2016 United States Election

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axordil
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by axordil »

yovargas wrote:
Nin wrote:How likely does it seem that at some point the political system of the US could be reformed?
I would put it at near zero. At least any time remotely soon.
Especially because it wouldn't be reform so much as wholesale replacement. The point of the U.S. Constitution was explicitly to create an NON-parliamentary government. It's like asking how likely it is that golf would be reformed into water polo.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Alatar »

Also it would be like asking the Turkeys to vote for Christmas. Or Thanksgiving I suppose...
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Cerin »

anthriel wrote:Didn't most people consider Richard Nixon unlikeable, as well? Or was that just after the controversy with him?
Nixon had earned the nickname 'Tricky Dick' from campaign shenanigans in California in the 50s, well before he debated Kennedy. The debate against Kennedy was the first televised debate, and Nixon came across as sweaty and nervous, compared to the glamorous and handsome Kennedy.

In 1968, even with the Democratic Party in shambles after the assassination of Kennedy, with the violence and chaos at the Chicago convention broadcast to the world, and with the nomination of Humphrey, who hadn't even run in the Democratic primaries, Nixon barely managed to win that election. I don't know if we did unfavorable ratings back then, or how pre-Watergate Nixon's unfavorables would compare to Clinton's.

Nin wrote: How likely does it seem that at some point the political system of the US could be reformed?
I think for reform to happen, there would have to be a reversal of several key Supreme Court decisions equating speech with money, a revitalization of an independent media, and someone in charge with enough spine to kick the lobbyists out of Washington. The chances seem nil to me for the foreseeable future. I don't think reform can come through such a corrupt system; rather, I think there would have to be some kind of major upheaval of the system.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by superwizard »

Cenedril_Gildinaur wrote: I live in California. No matter who I vote for, the state will go to the Democrat.

I have a friend who lives in Texas. No matter who he votes for, the state will go to the Republican.

So tell me more about how voting for major party candidates determines the outcome.
So actually I've thought about this quite a bit and have tussled with it myself. I do think it matters what people in non-swing states say and I think it does affect the general election because it changes the national conversation taking place. I would never tell people what to do or who to vote for, but I think that, for example, a strong and clear denouncement of Trump from americans in non-swing states would change how the election is perceived in swing states. So if the statements from certain segments of society were to change from 'both candidates are awful' to 'Trump must be stopped at all costs', I think that would be significant and affect the election. This is on top of campaigning/donating etc. I would love to hear people's thoughts on this however.

PS: This doesn't mean people shouldn't vote for 3rd party candidates mind you, just that there vote does have an affect.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Frelga »

This time round, I cannot be complacent about the inevitable victory of the Democratic candidate in California.

However, in saner years, I've heard of people vote swapping - agreeing to vote for a third party candidate in exchange for a person in a swing state promising to vote for their preferred major party candidate. Someone said it was illegal, but I can't see anything morally wrong with the practice, and politicians do that all the time.

I haven't, and wouldn't, done it myself, for the record, as there isn't a third party I am that into.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Inanna »

Nin, India also has the kind of political system you describe - multi party, coalition-based and no direct election of the government head (the Prime minister; although in most years it is evident who you are voting for to be the PM). However, our system has also been described as "broken" - there is crazy amount of squabbling between the regional parties with switching sides and horse-trading common. In recent years, it has been impossible to get any legislation cleared by both houses.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Túrin Turambar »

With the U.S. political system, the challenge is distinguishing between a feature and bug. I would say the bipartisan presidential system is itself a feature, and it has certain compensations to make up for things it doesn’t do that the parliamentary system does. For example, party discipline in the U.S. is much weaker, and it is possible for voters to split their vote between the executive and legislative branches of government, voting for a president from one party and legislators from another.

What I think definitely is a bug is the way that elections are conducted by partisan officials from local government, which is one point on which the U.S. stands out completely from other developed countries. Every other developed nation has a national, non-partisan electoral body which is accountable to parliament (or the equivalent) but independent from it. This is a huge problem not just for the potential for partisan officials to make partisan decisions (a problem in drawing electoral districts too) but in the general inefficiency and lack of uniformity. The Presidential election in critical counties can be under the control of county or town councils which are struggling to figure out things like how to run mains water to all their residents.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Primula Baggins »

Oregon has a uniform statewide system, and a good one. It's possible to get consistency at least at that level. But nationwide would be better. As would nationwide public funding of federal-level elections.

