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BarryAZ
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Message 1182084 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 7:10:51 UTC

Quote from Newt Gingrich on the last day of the year:

"Politics has become a really nasty, vicious, negative business and I think it's disgusting and I think it's dishonest."

Message 1182085 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 7:24:58 UTC

disgusting and dishonest


Yep, that's DEM/Libs for you.

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Message 1182109 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 11:09:14 UTC
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014, 1:31:18 UTC

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Message 1182111 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 11:13:23 UTC

It's time for a woman president.


Maybe, but I doubt in my lifetime. Palin is a non-runner, but I wouldn't write off Hilary ...

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Message 1182147 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 16:03:43 UTC - in response to Message 1182085.

Excellent -- you think of Newt as a Dem/Lib -- how ... interesting.


disgusting and dishonest


Yep, that's DEM/Libs for you.

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Message 1182158 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 16:55:39 UTC - in response to Message 1182084.

Quote from Newt Gingrich on the last day of the year:

"Politics has become a really nasty, vicious, negative business and I think it's disgusting and I think it's dishonest."


This is the most piss poor bit of reverse psycology i have ever read.

We have all known for 200+ years that his statement is true.

If he had missed out the "has become" and replaced it with "is",would it
be any less true.

This inludes all governments in every country i am not just
getting at the american government.

politicians ehh?

But we vote them in don't we.

(or do we)

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Message 1182182 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 18:59:57 UTC

I just found it flat out hilarious that the Newtster were generate this quote -- sort of a like a six year old bully finally getting hit back and running home to mommy crying.

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Message 1182199 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 19:53:35 UTC

But we vote them in don't we.

(or do we)


Look at the average turnouts at elections....

Turnout %

We don't vote, then complain about what we get ....

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Message 1182255 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 22:37:44 UTC - in response to Message 1182199.

But we vote them in don't we.

(or do we)


Look at the average turnouts at elections....

Turnout %

We don't vote, then complain about what we get ....


Put someone in the election worth voting for and perhaps there'll be a greater turnout.

And for those of us in the U.S., give the people some direct say in their elected officials, and get rid of the electoral college.

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Message 1182257 - Posted: 1 Jan 2012, 22:42:23 UTC - in response to Message 1182255.

Yes,

A worthwhile agenda that will take a period of time to payoff would be to have proportional electors (essentially abolish the current Electoral College) and also to form a third party.

We might want to consider a runoff if a simple majority doesn't turn out on the initial voting.

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Message 1182323 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 3:04:16 UTC - in response to Message 1182257.

Newt has made a game out of negative for anyone that isn't with him and positive for anyone on his side. This is with complete disregard to whether the person has a valid point or not.
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Message 1182366 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 9:38:47 UTC - in response to Message 1182255.


Put someone in the election worth voting for and perhaps there'll be a greater turnout.

And for those of us in the U.S., give the people some direct say in their elected officials, and get rid of the electoral college.


1. It really is a shame that it seems there are precious few candidates for elected office (at ALL levels of government) that really and truly ARE worth voting for. The reasons for this are legion, and it seems that the very fact that a candidate got their name on the ballot is enough to ring alarm bells that they are not suitable. Personally, I think that a combination of strict term limits (1 term in 1 office in government, ever...), a form of the draft for officeholders, and strict financial divestiture of all assets before taking office might improve things. The money from the sale of the assets would be placed in the US Treasury, and you MIGHT get it back plus maybe a little interest, *IF* the Government ran a surplus and otherwise did a good job during your term of office.

2. The people most certainly DO have a direct say in their elected officials, at least as far as the two-party system allows. On the federal level, these officials are the person's Representative in the House, and the two Senators for the person's state, with the Representative being the most important of the three. All taxation legislation must, per the Constitution, originate in the House, and by custom all spending bills do as well. The most powerful politician in Washington DC is, without a doubt, the Speaker of the House.

The Electoral College does not affect the House and Senate elections. It affects ONLY the President and Vice-President. The Presidency was designed to be pretty much a total figurehead. Every major power the President has can be overturned by Congress, or is a shared power with Congress. Appointments to appointed office (Judges, Ambassadors, Executive Branch Department heads, etc.) must be confirmed by the Senate. The President might suggest a Budget, but Congress can totally ignore it. The President might veto a bill, but Congress can overturn it. The President might sign treaties with other nations, but the Senate must ratify it.

