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  1. #41
    Senior Member Habba's Avatar
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    • Midnight Sun - You have no idea what it is like to have a dark winter followed by a ever-bright summer. You can see the sun all-night and all-day.
    • Such Competition - Finland has a long running tradition of village competitions. There's no end to list of weird competitions we have here, and people are dead serious about them. There's wife carrying, boot/cell phone throwing, swamp football, sitting in an ant hill, sitting in sauna... Might explain why Finns have the most gold medals per capita in olympics.
    • Rules - There's so many of them and people are following them. Traffic is orderly and there's not that much jaywalking. It's not uncommon to see an empty street and pedestrians at a crossing waiting for a green light.
    • Health services - I just went to a dentist (twice) and it was 30€ (~$40) per visit. And we are now visting nurse/doctor once a month with my pregnant wife to routine check-ups. Free-of-charge. And we'll soon receive almost 12 months of paid leave from work.
    "The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine."
    -Nikola Tesla

  2. #42
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    I hadn't considered the fact that the lines would be a lot longer if everyone was voting. For midterms (where the lower chamber of Congress is elected every two years), there's usually no line at all. I confess I did not vote in primaries because I did not know who the candidates were. I need to follow local politics more. Also, ours is on a Tuesday for some reason. My polling place is just down the block at the fire station, and it's easy enough for me to do before work.
    They are. And if they are undermanned at the boot, they can make you stay and help for the entire day - regardless of what you had planned. So going early is a risk as well.

    Maybe if everyone had to pick an idiot, the idiots would have to get less idiotic. Alternatively, what if there was an option for a write-in vote? Would that be better?
    IF my country is any indication, they only get more idiotic coz they know they'll have their votes anyways. And no. While the inconvenience is a big part of it for me, it's the principle of the thing. I tend to bend over backwards and cut my own neck in order to avoid anyone forcing me to do *anything*. This is my vote. I fucking get to decide whether i use it or not.

    In fact, I'd likely go voting if it was a right instead of an obligation - though voting via internet would guarantee that I would.

    That would be annoying, but I see that as separate from mandatory voting.
    We are a country that could care less about their government. We take pride in the fact that we only know two lines of our national anthem. Other nations have occupied us throughout history, our king was forced on us and we were called into life to buffer between the big dicks of France, England, The Netherlands and Germany. Our bureaucracy is triple of what it is in other countries because we have three language groups that really just don't wanna be in a country together.

    And our government is a slow, ageing crone that sits on its ass and demands nothing but paperwork without ever getting anything done. Nothing ever changes, even if the parties change. Nothing ever gets done. And if it gets done, there are so many back doors and ifs and buts, there was no point in making the law in the first place.

    Trust me, it's not a separate issue. We were the laughing stock internationally *FOREVER* because we actually couldn't put together a government for over a year. And somehow, ironically, the country just kept going. Without a government. Coz that's what Belgians do.

    Our national pastime is scamming the government and being proud of it.

    Jury duty can take up a whole day, too, and you might not even get selected for a jury. I almost got a chance to sit on a case about some self-storage company vs. a town government, though! Apparently they couldn't build additional units because of zoning restrictions. The stakes couldn't be higher!
    .
    See but that is about people. Not about putting idiots in power. That I consider a good use of my time. Though I would grumble at the inefficient, rule-infested bureaucracy that would make it take all day, granted.
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  3. #43
    pathwise dependent FDG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Habba View Post
    [*]Health services - I just went to a dentist (twice) and it was 30€ (~$40) per visit. And we are now visting nurse/doctor once a month with my pregnant wife to routine check-ups. Free-of-charge. And we'll soon receive almost 12 months of paid leave from work. [/LIST]
    Yeah that's something many europeans forget and consider "automatic", I guess.
    ENTj 7-3-8 sx/sp

  4. #44
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    I can go shooting. That's fucking awesome.

  5. #45
    Theta Male Julius_Van_Der_Beak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amargith View Post


    IF my country is any indication, they only get more idiotic coz they know they'll have their votes anyways.
    This is something to consider, then. A none of the above, or a write-in option should exist.

    And no. While the inconvenience is a big part of it for me, it's the principle of the thing. I tend to bend over backwards and cut my own neck in order to avoid anyone forcing me to do *anything*. This is my vote. I fucking get to decide whether i use it or not.


    In fact, I'd likely go voting if it was a right instead of an obligation - though voting via internet would guarantee that I would.
    Everyone in the U.S. has the option to vote, but lots of people don't. They perceive it as inconvenient (and, seeing as how it is on a weekday which isn't a holiday, one could argue that it is more inconvenient than Belgium). Are people in Belgium really that much more invested in their government that they would vote anyway? You said so yourself... it's basically three different countries uncomfortably forced into one.

