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America in 2012 and the next four years after?



  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bruchi wrote: »
    Make it open to anyone without any strings attached, make that part mandatory. I know, that would be a royal mess, it does not have to be, not this days, test those that want to run, do this by levels, start with a test anyone can mail in for that matter, then make it harder every step until a manageable group of the best candidates is reached and and let those be the ones voters choose from, for one it would force the voters to get more involved and eliminate the "team" mentality, the baggage that comes with it, which in a nutshell is the root of all the problems, this on their side and on ours.

    That's a very interesting idea, bruch, one I've never heard of. It is a bit like local politics, however, where precinct party chairs are chosen by direct vote. The position is essentially open to anyone who wants to work like a dog for no money.

    Problem with "tests" is of course, "quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" (who will watch the watchers?). What we'd have is a set of tests made up by, er, "impartial" political science professors, all of whom would be ultraliberals. Any judgments as to who gets passed to the next level would be made by whom? Those already ensconced in positions of power.

    Any sort of changes to the unofficial process of selecting a nominee would be challenged in courts. And even if the tests were delared valid (which I doubt -- look at the successful challenges to merit exams for LEOs and first responders), how would it be decided? Would the test be a quiz on the Constitution? Remember a few months ago, there was this online quiz we all took, and naturally, our pal alphasig immediately said the test was conservative biased. And that was just an informal internet thing.

    I'm not dissing you, dude. I recognize the frustration that you and most of us feel about candidates. But politics is politics. And it's always been that way. Not long ago if finished a superb bio of Julius Caesar and it talked about bribery and influence peddling in the Roman Senate that even Harry Reid would shudder at. Okay, maybe not.

    I really don't know what we can do. Third parties are a flop. The last real 3rd party challenge nationwide was from ol' Ross Perot. All he did was ensure a Democrat victory. And yes, I know that there are Libertarians out there, but they simply don't have enough traction. Neither does the American Communist party. I forget the guy's name, ran for Prez ever election for them, finally died.

    America, both state and nationwide, is simply a two party system. And I see no chance that will change in generations. I realize alternatives are interesting to debate here (and in high school debate club) but there is not a change from the system on the horizon.

    Some European countries with multiparty systems (Italy, Greece, etc) have suffered the same sort of paralysis that we often see here. What here is party infighting (we're seeing this right now in the Republican race) becomes party "outfighting" between minority parties.

    We've got a different system anyway, like it or not. Our Prez isn't the Prime Minister. He's elected separately by design, the framers of the Constitution deliberately making it difficult for one branch of government to seize power.

    What you're proposing was, in fact, how we elected our Prez for a long time. The runnerup became veep. Look how well that worked out with Andrew Johnson.

    What to do? Maybe just muddle though things as best we can. I really can't think of a more viable solution. Right now we've got a group of Republican candidates, none of whom is perfect, none of whom fits all our specs, none of whom we agree with totally. But who do we agree with totally anyway, ever? Hell, I don't even agree with myself some of the time.

    Don't get me wrong. This debate is valuable, even if just to keep our minds fresh and our "doubt engines" running.

    My take on the current situation? Sadly, we don't have another Ronald Reagan (or Barry Goldwater, bless him) to pick from right now. Maybe someone like NO Gov. Bobby Jindal will move into the light in 2016 -- he's certainly got the brains, the character, and the mostly conservative stuff.

    Right now? I think that Romney, a moderate Republican, can win. Do I agree with him on all things? Nope. But I do think he's got the skills, the leadership, and the charisma to carry the election. I'd be "okay" with him in the White House -- certainly more than Obama.

    Newt? Mmmm, I think too flawed. Smart as anybody out there, sure. He'd do well in a cabinet position.

    RonP? Not with his defense views.

    Anyone else? Santorum certainly has the qualifications but he'll not get too much farther. And the others? Don't have the requisite skills.

    I dunno -- best I can do. But great feedback, bruch!
  • orchidmanorchidman Senior Member Posts: 8,364 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »
    Some European countries with multiparty systems (Italy, Greece, etc) have suffered the same sort of paralysis that we often see here. What here is party infighting (we're seeing this right now in the Republican race) becomes party "outfighting" between minority parties.

