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How have your political beliefs changed in the last 10 years?

 
 
edgarblythe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 05:47 am
@Lash,
I waver over Super Delegates, because, even though it is a system being used to suppress Sanders right now, it could in the future be used to stop a Trump type of person.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 05:58 am
@edgarblythe,
But, I feel I can't approve it for any reason. If the majority of Americans want a Hitler figure, it's time for me to find a different country to live out my years.

I don't think suppression is ever right.

We could move in with Walter...
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 06:21 am
@Robert Gentel,
First, let's eliminate the straw man fallacies you have erected. I made exactly ZERO remarks about first past the post elections. I also made no remarks which make your "traditionalist" slur relevant. Upon what basis do you allege that we are all unhappy with the current system? (I will, however, address the "first past the post issue" below.) I would prefer that you address what i actually write, rather than setting up your favorite straw men.

The electoral college was intended to reassure states with small populations that they would not be swamped by the "big" states (originally, Virginia, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania). Furthermore, it is a recognition of the sovereignty of each state. Although the latter issue has been rendered moot by the increasingly imperial federal system of governance, i like the idea for aesthetic reasons--i have no illusions about the ninth amendment, which actually deals with enumerated rights, rather than enumerated powers. The tenth amendment has been held by the courts to be tautology.

The principle fault of the electoral college is the "winner take all" allocation of electoral votes. Only the states can cure this, short of constitutional amendment. Even that would still leave the problem of allocating the two additional electoral votes. Find a good "fix" for that, and you will have "fixed" the electoral college. I don't buy the objection about the inordinate power given to small states by the electoral college (and i am not saying that you have made that argument). In 2000, of the fourteen states having six or fewer electoral votes, Bush won 12 of them. This is the significance of the electoral college which is most significant to me. Furthermore, the evidence is that Bush would have won Florida even with a recount. My only qualms about the Florida situation is the unconstitutional interference of the Supreme Court. I don't know how you'd fix that other than by a constitutional amendment prohibiting their interference in the states' regulations of elections, which would be bizarre, as the constitution already grants the states the power to regulate elections and election procedures.

To my mind, the 2000 election is the best argument for the retention of the electoral college, even though i did not care for the result. That huge swathe of what are now called red states in the center of the country would have been disfranchised without the electoral college (Bush won all of them except New Mexico). I am not overly impressed with appeals to democracy. Democracy is a wonderful thing, at the local level. But at a national level, it can perniciously marginalize geographic regions, political ideologies, ethnic groups and unpopular ideas.

I also consider the existence of the senate to be significant hedge against majoritarian tyranny, but i won't insist upon it, as you did not specifically call for the elimination of the senate.

Objections that first past the post voting will create two party states do not really apply to the United States, which already has a two party system, and not because of first past the post voting. There were six or seven parties running for the presidency in 1860, although only four of them made any real showing. Lincoln won the 1860 election when he debated Stephen Douglas in 1858. I won't bore you with an account of the details, but the upshot was the death of the Whig party and the Republicans and Democrats as the last men standing. If the Democrats had not split, Lincoln would have been buried, and would have been an historical footnote. The Republicans knew that the Democrats would recover after the war, and both parties, understanding electoral politics, took steps to exclude third parties (crucial to the Republicans, who could have withered away in the face of continuing,strong third parties). Really, the Democrats were suckered. They could just have awaited the inevitable death of the Republican Party--Douglas had profited from an unholy alliance with slave state politicians, and the post-war Democrats employed a similar alliance with white racists, who were very popular all over the country. The Republican party, feeling increasingly threatened, responded to voter dissatisfaction by marginalizing and then eliminating the "black Republicans," and then concerted efforts with the Democratic party to keep control of the parties from the top and to eliminate the threat of third parties. This was accomplished through voter registration legislation which tended to exclude the marginally literate, turning a blind eye to Jim Crow policies and the poll tax, registration by party affiliation and the institution of the party primary/caucus method of selecting candidates. The Democrats and the Republicans both succeeded in establishing their political parties by organizing from the ground up. No third party has succeeded since the civil war because they have all been basically cults of personality. Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. might have succeeded in 1912 because his popularity was that great, but after he was shot, so were his election prospects. He simply doomed Taft's election prospects, and so Wilson became another of our many minority presidents (about 40% of the vote).

