At the moment, federal elections in the US have concluded and there have been no special elections to replace anyone who might have left his or her seat in the US House of Representatives (the US Constitution provides for this in Article I, Section 2). In Great Britain, such special elections are called by-elections, and two were held this week, in Stoke-on-Trent Central and in Copeland. Both by-elections were prompted by the resignations of two Labour Members of Parliament, although technically they were prompted by their appointments to the Office of Crown Steward, since Members of Parliament are not permitted to resign their seats but may leave Parliament only through “Death, disqualification, [or] expulsion.” Although the Labour Party was able to keep control of the Stoke-on-Trent seat, Labour lost the Copeland seat, in a traditional Labour stronghold, to the Conservatives. “The Cumbrian seat has been held by [Labour] since it was formed in 1983… It is the first time a governing party has taken a seat from the opposition for decades.” It is worth noting that the top four candidates in the Copeland race were women, from Trudy Harrison for the Conservatives (13,748 votes) to Fiona Mills for UKIP (2025 votes).
The Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election is also interesting. The Labour Party managed to defend this seat, but the results underscore the disproportionality of the “first-past-the-post” or single-member plurality electoral system in Britain (and here in the US). Gareth Snell, the Labour candidate, won with 37.1 percent of the vote, while the next two closest competitors (for the Conservatives, 24.3%, and UKIP 24.7%) won a combined 49 percent of the vote; 62.9 percent of voters preferred a candidate other than Labour. Ten candidates stood for election to this seat, with the Incredible Flying Brick, Official Monster Raving Loony Party surpassing independent candidate Mohammed Yaqub Akram, Christian Peoples Alliance candidate Godrey Davies, and British National Party Local People First candidate David Furness. The real competition for the seat, however, was among the Conservative, Labour, and UKIP candidates. Stoke-on-Trent, in the UK Midlands, was among the districts with the highest percentage vote to leave the European Union in the “Brexit” vote in 2016. Here are the results for the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election (which have caused considerable uproar within the Labour Party):
The French electoral system has a solution for cases where multiple candidates win substantially the same minority share of the vote: a two-round, first-ballot majority, second-ballot plurality system. The French presidential elections begin with the first round on April 23. The Germans, using a mixed member proportional representation system, hold their national elections for the Bundestag (the lower house) on September 24.
Karen Beckwith, Flora Stone Mather Professor
Chair, Department of Political Science, Case Western Reserve University
Friday Lunch: Challenges Facing the U.S. Intelligence Community
February 24, 12:30-1:30p.m., KSL Dampeer Room
Join Emeritus Professor Vince McHale, who previously taught CWRU students about U.S. Intelligence and National Security, in discussing the tensions about the intelligence community and the effects of President Trump’s election on the various intelligence organizations.
Fellowships and Scholarships Workshop
February 24, 1:00-2:00p.m., Sears Building 356
This session will provide information on various fellowships and scholarships, as well as resume and application tips.
February 24, 2:00-5:00p.m., Tomlinson Lobby
Join this kickoff event to record your own video, write a message on the #YouAreWelcomeHereCWRU wall, and sample Middle Eastern food.
Town Hall Meeting with Marcia Fudge
February 25, 10:00a.m.-3:00p.m., Tri-C Corporate College East
Congresswoman Marcia L. Fudge invites constituents of the 11th Congressional District to a town hall meeting. Rep. Fudge will discuss to discuss legislative updates from Washington, programs and services from her offices, and her policy agenda for the 115th Congress.
Cleveland Inner City Ballet Black History Month Celebration
February 25, 6:00-8:00p.m., CSU Main Classroom Auditorium
Cleveland Inner City Ballet will debut four socially conscious contemporary ballets in celebration of Black History Month.
Public Forum on Gerrymandering
February 26, 9:30-10:45a.m., Cleveland First Unitarian Church
Join this forum to discuss how district lines are currently drawn and how they could be drawn more fairly. This is a free event.
Radical Student Union’s Black Panther Party Read-In
February 27, 7:30-9:00p.m., Crawford Hall A11
Celebrate the revolutionary legacy of the Black Panther Party with quotes and passages from your favorite Black Panther Party members.
Disturbing the Peace
February 27, 6:45p.m., Cinematheque
This documentary follows the group “Combatants for Peace,” a group of former Israeli soldiers and Palestinian freedom fighters as they advocate for nonviolent resolutions. Age 25 & under tickets are $7.
How Native Americans Protect Traditional Knowledge from Misappropriation
February 28, 12:15-1:30p.m., Crawford Hall A1
A survey and analysis of tribal codes and the misappropriation of traditional knowledge and culture, along with how Native American tribes intersect with U.S. Federal Law. Bring your lunch to this interactive discussion; drinks and dessert provided. Reservations requested to firstname.lastname@example.org or 216.368.7568.
February 28, 7:30p.m., The Happy Dog Detroit Ave.
Learn more about the goals and cultural context of the upcoming Cleveland March for Science.
Pasta for CASA: Empathy & Action for Youth Impacted by Foster Care
March 1, 6:30-9:00p.m., Thwing Center Ballroom
This dinner and discussion will examine why foster care is a social justice issue and the barriers faced by LGBT youth in the foster care system. Donations of $3-5 are welcome, but not required.
March 2, 6:00-8:30p.m., Market Garden Brewery
CCWA will host this world trivia challenge. Individual entries are $35 and team entries are $125.
Money Laundering, Terrorism Finance, & Corruption, Oh My!
March 2, 7:00p.m., Happy Dog Euclid Tavern
This is an informal lecture series featuring the world’s top Anti-Money Laundering experts.
March 3, 8:00a.m.-4:00p.m., TVUC
This symposium provides a comprehensive look at human trafficking in the United States today, including the laws passed to combat it, the long-term effects on survivors and the social services that play a vital role rebuilding lives.
Making Practical Progress on Human Rights: An Essential Element of Sustainable Business
March 9, 4:30-5:30p.m., Moot Courtroom
This lecture will examine growing tension between human rights and globalization and explore the results of more than 30 years of significant growth and job creation in less developed countries.
Ohio Legislative Service Commission Fellowship Program
Gain experience working for the Ohio General Assembly in either the legislative or telecommunications field. Legislative applications are due April 1 and Telecommunications applications are due April 30.
Wright-Plaisance Fellowship for Study Abroad
This fellowship opportunity is for those interested in pursuing post-baccalaureate study at a university in Europe or South America. Applications are due May 1.
Community Preservation Internship
This internship provides candidates the opportunity to gain experience working in the non-profit sector and learning about affordable housing and historical preservation guidelines. The application deadline is February 24.
Ohio Citizen Action Internship
Ohio Citizen Action is accepting internship applications for the Cleveland and Cincinnati offices. Candidates must have excellent communication skills and an interest in community issues.
Public Policy Boot Camp
The Summer Policy Boot Camp offers top college students and recent graduates an opportunity to engage with Hoover Institution scholars and policy practitioners on the campus of Stanford University. The program will take place August 20-26 and is free of charge. The application deadline is March 1.
Summer Program in Quantitative Methods of Social Research
The ICPSR Summer Program provides basic and advanced instruction across a wide range of methodologies and techniques for research in the social, behavioral, and health sciences. The application deadline is March 31.
National Science Foundation Research Experience Program
This program provides undergraduate students experience in conflict management and peace science during an eight-week period. Applications are due April 7.
Peace and Conflict Resolution Program
This Summer study abroad program will take place in Amman, Jordan and Dublin, Ireland. Applications are due March 31.