Elections Roundup: Gujarat, Chile, Catalonia

Gujarat: Won. But lost.

The ruling BJP won 99 of the 182 seats up for grabs in Gujarat, home state of popular Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Sure, it’s a majority, but it’s down from the 115 seats it currently holds. A troubling omen ahead of national elections in 2019? As the BJP looks ahead, expect Modi to seek extra support by increasing social spending and loosening the reins on divisive Hindu nationalist elements within the party.


Chile: Right. Maybe.

Former president (and current billionaire) Sebastian Pinera handily beat his center-left opponent in Sunday’s presidential election. Commodity prices will help the economy, but a fractured congress will hinder Pinera’s ability to act. Meanwhile, fringe parties that outperformed in the first round of the election will look to maintain their momentum. Open question whether Pinera’s win is part of Latin America’s “swing to the right” or if we’re on the cusp of a deeper anti-establishment polarization in the country.

Catalonia: Separatism. Light.

Remember when the Catalan regional government held an illegal independence referendum, Spanish police cracked skulls, the Catalans declared independence, and then the Spanish government dissolved the government and called fresh elections? Those elections are this Thursday, and they’ll likely return another separatist-led minority government. Another unilateral push for secession seems unlikely unless separatists win a majority of the vote and/or the seats. Also, as a practical matter, most of the boldest separatist leaders are currently in jail.

In the end it wasn't even close. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservative Party won a stunning victory in the UK's snap elections yesterday, taking at least 364 seats out of 650, delivering the Tories their largest majority since 1987.

Johnson read the public mood correctly. After three years of anguish and political uncertainty over the terms of the UK's exit from the European Union, he ran on a simple platform: "Get Brexit Done." In a typically raffish late-campaign move, he even drove a bulldozer through a fake wall of "deadlock." Despite lingering questions about his honesty and his character, Johnson's party gained at least 49 seats (one seat still hasn't been declared yet).

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This holiday season, how concerned should I be about smart toys and their vulnerability to hacking?

You should be concerned both, that Internet connected toys can be hacked and also that they have shoddy privacy practices. And then the voice files of your kid talking to their teddy bear will end up in the cloud, accessible to all kinds of creepy people. On the other hand, Internet connected toys are great. Kids need to learn about technology. So, tradeoffs.

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David Miliband: Now that Boris Johnson has won a majority in the House of Commons, what's going to happen to Brexit?

If only Brexit could get done in 60 seconds? Because the result of the general election obviously means that Britain will leave the European Union, but it does nothing to clarify our future relations with the European Union. The Johnson victory is undoubtedly a very strong one, and he will try and interpret it as a victory for himself and for the Conservative Party and the attraction that they offer to Labour voters.

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Once a widely heralded human rights champion who was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for advancing democracy in Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi has now taken up a different cause: defending her country from accusations of genocide at the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

Yesterday was the court's final day of hearings over that country's military-led crackdown against the Rohingya Muslim minority in 2017, which left thousands dead and forced more than 740,000 people to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. Here's what you need to know about the proceedings.

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