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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 4:53 pm
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So this will be a thread where we can discuss our electoral peeves. These have to be general and not concerning specific candidates, because I don't want this to devolve into a who's candidate cheated or is better thread. Basically, I thought it would be interesting what other people in different areas found to be problematic that we don't see in our specific areas and we can discuss how these issues could be handled or fixed. So feel free to join in and add something to the list or comment on someone else's peeve/problem.


So starting this out, one of the things that irritates me is that a lot of county level candidates in rural areas run completely unopposed. What's the point in even having a vote if they have no competition? I know some would say that you could just choose to write-in a candidate or not vote for them, but realistically that person is just going to get the job. In another thread it was suggested that in races where there are no opposition, that we draft a candidate from a pool of qualified individuals. Is this a viable route that we should take, or is there another simpler solution that has been overlooked?

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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:27 pm
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(i) The fact that candidates, and whole political parties, can get away with delivering policies in office that are opposite to those they promised during the election campaign. E.g. the Liberal Democrats vowed to scrap tuition fees and were voted into office by students. Once elected, they TRIPLED tuition fees.

(ii) The electoral system as a means of giving the disenfranchised masses the illusion of control. We are all owned by corporate interests. No, I don't vote anymore, I realised it is pointless.

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:06 pm
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Falconer360 wrote:
... in races where there are no opposition, that we draft a candidate from a pool of qualified individuals.

This approach infringes on personal freedoms if the 'qualified individuals' aren't interested in running for or willing to occupy said office. Besides, what are the criteria for assessing qualifications of these individuals?

Falconer360 wrote:
Is this a viable route that we should take, or is there another simpler solution that has been overlooked?

I do not think this is a viable approach, and sadly I do not have a solution for the problem either.


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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:00 pm
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scoobydoo1 wrote:
Falconer360 wrote:
... in races where there are no opposition, that we draft a candidate from a pool of qualified individuals.

This approach infringes on personal freedoms if the 'qualified individuals' aren't interested in running for or willing to occupy said office. Besides, what are the criteria for assessing qualifications of these individuals?.


That was a problem I had with this idea as well. The criteria part is fairly easy in elections for treasurers (people with accounting backgrounds), prosecutors (lawyers), and associated positions. However, for like mayor or senator it would be a more difficult feat. The only other way I can think of possibly fixing it would be to reduce or dismiss the filing fees in races without opposition in the effort to try to encourage people who were interested but financially unable to run a chance. There are definitely people who choose not to run due to the fees that are charged to officially declare your eligibility.

Quick question to the non-americans on the forum: do you also vote for auditors, prosecutors, sheriffs, treasurers, etc?

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"For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled." Hunter S Thompson
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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:15 pm
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Rory wrote:
(i) The fact that candidates, and whole political parties, can get away with delivering policies in office that are opposite to those they promised during the election campaign. E.g. the Liberal Democrats vowed to scrap tuition fees and were voted into office by students. Once elected, they TRIPLED tuition fees.


Problem is that you can't hold them to campaign promises. A lot of promises that are beyond the candidates power end up getting made and they end up having to take the heat for it after they fail to accomplish those promises. A fix to this should be that there should be a neutral review committee that makes sure candidates only make promises that are within the power of the elected position.

Obviously that doesn't help much with your example, since it sounds like they outright lied. Although given the nature of politics, I would wager they sacrificed their promise on tuition fees in an agreement for support of another measure by opposing parties. Or it could have been one of those outrageous promises that they had no hope of ever being able to fulfill. Hell it could have been that they didn't even have a proper grasp of the situation when making the promise, to know that it wasn't feasible (sounds like a less likely option).

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:17 am
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Falconer360 wrote:
That was a problem I had with this idea as well.

The thing is, we are aware that there are (many?) individuals within the populace that aren't satisfied with the current governmental administrative bodies and/or the policies that are in place. But we do not see many coming out to run for office to change/improve it.

Why is that? If what they think that may be 'improvements' are better than the current ones in place, wouldn't it be well received by the masses they are trying to garner votes from? Are the masses so ill-informed or under-educated that they aren't able to grasp the proposal presented to them? Or perhaps, the masses disagrees even if the proposal are for their benefit, but comes at a (social-economic) cost that they (the masses) aren't prepared/willing to shoulder?

Having said that, I vaguely remember a saying "In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve". I have on more than one occasion debated with myself whether that was true, and it was a tedious effort with no real conclusion from my part.

Falconer360 wrote:
The criteria part is fairly easy in elections for treasurers (people with accounting backgrounds), prosecutors (lawyers), and associated positions.

...

Quick question to the non-americans on the forum: do you also vote for auditors, prosecutors, sheriffs, treasurers, etc?

In Singapore (a commonwealth country), the people do not vote for these positions. They are assigned by the government we have voted into power.

Falconer360 wrote:
However, for like mayor or senator it would be a more difficult feat.

Would you say that administrative skills, field expertise, moral standing, etc are important for people occupying these positions, and if so which traits are more important? The reason I asked is that candidates for these positions require a combination of various traits, and even then, the chances of them being voted for depends on how well the voters identify themselves with the candidate's stance on a myriad of issues.

