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The Home Stretch of the 2024 Global Elections

The Overview

 

We are halfway through the unprecedented era of elections at the highest levels worldwide whose results may fundamentally shift global relationships for decades.

 

Visual Global 2024 Overview

 

The following chart entitled 2024 Global Elections provided by Virtual Capitalist includes the 2024 election date timeline. Although somewhat dated since most indicated elections have passed and the UK and French elections announced recently, the link contains the particulars on election classification, executive and legislative, for each country.

 



 

Global Elections | The Road to the Championship Round

 

Interestingly, these elections roughly parallel sports playoff rounds. Many elections have already taken place, most as fair elections, and others as “engineered” such as in Russia. These earlier elections can be considered the quarter finals with respect to its global importance.

 

We are currently in the midst of the conference finals of elections with France’s legislative battle for its 577-seat assembly and the U.K.’s elections for prime minister.

 

It goes without saying that the championship round is the U.S. whose election results will dictate profoundly how the global community will go forward in combatting a wide spectrum of present-day and imminent crises such as forever wars in Ukraine and Gaza, unprecedented debt, and inflation on all the essentials.

 

The United States, as the world’s preeminent military and economic superpower, will hold its unquestionably most significant elections this century (and perhaps in its history) in November.

 

Whether President Biden or his challenger, former President Trump, wins the warp-speed changing dynamics in global affairs and economics are super-charged with advanced technology that even the best & brightest creators can barely contain.

 

A summary of recently held elections:

 

·       India: Prime Minister Modi won a third 5-year term but failed to secure an absolute majority in the legislature derisively called his “lost victory”. He must seek a coalition agreement with the opposition that will certainly blunt his attempts at changing domestic policies including the constitution with a super majority.

·       Turkey: President Erdogan remains in power but lost considerable legislative clout in urban areas specifically Istanbul (where he was the former mayor in the 1990s) and Ankara.

·       Mexico: Leftist Claudia Sheinbaum, Mexico’s first female and Jewish president, won convincingly. As a protégé of current president Obrador, there is unlikely to be seismic domestic or foreign policy changes.

·       South Africa: The African National Congress (ANC) led by President Cyril Ramaphosa has diminished political clout after decades of domination and is at the cusp of successfully forming a coalition cabinet.

·       European Union: Conservative/rightwing parties made considerable gains in the legislature.

 

Elections currently in play are France and the UK:

 

·       France: The National Rally’s Jordan Bardella may be poised to become France’s youngest prime minister after easily winning the first round of legislative elections on June 30. A second round win with an absolute majority (289 seats) in the 577-seat parliament would create the always uncomfortable “cohabitation” arrangement with President Macron. The president would then be responsible for foreign policy and the armed forces; the prime minister domestic policy & budget. Macron’s presidency runs until 2027 unless he resigns beforehand.

·       United Kingdom’s snap election takes place on July 4th. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is gambling on staying in power. Illegal immigration, inflation, crime, etc. are the same issues plaguing most western countries.

·       Iran: Currently the voter turnout has been unsurprisingly low since none of the autocratic candidates will offer any improvement over the lives of ordinary Iranians while pursing the same aggressive foreign policy against the west and Israel. Difference face, same tyranny.

 

The New Geopolitical Dynamics

 

Geopolitical risk has become highly elevated because of the volatility and contentious nature of events, specifically the changing political executive and legislative landscape of many key countries.

 

For this reason, it makes policy & decision-making increasingly reactive instead of proactive. The worst case is that these complexities can create scenarios in which countries are hostages to events and are relegated to damage control.

 

Every country’s foreign policy is currently in flux and will be heavily influenced by America’s November election results. Until then, political pre-positioning is a lost cause.

 

Firstly, each of the two American candidates represent diametrically opposed approaches and values to governance and foreign policy.

 

Secondly, despite Trump’s impressive polling gains, the election promises to be a nail-biter.

 

Legislative Leverage

 

The re-elected leaders such as Modi, Erdogan and Ramaphosa who ran amok with their party’s super-majority in domestic and foreign policies, are now forced to form coalitions.

 

The plans and policies of democratic strongmen can be held in check due to opposition gains in the legislature. Prime Minister Modi (India) and President Erdogan (Turkey) – re-elected to their third terms - and Ramaphosa (South Africa) – re-elected to his second term – have dramatically diminished legislative support.

 

For this reason, the aforementioned leaders must form alliances with opposition parties which will blunt or delay their grandiose unilateral political and policy overreach plans such as changes in the constitution.

 

Dynamics of Bureaucratic Barriers

 

The focus for these elections has been on the national leadership. However, the historical real power of governments lies not with the top leadership, rather with the lower levels specifically the bureaucracy.

 

Throughout history the bureaucracy is the administrative engine that can accelerate with sang froid efficiency or r gum up top-level policies. Regardless of the country, the bureaucrats are astoundingly experienced and efficient in their chameleon way in which they can facilitate or stymie the mandates of elected officials, even at the highest levels.

 

They can move at a snail’s pace to undermine the leadership’s credibility, such as an administrative work slowdown, known as “slow-walking” along the critical path, from approval to enactment, that foments dissatisfaction among the citizenry who will blame the leadership for its failure to meet a timetable and fulfill its promises.

 

The more seats won by the minority opposition, the greater leverage they have in either blocking or forcing compromise on various issues from foreign and domestic policies including the all-important budget that make these policies possible.

 

This tactic is far more subtle and more difficult to detect and/or measure which has a cascading effect throughout the governmental chain of command. Sometimes it has a split personality in which it’s collectively “on board” for foreign matters yet highly divisive on domestic ones or visa-versa.

 

Furthermore, a minor shift in power in the echelons just below those of president or prime minister can create a “butterfly effect”, an innocuous change whose ripples may have outsized results elsewhere along the chain of events.

 

Conclusion & Takeaways

 

A great global political alignment is in the making against a backdrop of growing implacable problems accelerated by policies made during and after the pandemic.

 

Most disturbingly, many governments, with their de facto public relations firms called the mainstream media, are conveniently ignoring or downgrading their severity. The question is how many elephants can you fit in a room and still ignore them even when their dung is “piled high & deep”?

 

Conservative and far-right movements have penetrated all socio-economic levels making them “respectable” which has more to say about the failure of the center and center-left political leadership than the conservative groups themselves.

 

Finally, the newly elected conservative leadership’s performance in governing and resolving issues is dependent on the bureaucracy’s willingness to fast-track their mandates.

 

 

© Copyright 2024 Indo-Brazilian Associates

 

Indo-Brazilian Associates is a NYC-based think-tank that provides prescient, beyond-the-horizon, contrarian perspectives and risk assessments on geopolitical dynamics and global urban security.

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