2016 US Presidential Election

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 2:16 pm UTC

sardia wrote:
I never said it was a high chance, just a real one. You could argue that the GOP house would be disgusted enough by Trump to compromise with a generic old fashion Republican.


For sake of argument, lets say I agree with you to speed things up.

Even then, this only matters in Utah because McMullin is polling so high there. A vote for McMullin in California isn't going to do anything. Anybody voting for a 3rd party elsewhere in this country is still wasting their vote.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:00 pm UTC

A similar tactic by certain Sanders supporters as a write-up in VT has also been discussed. Would be interesting if McMullin wins Utah and Bernie takes Vermont.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:02 pm UTC

eran_rathan wrote:A similar tactic by certain Sanders supporters as a write-up in VT has also been discussed. Would be interesting if McMullin wins Utah and Bernie takes Vermont.


As per the 12th Amendment, only the top 3 electoral college votes progress to the House.

Utah has 6 Electoral College Votes, Vermont has 3. So McMullin will continue forward and Bernie will be forced to drop out.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby SDK » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:04 pm UTC

How bad would the candidates have to be before you would consider a third party vote? Surely you must have a line at some point.

Spoiler:
Image
That line is going to be different for different people. Or would you always wait until polling numbers suggested enough people had stopped waiting?

This is coming from a Canadian perspective though, where our 4+ parties seem to be doing just fine. Vote splitting is a thing, but I'm not sure I'd exactly call it a problem. The staunch party loyalty you have down there strikes me as a much bigger problem than vote splitting could ever be.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:05 pm UTC

SDK wrote:How bad would the candidates have to be before you would consider a third party vote? Surely you must have a line at some point.

Spoiler:
Image
That line is going to be different for different people. Or would you always wait until polling numbers suggested enough people had stopped waiting?


And episode was about Ross Perot, who got 18.9% of the popular vote.

This is coming from a Canadian perspective though, where our 4+ parties seem to be doing just fine. Vote splitting is a thing, but I'm not sure I'd exactly call it a problem. The staunch party loyalty you have down there strikes me as a much bigger problem than vote splitting could ever be.


Canada doesn't have the Electoral College. Fuck the Electoral College.

In the US, the President isn't elected based on a direct vote. Its based on the Electoral College. So a citizen in Wyoming and Alaska has "more power" than citizen in California or New York. Furthermore, electoral college representatives are typically achieved as a winner-take-all system.

So basically, if 30% of New York's vote went to Bernie, 30% of it went to Clinton, and 40% of it went to Trump... Trump would win all 29 of New York's electoral college votes (With nothing going to either Bernie or Clinton)

---------

You are literally throwing away your vote if you don't win. America is composed of 50 winner-take-all mini-elections.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:10 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:Canada doesn't have the Electoral College.

Fuck the Electoral College.

We also don't have the position that the Electoral College elects, though, so it's kind of a moot point.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Liri » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:12 pm UTC

If neither believed in climate change/planned to do anything about it. A lot of people do vote more for the party than the person, and that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The Democratic party platform is one I agree with, the Republican one isn't. Person at the top doesn't really matter unless they've committed (relevant) crimes, in which case there are other problems.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:12 pm UTC

ahammel wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:Canada doesn't have the Electoral College.

Fuck the Electoral College.

We also don't have the position that the Electoral College elects, though, so it's kind of a moot point.


You've got a Prime Minister, right?

IIRC, our founding fathers wanted that to happen. The idea with the Electoral College was that it'd be a system that failed to make a result over-and-over again, and then Congress would elect the President. (In this respect: the Presidency was designed to be more like your guy's Prime Minister).

Alas, political parties were invented and totally pwn the Electoral College system.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby SDK » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:18 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:You've got a Prime Minister, right?
We do, but they're not directly elected by the citizens, they're just the leader of the party who wins the most seats. It's kind of similar to the electoral college, where each Member of Parliament is voted into a specific region. Whoever has the most MP's at the end of all that becomes the ruling party (and their leader, the Prime Minister).

It sucks that the electors are beholden to their state down in the US since states seem a bit big to represent everyone within them, but it's kind of the same idea. You guys just have additional levels to all this, where our version of Congress is always controlled by the same party as the Prime Minister (except in the event of a minority government where they need to get at least one other party's agreement to pass anything).
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:24 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:You've got a Prime Minister, right?
We do, but they're not directly elected by the citizens, they're just the leader of the party who wins the most seats. It's kind of similar to the electoral college, where each Member of Parliament is voted into a specific region. Whoever has the most MP's at the end of all that becomes the ruling party (and their leader, the Prime Minister).

It sucks that the electors are beholden to their state down in the US since states seem a bit big to represent everyone within them, but it's kind of the same idea. You guys just have additional levels to all this, where our version of Congress is always controlled by the same party as the Prime Minister (except in the event of a minority government where they need to get at least one other party's agreement to pass anything).


Also, your Members of Parliament stick around after the election, right? To pass laws and do useful shit?

The Electoral College votes for the President and then that's it. They leave. Its a very weird way of doing things, but that's how it works in America.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:29 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
SDK wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:You've got a Prime Minister, right?
We do, but they're not directly elected by the citizens, they're just the leader of the party who wins the most seats. It's kind of similar to the electoral college, where each Member of Parliament is voted into a specific region. Whoever has the most MP's at the end of all that becomes the ruling party (and their leader, the Prime Minister).

