Thursday, November 27, 2014

O fim da civilização tal como a conhecíamos?

Depois de Anthímio de Azevedo, Sousa Veloso.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

A liderança em disputa pela primeira vez?

Na altura da última convenção do Bloco de Esquerda, alguma comunicação social referiu que pela primeira vez havia disputa pela liderança.

Isso será correto? Afinal, em todas as convenções do BE excluindo a primeira houve listas de oposição para a Mesa Nacional; é verdade que antes nenhuma dessas listas tinha apresentado um candidato a "líder", mas o BE tem um sistema "parlamentarista" em que não há eleições específicas para líder ou coordenador - a direção é escolhida de acordo com o resultada da votação para a Mesa Nacional; logo, todas as candidaturas oposicionistas à Mesa que houve em quase todas as convenções podem ser consideradas candidaturas à direção (mesmo que sem qualquer hipótese real de vitória).

E não se pode expulsar o juiz Carlos Alexandre?

Xanana "consternado" com a detenção do "amigo" Sócrates

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Um voto nunca fez diferença?

Por vezes diz-se que é praticamente impossível um voto individual decidir uma votação - é verdade que há casos reais de eleições decididas por um voto (ou com margens ainda menores), mas na maior parte dos casos trata-se de eleger representantes para um órgão colectivo, logo um voto só faria mesmo diferença se, além da eleição de um representante ser decidida por um voto, esse representante individual fosse decisivo para decidir quem tinha a maioria na assembleia (uma probabilidade quase nula).

Mas agora temos um exemplo fresquinho - a votação para a Mesa Nacional do Bloco de Esquerda foi empatada (ambos com 259 votos), e, na semana passada, na Assembleia Eleitoral de Olhão a moção E (Pedro Filipe Soares) ficou a um voto de eleger mais um delegado em Olhão; assim, se mais um bloquista olhanense tivesse votado na moção E, hoje essa moção teria sido a mais votada para a Mesa Nacional.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Os vistos gold

Muito se tem criticado os "vistos gold" por estarem a ser dados sobretudo ao investimento em imobiliário em vez de ao investimento a sério (aqui o que me parece ser um exemplo - ver o ponto 1).

Ironicamente, essa criticas vem sobretudo de sectores (nomeadamente da área do PS ou do BE) que seguem uma perspetiva keynesiana, segunda a qual o problema da economia portuguesa é do lado da procura (mais exatamente, procura externa e interna reduzida) e não da oferta (reduzida capacidade produtiva).

A mim parece-me que, para quem acha que a solução para a crise é aumentar a procura, não há grandes razões para achar melhor um investimento numa fábrica do que um investimento (de igual valor) numa casa.

Claro que se pode sempre argumentar que, entre um investimento que aumenta a procura e a oferta (fábrica) e um que apenas aumenta a procura (casa), o primeiro será sempre melhor, mas quanto mais se achar que o problema fundamental da economia é de procura, menos se achará essa "vantagem" significativa (se a lógica não for uma batata).

Diga-se que esse género de inconsistência lógica parece-me frequente no keynesianismo português - afinal, é também desses lados que se costuma ouvir as queixas de que os bancos não estão a fazer o dinheiro chegar à economia real, e por causa disso haverá muitos projetos de investimento que não vão para a frente, por falta de finaciamento (cenário pouco consistente com uma crise económica motivada por baixa procura, em que me parece que o normal será haver um excedente de capital disponível para ser emprestado, e quase ninguém a querer pedir empréstimos, já que, devido à baixa procura, haverá poucos projetos de investimentos rentáveis).

Friday, November 14, 2014

O fim do sionismo moderado nos EUA?

The new American Jewish struggle over Israel: Hawks versus ultra-hawks, por Peter Beinart (Haaretz):

Consider this week’s spat between Sheldon Adelson and Abraham Foxman. At an event last Sunday, Adelson’s fellow oligarch, Chaim Saban, said Israel needed to support a Palestinian state if it wanted to remain a Jewish democracy. To which Adelson replied, “I don’t think the Bible says anything about democracy. I think God didn’t say anything about democracy. God talked about all the good things in life. He didn’t talk about Israel remaining as a democratic state, otherwise Israel isn’t going to be a democratic state — so what?”

So what? With that question, Adelson lobbed a grenade at the American Jewish establishment. When the American Jewish establishment defends Israel, it doesn’t talk much about God. That’s because while theological language plays well among conservative Christians and Orthodox Jews, it tends to alienate secular liberals. Indeed, it alienates some of the secular liberals who populate American Jewish organizations. As a result, America’s mainstream Jewish groups generally justify Israeli policy not via religion but via America’s civil religion—democracy—a creed that enjoys unquestioned reverence across the political spectrum. By claiming democracy doesn’t matter, Adelson was sabotaging the case for Israel that the American Jewish establishment has been making for decades. Which is why one of that establishment’s senior members, the Anti-Defamation League’s Abraham Foxman, called Adelson’s remarks “disturbing on many levels.” Foxman added that, “the founders of Israel got it exactly right when they emphasized the country being both a Jewish and democratic state. Any initiatives that move Israel away from either value would ill-serve the state and people of Israel.”

