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Political Discussion Thread (With Rules)

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On 1/15/2020 at 4:35 AM, Cassandra said:

Last nights Democratic Debate proved one thing above all.  

 

Tom Steyer is actually a character created by Donny Most.  Welcome back, Ralph Malph!

 

One of the Dem's weaknesses, seems to be they under the quixotic impression that debates are actually helping them.

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33 minutes ago, megaplayboy said:

The one major change I do support is passing a new Apportionment Act, substantially increasing the membership of the House of Representatives(and, by doing so, increasing the size of the electoral college and diluting the population distorting effect of adding two electors per state for the Senate).  It reduces the likelihood of a "fluke" EC win and popular vote loss while making the House more representative of the diversity of the population.  Third party candidates would also have a more meaningful chance of winning, running in smaller congressional districts.  And I'd package it with provisions for non-partisan, independent redistricting commissions to cut way down on partisan gerrymandering.  

 

well along those lines, while I support the EC, I would be for a change in it.  Where, the state winner, gets the 2 Senate votes, but each Representative vote goes to the winner of the perpective district.  I feel it at least be truly indicative of the people (fluke turns in close elections would still be possible, it happens).  But, my goal on that would be, so cases of districts who tend to lean the opposite of their state, will have more of a motivation to come out and vote.  

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1 hour ago, Badger said:

 

 

well along those lines, while I support the EC, I would be for a change in it.  Where, the state winner, gets the 2 Senate votes, but each Representative vote goes to the winner of the perpective district.

 

So, magnifying the effect of gerrymandering as opposed to mitigating it, then?

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I would love to see a constitutional amendment specifying that congressional districts be chosen by local non-partisan bodies.

 

I'd also love to see a $150,000 a year salary with a TA to grade all of my papers, but I don't see that happening either.

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4 hours ago, Old Man said:

 

So, magnifying the effect of gerrymandering as opposed to mitigating it, then?

 

Not a fan of gerrymandering.  But, I would like to avoid disenfranchising the voters.  And I don't really see it noticeably magnifying. it, to be honest.  It most certainly will not mitigate it, but the party in power already has the motivation to gerrymander as much as possible.  You cant get more than 100% motivation.  You're either motivated to gerrymander or you are not.  And all politicians are motivated to, if given the chance.

 

I just don't see  "I wasn't motivated to get as many district reps to my party as possible, to get as much power in DC before, but suddenly Badger's EC rule is what tempted me."   

 

Edit: Politicians want to suppress the opposition.  It is their nature.   But, it is harder to suppress if the votes come in 2 methods, than 1 winner take all.  So, I see a net positive.  Also leaves more "areas" in play in all likelihood, too.  Theoretically forcing politicians to travel more among a state for votes in campaigning, as well as traveling to states not in play as a whole to possibly steal a district in play.

 

 

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6 hours ago, Badger said:

 

Not a fan of gerrymandering.  But, I would like to avoid disenfranchising the voters. 

 

We all would, that's why we want to get rid of the electoral college in the first place.  The presidency is the only federal office where one person's vote is weighted more than another's.

 

6 hours ago, Badger said:

 

 

And I don't really see it noticeably magnifying. it, to be honest. 

 

You do, actually, because you understand how gerrymandering works at the state level, and you know that applying the same gerrymandered districts at the federal level would drastically affect the presidential election. 

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A Presidential election by popular vote election counts the vote of each citizen of the US equally.  I've heard all the arguments for the EC and they are all nonsense IMO.  A vote in Rhode Island should count equal to a vote in Texas.  He/She should be the President of all the people, not of electors and/or variably weighted states.

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3 hours ago, Starlord said:

A Presidential election by popular vote election counts the vote of each citizen of the US equally.  I've heard all the arguments for the EC and they are all nonsense IMO.  A vote in Rhode Island should count equal to a vote in Texas.  He/She should be the President of all the people, not of electors and/or variably weighted states.