It sucks that the electors are beholden to their state down in the US since states seem a bit big to represent everyone within them, but it's kind of the same idea. You guys just have additional levels to all this, where our version of Congress is always controlled by the same party as the Prime Minister (except in the event of a minority government where they need to get at least one other party's agreement to pass anything).


Also, your Members of Parliament stick around after the election, right? To pass laws and do useful shit?
Aye. It's a bit like House of Representatives, if Paul Ryan was also responsible for selecting the Secretary of State and so forth and all Obama did was put his autograph on everything that comes across his desk.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby SDK » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:37 pm UTC

Right, they stick around. Like I said, you guys have additional levels (for no reason?). I always get confused about your House of Representatives, Congress and Senate, so I misspoke when I said our MP's were like your Congress (I forgot that applies to both the House and the Senate). ahammel's right, they're like your House.

ahammel wrote:It's a bit like House of Representatives, if Paul Ryan was also responsible for selecting the Secretary of State and so forth and all Obama did was put his autograph on everything that comes across his desk.

Are you comparing Obama to the Governor General here?
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ahammel » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:42 pm UTC

SDK wrote:
ahammel wrote:It's a bit like House of Representatives, if Paul Ryan was also responsible for selecting the Secretary of State and so forth and all Obama did was put his autograph on everything that comes across his desk.

Are you comparing Obama to the Governor General here?
Yeah, in the sense that they're both heads of state.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Qaanol » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:45 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:The Presidential vote isn't where you should be voting to make change happen. The numbers aren't there to affect change by voting third party, and the Big Two can safely ignore your input at the ballot box (which they have done and will continue to do).

Well if they really don’t want my vote, then they really won’t get it.

KnightExemplar wrote:If a 3rd party can get say... 20 Senators, and steal the power of filibuster away from the minority party... you'll start to see some major political change in this country. That's the road to a rise of a new 3rd party... not through the Presidential elections but through the House / Senate.

Great, thanks for the tip. I’ll be sure to only vote for congressional candidates who oppose both of this year’s terrible presidential nominees.

Lazar wrote:you're more concerned with assigning and avoiding blame than with doing anything to make the situation better.

Quite the contrary. I may be the only one here who is attempting to make the situation better *at all*.

Everyone who chooses “the lesser of two evils” is actively voting for evil. They are making the situation *worse*, and they themselves know it.

Lazar wrote:When Trump takes this country in a more authoritarian and antisocial direction, with ramifications possibly lasting far into the future, it won't matter who's to blame: society will simply have been made worse, in ways that might not even be fixable. Blame is a punitive and backward-looking notion, and it's not half as useful as you seem to think it is. Oh, and I'm sorry for terrorizing you – God forbid you should actually assess the possible outcomes of your actions.

Well then maybe *next time* (that’s forward-looking) if you don’t want Trump to win *again* (that’s you assessing the outcomes of your actions), you’ll nominate someone worth supporting.

But it seems you’ll only try to earn my vote if you blame me for the loss. So I welcome your blame.

Lazar wrote:
Honesty is the best policy, and I will be voting honestly.

Why yes, Herr Obersturmführer, I suppose I do have some Jews up in the attic. I'm so dreadfully sorry…

Wow.

You’re resorting to Nazism to argue against honesty.

• • •

You know what? I’ll just go ahead and concede the point. You’re right, sometimes lying is the best course of action. And sometimes breaking the law is moral, and sometimes violence is justified too.

Those are all true statements, and I agree with them.

If it’ll stop Donald Trump from winning, then surely a *small* amount of violence is acceptable, right?

But we can probably ensure his defeat without any violence at all! So let’s just reprogram the electronic voting machines, let’s deregister a bunch of our opponents from the voter rolls, let’s send our supporters to nursing homes and mental hospitals with absentee ballots and have them cast votes for the infirm.

I mean, sure those things are illegal, but it’s for the greater good of stopping Trump so it must be okay!

• • •

In other words, if you’re willing to break Nazi laws by hiding Jews in the attic, but you’re not willing to break election laws by altering the vote, then the analogy doesn’t just break down, it was never valid in the first place.

On the other hand, if you *are* willing to rig the election, then you must assume the other side is as well. And if both major parties are trying to cheat, then we need *ridiculously strong* safeguards or else the whole process is worthless.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 3:59 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:
Lazar wrote:you're more concerned with assigning and avoiding blame than with doing anything to make the situation better.

Quite the contrary. I may be the only one here who is attempting to make the situation better *at all*.

Everyone who chooses “the lesser of two evils” is actively voting for evil. They are making the situation *worse*, and they themselves know it.


On the contrary. Its simply about maximizing my political influence on the system.

What's your political game plan? I've laid out mine for how I think we can actually get a legitimate, long-term 3rd party system in play. Sure, it requires changes to the Constitution, but that's the easiest way I can conceive. It takes decades to propose and work for a Constitutional Amendment, but it has happened 27 times so far.

