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French presidential election 2017

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by AdrienIer, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Lol, not really. UK has just left it. TBH by now there is only Canada left, but it is way too cold.
    Who knows, though. At least it sounds like Canada is nice.
     
  2. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    Hey, that's my man-crush you're calling a walking failure. Not that you're wrong - he did fall off the tightrope he was trying to walk, with the final shove coming from the PM who, like every other "leftist" who makes it into elected office anywhere in the developed world, turned out to be a [thing Trump would grab]. And his current project is obviously quixotic, which I'm sure he knows even as he continues to promote it. But you've got to admit, it was pretty cool to have someone who is completely trustworthy and who actually understands political economy (not just economics) get into the finance ministry of an EU country, getting to see power actually works in the Eurogroup and the EU, and then telling everyone about it.

    The most interesting thing to me is that, whenever he could get to talk with someone one-on-one, they'd admit he was completely right and that the Greek bailout/austerity packages make no economic sense. They continue to extend-and-pretend for reasons that make sense within the EU political bureaucracy, including the successful effort to make sure Podemos failed in Spain, the political advantages within their home countries of treating Greece as an ongoing morality tale about debt, the political disadvantages of having to admit that the bailout makes no sense and was mostly a way to save the highly overleveraged European banking system, and so on and so on.

    The question is: at what point do you stop trying to reform a malfunctioning system and give up on it instead? He seems to think that giving up on the euro would be an enormous economic catastrophe that would abet the rise of neo-fascists everywhere, whereas it seems to me that neo-fascists are becoming more popular because of the obvious problems of EU governance (including the high level of immigration of unpopular minorities).

    In Greece's case, it would be better off in the long run (with little increase in GD support) if Syriza were actually willing to default and Grexit, and given that this is what Schauble actually wanted (counter to most of the rest of the EU politicians), Syriza could have extracted major concessions on its debt and German/other EU help to get the New Drachma introduced in as non-chaotic a manner as possible (e.g. printing new banknotes quickly, collaboration in enforcing capital controls during the transition). There would be a period of high inflation and other problems, but it would settle down and Greece would become a lot cheaper for EU tourists, have more competitive industry, and so on. But Tsipras et al. just couldn't face this.

    Greece aside, I don't know what it is with many modern leftists that makes them so unwilling to consider taking steps to dial down regional and global economic integration even in times and places where this is likely the best path forward for them politically. I think to some extent what has happened is that they have become much more willing to ignore local economic issues in exchange for diversity and multiculturalism, which global capitalists are quite willing (often eager) to provide. Right-wing populism rushes in to fill the void for the local working class left behind, and in only a couple of decades there's a weird inversion where the people supporting the institutions of global capital claim to be on the left (and center, but they've always claimed to be the center), while the people calling for less globalization are right-wing populists and nationalists. This is a dangerous game regardless of the fact that, in this particular election, they'll probably get their Hollande 2.0.
     
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  3. AdrienIer

    AdrienIer Deity

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    If some of you want to bet some more money on Macron I think it'll be worth it. The polls haven't moved, and at this point even a truly awful debate performance from him wouldn't get Le Pen elected. It seems that, this year at least, you could field almost anyone against Le Pen and that person would win.
     
  4. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    I'm still cautious. The polls aren't changing, but abstention could be a huge factor in the actual election, especially considering the probable large amount of white votes.
     
  5. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    I'm less forgiving of him because I had hopes when he showed up. And I watched in growing horror as he kept negotiating past the point where it was obvious that the other parties were not willing to accept anything other than capitulation. He had months to strengthen Greece's hand preparing for an exit, instead he went on with the greek government's strategy (if we call it that) of appeasing the enemy, paying out the loans and continually waking Greece's negotiating power. And all this was because he had already gotten into his head that an exit was to be avoid: as soon as his adversarie4s got that information (and they certainly got it, spies must have been busy around those negotiations) the disastrous outcome was sealed.

    I'm not too worried about right-wing populism, don't believe it will last. They cannot deliver unless they actually morphed into left-wing. Some may get to sit in governments but that will only sink them, because that right won't be in a position to do the sole thing that would keep it in power, launch a coup.
     
