Presidential Election

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Who do you intend to vote for in the 2004 Presidential Election?

Poll ended at Tue Nov 23, 2004 3:13 am

George W. Bush (Republican)
15
47%
John F. Kerry (Democrat)
14
44%
Ralph Nader (Independant)
2
6%
Michael Badnarik (Libertarian)
1
3%
 
Total votes: 32

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Timothy
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Post by Timothy » Mon Sep 27, 2004 8:04 pm

What's peculiar is that, as I recall, assassination of foreign nationals is proscribed. It was a policy put in place by President Ford. It was a serious debate in the Second World War after the Yammamoto assassination. It's why the CIA got severely reduced by congress in the mid '70's. It's been considered a particularly bad idea for at least 60 years. It's part of the cause of the first World War.

You just don't kill people on foreign soil unless you are willing to go to war for it.

It's quite sad to find a military officer betraying the trust and confidence of the American people by writing such a book. It's getting to the point where I no longer trust that the military will serve civilian government. Here we have an officer who is supposed to be deaf and dumb until called to duty deciding to be a star reporter. This will do wonders for the relations between the civilian government and the military. We can do without military officers of this ilk. George Marshall would have been livid.
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Post by Mongoose42 » Tue Sep 28, 2004 12:27 pm

Ok I see your point, but what about civilian politicians who enter the military with the sole purpose of being a star reporter.
Also, if a president can't initiate a preemptive military strike to remove a known terrorist before a 9/11, then why are so many people saying Bush did nothing to stop the attacks.

I am curious to see the response of tthe members of this site to the non military issues in the election. Seeing as both candidates ascribe to different economic theories, discussing them is pointless. What I want to know is what do think on the moral platforms in the election.

If this question goes no where I will happily let this thread sink intto the archives.
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Post by Timothy » Tue Sep 28, 2004 1:30 pm

I find the “he did nothing” and “look at him just sitting there” attacks to be foolish and way off the mark.

It’s unnecessary for Bush to explain why he didn’t immediately react to the news of the 9/11 attack. If you didn’t see it you wouldn’t have the reaction. It’s as simply as that. I didn’t see the attack immediately. Before I left for work there was a news report of a plane crashing. I saw that and thought, “A tragedy.” It was only when I saw the planes fly into the towers that it registered that this was a deliberate attack. Bush needs no defense against such drivel.

The accusations of foreknowledge, given what we now know about the state of the intelligence services, is equally idiotic. It reeks and has no effect on my basis for voting.

Why Bush choose to go to war with Iraq is important. What Bush has done to the economy is important. Why we have neglected the nation and people of Afghanistan is important.

On the question of preemptive strike: because it’s counterproductive. First, call it what it is: assassination. It’s persuasion by murder or physical force. As persuasion, it doesn’t work. It would no more work in any other country than it would in the U.S. I can’t think of a single assassination that changed events in the direction intended. Heck, even Caesar’s assassination didn’t have the effect intended; quite the opposite in fact. All it does is remove a single individual, who is replaced with a more determined and guarded person or group.

As policy, it abandons the principles which we espouse. Do we intend to persuade others that our way of living is better with ideals and principles or guns? Does Freedom only apply to those who agree with us or to everyone? Shall we kill all the dissenters?

“Oh, but these are bad men. They’re terrorists!” I reminded of a line from “Witness”:

“And you know these bad men by sight?”

We have laws that are based upon principles. We require proof of guilt. We require trial by jury. We require a proper defense.

And once the genie is out of the bottle, we can expect retaliation in kind. I think at that point we truly mimic the Roman Empire…or a gangfight. Ugh.
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Post by Turpissimus » Sat Oct 02, 2004 12:43 pm

PeterD wrote:"We're making the right decisions to bring the solution to an end."

"I am mindful not only of preserving executive powers for myself but for my predecessors as well."

"We're in for a long struggle and I think Texans understand that. And so do Americans."

