Lots of results, here & overseas....
USA. The Tea Party has been a minimal presence in 2014 primaries, as GOP primary voters chose electable conservatives who could win a general election.
Oregon's Monica Webhy defeated Democratic "war on women" smear tactics. Kim Srassel at WSJ explains:
Dr. Wehby is therefore Democrats' worst nightmare. A nationally recognized pediatric neurosurgeon who was on the board of the American Medical Association, she got into this race to fight ObamaCare. She's a policy wonk, able to run rings around Oregon's junior senator, especially on health-care reform. She's pro-choice (personally pro-life) and supports gay marriage and medical marijuana—so the left can't hit her with the social-issue agenda. She's a fiscal conservative and a tort reformer—positions that hold appeal even among Oregon's more liberal electorate.
She's also a savvy campaigner. In April she ran a remarkable ad featuring a woman recounting how Dr. Wehby had saved her from having to terminate her pregnancy and then saved her infant daughter's life. The spot resonated particularly with women, of all political stripes. Some 57% of Oregon women voted for President Obama in 2012, and if Dr. Wehby pulls some of that group, Mr. Merkley is in a world of hurt. An early May poll had her leading by two points. Democrats are bitter at possibly having to divert campaign money away from more risky Senate races—Arkansas, Louisiana, Alaska—to a state they didn't expect to be in play.
Thus the Democratic decision to portray an accomplished doctor as emotionally crazed and unhinged. The hope was to tank her primary bid, so that Mr. Merkley would face her more conservative and less electable GOP opponent.
Unable to win on the merits, Democrats dug up flimsy allegations, since retracted, by two former boyfriends of Dr. Webhy. She believes voters will reject any smears leveled at her this fall.
George Will offers his portrait of the ideal 2016 presidential candidate. His deliciously witty column must be read in full for enjoyment & edification. Herewith highlights: (1) supports Congressional supremacy over the purse and war-making; (2) limits government intervention in property & commerce rights; (3) eschews the pretense that presidents "create jobs"--leaving such to the marketplace; (4) appoints judges that will circumscribe governmental powers; (5) does not serve as America's chief empathizer, declines to opine on superficialities of the day and files written state of the union messages, as was done by all presidents preceding Woodrow Wilson. Foreign policy, BTW, is now marked at 2 percent of voters who think it is the top priority.
UKRAINE. Ukraine voters voted decisively for a pro-Western candidate, giving him 54 percent support:
Ukrainians gave Europe a democracy lesson on Sunday. Now the daunting task falls to President-elect Petro Poroshenko to safeguard this hard-won freedom and Ukraine's independence against Russian assault.
Mr. Poroshenko secured an unprecedented majority in the first round by winning across the country, including parts of the Russian-speaking east that were able to vote. He and the next three leading candidates ran on a pro-European platform. The two pro-Russia candidates won a mere 6% between them. Ukraine also shunned ultranationalists of the sort who did so well in Sunday's elections to the European Parliament. Maybe Ukrainians are more "European" than the Europeans.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his agents in eastern Ukraine tried to spoil the election, not least by seizing Crimea's two million voters. The separatists in Donetsk and Lugansk prevented some four million people from voting, and ballot boxes were destroyed or turned into trash cans at shuttered precincts. But Ukraine squelched separatist forays into the larger eastern Russian-speaking cities of Kharkiv, Dnipropetrovsk and Odessa. Turnout was 60%, and nearly 87% of Ukraine's voters had access to polls.
But Russian Tsar Vlad the Bad--channeling legendary Tsarist Russian super-agitator Evno Azef, seeks to reverse the results via a combination of subversion & diplomacy, a strategy the new president pledges to resist, and has already backed up with military force. That Ukraine's economy is expected to contract by 5 percent this year will hardly help. Ukraine, without help from an energy-dependent Europe, could slide into civil war.
EGYPT. Low voter turnout undercut sure-winner (90 percent) Abdel Fattah al-Sissi's quest for his elevation to be perceived as legitimate. Only 37 percent of the country's 53 million voters turned out in days one & two. A three-day turnout estimate is 44.4 percent, with half the votes yet to be counted; one estimate puts turnout at only 15 percent. It was 52 percent in 2013 when Islamist Muhammad Morsi won. This does not, however, mean that the Muslim Brotherhood is viewed as legitimate. Rather, it suggests that Egypt's voters desire real choice among candidates.
EUROPE. Anti-European Union candidates won an anti-EU majority in the new European Parliament, driven above all by voter disenchantment with economic stagnation. But it likely will not force the pro-EU crowd to back off super-statism unless & until more upheavals occur. The consequent rise of a major rightist party in the UK could harm conservatives more than the left, by dividing the conservative vote. The resurgence of overtly fascist parties on the Continent--most notably, in France--signals rising anti-Semitism.
INDIA. Election of pro-market prime minister Narendra Modi could improve India-US trade relations. As Jonathan Foreman reports at the Weekly Standard, Modi has effectively broken the monopoly power held by the socialist Congress Party that governed India since its 1947 independence from Britain. He notes that only in 1991 did economic reforms begin, but then stalled due to resistance from leftist elites; India's right has also often been protectionist & xenophobic. Only in Modi's state of Gujarat has there been anything approximating a more free-market economy, with superb results that powered Modi's election victory.
Of course, Modi cannot take all the credit for the economic success of his state. Gujaratis have long been known as one of India’s most entrepreneurial peoples and are among the most successful ethnicities in the Indian diaspora. Moreover there have been scores of articles in the English-language Indian press claiming that Gujarat has not in fact been such a success and that its poverty indices are actually worse than those of other states. These are not all agitprop on behalf of a political and cultural establishment that has long loathed Modi: There is still great poverty in Gujarat, and the state’s unique growth has not benefited all its citizens.
On the other hand there has been something bizarre about the inability of many mainstream Indian commentators to admit that Gujarat is obviously better governed and economically healthier than much of the rest of India. An outsider can hardly help but notice the difference between Gujarat and the rest of India within moments of crossing into the state. Most obvious is the quality of the roads, and the fact that Gujarat enjoys electric power 365 days a year, a boon painfully rare in the rest of India.
You almost wonder if the establishment’s apparent blindness to Gujarat’s economic superiority is somehow connected to that general complacency about poverty and degradation that so baffles foreigners visiting the subcontinent. Similarly, when Modi gets little credit from the political class for the fact that he is not personally corrupt and runs an administration that by Indian standards is remarkably efficient and honest, you wonder if the postcolonial establishment has not become deeply, cruelly complacent about graft.
Foreman notes that Modi was blamed for not stopping lethal multi-day anti-Muslim violence by Hindus after a Muslim massacre of Hindus at a train station. He also notes that Modi has no foreign policy credentials, and that he may turn more towards Asia than the West--in part due to Obama administration indifference & incompetence.
Bottom Line. America may see a sharp change in 2014 and/or 2016. Europe will likely languish. Ukraine still faces an uphill battle against Putinism. Egypt & India may manage economic turnarounds, but formidable obstacles make the road a rough one.
Letter from the Capitol, LFTC, Conservative Politics