1. Spanish elections
The ruling conservative Popular Party was reduced to 28.7% of the vote, followed by the main socialist party PSOE with 22%. These two parties normally win 70-80% of the vote, now reduced to around 50%. Third was Podemos, a far-left anti-austerity party less than two years old. Next was Ciudadanos, a centre-right party, with 13.9%.
Parties of the right can muster 163 of the 176 needed for government. Parties of the left get to 161. Given that a coalition of PP and PSOE is unlikely, small regional parties are likely to come into play.
There has been a move to the left, and the left may in the end form government. If they do, the conservatives control the senate. Whatever happens it seems there will need to be more than three parties in coalition.
Election authorities said 73.2% of Spain’s 36 million voters turned out, nearly five percentage points higher in the election four years ago.
2. Have we reached peak iPhone?
Apple on the stock market has lost a mere $AU223 billion in value in the past six months, 21 per cent below its July peak. Rival smartphone manufacturer Samsung is also struggling to maintain growth in a market that appears to be saturated. iPhones account for over 60% of Apple’s revenue.
So what will the next big thing be that we didn’t know we needed, and will Apple invent it?
3. Michelle Guthrie the new ABC supremo
Ranald Macdonald gives her a provisional B-plus and points out that she is well-acquainted with the Murdochs, having worked for them for 13 years.
She commits to editorial independence but is open to advertising and paywalling some of the content. Eric Abetz has urged her to “stop the lefty love-in”.
Count me amongst the worried.
4. ‘Remarkable’ trade deal for farmers
It has been hyped as a remarkable deal for farmers, but we need to take a breath. The WTO at its Nairobi meeting has resolved to end export subsidies for a range of agricultural products, such as sugar, meat, dairy, grain, wine, fruit, processed foods and cotton.
Domestic subsidies remain, as do tariffs and quotas. Produce can still be rejected on bogus health grounds.
Also, at the end of this article:
- The IT trade deal was also struck with members agreeing on eliminating tariffs on 201 information technology products valued at over $1.3 trillion per year. Approximately, 65 per cent of tariff lines will be fully eliminated by July 1, 2016. Most of the remaining tariff lines will be completely phased out in four stages over three years. This means that by 2019, almost all imports of IT products will be duty free.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.