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Voting

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
Total Posts:  3494
Joined  21-10-2016
 
 
 
23 August 2019 09:33
 
Jefe - 23 August 2019 09:25 AM
Skipshot - 23 August 2019 08:08 AM
Brick Bungalow - 22 August 2019 10:58 PM

Our disagreements are scripted for us by folks who need to keep us at intractable odds. If someone did manage to craft some bipartisan miracle platform the goal posts would immediately change.

Thanks for the downer.  At least I read this early in my Friday so it would wear off by he time I get off work.

Although I’m not entirely sure there is a grand conspiracy with nefarious ends, and we are mindless vessels into which their message is poured.  Give us some credit for being apathetic dumbasses.

Aren’t they scripted specifically to turn our heads away from the rampant pillaging of the middle class by the corporate elite?
Brown skinned people didn’t really steal all the middle-class-middle-management or it-cubicle jobs that comprise a big block of middle-class employment.  The rust-belt didn’t really recover many jobs, in spite of promises made most recently.  Large-scale retail giants didn’t really replace all the mom&pop; store jobs they eliminated - and on top of that immediate-internet-delivery is rapidly killing shopping malls and the associated jobs that used to be found there.  University education costs didn’t become 10 times greater in a recessing economy without some manipulation from the executive capital committees.

In a lot of cases these things happened because ‘we’ voted for people who let them happen, or didn’t actively work to stop them from happening.

Exactly.  It all depends on what the voter will let happen. 

As our PM has said:  “We know that a strong and thriving middle class is the most effective bulwark against destructive populism”.

 

 
 
Jefe
 
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Jefe
Total Posts:  7155
Joined  15-02-2007
 
 
 
23 August 2019 09:47
 
Jan_CAN - 23 August 2019 09:33 AM
Jefe - 23 August 2019 09:25 AM
Skipshot - 23 August 2019 08:08 AM
Brick Bungalow - 22 August 2019 10:58 PM

Our disagreements are scripted for us by folks who need to keep us at intractable odds. If someone did manage to craft some bipartisan miracle platform the goal posts would immediately change.

Thanks for the downer.  At least I read this early in my Friday so it would wear off by he time I get off work.

Although I’m not entirely sure there is a grand conspiracy with nefarious ends, and we are mindless vessels into which their message is poured.  Give us some credit for being apathetic dumbasses.

Aren’t they scripted specifically to turn our heads away from the rampant pillaging of the middle class by the corporate elite?
Brown skinned people didn’t really steal all the middle-class-middle-management or it-cubicle jobs that comprise a big block of middle-class employment.  The rust-belt didn’t really recover many jobs, in spite of promises made most recently.  Large-scale retail giants didn’t really replace all the mom&pop; store jobs they eliminated - and on top of that immediate-internet-delivery is rapidly killing shopping malls and the associated jobs that used to be found there.  University education costs didn’t become 10 times greater in a recessing economy without some manipulation from the executive capital committees.

In a lot of cases these things happened because ‘we’ voted for people who let them happen, or didn’t actively work to stop them from happening.

Exactly.  It all depends on what the voter will let happen. 

As our PM has said:  “We know that a strong and thriving middle class is the most effective bulwark against destructive populism”.

I would even go farther and say that a thriving middle class is also the most effective bulwark against destructive recession/austerity ideology.

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
Total Posts:  5307
Joined  28-05-2009
 
 
 
23 August 2019 14:33
 
Jan_CAN - 23 August 2019 09:33 AM
Jefe - 23 August 2019 09:25 AM
Skipshot - 23 August 2019 08:08 AM
Brick Bungalow - 22 August 2019 10:58 PM

Our disagreements are scripted for us by folks who need to keep us at intractable odds. If someone did manage to craft some bipartisan miracle platform the goal posts would immediately change.

Thanks for the downer.  At least I read this early in my Friday so it would wear off by he time I get off work.

Although I’m not entirely sure there is a grand conspiracy with nefarious ends, and we are mindless vessels into which their message is poured.  Give us some credit for being apathetic dumbasses.

Aren’t they scripted specifically to turn our heads away from the rampant pillaging of the middle class by the corporate elite?
Brown skinned people didn’t really steal all the middle-class-middle-management or it-cubicle jobs that comprise a big block of middle-class employment.  The rust-belt didn’t really recover many jobs, in spite of promises made most recently.  Large-scale retail giants didn’t really replace all the mom&pop; store jobs they eliminated - and on top of that immediate-internet-delivery is rapidly killing shopping malls and the associated jobs that used to be found there.  University education costs didn’t become 10 times greater in a recessing economy without some manipulation from the executive capital committees.

In a lot of cases these things happened because ‘we’ voted for people who let them happen, or didn’t actively work to stop them from happening.