"Sometimes when I sleep at night I think of 'Hop on Pop."

"I understand small business growth. I was one."

"Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings take dream."
You forgot "Too many good docs are going out of business. Too many OB-GYNs aren't able to practice their, their love with women all across the country"

Quite what tourtuous line of thought produced that one, is something which is perhaps best left unexamined.
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Post by Episcopus » Sat Oct 02, 2004 2:33 pm

Kerry whooped Bush in the debate.
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Post by PeterD » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:01 pm

Episcopus wrote:Kerry whooped Bush in the debate.
Indeed, Episcopus, Kerry chewed him up and spit him out like a big juicy wad of Southern Pride tobacco.

Kerry was articulate, coherent, smart, and very presidential. Bush, on the other hand, was Bush: idoitic, foolish, and infantile, just like those who voted for him.

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Episcopus » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:05 pm

Yes I did find that he was somewhat immature. The situation did indeed seem inverse: Kerry was speaking coherently and factually like a true leader, whereas Bush was retorting like a 5 year old "Of course I know who attacked us". Still when Bush was stuttering Kerry could not prevent but that he laugh, but you know that's allowed. How people can vote for Bush after that I don't know...
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Post by PeterD » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:16 pm

Episcopus wrote:How people can vote for Bush after that I don't know...
Hi Episcopus,

Pollsters say that there is a new category of voters in the US called the "security moms." These "moms," because thay feel "secure" under Bush's "leadership," will vote for him. It would be a lovely irony if Bush were to draft their kids -- their girls, too -- and send them off to fight his administration's corporate wars.

~PeterD

p.s. I do want to credit Bush for something: he's smart enough not to send his kids to war!
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Turpissimus » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:20 pm

Yes I did find that he was somewhat immature. The situation did indeed seem inverse: Kerry was speaking coherently and factually like a true leader, whereas Bush was retorting like a 5 year old "Of course I know who attacked us". Still when Bush was stuttering Kerry could not prevent but that he laugh, but you know that's allowed. How people can vote for Bush after that I don't know...
And of course it provided us with a fresh crop of Bushisms. To whit -

"I'm trying to put a leash on my daughters"

"Of course we're after Saddam Hussein . . . I mean Bin Laden"

and the old favourite

"You forgot Poland!"

That last is quite amusing since the Polish PM has since stated his belief that the Poles "were taken for a ride" on the issue of WMDs in Iraq.

EDIT:

This bit is equally disturbing
LEHRER: New question, Mr. President, two minutes.

Do you believe the election of Senator Kerry on November the 2nd would increase the chances of the U.S. being hit by another 9/11-type terrorist attack?

BUSH: No, I don't believe it's going to happen. I believe I'm going to win, because the American people know I know how to lead. I've shown the American people I know how to lead.
Nice way to pre-judge the election there.
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Post by PeterD » Sun Oct 03, 2004 1:36 pm

Hi Turpissimus,

If the American people were to wake up (I know; it's a long shot) and realize that a buffoon has been occupying the White House for the past three and a half years, I would terribly miss George W. Bush. Ever since Seinfeld signed off, Bush -- notwithstanding foxnews -- has been an excellent source of great laughs.

~PeterD

p.s. Yes, Mr. President, you know how to "lead." Tell me, Mr. President: When are your duaghters, who are of military age, joining the troops in Iraq? What's that, Mr President? Your daughters have better things to do? Why am I not surprised.
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Episcopus » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:51 pm

Great laughs yes but so many unnecessary losses of life and corruption. What will happen to Palestine if Kerry is elected? Will all that paper still be going to Israel? For I had a nightmare about it last night, it was terrifying and too realistic for my liking. :shock:
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Post by annis » Sun Oct 03, 2004 2:52 pm

PeterD wrote:If the American people were to wake up (I know; it's a long shot)
It's not about waking up, it's about party loyalty (at least in part). The same sort of blind spot that prevented most democrats from commenting on Clinton's more obvious demerits will keep republicans from too harsh a commentary on Bush.

