Planting will be rather minimal for a couple of weeks or so. The week beginning is a big one, with the baseball playoffs and High Holidays. And, oh by the way, the first week of the fall quarter.
I hope to check in now and then, perhaps with something on the Canadian election, which is 14 October. That also happens to be 15 Tishri, and hence Sukkot (which means it will be the Feast of Voting Booths for our Canadian Jewish friends). But, clearly, I will not be keeping up with this election as closely as I did the last one.
Later in the month I am sure I will have a few things to say about the upcoming election in New Zealand.1
Please feel free to treat this as an “open planting hole” for anything F&V-relevant that comes up, although it is always preferred if you can locate and reactivate an older thread on a topic, if one exists.2 As always, first-time commenters (propagators) or those who put in more than one link may find their comment held in moderation. I will clear such comments when I can. I am not going away, just unusually busy for a while.
Thanks for your support and patience.
May you have a new year of sweet fruits and effective votes! l’Shannah Tovah!
Are any other democracies having elections soon? I’ll have to check. [↩]
You can either scroll down the page or go to previous pages via the link at the bottom, or navigate the categories–Orchard Blocks–on the left sidebar. [↩]
Well, once again, we had some thrilling games in the final weekend of the regular season. Wait, not so fast. Seems we have one more regular-season game, after all. And we might even have two more.
The White Sox remembered, for at least a day, how to win a game, and earned a trip to Detroit to make up a rainout from earlier in the season. It has been a while since we’ve had one of these extra-day make-ups. If the Sox win it, they will have to win yet one more, against the Twins, to settle the Central. It has been a very long time since a baseball postseason berth was not decided till the Tuesday after the season was supposed to end. But this could be such a year.
The White Sox need to win two games in two days in different cities to keep alive the possibility of reliving 1906.
As for the last NL slot, the Mets completed their second-in-as-many-years collapse. Of course, it was nowhere near as impressive as last year’s fall from 7 up with 17 to go. But still an achievement.1 And while Mets fans will disagree, it’s OK. It just would not have seemed right to have, on the day after the final regular season game at Shea, a wild-card playoff (which would be a regular-season game).
And, just in time for Rosh haShannah, NJB2 Ryan Braun came up big again, as did CC. Congratulations to the Brewers!
This year, they led by 3.5 on 10 Sept. At that point the Wild Card was not yet in the picture, as the Brewers were just beginning their own September swoon that they only recovered from in the last week. [↩]
Time, at least once more in 2008, to crank up that fight song. About 100 decibels should do.
The Angels, for the first time in their history, have won 100 games.
And their season has a nice symmetry to it.
That road record is the only above-.500 record in the league, other than the Yankees, who won’t be playing any October baseball this year (despite a better record than whoever emerges from that mess of a Central Division).
The win, over second-place Texas, also gives them a 21-game lead, which is one of the few >20 leads of all time.
As of this writing, the remaining suspense is whether the Mariners wind up 40 games out, or only 39.
And I have to tip the halo to Joe Saunders, who returned from passing a kidney stone to pitch a fine game today.1 As someone who has had kidney stones more than once in the past, and whose wife has had even bigger kidney stones, I can’t imagine how he had the strength.
Unlike his other two rotation-mates for the Division Series in their final regular-season tune-ups. [↩]
One of the side benefits of having the MLB Extra Innings package is that I get to see what is being advertised in states other than my own.
From seeing ads during recent baseball games1 I get the distinct impression that there is an election campaign underway out there in some of the states. In fact, it may even be a campaign of some national significance. Intriguing.
And as to those rumors that one of the apparent candidates for this apparent national office had “suspended” his campaign for a while, I did indeed see an ad for him yesterday. It informed me that “Change is coming.” That’s a relief.
And, more importantly than anything else, what a week of games it has been! [↩]
So, Ron Paul, usually described by the media as a ‘libertarian” (and a self-declared lifetime member of the big-L party), is endorsing the presidential candidate of the Constitution Party, Chuck Baldwin. Not Bob Barr, the actual candidate of the actual Libertarian Party (and certainly not John McCain, the candidate of the party whose label Paul bears as a member of Congress).1
Interesting, to say the least. Some months ago, in correspondence with another blogger, I pointed out that Paul, then a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, was in many ways closer to the Constitution Party than to the Libertarian Party. Apparently Paul agrees!
The Constitution Party offer a platform for those who consider the Republican Party insufficiently resolute in its social authoritarianism, Christianism, and nationalism.
Restoring American jurisprudence to its Biblical foundations;
Opposing “any legal recognition of homosexual unions” or “legalized adoption of children by homosexuals”;
Carrying out “the duty of all civil governments to secure and to safeguard the lives of the pre-born”;
“Upholding the right of states and localities to restrict access to drugs”;
“Upholding our cherished First Amendment right to free speech by vigorously enforcing our laws against obscenity”;
Requiring that tariffs on “foreign imports will not be less than the difference between the foreign item’s cost of production and the cost of production of a similar item produced in these United States”;
A moratorium on immigration;
The return of a U.S. military presence at the Isthmus of Panama;
No “foreign entity” should be allowed to own any U.S. assets, including real estate, stocks, bonds, or Treasury notes.