I don't object to tinkering with the first past the post system, but i'm skeptical of the idea that it will improve either democracy or government. Stephen Harper was prime minister of Canada for almost ten years, and never polled even as much as 40% of the vote. That was a result of a multi-party system,, and not first past the post. I don't see how something like proportionality would have changed that.
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 06:31 am
"Super delegates" are the creation of political party elites, and have nothing to do with the electoral college.

*********************************************

I took me so long to type that last post, as i did other things online, that i was losing my train of thought. And there are more important matters . . .

. . . like barefoot girls dancin' in the moonlight . . .

. . . I can hear those bullfrogs calliln' me . . .


edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 09:44 am
@Setanta,
Speaking of the process in general.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 12:15 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
First, let's eliminate the straw man fallacies you have erected. I made exactly ZERO remarks about first past the post elections.


And I, in turn, was pointing out exactly that. That the main change I was arguing was being ignored to call the position thoughtless. A strawman fallacy erects arguments on the behalf of your opponent for you to knock down, I did nothing of the sort and merely expounded on my own position with very little commentary on yours. It might not be the focus you wanted but is merely what part of what I had initially said that I am focused on. If we differ on our focus that doesn't make it a strawman fallacy. I have not put any words in your mouth.


Quote:
I also made no remarks which make your "traditionalist" slur relevant.


How is that a slur? I was just saying that in all our discussions about this you have preferred to maintain institutions that I do not. It's only a slur if you decide to take that way when it was not at all offered that way.

Quote:
Upon what basis do you allege that we are all unhappy with the current system?


I never said we were all unhappy with the system, and I've posted plenty of source material that makes the mathematical case for PPTP voting being mathematically inferior in that regard.

Quote:
(I will, however, address the "first past the post issue" below.) I would prefer that you address what i actually write, rather than setting up your favorite straw men.


You are not using the term straw man correctly. I may not be focusing on what you would like me to but I am not erecting any straw men that I am claiming you are representing.

Quote:
The principle fault of the electoral college is the "winner take all" allocation of electoral votes.


This is definitely one of the big problems, yes. Anything to make the electoral vote more proportional to the actual people's votes is a good thing.

Quote:
Only the states can cure this, short of constitutional amendment. Even that would still leave the problem of allocating the two additional electoral votes. Find a good "fix" for that, and you will have "fixed" the electoral college.


The fixes are obvious. Plenty of political scientists can and have pointed out simple fixes to the system.

The fixes are not, however, politically viable because this system is unlikely to change. That is both a bug and a feature of the system.

Quote:
I don't buy the objection about the inordinate power given to small states by the electoral college (and i am not saying that you have made that argument).


I actually think that it doesn't do much other than grant swing states (which can be small or can be large) power.

Quote:
To my mind, the 2000 election is the best argument for the retention of the electoral college, even though i did not care for the result. That huge swathe of what are now called red states in the center of the country would have been disfranchised without the electoral college (Bush won all of them except New Mexico).


And this is where we just have to agree to disagree then. I personally think that was a travesty for democracy. If the majority want a president they should have that president, and I do not think that rural voters should be given more weight. That they might be disenfranchised is an argument that goes both ways, and I am in favor of disenfranchising fewer of the public than catering to geographic concerns that don't really have any bearing on a national stage (the local politics do not have any relevant issues on the national stage).

This is something I think reasonable people can disagree about and every one of our discussions about this we apparently do.

Quote:
I also consider the existence of the senate to be significant hedge against majoritarian tyranny, but i won't insist upon it, as you did not specifically call for the elimination of the senate.


I am not calling for its elimination, I do however prefer that the body making national laws (there are also state senates etc for local laws) should not be divided by geography but by politics (which when there is a good geographic issue to be about can be about geographic lines). I would like to see it formed not by geographic divides (that are subject to gerrymandering) but by political and ideological divides.

Quote:
Objections that first past the post voting will create two party states do not really apply to the United States, which already has a two party system, and not because of first past the post voting. There were six or seven parties running for the presidency in 1860, although only four of them made any real showing.


This fundamentally does not understand the political science behind the claim. The primary reason that we have a two party system is because the balloting. Sure we can start with as many parties as we want, but as soon as any consolidate any power there is a strong artefact of our system that makes it strategically necessary to vote one of the established parties or your vote will actually negatively impact your desires (the spoiler effect).

