World News Thread (Politics,whatever)


JDTAY

Half Pepperoni, All Cheese
Joined
Sep 15, 2015
Messages
977
Age
33
Location
North Carolina, USA
Do the US Americans only have the choice between biden and trump?
Depends on your state. In North Carolina, we have five choices. Biden (Democrat), Trump (Republican), Blankenship (Constitution), Hawkins (Green), and Jorgensen (Libertarian).
You can also write-in a name for President here. I hear Bruce Wayne is a popular choice. (Seriously.)
 

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
12,961
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
In Germany I assume you have proportional representation for deciding how your house will look, and it seems the system for deciding a new chancellor is only slightly crazy. That's not how America works. Every four years or so I try to learn how America is voted for, and it strikes me as a hellishly complicated system, where they say the whole thing is decided just on the outcome of five states, but I'm not sure how much that is hyperbole by the commentators and how much that's literally true.
 

pyrat

Very Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
214
One of the issues that I have with voting is that the voter may become compliant in many horrible crimes. When someone votes then he tries to support a total stranger in being granted the power to destroy millions of lives. I'd rather not share in the crimes of these powerhungry strangers.
I don't follow your logic. How does the act of not voting stop some of those strangers being granted power?

When you vote someone is granted power (maybe the one you vote, maybe another one, that depends on what other people vote).
When you don't vote someone is still granted power (surely not someone you voted, because you didn't vote).

The crimes happen apparently independently of who is granted power (either because they don't really have so much power and others decide so, because "the system" makes it inevitable, or because all candidates were "criminals").

So the only legal option to make sure no criminal gets to power is all of:
a - presenting yourself as president
b - getting elected
c - not being yourself a criminal

b does clearly not depend on you alone, a and c less clearly so.

So the decision not to vote does in no way prevent any crime by strangers. It's just a feel good excuse to think that you are not the reason they got elected. But once you're given the option to vote, deciding not to vote is a decision like any other.
I don't see why you would be less accomplice of the crime, just because you didn't vote when you could. Some people decided to vote the stranger that was given power, some people decided to vote another one, so in some way they tried to prevent
the crime (but that's proving a negative: who knows whether the other stranger would have commited the crime?). Some people decided not to vote and so gave the decision to those who voted, resulting in the criminal being given power.
Why should the abstentionists be less accomplices ?
You're not given the option of leaving the post vacant and abstention doesn't mean that. That's not the game that's played. You can decide not to play some silly games, but not this one. You play this game whatever you do, once given right to vote.
You can only choose the lesser evil (or run for office and do it better).

In Germany I assume you have proportional representation for deciding how your house will look, and it seems the system for deciding a new chancellor is only slightly crazy. That's not how America works. Every four years or so I try to learn how America is voted for, and it strikes me as a hellishly complicated system, where they say the whole thing is decided just on the outcome of five states, but I'm not sure how much that is hyperbole by the commentators and how much that's literally true.
I don't know the US either. What I've heard confirms it's complicated. But I think it is neither hyperbole nor literally true.
It's just that the system is skewed for bipartidism and relatively for abstention, and the president is elected by "weighted average" of the result of each state, not by counting the votes in the whole country.
In many countries the MPs are chosen by circumscription (maybe one per circumscription or more) and then the Parliament chooses the head of government.
I think in the US it is similar but the Parliament is "abstracted away" for purposes of electing the president. Each state gets a few "electoral votes", like a count of virtual MPs, for each candidate, and then
the "electoral college" or "virtual Parliament" "votes deterministically" the president. This is only for the head of state. There are separate elections for Congress and Senate. At least that's the idea I got.
The problem is that how those "virtual MPs" are chosen depends on the laws of each state. In most states "the winner takes it all", so the law forces all "virtual MPs" for the state to be of the same (winning) party.
I think the UK has something similar, but it is easier because each circumscription chooses just one MP, so "the winner takes it all" because "all" is just one seat. But UK MPs are not "virtual", they're supposed to
care for their circumscription (more than for their party, very theoretically), and that's not used to choose the head of state, because that'd be the queen.
Other countries have less radical circumscription rules, but still often there's a threshold of votes to obtain an MP. Maybe 3% or 5% or so. In many US states it's like this threshold was around 50%. This (and maybe other stuff)
makes the US very bipartidist. Small parties get few % votes and that translates always to 0 "virtual MPs".
Somebody will surely correct me. I have no idea what would happen if some day 2 o 3 candidates would get the same amount of "electoral votes" after adding all states. Or does the "electoral college" have a prime number of "vitual MPs" ?

