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Debates Forum

  1. 10 Nov '12 06:42
    Congrats to President Obama and the Democratic Party. Some comments from afar from a political tragic here. I follow the more interesting elections aside from our own. I followed Farnce's, and learnt a lot about the US election process this year, very different to ours. But the tp-ers influenced our Opposition to go their highly obstructive and negative style, with some initial success. This result will give them more cause to think the possible cost. As elections draw nearer, people's minds get more focussed and real.

    OZ-US differences:
    Our Conservatives call themselves "Liberals" here.
    The Australian Labor Party in power are our Democrats, but with differences.
    I was barracking for the Democrats full on and Mr Obama, so I am delighted.

    What amazes me most this year and out of this election of yours is the big difference seen in the House of Reps outcome, due to the blatant gerrymandering. I guess they both do it I expect, but once your in, your in for a while it seems. Those local political boundaries (apparently not set federally - amazing!) look like a rattler with tetanus.! Its very undemocratic.

    What a fantastic team Obama had. Very cool and smart. We so often just see a slanted view here (probably like you do of us), but looking closer, I am comforted that that the "Land of the Free" still has a lot of people with heart and basic common sense. President Obama is a very fine President, hamstrung somewhat by circumstances but determined like our own Prime Minister.

    Hope its Ms Clinton next time.
  2. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    10 Nov '12 07:03
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Congrats to President Obama and the Democratic Party. Some comments from afar from a political tragic here. I follow the more interesting elections aside from our own. I followed Farnce's, and learnt a lot about the US election process this year, very different to ours. But the tp-ers influenced our Opposition to go their highly obstructive and negative style ...[text shortened]... ircumstances but determined like our own Prime Minister.

    Hope its Ms Clinton next time.
    Yes, I believe the only reason the Republicans held onto the House of Representatives stemmed from rather shameless gerrymandering in those states where Republicans had gained full control of the government (the governorship and state legislature) in 2010 -- the very year when the once-a-decade U.S. Census was conducted. Of course, Democrats did the same in California and Illinois, but that's only two states.

    Yet still, it looks like Democrats will pick up 6 seats in the House. And it's well-nigh miraculous that Democrats were able to pick up a seat or two in the Senate, seeing as they had to defend something like 23 seats this year compared to 10 seats for Republicans. A stunning defeat for Republicans, all the more significant because it is the Senate that approves the President's appointments to the Supreme Court. We may finally be able to tip the balance in the court in favor of liberals (or at least against the conservatives).

    I'd like Hillary Clinton to run for president in 2016, but she says (so far) that she won't do it. It's time for a woman to be president, and if the Democrats were to make a woman their candidate in 2016 I think that would boost Democratic turnout to new highs.
  3. 10 Nov '12 10:12
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    Yes, I believe the only reason the Republicans held onto the House of Representatives stemmed from rather shameless gerrymandering in those states where Republicans had gained full control of the government (the governorship and state legislature) in 2010 -- the very year when the once-a-decade U.S. Census was conducted. Of course, Democrats did the same ...[text shortened]... a woman their candidate in 2016 I think that would boost Democratic turnout to new highs.
    Generally there seems some more "manouvering room" this term.

    The reason for the big win seems from here to be numerous factors, most of them negative for the Republicans.
    - out of step with the major demographic shifts happening in the total electorate.
    - a candidate with a lot of excess elitist baggage and (revealed) attitudes that go with it, Don't think his Mormonism helped either.
    - the Tea Party rightist pushing on a few issues particularly effecting some of the rising minorities, and the female vote. They appear now to have exercised more influence than was warranted and left the Republicans looking way too right of center.
    - the signs of economic recovery beginning to happen in just good time,
    - Republicans using older electorate estimation processes, while the Obama team used now well-organised data punching in new and effective more focussed ways.
    - and last but not least, a President of the people, defending what he had won for them. They are good changes, and overdue.
    Just a non-American view. Good luck to you all.
  4. Subscriber no1marauder
    It's Nice to Be Nice
    10 Nov '12 10:14
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    Yes, I believe the only reason the Republicans held onto the House of Representatives stemmed from rather shameless gerrymandering in those states where Republicans had gained full control of the government (the governorship and state legislature) in 2010 -- the very year when the once-a-decade U.S. Census was conducted. Of course, Democrats did the same ...[text shortened]... a woman their candidate in 2016 I think that would boost Democratic turnout to new highs.
    I'd like to see nationwide totals of votes for Republican and Democratic candidates before I subscribe to "it was all the gerrymandering" theory.
  5. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    10 Nov '12 10:46
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I'd like to see nationwide totals of votes for Republican and Democratic candidates before I subscribe to "it was all the gerrymandering" theory.
    The preliminary figure that I saw two days ago indicated that more people voted for Democratic candidates for U.S. Representative than for Republican candidates.
  6. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    10 Nov '12 11:03
    Originally posted by no1marauder
    I'd like to see nationwide totals of votes for Republican and Democratic candidates before I subscribe to "it was all the gerrymandering" theory.
    An interesting article about the issue:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/11/09/house-democrats-got-more-votes-than-house-republicans-yet-boehner-says-hes-got-a-mandate/
  7. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    10 Nov '12 11:31
    Take a look here to see what the filthy Rethuglicans did to Pennsylvania when they got their stinking fascist paws on it:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/11/08/how-redistricting-could-keep-the-house-red-for-a-decade/?wprss=rss_ezra-klein

    Isn't it nice to see that *apartheid* is alive and well in some part of the world still?