If your plan is to throw away your vote every four years by voting for a 3rd party candidate, I have to say that your political strategy will simply never work. Do you really think that Gary Johnson, Jill Stein or Evan McMullin will get more votes than the 18.9% that Ross Perot did in 1992? And if so, what do you expect will happen?

History states that these flash-in-a-pan 3rd party candidates show up, then disappear. The only 3rd parties that become long-term political forces are the ones that bubble up through Congress. (Whigs, Federalists, etc. etc.)
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby eran_rathan » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:08 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:You are literally throwing away your vote if you don't win. America is composed of 50 winner-take-all mini-elections.



48, with 2 representative electoral votes (Nebraska and Maine split theirs by district, which is why Trump has been campaigning hard in ME 2nd District in order to get one or two electoral votes).
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 14, 2016 4:50 pm UTC

Lazar wrote:
Qaanol wrote:Suppose the blamers are correct. That means I (and people like me) have the power to decide which of the two entrenched establishment parties wins the election. If that is true, then next time they had better to nominate someone I can support, because if they don’t then I will continue to exercise my power in exactly the same way.

I know what you're getting at: assuming that Trump is, at least by a slight margin, your most disliked candidate, then you seek to punish the Democratic Party (and, by extension, the country) by not doing what you can to keep him out of office. If we're flinging the concept of evil around willy-nilly, then there's an evil in that too, given the added harm that this will cause to many people (quite likely extending for decades in the form of Supreme Court appointments). Not to mention the possibility that the Democrats may never end up nominating someone acceptable to progressive purists, in which case all you've accomplished is adding a further permanent Republican bias to the system. A far more justifiable approach would be to actually start a campaign for electoral reform, rather than playing some quixotic long-term spoiler game which will most likely never bear fruit.


Look, if there's a good way to get us off a two party system, great. By all means, outline how that is possible, and provide historic evidence, if you insist that this is better on practical grounds.

Because a TON of people have pointed out that our voting system is broken, but we're still stuck with it.

I think it's rather obvious that the winning parties are fond of keeping systems in place that help them to win, morality be damned.

If you vote for evil, then you shouldn’t be surprised when evil wins.

Why would the people who vote for a winning candidate be surprised when that candidate wins?


The point is that you're supporting a system wherein running someone "marginally less evil than the opposition" continues to be a winning strategy.


Liri wrote:Maybe I've just drunk the Kool-Aid, but Clinton really did win me over after the primary. Even during, as a Sanders supporter, I knew that she was totally capable and would at the very least be an "okay" president.

2nd Amendment issues? Oh boo-hoo, you might have to get a background check and can't buy clips over a certain size. Jesus christ. Grow the hell up. There are more important things to worry about.

e: sorry for sounding mean but it's pretty irritating


Your issues are not my issues. Clinton has explicitly stated her disagreement with the Heller ruling, and it's pretty certain that any justices she'd appoint would rule differently. We're looking at potentially a long stretch of bad rulings for gun rights. I don't know exactly what those will be, but if they're of similar weight to Heller, a great deal more is at stake than background checks and mag restrictions. In the DC/MD area, these are not merely theoretical distinctions, but things that affect me on a practical level. If MD is required to actually issue carry permits, for instance, that directly affects me. If DC can no longer levy ridiculous penalties for possessing a single round of ammunition, maybe I can drive to Virginia ranges(MD basically doesn't have long distance ranges) without having to dramatically alter driving routes.

Those things may not matter to you, but they do matter to me. If Trump was as is he is now, but was actually a solid 2nd Amendment supporter, I'd hold my nose and vote Trump. What bothers me is that Trump isn't very trustworthy. He might be a better bet on this one issue, but he's still not a GOOD bet. At most, you're relying him to do the right things because he's coerced into it. He's still kind of an awful person.

Now, precise issues that matter to you may differ. But for *many* different baskets of issues, both Trump and Clinton are pretty concerning. Which is marginally ahead may vary, but at some point, isn't it reasonable to reject them both as utterly unacceptable?

The Great Hippo wrote:The thing is -- I cannot remember a single Presidential election during which I did not hear this argument. There's always a fire. Which means that this argument is a call for people to stop supporting the candidates they want to support; to instead always tow the line. To stop trying to express themselves -- to erase themselves as political entities. You might as well just have machines vote for them by proxy.


Indeed. One is expected to *always* vote for the party that you dislike marginally less. Anything else will let THEM win. Because, of course, they are the enemy, in an eternal struggle that will never be settled. It's as if the parties believe you owe them your vote and support.

It's a pretty sad state, when you expand your viewpoint to consider multiple elections. Everyone on both sides is expected to just keep doing this. And if we do, what prevents both candidates from being horribly unacceptable?

The primary? Well, the primaries gave us THIS lot, so clearly, they're not selecting the best possible candidates. Even if one is looking for "least objectionable candidate", I think it's a cinch Trump isn't that, either.