Exactly.  It all depends on what the voter will let happen. 

As our PM has said:  “We know that a strong and thriving middle class is the most effective bulwark against destructive populism”.

Sorry to be a wet blanket. I’m actually not as pessimistic as that comment might imply. I think citizens have great power when they seize it independently.

I guess what I really want to say is that the divide I witness and find substantive has less to do with left and right. Or rather, the left and right divide has no real option for closure because so much of it is cultivated. If we were to find some kind of workaround to the disagreements about abortion or gun control there would simply new issues thrust into their place. Institutions that purport to represent global solutions are not economically motivated to actually find those solutions. It’s the charity paradox.

The divide that interests and compels me is the 1%/99%. And to address the issue the leadership I will offer the tangential agreement that I want leadership to serve both groups. I have no ideological thirst to defeat or punish capitalists or wealth inheritors. I just want equal recourse and representation. Same as with religion or any other category of division. Any right I want for myself I also want for you. On principle. For the kind of self interests that are explicitly collective.

Also in the spirit of finding common ground, I think Obama did the best that any one person could have done to bridge this gap. The love he earned for doing this, of course produced the predictable counterpart. I think this underlines my concern with trying to frame things in a partisan lens. Many people praise one leader and curse another purely on the basis of personality and perceived affiliation. It has nothing to do with their actual decisions. Whatever we do we absolutely have to get past that. We have no power in that mode.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
Total Posts:  666
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23 August 2019 17:00
 

Well, a lot of this stuff can only be solved by reforming our election method, or the system of governance.  I’d love to make a lot of major, sweeping changes to the government that wouldn’t necessarily benefit one side or the other, but would rather completely change how we envision “sides” (like proportional representation versus geographic representation).  My personal favorite would be that if the government can’t pass a budget that automatic elections are triggered, and we get to vote people out of office.

Right now in the Senate a Wyoming voter gets 66 times the representation of someone in California.  The ratio is better in the House, but a Wyoming voter is still over represented there (1.5:1 versus California).

One of the flaws right now is that our system actually allows for minority rule.  2 out of the last 5 presidential elections have been won by the minority as well.  This isn’t some archaic anachronism.  It is a problem.  It’s a flaw in the system, and it’s hard to have an actual discussion on an issue (abortion, guns, etc) if we get ruled by the minority.

 
EN
 
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EN
Total Posts:  21959
Joined  11-03-2007
 
 
 
23 August 2019 17:18
 
Garret - 23 August 2019 05:00 PM

Well, a lot of this stuff can only be solved by reforming our election method, or the system of governance.  I’d love to make a lot of major, sweeping changes to the government that wouldn’t necessarily benefit one side or the other, but would rather completely change how we envision “sides” (like proportional representation versus geographic representation).  My personal favorite would be that if the government can’t pass a budget that automatic elections are triggered, and we get to vote people out of office.

Right now in the Senate a Wyoming voter gets 66 times the representation of someone in California.  The ratio is better in the House, but a Wyoming voter is still over represented there (1.5:1 versus California).

One of the flaws right now is that our system actually allows for minority rule.  2 out of the last 5 presidential elections have been won by the minority as well.  This isn’t some archaic anachronism.  It is a problem.  It’s a flaw in the system, and it’s hard to have an actual discussion on an issue (abortion, guns, etc) if we get ruled by the minority.

At this point in history, I question the need for two houses in Congress.  Just one house chosen by popular vote would be more representative. Eliminate the Electoral College, and the Senate, and limit terms to 12 years (three 4-year terms) and the President to one 6 year term.  Now I’m dreaming, of course.

 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
Total Posts:  3494
Joined  21-10-2016
 
 
 
23 August 2019 18:11
 
Brick Bungalow - 23 August 2019 02:33 PM

Sorry to be a wet blanket. I’m actually not as pessimistic as that comment might imply. I think citizens have great power when they seize it independently.

I guess what I really want to say is that the divide I witness and find substantive has less to do with left and right. Or rather, the left and right divide has no real option for closure because so much of it is cultivated. If we were to find some kind of workaround to the disagreements about abortion or gun control there would simply new issues thrust into their place. Institutions that purport to represent global solutions are not economically motivated to actually find those solutions. It’s the charity paradox.

The divide that interests and compels me is the 1%/99%. And to address the issue the leadership I will offer the tangential agreement that I want leadership to serve both groups. I have no ideological thirst to defeat or punish capitalists or wealth inheritors. I just want equal recourse and representation. Same as with religion or any other category of division. Any right I want for myself I also want for you. On principle. For the kind of self interests that are explicitly collective.

