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Old 09-25-2008, 07:41 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Do you blame the media or the people?

My biggest frustration about this upcoming election is that the majority of Americans think they only have two choices, Obama or Mccain.

I'm a registered Libertarian and I'm voting for Bob Barr. When I ask people if they know who he is, they all look at me like a pig looks at a wristwatch.

Whose fault is it?

I blame the media, as they only present Obama and MCcain as a choice, they won't even mention Bob Barr, even though he is technically the only "legal" candidate on the ticket in Texas (ref: Bob Barr Only Candidate In Texas | Patriots Revolt)

It sees the media, by not mentioning Barr at all and only mentioning the other two is quietly directing people and narrowing the choice to only two candidates, even though there are at least 13 parties.

The people, on the other hand, who are going to vote and whose ignorance will affect not just their lives but mine as well, seem happy to only have two choices, even though most people complain that they don't want either one. One of the common complaints I hear is "I don't like either candidate, but that's all we have, so I'm picking who I hate the least." When i tell them about Barr, they blow it off as not even an option, like they are throwing a vote away.

If the majority of people "threw their vote away" on Barr, he would win, right?

Barr has a youtube channel with videos, a page where he states his agenda, it's all out there for the taking. When I try to tell people about it, they just say "eh, nice idea, but no. what are we going to do?" They seem happy to be stuck with only two choices.

So do you blame the media for directing and unfairly influencing the people, or do you blame the people for not doing the research and being as informed as possible, staying willfully ignorant and making a half assed decision that will greatly affect the whole damn world (to be slightly over dramatic, but really, think about it. The whole damn world is affected by what we do).

Really this frustrates me, Id like to know what others think.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:48 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
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I dont blame either the media or the people.

I attribute it to the fact that for most of our more than 200+ year history, we have been a two party system, with blips here and there when a third party would surface and make a minor splash before burning itself out.
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Old 09-25-2008, 07:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I tend to think that the media is doing its best to reflect the interests of its viewers. Otherwise they would lose their viewers.

This said, I am saddened at the lack of options with every presidential election. I have only ever voted for 3rd party candidates.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Both, media and people.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:19 PM   #5 (permalink)
 
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A multi-party system for presidential elections would be chaotic in the US.

Consider the fact that to be elected, one must receive a majority (not just plurality) of electoral votes. The greater the number of "electable" candidates (candidates who could realistically win a state and receive electoral votes) you have, the less likely that any one candidate would receive the necessary 270 electoral votes.

So then it goes to the House of Reps, where a majority vote is needed (and each state only gets one vote).and what happens then if the House has multiple parties and no candidate receives a majority? Or if the party that has a majority in the House has a presidential candidate who comes in third or forth in electoral votes, but is elected president on a strictly partisan basis?

We would probably have to repeal the 12th amendment.

-----Added 26/9/2008 at 12 : 27 : 30-----
added:

The only thing I would change with the current system is to lower the requirement for third party candidate(s) to participate in the presidential debated. The current requirement is support of 15% of voters in aggregate polls during the campaign season in order to be included in the debates.

I would lower it to 5%....a number signficant enough to affect the outcome.
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Last edited by dc_dux; 09-25-2008 at 08:39 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_dux View Post
So then it goes to the House of Reps, where a majority vote is needed..and what happens then if the House has multiple parties and no candidate receives a majority? Or if the party that has a majority in the House has a presidential candidate who comes in third or forth in electoral votes, but is elected president on a strictly partisan basis?
.
They have to work together to get it done. Instead of acting like children always saying the other is wrong and trying to get the other side to make a bad choice, they would have to figure out a way to get it passed.

As for the lack of third parties...I think it is the people who think they are wasting their time voting for someone who won't win and feel that life would be worse if the guy from the other big party won.

There is enough information out there for people who do their own research.
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
 
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To me, it is chaos in the making, with the likelihood of most presidential elections being thrown to the House and subject to "vote trading" thus diluting the one person, one vote concept even more than it already is since each state only gets one vote if the election goes to the House.

Nope..it would be easier to repeal the 12th amendment and the likelihood of that happening any time soon is about zero...but IMO, that should really be where the third party supporters should focus their efforts and maybe over time, they could succeed with an amendment to change the presidential election to a straight popular vote of the people.
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Last edited by dc_dux; 09-25-2008 at 09:00 PM..
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Old 09-25-2008, 08:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
All important elusive independent swing voter...
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dc_dux View Post
A multi-party system for presidential elections would be chaotic in the US.