This party loyalty problem is hardly unique to the American people. How long did it take socialists around the world to recognize Stalin for what he was? Some still don't.
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Post by ingrid70 » Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:38 pm

annis wrote: This party loyalty problem is hardly unique to the American people. How long did it take socialists around the world to recognize Stalin for what he was? Some still don't.
Sometimes it can go faster. 60% of the people who voted for the Dutch conservative party in the last elections have no confidence in the current government (which is conservative).

I wonder if the outcome of another recent poll, which indicated that in Europe only English and Dutch people were in favour of a strong American international influence, has anything to do with this...

On a positive side, this government is able to make people more politically aware: 200,000 people demonstrating against the new budget :twisted: .

Ingrid

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Post by PeterD » Sun Oct 03, 2004 3:40 pm

annis wrote:
PeterD wrote:If the American people were to wake up (I know; it's a long shot)
It's not about waking up, it's about party loyalty (at least in part). The same sort of blind spot that prevented most democrats from commenting on Clinton's more obvious demerits will keep republicans from too harsh a commentary on Bush.
You are correct, William. But there comes a point when even the most loyal supporters SHOULD realize that this President (emperor?) has no "clothes!" In all honesty, would anyone dare hire Bush for any position that required a modicum of responsibilty? Truly, I think not.

Look, one need not be a rocket scientist to know that both parties represent the interests of the rich and powerful -- indeed, both candidates come from very privileged families. And, as Episcopus so gently mentioned before, both parties -- i.e., the American taxpayers -- bend over backwards to support the for-Jews-only state called Israel.

That said, there is a small difference between the parties. It's not much, but when you're dealing with a superpower (for now), even the slightest difference can have enormous world repercussions (Iraq?).

If Americans -- i.e., the hard working, honest kind -- were poitically astute, Ralph Nader would win hands down. He's as smart as Kerry, if not smarter, plus, as an added bonus, he really cares about his country and the rest of the planet. Were it not for him, Ford (remember the Pintos?) and the other carmakers would still be selling their fourwheel deathtraps. He could have sucked up to the corporations like the rest of them, but to his credit he didn't. And yet, for some inexplicable reason, Americans continue to vote for the same every four years: tweedle dee or tweedle dum.

~PeterD
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by Emma_85 » Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:40 pm

Those Republicans won't be too eager to speak up against Bush and risk their party's goodwill, I mean, they probably need party funds for their own campains and so on.
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Post by Emma_85 » Sun Oct 03, 2004 4:46 pm

Dacicus wrote:I've heard that we didn't have enough evidence against him to try him in an U.S. court.
I've heared that the CIA did not even respond the the Syrian intelligence agency. How come not enought evidence? Didn't Bin Laden try to blow up that nuclear powerstation during the Sydney Olympics? Hmm.. well, ok, that probably wasn't acctually planned, but he certainly was a known terrorist before 9/11.
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Post by annis » Sun Oct 03, 2004 5:57 pm

ingrid70 wrote:On a positive side, this government is able to make people more politically aware: 200,000 people demonstrating against the new budget :twisted: .
This may be Bush's greatest accomplishment here. Quite a lot of people have become passionately interested in politics, who were not four years ago.
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Post by annis » Sun Oct 03, 2004 6:17 pm

PeterD wrote:If Americans -- i.e., the hard working, honest kind -- were poitically astute, Ralph Nader would win hands down. He's as smart as Kerry, if not smarter, plus, as an added bonus, he really cares about his country and the rest of the planet.
This, I'm afraid, is purest fantasy. First, there's a hefty segment of the US population which is fiercely nativist (again, hardly unique to the US... Pim Fortuyn, anyone? Le Pen?). Concern about the rest of the world isn't part of their agenda. At all. Cosmopolitanism is a liability, frankly.