    Not only European countries Sam.

    We have an electoral system based on MMP. What it allows is the 2 main parties ( who get most of the votes) to be held to ransom by parties like the greens who are necessary to form a govt after the elections. To get a minority party to support you ( if you want to form a Govt,) means that you have to concede and agree to some of their policies. What you then get is the tail wagging the dog..... which doesnt do anything for economic stability etc. It also doesnt do the majority of voters any good, cos ( in my view), if the greens had good policies they would have been elected by a majority. Its a lose-lose situation.
    Still enjoying the trip of a lifetime and making the best of what I have.....
  • shushshush Senior Member Posts: 6,259 Senior Member
    samzhere wrote: »

    Some European countries with multiparty systems (Italy, Greece, etc) have suffered the same sort of paralysis that we often see here. What here is party infighting (we're seeing this right now in the Republican race) becomes party "outfighting" between minority parties.

    We have had a coalition since the August 2010 election gave birth to a hung parliament.
    Our main parties;
    Labour [Centre/ Left, Left- look out Lenin],
    Liberal/ Democrats. [Centre /Centre- any way the wind blows]
    Conservative [Centre /Right Right-look out Atilla]
    The government consists of Cons. and the Lib/Dems.
    They seem to be playing nicely together so far, digging us out of our financial ruin:deadhorse:, just the odd girly spat now and again.
    The fun part is watching the;
    Cons.- being held back from declaring war on Europe.[ France mainly]Lib/Dems are pro-Europe.
    Lib/Dems,- back pedalling on there pre-election promises, not in there wildest dreams did they think they would be in the hot seat.
    Labour- sulking because no one wanted to be in there gang and telling everyone how they would save us from our financial ruin:deadhorse:
    [ they were in power when we became financially ruined]

    My old Nan used to say, it did not matter who you voted for, the government still got in.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Orchid and shush, you both perfectly described the multi-party PM system, its flaws.

    NZ "gummint" reminds me of how it works in Italy with the exception that maybe NZ isn't as stodgy or corrupt. You're correct how the minority parties hold the majority feet to the fire.

    "Shows to go ya" as they say -- no system of government is perfect. People aren't perfect and they start it, so what do you expect?

    Question for shush and others in UK/Europe -- do you think the Euro will be dumped in the coming years? It seems to be dragging down countries like Germany and Austria, even Spain.

    Back to the USA, a country so vast and diverse, I don't know if there's any really "good" way to govern it, just patch it up as you go along, like an old car you like too much to junk.

    Previously someone said that voters simply don't pay attention. Great comment. The more educated voters are (and by educated I don't necessarily mean formal schooling) the better the government they produce.

    All our leaders are fallable. Look at a perfect leader -- North Korea. Ha.

    We just have to work within the system, tweak it as best we can, and vote for those whom we feel are the better among the pack. I dunno what else to do. I mean, pure democracy only works in very small units, like some commune. And still you get factions and leaders who don't deserve to lead.

    There's an old book out there, considered the very first "modern" book about how government works, "The Governmental Process" by David B. Truman. It's still regarded as crucial in learning about politics. It approaches government via the psychological group theory of behavior. We studied this when I was taking a minor in Political Science. Group theory is real, it explains how people behave, not just poiitics but in most other situations, like in an office or factory or church or whatever.

    Sometimes people seem like sheep, following the bell. And some people are always like that. They "pull the big lever" regardless. Like it or not, most blacks would vote Democrat if Adolph Hitler were the nominee. Rightwing "faithful" are the same, especially those who use religion as their marker. They'll vote for a bible-thumper even if he's a KKK Grand Kleagle.

    That pretty much describes, oh, 30% of the voters. Another 1/3 vote for whomever is the cutest or handsome or has the best smile. Maybe 1/3 actually take the time to reflect on their vote and try to do the best.

    This is NOT the failure of the governmental system we have. No matter which system, the outcome will be the same. That is simply because human beings are flawed and will always be. So their governments are always going to be flawed.