Also in the spirit of finding common ground, I think Obama did the best that any one person could have done to bridge this gap. The love he earned for doing this, of course produced the predictable counterpart. I think this underlines my concern with trying to frame things in a partisan lens. Many people praise one leader and curse another purely on the basis of personality and perceived affiliation. It has nothing to do with their actual decisions. Whatever we do we absolutely have to get past that. We have no power in that mode.

I agree; it’s imperative that leadership serve both, or I would say all people/groups.  Of course, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone and there will likely be continuing tension and division around certain hot issues.  However, if the vast majority enjoy a certain level of financial security, and some specific social/political problems are properly addressed, then there would be increased stability and faith in government.  Easier said than done though, and it will take an electorate that insists on principled and effective leadership.  I’m somewhat hopeful that this current administration has opened the eyes of many complacent moderates to festering problems and the need to vote and be politically engaged.

 

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
Total Posts:  5307
Joined  28-05-2009
 
 
 
23 August 2019 20:12
 
Jan_CAN - 23 August 2019 06:11 PM
Brick Bungalow - 23 August 2019 02:33 PM

Sorry to be a wet blanket. I’m actually not as pessimistic as that comment might imply. I think citizens have great power when they seize it independently.

I guess what I really want to say is that the divide I witness and find substantive has less to do with left and right. Or rather, the left and right divide has no real option for closure because so much of it is cultivated. If we were to find some kind of workaround to the disagreements about abortion or gun control there would simply new issues thrust into their place. Institutions that purport to represent global solutions are not economically motivated to actually find those solutions. It’s the charity paradox.

The divide that interests and compels me is the 1%/99%. And to address the issue the leadership I will offer the tangential agreement that I want leadership to serve both groups. I have no ideological thirst to defeat or punish capitalists or wealth inheritors. I just want equal recourse and representation. Same as with religion or any other category of division. Any right I want for myself I also want for you. On principle. For the kind of self interests that are explicitly collective.

Also in the spirit of finding common ground, I think Obama did the best that any one person could have done to bridge this gap. The love he earned for doing this, of course produced the predictable counterpart. I think this underlines my concern with trying to frame things in a partisan lens. Many people praise one leader and curse another purely on the basis of personality and perceived affiliation. It has nothing to do with their actual decisions. Whatever we do we absolutely have to get past that. We have no power in that mode.

I agree; it’s imperative that leadership serve both, or I would say all people/groups.  Of course, it’s impossible to satisfy everyone and there will likely be continuing tension and division around certain hot issues.  However, if the vast majority enjoy a certain level of financial security, and some specific social/political problems are properly addressed, then there would be increased stability and faith in government.  Easier said than done though, and it will take an electorate that insists on principled and effective leadership.  I’m somewhat hopeful that this current administration has opened the eyes of many complacent moderates to festering problems and the need to vote and be politically engaged.

Agreed. I like the axiom about a society being judged by how it treats it’s least powerful members.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
Total Posts:  666
Joined  16-01-2019
 
 
 
23 August 2019 22:30
 
EN - 23 August 2019 05:18 PM
Garret - 23 August 2019 05:00 PM

Well, a lot of this stuff can only be solved by reforming our election method, or the system of governance.  I’d love to make a lot of major, sweeping changes to the government that wouldn’t necessarily benefit one side or the other, but would rather completely change how we envision “sides” (like proportional representation versus geographic representation).  My personal favorite would be that if the government can’t pass a budget that automatic elections are triggered, and we get to vote people out of office.

Right now in the Senate a Wyoming voter gets 66 times the representation of someone in California.  The ratio is better in the House, but a Wyoming voter is still over represented there (1.5:1 versus California).

One of the flaws right now is that our system actually allows for minority rule.  2 out of the last 5 presidential elections have been won by the minority as well.  This isn’t some archaic anachronism.  It is a problem.  It’s a flaw in the system, and it’s hard to have an actual discussion on an issue (abortion, guns, etc) if we get ruled by the minority.

At this point in history, I question the need for two houses in Congress.  Just one house chosen by popular vote would be more representative. Eliminate the Electoral College, and the Senate, and limit terms to 12 years (three 4-year terms) and the President to one 6 year term.  Now I’m dreaming, of course.

I’m not for term limits.  If you think the revolving door of Congress to lobbying is bad now, just imagine if we limited them to fewer terms.  It takes years to become a good legislator and write good legislation.  It takes years to learn the ins and outs of government bureaucracy to provide oversight.

I think 2 chambers is okay.  I’d keep one geographic representation, and one by national popular vote (proportional representation).  I’d use the national vote one to do some of the jobs of the senate (confirmation of appointments especially), but I would also lean towards setting up the election cycle so that the president and senate don’t always line up.

An interesting compromise between us would to make the two houses unified in some circumstances.  For example, most legislation could just be passed by a simple up and down vote in the combined Congress, but provide a path for allowing less popular legislation to try to work its way through one body first (so, someone could introduce it to one house, and if it passes there, the combined house HAS to vote on it).