Second, as important as I think it was for the early socialist theorists, including Marx, to add economics to the things historians worry about, I think it can be overemphasized. Hard working people do not decide their votes entirely on economic matters. It may not even be their primary concern. The book "What's the Matter with Kansas?: How Conservatives Won the Heart of America" addresses this, far better than I can.

The (voting) American public is fairly politically astute. And Nader isn't what most of them want, whether this intersects with their long term economic and political interests or not.

I'm a frank meliorst, not a revolutionary or a purist. Nader is a fantasy candidate.
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Post by PeterD » Sun Oct 03, 2004 8:17 pm

Annis wrote:This, I'm afraid, is purest fantasy. First, there's a hefty segment of the US population which is fiercely nativist (again, hardly unique to the US... Pim Fortuyn, anyone? Le Pen?). Concern about the rest of the world isn't part of their agenda. At all. Cosmopolitanism is a liability, frankly.
Why is it pure fantasy? First, there is nothing wrong with minding your own home. However, if you take no interest in the world's affairs, this apathy may one day come back to haunt you, especially when your government's foreign policy is very detrimental to other nations. I believe the CIA term for that would be 'blowback.'
Annis wrote:Second, as important as I think it was for the early socialist theorists, including Marx, to add economics to the things historians worry about, I think it can be overemphasized. Hard working people do not decide their votes entirely on economic matters. It may not even be their primary concern.
Trust me, when a family can't make ends meet, can't pay for health insurance (I believe the number is 45 million and climbing), can't send their kids to a decent college, if at all, it's all about economics. Notwithstanding the weirdos who want to die rich, people work hard in order to survive. You mean to tell me a single mother who holds down two jobs does not care about her economic well being? Political freedom without economic freedom is not a true democracy.
Annis wrote:The (voting) American public is fairly politically astute.
If by the (voting) American public you mean the top 5% of the US pop. that owns the majority of the country's wealth, then yes, I agree with you that they are fairly astute. Hey, if I were a rich SOB who didn't give a hoot about anything other than my big, fat derriere, than I too would vote for the corporate party.
Annis wrote:I'm a frank meliorst, not a revolutionary or a purist.
So am I. And, it does not take much human effort to vote for the person who will best serve the interests of all Americans.
Annis wrote:Nader is a fantasy candidate.
Why, William? He exists. He has two arms, two legs, and, above all, a well functioning brain. Is it not pure fantasy to hope that a man like George W. Bush, who bears an uncanny resemblance in both brains and appearance to that comical character Alfred E. Newman, will somehow be able to govern intelligently? You can't tell me the last three and a half years were uneventful? Did you ever imagine that beheadings of Americans would be the routine?


~PeterD

p.s. Alas, as much as I enjoy the dialog , I must get back to Xenophon's Anabasis and his freakin' complex conditional clauses. See you in the Homeric forum, William. :)
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by annis » Sun Oct 03, 2004 9:17 pm

PeterD wrote:Why is it pure fantasy? First, there is nothing wrong with minding your own home. However, if you take no interest in the world's affairs, this apathy may one day come back to haunt you, especially when your government's foreign policy is very detrimental to other nations. I believe the CIA term for that would be 'blowback.'
You have completely misconstrued what I was trying to say, but that's my fault. The issues are too complex and interwoven to explore very well in this format.

I'll clarify some of my points, since I didn't make clear the direction I was arguing from - you seem to have taken me for a rightist or apathetic - then revert to silence, which I should have stuck to in the first place.

