Politics (formerly Election 2012)

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:12 pm

Well repeat voters plus a bunch of voters who aren't eligible to vote for president because of their age.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby firstamendme » Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:35 pm

There are youtube videos of teenage girls literally spam voting on their cell phones for the duration of the show. The comparison is hardly valid.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Melathys » Fri Jun 08, 2012 11:35 pm

lol. I think everyone is taking the idea a bit too literally. I said style, not "make it exactly the same".

That said, it would be an interesting thing for a third party to do to pick a candidate. Might finally give a third party the exposure needed to compete with the big two.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Sat Jun 09, 2012 4:08 pm

You've hit on a great new idea for a reality TV show. Have a bunch of people audition to be an independent Presidential candidate, then each week the finalists tackle a different issue. Americans vote for their favourite, Idol-style. By the end of the show, the remaining candidate should have received enough exposure to make a credible run at the Presidency.

On the other hand, it'll probably be like Idol - the person who wins rarely has much of a musical career.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fetzie » Sun Jun 10, 2012 8:28 am

They usually get a first album at the top of the charts though.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby KysenMurrin » Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:59 am

Yeah, but they get screwed by the record contract they're locked into when they win. There are often successful runners-up because they get a chance to actually have some control of their career. You wouldn't have that aspect with a presidential candidate thing.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Skye1013 » Sun Jun 10, 2012 6:08 pm

You'd have to have something in the show to make people actually want to watch it though... presidential debates isn't really my idea of a good time. And a lot of the stuff people do on reality tv to make it "interesting" would make the candidate questionable as a good potential president...
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Hokahey » Thu Jun 14, 2012 3:30 am

Amirya wrote:
Skye1013 wrote:The more people that "waste" their vote on someone else, the more likely it is that others will see the system is broken, or heck, might even take a chance the next election because the number is growing, and "this year just might be the year..."

For anyone that doesn't even take the time for a write in vote (even if it's a made up person/creature/place/whatever), I don't think they really have much room to complain about the system.

If it helps, while I refuse to vote, I don't complain about it, I just have no faith that it even works.


This.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:41 am

Hokahey wrote:
Amirya wrote:
Skye1013 wrote:The more people that "waste" their vote on someone else, the more likely it is that others will see the system is broken, or heck, might even take a chance the next election because the number is growing, and "this year just might be the year..."

For anyone that doesn't even take the time for a write in vote (even if it's a made up person/creature/place/whatever), I don't think they really have much room to complain about the system.

If it helps, while I refuse to vote, I don't complain about it, I just have no faith that it even works.


This.


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Secondly, I believe if you vote, you have no right to complain. People like to twist that around – they say, 'If you don't vote, you have no right to complain', but where's the logic in that? If you vote and you elect dishonest, incompetent people into office who screw everything up, you are responsible for what they have done. You caused the problem; you voted them in; you have no right to complain.

I, on the other hand, who did not vote, who in fact did not even leave the house on election day, am in no way responsible for what these people have done and have every right to complain about the mess you created that I had nothing to do with.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:18 am

As much as I love George Carlin's comedy, the logic in that particular quip is pretty poor. It's a comedy routine after all.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby KysenMurrin » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:43 am

Yeah, you could argue not voting means you can criticise the people who did vote, but it doesn't hold water for criticising the person who wins.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Sat Jun 16, 2012 10:27 am

If you think about it, you really don't have a right to complain if you vote. Either

A) you voted in an incompetent boob and thus have no right to complain as it's your fault,

or

B) you voted for "the other guy" - in which case you also have no right to complain, as you played the game and lost fair and square.

But since when has "having a right" mattered when people want to complain, anyway?

George Carlin's logic isn't often at fault. Sure, he relied a lot on hyperbole - as almost all comedians do - but that doesn't mean he wasn't right more often than not.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby theckhd » Sat Jun 16, 2012 12:53 pm

Fivelives wrote:If you think about it, you really don't have a right to complain if you vote. Either

A) you voted in an incompetent boob and thus have no right to complain as it's your fault,

or

B) you voted for "the other guy" - in which case you also have no right to complain, as you played the game and lost fair and square.

But since when has "having a right" mattered when people want to complain, anyway?

George Carlin's logic isn't often at fault. Sure, he relied a lot on hyperbole - as almost all comedians do - but that doesn't mean he wasn't right more often than not.