The problem is that Israel has been pursuing just such an initiative for almost a half-century now. Since 1967, it has established dominion over millions of West Bank Palestinians who lack citizenship or the right to vote in the state that controls their lives. (...)

For years now, the American Jewish establishment has been laundering Israel’s behavior for American consumption: Justifying Israel’s undemocratic settlement policies in the soothing language of democratic values. But right-wingers like Adelson increasingly refuse to play along. Claiming you cherish Israeli democracy, after all, requires claiming that the West Bank Palestinians who Israel currently controls should one day have a state of their own. Since the American Jewish right sees that as both dangerous to Israeli security and an affront to God, it is challenging the American Jewish establishment by bluntly advocating a one-state solution in which millions of Palestinians are permanently disenfranchised, democracy be damned. The Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which Adelson helps bankroll, has partnered with conservative Christians to pass resolutions in the Florida and South Carolina legislatures declaring that they “consider Judea and Samaria and East Jerusalem to be part of Israel.” The ZOA pushed a similar resolution at the Republican National Convention in 2012 but was stymied by AIPAC, which wanted both parties to go on record as supporting the two state solution.

Behind this growing conflict between the Jewish center and the Jewish right lies a demographic shift. Historically, mainstream American Jewish groups have been dominated by relatively secular Jews who vote Democratic and hold fairly liberal views on domestic issues, even as they passionately defend Israel against external criticism. But the children of these secular American Zionists are more likely to inherit their parents’ secularism than their Zionism. They’re not anti-Zionists. They’re just not as interested in devoting their free time to defending an Israeli government from which they feel distant, if not alienated.

As a result, the younger American Jews most willing to dedicate themselves to the “Pro-Israel” cause come disproportionately from an Orthodox community that is growing in both size and self-confidence. But Orthodox Jews, unlike their more secular counterparts, don’t generally hold liberal views on domestic issues. They mostly vote Republican. They’re more likely to explicitly reject the two state solution, and to justify that rejection by invoking God’s promise to give Jews the land. All of which makes them more willing to embrace the right-wing Christian evangelicals who more secular American Jews fear. (...)

Once upon a time, Jews from across the political spectrum joined groups like AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League or the American Jewish Committee. Now the liberals are more likely to join J Street or even Jewish Voices for Peace and the conservatives are more likely to join the ZOA, the Republican Jewish Coalition or the Emergency Committee for Israel.

For years, the American Jewish center has tried to uphold the fiction that you can both support the two state solution and support Israel’s right to destroy the two state solution. Now the contradiction between those two imperatives is fracturing American Jewish institutional life. The result is an intra-Jewish debate that is fiercer, more divisive and more honest.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Titulos que não consigo perceber

Este da Ana Vidigal no Jugular.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Tunisia vs. Turquia

Why is Tunisian democracy succeeding while the Turkish model is failing?, por

In an influential book in 1991, Samuel Huntington established the “two-turnover” test to distinguish between emerging and consolidated democracies. For a democracy to be consolidated, according to the test, free and fair elections must twice have led to the peaceful handover of office between an incumbent and a successful challenger. As Huntington notes, this is a very difficult test. American democracy was not consolidated until Jacksonian Democrats lost the presidency to the Whigs in 1840.

The secularist Nida Tunis’s defeat of the moderate Islamist Ennahda in Tunisia’s elections last week brought the fledgling democracy a big step closer to passing Huntington’s test. The elections also strengthen the embattled forces for democracy throughout the Middle East and Muslim world. Tunisia’s successful democratic experiment despite rising extremism and a weak economy trumps Turkey’s already bogus claim to being the model for democratizing Muslim countries. In reality, Turkey has never been a viable model for Muslim democracy, since it was never a free or liberal democracy in the first place. (...)

If there is any model of Muslim democracy post-Arab Spring, it is Tunisia, not Turkey. (...)

While Turkey has descended down this authoritarian spiral over the past two years, Tunisia has achieved the most impressive democratic transformation in the history of the region. Tunisia had its first free elections in October 2011 after the fall of the Ben Ali regime. Ennahda won a plurality of seats (41 percent) and soon reached a power-sharing agreement with two secular parties in the Constituent Assembly. One of the things Tunisians got right was the rejection of presidentialism in favor of parliamentary democracy. Tunisians recognized the dangers of presidentialism in a country with a weak democratic tradition and historic lack of checks and balances. Tunisians also chose proportional representation with a zero-percent national threshold, giving the greatest possible representation to different voices in parliament. Turkey headed in the opposition direction. The AKP government tried unsuccessfully to use its majority to change the country’s parliamentary system into a presidential regime and to switch from the current PR-based electoral system to a “first-past-the-post” majoritarian system, which could give the AKP a supermajority while denying smaller parties’ representation. Turkey has one of the highest and most undemocratic electoral thresholds (10 percent) in the world; but the lack of representativeness of the electoral system has never been a real concern for the AKP elite.
 A respeito do sistema eleitoral turco, um artigo de 2007 (é velho, mas penso que não houve grandes mudanças): Is Turkey’s electoral system democratic?, por Matthew Shugart.