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Author Topic: One thing Americans are united on...  (Read 5325 times)

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Offline VekseidTopic starter


Offline King_Furby

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2007, 11:11:00 AM »
that poll is fricken stupid, a question like that is not just black and white. There should have been an option for those who think it's doing neither, Or thats it's somewhere in between. I hate stupid polls hat don't give enough options.

Offline peachblossom

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2007, 05:44:57 PM »
I agree that is a bit too black and white, though I would have phrased it differently. I think the thing is, Americans have different opinions about everything, but given a poll they only have limited choices, given the chance to address in full, you'd see some who like a few thing Bush doesn't but doesn't care for most and visa versa. That's the good thing about the US is the freedom to have a variety and scale of opinion. I personally don't like our current leader and things like the patriot act really bother me. But just to go, everyone hates isn't fair either, though I'd be hard pressed to find something good to say.

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2007, 05:56:45 PM »
Even better would be to have more than two parties to vote for, cause that seems rather black and white to me. Or rather black and brown.

Offline peachblossom

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2007, 06:12:01 PM »
Now that  I totally agree with. I think its abhorrant that really to have the money to run for office you need backing of two power groups. It completely defeats the idea, the whole systems needs to be updated and revised, especially the voting process, now that we have computers there is no need for an electoral college. It should be a straight vote, that way, someone like me in a 'red' state, might actually have a vote that meant something. But more importantly there needs to be cap on funds spent or ways to make the average individual capable of mounting some sort of true competion to the Repubs and Democrats. It's sad that the only one that ever stood a chance did so only because he was a multi-millionaire and could afford to run his own campaign and even though I didn't totally agree with what he stood for, I seriously considered voting for him, simply for the fact it would open up the door to another party. I know its unrealistic, but god, shouldn't it count for more than money, having the ability and skills should factor in to whether they run our country or not.

Offline Zakharra

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2007, 07:18:48 PM »
Now that  I totally agree with. I think its abhorrant that really to have the money to run for office you need backing of two power groups. It completely defeats the idea, the whole systems needs to be updated and revised, especially the voting process, now that we have computers there is no need for an electoral college. It should be a straight vote, that way, someone like me in a 'red' state, might actually have a vote that meant something. But more importantly there needs to be cap on funds spent or ways to make the average individual capable of mounting some sort of true competion to the Repubs and Democrats. It's sad that the only one that ever stood a chance did so only because he was a multi-millionaire and could afford to run his own campaign and even though I didn't totally agree with what he stood for, I seriously considered voting for him, simply for the fact it would open up the door to another party. I know its unrealistic, but god, shouldn't it count for more than money, having the ability and skills should factor in to whether they run our country or not.

 That means it's a straight popularity contest then. It's require a Constitutional emendment as well.  As for the computers, I'd trust that less than paper ballets, since they can be hacked and a good hacker could steal an election very easily.

 
 

Offline peachblossom

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2007, 08:52:21 PM »
I didn't say that was exactly the means, there would need to be a system and good safeguards and such, but the electoral college is extremely dated, there are better methods now. As it is, it really matters not whether I vote and that just isn't right. There has to be a better middle ground. I'm not saying it would be easy, quite the opposite, but serious revisions are needed and yes, they would need amendments,but we are due to have a serious overhaul and there are amendments for just that reason.

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2007, 11:07:31 PM »
That means it's a straight popularity contest then. 

Yeah, that would be terrible, the guy getting the most votes actually winning.

Offline NightBird

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2007, 11:58:20 PM »
*makes a face* The district where I lived in Ohio for this past presidential election reported more votes cast for Bush than there were registered residents... Nobody's making much of it, and information is hard to come by on the results of what inquiries have been made, but from some bits and pieces of news, it seems that a reliable vote count for Ohio may well have favored Kerry. That district wasn't the only one with 'irregularities,' and chads had nothing to do with it.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2007, 02:22:38 AM »
That means it's a straight popularity contest then. 