I am not advocating apathy. My opinions about the current administration would make you seem like a moderate. But in the current political environment Nader is completely unelectable. And while I personally would love, some day, to be able to give up defensive voting and vote someone I could support 100%, that's not feasable now.
Trust me, when a family can't make ends meet, can't pay for health insurance (I believe the number is 45 million and climbing), can't send their kids to a decent college, if at all, it's all about economics.
You'd think so. So would I. But that's just not how things play out in US politics these days.
You mean to tell me a single mother who holds down two jobs does not care about her economic well being?
Of course she does. She may care about some other things more, which is the real question. Until progressives come to terms with that, and understand how this works, their influence on politics will remain feable. Apart from getting Kerry elected - hardly my first choice, but still a step forward - trying to understand how progressives can effectively make our points is my major political preoccupation these days.
Political freedom without economic freedom is not a true democracy.
I personally agree with this, but I assure you most Americans' interpretation of that statement will be radically different from your own, or mine. No doubt one of our libertarians will dilate on this topic shortly.

As for Nader, I'd be absolutely giddy if I could vote for a social democratic party. That is not an option now. To entertain the notion that he could win this election is wishful thinking. Calling the American electorate stupid for not voting for him will not increase his chances, nor will it moderate Bush's policies if he wins again.
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Post by PeterD » Sun Oct 03, 2004 9:42 pm

annis wrote:I'll clarify some of my points, since I didn't make clear the direction I was arguing from - you seem to have taken me for a rightist or apathetic
Absolutely not, William. Being a textkit moderator -- which basically means going out of your way to help others learn the classical languages -- and being rightist or apathetic are mutually exclusive. It goes without saying that the textkit moderators are not only smart but very kind as well.
As for Nader, I'd be absolutely giddy if I could vote for a social democratic party. That is not an option now. To entertain the notion that he could win this election is wishful thinking. Calling the American electorate stupid for not voting for him will not increase his chances, nor will it moderate Bush's policies if he wins again.
I see your point. I should not have implied that they were stupid. But it's hard to reconcile why anyone, other than the very rich, would vote for Bush.


~PeterD
p.s. I am the one who has so far cast the only vote for Nader. :wink:
Fanatical ranting is not just fine because it's eloquent. What if I ranted for the extermination of a people in an eloquent manner, would that make it fine? Rather, ranting, be it fanatical or otherwise, is fine if what is said is true and just. ---PeterD, in reply to IreneY and Annis

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Post by annis » Sun Oct 03, 2004 10:24 pm

PeterD wrote:Absolutely not, William. Being a textkit moderator -- which basically means going out of your way to help others learn the classical languages -- and being rightist or apathetic are mutually exclusive.
Er. :|

Well, the apathetic part follows, but in the interests of goodwill you might not want to assume that someone on the right couldn't be a fine moderator. Or isn't.
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Post by Kopio » Mon Oct 04, 2004 7:34 am

PeterD wrote:p.s. I am the one who has so far cast the only vote for Nader. :wink:

uhhh....Peter, I don't know if anyone has told you or not....but your vote doesn't count....because you're a CANADIAN :!: :!: :!: :!:

Therefore....I demand a recount :roll:

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Post by Mongoose42 » Mon Oct 04, 2004 12:29 pm

It is interesting the number of people outside the US in this forum that can't understand the American voting/political system and yet act just like Americans.

This is what I mean:
A large portion of US politics is based on voters who blindly follow a candidate. Both sides of the debate shovel out statistical garbage aand opposing interpretation of various issues, and the only difference between eternal truth and filthy lies is what party you sympathise with. Supporters of Kerry or the democrat's ideology can't find any value in Bush aside from comic relief. Supporters of Bush expect the US to be completely destroyed if Kerry is elected. Thus is the American political system of Checks and Balances and all out opposition forged and maintained.

That said I would encourage all members of this forum (right and left) to try and see the situation from the other side. In example the debate, you have expressed one view of a collected Kerry and an infantile Bush. The same debate has been translated as a nervous Kerry who spent his time attacking Bush and imitating Oliver Twist (Please sir, can I have some more votes) and who failed to look directly at the camera until the closing statement, and a confident Bush who patiently wasted his time by deflecting the unmittigated assaults of an inferior Kerry.
I present this as a slightly exaggerated sample to emphasize that both sides have arguments with evidence and it is the job of the educated people of the world to sift through the garbage and see the real issues beneath.