If one of the candidates is good enough for your views, cheers, vote for 'em. But for many of us, they're both strongly disliked.

ahammel wrote:I really don't understand why the Libertarians or the Greens or some hypothetical Bernie-Sanders-esque party doesn't try to set themselves up as a minority in Congress. You're a big country, with a lot of electoral districts, surely some of them would be vulnerable with a coordinated campaign. The House and the Senate are usually pretty close to 50/50, yeah? A third party wouldn't have to win that many seats to be playing kingmaker in a lot of votes, and it would give them a real platform to talk about electoral reform. Surely that's more productive than spending the money on moon-shot Presidential campaigns. (Particularly if Johnson and Stein are the best you can do. Let's face it, they're both awful candidates.)


They do. Presidential campaigns, however, result in a lot more press than more local races. An independent party who routinely gets 1%ish(as is pretty normal for libertarians in the presidential), in a local race is just irrelevant and ignored.

We've had periodic victories, too, that have not turned into greater power. The Reform party won a governorship, for instance. They won this AFTER a good presidential showing. But their fortunes didn't improve after the governorship, did it? Down ticket effects are proven. Up ticket....ehhh.

ucim wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:It's fine to acknowledge that perfect choices will not always exist, but at some point, it's reasonable to acknowledge that both options are quite far from optimal indeed, and the system overall needs improvement. A third choice must be taken.
A third viable choice. A choice that would actually improve the system. Don't start a revolution that is sure to fail - plan it better so that it is likely to succeed first. That goes for getting a third party candidate elected also. (And, btw, there are no third party candidates at the moment that would make a good president even if elected, so even by your standards that's not a moral choice either.)


If you hate those two, write someone in.

If you believe there is a more practical, moral way to get a third party candidate elected than voting for them, please, make that case.

Note additionally that supporting a third party in the presidential does not in any way become an either/or choice with regards to supporting them in local elections. You're literally arguing that down ticket effects don't matter, when all the data says that normally, they're huge.

sardia wrote:[
All this third party stuff is interesting, but people do need to realize that Trump/Clinton won a very large chunk of the electorate. If you feel that your opinion is being ignored, there's a very real chance that it's because you are the outlier.


Or, the options in the primaries were a dumpster fire as well, and people voted for the "least evil" there, too. I swapped registration to republican to vote for Kasich. Not because he was great, or I was particularly enthused by him, but because he'd have been significantly more acceptable. By the time I was there to vote, the viable options were Kasich, Trump, and Cruz. None of those people were actually great options, just varying degrees of unfortunate.

Tactical voting makes a mockery of the idea that the majority of the electorate actually wanted this. The vast majority of the electorate didn't vote. Of those who do, tactical and partisan voting is routine.

Qaanol wrote:
sardia wrote:There's a guy who is a known sexual predator, and he's still getting 40%+ of the vote.

…running against a woman who tried to silence the victims of her known-rapist husband.


They're both morally horrible people who seize power however they can, but that's maybe a bit far. Bill's affairs, etc are concerning from a power perspective, etc, but probably do not rise to the level of rape. Bill's still not a great role model if you care about such things, of course, but I think it's important not to resort to hyperbole.

Diadem wrote:Here is an article by Nate Silver et al. calculating the odds of your single vote directly affecting the final outcome of the election. It ranges from 1 in 10 million in a swing state to 1 in a billion in very safe states. The value of the US presidency however is in the trillions of dollars, or millions of human lives. So your vote is fucking valuable, even if you don't live in a swing state.


Unlikely. That valuation is incredibly suspect, and does not match real world market values, as determined by how much is spent to obtain it.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:03 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
Diadem wrote:Here is an article by Nate Silver et al. calculating the odds of your single vote directly affecting the final outcome of the election. It ranges from 1 in 10 million in a swing state to 1 in a billion in very safe states. The value of the US presidency however is in the trillions of dollars, or millions of human lives. So your vote is fucking valuable, even if you don't live in a swing state.


Unlikely. That valuation is incredibly suspect, and does not match real world market values, as determined by how much is spent to obtain it.


This is another problem with the US's election system. The "safer" your state is, the less your vote counts. The rational person doesn't vote, because it doesn't matter.

I don't think this can change ever however (even with newer proposed voting systems), so its just how it is. I guess the best I can do is try to appeal to civic duty ethos to try and convince people to vote.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby arbiteroftruth » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:27 pm UTC

The arguments against voting third party seem to want to have it both ways regarding the importance of a vote. If you don't vote for a major party, you're hurting the outcome of the election. And the long term effect of a protest vote doesn't matter, because nobody cares about that small portion of protest voters.

But which is it? Does my vote matter or not? If my vote matters, then my protest matters. If my vote doesn't matter, then voting third party isn't hurting anything.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:29 pm UTC

There is also a persistent tendency to assume the voter is stealing a vote from your preferred party. Both parties do this, it's kind of odd.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:35 pm UTC

arbiteroftruth wrote:The arguments against voting third party seem to want to have it both ways regarding the importance of a vote. If you don't vote for a major party, you're hurting the outcome of the election. And the long term effect of a protest vote doesn't matter, because nobody cares about that small portion of protest voters.

But which is it? Does my vote matter or not? If my vote matters, then my protest matters. If my vote doesn't matter, then voting third party isn't hurting anything.


It should be noted that this is a zero-sum game. Someone is going to win, and someone is going to lose. So "not helping" is... from a game-theory perspective... approximately the same as "hurting".

With that said, a protest vote IMO is roughly the same as not voting at all, as far as asserting personal political power.