I hate this argument, because it's about the dumbest thing that I've ever heard. One can vote for someone without agreeing with all of their stances, or vote against someone despite agreeing with them on certain points. You can still be pissed off when they do something stupid. They're not mutually exclusive positions. Trying to paint it as such is more of the stupid fatalistic posturing that people use to justify it as "not their problem" when they want to feel smug, smart, and holier-than-thou, while at the same time not being smart enough to see that they're part of the problem.

You want to demonstrate your disillusionment with politics? Take the 15 minutes it takes to go and vote for a third-party candidate, even if they have no chance of winning. If even half of the 40% of voters that decide not to vote showed up and voted for a third party candidate - any third party candidate - it would send a distinct message to the "only" two options. Hell, 40% of all voters is enough to elect a third party candidate.

Sitting on your ass and not voting is the equivalent of re-posting shit on facebook to "show your support." It's the juvenile, idiotic, lazy way to pretend you're involved without having to actually do anything useful or meaningful.

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Melathys » Sat Jun 16, 2012 4:27 pm

its the people who "protest" by not voting that have put this nation in the mess that its in.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fridmarr » Sat Jun 16, 2012 8:31 pm

theckhd wrote:I hate this argument, because it's about the dumbest thing that I've ever heard.
That about sums it up.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Arjuna » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:27 am

Well, whoever wins it's very likely that he'll influence my life greatly in one way or another, but I'm in Europe so I don't have any say in it...
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Brekkie » Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:40 am

What Theck said. Please vote guys. At least your votes actually get counted at all, unlike my overseas military absentee ballot.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Amirya » Sun Jun 17, 2012 2:52 pm

So to make sure I'm understanding this.

I don't vote because I don't have faith in the system. I can't even believe what Brekkie says about my vote being counted (not because he's dishonest, but because that is the amount of faith I have in the system - it's NOT counted). But you're telling me it's better to vote dishonestly, just because everyone else thinks I should - instead of not voting because that's my honest opinion.

If that's what you're saying, then no one will bitch and moan if I ask my resident alien mother to tell me who to vote for, right? Or hell, you guys can tell me who to vote for. It'll amount to the same thing.

Money rules politics these days. I don't have the money to buy any votes or laws. Therefore, my vote is meaningless, because I don't have the wealth to back it up.

Or at least, that's how it's certainly presented these days.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby bldavis » Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:31 pm

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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Sun Jun 17, 2012 4:38 pm

Amirya wrote:So to make sure I'm understanding this.

I don't vote because I don't have faith in the system. I can't even believe what Brekkie says about my vote being counted (not because he's dishonest, but because that is the amount of faith I have in the system - it's NOT counted). But you're telling me it's better to vote dishonestly, just because everyone else thinks I should - instead of not voting because that's my honest opinion.

If that's what you're saying, then no one will bitch and moan if I ask my resident alien mother to tell me who to vote for, right? Or hell, you guys can tell me who to vote for. It'll amount to the same thing.

Money rules politics these days. I don't have the money to buy any votes or laws. Therefore, my vote is meaningless, because I don't have the wealth to back it up.

Or at least, that's how it's certainly presented these days.


With regard to who is elected as your representative to government, be it at local, state, or federal level, your vote does count (unless otherwise proven - I am applying "innocent until proven guilty" here).

What that elected representative does once he takes office is completely out of your hands. He (as in the grammatically correct generic form for "person", not distinguishing a gender) may or may not promote the platform that got him elected, and in fact will most likely respond to pressure from his contributors, lobbyists, and political party.

Furthermore, the US political spectrum from "OMG Communist" to "Ultra-Conservative" fits roughly within the center-right spectrum globally, so it really doesn't matter who you vote for in that regard. Regardless of the side of the aisle, there really isn't all that much difference among the mainstream of the parties, and the outliers are never going to get anything done anyway so aren't worth considering.

The people who do control things and pull all the strings are definitely going to vote, because in doing so they assure their hold on things. Republican or Democrat doesn't really matter as long as the guys who sing their tune make it back into office. So if you like that, you can vote or not vote and it makes next to no difference.

But if you don't like it, then you should vote against it by supporting pretty much anyone who isn't part of the existing machine. It may be futile at this point, but perhaps at some future date enough people will actually speak loudly enough to get something done. As was mentioned previously, 40% or so of eligible voters simply don't vote. If they voted as a block, they would have complete control of the government.

My mother is part of the machine - she's a devout Christian who would vote for Charles Manson if he ran on the Republican ticket, and she would do it for religious reaons because the Democrats support homosexual marriage and freedom of choice. And since Sharon Tate was pregnant at the time she was murdered by Manson's people, the irony there is rather thick.

