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IDIOTS' GUIDE TO THE US ELECTIONS.

 
 
msolga
 
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 08:05 pm
Often, as I'm reading the many threads about the US elections here, I stumble upon things I don't fully understand.
I don't want to hold up an involved discussion to ask for information to fill in the gaps in my knowledge, nor am I exactly keen to display my ignorance by enquiring about things that are probably pretty basic to anyone in the US ..... Embarrassed

So I'm creating this thread as a place to send my questions & possibly also for others outside the US who might be in the same boat as me.


I'm hoping US A2Kers will come to the party & oblige!


Thanks in advance!
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Type: Discussion • Score: 13 • Views: 8,099 • Replies: 71
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msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 19 Jan, 2008 08:07 pm
OK, first question:

I keep coming across references to "super Tuesday" in media reports.

What actually happens on super Tuesday & why is it so important?
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2008 06:47 am
First was "Super Bowl Sunday" when the fate of the Western World depended on which football team won.

Then came "Super Tuesday" (elections days in the States are usually on Tuesday) a phrase coined to indicate the importance of a day on which 24 states will be holding primaries or caucuses.

Good old Wiki: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Super_Duper_Tuesday

There are 50 states, so when the dust settles on Super Tuesday, half of the American electorate will have been heard from.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2008 08:04 am
Actually there are more than 50 entities voting -- this is useful:

http://politics.nytimes.com/election-guide/2008/primaries/democraticprimaries/index.html

Note American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, etc.

Noddy's point stands though that it's called "Super Tuesday" because it's the day that many, many delegates will be apportioned, and the nominee could easily become obvious after that date.

The nominee with the most delegates gets the Democratic nomination.

This whole thing is very useful:

http://politics.nytimes.com/election-guide/2008
0 Replies
 
Equus
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2008 08:49 am
I thought Super Tuesday was Superman's birthday....

But seriously:

the ultimate Republican and Democrat candidates are decided at summer "conventions". Each state has an apportioned number of voting delegates (sometimes but not always based on how many voters voted for that party for state governor most recently). There are about 4,000 delegates to the Democratic convention and about 2,400 to the Republican. Besides states, US dependent states like Puerto Rico and Guam also get a few delegates.

How the delegates vote in the convention is often predetermined by primaries or caucuses. Some states do not have primaries or caucuses and delegates and go to the convention free to vote as they choose. My own state of Kansas does not hold a primary nor a caucus.

a "primary" is a state event where delegates are chosen by formal voting. A pro-rated number of delegates is awarded each candidate usually based on the proportion of votes they receive. New Hampshire, Michigan and South Carolina are examples of states that have already held primaries.

a "caucus" is a less-formal event where party members gather together in groups and discuss which candidate they prefer, and then hold a vote. Iowa and Nevada are examples of states that have already held caucuses.

On Super Tuesday, a large number of states hold primaries or caucuses on the same day, including California the largest state. It is very possible, although not a sure thing, that a candidate will garner enough convention delegates after Super Tuesday to ensure they will win the nomination, or will have so many delegates that other candidates drop out of the race. We may know on the day after Super Tuesday who the candidates are likely to be.

This year we're heading into Super Tuesday with things very even in both parties. Among the Democrats (2,025 delegates needed for the nomination) Barack Obama has 38 delegates and Hillary Clinton 36. John Edwards has 18. Among the Republicans (1,191 delegates needed for the nomination) Mitt Romney leads with 59 delegates, Mike Huckabee has 39, and John McCain has 36. Four other candidates share 12 delegates.
0 Replies
 
flaja
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2008 10:59 am
msolga wrote:
OK, first question:

I keep coming across references to "super Tuesday" in media reports.

What actually happens on super Tuesday & why is it so important?


Super Tuesday simply means whatever day the largest number of states have their primary/caucus in any given presidential election. I think the term Super Tuesday was first used in 1984, but I don't remember how many states had their primary/caucus on that day. Of course, the day means next to nothing if a party has an incumbent who is unopposed for re-nomination. And when there's no real contest for a nomination (such as the Democrats in 2004), the media doesn't hype Super Tuesday all that much.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 20 Jan, 2008 11:30 pm
Thank you very much, Noddy, soz, Equus & flaja! That clears that one up nicely! This is so different to how my own country goes about these things. Everything (in the way of decision making) revolves around the parties. Each political party chooses it's own leader, internally. And even though you can (formally) join the party of your choice, ordinary people have no say in the leadership. (Apart from very indirectly) I must say, your system appears very democratic in this respect.
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 01:37 pm
Some useful informations about American Elections can be found here.
http://www.multied.com/elections/
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 04:19 pm
Thank you, Rama. I'll give that site a good going over later, when I'm less pressured for time. Looks good!
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 04:33 pm
At the moment the most baffling gaps in my understanding are to do with day by day developments in both parties. Here (in Oz) the media has recently taken up the election issues with far more determination. But the coverage tends to be about more generalized assessments of the two parties (& the main contenders) positions, more of an overview, I guess .... Then I see the day-by-day (minute by minute, bow by blow, almost! :wink: ) posts to threads here about developments on the micro micro level & get a little lost, following. I understand the forest pretty well, but it's the many, many trees (& their significance in the big picture) that are the challenge. If you get what I'm saying ... :wink: Right now I'm very interested in the perceptions & small shifts of thinking in A2K Democrat supporters, but there are enough hours in any day to keep up! :wink:
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 04:39 pm
If you have some specific questions I can try to give it a whirl...
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 04:43 pm
sozobe wrote:
If you have some specific questions I can try to give it a whirl...