    Best we can do is try to nudge the process more toward sensible behavior. That's about it.
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,581 Senior Member
    I like the idea of completely rewriting the constitution and doing our presidential elections American idol style. Primetime tv for 12 weeks with America voting off the worst each week. You might even get people to watch if you get someone like Simon to criticize them all every week. Each week could even have a theme, like environmental week, healthcare week, and foreign policy week. Since corporations can now donate infinite money to them we could also make them all wear NASCAR style jackets with the logos of all their sponsors on them!

    Love your spirit for very good sarcasm!!!

    Still why not take advantage of modern technology? For example creating a test by a group of naturally biased humans that will make all happy is a monumental undertaking but hey, get some Algorithm (Which genius/es get to make that one?) that will process all criteria for the test, create such test and another to score the results, cold for sure and perhaps "hackeable" but maybe as a starting point will clear a lot of dust, give everyone a fair possibility, "sans" the political baggage and all the "conflict of interests" that in itself that includes and close the herd so to speak, from there we go with you "American Idol" concept.

    The test thing is one of many possibilities, the point, my main point is to take POLITICS all together out of the picture and find another way, not a "perfect one" as that is simply not attainable but a BETTER ONE that makes the voter get more active and educated in the entire selection process and is open to everyone without having to earn the right to learn the secret handshake of one of 2 parties.

    A "Simon" is a must, just without the accent...
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • tennmiketennmike Senior Member Posts: 27,457 Senior Member
    Well, if you're going to do the 'American Idol' thing, it also needs one more thing. Remember the movie, "Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome"? How about punishing politicians that get elected and don't deliver on their promises ala "Break a deal, spin the wheel", and have some appropriate punishments doled out to the offenders. Might cut down on all those pie in the sky promises they make (aka LIES) to get elected. I've got quite a few suggestions for that; might need a bigger wheel, though.
      I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer”
    ― Douglas Adams
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    It would be interesting though to try out some new concepts in some of the "new" democracies popping up elsewhere. I think Libya and Egypt will both be writing new constitutions here in the next year or two.
    Don't be surprised if these so-called "democracies" devolve into military dictatorships, Kingdoms or terrorist states like they were before.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bruchi wrote: »
    The test thing is one of many possibilities, the point, my main point is to take POLITICS all together out of the picture etc etc

    Good points, bruch, but the problem is, politics is what defines the system itself. The system IS politics. Taking politics out of government would be like taking faith out of religion or fast speeds out of motor racing.

    Of course you mean "bad" politics, and we all know that. But there's simply no way to impose rules or changes "from outside" that fix this. Any change imposed would also be flawed. There's no way to have impartial questions or a "fair" quiz about things that are connected with human behavior. Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle to the nth power.

    Math is pure. You can ask, what is the square root of 25 and there'd only be one answer: "5". But in fact there are two correct answers, "5" and "-5" (stolen from the Simpsons would you believe).

    Chemistry is pure. Unless you include the 20th and 21st century that is. Quantum physics blew that old duck out of the water.

    I mean, it's fun to speculate as you and alpha have done, but all systems that involve human behavior are by definition flawed and dynamic. As soon as you try to effect a change on the system that is not organically generated from within, you're being a tyrant (not you personally of course).

    None of this is original. As I said, I've recently read a stunning bio of Julius Caesar (anyone interested, this is the best damn bio on Caesar I've ever read: "Caesar, Life of a Colossus" by Goldsworthy -- amazing book).

    Anyway, Caesar for the most part seemed to genuinely care about his Rome and apparently tried to advance the empire -- consistent of course with his own needs, ha ha. But he was not a despot or evil man and he definitely wasn't looking to savage his beloved Rome to fill his pockets. All the way, Caesar had enemies, both those who hated the empire and those who wanted it for their own. Caesar certainly wasn't a maniac and his murder was probably unwarranted. He was certainly no more ruthless than others of his era, less in fact than most.

    What I'm getting at is that a rational and just government has eluded straight-thinking people for at least 3 thousand years. And it's not likely to change. Heck, we've only just recently (on a scale of history) begun to govern ourselves and outlaw slavery. If we step back and take a look, the Declaration of Independence (especially the first part) and very particularly the Bill of Rights have defined human liberty formally and in writing (and in formal government) for the very first time in history. All and I repeat ALL subsequent human rights declarations have been based on the Bill or Rights. And we've only been genuinely serious about that for oh, the past hundred years.