`Caleb

P.S. It really is fun to see the arguement from the other side. :D
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Post by Timothy » Mon Oct 04, 2004 4:50 pm

Mongoose42 wrote:It is interesting the number of people outside the US in this forum that can't understand the American voting/political system and yet act just like Americans.
I'm not sure this came out the way you meant it.
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Post by classicalclarinet » Tue Oct 05, 2004 4:26 am

but your vote doesn't count
Heh, Alaskans can afford to vote for Nader since it's inconsequential in the first place. :P

In fact, Matt, do you not live in a Democratic-leaning state?

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Post by Mongoose42 » Tue Oct 05, 2004 12:21 pm

Timothy wrote:
Mongoose42 wrote:It is interesting the number of people outside the US in this forum that can't understand the American voting/political system and yet act just like Americans.
I'm not sure this came out the way you meant it.
To clarify, someone said they could not understand how educated people could vote for Bush (thus showing a clear lack of understanding concerning the US voting/political system) and yet as I said in the rest of the post they show the same blind support/opposition that is the defining halmark of the political system.
It is one thing to know about the electoral college, and another thing entirely to watch endless campaign ads and hear countless debates on the issues. If you have never been an active participant in a US election, then you can not truly understand the system.
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Post by Emma_85 » Wed Oct 06, 2004 2:34 pm

Your view of the American voters is very grim, Moongoose. I've never even been to the US so of course I don't know what it's like to see all those stupid election adverts, but news has reached Europe what an election in the US is like - as the US is the leading power in the world currently people are very interested about the outcome of the elections there. We spent hours in school learning all about checks&balances and there are loads of documentaries and films on TV on how the US election system work and how they have stupid adverts and debates (especially as last election such debates were held for the first time too on TV in Germany between Stoiber and Schröder (Westerwelle (liberal) was ever so pissed off at not being invited :wink: ) in an imitation of the USA). Even though you seem to be bombarded with lame adverts, the fact that they are so lame would make me believe most people would be able to just ignore them when they go to vote (or do these adverts hypnotise people? :wink: They have boring adverts here too, but you just change channel quickly)... not sure why your outlook is so grim on this, unless I'm misunderstanding you of course :P .
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Post by Timothy » Wed Oct 06, 2004 4:41 pm

OK, and I agree with your thought. It's very amusing to hear partisan accusations of partisan positions.
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Post by Dacicus » Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:13 pm

We spent hours in school learning all about checks&balances
Do you by any chance also learn how the various branches of the government try to get around the checks and balances?

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Post by Dacicus » Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:15 pm

We spent hours in school learning all about checks&balances
Do you by any chance also learn how the various branches of the government try to get around the checks and balances?
you just change channel quickly
You mean to say that you don't take pleasure in watching the ads just to laugh at the latest antics of the party to which you do not adhere?

EDIT:
Sorry for the double post. There must have been some error while I was editing.

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Post by Emma_85 » Wed Oct 06, 2004 5:57 pm

Quote:
We spent hours in school learning all about checks&balances

Do you by any chance also learn how the various branches of the government try to get around the checks and balances?
I'm not too sure - I doubt it though. I suppose you could say we were looking at the system, not reality :wink: . We did of course still stick in a bit of 'reality' but the main focus was on the principle not on America's problems. If you try and get round checks and balances that's not really a problem of the system (you could always just make sure with certain laws that that is not possible), but a problem of US politics.
Quote:
you just change channel quickly

You mean to say that you don't take pleasure in watching the ads just to laugh at the latest antics of the party to which you do not adhere?
No, they are too boring and too stupid to find funny, better just to turn of the TV while they are on. Or go to the loo or get something to drink.
For a country without proper parties American's are surprisingly fixated on parties. I don't quite understand that.
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Post by Dacicus » Wed Oct 06, 2004 9:44 pm

Emma_85 wrote:For a country without proper parties American's are surprisingly fixated on parties. I don't quite understand that.
What do you mean by proper parties, and why do you say that the U.S. doesn't have them?

