Forum    Search    FAQ

Board index » Chat Forums » Political Opinions and Opinionated Posts




Post new topic  This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 140 posts ] 
 
Author Message
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Tue Oct 11, 2011 6:51 pm 
Member of the Fraternal Order of the Emergency Pants
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 3160
AOL: drachefly
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Given all that, I have no idea why you think that taxes are your problem!

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:40 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed May 15, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 10394
giggles wrote:
Start with voting and get the right people in office.


As an outsider, I think that herein lies the very nub and centre of the problem with American politics.

Each state has a certain number of votes; all of these are piled onto whichever candidate wins the vote in that state. The result of this is that you end up with two candidates, who are well-known across America and have differing opinions on one or more contentious issues; each getting enough votes in enough states that it is very very difficult for a third person to get a single state vote. (Even if thirty percent of votes in each state go to Third Candidate A, and the votes for Established Candidates B and C are between 30 and 40 percent per state, A will get no state votes - it's a contrived situation, but that just seems wrong to me) And everyone knows this. So, if those two candidates agree on (say) giving a big pile of money and tax breaks to the MegaCorp Corporation, then that pile of money and tax breaks is going to MegaCorp, no matter which of them gets voted in. (Similarly for anything else that they agree on).

Sure, you've got choice on a couple of hot-button issues - enough to get enough people to the polls to force the vote to go to one of those two candidates - but no real choice on dozens of other issues and ideas.

I think that, in order to get your political system sorted out, you need to make more use of a nationwide vote; let the person who gets the greatest number of votes over the entire nation get the office being voted for.

I also don't think there's much incentive for the politicians to change your current system, so it's going to be a long time until that happens.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 11:46 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 12040
Location: The things, they hurt
And considering that the Supreme Court recently decided that:
a) Corporations are people
b) People have the right to free speech
c) Money = speech

And since politicians are all convinced that
a) Winning elections = advertising
b) Advertising = lots of money

Therefore,

Corporations can spend as much as they want to buy politicians.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 12:33 pm 
Member of the Fraternal Order of the Emergency Pants
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 3160
AOL: drachefly
Location: Philadelphia, PA
One thing that'd go a long way to fixing it is proportional representation in the house of representatives. This would greatly diminish the importance of Gerrymandering, which is the main method of rendering government unresponsive. You'd still have some guaranteed seats, sure, but you'd also have a lot of very competitive seats, and the opposition votes in those guaranteed seats do something. My particular proposal doesn't use party lists, and actively promotes making districts competitive.

Each district gets one guaranteed representative, who will be the plurality (or approval or Condorcet or whatever) winner of that election. If we were to stop here, that'd simply be the congress as it stands.

Instead, we devise a 'target congress': define, for each party, the 'seat deficit' as (fraction of popular vote*size of congress - number of members of congress).
We will add members of congress to the parties with a seat deficit (one at a time, largest deficit first) until each party has a deficit of less than 1 (not 0.5, to prevent runaway, and to prevent abuse by generating a huge number of similar political parties).

Who gets to be the lucky member? The member of that party who does not yet have a seat, who got the most votes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages?

I'll start with some advantages:

1) every vote counts, and for roughly the same amount (yes, a vote for the Very Very Silly Party will not let it get a seat, and voters in Wyoming will still have a little tiny bit more voting power than others).

2) If you're a state and you want to be overrepresented in congress as a state, the last thing you want is for all of your seats to be weakly or not contested. This means:
2a) a lot less Gerrymandering for safe districts, improving direct choice
2b) Highly negative campaigning aimed at depressing the voters and having only the die-hards vote is more likely to be bad for the party and if the race had a chance to be competitive could very easily be bad for the district, so it's less likely to happen.

3) Every member of congress must have won a large number of votes - no shoo-ins. Everyone is accountable except the winners of the remaining safe districts.

4) it gives third and fourth etc. parties the means to get seats
4a) the party does not gain direct power over just exactly who gets those seats. There is a significant degree of influence, sure, in deciding who runs where and who gets financial support from the national party. There's no way around that.

I also see some disadvantages.

1) vote suppression in dominated districts could be an issue. These are also the districts where discovering it and investigating it are least likely

2) if there's a close election in one state, then it can be in favor of that state to decide the close election one way rather than another, so that both candidates can join congress (if you give the seat to the overrepresented party, the other will sit; if you give it to an underrepresented party, only that member sits). You can even get into the case where, say, the outcome of VA-3 determines whether ND-1 or NY-23 gets the deficit seat.

3) it creates the possibility for recount situations for third place, say. However, there will be less than one of these per party per congressional election, so that's not outrageous.

4) entirely new form of Gerrymandering in which you make a new very fat (as much as allowed), very competitive district. Higher than usual chance to send both candidates to congress (still going to be less than 50%, generally much less). I don't see this as a major problem - lousy candidates can easily lose badly enough not to make the cut.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:08 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Sun May 26, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 2169
Location: Vienna, Austria, EU
I have not thought this through completly but is there anything that prevents the following scheme:

Split formally into 2 parties. One for seats where you expect a majority. One for where you don't expect one. Party one will be overrepresented with regards to how many seats they get for their votes, while party 2 will pick up many secundary seats. Without doing any actual calculations, i would suspect, that you can get more seats that way, then if you run as one party.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:57 pm 
Member of the Fraternal Order of the Emergency Pants
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Mon Feb 18, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 3160
AOL: drachefly
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Well, yes, it's one way to get more seats, but not relative to your opponents - since split-party 1 is overrepresented, ALL of the other parties get extra seats, not just split-party 2.