  6. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    Yeah, he genuinely seems to believe that the Grexit alternative was too disastrous to contemplate, and Tsipras believes that much more strongly than even he did - hence his abrupt departure just after the meaningless referendum. This all made a sham of the whole negotiation business, because there was nothing to fall back on. Varoufakis would probably have gotten more done by saying that the Greek state had been profligate and corrupt under the old two-party system, and that his main goal was to restructure the debt so that Greece could pay as much money back to European taxpayers as possible, rather than having to be bailed out with new loans every few years by extending and pretending further.

    This actually is what he was trying to do, and he probably could have influenced political opinion into doing something more rational by playing into the morality tale rather than trying to fight it, given that Grexit was off the table for his government. Instead he and Tsipras acted like they were at a real negotiation where they were willing to walk away. Given that Schauble actually wanted Grexit despite the default, there was no room for a negotiation on the pretense that they would do that. Even given hindsight bias, he should have changed his stance the moment he knew that a strong faction within the other side didn't mind if he walked away and knew that they were totally unwilling to do that.


    For right-wing populism, it depends very strongly on the details. Some right-wing populists might take power in some places and actually retain it for long periods of time, while others won't.

    For instance, Orban is actively setting out to make Hungary an electoral authoritarian state where elections happen but are meaningless, and he's good at it - Fidesz may well be in power for decades. But, on the other hand, Trump has no real goals besides his ego, is incompetent, is hitched to a party that fundamentally opposes most things that would actually be popular, and everything is run by a vast bureaucracy that is containing most of his impulses, so it's unlikely that he will manage to do much to make the American state substantially more illiberal in the long run than it presently is. Orbanism might last but Trumpism won't.

    I suspect FN is more like the latter case - while Le Pen herself is much more competent than Trump, it's pretty unlikely that they'll manage to change the fundamental structure of the French state were she to win the election, and the French have the admirable trait of never being satisfied with their government, so they might be voted in for a term but then voted back out in a landslide in the next election. That's just my guess though.
     
  7. Kraznaya

    Kraznaya Princeps

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    There's some weird things going on predictit where the most visible betting options for Le Pen (Le Pen winning the election outright, Macron not winning the election), are more expensive than the less visible ones (Le Pen winning 50+% of the vote, the margin of victory for the election being 0-5%), despite them essentially requiring the same parameters (Le Pen winning the runoff). For example, Le Pen winning the election is trading at 20%, while her garnering 50+% of the vote is trading at only 13%, and the overall margin of victory being 0-5% at only 12%! That is a huge difference, you could make almost 2x as much money if you believed Le Pen will win and changed from Le Pen yes shares to betting on her garnering 50+% of the vote or 0-5% margin of victory shares.

    There's no explanation for this degree of market inefficiency, except for the stupidity of Le Pen yes bettors, who are not aware of the other markets. Shows how much "dumb money" is on Le Pen, trying to follow the example of Trump and Brexit, despite the vast polling difference. Unfortunately, I am not benefiting from this efficiency at all, since I bought the max number of Le Pen No and Macron Yes shares before the markets for No on 50+% for Le Pen or no on 0-5% margin of victory shares became available. I could bet more against Le Pen with the other two markets mentioned, but the return would not be as good as my current bets.
     
  8. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    I think predictit specifically has acquired a right-wing populist bias after Brexit and especially after Trump. It tracked other betting markets and did poorly on Brexit day, but then it was by far the least sure that Clinton would win of all the prediction markets, putting her odds right about where Nate Silver did (ballpark 70%) on the morning of Election Day when all the other markets were at about 90%. After Trump won, it seems it has been inflating right-wing populist chances, and/or it ended up with an influx of right-wing populist bettors. But yeah, at a very consistent 60-40 split five days before the election, Macron's odds should be >95%.
     