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Post by primitive » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:28 pm

benissimus wrote:Can we get some better choices?
:lol:

I'm voting for Bush. For a president that has had to deal with a lot lot more than the average president of the modern era, he's hand;ed it quite well. I did not say that he was perfect because he did make some mistakes, but if problems like we've been seeing keep poping up for the president of 04 - 08, i would be satisfied with Bush. Kerry seems like a bandwagon canidate to me.
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Post by Turpissimus » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:31 pm

What do you mean by proper parties, and why do you say that the U.S. doesn't have them?
In most of Europe, political parties are like private clubs. They have members, who pay membership fees annually, who have the exclusive right to choose MPs and the party leader or whatever. Parties also have more control over their MPs and councillors - voting against the party whip will eventually get you chucked out of the party, and cut off from the party's funding. Each MP will also run on a manifesto that has been decided for the whole party - little dissent from this set of policies is allowed. Also, candidates tend not to secure their own re-election funds; indeed, in the UK, there would be little point to doing this since expenditure promoting an individual candidate is strictly controlled.

In the US, I understand, when one registers to vote one registers as Dem or Rep, and is entitled to help choose the candidate that the party puts up. Parties have little right to discipline their "members", and, unlike in the UK, one can't guess 90% of a candidate's policies if told what party they belong to.

I should add that the reason for this is largely, I think, down to the parliamentary system. It necessitates tight party discipline - otherwise the elected government would collapse, and the PM would have to choose people to join the executive who didn't agree with his program.
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Post by annis » Wed Oct 06, 2004 10:46 pm

I think it's interesting how tight our own little Textkit poll is. Yesterday Kerry was ahead, and now we're tied again.

Apart from the one vote for Nader, which we know comes from a Canadian :), if only US citizens have voted for K & B, then even we match the larger split across the country.
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Post by Timothy » Wed Oct 06, 2004 11:18 pm

Ah, Bush gets the primative vote.





That was just too good to pass up. :lol:
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Post by Dacicus » Thu Oct 07, 2004 1:16 am

They have members, who pay membership fees annually, who have the exclusive right to choose MPs and the party leader or whatever.
Doesn't that mean that the people with the money get to basically run the country?
In the US, I understand, when one registers to vote one registers as Dem or Rep, and is entitled to help choose the candidate that the party puts up.
There are parties other than the Republicans and Democrats for which one can register. They are just not well known. In some states, the parties don't even discriminate between who can choose the candidate. For example, I think anyone can vote for the Democratic nominee in Oregon.
Parties have little right to discipline their "members", and, unlike in the UK, one can't guess 90% of a candidate's policies if told what party they belong to.
I think that fits under the "freedom of choice" idea. People can choose whatever they want to support. They can even easily switch parties if they want to.
I should add that the reason for this is largely, I think, down to the parliamentary system. It necessitates tight party discipline - otherwise the elected government would collapse, and the PM would have to choose people to join the executive who didn't agree with his program
I don't know anything about the parliamentary system of government, so I can't evaluate the differences.
That was just too good to pass up.
Unfortunately, I don't get it. Most likely because I've never seen the word primative.

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Post by Timothy » Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:42 am

Dacicus wrote:Unfortunately, I don't get it. Most likely because I've never seen the word primative.
'Twas a rather blatant play on words.
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Post by classicalclarinet » Thu Oct 07, 2004 5:55 am

Indeed! :P

I think the Electoral College sysyem largely keeps the 2-party sysyem is power; the requirement that a candidate must win a maj. of the poeple in states to win makes neccesary a huge party machine.

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