Yes we started with more parties. But their viability is very limited based on our voting system and they are doomed to fail and we are inevitably stuck with a two-party system, as this voting system inevitably trends that way when people vote strategically (and they must or they get the candidate they least want).

Quote:
I don't object to tinkering with the first past the post system, but i'm skeptical of the idea that it will improve either democracy or government. Stephen Harper was prime minister of Canada for almost ten years, and never polled even as much as 40% of the vote. That was a result of a multi-party system,, and not first past the post. I don't see how something like proportionality would have changed that.


Proportionality is a completely distinct and separate concept from the change to alternative voting that I am advocating. These concepts do not mix and have much bearing on each other. Canada has two-party domination as well, and is not a great example of what I am talking about at all, especially since it also uses first-past-the-post voting:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canadian_electoral_system

Quote:
Canada’s electoral system is referred to as a "first past the post" system.


So that example doesn't really address the relative merits of FPTP vs alternative voting.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 01:07 pm
@edgarblythe,
It's not suppressing Sanders, he's losing the pledged delegates too!
parados
 
  4  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 04:24 pm
@maporsche,
At this point it's looking like super delegates won't be needed for Hillary to win. Hillary's current lead percentage wise if it stays the same will end up giving her more than enough regular delegates to get the nomination. The Super Delegate whining is nothing more than whining about a candidate that is losing the regular voting.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 06:06 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Finn dAbuzz wrote:
Is anyone other than a ghoul "pro-abortion?"

I think that birth control, of which that is a part, is the single greatest sociological advancement of modern man.

I don't like the concept of abortion and grew up vehemently against it, but the science is undeniable at this point that this dramatically improves the quality of life for all and as someone with a strong utilitarian bent I think that laws proscribing abortion are a far greater moral wrong than abortion is.

What I can't stand about the abortion debate is the way both sides refuse to acknowledge the position of the other side. Also, both sides support their positions with a large volume of illogical nonsense.
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 06:07 pm
@Robert Gentel,
Robert Gentel wrote:
Loosing the increasingly tenuous basis for the archaic electoral college is really not a significant downside compared to the dramatic improvement in the political landscape this system provides.

I don't see how the electoral college is any more archaic than all the democracies where executive power resides with a prime minister.

In both cases, every legislative district produces exactly one vote for who will head the executive power.

In a parliamentary democracy, that district's vote for prime minister is cast by the legislator they elect.

With an electoral college, a district can vote for an executive of a different party than their chosen legislator.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 06:50 pm
@Robert Gentel,
You just lost me with your idiotic "answer every sentence" or even every clause method. I've despised that bullsh*t for years and years. Laeving aside how lame the method is the content of your response is not worth the read either. You win, enjoy your prize, don't trouble me with the benefit of any more of your "wisdom." Go read up on straw man fallacies, though--you don't seem to understand how they work.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 07:04 pm
@Setanta,
I'm still compiling. The trouble is my thoughts are complicated and I don't routinely lasso them into scripts.

I'm still wobbling on assassination.
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 07:39 pm
My political positions haven't changed much. Is that bad?
Lilkanyon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 07:47 pm
I was an independant until 2010 when the Tea Party gained momentum. The advent of the moron Sara Palin and the subsequent white supremist, obstructionists of the congress have turned me Democrat, likely for the rest of my life. The GOP has gone so right, I cant stand to listen to them. I'm so tired of so eone sneezing and blaming Obama. Im tired of the lies of pundants like Oreilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, that have created Trump. It doesnt surprise me, that what I have seen happening in congress and across red states as well, would spit out a pompous, ignorant, racist like Trump. If Oreilly had Trump's money, he would be the one winning all the primaries. I cant see where the Toothless end, and Trump begins.
0 Replies
 
Robert Gentel
 
  4  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 08:25 pm
@Setanta,
No idea where this perceived animosity is coming from, this is just an idea we know we disagree on and I just don't feel the same way about this exchange as you. I'm not trying to one-up you or pick apart anything you say. I initially meant to not respond because we've both already beat this horse enough together but just did so so that I wouldn't respond to everyone who responded to me except you and appear rude.

