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  #21  
Old 09-30-2016, 11:51 PM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

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Originally Posted by opaltiger View Post
Imagine that 2000 repeats itself and you wake up the morning after the election to discover that all those people voting Jill Stein and Gary Johnson have thrown the election to Trump.
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Originally Posted by audrey729 View Post
It's just that I sort of like bringing up the underdog in this sort of conversation.
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Originally Posted by Sandstone-Shadow View Post
It's just that the underdog isn't likely to make much headway this late in the game. Like opal said, I fear that votes for all of those third parties are not going to count for much this time.
On top of that, another reason third partiers (at least in the US system of government) are a dubious place to put your presidential vote even in the best of years: as we've seen with the most recent six of Obama's eight years, a president can barely do anything of substance if Congress isn't willing to cooperate. Sure, you can dream of a third-party president, but if you're truly dedicated to opening up our politics to more than two parties, you need to be doing the footwork in congressional, state, and local elections — especially in the years in-between presidential elections — to try to establish a groundwork for your party to build on.

The thing I probably despise most about the Libertarians and the Greens alike is that they show up once every four years, shout a lot about how unfair the system is, and then proceed to disappear for midterm and local elections and implicitly hand full control over to the same gerrymandering corruption that they rail against on presidential election years.

There's a reason that mainstream Republicans were basically forced to accept the Tea Party as part of the GOP, and that's because grassroots Tea Partiers had succeeded in sweeping a significant number of local and congressional elections, meaning that if it had spun off into its own full-fledged third party, it could have actually gotten enough traction to threaten the two-party system.

EDIT: And on that topic, I just found a pretty prescient article on the similarities and differences between Nader's spoiling Green Party run in 2000 and Sanders' now-somewhat-supportive Democratic Party run in 2016. It also incorporates a decent rundown of the events of 2000 and their ramifications in the current election, for those of you too young to remember 2000 firsthand.
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  #22  
Old 10-01-2016, 09:32 PM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

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Originally Posted by JackPK View Post
The thing I probably despise most about the Libertarians and the Greens alike is that they show up once every four years, shout a lot about how unfair the system is, and then proceed to disappear for midterm and local elections and implicitly hand full control over to the same gerrymandering corruption that they rail against on presidential election years.
Yes. But isn't that ALL parties? Okay, they're looking for a change. Yet... don't they all just not do anything about it?

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Originally Posted by Sandstone-Shadow View Post
It's just that the underdog isn't likely to make much headway this late in the game. Like opal said, I fear that votes for all of those third parties are not going to count for much this time.
I agree. Honestly, third parties are definitely not going to be even close to winning this election. But they are closer than before.

You know, the U.S. government was built on not having parties. The Founding Fathers didn't want political parties. But the thing is, they started in the U.S. all because of Federalists and Anti-Federalists. My point is, I wish we didn't have parties as of right now. It would cause more diverse candidates and ideas spread throughout.
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  #23  
Old 10-02-2016, 03:52 AM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

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Originally Posted by audrey729 View Post
Yes. But isn't that ALL parties? Okay, they're looking for a change. Yet... don't they all just not do anything about it?
Don't get me wrong, I'm not praising the Republican and Democratic parties on this. But they're entrenched enough and have enough power that their supporters don't have to actively do the grassroots organizing themselves; the GOP and Dems have whole corporate structures for that.

Greens, Libertarians, and other small parties don't have a structure in place, and as of yet they haven't been willing to do the work to put a structure in place. They just want to come in every four years, whine, and make a clearly impossible attempt to push themselves into power from the top down.

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You know, the U.S. government was built on not having parties. The Founding Fathers didn't want political parties. But the thing is, they started in the U.S. all because of Federalists and Anti-Federalists.
Those were the first US parties, true, but I think our two-party system is more the fault of our first-past-the-post and electoral college systems than the fault of any particular parties. (And many of the Founders did want parties, and in fact spearheaded the formation of the first ones. "The Founders" are not a monolith — they were a group of people with good and bad qualities and ideas just like everyone else, and they had just as significant disagreements among each other as the folks in Congress now.)
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  #24  
Old 10-04-2016, 01:08 AM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

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Originally Posted by JackPK View Post
Those were the first US parties, true, but I think our two-party system is more the fault of our first-past-the-post and electoral college systems than the fault of any particular parties. (And many of the Founders did want parties, and in fact spearheaded the formation of the first ones. "The Founders" are not a monolith — they were a group of people with good and bad qualities and ideas just like everyone else, and they had just as significant disagreements among each other as the folks in Congress now.)
What makes you say it's the electoral college system?

