News Democracy in trouble!

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Originally posted by master_coda
My post never said that America wasn't a democracy. Just that apathy invalidates many of the advantages of democracy. If all the players at a baseball game decide not to run fast or throw hard because they don't think they can win anyway, then you still have a baseball game. But how good of a game is it?
Plenty good for those of us playing. The rest can be as upset about it as they want, but the view is pretty nice from this side of the fence.

Australia requires people to vote- imagine that. Forcing people who dont' care to vote, who don't WANT to vote, to vote. An in turn, you get elections that are filled with results from people that often just randomly pick down the line.

Atleast our system works with the nature of some people. If they are apathetic, they can be, and it doesn't hurt anyone but themselves.
 
Originally posted by phatmonky
Plenty good for those of us playing. The rest can be as upset about it as they want, but the view is pretty nice from this side of the fence.

Australia requires people to vote- imagine that. Forcing people who dont' care to vote, who don't WANT to vote, to vote. An in turn, you get elections that are filled with results from people that often just randomly pick down the line.

Atleast our system works with the nature of some people. If they are apathetic, they can be, and it doesn't hurt anyone but themselves.

I agree that the apathy of others does benefit active participants somewhat. But if you don't value the input of others, why even bother with the pretense of democracy at all? If you don't care about the vote of others, why even let them vote at all?

Plus, apathy doesn't always mean that people won't vote. Sometimes it just means that people will vote for the same party over and over for their entire life because they can't be bothered to actually think about their vote. And these are probably the most valuble voters to politicians. Why would they want the vote of an active person who thinks when they can get the vote of someone who will support them forever, right or wrong?


Of course there are other problems with democracy in America as well. Who do you vote for if you support the idea of small government? Or if you oppose government invasion of privacy? The system has raised a huge barrier to entry for third parties, so if both the major parties agree (for the most part) on an issue, how do you get your point of view heard?
 
Z

Zero

Originally posted by russ_watters
Go read a book by a political spinster? That's your arguement? Wow, what a compelling arguement it is. Thats exactly the type of evidence I was looking for. [/sarcasm]

You did at least show that Rush Limbaugh has [less successful] counterparts on the left.
This is a non-response, and proof that you aren't interested in reading anything not spun in your direction.
 
Originally posted by master_coda
1>I agree that the apathy of others does benefit active participants somewhat. But if you don't value the input of others, why even bother with the pretense of democracy at all? If you don't care about the vote of others, why even let them vote at all?

2>Plus, apathy doesn't always mean that people won't vote. Sometimes it just means that people will vote for the same party over and over for their entire life because they can't be bothered to actually think about their vote. And these are probably the most valuble voters to politicians. Why would they want the vote of an active person who thinks when they can get the vote of someone who will support them forever, right or wrong?


3>Of course there are other problems with democracy in America as well. Who do you vote for if you support the idea of small government? Or if you oppose government invasion of privacy? The system has raised a huge barrier to entry for third parties, so if both the major parties agree (for the most part) on an issue, how do you get your point of view heard?
1>Who said I don't value the input of others? I value the pretense of democracy because it keeps ME and others like me from being excluded from those that, in fact, do not care about other inputs. That said, don't you think that it is more likely those who do not vote "don't care about others' input"?? Afterall, they care so little which way I vote, that they don't even bother voting to counteract my decision.


2>That's true, and that's ashame. However, that is hardly a problem for democracy. Democracy is represenative of the people. If you some people are stupid, some votes will be too. None the less, this effects the election a lot less negatively than forced voting, in which the ballot box would be stuffed with such votes by all the people that aren't voting here right now.

3> Small government, look to the libertarians for republicans (although Bush has let me down on that)
Government invasion of privacy typically takes a higher value on the democrats side (privacy being greater than other issues)
If both major parties agree, then there's room for another opinion that isn't a match.
Libertarians and Republicans follow the line of thinking that small federal government is better. How do the libertarians get heard? They raise other issues they don't agree on. What if you go down the list and find that what you agree is 90% taken, but you want another issue raised? You join the party you agree with 90% and, as a candidate, you pick an area along the political spectrum that suits you.
There are leftists, extreme right, moderates, and all in between. If there is a want for change, third parties will grow. If the issues people want are being handled by the two major parties, then they will go that route. I don't follow how any of this falls back on democracy, but rather human nature (and in that case, there's nothign that can be regardless).
 
Originally posted by phatmonky
1>Who said I don't value the input of others? I value the pretense of democracy because it keeps ME and others like me from being excluded from those that, in fact, do not care about other inputs. That said, don't you think that it is more likely those who do not vote "don't care about others' input"?? Afterall, they care so little which way I vote, that they don't even bother voting to counteract my decision.
Well, you gave me the impression that you don't care if other people actually vote as long as everyone is allowed to vote. In fact you seemed quite happen that other people didn't vote, since it makes your vote count for more. So my point was that if you didn't want others to vote, why not just let you and like-minded others vote?

