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Maps and Strikes

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Here is a pretty cool map of precinct-level support in three Seattle municipal races from last month: mayoral (Ed Murray v incumbent Mike McGinn), one city council seat (socialist Kshama Sawant against incumbent Richard Conlin) and support for Seattle Proposition 1, public financing for campaigns.  Murray and Sawant won, Prop 1 narrowly lost. Relatedly, if you haven’t read DJW’s excellent piece on his pragmatic ambivalence about the election of Sawant, do so.

Benjamin Anderstone, a Pugest Sound political consultant, wrote the analysis of the aggregate data. He distills Seattle politics into this takeaway: “The basic battle in Seattle is the wealthy, older center-left establishment (the “conservative bloc”) versus the younger, more urban set (the “progressive bloc.”)” It doesn’t take one steeped in Seattle politics to sort out where each resides from eyeballing the maps.

In other news, three unions combined to strike against universities and further education colleges in Britain today. I was pleasantly surprised at the turnout on the picket line at 8am this morning, considering we were just on strike on October 31. That said, it was damned cold, and optimism was thin on the ground. When we finished up, “see you next month” was common. This is, of course, getting expensive, but I no longer have the questions regarding the compatibility of withholding one’s labor as a bargaining tool (of last resort) as an academic in the context of higher education that I outlined in the final paragraph of this post from nearly three years ago. Our pay rise last year was 0.5%, and it has been well below inflation since 2008 (13% below according to the union’s calculations). Furthermore, consistent with what I’ve written about higher ed in the UK over the past nine months, late last week it was announced that one of the social science departments at my institution is facing mandatory redundancies.

And I’m still pretty pissed off that the Mariners are signing Willy “Baseball” Bloomquist, but I’ve yet to figure out how to pin that on decisions taken by the executive management team of my university.

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