Tyndmyr wrote:There is also a persistent tendency to assume the voter is stealing a vote from your preferred party. Both parties do this, it's kind of odd.


Libertarians would (typically) vote Republican otherwise, and Green Party would (typically) vote Democrat otherwise. The correlation isn't 1:1, but maybe 60:40 or 70:30.

So from that perspective, Democrats have reason to "blame" Green Party members for a spoiler vote. And Republicans have reason to blame the Libertarian party for the spoiler. McMullin is a former Republican, so he hurts Republicans more than Democrats.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby lorb » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:40 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:This is another problem with the US's election system. The "safer" your state is, the less your vote counts. The rational person doesn't vote, because it doesn't matter.


There is a way out of this for the safe states. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would in effect abolish the electoral college, and it needs only about half of all states to join. It's a bit of a mystery to me why voters in "safe" red states are not pushing for it. (So far only blue states have adopted it.)
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:41 pm UTC

It isn't merely that. My libertarian tendencies don't prevent people from assuming that I'm somehow stealing a vote from Clinton. Or from stopping Trump, however it's phrased.

Shit, look at your logic. It's demonstratably false.

If the vote would otherwise be 10 - 12, and I opt not to vote, it remains 10 - 12. If I vote AGAINST your guy, it becomes 11 - 12. Clearly, abstaining is not equivalent to hurting.

It is no more equivalent than helping is, in fact. Helping provides a +1 delta over non participation, whereas voting for the other guy(in a two party system) is a -1 delta.

lorb wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:This is another problem with the US's election system. The "safer" your state is, the less your vote counts. The rational person doesn't vote, because it doesn't matter.


There is a way out of this for the safe states. The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would in effect abolish the electoral college, and it needs only about half of all states to join. It's a bit of a mystery to me why voters in "safe" red states are not pushing for it. (So far only blue states have adopted it.)


Because, tactically, red team is probably benefitted by the electoral college. Or at least, it seems that way, thanks to the Bush election.

It's not really a mystery why both sides are supporting the position that benefits them, albeit marginally. This is true for all electoral changes.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:51 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Qaanol wrote:
Lazar wrote:you're more concerned with assigning and avoiding blame than with doing anything to make the situation better.

Quite the contrary. I may be the only one here who is attempting to make the situation better *at all*.

Everyone who chooses “the lesser of two evils” is actively voting for evil. They are making the situation *worse*, and they themselves know it.


On the contrary. Its simply about maximizing my political influence on the system.

What's your political game plan? I've laid out mine for how I think we can actually get a legitimate, long-term 3rd party system in play. Sure, it requires changes to the Constitution, but that's the easiest way I can conceive. It takes decades to propose and work for a Constitutional Amendment, but it has happened 27 times so far.


What's weird about this is that we actually a pretty solid contemporary example of how to effect political change of this magnitude in the form of the Tea Party, and, to a probably a similar extent, the rise of the religious right in the late 70s through the 80s. Granted neither of these are true third party options, but they nonetheless represent political activists working within the system to drive a political party in a dramatically different direction. And although I've never seen it explicitly expressed in those terms, but I think you could certainly make the argument that Donald Trump is the de facto Tea Party presidential nominee.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:53 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:It isn't merely that. My libertarian tendencies don't prevent people from assuming that I'm somehow stealing a vote from Clinton. Or from stopping Trump, however it's phrased.

Shit, look at your logic. It's demonstratably false.

If the vote would otherwise be 10 - 12, and I opt not to vote, it remains 10 - 12. If I vote AGAINST your guy, it becomes 11 - 12. Clearly, abstaining is not equivalent to hurting.

It is no more equivalent than helping is, in fact. Helping provides a +1 delta over non participation, whereas voting for the other guy(in a two party system) is a -1 delta.


You're a man of data IIRC. So lets use historical data instead of hypotheticals, yes?

Ralf Nader got 97,488 votes in Florida for the 2000 election. Al Gore lost by 537 votes to Bush, in Florida.

I'm not saying 100% of Green Party members would have voted for Gore. But I'd bet you more than 50.2% of Green Party Members would have preferred Al Gore over George Bush.

LaserGuy wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
Qaanol wrote:
Lazar wrote:you're more concerned with assigning and avoiding blame than with doing anything to make the situation better.

Quite the contrary. I may be the only one here who is attempting to make the situation better *at all*.

Everyone who chooses “the lesser of two evils” is actively voting for evil. They are making the situation *worse*, and they themselves know it.


On the contrary. Its simply about maximizing my political influence on the system.

What's your political game plan? I've laid out mine for how I think we can actually get a legitimate, long-term 3rd party system in play. Sure, it requires changes to the Constitution, but that's the easiest way I can conceive. It takes decades to propose and work for a Constitutional Amendment, but it has happened 27 times so far.


What's weird about this is that we actually a pretty solid contemporary example of how to effect political change of this magnitude in the form of the Tea Party, and, to a probably a similar extent, the rise of the religious right in the late 70s through the 80s. Granted neither of these are true third party options, but they nonetheless represent political activists working within the system to drive a political party in a dramatically different direction. And although I've never seen it explicitly expressed in those terms, but I think you could certainly make the argument that Donald Trump is the de facto Tea Party presidential nominee.


