2020 US Presidential Election

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DV52

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And Don, it is not right in a debate for either of us to put words down that the other has not said. Neither of us can know what the other thinks until such time as we put our thoughts down for all to observe. Let's agree that we will not write what we "suspect" the other's thoughts or feelings might be and let's agree to express our thoughts and feelings as clearly as we might. Further, when we are not sure of a feeling we get from what we read, let's agree to ask questions such that we can come to a place of understanding. Let's be sure to debate without labels. We cannot come to understand each other's views when we fail to remain open to the other's point of view.
Bruce: In an ideal environment in which clear thinking (mine), eloquence of writing (again, mine) and the medium itself is not limited - I would be delighted to conform to your request. But alas in a place where forum constraints, the tyranny of distance and our respective different versions of English underpin our every word, we will inevitably both need to extrapolate each-other's interpretations of the other's feelings. Ain't no way around this!

But I'm more than happy for you to identify any incorrect "suspect" of mine and I can assure you that I will do likewise!

Don
PS: ...and let's take care not to agree too often - I find mutual admiration prose to be very boring!!! :D
 
   #802  

DV52

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You need to understand how US Presidential elections work. In all but two of the 50 states, the winner of the popular vote in that state gets all the electors for that state. Historical voting patterns for New York State (where Jack lives) indicate that a Republican presidential candidate has no chance there. There are a number of states where this is the case. Some are safe for Democrats and some are safe for Republicans. Then there are others states where the political views are more evenly split, which are considered "swing" or "battleground" states.

-Uwe-
Uwe: Thanks for the reply. I most definitely am not as well versed in the US election system as are you or Jack (or most Americans, I suspect) -but I like to fool myself into believing that I have a basic knowledge of the general arrangement. And, I do understand your point about the State's lean to the left since the 1984 Presidential elections (which ironically was when the REPs offered a similarly qualified Hollywood actor for the position of POTUS)

But in truth, Jack and no one else knew the outcome "with absolute certainty" - at best they had what they believed to be a high (perhaps "very-high") chance of guessing how the State would vote. My point however, which i made in a couple of other places in this thread and which seems to have fallen on deaf ears - is that citizens have as great an obligation to the democratic process itself as they have to the outcome of that process - IMO!!

If everyone in NY State accepts the principle that it's pointless voting because the outcome is inevitable - why not simply give the 29 seats to the DEMs and forget about voting together? And even better, why not extend the same facility in every other Sate in America that leans to one-side - and just have elections in marginal seats (i.e. in "swing" or "battleground" states)? Makes stuff like voter fraud and questions about mail-in votes much simpler because voting only happens in the marginal States! And it also relieves the democratic tedium of having to vote from those citizens who believe that their votes are wasted (and who wouldn't have voted anyway)! Isn't this the logical conclusion of the dynamic that you are espousing?

Don
 
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   #803  

Mike@Gendan

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My point however, which i made in a couple of other places in this thread and which seems to have fallen on deaf ears - is that citizens have as great an obligation to the democratic process itself as they have to the outcome of that process - IMO!!
I agree with the principle that people who support one side should feel a democratic obligation to vote, but making it a legal obligation could be counter-productive, and fraught with difficulties.

You sound like you are reasonably politically 'engaged', so you probably have a reasonable idea of the core policies / beliefs of the participants in the elections in which you are eligible to vote.
You can form an informed opinion, so yes you should vote.

But a significant proportion of the electorate are not engaged and informed, for many reasons. They may be disillusioned with the parties / candidates, may not understand what each party stands for, or may just have no interest in the process of Government.
If you legally oblige these people to vote, upon what criteria are they going base their decision on who to vote for?
- a name they are most familiar with (which may be biased towards the incumbent)?
- a name that sounds reassuring, and not-too-foreign?
- the candidate who looks most attractive?
- the candidate who is a celebrity? (The Apprentice may have a lot to answer for :p )

And let's not forget, not everyone of voting age has the mental capacity to vote, due to dementia, mental illness, etc.
Where do you draw the line about who gets a pass?
 