Falconer360 wrote:
The only other way I can think of possibly fixing it would be to reduce or dismiss the filing fees in races without opposition in the effort to try to encourage people who were interested but financially unable to run a chance. There are definitely people who choose not to run due to the fees that are charged to officially declare your eligibility.

Even then, obscure but possibly worthy candidates will still require substantial campaign funds to run for elections over a period of a couple of months. The costs of running campaigns to get their presence and stance on issues out there for the masses to even consider the candidates may be where the trouble lies. Even a well qualified candidate with well received stance on issues that matter, may sometimes not be sufficient to capture votes if they aren't charismatic enough to do so, and that is another aspect of the problem we have yet to pin down - why is that even necessary?

Like the saying goes, "The difference between a politician and a statesman is that a politician thinks about the next election while the statesman thinks about the next generation".


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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 9:15 pm
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The points raised in the following video are relevant to this topic. They also explains why some politicians are more 'appealing' to general public than others, and why some within the populace are rather resistant to arguments from a logical approach.



I would say that even some of the highly educated ones are both prone in using them and susceptible to the influences of them on occasion. It takes a keen mind and a certain level of self-awareness to catch ourselves whilst in the midst of it; a trait that isn't very common amongst the populace.


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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Wed Aug 31, 2016 11:44 pm
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scoobydoo1 wrote:
Having said that, I vaguely remember a saying "In a democracy people get the leaders they deserve". I have on more than one occasion debated with myself whether that was true, and it was a tedious effort with no real conclusion from my part.


I too have thought long about this. I generally lead towards it being true. Many people are more than willing to bitch and whine about the corruption and the broken systems, but very rarely do they actually do anything about it. They use cop outs and claim that it's all pointless.

scoobydoo1 wrote:
Falconer360 wrote:
The criteria part is fairly easy in elections for treasurers (people with accounting backgrounds), prosecutors (lawyers), and associated positions.

...

Quick question to the non-americans on the forum: do you also vote for auditors, prosecutors, sheriffs, treasurers, etc?

In Singapore (a commonwealth country), the people do not vote for these positions. They are assigned by the government we have voted into power.


I thought that might be the case. What's your opinion on electing these sorts of positions?

scoobydoo1 wrote:
Falconer360 wrote:
However, for like mayor or senator it would be a more difficult feat.

Would you say that administrative skills, field expertise, moral standing, etc are important for people occupying these positions, and if so which traits are more important? The reason I asked is that candidates for these positions require a combination of various traits, and even then, the chances of them being voted for depends on how well the voters identify themselves with the candidate's stance on a myriad of issues.


I think too often unrelated things end up influencing voters for these sorts of positions. "I'm voting for Bill Johnson for Mayor because he's a member of my church," "I'm not voting for Susan, because she's a Catholic," "I play poker with Bill, so he's got my vote."

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:36 am
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Falconer360 wrote:
I thought that might be the case. What's your opinion on electing these sorts of positions?

I'm of the opinion that the general populace at large are often neither qualified to make a determination between two or more candidates for a position that requires specialised skills and expertise, nor would they (the populace) likely be interested. If given a choice between two or more similarly skilled and experienced candidates for the position of say a 'auditor', the would-be voters usually rely on factors outside of the candidates' 'qualifications', which would ultimately counterproductive. It may sound elitist to disregard the public's opinion on who gets the position of certain public office, but when one looks at the issue from a pragmatic standpoint, it is usually just the way it is. I find the issue akin to the choice between trial by jury or bench trials.

A prominent but deceased Singaporean Minister once said "I had no faith in a system that allowed the superstition, ignorance, biases, and prejudices of seven jurymen to determine guilt or innocence", and I agree with him.


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:17 am
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One positive aspect of having the public scrutinise appointments is that they are likely to voice their outrage at injustuces. For example, if a candidate is appointed on the basis of nepotism or if the appointee has an obvious conflict of interest. If you leave all negotiations to back rooms (which is how most of politics works) then corruption is practically unrestrained. In the West our people are now slaves of corporations since state and private finances have been mixed beyond all recognition - and since political power is now bought as a short term commodity.

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Fri Sep 02, 2016 9:26 pm
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scoobydoo1 wrote:
Falconer360 wrote:
I thought that might be the case. What's your opinion on electing these sorts of positions?

I'm of the opinion that the general populace at large are often neither qualified to make a determination between two or more candidates for a position that requires specialised skills and expertise, nor would they (the populace) likely be interested. If given a choice between two or more similarly skilled and experienced candidates for the position of say a 'auditor', the would-be voters usually rely on factors outside of the candidates' 'qualifications', which would ultimately counterproductive. It may sound elitist to disregard the public's opinion on who gets the position of certain public office, but when one looks at the issue from a pragmatic standpoint, it is usually just the way it is. I find the issue akin to the choice between trial by jury or bench trials.

A prominent but deceased Singaporean Minister once said "I had no faith in a system that allowed the superstition, ignorance, biases, and prejudices of seven jurymen to determine guilt or innocence", and I agree with him.


