Why the Process is Not Working

Discussion in 'Election Forums' started by Pogo, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    The level of eligible voter participation, even in the bigly US 2016 Presidential election, was 55%.

    Fifty-five. That's a pathetic turnout. Forty-five percent of people who get a voice, didn't bother to exercise it.

    For comparison, turnout in lower house elections in Germany between 1960 and 1995 was 86%. In Australia it was 95%. Now, Australia has compulsory voting. But Malta and Belgium and Chile do not, and their lower house elections saw 94, 91 and 93 percent respectively. And again these figures are for lower house elections. (source here)

    Fifty-five.

    From an analysis a year ago:

    >> Despite the narrative of the ongoing presidential campaign, our democracy is not in crisis because of one candidate or one party. We are not in crisis because of Wall Street or free trade agreements. Rather, our democracy is in crisis because we, as a country, have not tended to the most important facet of our democracy: ensuring that our citizens participate in the political process.

    ... In the vast majority of primaries, less than 30 percent of eligible voters actually participated. Almost every primary this election season has seen turnout less than 40 percent of the eligible electorate, with states like New York, despite all of its media attention, only experiencing a 19 percent participation rate. These numbers follow the 2014 midterm elections, in which 36 percent of eligible voters participated, the lowest rate since World War II. Indeed, when it comes to voter turnout, the United States ranks 31st among the 34 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose members are also highly developed democratic states. <<
    "We're Number 31! We're Number 31!" (/sarc)

    Why such a dismal rate for the nation that's supposed to have invented putting We the People in the driver's seat?

    • 1. The Electoral College profoundly inhibits voting in Presidential elections. Specifically the insane "winner take all" format. In any state in which the polls do not reflect a close race, there's no point in voting at all. You can vote for the way your state is leaning toward, the way your state is leaning against, or you can stay home. All three actions guarantee the same result. The state votes unanimously, regardless how its voters voted. Therefore an unknowable number of voters conclude "what's the point?" -- and they have a point.
    • 2. The entrenched Duopoly --- a century and a half of two political parties running the show, colluding with each other to keep any third voice suppressed. A two-headed machine that ensures that no alternative to the safe, watered-down political whore ever has a shot at achieving office, let alone a Presidential debate. This is why Sanders had to try to run as a Democrat --- there are only two horses allowed in the race.
    • 3. A Commercial Mass Media that obsesses over the personal rather than the political. Policy is mundane and dry but the personal, especially if you can dig up a scandal, gets lots of attention, which means it gets lots of ratings which means it sells lots of soap, which means the media outlet makes lots of money. And it's money, not some political angle, that commercial media is after --- not informing the public. Any kind of horse race sells too, because that's drama. Commercial media is far more interested in drama than in policy. The former sells, the latter doesn't. But 'selling' is not what's useful here -- except to the soap-seller.
    Moreover in an environment of information overload where the most trivial is blown up from molehill to mountain, the important details become insignificant in focus.​
    • 4. The Complicit somnabulistic electorate that accepts 1, 2 and 3 without a whimper and declines to pay attention to that man behind the curtain keeping it this way.
    Discuss and add your own.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 26, 2017
  2. Onyx
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    Onyx Gold Member

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    The United States is years away from becoming a failed state.
     
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  3. pismoe
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    pismoe Gold Member

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    Germany will come to dislike their high voter turnout as foreigners vote in the own foreign people as happened in Londonistan when foreigners voted in 'sadiqi khan' as mayor . I myself like the low voter turnout in the USA as that prevents me from having to share my and my American kids voting power with newly arrived foreigners Pogo !!
     
  4. pismoe
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    pismoe Gold Member

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    and the process is going fine Pogo . Go President TRUMP !!
     
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  5. emilynghiem
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    emilynghiem Constitutionalist / Universalist Supporting Member

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    Three things I think will increase voter participation and responsibility
    A. organizing means for direct and indirect representation by PARTY
    so regardless of numbers, joining voting and participating COUNTS.
    Parties should NOT be in competition with each other any more
    than RELIGIONS are. The minute you choose one, you should have
    ability to exercise and implement what you believe in through that GROUP.

    B. By assigning programs for PARTIES to develop and FUND among
    their own membership bases, ALL CITIZENS CAN INVEST
    TAXES DIRECTLY TO CREATE THE PROGRAMS THEY BELIEVE IN WHICH REPRESENT THEM
    without having to go through govt to convince the entire state or entire nation to support a program.

    Organize programs by party, invest by donations loans or investments, and DEDUCT from taxes.
    This can be organized statewide or national AND NOT GO THROUGH GOVT.

    The Catholic Church, Doctors without Borders, and other nonprofits or business corps/LLC
    DO NOT NEED PERMISSION FROM GOVT to organize national or worldwide programs.
    Why can't parties do the same with their media/membership connections and resources?

    C. grievance process

    Setting up direct means for citizens to resolve complaints or compliance issues, with EACH level of govt,
    so the MINUTE a bad proposal or bill is threatened or passed, the conflicts can be addressed and resolved.

    Instead of tying up Congress and Courts for years.
     
  6. Anathema
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    Anathema Crotchety Olde Man

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    The US was a failed state by the middle of April in 1861
     
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  7. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    I dunno about "by party", Em. Not a big believer in parties. Seems to me that just encourages and institutionalized mob mentality and a bloc approach. Granted that a specific movement or a specific simple change needs numbers behind it but lumping an entire set of unrelated movements/changes into a single "party" seems a bit broad-brush and more practically it diffuses each cause within what becomes the greater goal of "what's good for the party".

    I still think political parties oughta be given a charter upon organization that would last twenty years. After 20 the party is history whether it achieved anything or not. Because any more than that, the focus becomes party self-perpetuation, rather than any cause. Then you get wags entirely missing the point of democratic representation coming up with concepts like "RINO" and "DINO".
     
  8. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    The point of this thread is aptly summed up by two (no doubt to be followed by more) posters whose entire contribution to the question is to click "funny" on the OP with nothing else to say. Speaks volumes.
     
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  9. Pogo
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    Pogo Diamond Member

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    That 45% unparticipation has nothing to do with "foreigners". Foreigners can't vote anyway.

    So you're good with your country being 31st out of a field of 34, in an area we're supposed to have pioneered.
    Good to know where you stand.
     
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  10. OldLady
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    OldLady Gold Member

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    I'm sure this is entirely naive, but I don't really understand why we have to have "parties" at all. Except for raising enough money for a candidate to stump the country for a year, and pay for tv ads. Obviously, the parties don't screen out lunatics (see Trump) so what do they do except flood our mailboxes and voice mails with bulloney every two years on their preferred candidates. If there was a national pool of money collected with our taxes that could be split up and given equally to each candidate and that was ALL they could use, why would they need a party at all? I know this is probably crazy sounding, but hey?
     
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