    I don't mean to go all philosophy on you. It's just that, beside some fun and humorous speculation, there's really no way to "fix" the system except by increasingly educated voters.

    A lot of voters select by the "most shiny object" method, like a damn crow -- "Uh, he promised me the most. I'll vote for him." Maybe a good third of voters, I'd guess. We just have to throw up our hands and say "Some day" and in the meantime continue work to educate ourselves, inform others, and to poke fun at alphasig! (just kidding, pal)
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    I like the idea of completely rewriting the constitution
    I don't know if you're really kidding or not, but that idea would be a dangerous one indeed.
    Progresso-libs have been trying to do this for 110 years. I can only imagine what a disaster would be created by that.
  • tv_racin_fantv_racin_fan Senior Member Posts: 661 Senior Member
    I have asked it before...

    How do WE keep any country from getting what THEY want?

    Our govt can not keep criminals from getting firearms even while they are directly under govt control (IE in prison). Our govt can not keep illegal aliens from walking across the border. Our govt can not prevent drugs from coming across the border. All of these things happen because SOMEONE wants them to.
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    Point well taken, alpha. But there is also a gradual slope of progress occurring in world history. And I really do think that the Bill of Rights is the finest document in existence for upholding human freedom. Realize it's also not just some philosopher somewhere listing what he/she thinks is a good thing. It's an actual, actionable, official work of law that requires compliance.

    Rewriting the Constitution? Well, first you'd have to call a constitutional convention. That would even be harder than passing amendments. Look how long that takes -- 2/3 majority of both houses and what, 3/4 of the states? Consider the "Women's rights" amendment, how long that's been kicking around. 30 years?

    And if you replace the C, what with? You'd still have each state with its own rights, then overall people's rights, and either a Prez or PM. So you'd still have an administration with elected reps. All you could really do is tweak the election or nomination process.

    I'm certain that you'd prefer this: "Whatever the editorial board of the NY Times decides is law becomes law" but I also think there would be some condsiderable objection.
  • Make_My_DayMake_My_Day Senior Member Posts: 7,911 Senior Member
    With proactive, preventative maintenance many systems can continue functioning at a high level for a long time, but no system is perfect and all eventually fail. Our government based upon our constitution is no different.
    The Constitution was a near-perfect guide for the formation of American government. It is the government and it's greed and corruption that needs to be torn down and rebuilt, not the Constitution.
  • CaliFFLCaliFFL Senior Member Posts: 5,486 Senior Member
    The COTUS is already replaced. More accurately, reinterpreted. Both parties are guilty. Our representatives pass more and more unconstitutional laws with the blessing of the voting citizens. Patriot Act under Bush and now the National Defense Authorization Act under Obama are perfect examples.

    The loss of individual liberty is staggering. We are choked by taxation and regulations. We are subject to humiliation when traveling, Terry Stops, dynamic police entrances, limits on the amount of cash we can carry, Free Speech zones, business induced eminent domain, various types of prohibition, confiscation of private property without conviction...should I go on? Election after election, the party in power violates citizens’ rights. None of this is ever overturned when the other party holds the reins. Instead, each party takes turns pushing the boundaries of legislation they protested during the previous administration.

    This cannot be fixed by voting. Half the populace enjoys controlling the other half. COTUS, be damned.
    When our governing officials dismiss due process as mere semantics, when they exercise powers they don’t have and ignore duties they actually bear, and when we let them get away with it, we have ceased to be our own rulers.

    Adam J. McCleod

  • blueslide88blueslide88 Member Posts: 273 Member
    I was mostly kidding, but any human built system be it political, mechanical, or otherwise has a lifespan. They all build up entropy within the system over time. Parts break and need to be replaced, efficiency degrades, and functionality declines. At some point they all breakdown and need to be torn apart and rebuilt or replaced with something new. With proactive, preventative maintenance many systems can continue functioning at a high level for a long time, but no system is perfect and all eventually fail. Our government based upon our constitution is no different. I'm not saying we're at that point now, but it wouldn't surprise me if we hit it at some point during my lifetime. Believe it or not when that happens it will not be the end of the world or even the end of our country. It will no doubt be accompanied by a period of chaos and destruction, but it will also trigger the beginning of a new cycle of growth and renewal. This type of cycle repeats itself through nearly all human and natural systems...birth, growth, maturity, death, renewal.

