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Thread: American Democracy in Trouble.

  1. #46
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Rampant gerrymandering is probably a more serious threat to the US electoral system than electoral fraud or vote miscount.

  2. #47
    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Rampant gerrymandering is probably a more serious threat to the US electoral system than electoral fraud or vote miscount.
    I'm for getting rid of it. Guess who's against it?
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  3. #48
    Senior Contributor Monash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I'm for getting rid of it. Guess who's against it?
    Yes , I was going to say that myself.

  4. #49
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    Depends on the state...
    “We had been hopelessly labouring to plough waste lands; to make nationality grow in a place full of the certainty of God… Among the tribes our creed could be only like the desert grass – a beautiful swift seeming of spring; which, after a day’s heat, fell dusty.”
    ― T.E. Lawrence, Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph

  5. #50
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monash View Post
    Rampant gerrymandering is probably a more serious threat to the US electoral system than electoral fraud or vote miscount.
    Maybe you missed this one:


    http://www.gregpalast.com/election-stolen-heres/

  6. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Those accused of criminal double voting include, for example, Donald Alexander Webster Jr. of Ohio who is accused of voting a second time in Virginia as Donald EUGENE Webster SR.

    Sounds like an excellent reason to tighten up voter registration process's and to require a valid state issued I.D. to help protect everyone's rights.

  7. #52
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfng3569 View Post
    Those accused of criminal double voting include, for example, Donald Alexander Webster Jr. of Ohio who is accused of voting a second time in Virginia as Donald EUGENE Webster SR.

    Sounds like an excellent reason to tighten up voter registration process's and to require a valid state issued I.D. to help protect everyone's rights.

    If you actually look at the reason Mr. Webster was falsely accused of voter fraud, it was wholly because of politically motivated -- that's voter suppression, to anyone paying attention -- efforts to restrict legitimate voters from exercising their constitutional rights. It was the tightening of voter restrictions that led to this unAmerican disenfranchisement, and it is specifically targeted at minorities.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    If you actually look at the reason Mr. Webster was falsely accused of voter fraud, it was wholly because of politically motivated -- that's voter suppression, to anyone paying attention -- efforts to restrict legitimate voters from exercising their constitutional rights. It was the tightening of voter restrictions that led to this unAmerican disenfranchisement, and it is specifically targeted at minorities.
    I did look at it, and my response was a tad tongue in cheek.

    but still pushes the argument that voter registration and voting needed to be streamlined and more uniform.

    This country is violently divided, but in the end, there simply aren’t enough white guys to elect Trump nor a Republican Senate. The only way they could win was to eliminate the votes of non-white guys

    but then again, comments like this in the article don't help it out at all.

  9. #54
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfng3569 View Post
    I did look at it, and my response was a tad tongue in cheek.

    but still pushes the argument that voter registration and voting needed to be streamlined and more uniform.

    This country is violently divided, but in the end, there simply aren’t enough white guys to elect Trump nor a Republican Senate. The only way they could win was to eliminate the votes of non-white guys

    but then again, comments like this in the article don't help it out at all.
    Streamlined and more uniform?? Are you kidding?

    How about,
    fair voter registration -- no purging the voter lists.
    equal access to the vote -- no shortened voting periods, broken machines or many hours of standing in line (if you ain't rich)
    honest vote counting -- no "preliminary" ballots handed out to people in line and then not counted, and the same for absentee ballots.

    That's just for starters, but it would go far, far further than mere "streamlined and more uniform."

  10. #55
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Matthew Masterson is either a liar or incompetent to hold high office.

    Top U.S. Election Official: There Is No Voting Fraud ‘Epidemic’
    http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/poli...idemic-n745846

    My take:

    Mr Masterson has been nominated to chair of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, an independent, bipartisan agency, where he has served as a commissioner since 2014. Prior to that, he worked in the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office.

    The Center for Public Integrity asked Masterson if voter suppression was a big issue and whether there was evidence of a major effort to make it harder to vote.
    “It’s something election officials hear about all the time. I can tell you my experience in Ohio. When we dug into that. It was virtually non-existent,” Masterson said, later adding: “It is my opinion, in the vast majority of jurisdictions today in America, it is easier to vote today than it has ever been.”

    Meanwhile, in the real world,
    2004: Extensive problems were reported in Ohio with Diebold, Danaher Controls ELECTronic 1242 and ES&S iVotronic voting machines.
    2008: The Ohio GOP’s efforts to disenfranchise some 200,000 registered voters was overturned by the Supreme Court. John Boehner – who recommended Matthew Masterson’s appointment to President Obama – asked President Bush to instruct the Justice Department to step in on the side of the GOP.
    2012: Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted decided to shorten voting hours in urban – read: Democratic leaning – areas while lengthening those in suburban and rural (i.e., GOPer leaning) areas. Outcry ensues and he has to back-track … by eliminating weekend voting and cutting hours in all districts.