    That redistricting is not handled via a nonpartisan state or federal agency is simply mind boggling. And that's the one last straw Rethugs can grasp at as the demographics of the nation turn against them and push them toward extinction: they can pack nonwhites into concentration camps that deprive them of proper representation in the House.

    So much for Speaker Boner's "mandate".
  8. 10 Nov '12 12:45
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    Take a look here to see what the filthy Rethuglicans did to Pennsylvania when they got their stinking fascist paws on it:

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/ezra-klein/wp/2012/11/08/how-redistricting-could-keep-the-house-red-for-a-decade/?wprss=rss_ezra-klein

    Isn't it nice to see that *apartheid* is alive and well in some part of the world still? ...[text shortened]... ive them of proper representation in the House.

    So much for Speaker Boner's "mandate".
    Personally, I think this (in places) is so blatant and dangerous for democratic process its worth some serious protesting action - to make both sides stop these serious and intentional distortions with geographically ridiculous redistricting. It isn't good for the nation generally. You need a better referee somewhere, trying to get some rules going.
    But it's your playing field.
  9. 10 Nov '12 13:00
    The problem is of course that representatives at the national level should be elected at the national level - each American should have an equal say about who is making the decisions in Washington.
  10. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    10 Nov '12 21:25
    Originally posted by KazetNagorra
    The problem is of course that representatives at the national level should be elected at the national level - each American should have an equal say about who is making the decisions in Washington.
    The problem is we don't have a parliamentary system of government with proportional representation. It's "winner-take-all" according to district and state, which sometimes works to the advantage of the more sensible party but generally is deleterious to democracy. Throw in gerrymandering, voter suppression tactics, the lack of a national voter registration system, and the electoral college, and what you get is a real freakin' banana republic.
  11. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    10 Nov '12 21:28
    Originally posted by Taoman
    Personally, I think this (in places) is so blatant and dangerous for democratic process its worth some serious protesting action - to make both sides stop these serious and intentional distortions with geographically ridiculous redistricting. It isn't good for the nation generally. You need a better referee somewhere, trying to get some rules going.
    But it's your playing field.
    A mathematical algorithm could be fashioned that puts limits on, say, the ratio of the perimeter of a district to its area, and so on. But it's not done. Nothing ever changes in the Empire, at least with regards to how the gears of its democracy turn.
  12. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    10 Nov '12 21:33
    Please explain 'voter suppression tactics'. References I have seen are off-the-cuff and assume the reader understands, but I don't.
  13. Standard member Bosse de Nage
    Zellulärer Automat
    10 Nov '12 21:34
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    A mathematical algorithm could be fashioned that puts limits on, say, the ratio of the perimeter of a district to its area, and so on. But it's not done. Nothing ever changes in the Empire, at least with regards to how the gears of its democracy turn.
    Watch the film Iron Sky.
  14. Standard member Soothfast
    0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,
    10 Nov '12 21:44
    Originally posted by Bosse de Nage
    Please explain 'voter suppression tactics'. References I have seen are off-the-cuff and assume the reader understands, but I don't.
    1) Requiring I.D. In the US there is no national I.D. card. The closest it comes is a driver's license, but many poor people (who just happen to vote for Democrats) lack such I.D.

    2) The aforementioned I.D. costs money, again putting a strain on lower-income people who (again) tend to vote for Democrats.

    3) Understaffing polling places where Democrats live, such as in key counties of Ohio and Florida, so that lines to vote stretch for whole blocks and require people to wait up to 8 hours to vote.

    4) Purging people from registered voter lists for one arbitrary reason or another.

    5) Sending notices in Spanish that election day is on November 8 -- two days after election day. This didn't just happen in Arizona.


    I can supply more tactics later, unless someone beats me to it.
  15. 10 Nov '12 23:34
    Originally posted by Soothfast
    The problem is we don't have a parliamentary system of government with proportional representation. It's "winner-take-all" according to district and state, which sometimes works to the advantage of the more sensible party but generally is deleterious to democracy. Throw in gerrymandering, voter suppression tactics, the lack of a national voter registration system, and the electoral college, and what you get is a real freakin' banana republic.
    From one under a proportional representation system, it appears to be more effective in blunting these manipulations of power seeking. It is definitely a core issue. Whether you can swing it ? It's a big challenge to change a nation's historic voting system. I was going to say, 'especially in a nation conservative to change', but that might just be a reflection of the static state of little change induced by self-serving "reign-holders". It has been done, with persistence.