31 January 2006

Samuel Alito confirmed

58-42 in the end. Only 4 Democrats voted for him, Chafee voted against.

My personal prediction was 57 ayes, just for the record.

30 January 2006

An apology

I made a mistake on 'Advise and Consent'. Saunders will probably caucus with the Democrats, so they only need six gains.

Halonen won her second term yesterday, BTW.

27 January 2006

Advise and Consent

The big electoral highlight of 2006 has to be the US mid-terms. Will the Democrats regain the House and the Senate? Not unless they get their act together...

I'm going to go through each race and make my current predictions:

Arizona: GOP Hold
California: Only ever goes GOP in a landslide. DEM Hold.
Connecticut: Lieberman, unless he switches parties (and even then) is safe. DEM Hold
Delaware: DEM Hold
Florida: The Flowerpot Men (Bill and Ben) are up for election this year. It's going to be a close race in FL for Bill against Katherine Harris. I'm going to say DEM Hold.
Hawaii: DEM Hold.
Indiana: GOP Hold.
Maine: GOP Hold for the pro-choice Snowe (if she ever ran for President...)
Maryland: An open contest. I'll say DEM Hold.
Massachusetts: It's obvious, isn't it? DEM Hold.
Michigan: Tossup, but I'll say DEM Hold.
Minnesota: Dayton dropped out. This is a genuine tossup.
Mississipi: GOP Hold.
Missouri: DEM Gain
Montana: This state knows how to ticket-split. DEM Gain.
Nebraska: Ben is back. DEM Hold
Nevada: GOP Hold.
New Jersey: DEM Hold.
New Mexico: DEM Hold
New York: DEM Hold.
North Dakota: DEM Hold.
Ohio: DEM Gain.
Pennsylvania: DEM Gain.
Rhode Island: GOP Hold .
Tennessee: GOP Hold.
Texas: GOP Hold.
Utah: GOP Hold.
Vermont: IND Hold.
Virginia: GOP Hold.
Washington: DEM Hold.
West Virginia: DEM Hold.
Wisconsin: DEM Hold.
Wyoming: GOP Hold.

The Dems need to pick up 7 seats to control the Senate. My current prediction is for 4 gains.

Total Prediction:
Republican 50
Democrat 48
Independent 1
Tossup 1

Coming up in February

I'll let others comment on the Hamas victory in Palestine, save to say I hope that I hope something fundamentally changes in Hamas and soon.

February's a pretty sparse month in terms of elections:
  • The Big Latin American year continues with Costa Rica's Presidential and Parliamentary elections. Oscar Arias is the current front-runner.
  • Haiti's due to hold its first elections since Aristide skipped the country, unless they're delayed again.
  • Tokelau (the one with .tk as an Internet code) decides whether to become an associated state, i.e. slightly more independent from New Zealand.
  • Cape Verde has its Presidential Election. Last time, it ended up with only 12 votes in it.
  • Uganda. I don't know much about the race there.

25 January 2006


So Canada has a new Prime Minister- Stephen Harper.

Al informs me that this will lead to the Canadians being more supportive of the US.

Politics1 tells me that Harper supported the Iraq war.

Amazing as it seems to some people, Iraq has still directly to cost one politician his job. It may be a contributory factor, but it is not the factor number 1. Even more amazingly, in two countries, the more pro-war guy beat the less pro-war guy (the other being Poland).

West Ham 2-1 Fulham

Caught most of the second half of the game. Good job on the victory, but some of our defending was a bit sloppy.

I'm no football expert (or indeed, football player), but I can see sloppy play a mile off.

Still, 3 points is 3 points and I shouldn't moan.

23 January 2006

The West Wing to be axed

It's all over the blogosphere already:


I've watched the first six seasons on DVD and even after Sorkin left, it still remained good. It'll be sad to see it go. Most people preferred Bartlet to the real White House incumbent (simply stating a fact, GOP fans).

22 January 2006

Chelsea 1 Charlton 1


Woo hoo!

(I'm a West Ham supporter and I'll post on Tuesday morning with my views on Monday's game if I watch it).

Doctor Who

Anyone remember the interactive Doctor Who adventure that the Beeb did over Christmas?

It's now available online at www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho, but only for UK viewers.

Canada and Portugal

The Canadian Parliamentary Elections are tomorrow and it looks like the Tories are going to be the largest party, possibly with an overall majority.