True.  My suggestion was that it's far easier to just increase the number of representatives, diluting the distortive effect of the EC, rather than getting 2/3 of the House and Senate and 3/4 of the states to pass an amendment that would reduce the electoral power of small states(of which there are more than 12).  All you have to do is overcome a filibuster. 

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4 hours ago, wcw43921 said:

 

After I read that, I thought, If this is true everyone present should have gone to Congress ans the the press and tried to get him declared unfit. But the military personnel are to professional and true to their sworn oaths and and all the non-sycophants tried to stay around and mitigate the damage he would cause. Here's to hoping we only have one more year of this insanity.

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Well, I was thinking  that would be a reason to keep them, yes.  But, my mind was hypothetically thinking of a more even distribution re-draw.  Sorry about that.

 

EDit: to be honest. it was more of a thought exercise, and over an hour I have thought of a few flaws.  most notably, an even distribution would need constant redrawing, which could eventually even cause capitals to cross borders.

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Redrawing state lines might be interesting. The town in northern Colorado where I grew up is primarily agricultural, with more recent developments in gas & oil. The area certainly has more in common, economically and culturally, with Cheyenne, WY than with Denver (and the adjacent People's Republic of Boulder). There are occasional rumblings back home about several of those counties transferring to Wyoming. 

 

It'll never happen, of course. But, as you suggested, it's an interesting thought exercise.

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2 hours ago, Badger said:

Mostly, in the interest of knowing exactly where everyone's thinking is:

 

Anyone for the elimination of states altogether?

No, but...I would like for a few things to be passed to the federal level, to be more centralized and more consistent...specifically, public education curricula and funding.  An equal quality education everywhere in the country.  It's frustrating to hear that, say, Mississippi ranks 48th or whatever in public education, and for people to be perfectly fine with that kind of disparity existing between states.  

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Interesting thing about state legislatures... an awful lot happens there that affects citizens, but people tend to pay much more attention to what's happening at the federal level. John Oliver broadcast an interesting examination of them on his "Last Week Tonight" show. It's dated, but I doubt the situation has changed that much.

 

 

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On 1/17/2020 at 7:28 PM, Lord Liaden said:

Interesting thing about state legislatures... an awful lot happens there that affects citizens, but people tend to pay much more attention to what's happening at the federal level. John Oliver broadcast an interesting examination of them on his "Last Week Tonight" show. It's dated, but I doubt the situation has changed that much.

 

 

Extend that to local government as well. I work in that area, and local government can make expansive decisions which impact your daily life administratively. For example, integrated health and human services agencies can determine access to emergency food, oversee the ambulance system, can suspend civil liberties in behavioral health, remove children through Child Welfare, control access to housing for vulnerable populations and so on. Local elections matter. 

 

Edit: spell check made "expansive" into "expensive" (that too, of course)

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On 1/17/2020 at 8:28 AM, Starlord said:

A Presidential election by popular vote election counts the vote of each citizen of the US equally.  I've heard all the arguments for the EC and they are all nonsense IMO.  A vote in Rhode Island should count equal to a vote in Texas.  He/She should be the President of all the people, not of electors and/or variably weighted states.

 

I've been trying to think of ways to keep the supposed benefit of the EC (keeps the candidates from pandering to densely populated areas), while making it harder to game the system and win the EC while losing the popular vote.

 

My current suggestion would be to divide the US into Presidential Voting Blocks. These would be 53 special districts, with borders drawn to be both compact and equal in population. The candidate winning the majority of those districts (or, in the case of multiple candidates, at least a plurality) of those districts wins the Presidency.

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8 hours ago, IndianaJoe3 said:

 

I've been trying to think of ways to keep the supposed benefit of the EC (keeps the candidates from pandering to densely populated areas),

 

Why is this even a concern?  There are fewer people in densely populated areas, therefore there are fewer people in densely populated areas.  Why is this a special voting bloc that needs some kind of special protection?  There's no EC that keeps candidates from pandering to ethnicities or corporations or religious groups.  The original reason for the EC was that states weren't going to sign on to the Constitution without it.  It has long since outlived this purpose and become an active impediment to the proper functioning of the republic, and it should be abolished asap.

