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  1. #11
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    conceited condescention.
    Luke 6:42 - How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?

    Create your own thread if you're unhappy, but leave mine to debate the topic at hand, how to bridge the partisan gap.

  2. #12
    Feline Member kelric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Before I discuss your points I'm gonna have to call you out for playing the blame game as well. The bolded specifically. But that was only a small part of your post, so it's not that big a deal.

    It's my fault for not stipulating this earlier, but I intend this discussion to be non partisan.
    Fair enough. I *was* posting inequal blame there, and it was intentional. While nonpartisan compromise is a good thing, I don't accept that both sides are equally at blame (I certainly don't find either innocent, but I don't find them equally to blame, either). Not the point of the thread though, fair enough.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Now to address your first point. Minority parties do have power, lots of it, from filibustering to the requirement of a "super majority" in the senate to end a filibuster or force a vote on a bill.
    Well, that's true. They do have some power -- but, for instance, every committee chairman being a member of the majority party, and the very high amount of control that gives them, seems too poorly reflective of their actual representation in congress. To me, that seems like something that could be addressed -- both in terms of a more equal allocation of power and to decrease divisiveness.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I think your first idea about ordered voting would introduce too much uncertainty (and complexity) to the voting system. If the derivatives market has taught us anything it's that the more complicated and esoteric a system becomes, the more those with an incentive to game the system will be able to do so.
    Well, there's a gray area in there. It's not "binary yes-no" and "hopelessly complicated obfuscatory scam". I agree that there's definitely a "too complicated". But I don't think that an ordered voting system is that far out there. I do think that it would give a bonus to minority candidates (not just R's and D's) to 1) get folks who don't agree with the full platform of either party other reasonable choices and 2) by having other viewpoints involved decrease the "us vs. them" dynamic that's so prevalent today. In truth, while I do think that this is a good idea, it's only peripherally related to this. It's more of a "remake the system" than a "fix the system" sort of solution, and would of course introduce other issues.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Your second point about public financing of elections I agree with (but I still have reservations). One of these reservations being all the people I know (from having worked campaigns) that would be put out of work with the budget restrictions.

    That being said I've toyed with the idea of a 50k cap for house campaigns, and a 250k cap for senate campaigns. And also restricting TV coverage of a campaign to debates (no ads).

    But that probably violates the First Amendment (the TV restriction).
    Well, it's true that there would be campaign workers who would not be able to keep their jobs. But that's a pretty small number compared to the overall unemployment numbers right now (I'd feel bad for them in the same way I feel for folks who've lost manufacturing jobs, but that in and of itself is not a reason to hold to a poor system). But granted, you know lots more of those folks personally than I do, so it's easy for me to say that.

    Yes -- I'm in favor of the numbers that you've listed (if not in value, as I've not studied them that much, in principle). Especially the part about the ads. Most ads simply aren't informative, and are absolutely part of the problem. Debates (when not uber-scripted) can be informative, and I'd much rather have them be the focus of disseminated information, rather than ads. Legally... I can see why someone could bring up first amendment issues. But we don't allow broadcast advertisements for cigarettes over public frequencies, either. From a layman's perspective, there's some precedent for restrictions.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I don't think Citizens United was a travesty, for the most part both sides have ridden the super-PAC wave. I would like a few more elections to see how this campaign finance scheme plays out.

    I'm ok with corp $ going to campaigns, what I'm not ok with is the tendency of disproportionate political influence to follow big bucks. I need to think about campaign finance more before I can properly enumerate my views.
    Both sides have ridden the super-PAC wave, true. I won't say more, as I promised to not get partisan . But the whole disproportionate political influence to follow big bucks, as you put it, is a big deal for me. Perhaps the biggest deal. Again it's not really on topic, but I have a problem with corporations and political contributions -- not with the people in those corporations as individuas making contributions, but as treating corporations as equivalent to citizens.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I don't know what point of mine you are talking about at number 3.

    Could you please clarify?
    I was referring to this (actually it was in part of the post you quoted -- not sure if it was your thought or one in your study):
    We should change congressional rules to provide for a chairman from the majority party and a vice chairman from the minority (no such position exists in today’s Congress, except on certain special non-legislating committees); the vice chairman need not ascend to the chairmanship in the chairman’s absence, but each would have the authority to bring a bill forward and to invite expert witnesses to offer testimony.
    That sort of thing.