Originally posted by phatmonky
2>That's true, and that's ashame. However, that is hardly a problem for democracy. Democracy is represenative of the people. If you some people are stupid, some votes will be too. None the less, this effects the election a lot less negatively than forced voting, in which the ballot box would be stuffed with such votes by all the people that aren't voting here right now.
I guess ignorant votes are an intrinsic problem with democracy, rather than an indication of the lack thereof. Still, I don't know if forced votes are any worse. The fact that other people don't vote doesn't necessarily mean they don't care, it may just mean they think they can't make a difference.

Originally posted by phatmonky
3> Small government, look to the libertarians for republicans (although Bush has let me down on that)
Government invasion of privacy typically takes a higher value on the democrats side (privacy being greater than other issues)
If both major parties agree, then there's room for another opinion that isn't a match.
Libertarians and Republicans follow the line of thinking that small federal government is better. How do the libertarians get heard? They raise other issues they don't agree on. What if you go down the list and find that what you agree is 90% taken, but you want another issue raised? You join the party you agree with 90% and, as a candidate, you pick an area along the political spectrum that suits you.
There are leftists, extreme right, moderates, and all in between. If there is a want for change, third parties will grow. If the issues people want are being handled by the two major parties, then they will go that route. I don't follow how any of this falls back on democracy, but rather human nature (and in that case, there's nothign that can be regardless).
Well, the parties in America at least have the good sense to not completely force their members to tow the party line. So if you mostly agree with the Democrats except on a few issues, you can support the Dems and try to steer the party in your direction.

But what if you don't support either of the major parties? Whatever their supposed ideologies say, both of the parties are clearly pro-business and pro-government, and neither of those positions have universal support in the US. But the system encourages people to vote for the "lesser of two evils" instead of the position they actually support. Do most of the people who vote for the two parties do so because they believe in their ideologies?

The fact that ordinary people can influence politics isn't enough. Even people in a dictatorship can influence politics. Democracy is supposed to produce a government that represents the will of the people, not just one that opposes the will of the people less.
 
3,036
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Can oyster shells be rigged?
 

russ_watters

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Hmm... appears my post was deleted. Also a good tactic.

Zero, "non-responsive" is not a word that can apply to me here - you didn't ask me a question. YOU were the one who was asked a question. YOU are the one who declined to answer. YOU are the one who will not substantiate your allegations.
 
Z

Zero

Originally posted by russ_watters
Hmm... appears my post was deleted. Also a good tactic.

Zero, "non-responsive" is not a word that can apply to me here - you didn't ask me a question. YOU were the one who was asked a question. YOU are the one who declined to answer. YOU are the one who will not substantiate your allegations.
You are a pain in the butt. Now, go to the library and get a book or three...and see if you can find Paul Krugman's book while you are there, I haven't read it yet. (my books, and the endnotes I would reference if I had them, are packed away, since I have just moved to Florida...and, since it is such a pretty day, I am going to go enjoy it. Cheers!!)
 
Gee kids..I mean, Mentors let's get back on topic!
 
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Greg Palast did some incredible investigative reporting regarding the Florida election. Specifically regarding the thousands of mostly black, mostly Democratic voters that were illegally 'scrubbed' from the voter lists by Katherine Harris doing the dirty work of "delivering Florida" just like Jeb promised.

His book, _The Best Democracy Money Can Buy_ is a must read for anyone interested in getting a fuller picture of the whole affair plus many other corporate dirty dealings.

For stuff online re: the election, check out http://www.gregpalast.com/columns.cfm?subject_id=1&subject_name=Theft%20of%20Presidency [Broken] portion of his website.




*edited to correct URL
 
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S

schwarzchildradius

In Texas '02 three republican candidates (for house & senate positions) recieved exactly 18180 votes from Diebold machines.
The odds of this happening randomly are staggering, I calculate 3 million to one. You'd have to run the election at least 3 million times. The election system is being run by crooks.
Why arent these people in jail? They're crooks- put them in jail.
 
Yeah, I'd heard that too. Bottom line is we need to get the corporate money out of politics.

Not to totally change the subject but,
Schwarzchildradius,
How long have you lived in Fox? I was born and raised in Fairbanks.
 

russ_watters

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Originally posted by schwarzchildradius
In Texas '02 three republican candidates (for house & senate positions) recieved exactly 18180 votes from Diebold machines.
The odds of this happening randomly are staggering, I calculate 3 million to one. You'd have to run the election at least 3 million times. The election system is being run by crooks.
Why arent these people in jail? They're crooks- put them in jail.
How do you calculate those odds? If I understand what you are describing, it doesn't seem at all unlikely to me.
 
Z

Zero

Originally posted by russ_watters
How do you calculate those odds? If I understand what you are describing, it doesn't seem at all unlikely to me.
Actually, it is only odd once you tally up all the other votes, isn't it? I haven't seen anybody do that yet, so this is meaningless.
 

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