You basically summed up my opinion on voting for positions like that. Also one positive aspect of not having the public vote on positions like auditor (treasurer, prosecutor, etc), is that it allows them to focus more on the candidates for the other positions. Here in the US, we go so strongly with campaigning that we end up getting politically burnt out by the time we get to those lesser positions. If we didn't have to vote for those positions and they were just hired like any other job, we would be have more time to scrutinize the higher up positions.

Rory wrote:
One positive aspect of having the public scrutinize appointments is that they are likely to voice their outrage at injustuces. For example, if a candidate is appointed on the basis of nepotism or if the appointee has an obvious conflict of interest. If you leave all negotiations to back rooms (which is how most of politics works) then corruption is practically unrestrained.


A very good point Rory, which I believe is why we vote on those positions in the first place. However, with that outrage over the injustices of the candidates we also get outrage over opinions those candidates hold that will not affect their job to do in any way. I mean who cares that one of the candidates for treasurer supports lethally removing the local wolf population? They're never going to be in a position to influence how the wolf pack is managed.

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"It is easy to kill someone with a slash of a sword. It is hard to be impossible for others to cut down" - Yagyu Munenori


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Rory
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:12 pm
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It would be nice if electoral candidates had high school level knowledge of international affairs.



CRINGE

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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 8:48 pm
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Rory wrote:
It would be nice if electoral candidates had high school level knowledge of international affairs.


At all levels of politics you encounter candidates that are eitehr completely ignorant of things they should know, are lacking in what would be typical high school knowledge (national, international affairs, economics, etc), or are completely unqualified for the position they are vying for. That's kind of the argument about why do we have elections for positions like treasurer, where there is a clear knowledge and skill set the person should have, but you have candidates without those being elected due to the people just liking them (or liking them for things unrelated to the position, ie: he goes to the same church).

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scoobydoo1
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:39 pm
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Falconer360 wrote:
... but you have candidates without those being elected due to the people just liking them (or liking them for things unrelated to the position, ie: he goes to the same church).

Perhaps putting in place a more stringent criteria for candidacy, and an immediate abolishment of universal suffrage is in order. Citizens who fail to abide by an enshrined "way to vote" shall be shot behind the chemical shed. :lol:


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Falconer360
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 11:22 pm
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scoobydoo1 wrote:
... shall be shot behind the chemical shed. :lol:

Behind the chemical shed? What are we animals? No we take them down to the sewage treatment plant and do it there. We can just increase the chemicals to handle the bodies ;)

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Wed Nov 16, 2016 3:01 pm
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Electoral peeves? That future administrations get credit for work they have literally zero to do with achieving.

http://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/ ... good-shape
Quote:
One of the great paradoxes of the 2016 presidential election is that whatever you make of the generation-long course of the American economy, it was the best year of the 21st century in basic pocketbook terms by almost any measure.

And thanks to Donald Trump winning the election, Republicans are suddenly noticing:
Image
This kind of comically large impact is why you can’t take poll respondents at their word when they explain to you how they voted. Trump’s message was that the economy was terrible, and Trump voters agreed with his message, but the causal arrow there could point in any direction. If Trump starts saying in March that the economy is now fixed, Republicans will believe him. Not because of anything special about Trump or Republicans, but because that’s how human perception works.

The thing is, Trump will be right.

He has not taken office yet or done anything that could conceivably merit credit, but data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta shows that wages are growing at their fastest pace in eight years. Nobody noticed in the heat of the October campaign, but data released last month also showed that American wages reached an all-time high point. A little less than a year from now, we are due for a census report that will show that median household income is at an all-time high.

Members of the Obama administration whom I’ve spoken to this week are pained about many aspects of the election result, but this particular set of information stings especially badly to those who are aware of it. Had Clinton won the election, an easy narrative would quickly begin to emerge of how the Obama administration picked up an economy that had fallen to pieces and nursed it back to strength — handing over a rosy situation to its successor.

Trump’s hard rupture with Obama’s legacy means that the exact same 2017 economic data is going to play very differently, as a series of new highs hit thanks to Trumpian deregulation and Greatness Making rather than the pretty sweet situation he was handed by his predecessor.

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Lynx_Fox
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:10 am

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Pisses me off as well... today three people sharing an article about Trump's effect and Ford moving jobs to Ohio, when if they actually read the article was decided early 2015.


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marnixR
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 10:33 am
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well, you know god moves in mysterious ways, clearly involving time travel :roll:

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iNow
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:41 pm
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Lynx_Fox wrote:
Pisses me off as well... today three people sharing an article about Trump's effect and Ford moving jobs to Ohio, when if they actually read the article was decided early 2015.

The bigger frustration for me is there doesn't seem to be any way to fix it. If someone makes an honest mistake, you can correct them and move on, but all indicators are that most people simply don't care when it comes to these things. Folks accept data that reinforces preexisting views then stop there. End program. No critical thinking to be found. No validation that preconceptions aren't castles made of sand.

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wireless
Post  Post subject: Re: Electoral Peeves  |  Posted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 7:19 pm

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