New Zealand

New Zealand Election: Will Labour Ride Jacindamania to Victory?

Two weeks ago, New Zealand's general election was on track to be anything but exciting. The National Party, led now by Prime Minister Bill English, has shepherded the country through eight years of steady, uneventful post-crisis growth. And two weeks ago it appeared certain Kiwis would hand stodgy-but-safe National another mandate. The party was polling a full 20 points ahead of the opposition Labour Party.Then on July 31, Labour leader Andrew Little announced he was resigning and leaving the pa... Continue Reading

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Despite Temer Corruption Indictment, Government Calm and Carrying On

A recent lack of notable activity in Predata Government and Economy signals suggests the president and his unpopular economic reform agenda may weather blockbuster corruption charges. On May 17, the leak of a recording of President Temer discussing bribes with a meatpacking tycoon caused Predata Economy and Government volatility signals to surge, reflecting increased attention to the scandal and heightened expectation that the revelation could sink Brazil's embattled president and his economic r... Continue Reading

South Africa Zuma

South Africa: President Zuma on the Back Foot (Again), but Replacement Remains Uncertain

Having survived the meeting of the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC) on May 26-28 where his removal was discussed, President Zuma probably hoped for a respite. The respite, however, turned out to be very brief as questions about his competency and probity forcibly resurfaced in early June.... Continue Reading

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Hassan Rouhani Iran Deep State

Can Iran's "Deep State" Make a Comeback?

DESPITE CLAIMS of fraud by losing conservative candidate Ebrahim Raisi, Iran’s Guardian Council on May 30 confirmed President Rouhani’s re-election. Given that Iran Supreme Leader Khamenei holds substantial power over many of the government’s most powerful institutions, the principal analytic question now is how much can Rouhani achieve in the face of “resistance” by hardline elements supported by the Supreme Leader. The current expectation among most Iran observers is that Rouhani faces major c... Continue Reading

iran deep state 6/4/17
China Debt Australia Malcolm Turnbull

Australia, The Smashed Avocado Economy

DAVID BYRNE once quipped that the national dish of Australia is toast. For the past year, politicians and pundits throughout the great southern land have done that description justice by engaging in an earnest and at times quite vicious public policy debate about the effect of avocado toast on young Australians' savings habits. Avocado toast is, of course — along with the flat white — Australia's great contribution to 21st century urban culture. Amid a property market bubble that's given Sydney ... Continue Reading

avocado toast
Brazil Michel Temer

Who's Next In Line for Impeachment Once Temer Goes?

DEVELOPMENTS since we wrote about the possible impeachments of Michel Temer and Donald Trump last week have confirmed that of the two embattled presidents, it's Temer who's at far greater risk of being removed from office. If the distraction of Trump's first overseas trip served to take some of the heat off his ailing administration, despite fresh revelations in the investigation of collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, Temer battled on last week in the face of protests and reports hi... Continue Reading

temer successors 5/28/17
South Africa Jacob Zuma

South Africa: The More Things Change, The More They Stay the Same?

THE NEWS FLOW on President Zuma continues at a high pace. In the last two weeks, South Africans have tracked the following developments:The President’s May 14 endorsement of his former wife Nkosana Dlamini-Zuma as the candidate to replace him as head of the African National Congress (ANC). This move was widely expected and Dlamini-Zuma is widely regarded as the candidate most likely to protect the president when he leaves office. The May 15 appeal to the Constitutional Court by the opposition U... Continue Reading

zuma 5/28/17
Brexit UK election UK Labour UK Conservatives Jeremy Corbyn Theresa May

The Tories Are Wobbling their Way to Victory

"LOW KEY" campaigning resumes today following the two-day pause observed by all parties in the wake of the Manchester bombing. The attack will affect the rhythm and tone of the campaign, but to what extent and in whose favor is difficult to gauge. The murder of Jo Cox in the final days of last year's Brexit campaign did not trigger a meaningful swing in momentum back to the Remain campaign; nor did the terrorist attack on the Champs Elysées in the home stretch of the French presidential campaign... Continue Reading

corbyn 5/25/17
Brazil Donald Trump Politics Michel Temer U.S.

Trump and Temer, the Weak Flesh Presidents

FROM THE MOMENT he took office, there have been calls for him to leave — either by resignation, impeachment, or some form of divine vaporization. This statement could apply as much to Michel Temer, who has presided over a near-continuous state of political chaos since taking over from Dilma Rousseff midway through last year, as Donald Trump, who was sworn in amid the largest single-day protest in U.S. history. Over the last week, however, both presidencies have plumbed new depths. Temer's premie... Continue Reading

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