Consider the fact that to be elected, one must receive a majority (not just plurality) of electoral votes. The greater the number of "electable" candidates (candidates who could realistically win a state and receive electoral votes) you have, the less likely that any one candidate would receive the necessary 270 electoral votes.

So then it goes to the House of Reps, where a majority vote is needed (and each state only gets one vote).and what happens then if the House has multiple parties and no candidate receives a majority? Or if the party that has a majority in the House has a presidential candidate who comes in third or forth in electoral votes, but is elected president on a strictly partisan basis?

We would probably have to repeal the 12th amendment.

-----Added 26/9/2008 at 12 : 27 : 30-----
added:

The only thing I would change with the current system is to lower the requirement for third party candidate(s) to participate in the presidential debated. The current requirement is support of 15% of voters in aggregate polls during the campaign season in order to be included in the debates.

I would lower it to 5%....a number signficant enough to affect the outcome.
This would be a good start.
-----Added 26/9/2008 at 12 : 58 : 24-----
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASU2003 View Post
They have to work together to get it done. Instead of acting like children always saying the other is wrong and trying to get the other side to make a bad choice, they would have to figure out a way to get it passed.
QFT
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Last edited by jorgelito; 09-25-2008 at 08:58 PM.. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
 
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i think the speed of communications--in the broadest sense (that is not just "the media") indicates that the american system as a whole trades rigidity for democracy, and that the structure is itself outmoded. i think a parliamentary style system is preferable. i can't get my head around the idea that it was somehow preferable to endure the bush administration for 8 years to having the potential "chaos" of a mechanism for voting a government out through "no confidence". i don't see the advantage. i also don't see the advantage of the current party system as over against a multi-party system. democracy can be messy---so what? it's not an argument against it. i would think that more as over against less system responsiveness would be preferable in every way.

alot of americans it seems really don't like democracy very much.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:26 AM   #10 (permalink)
 
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I have really appreciated having 5+ parties to choose from in Iceland, with no one party having a majority... and so 2+ parties always have to form coalitions in order to have a majority (AFTER the vote), corresponding to exactly what percent of voters voted for them. Each party only gets as many seats in parliament as they earn, via voting... and I like that system very much.

However, I fear that Americans would freak out if they had 5 parties... they have a hard enough time deciding on a candidate, as it is. I don't think people would care enough to think in a more complex manner about differences between 5 parties. They want things to be simple, cut and dried and laid out for them to consume, no thinking required. "Gut feelings" are easy to go by when you only have 2 parties. Not so easy with 5.

Funny thing is that in Iceland, even the most "right-wing" parties are centrist by American standards. You would never get the kind of bullshit in Europe that you have with the far right-wingers in the US. They just don't have the patience for that, in this century. I don't know why Americans continue to tolerate it.
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:59 AM   #11 (permalink)
immoral minority
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abaya View Post
Funny thing is that in Iceland, even the most "right-wing" parties are centrist by American standards. You would never get the kind of bullshit in Europe that you have with the far right-wingers in the US. They just don't have the patience for that, in this century. I don't know why Americans continue to tolerate it.
I don't get it either. But this is the first time I'm not voting against someone by picking the other party.

And I do wish the congress was setup in a proportional type setup. The only problem I see (and it might not be accurate), is that you don't vote for an individual person, you vote for the party. And the party gets to choose who they select.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
 
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I don't get it either. But this is the first time I'm not voting against someone by picking the other party.
Me too. It's weird. I never imagined that I would be actively donating money to a political campaign, because I never really liked any one candidate this much before.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ASU2003
And I do wish the congress was setup in a proportional type setup. The only problem I see (and it might not be accurate), is that you don't vote for an individual person, you vote for the party. And the party gets to choose who they select.
That's true. We vote for the party here, and they pick who is going to sit in those seats that they win. However, there is a little "write-in" area on the ballots where if you REALLY don't want a particular person to sit in that particular seat, then you can cross their name off the list and write in another name. So there is some room for adjustment, but most people don't bother.
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Old 09-26-2008, 04:37 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abaya View Post
I have really appreciated having 5+ parties to choose from in Iceland, with no one party having a majority... and so 2+ parties always have to form coalitions in order to have a majority (AFTER the vote), corresponding to exactly what percent of voters voted for them. Each party only gets as many seats in parliament as they earn, via voting... and I like that system very much.
.

Are you allowed to vote in Iceland?

/end thread jack
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