I think Bernie's effect on the Democrats is a better example actually. Clinton no longer supports TPP and has marched left on a severe number of issues to appease the Bernie camp. Bernie has done more for progressives than Jill Stein ever will.

Trump is a continuation of the ugly racism that is across America. The Know Nothings, the Reform Party, and now Trump himself has become front-and-center in the Republican party.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:55 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:[Sure, it requires changes to the Constitution, but that's the easiest way I can conceive. It takes decades to propose and work for a Constitutional Amendment, but it has happened 27 times so far.


Decades? The last one took 202 years to ratify. And that was decades ago.

A large portion of the electorate has never seen another amendment ratification.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 5:56 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
LaserGuy wrote: Sure, it requires changes to the Constitution, but that's the easiest way I can conceive. It takes decades to propose and work for a Constitutional Amendment, but it has happened 27 times so far.


Decades? The last one took 202 years to ratify. And that was decades ago.

A large portion of the electorate has never seen another amendment ratification.


You messed up my quote btw. I said that, not LaserGuy.

Anyway, the 21st Amendment took less than 13 years to ratify. Some take longer than others. But they happen. Certainly, they happen more often than a 3rd-party candidate getting elected (or doing anything in a Presidential election mind you). Approximately 27 more times than a 3rd party Presidential candidate winning, by my count.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:00 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
LaserGuy wrote: Sure, it requires changes to the Constitution, but that's the easiest way I can conceive. It takes decades to propose and work for a Constitutional Amendment, but it has happened 27 times so far.


Decades? The last one took 202 years to ratify. And that was decades ago.

A large portion of the electorate has never seen another amendment ratification.


You messed up my quote btw. I said that, not LaserGuy.

Anyway, the 21st Amendment took less than 13 years to ratify. Some take longer than others. But they happen. Certainly, they happen more often than a 3rd-party candidate getting elected (or doing anything in a Presidential election mind you)


Fixed the quote.

11 of the 27 were all submitted literally the first year. The last successful submission of an amendment was over 50 years ago, dude. If that's your most viable path, it's not very viable.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby KnightExemplar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:01 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
KnightExemplar wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Decades? The last one took 202 years to ratify. And that was decades ago.

A large portion of the electorate has never seen another amendment ratification.


You messed up my quote btw. I said that, not LaserGuy.

Anyway, the 21st Amendment took less than 13 years to ratify. Some take longer than others. But they happen. Certainly, they happen more often than a 3rd-party candidate getting elected (or doing anything in a Presidential election mind you)


Fixed the quote.

11 of the 27 were all submitted literally the first year. The last successful submission of an amendment was over 50 years ago, dude. If that's your most viable path, it's not very viable.


Its far more viable than voting 3rd party in a Presidential election.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:17 pm UTC

KnightExemplar wrote:
What's weird about this is that we actually a pretty solid contemporary example of how to effect political change of this magnitude in the form of the Tea Party, and, to a probably a similar extent, the rise of the religious right in the late 70s through the 80s. Granted neither of these are true third party options, but they nonetheless represent political activists working within the system to drive a political party in a dramatically different direction. And although I've never seen it explicitly expressed in those terms, but I think you could certainly make the argument that Donald Trump is the de facto Tea Party presidential nominee.


I think Bernie's effect on the Democrats is a better example actually. Clinton no longer supports TPP and has marched left on a severe number of issues to appease the Bernie camp. Bernie has done more for progressives than Jill Stein ever will.


Too early to tell, IMHO. The key for the Bernie supporters post-election is to maintain pressure on Democrats to actually follow through on those promises, and, if they don't, aggressively support progressive alternatives to sitting Democrats in the midterms, as well as at state/local level. Pulling the party back towards the left is not a one-primary project.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby SlyReaper » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:27 pm UTC

PeteP wrote:At SlyReaper. SInce I know what peoples problems with Trump are but with Clinton people criticizing her seem mostly content to just say she is horrible without really bothering with making that point so I don't really have a clear picture what people in this thread are basing that on and whether I should care. (Of course in the wider internet I hear about benghazi and emails and stuff.) Thanks for the answer.

Sorry, I should probably have expanded on that.

Her problems as I see them are summarised as 1) the DNC nomination process was rigged, 2) unethical behaviour, both personally and within her campaign, and 3) her closeness to her corporate backers.

The Democratic nomination process was rigged in her favour from the beginning - I believe this was suspected by many at the time, and a recent wikileaks release of DNC emails seems to confirm it. The content of those emails was, in summary, "this Bernie chap is too popular and is a threat to Hillary. How do we rig the process against him?" This was before any votes had been cast, and Bernie should have been considered as serious a candidate as Hillary. It's not proven that Hillary was aware of this little conspiracy, but she was certainly the beneficiary of it.

In terms of outright unethical behaviour, there's almost too much to choose from. The use of a private email server for secure documents is well known by now. There's the Podesta emails, which reveal the contempt and disdain the Clinton campaign has for its voters. "We've all been quite content to demean government, drop civics, and in general conspire to produce an unaware and compliant citizenry", for example. The Podesta emails also have that gem of a line about how they should put pressure on Qatar and Saudi Arabia, because they know they're funding ISIS. They sure have kept quiet about knowing that.

