Foreign Elections

Mexican Leftist Holds Big Lead In Presidential Election

“Mexican left-wing presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has an 18-point lead ahead of the July 1 election, according to a poll published on Monday that showed him with a growing advantage at the start of formal campaigning,” Reuters reports.

“A Lopez Obrador victory could usher in a Mexican government less accommodating toward the United States, where President Trump has stoked trade tensions with Mexico and aggressively moved to curb immigration.”

Trudeau’s Ill-Fated Trip to India

“Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau no longer looks invincible,” the Washington Post reports.

CBC’s Poll Tracker reported in late March that the opposition Conservative Party is now in the lead, at 37.7% of voting intentions, compared with Trudeau’s Liberals, at 33.7%. The left-of-center New Democratic Party was third at 18.5%.”

“Some observers say it’s just a question of midterm blues, with a Canadian election not scheduled until the fall of 2019. But the real culprit seems to have been Trudeau’s visit to India in February. During the week-long trip, Trudeau was widely mocked for wearing traditional Indian garb as he crossed India with his wife and three children.”

Barack Obama put it best: “You don’t put stuff on your head if you’re president. That’s politics 101. You never look good wearing something on your head.”

Italian Elections Produce a Hung Parliament

“Italy is on course for a hung parliament after voters backed right-leaning and populist parties, a vote projection released by state TV suggests,” the BBC reports.

CNN: “Based on early vote count, the result looks like a win for the center-right coalition brokered by former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, which collectively is projected to hold the biggest share of the vote — 35.5%.”

“The result, which is comprised of Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, Matteo Salvini’s far-right League and the neo-fascist Brothers of Italy, means it will have the most seats in parliament, but 4% short of the 40% needed to avoid a hung parliament.”

Why Italy’s Elections Matter

New York Times: “The campaign before Italy’s national elections on Sunday has been self-obsessed and often petty and unedifying. But it has been instructive about one thing: The political forces that have torn at the global order and the European Union have settled into the mainstream.”

“Fascists rallied in large numbers in Italian piazzas. The country experienced its worst political violence in years. Formerly unthinkable suggestions, like the mass deportation of migrants, became virtually routine.”

“The reanimation of Italy’s political ghosts is a worrying harbinger for a European Union already weakened by Britain’s decision to leave the bloc, the electoral setbacks of Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany, the long shadow of Russia and the rise of an illiberal bloc of nations in the eastern part of the Continent.”

China to Drop Presidential Term Limits

“China’s Communist Party (CCP) has proposed amending the country’s constitution to allow President Xi Jinping to serve a third term in office,” CNN reports.

“When it goes into effect, Xi will be free to serve indefinitely as China’s head of state, the strongest indication yet he is intending to maintain power at the top beyond the two 5-year terms served by his predecessors for the past 20 years.”

Washington Post: “If China pushes ahead with the proposal, which seems likely, it could change the country’s political trajectory, securing Xi’s place as the most powerful leader since Mao Zedong, who ruled for more than three decades through 1976.”