But that's the sort of person out there voting. If for no other reason, get out and vote so you don't let my mother decide who runs the country.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby theckhd » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:45 pm

Amirya wrote:I don't vote because I don't have faith in the system. I can't even believe what Brekkie says about my vote being counted (not because he's dishonest, but because that is the amount of faith I have in the system - it's NOT counted).

So, you don't vote, because you think that the votes aren't actually counted at all. That someone behind the scenes just makes up numbers and that's how the election is decided?

You do realize how utterly and incredibly stupid that sounds right? Our government has trouble covering up trivial things, like representatives banging interns. Covering up a massive electoral hoax would be basically impossible. Not to mention that there's third-party oversight in the form of exit polling. If the exit polls drastically differed from the way the votes actually fell, that would be a pretty strong indicator of tomfoolery (and I wouldn't doubt this has been used to catch smaller, isolated incidents of fraud in the past).

If you really believe that the whole thing is rigged on the vote-by-vote level, then you may as well believe that we're secretly run by communist aliens from Neptune, because as far as conspiracy theories go, that's about as likely.

Amirya wrote:But you're telling me it's better to vote dishonestly, just because everyone else thinks I should - instead of not voting because that's my honest opinion.

If that's what you're saying, then no one will bitch and moan if I ask my resident alien mother to tell me who to vote for, right? Or hell, you guys can tell me who to vote for. It'll amount to the same thing.

Money rules politics these days. I don't have the money to buy any votes or laws. Therefore, my vote is meaningless, because I don't have the wealth to back it up.

Or at least, that's how it's certainly presented these days.

Who said anything about being dishonest? If you really think the system is "broken," then prove it. Go start a grassroots movement for a write-in candidate. When Sideshow Bob shows up with 0.01% of the vote in your district, you'll know your vote was counted.

More importantly, there's nothing dishonest about doing that. If you truly believe the available candidates are shit, vote for someone who isn't, even if they're not running. Your vote is your voice - it's the way you can express support, discontent, or even disgust with the system.

All not voting does is ensure that you're silenced. The only way to make your vote truly meaningless is to not cast it.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Amirya » Sun Jun 17, 2012 5:59 pm

theckhd wrote:
Amirya wrote:I don't vote because I don't have faith in the system. I can't even believe what Brekkie says about my vote being counted (not because he's dishonest, but because that is the amount of faith I have in the system - it's NOT counted).

So, you don't vote, because you think that the votes aren't actually counted at all.

No, and it may be my perception of the electoral college is skewed, but from my understanding of it, people vote and the electoral college *should* vote the same way, but they are not required to do so.

So then it isn't my vote, it's the electoral college vote that really matters. Isn't that why there are swing states and the states that every candidate has to fight in/for, and why there are other states that aren't such a big deal?
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Re: Election 2012

Postby theckhd » Sun Jun 17, 2012 6:11 pm

Amirya wrote:
theckhd wrote:
Amirya wrote:I don't vote because I don't have faith in the system. I can't even believe what Brekkie says about my vote being counted (not because he's dishonest, but because that is the amount of faith I have in the system - it's NOT counted).

So, you don't vote, because you think that the votes aren't actually counted at all.

No, and it may be my perception of the electoral college is skewed, but from my understanding of it, people vote and the electoral college *should* vote the same way, but they are not required to do so.

So then it isn't my vote, it's the electoral college vote that really matters. Isn't that why there are swing states and the states that every candidate has to fight in/for, and why there are other states that aren't such a big deal?

Your perception of the electoral college is skewed. In many states (though I admit, not all), those electoral college members are required to vote according to the popular vote. Under penalty of law, even - they can be prosecuted and jailed if they fail to do so.

Part of the reason that certain states are more valuable is that each state has different rules for how to divvy up those electoral college votes. Some states divide them up evenly according to popular vote - i.e. if candidate A gets 50% of the popular vote, they get 50% of the electoral college votes, and so on for each candidate (rounded, presumably, so someone with 0.01% of the vote really would get no electoral college votes, but they would still show up on the popular voting record).

Other states give all of their electoral college votes to the winning candidate, even if it was a 51%-49% victory.

And of course, some states traditionally vote for one party, while other states are a more even split. This creates "battleground" states that get a lot of attention from candidates. It doesn't make sense for the republican candidate to campaign heavily in a state that always votes democrat by a large margin. They have more to gain per hour of campaign time by spending it in a battleground state where they might be able to turn a loss into a victory.