Finally, the charge of being the "corporate candidate" may sound stale at this point, but it needs hammering home. It is not an empty harmless thing. She has taken huge amounts of money from major banks, media organisations, multinational corporations, etc. At this point, she HAS to listen to them, and carry out their interests, because she cannot afford to lose their backing.

I'm not saying Trump is any better. He's just awful in a different assortment of ways.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:49 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:It's not proven that Hillary was aware of this little conspiracy, but she was certainly the beneficiary of it.
Being the beneficiary isn't a mark against her. Actually rigging the election would be. But if there's no evidence that Hillary rigged it, then it's not a black mark on Hillary.
Spoiler:
Sure, it's a black mark on the DNC, but it's important not to confuse the two.
SlyReaper wrote:In terms of outright unethical behaviour, there's almost too much to choose from. The use of a private email server...
...was hardly unique. Find me a politician who has risen to the level of viable presidential candidate that is not unethical. You won't. That's the nature of politics. I expect it. But it does need to be taken into consideration.
SlyReaper wrote:Finally, the charge of being the "corporate candidate"...She has taken huge amounts of money from major banks...
Find me a candidate who hasn't, one way or another. Trump certainly has, in the form of a lifetime of business dealings. And he (by his own statements) is himself a corporate entity. The idea that by being rich he's not beholden to the rich is ludicrous.

So yeah, Clinton has all the flaws of a politician. At least she's a grownup.

Tyndmyr wrote:An independent party who routinely gets 1%ish(as is pretty normal for libertarians in the presidential), in a local race is just irrelevant and ignored.
...as well they should be. But the actual local politician who was elected is not ignored - he or she has an actual voice and an actual vote in the actual ruling body they were elected to. That's a much stronger influence than a citizen has. And little by little, if similar ideologies are supported and get people into local politics, those ideologies will penetrate, and their party will become viable. Only then will it make sense to vote for them against major party candidates in the presidential election.

It takes time, and some amount of lucky circumstances though. As you illustrate, it's not guaranteed.

When you have good candidates, vote for your favorite. The favorite favorite will win, and that's what's supposed to happen.

When you have bad candidates, vote against the worst one that has a chance of winning. And the strongest vote against a leading candidate is to vote for the next strongest one.

The problem isn't (directly) the voting system, it's that we have bad candidates to begin with.

Tyndmyr wrote:If you hate those two, write someone in.

If you believe there is a more practical, moral way to get a third party candidate elected than voting for them, please, make that case.
See above. Simply writing someone in is not an effective way to elect them. You need to get lots of people to write the same person in. i.e., an effective political campaign.

Tyndmyr wrote:Tactical voting makes a mockery of...
Voting isn't the only thing tactical. Why don't good candidates run in the first place? That gets closer to identifying the problem.

KnightExemplar wrote:The "safer" your state is, the less your vote counts. The rational person doesn't vote, because it doesn't matter.
Isn't that true of any vote? If an issue is a sure thing or a lost cause, your vote "doesn't matter", because you rarely get "two thirds of a yes" as the actual result. The only time your vote "matters" is when it would otherwise have been an exact tie. But since you don't know whether that's going to happen or not, it's best to treat your vote as if it always matters. Because that is what matters.

As to abolishing the Electoral College (or its mathematical equivalent), I don't think it's a good idea. I won't go into why right now (it has to do with appealing to a wide base), but consider changing the scoring of the World Series, so that seven games are always played, and the winner is the one with the most total home runs, irrespective of the way individual games are played.

Games (and states) are the operative unit here, not runs or people.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:51 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:The Democratic nomination process was rigged in her favour from the beginning - I believe this was suspected by many at the time, and a recent wikileaks release of DNC emails seems to confirm it. The content of those emails was, in summary, "this Bernie chap is too popular and is a threat to Hillary. How do we rig the process against him?" This was before any votes had been cast, and Bernie should have been considered as serious a candidate as Hillary. It's not proven that Hillary was aware of this little conspiracy, but she was certainly the beneficiary of it.


I recall seeing the email talking about rigging, but was there anything that actually happened?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby SlyReaper » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:32 pm UTC

ucim (paraphrased) wrote:Yeah, but Trump and other politicians do that stuff too

I don't disagree. Like I said, both options are revolting. Also, I don't recall Obama or Bernie ever getting caught with such incriminating material like those emails.

Chen wrote:I recall seeing the email talking about rigging, but was there anything that actually happened?

Provably? Not that I'm aware of. How do you prove back-room wheeling and dealing? Even if, somehow, no such thing actually happened, the email alone reveals a certain contempt for the idea of a fair nomination process.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Quizatzhaderac » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:33 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:There is also a persistent tendency to assume the voter is stealing a vote from your preferred party. Both parties do this, it's kind of odd.
Agreed. I think the idea that "you vote for one of the two parties, or waste your vote" helps Trump more than Hillary.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Chen » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:41 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Provably? Not that I'm aware of. How do you prove back-room wheeling and dealing? Even if, somehow, no such thing actually happened, the email alone reveals a certain contempt for the idea of a fair nomination process.