And do you think that we should do votes by overall percent, or keep the electoral college?
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Old 10-04-2016, 07:47 PM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

I mostly hate the electoral college system because it's an elitist pile of crap; rather than actually electing the president, we technically elect representatives who go to a convention and then they vote for the president. It's a layer of insulation that prevents the public from directly choosing the president, because many of the Founders were well-off landowners who thought they and their buddies knew better than the common people.

As for finding a way to dilute the two-party system into something a little less polarized, Europe's single transferable vote system seems to work a lot better than the US's first-past-the-post system.

In particular, a single transferable vote system would make the whole third-party problem a moot point. Here's an example:

I'm making all these numbers up off the top of my head, but let's say as an example that 35% of the country wants to vote for Gary Johnson as their first choice, 10% wants to vote for Jill Stein, 30% for Clinton and 25% for Trump. (I'm also going to simplify this explanation by saying the Johnson supporters' second choice is Trump, and vice versa, while the Stein voters' second choice is Clinton, and vice versa.)

But our first-past-the-post system means whoever gets past 50% first wins. The Johnson supporters see Clinton ahead of Trump, so to avoid a Clinton presidency, many of them vote for Trump instead of who they actually want to vote for. The Stein supporters see Clinton only barely ahead of Trump, so to avoid a Trump presidency, many of them vote for Clinton instead of who they actually want to vote for. So in our current system, Clinton or Trump wins because the election turns into a contest of "let's all group together to deny the worst candidate the presidency" rather than "let's each express our own preference and give the best candidate the presidency".

But in a single transferable vote system with the same numbers, the first round of voting would give 35% Johnson, 30% Clinton, 25% Trump, 10% Stein. Stein has the lowest support and gets eliminated, so all of her supporters' votes go to their second choices: let's say they all went for Clinton. The results are now 35% Johnson, 40% Clinton, 25% Trump. Now Trump has the lowest support, and let's say all of his supporters gave Johnson as their second choice. The final results are now more like, say, 60% Johnson, 40% Clinton, so Johnson gets elected in what would be considered a landslide.

This is a very simplistic explanation (most countries that use such a system have slightly more complex rules, especially for their legislatures), but in essence you can see how this would break the stranglehold of the two-party system and allow voters to pick someone they actually like, not just the person most likely to defeat the major-party candidate they dislike most.
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  #26  
Old 10-04-2016, 08:35 PM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

I would say the worst thing about first-past-the-post is that (here at least) it's not whoever gets to 50% first, it's just whoever gets the most rather than the majority. So if Party A gets 33%, Party B gets 34% and Party C gets 33%, then Party B wins even though 66% of the population didn't vote for them.

I have one problem with STV, which is how you redistribute votes for candidates who go over the threshold needed to get elected. (assuming this is the version where there;s more than one winner - I assume if you're talking about electing a president then this is equivalent to what the UK calls the alternative vote, and wouldn't be an issue)
Because if you redistribute the votes that come in after the candidate reaches the threshold then that might introduce a certain bias. Like if a news story about a candidate broke midday and changed how people voted after that, then the order that the votes are counted matters. I can't say I'm comfortable with a system where the results could potentially be completely different after a recount even if they were counted correctly both times.

But now writing this I notice there's a whole wikipedia page on "counting single transferable votes" that I didn't know about so if you'll excuse me I'll be reading that now :P
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  #27  
Old 10-06-2016, 01:19 AM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

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Originally Posted by Murkrow View Post
...if you redistribute the votes that come in after the candidate reaches the threshold then that might introduce a certain bias. Like if a news story about a candidate broke midday and changed how people voted after that, then the order that the votes are counted matters. I can't say I'm comfortable with a system where the results could potentially be completely different after a recount even if they were counted correctly both times.
Okay, that makes sense, but what are the chances that a candidate would break mid-election? I mean, they probably wouldn't be changing their beliefs, it would be more like they are just trying to gain support. What do you mean by a candidate "breaking midday" anyways? Moreover, wouldn't the Electoral College system also be affected by this?