Isn't that what democracy is supposed to be? One man, one vote and all of that, and whoever gets the most votes wins?

I have to confess, I don't understand the US system at all. I expect there is some historical basis for it, but if the person who gets the less number of votes still comes out the winner, then that seems to me to be a system in need of change.

Offline Zakharra

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2007, 02:46:19 AM »
 The electorial collage is to keep it from being a popularity contest and to keep the largest states from simply choosing the President because of their larger populations.  Now population does have an effect on the electorial collage, ie higher pop = more votes, but it's not a straight forward 'win these high pop states and win'.

I didn't say that was exactly the means, there would need to be a system and good safeguards and such, but the electoral college is extremely dated, there are better methods now. As it is, it really matters not whether I vote and that just isn't right. There has to be a better middle ground. I'm not saying it would be easy, quite the opposite, but serious revisions are needed and yes, they would need amendments,but we are due to have a serious overhaul and there are amendments for just that reason.

 Only if they completely, and I nean completely seperate the system from any hackers and keep a database on who is alllowed to vote. ie,  full citizens. It needs to be kept as secure as possible.

 
*makes a face* The district where I lived in Ohio for this past presidential election reported more votes cast for Bush than there were registered residents... Nobody's making much of it, and information is hard to come by on the results of what inquiries have been made, but from some bits and pieces of news, it seems that a reliable vote count for Ohio may well have favored Kerry. That district wasn't the only one with 'irregularities,' and chads had nothing to do with it.

 That's happened for both parties.

 
Isn't that what democracy is supposed to be? One man, one vote and all of that, and whoever gets the most votes wins?

I have to confess, I don't understand the US system at all. I expect there is some historical basis for it, but if the person who gets the less number of votes still comes out the winner, then that seems to me to be a system in need of change.

 No. That's mob rule. I agree it could be improved a bit, but I don't see a need to remove the electorial collage. It was put in there for a very good reason and has worked for the life of the country.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2007, 04:17:46 AM »
The electorial collage is to keep it from being a popularity contest and to keep the largest states from simply choosing the President because of their larger populations.  Now population does have an effect on the electorial collage, ie higher pop = more votes, but it's not a straight forward 'win these high pop states and win'.

That may have been a good idea in the early days, when some well settled states had an awful lot more population than others, but is it really so relevent today? Is the president not voted for directly, hence the will of the people, who they vote they want be what matters?

No. That's mob rule. I agree it could be improved a bit, but I don't see a need to remove the electorial collage. It was put in there for a very good reason and has worked for the life of the country.

How is it mob rule? I'm afraid I don't follow you here.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines democracy as follows:

   1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
   2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
   3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
   4. Majority rule.
   5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

Citing points 1 and 4, if the majority of those who voted did so for a particular candidate, then surely that is who the people want. Having the other candidate be determined the winner seems rather odd to me.

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2007, 04:40:33 AM »
Well, off hand I can tell you that survey wouldn't even have consideration in any social research.  There is of course the problem with its limited answers and inability to truly encompass the scope of the question.  Also there is the fact that CNN held that survey and I believe it is an online survey.  Those are never to be trusted because there are too many criteria needed in order to qualify to answer that poll.  The first being able to have a computer and internet, actively going to CNN's website, and also being interested enough to answer a poll.  Right there I can tell you that most of the respondents are of at least middle income, have at least some professional education, and more than likely are leaning toward Democrate.  So the poll is a bit skewed simply on that level.  Also the lack of a followup question and a margin of error brings that poll into alot of doubt.

As for the Electoral College, I do not believe it is serving the original intention of its creation.  Originally it was put into place to protect government from the ignorant masses, which as cold as that sounds is a good idea.  The idea was that educated individuals would be elected to vote on behalf of the people with the understanding that these educated people would have a grasp on the situation.  The Electoral College no longer does that, instead a political party is elected to cast their vote.  In truth the College is a formality and we all know which way it will vote before we're even told so.  If Republicans take this state, the Republican nominee gets the votes and vice versa.  That was not the original intent.