The most powerful power the President has is Commander-in-Chief of the military. However, the military Commissioned Officers all get promoted by act of Congress. Plus, the Congress holds the sole power to Declare War. And yes, this means that pretty much all 'fighting' our military has done since WWII has been... well... not really Constitutional. I think that most of us can agree that the Presidency needs a good spanking over it.

Under the Articles of Confederation, the nation did not even *HAVE* a chief executive. Under the Constitution, the office of President was created mainly so that other nations would have someone to talk with when negotiating things with us. Pretty much a figurehead.

The office of Vice-President is even more useless. The VP only has two duties. First and foremost, to sit around and wait on the President to kick the bucket, at which time they become President. Second, the VP is the presiding officer for the US Senate. Now, that position is not like the Speaker in the House. The VP has no power to influence policy or legislation and only gets a vote in case of a tie. His day (when he actually DOES his Constitutional duty instead of bumming the job off on the President Pro Tem of the Senate) consists of banging the Gavel and saying stuff like 'The Gentleman from Bumfarkistan is recognized for 5 minutes.'

Only the President and the VP are affected by the Electoral College during elections. The People do NOT 'elect' either one. Per the Constitution, the State Legislatures do. As the Supreme Court affirmed in Gore vs. Bush in the 2000 election, the State Legislature of Florida controlled the procedure in Florida. Per the Constitution, the Legislatures in each State have every right to vote among themselves to decide which Electors to appoint to vote in the Electoral College. By Custom, each State holds an opinion poll/beauty contest among the voters in that State to establish which Electors to appoint, and that is all. You are not voting for President / VP. You ARE voting over which slate of Electors to appoint, and that is all it is (and all it should be). There is no such thing as a 'national popular vote' for President. The term is without meaning.

Remember, the USA is the United States of America, NOT the United People of America.
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Message 1182368 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 10:02:22 UTC

The UK has a "first past the post" electoral system. But consider this example, of the votes made Candidate A gets 26%, Candidate B 25% Candidate C 25%, Candidate D 24%, and there is a 70% turnout. Simple maths says that Candidate A gets elected but only 18% of the electorate voted for him. Is it right to have someone in power who doesn't represent the views of the majority?

For many years in the UK it was a two horse race between the Conservatives and Labour, with the Liberal Party coming a poor third. In 1981 the SDP got formed to provide a 4th alternative, but finally merged with the Liberals in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats. In many cases the Lib Dems come a close second in elections to one of the other two main parties.

Last year a referendum was held on an Alternative Voting (AV) system. This would ask voters to rank the candidates in order of preference. If no one candidate got at least 50%, the one with least first preferences is eliminated and their votes are redistributed according to the second (or next available) preference marked on the ballot paper. This process continues until one candidate has half of the votes and is elected.

This method is used in many USA cities for electing Mayors. If it was used in the UK it is estimated that the Liberal Democrats would gain many more seats at elections and Labour and the Conservatives would be worse off. Not surprisingly, it was defeated, and we stay as we are for now.

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Message 1182375 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 11:00:06 UTC - in response to Message 1182368.

The UK has a "first past the post" electoral system. But consider this example, of the votes made Candidate A gets 26%, Candidate B 25% Candidate C 25%, Candidate D 24%, and there is a 70% turnout. Simple maths says that Candidate A gets elected but only 18% of the electorate voted for him. Is it right to have someone in power who doesn't represent the views of the majority?

For many years in the UK it was a two horse race between the Conservatives and Labour, with the Liberal Party coming a poor third. In 1981 the SDP got formed to provide a 4th alternative, but finally merged with the Liberals in 1988 to form the Liberal Democrats. In many cases the Lib Dems come a close second in elections to one of the other two main parties.

Last year a referendum was held on an Alternative Voting (AV) system. This would ask voters to rank the candidates in order of preference. If no one candidate got at least 50%, the one with least first preferences is eliminated and their votes are redistributed according to the second (or next available) preference marked on the ballot paper. This process continues until one candidate has half of the votes and is elected.