I'm certainly not saying the system is perfect - I'd rather see all states go with the proportional split method, for example, such that a democrat had more reason to campaign in traditionally "red" states. But it's certainly a far cry from the dystopia that many paint it as. Is money important? Of course, and it's a big factor in how effective a campaign is. But it's also, in my opinion, going to become less important over time.

Why? Right now, media matters. Getting your face and your message out there matters. Getting the baby boomers who watch American Idol in your camp matters. But what happens 20, 30, or 40 years from now, when every voter is as familiar with YouTube and Twitter as they are with ABC, NBC, Fox, and CNN? I'm sure you've seen a viral video before. I feel pretty confident saying that eventually, we are going to see a viral campaign. Some day, the proverbial David candidate will defeat the Republican and Democrat Goliaths. And it'll happen through grassroots methods, all enabled by social media and the internet. I may not live to see it, but I believe it'll happen someday.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Koatanga » Sun Jun 17, 2012 7:57 pm

Amirya wrote:No, and it may be my perception of the electoral college is skewed, but from my understanding of it, people vote and the electoral college *should* vote the same way, but they are not required to do so.

So then it isn't my vote, it's the electoral college vote that really matters. Isn't that why there are swing states and the states that every candidate has to fight in/for, and why there are other states that aren't such a big deal?

The electoral college only elects the President, whereas Congress has the real power regarding what gets done. While the President can veto, he can't initiate legislation. Congress initiates laws and creates the budget, which largely defines what is going to get done and what isn't going to get done.

Whether you vote or not for the President, by all means have your say who represents you in Congress where the real work is done, and where your vote is not filtered through an electoral college member.
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Re: Election 2012

Postby Fivelives » Fri Jun 22, 2012 5:47 am

The only problem with that, Koatanga, is that for damn near everyone, the congressional race is just a checkbox on the ballot that you tick for the incumbent (or, occasionally along rigid party lines). None of the candidates are anyone we've ever heard of before, and even if we HAVE heard of them before, they're pretty good at avoiding scandals in an election year.

This is compounded by the typical attention span of American Q Public, who would lose a staring contest with a gnat. So we're reduced to names that sound vaguely familiar, somehow, unless we get interested in the congressional elections and vote the issues. Again, the campaigning at the congressional level is just as close to non-existent as it's possible to get, being relegated mainly to public access television (shit, more people read the nutritional labels on their food than watch public access) and the internet, which is still only available in major areas and roughly about 40% of people have no access to broadband internet and 30% of people have no internet at all.

This doesn't set up a very promising scenario for becoming an informed voter at non-presidential levels, especially considering that the more urbanized your area is, the less likely you are to be interested in Big Issues™.

Then you have to account for the fact that the corruption rarely ever lies in the president, for exactly the reason you state - congress is the body that holds the "real" power, so that's where corporations buy their laws. That's where money counts more than votes, Amirya. Not in elections*.

Forbes recently (at least as recently as 2011 - going off of memory here) published the dollar amounts it would take to get your issues heard at each level of government, compared to the dollar amounts it would take to get your issues heard by "famous" private citizens. As an example:

Donating $71,600 to the Obama "victory campaign" this year will get you dinner with Barack Obama at a private house. However, just to get Kim Kardashian to make a brief nightclub appearance, some Vegas clubs pay her around $100,000. And I'd just like to think, THINK, mind you, that Kim Kardashian is far less important to the running of our country than anyone in any position of power in D.C.

Now extrapolate that to the "less important" or rather more accurately, "less visible" people in power, and you can see where I'm going with this.

Also, the re-election rates in congress is typically a staggering 90%+. This is another reason why corporations spread money around congress like we spread butter on toast - liberally. Once a congressman is bought, he or she stays bought and stays in power. Unfortunately, the Presidential office is term-limited, so they can't stay in power, and it's far more visible so there's less chance of them staying bought. Ironically, the one office that everyone seems to blame is the one office that has the least power to do anything of any note other than set broad policy goals that shoot through the US like a game of telephone where at least half the people are intentionally trying to sabotage the message being whispered from ear to ear. But maybe - just maybe - that's one of the primary functions of the office. People need a target for their outrage, or else we end up with aimless protesting like the Occupy Movement or anarchist "groups" like Anonymous.

Anyway, I'm rambling, so I'll end this here and STFU.

* Money does count in some ways during an election, and probably more than you might think. Sure, there's the obvious "more money means more marketing" thing, but also, the more people that donate to a campaign, the more people are going to be dead set on voting for that candidate. There are others, I'm sure, but those are the main two that I can think of.
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