Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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Pdxfashionpioneer
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

Post by Pdxfashionpioneer »

Good observations B&B.

Age has little to do with the ability to listen and learn; for some it's a lifelong habit, for others it's something they don't learn until they get their youth behind them and in Trump's case, he never had that capacity (read his niece's book).

Biden was a member of the US Senate from just after his 30th birthday until he was sworn in as Vice President. Most of his accomplishments, like so many effective people, were played out behind the scenes.

So, thank you for the input, but I suggest to my fellow countrymen that we pass on the age limitation on our President.

If we're in the mood to pass Constitutional amendments regarding the Pres. let's jettison the Electoral College and the term limitations.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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Pdxfashionpioneer wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 11:55 am
If we're in the mood to pass Constitutional amendments regarding the Pres. let's jettison the Electoral College and the term limitations.
Be careful in what you wish for; you might get it. Without the 2-term restriction we'd likely still have Cheney/Dubya on the throne. Or how about 20 years of Trump?

I agree about ditching the Electoral College.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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Thomas Jefferson said "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.". This is the danger of democracy run amok. The real problem with the electoral college is that in all but 2 states (Nebraska and Maine) it is winner-take-all. The minority vote has no say. And that can be changed by each state without a federal constitutional amendment. The constitution allows the states latitude in choosing electors and it need not be based on a popular vote. In fact, the constitution does not require a popular vote and it wasn't until the 1860s when states started holding popular votes to choose electors. The electors were supposed to have been chosen by the people and free to vote in the College as they saw fit. But now electors are pre-selected by the party and act as party operatives. It is interesting to note that the electoral college was only "wrong " 5 times- 1824, 1876, 1888, 2000, 2016. I agree that there are problems with the electoral college but trashing it is not the answer. And if we were to eliminate it, be careful what you wish for. Any ideas what you would replace it with? Will a pure popular vote really work?
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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Brad wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:29 pm
Thomas Jefferson said "Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%.".
Jefferson was right in that, and that's one of the reasons the place was set up as a republic, not an open democracy as in, say, classical Greece or the last remaining bastion in the US: "New England Town Meeting". However, the presence of the Electoral College has the capacity to break things in the modern world in rather pernicious ways, and thus disenfranchise a majority, which is what confuses folks looking in from outside.

"Winner take all", definitely needs to be addressed, and I'm happy to note that there is a ballot question in Massachusetts this November that will consider the use of rank-choice voting. We shall see what comes of that, if anything (our legislature has a habit of ignoring or perverting initiative ballot questions).

What is abundantly clear, though, is that something needs to be done, and the conventional thinking does not generate the sort of ideas required.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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Brad wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:29 pm
Any ideas what you would replace it with? Will a pure popular vote really work?
Hmmmmm... good question. One might suggest a system without a governing head in a single person (no president, king, queen, etc) but rather a government ran entirely on an assortment of representatives, though that would likely cause issues in delegating national emergencies....

Alas... how to keep that one person in power uncurrupted, fair and virtuous....? Such as been the delima of governing bodies for millenia...

It seems a statistical impossibility... how can a single person represent the interest of so many millions of people?
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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Brad wrote:
Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:29 pm
Any ideas what you would replace it with? Will a pure popular vote really work?
I read somewhere once that America's worst export was the presidential system. They didn't want a hereditary monarch but instead made an elected position with the same centralised power. In the meantime in Europe we abolished the whole idea of power vested in a single person and distributed it over a cabinet (in various different ways). Back when America was founded poor communication made centralised decisions useful, but in the modern world it's not needed.

I don't think you can get rid of the office of president, that would be too big a change. Some kind of ranked voting in Congress would already make a world of difference. You don't even have to get rid of the electoral college, if it were proportionally per state it would be closer to it's original intent, since while the smaller parties might never field an actual president, there would be pressure for the major parties to convince the electors of the minor parties to vote for them and thus have to appeal to a wider base.

Unfortunately, how to get from here to there is a mystery.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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How Gender Shapes Presidential Debates, including Between Two Men

Spotted this article today; the headline caught my eye, but drifts without a lot of focus on the "two men" part -- however, it does touch on a bunch of stuff that has been discussed on this thread and couple of others recently: enjoy for what it is worth.

https://www.npr.org/2020/10/03/91909373 ... en-two-men
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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I lost interest when it came down to how "masculinity shaped the debate". That wasn't masculinity in action, that was immaturity, pure and simple.

The coronavirus diagnosis is an interesting (although admittedly expected given his behaviour) one, and I'm curious how it'll play out in an ancient and ill-fit man. If it kills him (unlikely because of the bottomless coffer of the Federal government) who takes his place on the "ballot" in November? Pence? Everything is already prepared and printed; even the outcome is known (an ancient super-rich white guy in the pocket of the oligarchs).
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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by crfriend » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:47 am

The coronavirus diagnosis is an interesting .... who takes his place on the "ballot" .... even the outcome is known (an ancient super-rich white guy in the pocket of the oligarchs).
Just so long as we remember that not all of the oligarchs are Russian! Not that that will do us any good either. Money, power, and government are the vested menage a trois the world over.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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Carl said,
Without the 2-term restriction we'd likely still have Cheney/Dubya on the throne. Or how about 20 years of Trump?


Anything is possible; but the practical thing is to limit yourself to reasonably likely.