In any case I also don't see any profit in rehashing our positions yet again (they haven't changed each others minds in all these years and are unlikely to) so I guess we should agree to disagree, all I have left to say about this is that I did not intend any offence or slur in my response to you. This is something reasonable people can disagree on and I've long accepted that we won't agree on this and should have stuck with my first instinct about whether it was worth expounding on my off-topic position here any further.
Lilkanyon
 
  1  
Reply Fri 4 Mar, 2016 10:48 pm
It has been truly refreshing to read these posts, even if some of you are (overly?) passionate in disagreement. I enjoyed, most, the abortion responses,(that I typically avoid reading) because they were educated and respectful. Regardless of your position on this particular subject (I happen to be pro choice but respect pro life if the argument is intelligent.) Even those of you that have devolved into a back and forth exchange do so with grace and respect. I can't say again how refreshing it is that we can share ideas or opinions without breaking down into personal insults and challenges of morality and education. Thank you!
0 Replies
 
Olivier5
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2016 07:13 am
@Olivier5,
Olivier5 wrote:

My political positions haven't changed much. Is that bad?

Corrigendum: I don't identify as feminist anymore. Not because I have changed position but because so many "official" feminists seems to have betrayed theirs. Plus the term is too narrow and prone to confusion. I am for gender equality, simply put.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2016 07:53 am
@Lash,
Good luck with that. You're not an EU citizen, and you'd need to be reasonably fluent in German for starters.

Unless you're incredibly wealthy you'll have one hell of a job convincing immigration you won't be a burden on overstretched resources like housing and health. Twenty years ago you might have had a chance, but not now, especially with the current refugee crisis. If you're really, really lucky you might be able to get a work permit for five years or so but not any longer.

Realistically you'd probably get a six month tourist visa, but you wouldn't be allowed to work.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2016 08:00 am
@Robert Gentel,
You have been peddling falsehoods, and you want to pretend otherwise. How very unreasonable of me, huh? You said that i take a "traditionalist" point of view--that is utterly false, i have always defended the electoral college on its merits. You said that everyone, i repeat, everyone is dissatisfied with the electoral system. When i asked for the basis of that claim, you know deny saying that. You keep dragging in your first past the post obsession, which is completely irrelevant to the institution of the electoral college. You are being dishonest, and even dishonest about being dishonest.

Small wonder i don't want to play your minced posts game.
Robert Gentel
 
  6  
Reply Sat 5 Mar, 2016 10:20 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
You said that i take a "traditionalist" point of view--that is utterly false, i have always defended the electoral college on its merits.


I don't see how saying that was a "slur" and I don't see how it's incompatible with arguing it on its merits. You see the merits of some of the US political traditions and I do not. This is not meant as any kind of insult. You like the traditions (for their merits or for whatever reasons you want) and I do not.

Reasonable people can and do disagree on this and it's simply not any kind of slur.

Quote:
You said that everyone, i repeat, everyone is dissatisfied with the electoral system. When i asked for the basis of that claim, you know deny saying that.


I just reread all my posts here and can't find that. If I said so it is an overstatement but I do not recall saying so and can't find what you are talking about.

Quote:
You keep dragging in your first past the post obsession, which is completely irrelevant to the institution of the electoral college.


It is completely irrelevant to the instituiton of the electoral college. That is a mere ballot change that does not affect any other of the political institutions. I've said as much plainly on other threads and am not trying to hide anything here.

It's merely the aspect of what I posted about that I am most interested (or as you say "obsessed").

Quote:
You are being dishonest, and even dishonest about being dishonest.


Nonsense, just because I'm not focused on what you want to focus on does not make this a dishonest exhange.

Quote:
Small wonder i don't want to play your minced posts game.


Then don't. But if you are going to go around calling it "idiotic" and get huffy about it I just plain don't see why. I've been nothing but polite to you. If you are talking it otherwise I cannot help that.

You say I used a "slur" with you by saying you take a traditionalist point of view here and quite frankly that was not meant as a slur.

If you do not want to respond to my style wherein I quote parts of a very long text to respond to specifically then you do not have to do so, of course. I had no desire to engage you in this debate in the first place (it has been similarly unedifying each of the previous times we have talked about it) and was just trying to be polite. I should have availed myself of the same right to ignore a profitless discussion and will make sure to remember to do so in the future.
0 Replies
 
 

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