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Democracy at its finest?

  1. Feb 19, 2008 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    There is a new local gas stop/ foodmart owner who loves to talk politics, and it didn't take long before he started interrogating me: ~

    Do you know who is the smartest candidate out there?

    Yes

    Who? Who do you think is the smartest?

    I know who the smartest one is - Obama!

    YES!!! He exlaimed. And then he started explaining the reasons why he feels it is so important that Obama win. He went on for a time talking about international relations, the economy, race, the Bush disaster, and probably a few other topics, and all along I was pretty much just nodding in agreement. I was thinking, man, this guy and I agree on just about everything. So I asked if he had heard that Hillary was running out of money?

    No!

    Yeah, [I said] this might be her achilles heel: He can out-spend her because of the internet! People just keep sending money and Hillary is running out, so if you want Obama to win, right now the most important thing that you can do is send money.

    What? Send money? Why would I send money. If he wins or not it doesn't affect how much I have in my pocket. Why should I give money to rich people? No way am I sending money...
     
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  3. Feb 19, 2008 #2

    Danger

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    :rofl:
    I sometimes think that the major political force in North America (yeah, Canada too), is the Apathy Party. Did you ask him if he's actually going to bother voting? :biggrin:
     
  4. Feb 19, 2008 #3

    russ_watters

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    Well, I certainly don't blame him for not wanting to be a member of the Money Party.
     
  5. Feb 19, 2008 #4
    Good question. He implied that he was not going to send money, and I tend to take him at his word. The ones that get me are those who claim to send money but don't really do it. You just can't trust anything they say.
     
  6. Feb 19, 2008 #5

    Kurdt

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    You have to pay the candidates you want to vote for? :eek:
     
  7. Feb 19, 2008 #6

    BobG

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    How else are the candidates going to have enough money to buy votes?
     
  8. Feb 19, 2008 #7

    Kurdt

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    Don't know. Just thought some state funded or party funded system would be fairer with a cap on spending.
     
  9. Feb 19, 2008 #8
    Don't they just sell their souls to Big Business?
     
  10. Feb 19, 2008 #9

    FredGarvin

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    That money goes directly into their pockets, not into their campaign funds.
     
  11. Feb 19, 2008 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    Wow! Is everyone really so naive as to think that all politics isn't driven by money?

    The difference is that instead of a small number of large donors determining who has the money to run, it can be determined by a large number of small donors. If you think twenty bucks is too much to invest in your country, then you obviously don't put much value on America.

    Just go buy your lattes and complain about how things ought to be. No wonder this country is dying.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  12. Feb 19, 2008 #11

    Evo

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    Sure you can send your favorite candidate money to add to their campain funds, but it *is* sad to think that a campaign is won more on the basis of who has the most money instead of being the most competant.
     
  13. Feb 19, 2008 #12

    Kurdt

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    Nobody is denying it takes money, but I think its sad that one could lose due to the fact they run out of money. The fairest way is to state fund, or party fund candidates and cap the campaign spending. That way those voters that can't afford to send money to their candidate of choice have a fair chance.
     
  14. Feb 19, 2008 #13
    I don't like the idea of donating. Rich people who can afford to donate will do so to whomever they want to win. Poor people might want a different candidate, but tough luck, you can't donate, s/he will run out of money and drop out.
     
  15. Feb 19, 2008 #14
    You know i read this book by Levitt, it is called Freakionomics. In it he examined whether money is a crucial factor in an election campaign. He analyzed this by using some statistics comparing some candidates and he says that money sin't important at all. I guess those candidates should have some kind of money planning if they didin't want their money to run out halfway during their campaign.
     
  16. Feb 19, 2008 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    The one who gets the most money is in principle the strongest candidate. This has always been a part of the elimination process - campaigns cost a great deal of money. One can complain about how it ought to be but it is what it is. The difference is that the internet has brought the average person into the process and made small donations much easier, more practical, and in this case, a deciding factor in the race. So to me this is a fantastic opportunity to change the landscape and how politics works.

    Do you prefer that the race is funded strictly by rich old white guys - Washington insiders to whom the candidates are beholding after the election? This is in large part where Hillary and McCain get their money.