    Maybe you'd be the exception, but I think a case could be made that, when voting is an option instead of an obligation, most people don't exercise it. Maybe that's not a bad thing, but I'm inclined to believe that it is.

    You don't have to answer this, I suppose... and it has nothing to do with my argument, but what is the original language of your ethnic group? I'm honestly just curious about what it would be like in a multilingual state.
    [Trump's] rhetoric is not an abuse of power. In the same way that it's also not against the law to do a backflip off of the roof of your house onto your concrete driveway. It's just mind-numbingly stupid and, to say the least, counterproductive. - Bush did 9-11


    This is not going to go the way you think....

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  6. #46
    Senior Member Nicodemus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    I can go shooting.
    So can Iraqis.

  7. #47
    The High Priestess Amargith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msg_v2 View Post
    This is something to consider, then. A none of the above, or a write-in option should exist.



    Everyone in the U.S. has the option to vote, but lots of people don't. They perceive it as inconvenient (and, seeing as how it is on a weekday which isn't a holiday, one could argue that it is more inconvenient than Belgium). Are people in Belgium really that much more invested in their government that they would vote anyway? You said so yourself... it's basically three different countries uncomfortably forced into one.

    Maybe you'd be the exception, but I think a case could be made that, when voting is an option instead of an obligation, most people don't exercise it. Maybe that's not a bad thing, but I'm inclined to believe that it is.

    You don't have to answer this, I suppose... and it has nothing to do with my argument, but what is the original language of your ethnic group? I'm honestly just curious about what it would be like in a multilingual state.
    I'm flemish. We're about 60 percent of the population. The walloons are about 40. We have a couple of hundred german speakers and then...well, then there is Brussels. And that is a whole country onto its own with all the issues of an international capital mixed in with the background of hatred between the two main native camps. We have three governments - the walloon one, the flemish one and the brussels one. On top of the federal one. Add to that the difficulty of the different languages and the culture differences (socialists vs liberalists) and it's a hot mess of endless, ridiculous, antiquated bureaucracy that nobody wants to go near to sort out. So they just pass the ball around, while the citizens jumps through the most out of date and ridiculous hoops to get shit done.


    As for the obligatory voting: perhaps less people would vote. But the voting would at least be more conscious instead of automatic robot-style. Question becomes quantity vs quality and both have their downsides and potential lacklustre performance.

    One positive to our country: we have the most quaint and cute cultural experiences. Our cities are really our pride and worth visiting, I feel. And well, most of us speak several languages - at least the flemish part. We're raised to know at least 2 extra languages, and people like me who specialised in languages go up to 4 or 5 on top of the native language.

    Other than that, I'll take Norway anyday
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  8. #48
    Senior Member Forever_Jung's Avatar
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    Canada doesn't rule, per se, and perhaps that's its charm. We're good at a lot of stuff, but not really the best at anything, so nobody feels threatened by us. I think one of the overlooked cool things about Canada is our Prime Ministers. Here are a few cool facts that come to mind:

    1. Our very first Prime Minister (Sir John A. MacDonald) was a glorious drunken bastard. He started vomiting in the middle of a debate, and replied that he was sick “not because of drink, but because I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.” Our current PM is pretty lame though.

    2. William Lyon MacKenzie King claimed to commune with spirits including those of Leonardo da Vinci, Sir Wilfrid Laurier, his dead mother, his grandfather William Lyon Mackenzie, and several of his Irish Terrier dogs, all named Pat except for one named Bob. He also claimed to commune with the spirit of the late President Roosevelt.

    3. Pierre Trudeau hung out with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, held a black belt in Judo, pirouetted behind the back of the Queen of England, was romantically entangled with the 80's Lois Lane, mouthed the F bomb in the House of Parliament, gave the finger to protestors shouting anti-French slogans, made Canada an officially bilingual country, and abolished the death penalty.

    4. Jean Chretien was confronted by a protester in the streets, and Chretien responded by putting him in a choke-hold. He remained in Office 7 years after that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chanaynay View Post
    And we have some really great singers hint hint.
    Definitely, Kelly Rowland is the best.

  9. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    So can Iraqis.
    I can go shooting and also have things like functioning traffic lights, a stable electrical grid, and democracy. So there's that.

  10. #50
    untitled Chanaynay's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forever_Jung View Post
    Definitely, Kelly Rowland is the best.
    Omg yas she's so good

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