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...in essence you can see how this would break the stranglehold of the two-party system and allow voters to pick someone they actually like, not just the person most likely to defeat the major-party candidate they dislike most.
That does make sense. Yes, it would be more likely that the U.S. would get the candidate that they wanted the most. That has happened before, where the electoral college system beat the popularity vote. What I think is that we should, first of all, change it to a single transferable vote system so that way, we can actually have a chance of getting someone who we actually want to win to win. Honestly, I think that the two-party system isn't the best idea, except the major parties disagree (of course) because that would weaken their power.

I sort of believe that first of all, we should change it to an STV system, and second of all, I don't like how the major parties like keeping themselves in power for so long. We should (possibly?) get rid of that amendment changing the Vice Presidential candidate, and make it how it used to be. You know, with the candidate with the 2nd most votes getting to be V.P. And we don't give the V.P. enough things to do, anyways. That job is practically useless. Maybe we could give the V.P. some power...

Yet as John Nance Garner said: "The Vice Presidency isn't worth a [bucket] of warm spit."
Except it is. The Vice President gets payed $400,000 a year (with free room and board) for doing almost nothing! I think the V.Ps should actually do something.
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  #28  
Old 10-06-2016, 01:37 AM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

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What do you mean by a candidate "breaking midday" anyways?
I think Murkrow meant that if news about, for example, Clinton winning, were announced at like two o'clock EST while the election is still going.

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We should (possibly?) get rid of that amendment changing the Vice Presidential candidate, and make it how it used to be. You know, with the candidate with the 2nd most votes getting to be V.P.
The reason we have that amendment is because T. Jeff and Aaron Burr, Sir (sorry, Hamilton on the brain) tied on like twelve different levels and they wanted to avoid that ever happening again, not to mention they realized that having the president and the VP be two different parties a la John Adams and T. Jeff is probably not a good idea.

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The Vice President gets payed $400,000 a year (with free room and board) for doing almost nothing! I think the V.Ps should actually do something.
technically, the VP gets paid to preside over the senate (breaking major ties, mainly), preside over Electoral College votes, and be replacement president should the current president die/resign/be impeached. that's a pretty big deal. (not to mention the more minor stuff, like presiding over federal officer impeachments (not the president's, though, conflict of interest and all that), as well as whatever general roles the president gives them)

THAT BEING SAID, does anyone, other than someone actively working in the federal government or poli sci majors (or Wikipedia), actually know what the VP does aside from wait for the President to not be President? Not me, I had to Wikipedia that.
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  #29  
Old 10-06-2016, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

Idk, I'm pretty fine with paying somebody a good chunk of change to be the backup president so we don't have to scramble to find one if the president dies in office, or scramble to find a new Speaker of the House or whatever if that person has to be promoted to president.

It's basically insurance. It's saying, we really hope you don't have to do anything important, but here's $400,000 so that you're on call to do the most important job in the country just in case.
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Old 10-06-2016, 04:34 PM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

If the VP was the 2nd place candidate, it could lead to even more partisan squabbles. Think about all the hardships Obama suffered with a Republican Congress. Even though the VP does nothing, having such a close person to the President oppose him would make the job harder than it already is.
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  #31  
Old 10-07-2016, 04:03 PM
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Default Re: Presidential Candidates

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Originally Posted by Flora View Post
THAT BEING SAID, does anyone, other than someone actively working in the federal government or poli sci majors (or Wikipedia), actually know what the VP does aside from wait for the President to not be President? Not me, I had to Wikipedia that.
Well, I knew from my Civics class last year, but I mostly forgot. Thanks for the refresher!!

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Originally Posted by JackPK
I'm pretty fine with paying somebody a good chunk of change to be the backup president so we don't have to scramble to find one if the president dies in office, or scramble to find a new Speaker of the House or whatever if that person has to be promoted to president.
Okay, I guess that makes sense. Yeah, I guess if we did it so the Presidents couldn't appoint new VPs and everyone moved up a position, that would sort of be chaotic... and unreasonable.

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Originally Posted by I liek Skeletons
If the VP was the 2nd place candidate, it could lead to even more partisan squabbles. Think about all the hardships Obama suffered with a Republican Congress. Even though the VP does nothing, having such a close person to the President oppose him would make the job harder than it already is.
I suppose that makes sense. If the VP ended up being from an entirely different party, then a) it would cause more pressure on the President to be able to sign things, and b) some people might kill the President just so their party could be in power and there would be a VP from the same party.
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