I think the Electoral College could still function as it does, but it simply does not.  There is rarely a descension among the voters and there have been instances where their careers were threatened if they went against the party vote.  Do I think it should be opened up to one person, one vote....not really.  I know everyone has this idealistic vision of everyone gleefully casting their vote for the figure they believe will take the win but that is a bit naive on our part.  I would rather see economists, generals, and ambassadors elected by the people to vote for a president.  I'd rather see someone allowed to take a month of critical thought over the policies proposed and then allowed to make a secret vote for the person they believe best.

As for computerized voting, I do firmly believe in that.  I hate how confusing this entire system can be in terms of where I'm supposed to vote, where I go, when they are open, and the window of time I have to do so.  So either there is a declaration of a day off on an election day and we are all given notices in the mail regarding where we are to go and at what times we can go, or we are allowed to log on and make our selections. 

Offline Zakharra

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2007, 05:13:45 AM »
That may have been a good idea in the early days, when some well settled states had an awful lot more population than others, but is it really so relevent today? Is the president not voted for directly, hence the will of the people, who they vote they want be what matters?

How is it mob rule? I'm afraid I don't follow you here.

The American Heritage Dictionary defines democracy as follows:

   1. Government by the people, exercised either directly or through elected representatives.
   2. A political or social unit that has such a government.
   3. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power.
   4. Majority rule.
   5. The principles of social equality and respect for the individual within a community.

Citing points 1 and 4, if the majority of those who voted did so for a particular candidate, then surely that is who the people want. Having the other candidate be determined the winner seems rather odd to me.

 California, New York, Florida, those states have huge populations, which could swing the balance in a straight up vote. Majority rule, if not constraiend is nothing more than mob rule. Which is never good in the medium and long run.

 The US is not a real democracy. It's a representative republic. It's closer to democracy than many/most nations in the past were, but there are differences in how things are done.

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2007, 06:24:58 AM »
California, New York, Florida, those states have huge populations, which could swing the balance in a straight up vote.

I'm still not seeing what the issue is here. If the will of the majority of voters is for a particular candidate, why should their location matter?

Majority rule, if not constraiend is nothing more than mob rule. Which is never good in the medium and long run.

Majority rule is constrained by the law. Mob rule ignores the law.

Offline Zakharra

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2007, 08:32:43 AM »
Majority rule is constrained by the law. Mob rule ignores the law.

 I awknowledge that part but that is also mob rule if the law is ignored. A problem arises if the majority decides to ignore or change the law to make their rule easier. After all, the majority does have the power to do that and if they are the majority, how can they be wrong?
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 08:36:09 AM by Zakharra »

Offline HairyHeretic

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Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #16 on: June 08, 2007, 08:54:11 AM »
The law has, or at least should have, a series of checks and balances to prevent 'bad' laws coming in. However, what is the law except the codified oppinion of the majority? If the majority of people believe that something is wrong, a law is passed against it, or a previous law opposing it is removed.

The flip side to your arguement is what happens if the minority decide to ignore or change the law, against the wishes of the majority?

Offline Zakharra

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #17 on: June 08, 2007, 09:13:20 AM »
 There is a system of checks and balances that usually works. Unless part of it is suborned, like Congress or the Judiciary. For a bad law to stand, the Judiciary has to either not rule on it, ignore any challanges or 'find' it  constitutional.

 That has happened before. There are laws preventing the minority from being overrun, mostly. Right now an excellent example of this is the illegal immigration issue. Most of the US, by every poll, Democrate, Republican and independant, wants the borders to be secure and do not wnt an amnesty for the illegals, but the President and a good number of Congress wants the bill.

