So, I woke up as it’s getting dark in the United States. Voting time. What’s the best place to watch the results? Me, I’m watching the New York Times. I grew up with the old grey lady and they have Nate Silver, the statistics wunderkind who’s FiveThirtyEight blog predicted 49 of 50 states last time and is now folded in to the Times.
Archive for the 'election' Category
Elections are unpredictable. That’s why we have them. That said, modern polling and meta-polling do give a pretty decent sense of how the US Presidential election is going to play out. Added to that, their electoral college system also means that relatively few states (and votes) will make the difference between win or lose. The gold standard prognostication comes from Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight. Despite an incredibly tight national race, he’s predicting an 85% chance that Barack Obama will win.
The Sri Lankan electoral system is confusing. You vote for parties, then who you prefer within that party. It’s just one big list, so you can’t vote for the guy from your neighborhood without having it watered down by everybody else in a bigger area. You also can’t control who’s on the party list in the first place. Hence it’s usually the guy on TV (or the one with drug money) that wins. So now they’re changing it to a ward based system starting at the local level. But only a 70% ward based system, which to me is still 30% confusing.
Both I and Sarath Fonseka were unable to vote in the last Presidential because our registration was messed up. It was embarrassing for me cause I found out late, through the mail. They come by and deliver polling cards a bit before a vote. That’s how I found out, when my name wasn’t on the card. Now they’ve streamlined the process a bit and you’ll be able to check if you’re registered online.
I’ve been watching the Republican campaign for US President with alternate horror and glee. It’s kinda like Jersey Shore where one winner gets to be President and have nuclear weapons. Kinda awesome, but fundamentally really, really bad. You’ve got a bunch of crazy people, and one person (Romney) pretending to be crazy. This, however, is the best description I’ve seen so far:
I’ve been going thru the election results for the recent local government elections. While the UNP got the most votes, they’ve lost their majority in Colombo and their presence here is on a steady decline. Note that they’ve already lost the suburbs (Kotte, Dehiwela) and, of course, the rest of the country. They’re also losing minority votes in Colombo, and in the North and East, which have their own parties.
Duminda Silva is blowing up ze blog traffic, but it’s important to remember that he’s a dinosaur. Mammals are the future, and Sri Lankan politics is on the mend. It is possible to not be a thug and succeed in politics. People like you and me just need to stay involved, donate, vote and support the few politicians that are pushing for a change. They may look like rodents now, but trust me, the species will evolve.
The UNP has lost everything except Colombo. I volunteered for the UPFA candidate Milinda Moragoda, and this sucks. I think he had a better plan. We tried and failed.
Sri Lanka’s Local election results are out now, you can follow them at slelections.gov.lk. What’s fun is the latest results are blinking, so you have to try to click them before they disappear. It’s like playing whack-a-mole.
Voting is difficult, for me at least. First thing is, you have to be registered. In the last Presidential election we were between houses (paperwork wise) and I couldn’t vote. That sucked. If you’re not registered now it’s too late. Then you need an ID. Then you have to figure out the actual ballot.