This method is used in many USA cities for electing Mayors. If it was used in the UK it is estimated that the Liberal Democrats would gain many more seats at elections and Labour and the Conservatives would be worse off. Not surprisingly, it was defeated, and we stay as we are for now.




Is it right to have someone in power who doesn't represent the views of the majority?


It happens all the time. Candidate A *did* get a plurality (the most votes), just not a majority (> 50% of the votes). In both cases, it is based on the number of votes cast, not total number of registered voters. Since it was their choice not to vote, those that don't vote, don't count.

Here in the USA, frequently a majority is required in some offices. In these cases, the top 2 candidates from the general election go to a run-off election. One of them HAS to get a majority in the run-off.

Now, the offices of President and VP are different. If no candidate gets a majority in the Electoral College, the election gets kicked into the House of Representatives, which is free to choose whoever it wishes. Maybe one of the candidates getting votes in the Electoral College... Maybe a candidate that didn't... Maybe someone that didn't even run in the first place. It has happened.

Now as to the parties... Things in the USA are a bit more one... err... two sided than they are in the UK. None of the multitude of minor parties in the USA currently have a member in Congress, though iirc the Libertarian Party has in the past had 2. The US Senate has 2 members currently that state that they are Independents, but one of them used to be a Democrat and switched to being an Independent while in office. All other Senators and Representatives are either Democrats or Republicans, to the best of my knowledge.

Both of the major parties have such a lock on the process that it is doubtful that a new(er) minor party will ever have much in the way of success. Sure, sometimes a minor party will enjoy a flash-in-the-pan moment of popularity, such as Perot's Reform Party, but then they fade.

It is really quite ironic that the will of the people, expressed as a majority vote in elections, leads to the two party system which tends to suppress voter choice. After all, if there are only two names on the ballot for a particular race, one of them is almost certain to get a majority.
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Message 1182396 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 13:38:23 UTC

Thanks for the heads upon the US details there MK.

Both of the major parties have such a lock on the process that it is doubtful that a new(er) minor party will ever have much in the way of success. Sure, sometimes a minor party will enjoy a flash-in-the-pan moment of popularity, such as Perot's Reform Party, but then they fade.


Well, it used to be the same here, where over most of the 20th Century, the Tories and Labour took it in turns to run the country. The last Liberal government was in 1910, and of course there were the coalitions of WW1 and WW2. But now we have another coalition government, the first in 60 years, and the first time in 100 years that we have Liberal Government ministers.

It has to be said of course that we have basically a conservative government, with a conservative Prime Minister, but its worst excesses are kept in check, by the Deputy PM Clegg and the Lib Dems. I can tell you from certain knowledge, that the Lib Dem Ministers are well respected and held in high regard by both sides of both Houses of Parliament.

I therefore think we are seeing a resurgence of our traditional 3rd party. Although it has to be said that in recent by elections the Tories gained ground due to Camerons veto in Europe, and Labour has gained votes, as it is traditional to vote against the government in Mid-term.

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Message 1182424 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 16:58:10 UTC - in response to Message 1182396.

In the US, we don't have a government -- or at least we don't have governance. With the split between the two houses, and the Senate rules which can be used to require a super majority (60 out of 100) for just about any action, bills passed by the House, don't get passed by the Senate, appointments requiring Senate approval don't get voted on. A successful 3rd party (with significant numbers in the House and Senate might not help this.

The extreme partisanship we've seen over the past few years has made matters worse in terms of governance as well. There is a significant portion of the TeaPublican party which decries anything Obama proposals as socialism, seemingly because they would prefer not to use a racially charged epithet do label Obama.




I therefore think we are seeing a resurgence of our traditional 3rd party. Although it has to be said that in recent by elections the Tories gained ground due to Camerons veto in Europe, and Labour has gained votes, as it is traditional to vote against the government in Mid-term.

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Message 1182428 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 17:23:59 UTC - in response to Message 1182084.
Last modified: 2 Jan 2012, 17:31:39 UTC

Quote from Newt Gingrich on the last day of the year:

"Politics has become a really nasty, vicious, negative business and I think it's disgusting and I think it's dishonest."