Thank you, soz.

I probably will ask more, when I catch up with more of the trees! :wink: I'm a bit behind in my reading at the moment. So much here!

BTW, other folk can post here, too. (Just reminding you. :wink: )
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 04:45 pm
I wish that the Americans feel happy about their choice as the successor of BUSH.
I hope that many of the voter's use their democratic right to shape the American politics and thereby the global politics.
But I am quite sure that I am a real American who had not failed to DREAM
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 05:09 pm
Hi misolga,

If the polls say we will vote black, female, democrat or republican then $90,000,000 (Hillary, Obama) of interest money will go to that candidate. The same goes with the issues. We are polled on the issues.

Intill the we realize this manipulation in democracy there will be no real change. When we get disenchanted with one side or the other the Special interest money changes sides. And the candidate without any Special interest money is left out and we are left voting for the same powers year after year.

The media is a special interest. They sit in the same boardrooms of the people perpetuating the things the American voters want changed.

1. Poll the candidate:
Black, White, woman, man, Democrat, Republican.

2. Poll the issues:
Health care, imagration, War, Taxes.

3. Pick a candidate.

4. Give him/her the money and the media.

5. Block all other candidates.

This is How the election process works.

(I have to tell you I pasted the above from something I wrote in another thread Embarrassed )

http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/

http://www.opensecrets.org/

Look at Obamas contrabutions at open secrets.com

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.asp?id=N00009638&cycle=2008

Do you see how much money he raised from "Individual contributions"? Now go to White house for sale and see Obama.

http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/candidate.cfm?CandidateID=C0009

See his bundlers? This Bundling is a way around campaign finance laws that try to prevent the U.S. president from being a corporate product that is marketed to the people instead of what we (Americans) and the world actually needs and wants.

http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/bundlingproposal.cfm
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sat 26 Jan, 2008 05:18 pm
Thanks for your post, Amigo.

I wish I had the time to respond, or even give it a thorough read. I will definitely be back later for a proper read!



(Right now I'm doing my all too usual, regretful thing ... wishing I hadn't tune in to A2K at all, because I have to get myself somewhere soon (!) & I've stayed here much longer than I promised myself I would! As usual. Sigh. Will I never learn? :wink: Rolling Eyes
So later ... & thanks! Very Happy)
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jan, 2008 02:09 am
Home again. Reading the links provided before further posts.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jan, 2008 08:33 pm
Amigo wrote:
Hi misolga,

If the polls say we will vote black, female, democrat or republican then $90,000,000 (Hillary, Obama) of interest money will go to that candidate. The same goes with the issues. We are polled on the issues.

Intill the we realize this manipulation in democracy there will be no real change. When we get disenchanted with one side or the other the Special interest money changes sides. And the candidate without any Special interest money is left out and we are left voting for the same powers year after year.

The media is a special interest. They sit in the same boardrooms of the people perpetuating the things the American voters want changed.

1. Poll the candidate:
Black, White, woman, man, Democrat, Republican.

2. Poll the issues:
Health care, imagration, War, Taxes.

3. Pick a candidate.

4. Give him/her the money and the media.

5. Block all other candidates.

This is How the election process works.

(I have to tell you I pasted the above from something I wrote in another thread Embarrassed )

http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/

http://www.opensecrets.org/

Look at Obamas contrabutions at open secrets.com

http://www.opensecrets.org/pres08/summary.asp?id=N00009638&cycle=2008

Do you see how much money he raised from "Individual contributions"? Now go to White house for sale and see Obama.

http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/candidate.cfm?CandidateID=C0009

See his bundlers? This Bundling is a way around campaign finance laws that try to prevent the U.S. president from being a corporate product that is marketed to the people instead of what we (Americans) and the world actually needs and wants.

http://www.whitehouseforsale.org/bundlingproposal.cfm


Reading through your links & trying to get my head around bundling & the huge amounts of money involved (& the expected dues!), Amigo.

A person could become quite depressed by this stuff, you know! Sad
0 Replies
 
Amigo
 
  1  
Reply Sun 27 Jan, 2008 09:19 pm
The reason I mention it to you is because it's a very big part of American politics and if somebody doesn't tell you you might never know whats really going on.

I sure you find the same kind of behind the scenes money/politics in the whaling industry. Thats why I always say "follow the money".

I won't clutter your thread. But if I find something really good I will post it.
0 Replies
 
Ramafuchs
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2008 12:18 pm
one more useful link

http://www.j-bradford-delong.net/movable_type/
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Jan, 2008 05:32 pm
Thanks, Amigo.

Thanks, Rama.
0 Replies
 
 

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