Author: blackielau

The USA needs to make sure Kerry does not win the Presidency. [Copy link] 中文

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Post time 2004-4-29 22:02:05 |Display all floors

re: about u.s. voting dynamics

you are right, meigouracing.

when i lived in seattle, i really didn't care much at all about the different party nominations and such.  i didn't even know who all the cabinet secretaries were!  

boy, how things have changed for me.  now that i live in dc, i have become a political animal (looking more like an elephant than donkey ... that refers to the republican and democratic parties for non-meiguoren).  

about the 40 percent base for either party, you forgot that it is not only terms of population percentages, but also states.  (explanation for chinese people follows ...)  in the u.s., residents of each of the 50 states vote to choose electors or whatever they're called to represent them.  those electors (bigger states get more of them) vote for a candidate so that the entire state effectively votes for only one person!

there are something like 40 states that are already heavily leaning toward one candidate or the other, leaving 10 or so states that are called "swing" states, meaning they could go either way.  

in regard's to chairman's 17 percent assertion, that means something like only 3 percent of the overall population (i'm guessing) actually decides the president.  (of course, we know EVERY vote counts, right?  except for those lost due to hanging chads and electronic voting machines that are compromised by hackers.)  

maybe in the future, if china adopts national elections, then they can improve on this process.  i kind of think the whole electoral thing is pretty unfair, but hey, it's what we've got and no one said politics (even democractic politics) was fair.

ts

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Post time 2004-4-29 23:43:20 |Display all floors

Electoral college

The way it really works here is that a presidential candidate has to win a majority of electoral votes.  Each state has one electoral vote for every Congressman and Senator from that state.  DC gets three and the territorries get few as well.  So for example, California has 53 Congressional districts and every state has two Senators.  So Calif. gets a total of 55 electoral votes.  Wyoming has one Congressional Rep. and again two Senators, so they get three electoral votes.  In all I think there around 541 electoral votes to be had.  So to win the presidency, one needs 272 electoral votes.  And yes, every single vote counts.  Each state has a winner-takes-all policy, meaning that since Bush got around 540 more votes in Florida than Al Gore did in 2000, Bush wins all of Florida's 27 electoral votes.

This system was designed by the founding fathers (the old white guys who wrote our constitution) to make sure candidates did not only campaign in large cities.  For example, West Virginia is normally won by the Democrats' candidate.  It's sparsely populated and most Republicans would not waste their time trying to win that state.  But Bush did in 2000 and he won it.  Had he written the state off, Gore would be president today.

Anyway, we are not a democracy - we are a republic.  So is North Korea, but we are a real republic, meaning a representative form of government.  Voters get the chance every two years to select their leaders and in between they just get to write letters to newspapers and complain to pollsters.  But come election time, the government gets very responsive and voter sentiment does get heard.  We move slowly and we all whine about how inefficient our government is.  But the founding fathers intended it to be that way and it has worked pretty well since the beginning.

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Post time 2004-4-30 01:42:08 |Display all floors

:-)

thanks for putting the above post back.

ts

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Post time 2004-4-30 02:21:27 |Display all floors

What Freedoms lost under Bush!???

Try Habeas Corpus - the right to trial!  What Bush is doing to some Americans is exactly what some totalitatarian regimes do to their political enemies.  And yes people are complaining - in the Supreme Court , no less!!!

Freedom of speech - 17 year old kid "questioned" by secret service for a cartoon he drew of Bush that showed him as a war monger.  Many other examples....People are actually becoming afraid to criticize President Hitler - I mean Bush...

I could go on with a laundry list of freedoms lost UNRELATED to the Patriot Act which is a separate abomination of totalitarianism by itself.

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Post time 2004-4-30 03:02:44 |Display all floors

re: mark069

i agree with your concerns, but to be fair, these guys are not just "political enemies" like you say, but are terrorists plotting to kill americans.  it's not like bush is putting john kerry in prison or anything.  there is a difference.

i was particularly disturbed by the one-month detainment (with no communication with the outside world) of capt. yee which i had previously mentioned, then the government's obvious smear campaign against the guy.  from the legal results, it seems that the original charges against this man are baseless!  this really saddens me.

not quite a bleeding heart liberal (yet),

ts

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Post time 2004-4-30 04:27:00 |Display all floors

geeze

I didn't know explaining our electoral college was so subversive.  God forbid others learn how our government gets chosen.  It's amazing how foreigners discuss who they think should be our president, but when I try to explain how it really works, it gets erased.

Anyway, Mark, habeus corpus has not been suspended one bit.  It doesn't mean you get a trial, it means you get a hearing, get to go before a judge or some form of due process/judicial review.  Most people who get arrested go free long before anyone talks about a trial.  As far as enemy combatants go, where is it written anywhere that they get habeus corpus?  By the way, Hamdi and Padilla are getting it now, even though they probably shouldn't.  If our military really wanted to screw those guys, they could have shipped Padilla to Cuba and kept Hamdi there, thereby keeping them out fo the reach of any US court.

The Secret Service questioning some kid for any reason is not at all an infringement on the right to free speech.  Even arresting him would not have been.  The Secret Service can pretty much do whatever they want to do and then let the courts sort it out later.  They let plenty of people get away with a lot worse than that kid did.  Furthermore, their vigilance has nothing whatsoever to do with George Bush and/or his views on civil liberties.  They have procedures to follow and they check into every single, tiny, potential threat against the president or his family.  You know Bush did not order them to talk to the kid, so don't imply that the government is coming after us all because Bush is president.  I've had plenty of run-ins with the Secret Service and they are the most professional people with one of the toughest jobs in the world.

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Post time 2004-4-30 08:25:01 |Display all floors

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