   #804  

Uwe

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My point however, which i made in a couple of other places in this thread and which seems to have fallen on deaf ears - is that citizens have as great an obligation to the democratic process itself as they have to the outcome of that process - IMO!!
Liberal Democracy: A system so wonderful that participation should be mandatory?

-Uwe-
 
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DV52

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Liberal Democracy: A system so wonderful that participation should be mandatory?

-Uwe-
No!! Real Democracy: A system so fragile that citizens take it for granted at their peril!!

Don
 
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Jack@European_Parts

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DV52

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I agree with the principle that people who support one side should feel a democratic obligation to vote, but making it a legal obligation could be counter-productive, and fraught with difficulties.

You sound like you are reasonably politically 'engaged', so you probably have a reasonable idea of the core policies / beliefs of the participants in the elections in which you are eligible to vote.
You can form an informed opinion, so yes you should vote.

But a significant proportion of the electorate are not engaged and informed, for many reasons. They may be disillusioned with the parties / candidates, may not understand what each party stands for, or may just have no interest in the process of Government.
If you legally oblige these people to vote, upon what criteria are they going base their decision on who to vote for?
- a name they are most familiar with (which may be biased towards the incumbent)?
- a name that sounds reassuring, and not-too-foreign?Mike
- the candidate who looks most attractive?
- the candidate who is a celebrity? (The Apprentice may have a lot to answer for :p )

And let's not forget, not everyone of voting age has the mental capacity to vote, due to dementia, mental illness, etc.
Where do you draw the line about who gets a pass?
Mike: Thanks again for your response.

As you might have gleaned from the passion in my diatribe, I fervently believe that democratic processes need to be given their due respect - which means that they should be exercised FULLY by EVERY citizen; in exactly the SAME manner.

I suspect because my and subsequent generations haven't had to fight (and die in far too many instances) for democratic freedoms- there seems to be a sense in some communities that it's OK to pick-and-choose which aspect of the democratic process to use, and which to ignore. I don't agree!

I've absolutely no doubt that every eligible voter that takes some aspect of the democratic process for granted can justify their actions; the party policies are too complicated (therefore I'm not sufficiently informed), so I won't vote - my vote is wasted because too many of the other votes in my county are for the opposing side, so I won't vote - there are no candidates worth voting for (it's not my fault), so I won't vote - the election process this year is rigged by the other side (it's fraudulent), so I won't vote - I've got higher priorities to my family on voting day, so I won't vote - it's just too much bother to get to the polling booth today, so I won't vote. The list of excuses is no doubt endless and equally doubtless, it's completely justifiable in the mind of the absent citizen

IMHO, such thinking grossly demeans the high-cost that nations have paid to use the franchise called "democracy" for their system of government! Without intending offense, and again IMHO - it's tantamount to those citizens saying to their brethren who paid the price for our freedoms "thanks mate - but the price that you paid for the particular aspect(s) of democracy that I will ignore in this election was wasted"! Such disrespect is unconscionable IMO!

Which is a perfect Segway to the question of compulsory voting; Personally, I don't believe that it matters whether citizens are compelled to vote, or not. To explain - I start from the premise that by definition, democratic processes (conducted correctly) will ALWAYS give the right outcome (this doesn't mean that every citizen will be happy with the result). And I also believe that notwithstanding its fragile nature, democracy has a robust ability to be self correcting. Which means that if an election outcome doesn't represent the true wishes of the proletariat (forgive my cheeky use of this Marxist term in the mixed company of this forum) because insufficient numbers voted, discontent in the community will marshal a movement to change the government at the subsequent election. The pleasing aspect of the 2020 US election was evidence of this exact dynamic in a country that doesn't have compulsory voting (i.e. political feelings were so high this year that record voter turn-out occurred)!

