue that might help them prevent the Conservatives from getting their majority. (In the 2006 elections, the Conservatives made big gains in Quebec at the BQ’s expense.) But if they remain on board with Harper’s budget, then the latter can’t get the election at a time when he might want it.
And then there is also the provincial election next Monday in Quebec. The BQ’s provincial counterpart, the Parti Quebecois is in a tight race in its bid to unseat the ruling provincial Liberal party–actually, a three-way race that may result in a hung parliament, given the ADQ’s strength. With the Quebec Liberals perhaps buoyed a bit by the budget announcement, this may not be a time when the BQ would want a federal election. On the other hand, they retain the ability to precipitate one in the future more or less whenever that want, as I mentioned above.
Meanwhile, one Liberal member has said he will support the budget. Well, make that ex-Liberal member Joe Canuzzi of Thunder Bay, Ontario. (Canuzzi has not exactly had warm relations with the Liberals, having resigned as a cabinet member in the previous government over its same-sex marriage bill.) Cannuzi gave as his reason the government’s inclusion in the budget of funds for a “for a molecular cancer research centre that employs 300 people in his riding”–perhaps a worthy project, but definitely pork. Canuzzi will sit as an independent, and has already said this is his last term.
Multiparty, federal, and FPTP politics certainly can be interesting!
That’s the Red Baron on the left, Peppermint on the right. (I suppose that was obvious, the names being fairly descriptive.) Red Baron is a fruiting-flowering peach with the darkest red blooms of any peach I know, and great fruit. Peppermint is a flowering peach with spectacular red, pink, and white variegated flowers (but little and mediocre fruit, which is why it is called a flowering peach).
Note how closely set the blooms are on the Red Baron. Note also how the occasional branch on the Peppermint is all red. Or, closer up, the occasional individual flower will be all red on a branch that is otherwise full of striped flowers.
These trees are always among the great pleasures of spring at Ladera Frutal. And judging by the viewer stats at the Flickr page, many folks agree, voting by their clicking to make last year’s photo of these trees one of the ten most popular Ladera Frutal photos.
Having been hit hard by the freeze in mid-January, the cherimoya trees are now budding again. This one shown here is the ‘Helmuts,’ probably the second hardest hit of our orchard’s block of cherimoyas.
The tops of the branches are killed back (i.e. the extremities suffered most from the cold), but the remainder of most branches is alive and now sprouting the growth of spring. Note the brown leaves clinging to some parts of the branches. Dead leaves cling to dead wood. Living tissue pushes its dead foliage off, and so now I realize that the massive leaf fall shortly after the freeze was a good sign. At the time, it sure did not seem that way!
Normally in this region, cherimoyas defoliate for a very brief period in April, thus making the cherimoya, at least in our climate, a rare case of a deciduous subtropical, albeit one that drops leaves only after the real deciduous trees have leafed out following their months of winter dormancy. These trees have now been mostly without leaves for over two months, and I had feared that they would be far off their normal cycle if they re-leafed too soon after the freeze. But now they are only a bit early, and I suspect they will get back to normal fairly soon, despite the shock. In fact, they might even bloom especially well this year, there being nothing like instilling the fear of death in a fruit tree to get it “thinking” about reproducing! Whether they can hold and ripen fruit their first year after such a big setback to their internal energy levels is another matter.
Another in the occasional series at the intersection of agronomy, astronomy, and spirituality…
Today, 21 March, is the first day of spring, with the vernal equinox* having arrived at 00:17 UTC (meaning technically spring began here yesterday afternoon). The following photo was taken at solar noon today from approximately the same point as the “Low noon” photo posted here on the winter solstice.
Because it is mostly cloudy today, unlike the sunny day we had on the winter solstice, the extent of shade cast over or near the hedgerow by the nearby grapefruit trees is not as obvious as I would have liked. Even so, you can see that it is only really dark on the south side (left of the photo) of the trunks of the trees in the hedgerow. With the sun angle at this latitude being 57.6 degrees today, compared to 33.9 degrees on the winter solstice, the greater part of these trees is already out of the shade and will be more so day by day as the trees grow (and, I hope, fruit).
Obviously, from the standpoint of the trees themselves, it has been spring here for a while. The tree in the foreground is the Geo Pride Pluot, days past its peak bloom. Several other trees are well on their way to leafing out and some are done blooming.
The upside of the freeze is that we had a lot of chill. Probably in the 650-700 hour range by the time a warm spell essentially ended chilling accumulation after the first week of March. And, as a result, some varieties that are marginal for the climate due to high chilling needs are blooming.
For instance, the Canadian White Blenheim. This has had some blooms in the past, but only sparingly and after being fully leafed out. I had never seen any stone fruit bloom after being fully leafed before, and the absence of any fruit from this tree’s few blooms in springs past confirmed my suspicion that such behavior indicates non-viable blossoms. As the photo above shows, this year it is blooming before the leaves, as one would expect if its chill requirement had been met. At the center of the photo are two open blooms from one set of buds, and several other buds about to burst. Unusual for an apricot, the flowers have a slight pink blush to them.
Even the Hunza is blooming!
As I have explained before, growing Hunza–and doing so right in the shadows of a large grapefruit tree–is very much an experiment in chill-cheating, and I had low expectations upon planting it. Blooms do not guarantee fruit, but they are a necessary condition, for sure!
Spring is here. And if the vernal equinox has arrived, then Pesach is right around the corner, at the full moon, as perfect for illuminating one’s liberation as the flowers of spring are for reminding us of the opportunities ahead. It is one thing to have freedom; it is another to make good use of it, whether we are talking about religious or political freedom. And, inspired by an orchard in bloom, this is as good a time as any for reflecting upon such gifts and their responsibilities.