In the first place, by the end of his 2nd term, Dubya was pretty much done with Cheney so "Darth Vader" would not have been given a 3rd bite of the apple. Secondly, the country was done with "the Shrub." If we elected our President by popular vote, The Donald wouldn't have had even one term. Even with the Electoral College, it's unlikely that Trump will get as 2nd chance to finish the work he's begun. I leave it to each reader's discretion to figure out what that it.

Let's consider some other alternatives. If Ronald Reagan could have run for a third term, he probably would have been impeached before campaign season because of the Iran-Contra Affair. If his Presidency had survived that and he ran for a 3rd term he probably would have been trounced because by that time he wasn't our most popular President, he was one of our least popular.

Clinton had a good chance of getting reelected if he could have run. If so, there would have been no W/Cheney Administration.

If Barack Obama could have run for a 3rd term, his nominee would probably be on the Supreme Court instead of Gorsuch because even McConnell wouldn't have dared to refer to Obama as a "Lame Duck President." Our first black President might have even gotten 3rd term rather than a Trump presidency at all.

As to the original intent of the Electoral College, it was a compromise meant to split the difference between the delegates who wanted the President to be selected by the Senate and the House of Representatives and those who wanted the President to be elected by popular vote.

Could electing the President popularly actually work? Well, it seems to in any number of other countries.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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Personally I do not want the Electoral College to be eliminated.
It gives the entire country EQUAL voice in the election. The
popular vote would be controlled by 3 or 4 concentrated
populous areas. LA, Chicago, Houston, NYC and Miami.
I do not want those people deciding an election. They would
control ALL political arenas. The people of the Mid-west, basically
between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River would
not get any say in who's to be elected.

Do you really think that 'what's good for a Metropolitan area,
is good for the greater farming communities', where the population
is approximately 10 per square mile, versus 1000 in a square city block?

I prefer the 'level playing field' that the Electoral College gives
the American public.

That's my $.02 worth and I'm sticking to it :!:

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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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A popular vote would each person EQUAL voice in the election. With the electoral vote, a voter in Montana has about three times the voice of a voter in California.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

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With all of the noise about the equality of the Electoral College aside, the real problem in the US is the overwhelming corruption of the system by the injection of unlimited amounts of money. The Electoral College is several layers down in importance from "Citizens United".

"Citizens United" needs to either be overturned or creatively reformed by tax law to make it too expensive (and thus unappealing) to deploy. Very short term limits (e.g. "1") should be imposed for, let's say, a decade, to winnow out the "problems" (Yes, this will mean punting the "lifers" who are in the pockets of the oligarchs, but what could be said other than, "good".) Then a gradual resumption of "business as usual" and we'll see how it goes. Also, an upper age limit on key candidates, at least in the short term. How about politicians being restricted in health-care options so they have access to what the bottom 1/3rd of their constituency has? That'd solve the for-profit health "care" issue facing what little is left of the "middle class". How about undoing the inversion of the earned- versus un-earned income tax rates that actively penalise folks who work for a living?

There are quite a few knobs that could be tweaked to solve the current problem. However, they won't be because money controls the whole thing, and money wants more -- ever more. Endlessly. Solve the money-based corruption first and the rest will likely follow. The longest of journeys starts with the first step. The US needs to take that step.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

Post by Fred in Skirts »

Uncle Al wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:34 pm
Personally I do not want the Electoral College to be eliminated. It gives the entire country EQUAL voice in the election. The popular vote would be controlled by 3 or 4 concentrated
populous areas. LA, Chicago, Houston, NYC and Miami. I do not want those people deciding an election. They would control ALL political arenas. The people of the Mid-west, basically
between the Rocky Mountains and the Mississippi River would not get any say in who's to be elected.

Do you really think that 'what's good for a Metropolitan area, is good for the greater farming communities', where the population is approximately 10 per square mile, versus 1000 in a square city block?

I prefer the 'level playing field' that the Electoral College gives the American public.

That's my $.02 worth and I'm sticking to it :!:

Uncle Al
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I fully agree with you on this Uncle Al.
The big five or six major metropolitan areas would control the entire country. That would not be equal representation of the rest of the country. The Electoral College helps to prevent this from happening.
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Re: Non - US views on last night’s election debate

Post by Uncle Al »

Every election year, the talk of eliminating the Electoral College rears its ugly head.

This is an excellent description of the rationale for the Electoral College for electing our President.
Our Founding Fathers were so insightful!

This has been said MANY times before and it should continue to be pounded home again and again………………….

"America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
~ ~Abraham Lincoln


"Subject: 319 Square Miles”

In their infinite wisdom, the United States' Founders created the Electoral College
to ensure the STATES were fairly represented. Why should one or two densely
populated areas speak for the whole of the nation?

The following list of statistics has been making the rounds on the Internet.
It should finally put an end to the argument as to why the Electoral College makes sense.

There are 3,141 counties in the United States.

Trump won 3,084 of them.

Clinton won 57.

There are 62 counties in New York State.

Trump won 46 of them.

Clinton won 16.

Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.

In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens)
Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these
counties; Trump won Richmond)

Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote
of the entire country.

These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.

The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory,
it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319
square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election.

Large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.) DO NOT and SHOULD NOT
speak for the rest of our country!

And... this has been verified and documented that those aforementioned 319 square miles
are where the majority of our nation's problems ferment.
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