I'm not talking about legally provably or anything. But rather any actual evidence that there was some sort of actions taken that resulted in Sanders not getting a fair shake. I agree the email itself puts the DNC into a poor light regardless, since they are presumably supposed to be impartial.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:42 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote: Also, I don't recall Obama or Bernie ever getting caught with such incriminating material like those emails.
Ah back in the good ole days when to hack you they had to burgle you. The world changed while you weren't looking.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Lazar » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:55 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Everyone who chooses “the lesser of two evils” is actively voting for evil. They are making the situation *worse*, and they themselves know it.

This evil/not-evil binary that you've constructed is a hopelessly simplistic way of looking at the world. We're faced with two imperfect alternatives and we're choosing the less bad one – and this makes the situation *worse* than what, some imagined alternate that never had a cat in hell's chance of ever happening? And because of your quixotic search for moral purity, you're willing to throw away your vote on an unwinnable cause instead of taking the most minimal action that you could to ensure that the less bad alternative comes to pass.

And what of your supposedly "non-evil" candidates? Jill Stein has expressed anti-vaxxer views; that's evil. Gary Johnson wants unlimited money in politics; that's evil too. Congratulations! Everyone's evil – there's no non-evil candidate on the ballot. So what should the truly good and principled voter do, not vote at all in order to maintain maximum smugness?

And since you ignored this point, let me ask once again: why do you think playing this long-term spoiler game has a more realistic chance of bringing about a better society than the idea of campaigning for electoral reform, campaign finance reform and lower-level third party candidates while pragmatically favoring less-bad choices for major offices? Don't bother replying at all if you're not willing to answer this.

Well then maybe *next time* (that’s forward-looking) if you don’t want Trump to win *again* (that’s you assessing the outcomes of your actions), you’ll nominate someone worth supporting.

No, it's not forward-looking to ignore the potentially devastating long-term consequences of a Trump presidency. As I said, he might do damage that's hard or impossible to correct even if things get better later – damage that could at least be mitigated by a status quo candidate like Hillary. (This is another one of those things that you're aggressively ignoring.) And furthermore, there's precious little evidence to indicate that your approach of punishing the Democrats from the margins until they nominate someone more progressive is anything more than a fantasy: they might well move toward the center in an effort to catch more Republican voters, in which case you truly will have accomplished nothing but ill. You're effectively asking people to inflict harm on themselves on a reckless gamble, when there are safer and more plausible ways of seeking the same ends.

And I'm not certain who this "you" is that you're addressing, either – me, or the amorphous collection of all Democratic voters? I voted for Bernie in the primary and will, reluctantly, vote for Hillary in the general: both decisions rooted in an appreciation of real-life consequences. Trump is the most "evil" candidate and I'm doing the most I can to keep him out of office: this is the least evil course for someone not divorced from reality.

But it seems you’ll only try to earn my vote if you blame me for the loss. So I welcome your blame.

If this wasn't clear enough the first time, let me try once more: I don't care about blame! It's not useful and I have no interest in flinging it at you regardless of what you do. You are the one who's focused your entire political view on it, harping on this notion of whose "fault" and "responsibility" it will be when the world goes to hell. (The evil, evil voters, of course.) What I am interested in is pointing out how unrealistic and misanthropic your political philosophy appears to be.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby ucim » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:10 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
ucim (paraphrased) wrote:Yeah, but Trump and other politicians do that stuff too
I don't disagree. Like I said, both options are revolting. Also, I don't recall Obama or Bernie ever getting caught with such incriminating material like those emails.
Yes, there were better choices in other elections. But those were other elections. This is this election.

The choice is between somebody who has done the kind of bad stuff that other politicians do, and somebody else who also does the kind of bad stuff that other politicians do, and is a spoiled child in a grown-up body, who prides himself on his own lack of preparation, worships dicatatorship as a form of governance, and puts himself first above all else. Given this choice, I'll hold my nose and overlook the ordinary sins of the ordinary politician.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby The Great Hippo » Fri Oct 14, 2016 8:23 pm UTC

Qaanol wrote:Everyone who chooses “the lesser of two evils” is actively voting for evil. They are making the situation *worse*, and they themselves know it.
I don't think I'm making the situation worse by voting for Clinton. I think my house is on fire, and -- given the choice between voting for kerosene or napalm, I'm voting kerosene. I respect those who vote for water, but the reality is that water isn't going to win; my vote for kerosene may have a practical, measurable effect on improving my situation.

The stakes aren't nearly as dire, but I'm reminded of Thaddeus Stevens' vote for the 14th amendment. Thaddeus Stevens didn't want to just abolish slavery; he wanted to enfranchise all black men (actually, all black women, too -- dude was kind of a radical in his time). But he still voted for the 14th amendment despite the fact that the final draft did not make black people citizens. Why? In his own words: "I live among men and not among angels".

We can accept our circumstances and work to improve them, or we can reject them to pursue higher ideals. I think there's room for both approaches; neither strikes me as worthy of scorn.

EDIT: Pardon, I'm getting my history tangled up. The 13th amendment ended slavery; the 14th granted citizenship. But the version of the 14th amendment that Thaddeus Stevens voted for didn't grant protected voting rights to black men -- despite his initial draft including it.
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