On the Hebrew calendar, today is 2 Nisan.** The full moon will be (as always) 15 Nisan, the first day of Pesach. And for Christians (both Eastern and Western, this year***), Easter is the Sunday immediately following, 8 April.
* Unless, of course, you are in the southern hemisphere, in which case it’s the autumnal equinox, or the first day of fall.
** Meaning that 1 Nisan corresponded with the beginning of spring here–as presumably it should–given that the equinox was actually 20 March in North America, as noted above, and here the equinox was before sunset, meaning it was indeed still 1 Nisan.
*** If someone can explain the rules for calculating the date of Easter used by Orthodox Christians, please enlighten me. If Wikipedia can be trusted, Orthodox Easter will be 27 April in 2008. I believe Eastern Christians use the Julian calendar, but nonetheless, the equinox is the equinox, and this date would be more than a month after the start of spring.
Kyiv’s spectacular Pechersk Lavra or “cave” monastery complex–one of the most sacred sites for orthodox Christians, is in danger of collapsing.
On our visit to Ukraine in 2005 I took the above photo of the Assumption Church, just one small portion of this vast and stunning complex. The most famous, and most threatened, portion is the tunnels underneath the complex and down to the Dnieper River.
The monks are hoping for support from the Ukrainian government and international organizations to preserve the site before it is too late. But as I suggest in my source note below, the attention this has gotten thus far in Western media is a deafening silence.
Note on source: I first saw this story on either BBC or DW TV over a week ago, and had awaited a print/Web source to cite; but the only news item I have found through Google is a paid-subscriber item in Moscow Times. There is a blog post at Medieval News with a very thorough overview. I am surprised this has not garnered more attention.
What is ‘polarization’ in the context of the American political parties and presidential form of government? Was WJ Cllinton an example of a polarizing president? Republican partisans would say so. Is GW Bush such an example? Almost anyone (except perhaps the most core Republican partisans) certainly would say so.
I would argue that there has not, in fact, been a polarizing Democratic president–yet. Maybe 2008 will bring one. But we have not seen one yet, certainly not Clinton.
Just because there was intense opposition to Clinton by the core of the Republican Party did not imply that Clinton’s presidency, per se, was polarizing. Clinton always–at least after the 1994 midterm election and especially after impeachment and continuing through to the end of his term–had strong approval from “independent” voters as well as stronger (or less abysmal!) approval from opposite-party partisans than has been the case for Bush at any time other than in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. These indicators are better proxies for the degree of “polarization” than simply the intensity of opposition by the core of the opposing party (or of support by the president’s own party).
Back in October (yes, this planting was germinating for a long time, but it is now spring, after all), I ran across the following item by Harry Levins in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, October 1 (found via Lexis-Nexis, so no link). Mr Levins is reviewing Running Alone by James MacGregor Burns (Basic Books, 272 pages, $26).
Older Americans tend to remember John F. Kennedy in nostalgic terms. But political scientist James MacGregor Burns remembers him as the president who pointed his office in a bad direction — away from political parties and toward political expediency.
In “Running Alone,” he weighs the consequences of this loosening of political ties. Mostly, they’ve been bad, especially for the Democrats, says Burns, who acknowledges upfront that he’s an FDR Democrat and proud of it.
His political identification sets him aside from presidential centrists, such as Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton. Burns says that like Kennedy, Carter and Clinton used the party when it suited them and otherwise ignored the party, for example, when Clinton pushed NAFTA through Congress, despite the opposition of the FDR Democrats in labor unions.
Those who favor this approach (the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, for example) see it as pragmatic and realistic. Those who oppose it (the various hard liberal blocs in the party) see it as opportunistic and cynical.
Burns says Richard M. Nixon’s Southern Strategy let Ronald Reagan pull the Republican Party to the right, where it remains. In Burns’ view, popular support for this truly conservative GOP is deep but narrow. He thinks a Democratic presidential candidate who could unite his party top to bottom across the remaining segments of society could make up in breadth what this approach lacks in depth.
The more centrist, flexible and non-polarizing presidency on the model of Carter–and, yes, WJ Clinton–is more consonant with what we should expect in a presidential democracy, where parties are organized first and foremost to capture a separately elected, fixed-term presidency. The more explicitly partisan, even ideological, approach represented by GW Bush really is inconsistent with the very structure of presidentialism and the incentives it (normally) gives for presidents to construct a different constituency from that of the legislative majorities.
The question heading into 2008 will be whether the next Democratic candidate builds a more specifically partisan constituency. That is, have the dynamics of the party system and the processes for building a presidential constituency shifted fundamentally, or will the Bush presidency turn out to have been an aberration?
If a partisan, polarizing Democratic candidate were to win, he or she likely would have –given the outcome of the 2006 midterms–the necessary congressional majorities for a more partisan governing strategy to be viable. (It would be highly unlikely that Republicans would take back either chamber of Congress, but especially the House, in 2008 at the same time that a Democrat won the presidency.) I do not think a polarizing, highly partisan Democratic presidency on the GWB Republican model is likely, because the Democratic constituency is not as narrow and cohesive as the Republicans’. (Democratic gains in 2006 in some unlikely places would seem to confirm that.) But such a polarizing Democratic administration has become more likely than it formerly was.
This post was originally inspired not only by the review quoted above, but by a post at PoliBlog. There, Steven Taylor and I debated about whether GW Bush and WJ Clinton both are examples of highly polarizing partisan Presidents. I suggested, no, for the reasons indicated above. I do not have the link to the referenced PoliBlog post. Maybe Steven will stop by and find it for us.
If by my laws you walk, and my commands you keep, and observe them,
then I will give-forth your rains in their set-time,
so that the earth gives-forth its yield
and the trees of the field give-forth their fruit.
--Vayikra 26: 3-4