Unfortunately, neither is going to happen anytime soon. Mega-donors like the power that comes from being able (for the most part) to control, and own, the people who get elected. Now that the money flows through so many secret paths, they aren't even accountable. It's perfect, for them. Thanks, Anthony Kennedy.

And, control of elections and electoral districts is delegated to the states, I believe in the Constitution. Even if it were not, the American temperament seems to strongly prefer power to be kept as local as possible. Parties in power design the districts according to census data every 10 years, and also legislate local election laws to their taste—which means that the party in power is much more likely to stay in power for those 10 years.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by CosmicBob »

And to make election day on a weekend OR a national holiday would help, I think. Changing the day (at least for presidential elections) would require a Constitutional amendment, I believe. But they could easily make it a national holiday. But there are enough people in power who do not want people to vote that this won't happen either.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by yovargas »

I've always wondered why a national voting day wasn't a national holiday. Seems so obvious.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Primula Baggins wrote:Unfortunately, neither is going to happen anytime soon. Mega-donors like the power that comes from being able (for the most part) to control, and own, the people who get elected. Now that the money flows through so many secret paths, they aren't even accountable. It's perfect, for them. Thanks, Anthony Kennedy.
Poor Mr. Kennedy is going to have a lot less power soon (and yes, he has done a lot of good things as well bad, from my perspective). And Citizens United's days are numbered.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Frelga »

CosmicBob wrote:And to make election day on a weekend OR a national holiday would help, I think. Changing the day (at least for presidential elections) would require a Constitutional amendment, I believe. But they could easily make it a national holiday. But there are enough people in power who do not want people to vote that this won't happen either.
And, specifically, aren't interested in the votes of the class of people who can't easily get off work to vote.
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Primula Baggins
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Primula Baggins »

Justice Kennedy has made good decisions, too, but Citizens United was so disastrous for the country that it overshadows them.

I'm curious--why are its days numbered?
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Voronwë the Faithful »

Because Hillary Clinton is going to be the next president, and will appoint a justice to replace Justice Scalia that will vote to overturn that terrible decision (and possibly another one to replace Justice Thomas if the rumors that he is planning to step down after the election prove true despite the denials by him and his wife). Or Merrick Garland will get confirmed during the lame duck term. Either way, Citizen's United will go down. (Ironically, Trump pretends to be a populist and against corporate money in politics, but if he won, the justices that he would appoint would almost certainly not overturn Citizen's United. But he is not going to win.)
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Jude »

Voronwë the Faithful wrote: But he is not going to win.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Cerin »

But Hillary Clinton doesn't seem to have a problem with money in politics. She spent the primary season arguing against the notion that money from powerful interests equals influence.

edit

And the unanimous decision from a couple of days ago seemed to move in the same direction -- that giving lavish gifts to politicians isn't a problem.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Impenitent »

If this electoral system were in place in, say, a developing Asian nation, America would be calling it corrupt and loudly calling for reform.
Gerrymandered electoral districts; citizens who are not given time out of work to vote; obstacles to voting, such as identity checks and restrictions on early voting and other discouragement; voting 'machines' with opaque mechanisms that can be/are tampered with...
How is this not corrupt? It's certainly undemocratic.

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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by Lalaith »

Heliona just posted this on FB:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/lisa-bloo ... 19944.html

:shock: That is very frightening. No, it's not been proven, but I think the author builds a strong case.
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by River »

I saw that last night.

I'm hoping it's hysteria. If it's not there's a large chunk of the country offering full-throated support to a kiddie rapist and I really really don't want to watch the logical contortions some of them will put themselves through to discredit or excuse it.

We'll see what happens. Trump did brag he could commit murder without budging his poll numbers but maybe this is less tolerable.
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yovargas
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Re: 2016 United States Election

Post by yovargas »

While I wouldn't be the slightest bit surprised if Trump had done the things he's accused of there - I think he's completely amoral and capable of just about anything - the timing of it makes it pretty suspect. Let's wait and see if anything comes of it....
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