Then some states have traditionally always voted one way or the other.
So the "swing states" are states that traditionally vary their election outcome in a way that changes the federal outcome.
Or opinion polls are clearly showing what will happen in all but the swing states.
All citizens in all states can change the federal outcome, it's just that many of them traditionally don't.
But if they all agreed to vote different than last time, any state could swing.
So the commentators are right, not exaggerating, but they're not speaking on how the system works, just how the system is from experience expected to be used by citizens.
This expectation is some kind of pressure for people to do what's expected, and campaign efforts are concentrated in swing states, were expectations are fuzzier (I suspect that's the real reason most states don't change their "winner takes it all" laws, they don't want to suffer stronger campaigns :p).

One thing is saying that North Carolina can decide the president but California cannot, by law, and another one saying that North California can decide the president because Calfornia never wants to.
The commentators are saying the later. But I wouldn't listen so much to them if I was Californian, because in fact no president would be elected with only the swing states, the values for the fixed states must also be added, so if a democrat Californian doesn't vote it is helping California to swing to Republicans or if a republican Californian doesn't vote it is helping Californian not to swing and stay Democrat.
The problem is when you're, say, a green Californian (or from any state). Then you should vote just to be able to blame the other voters for the outcome.

Btw, if this looks like I'm defending the electoral system in the US, I'm not, I don't like it at all. I only mean it's still not a reason not to vote.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

β-Redex Reducing Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
735
Age
50
Location
Lambda Centre
I don't follow your logic. How does the act of not voting stop some of those strangers being granted power?
Assuming that voting really matters (because if it does not, then clearly it's a waste of time and we ought to not bother) what would happen if no one votes?

Also, I fail to see why I should support immoral things just because they happen anyway. E.g. sex trafficking happens whether I take part in it or not, ought I to support that too? I try to not support unethical things even if they still happen without my support.

When you don't vote someone is still granted power (surely not someone you voted, because you didn't vote).
I always vote.

So the decision not to vote does in no way prevent any crime by strangers. It's just a feel good excuse to think that you are not the reason they got elected.
Not partacking in sex trafficking does not prevent sex trafficking either. Someone else will do it instead of you. So is not partaking in sex trafficking due to it's immorality also just a feel-good excuse to think that you're not the reason it happens? It's an extreme example but it seems to also follow from your reasoning that not partaking in sex trafficking is also just a feel-good excuse to think that you're not the reason it happens.

You can only choose the lesser evil
I always choose the lesser evil. But Nobody never wins.
 

pyrat

Very Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2016
Messages
214
Assuming that voting really matters (because if it does not, then clearly it's a waste of time and we ought to not bother) what would happen if no one votes?
But the candidates would still vote themselves. To become candidate people need some number of signatures or so, and part of those would possibly vote someone.
There'd be a tie and depending on which election and which law they'd pact, or repeat elections or something.
Or they wouldn't get a vote threshold and no MP could be appointed ?
Or do you mean not even the candidates voting themselves? That's weird. It has happened sometimes, I think.
In some small villages parties present candidates that are not from the village, so they can't vote themselves and sometimes they get 0 votes.
I think in some cases nobody got any votes, and a government from the larger territory where the village is appointed a major.
I think that law is broken.

It's a strange scenario and I don't know much what to answer, but I have observed elections that got higher or lower participation, and I haven't noticed
that it ever had an outcome. When abstention is high they will pay some lip service to having heard the criticism and things needing to change or something,
but they never acted on it. Someone is just given power with fewer votes, that's all.

Also, I fail to see why I should support immoral things just because they happen anyway. E.g. sex trafficking happens whether I take part in it or not, ought I to support that too? I try to not support unethical things even if they still happen without my support.
Because the election is not a referendum on the electoral system ?
You don't have to support anything to vote. You just can vote or not vote.
Your vote is not a support for the system, it's just your option conditional to the system being there.
You're supporting a candidate, but of course only on the condition of the available alternatives.
That's not supporting them, that's just using the little power you have to prevent something potentially worse.
Supporting them would be paying them, convincing others to vote that candidate, I don't know, something more optional.