  9. Camikaze

    Camikaze Administrator Administrator

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    Nate Silver on last week's 538 podcast mentioned how there seems to be this prediction bias developing in the wake of Brexit and Trump that there must be at least a 20% chance for the unexpected right-wing option, despite any poll evidence to the contrary, even though in the major elections post-Trump in which that effect was expected to be present, the polls have been pretty accurate or even over-selling the right-wing candidate.
     
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  10. Kraznaya

    Kraznaya Princeps

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    It's not just that Le Pen is overvalued, it's that she's more overvalued on more visible markets, presenting a arbitrage opportunity.
     
  11. Mise

    Mise isle of lucy

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    It really just shows that people don't understand what the percentages are, and what the probabilities mean. Myself included -- I've already learnt a lot.
     
  12. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    A 20/100 chance isn't that different from a 5/100 chance, in practice. Both mean it won't happen, and connote that 'if it will it will be a freak accident', which itself is suspect and way too inclusive. Real question is if the chance is really calculated in any manner which presents a reality, cause probability fades in rigorousness the more it is employed on systems which are open (eg humans, instead of some math problem with defined parameters and basis).
    For an extrapolation of a basically meaningless calculation, see the Drake equation about intelligent alien life forms.
     
  13. Kraznaya

    Kraznaya Princeps

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    There are backtests which show a candidate or proposition trailing by 1-2% in the polls on election day would have a ~20-30% chance of winning. 20% down? If there is a case in recent times, I have not heard of it.
     
  14. AdrienIer

    AdrienIer Deity

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    For those interested, tonight's debate will probably be broadcasted by the usual channels like France 24.
    As for me, I'm not a masochist so I'll be watching Monaco-Juventus
     
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  15. metalhead

    metalhead Angry Bartender

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    Well jeez, if the U.S. stock market hasn't taught us by now that bettors can actually be quite irrational, I don't think anything is going to do the trick.
     
  16. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Alien spiral maker

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    Well, i dislike football too, so i won't be watching any of those ^^
     
  17. Kraznaya

    Kraznaya Princeps

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    Do you think it was smart for Macron to take this debate? Chirac refused to debate her father and it doesn't seem like Macron has much to gain.
     
  18. AdrienIer

    AdrienIer Deity

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    I think that this time around it was necessary to debate her. In 02 the general consensus was that Le Pen's presence in the second round was a fluke, and that it was best not to give him the honor of speaking on prime time as if he was a normal candidate. This time though, Marine Le Pen's presence is not a fluke, and her arguments must be countered, or she'll be back next time with even more support.
    And it would have been very hypocritical to debate her twice before the first round but refuse to debate her before the second round.

    There's also the fact that Macron isn't afraid to talk to people he disagrees with. He doesn't mind talking with union members who want the opposite of what he's proposing, he doesn't mind talking with workers who are Le Pen supporters, and he generally likes to explain his position. I think he really believes in what he's proposing and really wants to convince people that he's right. Which means that he'll take every opportunity to debate with others.
     
  19. Bootstoots

    Bootstoots Deity Retired Moderator

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    Yeah, all of these things. I'd add that Brexit and the Trump election were cases where the punditry was overconfident relative to the actual polls, which for the most part showed a close race with only a very slight edge to the establishment on election morning. Now that both of those happened in spite of pundit opinions, people have overcorrected and now misinterpret a consistent 20-point deficit as still giving Le Pen a ~15% chance of winning. The pundits are doing this too in an effort to avoid eating crow yet again, and are treating a Le Pen win as a serious possibility, which it really isn't. At this point, Macron would have to have a scandal tomorrow involving a child sex dungeon in exchange for political favors, and then on the next day announce totally open borders for everyone in the world. I'm only mildly exaggerating - there's a world of difference between 4 points and 20+ points.

    The only modern elections I can think of where the polling missed by over 20 points were the Sanders upset in Michigan and the Colombian peace referendum. But in those cases the polling data were much more sparse, and turnout was low and hard to predict. Even if the French cast 15% blank ballots in addition to 20% formal abstention, they'd still have a turnout well above anything the US ever sees, which greatly lowers turnout uncertainty.
     
  20. Akka

    Akka Moody old mage.

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    I really wonder WTF half this page is talking about betting sites ?
     

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