What else is new? This quote could have easily come from John Adams. Thomas Jefferson (and his agents) were particularly nasty in the election of 1800.
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Message 1182441 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 18:02:01 UTC - in response to Message 1182424.
Last modified: 2 Jan 2012, 18:02:55 UTC

In the US, we don't have a government -- or at least we don't have governance. With the split between the two houses, and the Senate rules which can be used to require a super majority (60 out of 100) for just about any action, bills passed by the House, don't get passed by the Senate, appointments requiring Senate approval don't get voted on. A successful 3rd party (with significant numbers in the House and Senate might not help this.

As much as we grumble about it, the system is doing precisely what it was designed to do. Recall the words of Thomas Paine, "That government is best which governs least." From the very start, our government was literally designed to stop itself up. (The analogy to a toilet was intentional.) The House is free to run amok passing all the bills it wants by simple majorities. The Senate...the so-called "deliberative body"... is where House bills go to die.

We are currently in a period of a divided electorate. Our representatives are equally divided. Until both sides learn this sixth grade civics lesson, they will continue to put out nothing but big, hard line legislation that is guaranteed to clog the works.
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Message 1182451 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 18:29:34 UTC - in response to Message 1182366.

1. It really is a shame that it seems there are precious few candidates for elected office (at ALL levels of government) that really and truly ARE worth voting for. The reasons for this are legion, and it seems that the very fact that a candidate got their name on the ballot is enough to ring alarm bells that they are not suitable. Personally, I think that a combination of strict term limits (1 term in 1 office in government, ever...), a form of the draft for officeholders, and strict financial divestiture of all assets before taking office might improve things. The money from the sale of the assets would be placed in the US Treasury, and you MIGHT get it back plus maybe a little interest, *IF* the Government ran a surplus and otherwise did a good job during your term of office.


All very good points that I think I could agree with.

Only the President and the VP are affected by the Electoral College during elections. The People do NOT 'elect' either one. Per the Constitution, the State Legislatures do. As the Supreme Court affirmed in Gore vs. Bush in the 2000 election, the State Legislature of Florida controlled the procedure in Florida. Per the Constitution, the Legislatures in each State have every right to vote among themselves to decide which Electors to appoint to vote in the Electoral College. By Custom, each State holds an opinion poll/beauty contest among the voters in that State to establish which Electors to appoint, and that is all. You are not voting for President / VP. You ARE voting over which slate of Electors to appoint, and that is all it is (and all it should be). There is no such thing as a 'national popular vote' for President. The term is without meaning.


...and therein lies my problem. I do thank you for the lesson in Government, but almost everything you stated is precisely what I have a problem with. It should have been easily surmised that when I said the people do not have a direct say, I was referring to voting for the Presidency itself. While I found it comical the way you describe the President's job, the mere fact that he does act as a figurehead to the rest of the world makes the rest of the world hold all of us responsible for our President's actions, so he needs to be elected by the people. The Electoral College is a waste of time and a needless middleman.... either that or the fact that we are encouraged to go out and vote for President is a needless waste of American's time.

So I repeat, American's need more direct input into the elected officials that run this country, including any fancy figureheads, and we need a third party at the very least.

Remember, the USA is the United States of America, NOT the United People of America.


...and where would those states be without the people?

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Message 1182452 - Posted: 2 Jan 2012, 18:36:43 UTC
Last modified: 2 Jan 2012, 18:39:37 UTC

In the US, we don't have a government -- or at least we don't have governance. With the split between the two houses, and the Senate rules which can be used to require a super majority (60 out of 100) for just about any action, bills passed by the House, don't get passed by the Senate, appointments requiring Senate approval don't get voted on.


In the UK it is somewhat different. There are a many stages that a Bill has to go through, in both Houses, before it gets Royal Assent and becomes Law. This is the same whoever is the current party in Government. Most Bills are proposed by Government Ministers, but there are also Private Members Bills, which also go through the same procedure, but are less likely to succeed.

Bill progress

In exceptional cases, when the two Houses do not reach agreement, the Bill falls. If certain conditions are met, the Commons can use the Parliament Acts to pass the Bill, without the consent of the Lords, in the following session.

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