And by splitting the parties, you're amplifying the not-quite-making-up-for-it aspect. Each extra party you make loses you half a seat on average, because the system is willing to let you sit at a deficit of 0.99 seats rather than give you a 0.01 seat advantage.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 7:38 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 12040
Location: The things, they hurt
Quote:
Given all that, I have no idea why you think that taxes are your problem!

Because taxes are the only thing in anyone's budget that is involuntarily mandatory and does not bring any immediate visible benefit?

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 6:46 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Mon Dec 18, 2006 9:09 pm
Posts: 5432
Website: http://grillick.blogspot.com
WLM: jg87106@msn.com
Yahoo Messenger: Giltaras
AOL: Giltaras
Location: Brooklyn, NY
So it looks like the gig might be up. Some think these new rules are a violation of the protesters' First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. What say all of us?

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 9:24 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Wed Apr 20, 2011 9:29 am
Posts: 767
WLM: serena_fangz@hotmail.com
AOL: nightflyer87
Location: on top of a heap of dead spammers
Grillick wrote:
So it looks like the gig might be up. Some think these new rules are a violation of the protesters' First Amendment right to peaceably assemble. What say all of us?

The problem is whether or not peaceably assembling includes the right to camp in a park for several days or weeks. Camping in a public park is still subject to city ordinance. Camping on private property requires consent from the owner or head of the ownership group. Also, it's kind of hard to take them seriously when they say things like this.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 2:39 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue May 21, 2002 12:00 am
Posts: 12040
Location: The things, they hurt
Theoretically, Singaporeans also have the constitutional right to peaceably assemble.

In a single corner of a single park in the whole city.
If they obtain a permit.
Not overnight.
And if their signs are not offensive or lewd or defamatory. (In Singapore, "defamatory" = saying bad things about political leaders)
And if the protesters aren't foreigners.
They didn't used to allow loudspeakers, either.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 10:05 am 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2003 12:00 am
Posts: 2825
WLM: saenblt@hotmail.com
Location: Wishing I was not in Kansas anymore
Yay! The protesters were allowed to stay!

The Denver protesters have been kicked out of their park, but it looks like they're still hanging out on the streets.

Wow, this is kinda cool. No matter what your politics, it's pretty awesome that a large group of people have been protesting in cities across the United States for over a month now, continuously. I know that in my own memory, nothing like this has happened. The Tea Party protests weren't nearly as large or long-lasting. There have been other long lasting protests, but usually they were in a single location, not spread north, south, east, west.

I find it absolutely awesome that people care enough about the crap that goes on in the country to peacefully protest. I really, really hope something comes from it.

EDIT to add: I think the most annoying criticism I've heard about OWS is that the protesters are pretty well off compared to protesters in other areas of the world. You know, in places where there's totalitarian governments, institutionalized sexism, horrible starvation.

I hate that. It's the equivalent of someone complaining of a bad headache only to be told that they should be GRATEFUL for that headache as there are people with cancer right now who will be dead tomorrow. Embrace your headache, live with it! Don't take that aspirin you silver-spooned whiner!

Yes, our country allows far more freedom than places where they shoot protesters dead in the streets. But that doesn't mean that people shouldn't be allowed to make the country even better than it is. Why be content with what it is when, if the protests actually spur political action, it can climb to greater heights? I just don't understand the whole "You're not starving or beaten so be happy with what you have!" mentality.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:03 pm 
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:43 pm
Posts: 710
weatherwax wrote:
Wow, this is kinda cool. No matter what your politics, it's pretty awesome that a large group of people have been protesting in cities across the United States for over a month now, continuously. I know that in my own memory, nothing like this has happened. The Tea Party protests weren't nearly as large or long-lasting. There have been other long lasting protests, but usually they were in a single location, not spread north, south, east, west.

I know, right? :kiki: It's a testament to the power of social networking to organize peaceful protest in a free society. The prevalence of hash marks in front of references to the group speaks volumes...

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:41 pm 
Offline
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 2:42 am
Posts: 1958
ICQ: 8854007
Yahoo Messenger: jorodryn
Location: Well since the universe exands infinitely in all directions, The center of the universe.
So I have a question, other than just because their political philosophies are possibly different than yours, why is it that when the tea partiers were protesting there was so much negativity about it and with these protestors it seems that everyone is cheering them on?

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:52 pm 
Evil Game Minister of DOOM!
User avatar
Offline
Joined: Tue Aug 24, 2004 12:00 am
Posts: 16202
ICQ: 6954605
Website: http://krellen.net
Yahoo Messenger: shinarimaia
AOL: TamirDM
Location: The City in New Mexico
Because the Tea Partiers were waving around racist signs.

Top 
   
 
 Post subject: Re: Occupy Wall Street
 Post Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2011 12:57 pm 
Offline
Joined: Wed May 13, 2009 2:42 am
Posts: 1958
ICQ: 8854007
Yahoo Messenger: jorodryn
Location: Well since the universe exands infinitely in all directions, The center of the universe.
All of them? where? how many? couldn't possibly be fringe people? There is absolutely nothing negative from the occupy wall street crowd?

Top 
   
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
 
Post new topic  This topic is locked, you cannot edit posts or make further replies.  [ 140 posts ] 

Board index » Chat Forums » Political Opinions and Opinionated Posts


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

 
 

 
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: