Author: canchin

Some things of which China might not want to be in the lead! [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2004-6-5 15:08:01 |Display all floors

That's how it appears to me.

hi back tsupasat, I answered you but in your "I wanna be censored thread."

I actually downloaded the .pdf form for federal voter registration to be used by each State (except Wyoming which doesn't allow the form).

The States that do not require party affiliation to vote are: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada - the only one I could find that also stated that if one registers what they call a "minor" party the are issued a separate "non-partisan" ballot; South Carolina (odd but in N. Carolina you must be affiliated), Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia (noted as your "home" State), Washington and Wisconsin.

All the rest require that you register before or "at the door." New Jersey even clearly states that ONLY Democratic and Republican primaries are held.

Most also require that you state your race or ethnicity - what's up with that? Poor tsupasat can't even be Thai-American, he can only be Asian-American.

And, in each State, separate counties have their own rules - like the one I mentioned from Nassau County. I didn't feel like trying to download forms from every county in the country.

This is what I mean by "unfair."

As for Nader getting 97,000 votes, well as you say and I list there are States where you do not have to state affiliation. As for why he got them - who knows? There is also a provision I am sure you aware of for "Write ins" if the candidate is registered as a "write in" candidate.

As I said before, it should be striving for the ideal of universal and equal and 'secret' as it is supposed to be. How can that seem to be done when before you even vote - and all States demand that the information be provided anywhere from two weeks to 30 days before an election - or "at the door" if that provision is allowed (which not all allow).

So what is secret? Perhaps I'm jaded but in Canada we vote the person - not the party. If the person gets the most votes then the party wins not the other way around.

You and I and everybody else knows that Gore received over 500,000 MORE votes from the 'people' than Bush did so the majority of the "eople" chose Gore - but, the 'party' had more (and of course let's not forget the Supreme Court's involvement in the ordination).
So, if "everybody gets a say in the matter" and most of "everybody" wanted Gore - what is Bush doing sitting in Gore's chair?

Unfair - to me it certainly seems so.

What would be "universal and equal and secret" to me? On the day, everybody that wants to vote goes and votes for the "person" without telling anybody before, after or during and nobody asks them - before, after or during. The votes are counted and whichever "person" has the most votes - wins.

To say the feds don't have any influence seems to me to be naive as it is the feds (and the two parties in question) that set up the rules about having to have a certain amount of money and be on a certain amount of (whatever they call it I forget right now) to be included in the "debates" and it is the two parties that decide who gets invited to the dance.

That has been my gist for over a month with those that whine about China's progress. They use a failed system that is broken but isn't even being worked on to get fixed - to compare to a system that is trying to get fixed before it is applied.

But hey, I'm not an American and just because I think the American political system is seriously flawed my opinion doesn't matter anyway. You get the government you deserve as the old saying goes.

Too bad you don't have a government with the ba**s that the China government has so they could admit it was flawed and try and fix it. Maybe even better - the people rise up against the system as it exists and demand a change.

Oh, that's right, millions are - just their voices aren't being heard. Too bad; at least in China it is growing in both people being heard and the government listening and working to make changes.

Apologies of course to those that demand the changes happen overnight and create chaos and happen according to foreign dictates and ignore the 70% of the China population that is not yet "partaking" of the progress towards fully developed status - so they can pontificate (no names but his initials are ts ;)

But hey, it's your country - and I assume that as you mention "There sure is a lot of bs to our elections and especially to the campaigning." - that you are fighting to bring about the changes so good luck.

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Post time 2004-6-7 18:52:55 |Display all floors

US Electoral System

Hi Canchin,

Look, I cannot believe I am "defending" the USA electoral system, but you noted how people must "declare" their party affiliation to vote in a "rimary" to select the Presidential Candidate for a particular party (eg Republicans or Democrat).

To be fair, this would seem to be to limit registered party members to vote for their party's candidate. From what you have quoted it does not appear to apply to the actual election of the president itself (please correct me if I am wrong).
In Australia the selection (pre-selection) of potential candidates is limited to the political party, although here, these elections are run by the party itself rather than a federal or state authority.
As for the declaration of race/ethnicity  in the electoral material you mentioned, well I agree this is irrelevant and should not be required.



I note from one of your other posts, that you live in the most democratic country in the Americas, your southern neighbours could learn a lot from our similar systems!

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Post time 2004-6-7 23:25:30 |Display all floors


Since this thread is now totally hijacked, I'll elaborate on why some this bs goes on with our elections.

I think it's ridiculous too that voter regist. forms collect demographic data, but there is a reason for it.  After each census (every ten years), congressional district lines are redrawn according to new demographics.  It usually works out to one district per approx. 700,000 residents.  But then the policital and racial bs come into play and you get distrcts drawn that are guaranteed to elect a black congressman or a republican or an hispanic, whatever.  Drives me nuts, but that's why they collect that data.  I refuse to fill in my race and just mark "other" or "do not wish to answer".  Last time I marked that on my census form, they sent a live census taker to my door, who had no problem identifying me as white.  But my black girlfriend at the time threw him off a little.  Again, total political bs.

As for voting the party, that's absolutely NOT the case in the US.  Your party affiliation means nothing on election day.  You vote for the individual and you can mark down any party affiliation you want when you register.  Plenty of folks change their mind between the two events.

As for Gore receiving 500k more votes than Bush, well at face value, it sounds undemocratic.  If you know how our electoral college works, then you know that the winner has to get a majority of electoral votes, which means certain states are more important than other ones.  Each state gets one electoral vote for each congressman and senator and has a winner-takes-all policy.  So if you win California by one popular vote, you get all 53 of California's electoral votes.  Obviously, you can win an absolute majority of electoral votes by just winning by one popular vote in a few certain large states.  Bush won Florida by 577 popular votes, which means he won the state's entire 27 electoral votes.  This put him over the top, since our country is politcally very divided and neither candidate came away with a large majority.

Don't give me the nonsense about the majority's will.  By that logic, a majority of Americans DID NOT vote for Bill Clinton either time and ditto for Nixon the second time.  Neither received more than 49%.  But they both became president because we have a system of rule of law and every politician knows how it works.  The electoral college may be antiquated, but it requires a Constitutional amendment to change it and those don't exactly grow on trees.  Originally, the founding fathers did not want politicians to only campaign in a few large cities, which is why they came up with the electoral college.  Our size has gown a lot since those times, so it makes the system look a bit outdated.  But everyone knows the rules.  If Al Gore had won his home state of Tennessee of even staunchly Democratic West Virgina, he'd be president now.  Because he did not, Florida decided it and Bush won Florida.  That's the law.

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Post time 2004-6-8 01:52:11 |Display all floors

hijacked - but let's go along for the ride anyway.


As you explained it you clarified aspects on which I was unclear - not being American it is not that clear a system - thanks.

Still, though, it does seem less than 'democratic' as it were but then again the system in the States is only one of the many forms of democracy and as you state, the one chosen.

I still however maintain that a better system is one person, one vote, and the best man (or woman) wins.

As it stands now, it seems prone to corruption, collusion, cronyism - all those things complained about in regards other systems - but couched in "acceptable" language.

I also acknowledge that Clinton did not get the majority (what was it, 43% or something) and again this should have caused the alarm bells to sound back with Nixon and I assume it has happened previously as well.

I heard once - and this is not meant as diatribe but it was curious as an American told me - that the reasoning behind your "founding fathers" creating the system this way was because they "did not trust the people to elect the right person." Have you also heard this comment? I am also confused about your statement that your "founding fathers" designed it to avoid politicos staying only in large cities In 1776 - when I assume this was designed along with the D.of I. (correct me if I am incorrect) - there were only a few cities weren't there? They couldn't have designed it as sort of "future proof" because they did not know what would come.

As well, if it was designed so long ago and the conditions of the time - British oppression, tiny population etc. - are no longer relevant, why is it now so difficult to change the system into one more workable in the "modern" age?


Rather than correct an error in regards the American political system - perhaps an American would be better. meiguoracing seems clearer on the topic - my view is of course "clouded" because I like the parliamentary style of government better.

Perhaps it is because in Canada we have sort of a mixture of politics that makes it appear so - a bit of democracy mixed with a bit of socialism mixed with who knows what else. We do have our own problems and the system still seems to be prone to the same 3 "C's" mentioned above but the method used is applicable for 30 million people and 10 provinces. Like your home, large area, small population. Makes for a different dynamic.

Perhaps if America was not so separated within itself - 50+ States with 50+ different State legislatures etc. Everybody wanting to be "boss" and nobody wanting to be the "workers." Too many striving for that moment in front of the TV camera and lifestyle the average citizen will never enjoy.

I have often thought that if America were to become more cohesive - say cut it down to 10 or 15 regions together as a true union - that there would be more of a chance for political progress and less chance of the current situation but how do you tell those that currently feed at the public trough that they are no longer relevant?

Melbourne eh? Been there - almost blown over by the wind - but enjoyed my brief stay.

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Post time 2004-6-8 03:31:14 |Display all floors

even farther off course...

