Political Discussion Megathread

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Draxas
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Draxas » Thu Sep 06, 2012 4:59 pm

Lukipela wrote:I'm not big on your politics really, because they sometimes seem very.. alien to me. The abortion thing is a good example really. As I undestand it the Rebuplicans are against a strong federal state, and possibly opposed to state goverments being too large/powerful as well? The argument seems to be both about the prohibitive cost of running a big inefficient goveremtnal organisation as well as an idealistic stance where goverment regulation and interference stifles personal freedoms, which are pretty important over there. So how do you connect that to wanting the government to acitvely regulate reproductive rights?

I mean, if you believe that life starts at conception that's a position I can respect. But then you either have to accept loads of individuals dying because the government can't interfere in your personal freedoms, or you have to institute a pretty intense human right's violation program where you test everyone regularly to see if they are pregnant. Or possibly to be more efficient, where you sterilize all males in the country and just store some frozen semen to ensure there are no unrecorded deaths.
That's pretty much one of the many points where the hypocrisy of the Republican stance becomes very evident. In order to really understand why this is the way it is, you need to understand the dynamics of a system where you can only choose between 2 guys, and both of them are very wealthy.

The core of the Republican party, the real big names that make the real big decisions (and not necessarily in public, mind you), are all extremely wealthy individuals, most of whom are at the heads of, or at least in top positions in, some very large and profitable companies. These companies are primarily focused in industries like oil, tobacco, financial, and the like; lots of old money from old and fairly stagnant industries. As such, their personal interests lie in protecting their companies' and their own money as fervently as possible, hence why they favor lowering taxes on both corporations and the rich, and why they want to lessen or eliminate a lot of regulations on businesses. That's the wealthy part.

The "only 2 guys to choose from" part comes into play with issues like abortion, creationism, religion in schools, and similar. In order to form a solid base of support, the Republican party takes a hardline stance on these issues, which is very appealing to lots of voters in the southern and midwestern states, as well as other rural areas of the US. From that solid base, they'll than debate whatever other issues happen to be on voters' minds at the moment, trying to get swing voters to support them enough to get the majority. The Democrats do the same thing, enjoying a solid base in the northeast and west coast states, as well as other urban areas, with their more liberal policies on those positions. That's why they don't have to address their hypocrisy, because they're the only other choice. That's also why, outside of a few issues like these where it's a "one or the other" stance, both parties tend to say a lot of the same things.

Is our system not an especially good way to represent the will of the people? Eh, maybe, more choices would probably do a world of good for us. Is it going to change? Not on your life.

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chenjesuwizard
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by chenjesuwizard » Thu Sep 06, 2012 10:01 pm

Two interesting videos I watched recently, which really show off some problems with the politics. The first one applies to the US and the UK, while the second only the US. I don't know about other countries (I know, that's bad).



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RTyp06
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by RTyp06 » Fri Sep 07, 2012 6:48 pm

I liked those videos.

From an American humanist perspective, I thought this video was pretty interesting. I agree with Seth but honestly think that the perfect all around candidate doesn't exist and probably never will.


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zenzmurfy
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by zenzmurfy » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:07 am

chenjesuwizard wrote:Two interesting videos I watched recently, which really show off some problems with the politics. The first one applies to the US and the UK, while the second only the US. I don't know about other countries (I know, that's bad).

Great video! I liked the stuff about the Alternative vote and the Mixed member proportional representation systems of voting.

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zenzmurfy
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by zenzmurfy » Sat Sep 08, 2012 5:45 am

Interesting articles I have read recently.

Politifact Scorecard of Obama's campaign promise kept or not. Check out the chart at the end.
http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter ... -promises/

"11 Things The GOP Doesn't Want You To Know About The Deficit" Article has links expanding on each thing.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/0 ... 58295.html

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Zeracles
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Zeracles » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:07 am

Draxas wrote:The core of the Republican party, the real big names that make the real big decisions (and not necessarily in public, mind you), are all extremely wealthy individuals, most of whom are at the heads of, or at least in top positions in, some very large and profitable companies.
We also have the rich attempting to distort the discussion. One of our mining millionaires bought a sizeable chunk of one our most influential newspapers, demanding seats on the board of directors. Fortunately, the board publicly told her the seats would be forthcoming only if she signed their charter affirming the ``hands-off" role of the directors regarding editorial direction. She refused. Editorial influence was clearly her intention all along.
Draxas wrote:industries like oil, tobacco, financial, and the like; lots of old money from old and fairly stagnant industries. As such, their personal interests lie in protecting their companies' and their own money as fervently as possible, hence why they favor lowering taxes on both corporations and the rich, and why they want to lessen or eliminate a lot of regulations on businesses. That's the wealthy part.

The "only 2 guys to choose from" part comes into play with issues like abortion, creationism, religion in schools, and similar.
All that is probably why one of our conservatives recently called your republicans a freak show, which is saying something. I personally am not saying anything . . .

It is interesting how the electoral system has a systematic effect. Over here we get to indicate preferences and this is probably part of the reason neither of our top two parties currently controls either of our houses of federal parliament. More actual debate happens on the floor of parliament. That said, our politics is still pretty dipolar and much of the debate we see is uselessly combative.

Another quirk of our system is mandatory voting. Since everyone has to vote they don't have to be mobilised to do so, which probably means the issues don't have to be sensationalised as much to convince them to show up on polling day.
RTyp06 wrote:the perfect all around candidate doesn't exist and probably never will.
I don't think any individual should be given that much authority. I'd be fine with parliament appointing technocrats (the best kind of crat) to executive positions, actually. Make it less about personality and more about substance.
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chenjesuwizard
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by chenjesuwizard » Sun Sep 09, 2012 7:29 am

Zeracles, where do you live?

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RTyp06
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by RTyp06 » Fri Sep 14, 2012 2:19 am

I think he's Aussie (Australia).

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Gekko
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Gekko » Fri Sep 14, 2012 10:26 am

According to this map in this thread he lives in Sydney.
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Lukipela
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Re: Political Discussion Megathread

Post by Lukipela » Fri Sep 14, 2012 3:31 pm

Hmm, I guess we should get Sideways off that list?

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