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Lastly, your fourth point about mathematically determined redistricting. I'd be more comfortable with an independent committee which is echoed in the original article I posted.
    Well, the reason I mentioned the mathematically determined redistricting is that it's a lot harder to corrupt a published mathematical formula than it is to "influence" members of a committee. Of course, that does sort of push the argument to "who gets to determine the formula". In this day and age, it would also be more straightforward to apply a formula indiscriminately and consistently, rather than a committee, whose decisions all across the country may not be as consistent.
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  3. #13
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    Well, there's a gray area in there. It's not "binary yes-no" and "hopelessly complicated obfuscatory scam". I agree that there's definitely a "too complicated". But I don't think that an ordered voting system is that far out there. I do think that it would give a bonus to minority candidates (not just R's and D's) to 1) get folks who don't agree with the full platform of either party other reasonable choices and 2) by having other viewpoints involved decrease the "us vs. them" dynamic that's so prevalent today. In truth, while I do think that this is a good idea, it's only peripherally related to this. It's more of a "remake the system" than a "fix the system" sort of solution, and would of course introduce other issues.
    I don't think I explained myself well enough. I would worry about the parties using this as an excuse to fight over who won more than they already do, and that (without other changes within our political system) the parties would be able to exploit this system more than they do our current one. That is to say in so far as the general population has a lesser ability to understand the system, the parties will be able to control public discourse about that system.

    Hopefully that is a little better, but I totally understand your point and would agree that it would be better than our current system without the unfortunate political realities that I just mentioned. Don't mean to rain on your parade.

    But we don't allow broadcast advertisements for cigarettes over public frequencies, either. From a layman's perspective, there's some precedent for restrictions.
    There's a big difference between politics and cigarettes, although both seem to have a tendency to induce high blood pressure.

    We should change congressional rules to provide for a chairman from the majority party and a vice chairman from the minority (no such position exists in today’s Congress, except on certain special non-legislating committees); the vice chairman need not ascend to the chairmanship in the chairman’s absence, but each would have the authority to bring a bill forward and to invite expert witnesses to offer testimony.

    That sort of thing.
    Totally agree.

    Well, the reason I mentioned the mathematically determined redistricting is that it's a lot harder to corrupt a published mathematical formula than it is to "influence" members of a committee. Of course, that does sort of push the argument to "who gets to determine the formula". In this day and age, it would also be more straightforward to apply a formula indiscriminately and consistently, rather than a committee, whose decisions all across the country may not be as consistent.
    There's just something about an algorithm having that much power that I find unnerving. Kind of like you're happy that airplanes have autopilots, but would not be happy if you found out that for this flight the autopilot would be flying the plane the whole time.

    I guess this divide boils down to how much faith you put in our ability to create independent committees.

  4. #14
    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    I like the 6 suggestions in your OP.


    I also have thought for a while that the electoral college crap should be done away with; that each person should log in and get one vote. Or keep polling booth, whatever. So much money is spent on campaigning, etc., in localities. I'd like to see more online campaigning and more vote representation, without our outdated electoral college.


    Regarding bringing the two parties together? Meh. I don't see it happening. Too many differences and too set in their ways. I think the trend is to more independent, non-party thinking, as represented by folks calling themselves "independents," as mentioned in your op article.


    This is also why people are flocking to tea party and Libertarian movements. We know we need a new solution to partisan politics.
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  5. #15
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    As for outside the process of what the elected officials do. I think the best thing we can do is bring a bit of the process back to the community themselves. It took the Republicans to create the signed ballot to create an independent commissioner to create the redistricting (hoping they could get more Republican points to redraw the lines only to bite it when the communities themselves told them to screw it.)