    I would bet that a twenty dollar donation barely covers what is spent on coffee or bottled water each month; or even each week for most people. I have personally sent Obama $200 and plan to send much more during the general election.

    If you really care who wins then you will donate some bucks. If you don't [but could], then you should quit complaining about politics and be happy with who you get. The rest of us will decide for you.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  17. Feb 19, 2008 #16

    BobG

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    There's 317 candidates for the 2008 Presidential election, so far. It would be tough to give all of them a fair shot .... and usually giving most of these people a fair shot wouldn't even be desirable.

    Not to be mean, but most of these people have no qualifications .... a substitute teacher whose political experience consists of running for county offices 5 times and losing each time, Presidential candidate in 2000 and 2004 (but I'm sure no one's heard of him), losing candidate for Congress and volunteer for a couple campaigns, a fairly accomplished lawyer that was a candidate for judge, a construction worker with a funny name (Vermin Love Supreme) that wears a clown nose and wig in his biography picture, a lawyer that's run for President every election since 1992 (but I'm sure.... oh wait, that's Ralph Nader), a custodian with an Assoicate's Degree (and a GPA of 2.8) that lost an election to Congress in spite of a very inclusive name (Jesus Bilal Islam Allah 'Alfred Lawrence Patterson' Muhammed), corrections officer that has lost elections for various offices, a guy that was a cook/F-14 pilot in the Navy and holds the distinction of simultaneously holding the office of President in both the United States Anti Drug Task Force and the United States Marijuana Legalization Committee simultaneously (from 2000 to 2007, no less).

    That's once down the list and back up clicking more or less at random (except for Muhammed, who's long name caught my eye) and not one person that's held an elected office before (of course, I'm assuming the Anti-Drug Task Force, Marijuana Legalization Committee, and all the other non-legislative groups the last guy is president of have a very small membership of one).

    Edit: Actually, looking through this list makes me understand why the major candidates don't respond to the VoteSmart project. I got to the lawyer that lost the election for judge and thought, "What's he doing here? He has some real qualifications .... for judge, at least." You go through that list and get the impression that only losers run for President. The major candidates would probably prefer that their names not even appear on VoteSmart.

    Another edit: There's even a candidate that believes in Seldonism. I'd never even heard of that before. And a candidate that can recite the alphabet backwards - he actually practices for those roadside sobriety tests?
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  18. Feb 19, 2008 #17
    Yuck, then we only get candidates that the gummint pays for.

    Yuck, then we only get Democans and Republicrats.

    Here's a proposal. Let people say what they will, even if they use filthy money to buy air time. Near as I can tell, Obama used Ivan's $200 to complain in public that Bill Clinton was supporting Hillary.
     
  19. Feb 19, 2008 #18

    ShawnD

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    Ron Paul had the most money and he's currently losing. Money is not everything.

    Also, if you want money or votes, pander to special interest groups. Even though I'm in Canada, there was real concern over the 2008 election when I worked at Gilead (drug company). While we morally wanted the democrats to win (Canadians generally do not like republicans), our jobs and our stocks could be in trouble if democrats won and put in some kind of price control on drugs. If we were Americans, there is a good chance many of us would vote republican just to avoid taking a hit on our stock plans.

    That applies to everyone really. If you're a union worker in the steel industry, you'll probably vote democrat no matter what you believe. Canada has the same thing, same with UK, Aus, France, etc. Even if the law prevents money from changing hands, that 'you scratch my back' thing can be done with labor laws in exchange for votes.

    tl;dr: Don't worry about sending money to your candidate. He'll get the bulk of his money from a special interest group, and your vote will probably be decided by which politician supports the group you are part of. If you're a steel worker, your union will pay the candidate for you. If you work for a drug company, the drug company will fund your candidate.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
  20. Feb 19, 2008 #19

    Evo

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    Uhm, no, he never raised anywhere near the top, not even with the endorsement and contributions from the KKK. Although he's definitely no longer a contender.

    http://www.cnn.com/ELECTION/2008/map/
     
  21. Feb 19, 2008 #20

    Kurdt

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    I thought democracy was about removing class and wealth from the system and relied on the majority vote. Guess I was wrong.
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2008
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