Which one of those is a “libertarian” platform plank?
22. The number of games by which the Angels lead their closest division rival. If that holds through Sunday’s final regular-season game, I believe it would be tied for second biggest final lead at least since the year the Cubs won their last World Series.1
40. The lead the Angels currently enjoy over the last-place team in their division–a team predicted by many alleged experts at the start of the season to win the division.2
Other final-week observation. As a longtime fan of the Angels, including the inglorious 1995 team, I know that a collapse is never a pretty thing. But the Mets’ 2008 collapse is not yet as ugly as the 2007 version. In fact, thanks to the even more hapless Brewers–who actually had the NL’s second best record way back in late August–the Mets still lead the Wild Card.3 As someone who is not a fan of either team, I kind of hope they have to meet in an “overhang” game on Monday to decide what clearly will be the league’s booby prize this year.
Yet another final-week observation. Of course, the year when the Angels might, for the first time, finish with the league’s best record, it won’t matter for the first-round series. They are going to play the Wild Card team no matter what, and thus would have the home-field advantage. However, if they make it to the second round, and so does the East winner, owning the second-round home-field advantage will be nice. First things first…
From a quick examination of a record book. Corrections, as always, welcome. The Angels will not beat the modern record of 30 set by Cleveland in 1995. [↩]
Honestly, any such expert should have had his expertise credential revoked on the spot. But who could have imagined they’d be 40 games out? [↩]
Today’s democraticSPACE projection for the Canadian election shows the Conservatives on 37.3% of the vote and 144 seats. I don’t see an archive of projections, but the last time I looked (which I thought was just Friday) the Conservatives were at 150 seats (and just over 38% of the vote, I think).
So, what happened in such a short time span?
(155 seats are required for a majority. In 2006, the Conservatives won 124 seats on 36.7% of the national vote.)
Constitution Day was last Wednesday, and I did not even notice. Did anyone?
Maybe I failed to notice because it did not come during the Days of Awe this year, as it did last year. It came during Elul (the 17th, as calendric convergences would have it), and I was just not yet prepared to contemplate something as awesome–or awful–as the status of adherence to the principles on which the US Constitution was founded.
I have been wanting to address this issue, but have lacked time. Fortunately, Alan came to my rescue. Here, moved from a previous comment thread, is some information from Alan. (Thanks for planting, Alan!)
If the National Assembly, by a vote supported by a majority of its members, passes a motion of no confidence in the Cabinet excluding the President, the President must reconstitute the Cabinet.
If the National Assembly, by a vote supported by a majority of its members, passes a motion of no confidence in the President, the President and the other members of the Cabinet and any Deputy Ministers must resign.
[Alan again.] If the motion is successful the speaker acts as president until the assembly elects a new president. A new election only happens if the assembly does not complete an election within 30 days.
[MSS again] My subject line deliberately points to the unusual case of South Africa’s institutions: the country’s constitution is clearly parliamentary (fused origin–i.e. there are no separate executive elections–and fused survival in the sense of executive dependence on parliamentary confidence). Yet, rather unusually for a parliamentary system, the head of the parliamentary majority is also the head of state. Thus he really is both a prime minister and president, and his title is the latter. He is also subject to term limits.
To make things even more unusual, from a parliamentary standpoint, the ruling ANC replaced its leader a while ago (from Mbeki to Zuma), yet the PM/president was not changed. This sort of ‘dyarchy’ is not unheard of, but is rare in parliamentary systems. (Various aspects of this developing dyarchy have been covered in past plantings: just click on the country name in the “Planted in” line and they will come up on the same page.)
The latest party-preference survey is a little different:
The four-day Canadian Press Harris-Decima rolling survey, in partnership with the CBC, gives the Tories 36 per cent of national support, down two percentage points from the previous day’s figure.
The Liberals follow with 27 per cent support, down a single point from the previous day, the survey result suggests.
The poll puts the NDP at 16 per cent and the Green party at 11, both up a point, while the Bloc remained at eight per cent support.
Actually, Bloc leader Gilles Duceppe had the highest favorability rating among the party leaders (53%), but I am reasonably certain that even if the system were presidential, there’s not much chance that the leader of the Quebec Bloc would find himself President of Canada.
Canada’s federal parliamentary election is 14 October. And, of course, just as there is not a national executive election, there is not a national party election, either. The outcome–which seems to mainly hinge on whether the Conservatives end up with a majority, an enhanced plurality, or about where they are now–depends on the individual races in a series of swing ridings. Some indications suggest that the Conservative lead in some of these districts–mainly Tory-Lib contests in B.C. and Ontario and Tory-BQ contests in Quebec–may be slipping.
Perhaps “large, influential chunks of the electorate”–meaning those folks fortunate enough to live in “battleground ridings”–may be responding to Dion’s campaign–especially his carbon tax proposal–after all. Or maybe they just “are determined to keep the political complexion of the new Parliament as mixed as possible.”
Ah, yes, parliamentary government under FPTP elections in a multiparty system…
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