Ok, the one man - one vote things ain't never gonna happen - it's far too simple for us and too many government-favored grievance groups stand to lose under such a system.  One thing we are the best in the world at is playing the special interest, politically-correct apologist game in our politics.

Parliamentary systems are understandably attractive to those who grew up under them and expecially if you belong to a school of thought that does not have a majority in said parliament.  The Weimar Republic is an example of what so many competing interests with no strong executive can turn into.  The way Germany has it now is a very sensible alternative, whereby a party must get something like 4% of the votes cast before they can take even one seat in the Bundestag.  Still, such a system would never ever ever b acceptable to the vast majority of Americans.  Ever watch Tony Blair get beat up in Parliament?  I can't imagine our president having to deal with this and the ensuing chaos when the president's party plays dirty tricks on the minority party in Congress just to get them back.

As for the Founding Fathers fearing that the people wouldn't get it right, yes, I have heard this before too and believe it is true.  But the Constitution was ratified nine years after the Dec. of Ind. and I'm not sure if they had the electoral college in the first part of it.  Most people do not know that the Bill of Rights wasn't in there either, but was added (I thin) 5 yrs. later, when Madison wanted to make sure those things were spelled out more clearly.  

I don't want to recite all of early US history here, but remember in those days, only white male property owners were "the people".  The US did not extend past the Mississippi River and even at the time of the Revolution, most colonists favored staying with England.  It was the taxes they hated the most - not the King or England.  The Founding Fathers had a huge and well-placed fear of a powerful government and that's why they made our system so complicated.  They wanted it to move slowly and not be efficient.  Adding more states to the union certainly accomplished this, since 3/4 of them have to ratify a Constitutional amendment after it make its way out of Congress.

Nowadays, with the advent of modern technology and nuclear weapons, we obviously have to have a powerful executive who doesn't need a vote in Congress for everything he does.

By the way, just about 2 hours ago, I attended a luncheon at the Nat. Press Club where Dick Cheney and David Gergen spoke.  Both of them worked for Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, and they spoke about that time.  It was quite interesting.  Gergen said that Nixon actually asked the House and Senate leaders in private who he should name as vice president (after Agnew resigned).  Nixon wanted John Connolly (another governor of Texas).  They said no and suggested Gerald Ford.  So he became vice president and president a few months later.  Ironically, he's one of our most respected ex-presidents and he was never once elected to office!!!

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Post time 2004-6-8 13:42:51 |Display all floors


but wouldn't it be a kick to see Bush - or anyone else - try and debate with the educated in Congress?

Question Period is one of the most entertaining things on BBC World. I bet something similar would have a viewership in the States somewhere in the high 10's of millions. Advertisers are missing a bet here.

Thanks for the explanation.

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Post time 2004-6-8 21:12:46 |Display all floors


I'd love to watch Bush or any other president take questions in Congress.  That's when the real idiots would be exposed - and we have  LOT of them in Congress.  

You know, during the 2000 election everyone said Al Gore would just crush Bush in the debates.  Well, not getting crushed was a victory in itself, given everyone's expectations.  But Bush did pretty well AND Al Gore came off looking like an arrogant, condescending old man.  You may know about our TV show called "Saturday Night Live".  They later tore Gore to pieces in a spoof on the debates.  Gore's campaign staff actually taped the show and forced Gore to sit down and watch it to see how he really appeared to many Americans and why the spoof on him got so many laughs.  I'd love to see this happen more often - and in China too.  In fact, just before the election, Bush and Gore both agreed to appear on the tv show and play themselves.  Bush intentionally mixed up his syntax and made some silly faces, while Gore shook his head and sighed loudly while Bush spoke - just like in the debates, but this time for fun.  I couldn't believe their handlers let them do this, but it was soooo funny to see the real Bush and Gore making fun of themselves.

Actually, our Constitution's separation of powers clause pretty much makes this scenario impossible.  The legislative branch cannot compel the president to speak with them.  But sometimes it gets pretty exciting when some of the underlings go up to the Hill to testify.  Remember Oliver North?  He was torn apart in the news and when he got to the hearings, the committee was almost drooling with bated breath to start in on him and Reagan.  Well, North handed it back to them and made them all look very foolish.  He became a hero to a lot of Americans for showing up in his Marine uniform and making a bunch of congressmen and senators look like idiots.

Rumsfeld did pretty much the same thing a few weeks ago, when he had to go testify about the Abu Graib prison abuses.  He had nothing new to add, but some committees wanted to get on tv and look good while roasting Rumsfeld.  Well, if you've seen him in action, you know that he doesn't suffer fools gladly.  He really made a few of them look totally stupid and juvenile - especially Hillary Clinton.

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