 It's a balancing act that is geting more difficult as the policital landscape is being influenced by increasingly strident voices on the right and just as loud if not louder, on the left.

Offline Elvi

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2007, 09:19:49 AM »
I really hate to interupt this now 'off topic' discussion and bring the thread back to the origional posting, but has anyone actually managed to find out what this Poll relates to?

I've followed numerous links from that page and around the site itself, but can't find it, unfortunately without that reference it's pretty meaningless.

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2007, 02:07:29 PM »
I got the link to work, but then I am somewhat more clever than you.

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Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2007, 03:49:24 PM »
I really hate to interupt this now 'off topic' discussion and bring the thread back to the origional posting, but has anyone actually managed to find out what this Poll relates to?

I've followed numerous links from that page and around the site itself, but can't find it, unfortunately without that reference it's pretty meaningless.

At it's basic level, the poll wants Americans to decide whether our Political Leaders are Dividers or Uniters, whether or not they are the type of people who can bring all forms of people together to meet and create common goals, or whether they are the types of people that polarize groups against each other, which prevents things from getting done.

Offline Elvi

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #21 on: June 08, 2007, 05:23:00 PM »
Yes.....I saw the 'poll', but I couldn't find any discussion or article or anything else for that matter relating to it or actually saying why it was there.
As I said, without anything thing else it's just, in my mind, irrelavent.

It may as well be a poll to say whether to American people can unite in their hatred of jelly babies.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2007, 05:25:05 PM by Elvi »

Offline RubySlippers

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2007, 11:42:55 AM »
Here's my theory if everyone thinks THEIR side of the American Governement is getting shafted then the system must be working, if they all tend to agree on anything easily I would be worried. Remember that's how we got into this Iraq fiasco everyone agreed on both sides of the fence. So I encourage them to be Dividers for then things take longer and better legislation can more likely get through.

Offline peachblossom

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #23 on: June 11, 2007, 08:34:11 PM »
there needs to be some fair system of checks and balance on power, however, one vote per person is a principle that is a part of american hertiage, even thought it hasn't worked that way. I'm not saying I have an answer, because honestly, I don't have *the* answer, I just think that a lot of different opinions should seriously sit down and work out a better system than the one that is in place now, because what was ok when the country was founded is deeply outdated and no longer works, assuming that it ever did. I don't know, I think its something everyone should consider. There have simply been too many problems and the field is too limited. It just shouldn't all be about money.

Offline Bishrook aka Fate sisters

Re: One thing Americans are united on...
« Reply #24 on: June 14, 2007, 07:58:20 PM »
RubySlippers makes a good point(or at least thinks she makes this point.)
Division in many ways is the heart of modern democracies.
People are allowed to have different opinions and to persue both privatly and publicly their own interests.
Political parties and office holders are a way of exprerssing those opinions and interests.
Having said that there are politicans that stand up and take dogmatic stands and pay little attentions to making the system work These people stand on principal and by doing so often gum up the works. Others are interested in making the system work via compromise and dealmaking.
For their efforts the y are often derided...
+++
Asku and Elvi also made good points about the poll.
A good poll is one that asks the question of a representive group of people so as to get a roughly accurate reflection of our population.
This kind of poll does not from looks of it.
It just means some people who did vote thought this way. Moreover often in these situations people are able to vote twice or more.
Like Elvi I treid to track the links back to see what the context of this poll was (What was the question? How was it phrased? Was it attached to an artical?). I had no luck.
+++
On the earlier discussions involving voting I suspect that cheating is a small percentage of the total and it cncels out between the two parties.
As ro the discussion of Democracy and Mob rule I reminded of churchils
comment that democracy was a very bad system but the alternatives were worse(paraphrase)
+++
I think electonic voting may eventiallyt come to be and I woulkd like the convience of voting on my computer.
A far better alternative is postal ballots. There is scope for cheating here as well but millions of people already use postal ballots as absentee voters.