    Here we go with the OWS crowd. They're all yelling and cheering at this post. Good one, if that's what you want to look forward to. There is no perfect system, but our Constitution, with the Bill of Rights, has got to be the best this planet has ever seen. It'll be around for a long, long time.
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,581 Senior Member
    Please correct me here if I am bonkers here but I don't recall where in the constitution it says that "politics" must be a part of the governmental process and please remember that "alluding to" is something to be interpreted.
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
  • samzheresamzhere Banned Posts: 10,923 Senior Member
    bruchi wrote: »
    Please correct me here if I am bonkers here but I don't recall where in the constitution it says that "politics" must be a part of the governmental process and please remember that "alluding to" is something to be interpreted.

    You're absolutely correct. Politics isn't written as a part of the Constitution but by the very composition of an election, you introduce politics. How else can you hold an election? How else can you decide whom to vote for unless they give a speech or write an editorial piece in the local paper?

    If we omit politics then we have a set of candidates chosen at random from the citizens and then the "winner" also chosen for us. Like using a random generator in a computer program. That certainly removes politics.

    Democracy in one form or another had been around forever. The ancient Greeks in Athens voted. Roman citizens voted. And so on. The Brits voted and their MPs chose a PM. Many of the original objections here were that the right to vote for an MP was denied them. (taxation without representation). Hell, if George III hadn't been so nuts and had been more amenable to the complaints, given the colonies a few MPs, there wouldn't have been a revolution. We'd have probably evolved like Canada, slowly changing from monarchy to constitutional monarchy and then democracy.

    How to vote if you don't choose the person via their political beliefs or speeches? And that's politics, pure and simple. How else? Coin flip?

    You're not bonkers. What you're talking about -- correct me -- is corrupt or tainted politics, not politics per se.

    The founders perfectly understood that politics was to have a part in our system. Think about it -- the Constitution itself was ratified via voting from the new states. Articles like the Federalist Papers were hotly debated in assembly halls (and taverns) all across.

    What they really didn't forsee was the rise of political parties. Politics yes, parties no. But even that was apparent by the time of Washington's 2nd administration.
  • robert38-55robert38-55 Senior Member Posts: 3,621 Senior Member
    The citizens don't have a say on who they vote for because... wait for it... they don't pay attention! The don't pay attention when they're running for local office, they don't pay attention when they run for state office, and they don't pay attention when they run in the primaries. Look at who's running this year. None of them are running for the first time. None of them. A good derail early on would stop them. But it hasn't. Why? Apathy.

    I 100% agree with ya Breamfisher!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! An apathic Nation, is a doomed Nation!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    "It is what it is":usa:
  • bruchibruchi Senior Member Posts: 2,581 Senior Member
    IMHO I believe that the 2 party system, a 200 party for that matter, not only brings a lot of negative baggage with it, it is at worst the root for all of that apathy and worst, BIG time for every election's "losing half" on a permanent basis, it is a "chair game" the sum of all can never benefit from.

    So for my thinking of getting rid of politics and making it about what you have done before getting elected and then what you do while seated, it is more about getting rid of affiliations that have nothing to do with performing a position to it's fullest positive potential, votes would have to be earned by your actual resume and staying on, on how you perform while you are at it, folks would not expected to vote on faith, looks, promises and worst yet, which side backs a candidate or whatever.

    Of course, sure, there is NO perfect system as long as flawed human beings are involved, add to this the exponential negatives our wonderful media can add to anything, but perhaps once the "team" mentality is thrown out the window seeing who is actually doing what, or not, would become more evident and not thrown under the party mentality rug!

    Just throwing an idea out there to get the ball rolling, not a bad thing IMO 200+ years down the road, "learn and adapt".
    If this post is non welcomed, I can always give you a recipe for making "tostones".
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