  11. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    Streamlined and more uniform?? Are you kidding?

    How about,
    fair voter registration -- no purging the voter lists.
    equal access to the vote -- no shortened voting periods, broken machines or many hours of standing in line (if you ain't rich)
    honest vote counting -- no "preliminary" ballots handed out to people in line and then not counted, and the same for absentee ballots.

    That's just for starters, but it would go far, far further than mere "streamlined and more uniform."
    I'm sorry, but what about what you just listed there wouldn't be considered more 'uniformed'?

  12. #57
    Senior Contributor DOR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bfng3569 View Post
    I'm sorry, but what about what you just listed there wouldn't be considered more 'uniformed'?
    Yes, it would be more uniform.
    But, the entire effort to make things more uniform these days is in the other direction: voter ID (as if fraud were a thing) and purge lists.

  13. #58
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    In my view the clearest evidence that American democracy is in trouble is that Trump, who any sane person would recognise as all mouth and show and a deeply flawed individual, was elected. The real 'post mortem' should not be on 'Hilary's campaign' but on what went wrong in the handling of the 2008 financial crisis that left so many - and not only in the US but in Europe too - feeling 'left out' and forgotten about; essentially losing faith in the system.

    For me at least the answer is pretty obvious; when Governments and Central Banks lean over backwards to help rich (at least in the public view) financial institutions that find themselves threatened at a moment of crisis the man on the Clappham omnibus thinks "what the hell? I never voted for this! Who asked me?" How many billions were pumped into the banks? How does that help the person defaulting on their mortgage? What has it got to do with his/her wages or salary? Everyone got hurt but it appeared that no end of expense - their expense in some cases - was too small for the financial institutions that had in part precipitated the crash yet nothing for them directly except mortgage default and unemployment.

    I recall the long debate I had with DOR and astralis on this whole creating money out of thin air (or "quantitative easing" as they put it in technical language to try to fool the idiots) but who did this benefit? Those losing their jobs or houses? Not at all - those in the markets (I did well on it). The problem was the institutions looked after themselves - "too big to fail" etc - and the average low skilled person got forgotten about.

    In the UK this was focused by some on the migration of other Christian Europeans who in general were harder working than the native unemployed and low wage populace who were told "they are stealing your jobs and it's the EU's fault!". It wasn't entirely true or untrue of course but having seen the 'collusion' between the Government and financial institutions and having been shown some examples of EU idiocy and unaccountablity the lemmings opted for the cliff rather than to try to change the system. In the US I am afraid much the same happened; those who felt 'left out' and that the institutions were not acting on their behalf or even accountable to them became lemmings; "Let's shake it up by electing a man who was born a millionaire but is an erratic egotist" is publicly jumping off a cliff but for them who had lost their jobs and homes etc democracy was already in trouble from the direction of the institutions. Get well soon but next time get the financial stuff right.
    Last edited by snapper; 23 Apr 17, at 06:32.

  14. #59
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    snapper,

    I recall the long debate I had with DOR and astralis on this whole creating money out of thin air (or "quantitative easing" as they put it in technical language to try to fool the idiots) but who did this benefit? Those losing their jobs or houses? Not at all - those in the markets (I did well on it). The problem was the institutions looked after themselves - "too big to fail" etc - and the average low skilled person got forgotten about.
    not to re-hash the economic arguments we had earlier, but the irony of all this is that QE/monetary action was taken because 1.) after the initial stimulus, Republicans blocked additional fiscal action, and 2.) the whole principle of monetarism is essentially a 1960s conservative alternative to Keynesianism that was later adopted by Democrats in light of the Third Way. (we see something similar with the conservative origins of the theory behind the ACA.)

    this actually connects well with the discussion with GVChamp on the American Political Scene thread. the Third Way has always been connected to a technocratic sort of elitism, where the underlining deal was that the left should turn a blind eye to wealth inequality as long as in doing so, the entire pie expanded in such a way that social priorities could be funded.

    the Great Recession basically ruined this concept on both the economic AND political levels, which is why I agree with GVChamp to some extent that old-school Democrats now have rather more influence within the party than before. for that matter, this is not a phenomenon restricted to the left; the rise of Trumpism on the right also demonstrates that conservative laissez-faire ideology is getting a challenge (at least in theory, as Trump tends to revert to the conservative mean in actual practice).
    There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that "My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."- Isaac Asimov

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    astralis,

    I am not seeking a re-run of the 'long economic debate' but what happened to those left out? Trump was their answer. It would have been wiser (in retrospect it always easy of course) to throw money out of nowhere into peoples accounts in the banks and let them keep their houses or start new businesses etc but not leave them behind from their point of view while bending over backward for the banks etc... My description is not intended as economical but rather sociological.

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