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Yikes Cygnia, that is a really long article. I generally agree with some pretty big chunks of it. 1 and 2 have much bigger social implications than just to the Gamer community, and are playing out in unfortunate ways all over the place in society beyond the relatively narrow confines of "Gamergate". 3 could be resolved by having Simon just police all media forums as he does this one. 4 and 5, sure okay. Online or in person harassment and threats of violence are bad, regardless of SOGI status. And there are some really dramatic and extreme examples given. 

 

I'd say we are still creating norms for internet and social media interaction, including for games. And that anonymity and a largely consequence free social environment brings out astonishingly bad behavior. Probably be a number of decades before that's fully resolved. Some really nasty folks out there, and the internet lets them find other nasty folks to congregate with. Even as a small portion of the whole, you'll get organized ugliness pretty fast. 

 

Thanks for sharing. Interesting.

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1 hour ago, Old Man said:

 

Why is this even a concern?  There are fewer people in densely populated areas, therefore there are fewer people in densely populated areas.  Why is this a special voting bloc that needs some kind of special protection?  There's no EC that keeps candidates from pandering to ethnicities or corporations or religious groups.  The original reason for the EC was that states weren't going to sign on to the Constitution without it.  It has long since outlived this purpose and become an active impediment to the proper functioning of the republic, and it should be abolished asap.

I understand your frustration, but imo?

Because it is still a concern. in our often take all or nothing system, sometimes you do have a smaller population that is indeed totally in need of protection. Frex, a small town might cease to exist without a river, and some huge ass metropolis decides they'll just TAKE that river and drain it dry (Screw your forests, farms, or what not) so they can have that golf course going, that's how it will be under a 'more  populous is always right' stance.. And it does affect minorities at times... for example, certain Pipelines going through or near Native American Reservations rather than richer more populated cities (Despite assurances it would be totally safe ..and the next year there was a spill) ...why? Because the Reservation didn't have the political power to stop the 'will' (or Apathy) of the mostly white majority. 

 

The EC IS broken, needs fixing. I would be prefer if all states split their EC votes along the popular vote split, but I can certainly understand wanting to remove it entirely, but let's not pretend that urban juggernauts are going to be benevolent overlords who totally understand rural areas needs or wants and kindly take that into account. 

 

YMMV

 

 

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24 minutes ago, Hermit said:

I understand your frustration, but imo?

Because it is still a concern. in our often take all or nothing system, sometimes you do have a smaller population that is indeed totally in need of protection. Frex, a small town might cease to exist without a river, and some huge ass metropolis decides they'll just TAKE that river and drain it dry (Screw your forests, farms, or what not) so they can have that golf course going, that's how it will be under a 'more  populous is always right' stance.. And it does affect minorities at times... for example, certain Pipelines going through or near Native American Reservations rather than richer more populated cities (Despite assurances it would be totally safe ..and the next year there was a spill) ...why? Because the Reservation didn't have the political power to stop the 'will' (or Apathy) of the mostly white majority. 

 

The EC IS broken, needs fixing. I would be prefer if all states split their EC votes along the popular vote split, but I can certainly understand wanting to remove it entirely, but let's not pretend that urban juggernauts are going to be benevolent overlords who totally understand rural areas needs or wants and kindly take that into account. 

 

YMMV

 

 

Pretty much, except instead of Frex, huge geographic areas of California are really pretty pissed off about the lack of representation their population translates into. Doesn't really make the news outside the Golden State, because who cares about a handful (few million) folks living out in the sticks anyway. And we need their water and resources. 

 

I generally find their platform and positions ludicrous, but then I would. I live in the SF Bay Area so i'm by definition part of the region oppressing their representative government with my own regional values that don't align to theirs. 

 

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_(proposed_Pacific_state)

 

It's an interesting dilemma, but I'd vote against what they want. And so it won't come to pass, because 2.3M < 36M humans. But it is still a problem for them getting their voice heard. 

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