I think there's a very important lesson to learn here. Corruption doesn't pay. You get caught and not only do you lose your seat, but so do a number of your friends. While you may be the only one in jail, they're going to fade into obscurity. You've got notoriety.

So, before you take that bribe, think of your friends.

Portugal is taking place today. It looks like Silva will win without the need for a run-off. Another victory for Social Democrats!

20 January 2006


Final results have been announced


My reaction:
* An increase in Sunni representation has got to be a good thing.
* A coalition is probably what Iraq needs right now.
* Iraq is now, by most standards, a democracy. Which it wasn't under Saddam.

19 January 2006

Ylling for Consul

In NationStates, I'm currently a Senator in The New Meritocracy, one of the games most well known regions.

I am currently conducting a campaign to become Consul, equivalent to the region's President.

Here's my platform:

Ylling for Consul

Friends and fellow Senators, I come here to ask for your votes for Consul.

The Merit is going well and we can all be pleased about this. However, there are still a few areas where we are having problems. We’re doing well, but we could be doing so much better.

Team Ylling’s policy for the Meritocracy can be summed up in one word: MERIT. MERIT stands for:

• Make the Meritocracy better known
• Ensure that our jobs are easier
• Reform of the Accords to protect Senators
• Implement more open government
• Treasure our past heritage

Make the Meritocracy better known

I have a goal for this Senate- to have 70 members by the end of the first term. It seems like a huge task. It is a huge task, but I believe that we can do it. We can do it by putting the word out there that this body exists. Therefore we need to advertise this body to players.
We will place adverts in the feeders to recruit the new players. We will send out telegrams to recruit the older players. If we send out enough advertising, we will get the 21 Senators we need.

The Curia Nuntii will also help to make the Senate better known. I intend to get us syndicated to the NS news services and the big forums. I would like us to get a blog up and running.

Ensure that our jobs are easier

We want to make sure that Senators can easily take decisions. There will be one voting forum where all scheduled votes will be found.

I would like the return of the automated voting system and will ask that Winnipeg make that his highest priority.

Each week we will post a summary of activities that are happening in each Curia and what is likely to come to a vote in the coming week. This will allow Senators to know what they will be asked to vote on and allow them to actively discuss it.

Reform of the Accords to protect Senators

This Consul will reform the accords and return power to the individual Senator where it belongs.

I intend to introduce an amendment requiring the Consul to explain the reason why he has dismissed an Executor and require a full Senate vote to allow the dismissal to take place.

I will not exercise the Consular override or veto except in the most extreme circumstances.

Implement more open government

One of the first things I would like to do is open the Senate Hall to unregistered members. People casually glancing in should be able to see our full range of activities.

Secondly, I intend to hold a live Cabinet meeting every week and release edited transcripts to the public and the Senate.

I’m not going to be cavalier about security. A full classification of information on foreign affairs distributed to Senators will be set up and enforced via a Meritocratic Secret Act. Information release will always err on the side of caution.

Treasure our past heritage

Some Senators may not agree with this, but I think that it is high time that we had a look through the secure archives of the old Senate and see what can be released. Nothing will be released without a full Senate vote, but I would like things to be released. In any case, the relevant older files will be transferred to a secure section of the Senate Library.

The Dead Merit’s Society will meet in the Library, i.e. the forum will move.

The Herodotus Project is a bit moribund at the moment. Action will be taken to ensure that it gets going.

This seems like a lot to do in ten weeks. It is a lot to do in ten weeks. However we can do it if we try.

I open the floor for questions.

15 January 2006

Elections coming up

I love elections. There is nothing more exciting in a democracy than hearing the people speak.

This year is going to be a treat for elections. Just this month alone we've got Canada (likely to be close), Portugal and the Palestinian Authority (one more to watch out of fear, sadly).

In February, we could have a new European country come into existence- Montenegro.

Finnish Presidency goes to runoff


Halonen should win the second round easily in my view.


A bit of bias may inevitable creep into my politics commentary.

This is because I am a member of the Labour Party.

We may not be perfect, but because of Labour, Britain has low unemployment and good public services.


Another topic I'll be talking about some depth is this online game:


I own the nations Serconea and Ylling in that game.

First post

Hello, I'm Silent Hunter and this is my blog.

This blog will be a place for my thoughts and feelings on the following issues:
* British Politics
* TV from both sides of the Atlantic
* Movies
* Sport
* And anything else that takes my fancy.