    Turn over the process of redrawing congressional districts to independent, nonpartisan commissions.
    This is definitely one of the big ones. Ever since California has pushed the redistricting more towards an "independent" group of commissioners there has been a huge outcry with the politicians (and many other groups I might add) about their redrawn maps - that is a good sign to me. However, a truly independent commissioner is hard to come by. The process involved the input of each individual communities themselves. Whether they shared commonalities with another community or not while also following the U.S. law (minority representation and meeting the population threshold.) The fact of the matter is, I love the maps, not only does it encapsulate my city for it's House Representation, but it also represents the state House and Senate very well, respectively. We still have a long way to go. However, until other big states like Texas can do something similar, it'll take a while.

    A group primary is also something I am happy that passed.
    This has also been something recent California has done. The notion of appeasing your party to later swing back to the middle doesn't apply as much as your "crazies" are at the front and center and everyone can vote on the candidate they'd wish to vote for.

    I think, if this can be implemented in the national level, we won't get as many hyper-partisanship we see in the media (only to see the politician swing back to the middle.) I mean, most Americans aren't hyper-partisan.

    Also, winner does NOT take all.
    Also a recent development in California (did not pass.) California, like Texas, probably gets pushed to the back because it is highly likely that the state will either go Democrat or Republican. It is pretty much a cash cow because it is more likely the state will go democrat than it will go republican. Splitting the vote to how much votes you get gives at least some representation to the ones who decide to vote for the other candidate.

    As a hypothetical example, my city at least won't be lumped with... say.... San Francisco County or Kern County if it decides to choose a less partisan member. BUT, until other states take the initiative, I don't think people will budge.

  6. #16
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    I agree Rail Tracer, California has set a good example where the primary process and redistricting are concerned.

    Also your point about catering to the base and then swinging back to the middle was quite apt.

    Now if you guys with the bear flag could just get your budget worked out. (j/k.... sorta)

  7. #17
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    Now if you guys with the bear flag could just get your budget worked out. (j/k.... sorta)
    Don't hold your breath.
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  8. #18
    Freaking Ratchet Rail Tracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD45T-2 View Post
    Don't hold your breath.


    But that is so true though, 12 years that they've talked about cleaning the debt (starting with Davis) before it gets worse. Nothing happened in those 12 years.

    Even the governator did squat to the debt.

    And dear god, governor Moonbeam is having trouble too considering how he finally notices how much has changed since he was in office 30+ years ago.

  9. #19
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    I'd be supportive of all 6 suggestions, though the 2 that involve selection by non-partisans seem perhaps slightly idealistic. How do we ensure this in practice?

    To deal with partisanship on all levels, I'd make two changes to the electoral process.

    One is to get rid of the first past the post system. This approach simultaneously makes any chance of relevant influence very expensive, thus paving the way only for major party favorites, and it turns every location into a ruthless, bipartisan battle for completely domination. In the presidential election, most states ignored, including massive ones like California, Texas, and New York, because is known that they have more of one party than another, so they are presumed to be entirely consumed by that party, and those people are left unrepresented. In the swing states like PA, the two (only ever two) candidates just have to tear at each other until they can get one below 50%, they they have all of PA.

    The second thing I'd do is add a single transferable vote. What that means is, you can vote for someone, but also state who you'd like your vote to go to if your first choice doesn't get enough votes to make the cut. This basically makes it impossible to waste a vote. The result is that you won't have untouchable favorites, and you'll probably have far more viable candidates running at any time.
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  10. #20
    Insert witty line here... Ponyboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan View Post
    The second thing I'd do is add a single transferable vote. What that means is, you can vote for someone, but also state who you'd like your vote to go to if your first choice doesn't get enough votes to make the cut. This basically makes it impossible to waste a vote. The result is that you won't have untouchable favorites, and you'll probably have far more viable candidates running at any time.
    Ranked-choice voting. We just started using that here for our first mayoral election in years(previously just appointed by city council). I didn't think it would work when I first heard of it but after seeing it in action I think its a good system. I think it is going to be used in the next vote for Governor too. It prevents one candidate from winning with like 35% of the vote and saying "Well, the people have spoken. My party platform is obviously what EVERYBODY wants."
    After reading this thread, I wonder if it could also be used on the national level? As has been mentioned, just have one big election instead of primaries (and caucuses!!). But I haven't really thought too much into this part until right now so right now its just a thought with little consideration.

    Edit: In the first paragraph I meant to say The Majority, not Everybody.
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