So IMO, the question of compulsory/non-compulsory voting is irrelevant; it's simply a matter of the time between election cycles. And more importantly, the answer to this question doesn't add-to, or subtract-from the need for ALL citizens to vote in a democracy that is healthy and that is relevant to the citizens that it serves!

Finally, to the issue of why citizens vote in a particular way (i.e because of policy, candidate good looks, right-wing popularism, non-foreign sounding name, etc.) - I don't care!! First, and at the very least, I want them to attend on voting day. Of course I would be delighted if they voted according to my preference - but again by definition, that's not how democracy works; every citizen has the right to mark the ballot paper according to their own value-set. If voters have been mistaken in their judgement - the self correcting feature of democracy will come into play next time around. But once more - citizens need to vote on election day!

Finally, finally - yes, I agree that the precious gift of a vote should not be given to ALL citizens for the reasons that you have identified. "Where do you draw the line about who gets a pass?" - I'm more than happy to leave this question to the elected law makers who are themselves the product of the democratic system - and who therefore represent us ALL!!

Don
 
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   #810  

Sebastian

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Looking back to my youth, I grew up in a country which did by definition rigg it's elections. Specifically in the 1989 elections we had a proclaimed voter participation of 98.77%. By law you were not required to vote, yet the system would deem you otherwise unfit and make sure you would pretty much be penalized for not voting. Out of 100% of votes cast, 99.91% were valid and 98.85% were for the proposed list of party members (only one party was on the ticket!). That was the official story.

The true results were somewhere in the area of 10-15% of people not voting at all and another 10-15% who voted against the list. This number of 30% may not sound like much for you, but back then that was a historic number and it was the only time the rigged elections in the GDR were actually proven. Why? Because nobody was bold enough to take it up with the system before then.

Looking at the US elections from afar, I can only shake my head and not stop doing so. All these conspiracy theories, all these assumptions of those on social media and in their homes - pretty much only by those who have not taken the opportunity to be an election observer, who have decided not to be involved in making the election more secure (assuming that is their main beef in the first place).

Being able to vote freely, being able to cast my piece of mind to have the same value as any other vote cast by a citizen of my country is a gift. It is called democracy and that is part of what freedom is for me. I have not missed the chance to cast those votes ever since I was legally allowed to and I do plan to keep it that way. Does it make a difference in the end? Maybe, maybe not. Yet not voting is not an option. Always voting the same way, because "it has always been that way" is not an option. I adapt my vote based on actions alone, not promises, not political rhetoric.

Making mistakes is human. Owning up to your mistakes, especially those which are going close to your core believes, is anything but easy. Being able to reflect upon ones decisions and opinions, to be able to step back and question not just others, but also oneself. That makes a great leader in my book.
 
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DV52

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@Sebastian : Thanks for your candor, much appreciated - It's enlightening and a stark reminder from someone who has experienced voting in a non democratic system of the importance of the principles. I have quite a few friends from Poland who lived under Communist rule until 1989 and they all have your exact same view !!

Don
 
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Jack@European_Parts

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Well look at that, Sebastian had the drop late in life and finally is matriculating to Sorcerer?

The problem lies here in the fact that not every vote counts & with an archaic electoral vote process. Until then the process is unfair & I'm not playing.

Me personally every State should be required to vote based on the population vote and derived with an equal percentage by County. Than to tally up the percentage votes earned by County to keep things fair & this way a State like NY can't be captured by 3 geographic locations based on mere density and you are not handing off the vote by a few alledged elite bought & paid for college professor's or panel.
 
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DV52

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Well look at that, Sebastian had the drop late in life and finally is matriculating to Sorcerer?
Jack: I suspect that the only difference between you and Sebastian wrt when you both reached "sorcerer" status was a quirk of history related to the country in which you were born!!:facepalm: But for that quirk- you might be saluting the flag of a dictatorial regime and kowtowing to its despotic leader!!