It's like if you were in prison you could go on a hunger strike, but if you choose to eat, that's not supporting your detention, just surviving.

It's nothing to do with sex trafficking. You should participate in it by reporting it to authorities or stopping it or something. If you can.
If you can't then you don't take part because you can't. Just like I don't take part in the US elections because I can't.
But if you can act and don't that's a decision. So if you have concrete evidence of sex trafficking and don't report it, you're responsible for your decision.

You vote Nobody ?

Not partacking in sex trafficking does not prevent sex trafficking either. Someone else will do it instead of you. So is not partaking in sex trafficking due to it's immorality also just a feel-good excuse to think that you're not the reason it happens? It's an extreme example but it seems to also follow from your reasoning that not partaking in sex trafficking is also just a feel-good excuse to think that you're not the reason it happens.
No. It's not a feel-good excuse.
It would be a feel-good excuse if you could do something to stop sex trafficking and you didn't because not participating seemed good enough.
If the only option you have is partaking or not, but no option to stop it, then not partaking is the right ethical choice, not an excuse.
Even if only the not-partaking would be still a lesser evil. Stopping it would be better, if possible. But when the best is not possible, the next best, or the least bad is the action to choose.
Because what is a right choice depends on what options do you have.

I always choose the lesser evil. But Nobody never wins.
Having Nobody elected is not an option you have. If you want anarchy then you have to work for it, and voting will take very little time away from that work.
Voting is not enough. Changing the available options it's the best solution. But that's independent of the election. We can all vote and also work to change the system.
Or if that's too much work, one could vote and still criticize the system without really doing much to change it (that's more my style, I'm afraid :()

But hey, we don't have to agree. I vote (some candidate) because I think it's the lesser evil for my ethics. You vote nobody because you think it is better.
In the end both of us are doing what we think is better.
 

λ the β-Redex Reducer

β-Redex Reducing Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2016
Messages
735
Age
50
Location
Lambda Centre
You're right, it's not really supporting—it's endorsing. But I do not endorse criminals either and thus I do not vote. I do actually kind of support them by paying taxes, though that's also debatable because of course money itself has no value at all to TPTB. The whole point of taxes is that we lose money, not that they gain money.
 

JDTAY

Half Pepperoni, All Cheese
Joined
Sep 15, 2015
Messages
977
Age
33
Location
North Carolina, USA
Trump is campaigning in my city on Wednesday. Wednesday is my day to eat out with my family. Now we can't go to any of the restaurants near the municipal airport. :(
 
  • Angry
Reactions: rSl

fusion_power

Advanced Member
Joined
Dec 25, 2005
Messages
13,106
Location
germany
Website
Visit site
US really needs a serious overhaul of their weird election system. It could be much more easy since they basicly only have 2 parties. Getting rid of the infamous Electoral College is mandatory and same with the "Gerrymandering" of course. And it would also help if the election is on a weekend date, not in the middle of the week. And more voting stations of course. Seriously, it could be so easy, if the Americans just wanted it to be easy.
 

JDTAY

Half Pepperoni, All Cheese
Joined
Sep 15, 2015
Messages
977
Age
33
Location
North Carolina, USA
Holy crap.


According to FiveThirtyEight, most of Biden's lead comes from gaining ground among uneducated white voters, the demographic that elected Trump in 2016.

It says Trump has actually gained black voters compared to 2016. That's pretty damn weird.

Edit: FiveThirtyEight is owned by ABC News too, so this isn't exactly fringe reporting.
 
Last edited:

levi

Still fresh, damnit!
Joined
Oct 6, 2008
Messages
12,961
Location
Somewhere off the coast of the EU
Yes, the BBC have been reporting that the southern hispanic vote is pretty much split down the middle, while last time round it was pretty much pro Hilary. I've no real experience of it* but my impression is that outside of drug culture where the purveyors don't tend to vote anyway, it's a fairly matriarchal society. Since both parties are now offering old white men to run the country, if that's literally all you care about**, it's pretty much a toss up.

*I'm not sure, but I suspect my experience mainly comes from watching people play GTA:San Andreas.

** In these times of covid, electing a woman purely on the basis of her sex isn't a terrible idea, since women rulers have tended to be less influenced by business and RWNJs, and more open to the science, the best example probably being Jacinda Ardern in NZ.
 
Top