Tag Archives: politics

The UK’s Two-party System Continues to Decline

If you missed it, last week the United Kingdom held a few by-elections. For we Americans, those are like special elections for seats in the Senate or the House that are not part of the regular Congressional elections. Anyway, the big news was that the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP)—think Tea Party wanting out of the European Union…kind of—won a by-election for Clacton-on-Sea (not surprisingly located on the sea) from the Tories (think establishment Republicans). UKIP almost won a by-election away from Labour (kind of think Democrats?). The former was shocking but not surprising, the latter was both.

Anyway, one of the drivers of the results was the fact that British voters are no longer consistently voting for either the Tories or Labour. The Telegraph used a nice graphic to show just how far the British two-party system has declined from its peak in 1951. The piece is not very fancy, but it does the trick.

Tory–Labour vote share since 1951

Tory–Labour vote share since 1951

Credit for the piece goes to the Telegraph’s graphics department.

The State of Gay Marriage in the States

I have been fairly out of the loop of the news the last few weeks, but I did at least catch one of the headlines: gay marriage in the States is more legal than ever. Between Supreme Court stays and Appeals Court rulings, gay marriage is now legal in more than 50% of the country—at least by number of states. The Wall Street Journal does a nice job in this static graphic showing just how far equality has come.

Marriage equality

Marriage equality

Credit for the piece goes to Randy Yelp.

Falling Costs of Medicare

Medicare is one of those things that everybody has feared in terms of its impact on our long-term debt and deficit. The New York Times looks at the falling projections over time through a nice, animated line chart. The accompanying article places the cause for these to two factors. First, technical reductions that mean behaviour changes among medical care professionals and patients. Second, to spending reductions through the Affordable Care Act.

Falling spend on Medicare per recipient

Falling spend on Medicare per recipient

Credit for the piece goes to Margot Sanger-Katz and Kevin Quealy.

Importing Russian Gas

Today’s post is a graphic from the New York Times that looks at Russia’s hold on energy across Europe. I’m not terribly keen on this particular graphic for a few reasons. First, the design needs to incorporate the actual datapoint so the reader can compare across countries. Comparing the height of each black bar to each other is difficult at best.

Secondly, the data excludes the energy trade between European Union countries. And that strikes me as potentially quite a lot. Just because a country is importing from another EU country does not mean it is importing less.

Russian gas market in the EU

Russian gas market in the EU

Credit for the piece goes to the New York Times graphics department.

Scotland Votes

By the time this post goes live, Scotland will have already been voting on independence for several hours. At the time of writing this post, it appears more a toss-up than anything else. And so today we highlight a piece that is a little bit different than what I might normally cover. Here we have a long-form piece from the BBC that looks at how different trends across recent decades of history have converged at this point in time to give Scotland this choice.

Scotland's Decision

Scotland’s Decision

Credit for the overall piece goes to Allan Little, Paul Kerley, Finlo Rohler, Jonathan Duffy, Kevin McKeown, Darren McLarkey, Marcelo Zanni, Sally Morales, Giles Wilson, and the opening illustration (the screen capture) is Cognitive Media.

Terror Attacks Throughout the World

Last week many American observed 11 September in remembrance of the terror attacks that brought down the Twin Towers, a section of the Pentagon, and four airliners in total. So this week we are going to see some fantastic work from Periscopic that highlights several other terror groups operating in the world across the last few decades. 

Irish Republican Army attacks

Irish Republican Army attacks

The charts work as a timeline from 1970 through 2013 and then vertically from January through December. Above and below the timeline, respectively, are the numbers of people killed and wounded. When shown as small multiples, the overall piece can show you which groups have been active and lethal, active but without lots of fatal attacks, and those that are fading out or fading in.

Credit for the piece goes to Periscopic.

DC Mayoral Elections

In November, among the many ballots will be that of the DC mayor. The Washington Post has a piece showing the power bases of the two main candidates. It also allows you to play with the vote allotment of the three key groups to show how you can build a 50% + 1 vote tally.

Vote scenarios

Vote scenarios

Credit for the piece goes to Denise Lu, Ted Mellnik, and Katie Park.

The Liberal to Conservative Spectrum of American Cities

Yesterday we looked at the growth of inland cities. Today, we follow up with a piece from the Economist that examines the political leanings of America’s larger cities. As one might imagine, the larger cities generally trend liberal. But the most conservative American cities are actually not very conservative. They are better described as centre-right.

The liberal/conservative nature of American cities

The liberal/conservative nature of American cities

Credit for the piece goes to K.N.C. and L.P.

Am I Your Type, Politically Speaking of Course?

Maybe? But thanks to Pew Research, you can see if we align politically. Today’s post comes via Pete, a coworker of mine, and it is basically a survey that works by asking you 23 political questions on topics from big/small government, immigration, climate change, gay rights, defence spending, &c. They crunch some numbers and spit you out on a results page, the image below a crop from the results for your humble author. (For better or worse revealing my political leanings.)

My type

My type

From a survey standpoint, I found it interesting the questions presented only binary responses. In general, I found that I never agreed with either statement entirely and was forced to choose the “closest” response. Since I never see myself on the conservative side of the spectrum, I was surprised to see my “type”, Young Outsiders, coloured with a tint of red. Regardless, I’m still thankful that according to Pew, I am still more in the centre than on the ends as it makes it a lot easier to compromise. I’ve heard that that is an adult thing to do.

By the way, if you want the results of the full survey upon which this quiz was based, you can check out that site here. It’s full of bar charts for those who like the data visualisation.

Credit for the piece goes to the Pew Research Center.

Where the Rebels are in Eastern Ukraine

Today’s piece is far from ground-breaking or even complex. Friday, the Wall Street Journal published this map to supplement an article about the unilateral ceasefire declared by President Poroshenko in Ukraine. The map highlights the areas effectively controlled by the rebels, the most important the unsecured border. Of course this is just a map as stated by Kiev, the reality on the ground might be different. Regardless, it is the first map I have seen that has actually tried to demarcate the territory actually under control rather than claimed.

Rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine

Rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine

Credit for the piece goes to the Wall Street Journal’s graphics department.