We’re a really big country, and having some layers is okay IMO.  It’s just we have to integrate these layers better and make a process that is a little harder to hold hostage.

 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
Total Posts:  5307
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24 August 2019 07:56
 

There are deficits in the system. To be sure. However I think these take a back seat to deficits in the culture. Trump didn’t get a majority but he swayed a huge proportion of our culture. People who surveyed the roster of possible candidates in 2016, listened to his hostile, confrontational and misinformed language and decided that he was the best choice. A lot of people did that. Structural changes aren’t going to fix that problem.

 
Garret
 
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Garret
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24 August 2019 07:58
 

Changing the system to use the popular vote WOULD have produced a different outcome.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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24 August 2019 09:17
 
Garret - 24 August 2019 07:58 AM

Changing the system to use the popular vote WOULD have produced a different outcome.

Maybe. But I think you’re making an assumption that isn’t necessarily warranted. Keep in mind that candidates run their campaigns—and voters vote—with the existing rules in mind. Overconfident Hillary may have been an exception in that, according to what I’ve read, she campaigned in states she already had locked up in order to run up the popular vote, while skimping in those “battleground” states that cost her the electoral college.

Trump, on the other hand, had no motivation to campaign in states like California (where I live) because there was no way he would win a majority here. It would have been a waste of effort better spent elsewhere. But suppose he had, with an eye toward winning the popular vote? Would more Californians have voted for him? Not people who voted for Hillary, obviously, but people who didn’t bother to vote, or who voted for third party candidates because Hillary had California locked up? Not enough to gain in a majority in California or other solidly Blue states, but enough to swing the popular vote?

On the other hand, how many Hillary supporters in California didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t think they needed to? Would they have voted if the election were determined by popular vote? Thereby increasing Hillary’s popular vote count? It cuts both ways.

I don’t think there’s any way to know what would have happened. Claiming that changing the system “WOULD” or “WOULDN’T” have produced a different outcome is merely a reflection of your political bias.

 

 
 
Brick Bungalow
 
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Brick Bungalow
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24 August 2019 14:09
 
Antisocialdarwinist - 24 August 2019 09:17 AM
Garret - 24 August 2019 07:58 AM

Changing the system to use the popular vote WOULD have produced a different outcome.

Maybe. But I think you’re making an assumption that isn’t necessarily warranted. Keep in mind that candidates run their campaigns—and voters vote—with the existing rules in mind. Overconfident Hillary may have been an exception in that, according to what I’ve read, she campaigned in states she already had locked up in order to run up the popular vote, while skimping in those “battleground” states that cost her the electoral college.

Trump, on the other hand, had no motivation to campaign in states like California (where I live) because there was no way he would win a majority here. It would have been a waste of effort better spent elsewhere. But suppose he had, with an eye toward winning the popular vote? Would more Californians have voted for him? Not people who voted for Hillary, obviously, but people who didn’t bother to vote, or who voted for third party candidates because Hillary had California locked up? Not enough to gain in a majority in California or other solidly Blue states, but enough to swing the popular vote?

On the other hand, how many Hillary supporters in California didn’t bother to vote because they didn’t think they needed to? Would they have voted if the election were determined by popular vote? Thereby increasing Hillary’s popular vote count? It cuts both ways.

I don’t think there’s any way to know what would have happened. Claiming that changing the system “WOULD” or “WOULDN’T” have produced a different outcome is merely a reflection of your political bias.

I don’t think its a bias precisely. Just the assumption that structural changes would not translate into changes in voter turnout. I do think that a (more) popular vote would generally translate into more progressive victories but your right. It’s just speculation.

The reason I think so is because the left is currently the more complacent group. At least as far a I can tell. More people on the right vote out of civic duty, habit or perception of emergency. More of them are skeptical of things like poll data and media analysis. More of them live in places where system failure is an imminent threat.

 
Antisocialdarwinist
 
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Antisocialdarwinist
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24 August 2019 17:08
 

That’s a fair point. By that same logic, a law requiring people to vote would also help the left more than the right.

 
 
Jan_CAN
 
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Jan_CAN
Total Posts:  3494
Joined  21-10-2016
 
 
 
25 August 2019 08:18
 

While doing an online search for more information about the U.S. Electoral College, I came across the following article.  It’s several years old, but does provide some simple and basic information; the section on “Election Day and the Electoral College” of particular interest.

The American election explained
https://site.macleans.ca/interactives/electionExplained/index_01.html

 
 
Garret
 
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Garret
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25 August 2019 08:37
 

If laws and policies that got more people to vote would be bad for one party, that means that that party does not represent the will of the country.

 
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