The problem lies here in the fact that not every vote counts & with an archaic electoral vote process. Until then the process is unfair & I'm not playing.
Jack: I repeat- every excuse [not to vote] is completely justifiable in the mind of the absent citizen!

.....the process is unfair & I'm not playing.
Jack: Given your conviction about the futility of voting in America's broken election proccess - I would assume that you would urge ALL your fellow citizens to follow suit! That's the logical conclusion of your philosophy

Me personally every State should be required to vote based on the population vote and derived with an equal percentage by County. Than to tally up the percentage votes earned by County to keep things fair & this way a State like NY can't be captured by 3 geographic locations based on mere density and you are not handing off the vote by a few alledged elite bought & paid for college professor's or panel.
Jack: I suggest that you work hard towards the implementation of your proposal. However, you don't have the luxury of creating a brand new democracy -what happens to your country in the period before "Jacks method of election" is adopted?
 
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Jack@European_Parts

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Jack: I suggest that you work hard towards the implementation of your proposal. However, you don't have the luxury of creating a brand new democracy -what happens to your country in the period before "Jacks method of election" is adopted?
Well something will have to be done because a Republican will never get reelected after Texas goes blue and it is really close to doing that, so to level the field I think my idea has merit to being fair, the existing is not is it?
 
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Sebastian

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@Jack@European_Parts Looking from afar, wouldn't it be much fairer to get away from the 2 party system and actually electing parties and representatives, which represent the believes of the people and not just the least problematic option? I don't see how your proposal addresses that, nor do I see how that would actually provide fairness to your population (other than favor a party without merits). Especially considering that there is (from my point of view) a fundamental flaw with the electoral college vs. popular vote, wouldn't a more fundamental change be needed to properly represent the peoples will?

Part of our school education here is looking at political systems, our own (especially historically) as well as those of other countries around the world. My understanding of a democratic society includes a multi-party system with certain safety's, to ensure functioning institutions. In some ways Germany was very lucky, after WW2 we were able to reflect upon both the Weimar Republic (1918-1933; officially still the German Empire but certainly plenty different to the actual empire before 1918) as well as Nazi Germany (1933-1945; officially still the German Empire) and advance our political system based on our history and it's obvious flaws.
 
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   #818  

Jack@European_Parts

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Where did my system factor only Democrats and Republicans?

Indeed it would, that just happens to be the current status of what is done & due to red tape or paper tigers created by the two parties in power.

If I may agree with you Sebastian, is that okay?, however, my idea could be implemented to be fair across the board, including emerging new candidates or Your aforementioned will of the people.

It can be used to establish a new trend and is more fair, if all votes don't count, what is the point?

You get too tied up even with a complement Sebastian, it was endearment and a bit breaking of balls, you need to stop wearing your heart on your sleeve.
I am actually glad you are here, I respect that you are not an idiot, in some aspects we all are idiots to a degree, can't we just have fun?

We used to engage in word salad duels and it was fun, you engaged it too, admit it, you are just not as good at it as me & probably better at other things I'm sure.
I was actually pretty surprised to see a like from you in any post I made.......I think it was the first!
 
   #820  

PetrolDave

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Officially the UK is a multi-party democracy with a one person one vote system electing just over 600 "alleged" representatives of the people to our Parliament.

But the reality is that what we have is a two party system since the population naturally tend to vote for the more extreme views, meaning that parties with 'centre' policies in reality have little or no chance of taking control (only once in my lifetime has there even been a coalition with a centre party).

To compound this problem the party 'whip' system used in Parliament (where the party leadership tell the elected representatives from their party how to vote) means that they are not actually representatives of those who elected them, but merely 'lobby fodder' (Parliament votes in rooms called lobbies).

This means that our Parliament is, in reality, doubly un-representative of the will of the people.

I've often expressed the view that in politics parties should be illegal, thereby allowing the 'representatives of the people' to truly be worthy of that title.
 
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