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USA Mid-Term Election Results


BruceVC

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The two-party system follows from game theory, given the current democratic system in the US. If we assume that most people have the same political axis (or possibly several axes which happen to align which each other) as most important factor when deciding which party to vote for, a third party is a nonsensical idea. The only people who are likely to get elected without affiliation to either Democrats or Republicans are people who have jumped ship from one of the parties, or people who were already famous and rich enough to fund their own campaign. It's a system which naturally converges to two (meaningful) choices only for the voter.

 

You could call it "the Nader effect" if you want.

Countries that have 10 or more parties divide the same way.  There is nearly always two competing wings taking turns at being in opposition. The advantage of having 10 or more is that there will be more flavors available and that you will be more likely to be able to vote for a party representing more or less your demographic interests. When it comes to governing, a coalition vs a majority of the same party, it really doesn't matter as much as one would think. 

 

I would even suggest that having to bargain for most major pieces of legislation is an advantage. 

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I can't imagine only having two parties to choose from. I live in a country where we have a plethora of political parties to choose from, and yet even then it's a matter of choosing which one of the parties you hate least.

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The two-party system follows from game theory, given the current democratic system in the US. If we assume that most people have the same political axis (or possibly several axes which happen to align which each other) as most important factor when deciding which party to vote for, a third party is a nonsensical idea. The only people who are likely to get elected without affiliation to either Democrats or Republicans are people who have jumped ship from one of the parties, or people who were already famous and rich enough to fund their own campaign. It's a system which naturally converges to two (meaningful) choices only for the voter.

 

You could call it "the Nader effect" if you want.

Countries that have 10 or more parties divide the same way.  There is nearly always two competing wings taking turns at being in opposition. The advantage of having 10 or more is that there will be more flavors available and that you will be more likely to be able to vote for a party representing more or less your demographic interests. When it comes to governing, a coalition vs a majority of the same party, it really doesn't matter as much as one would think. 

 

I would even suggest that having to bargain for most major pieces of legislation is an advantage. 

 

Indeed, the same argument holds true (although if there are more parties, this allows for a greater chance of "orthogonal" parties who are mostly interested in specific issues not on the main axis) about two "wings" in other systems, but their internal composition may vary freely. If you are interested in preserving nature and live in the US, you might vote for the Democrats if you perceive them to be infinitesimally better in that regard. But if you were already a Democrat voter, there's not very much you can do. There is only ever a point in changing your policies as a party in a two-party system if you can win over independents or those on the other side. Thus the rational thing to happen in a two-party system is a race to the middle, with the only other competitor being if voters so much lose faith in the whole democratic system that they stay at home, realizing that the system gives their vote minimal opportunity to for for what they really believe in.

 

In a proportional system, there is more often a party which really does represent YOUR views. Firstly, this is a much more flexible system than one based one the (distributed) winner-takes-all principle, with respect to the internal composition of the two "wings". Secondly, if you can vote for something you actually want, you are more likely to vote in the first place. Thirdly, a system with more parties is in general much healthier since the competition for voters is much harsher, especially inside your own bloc. The politicians must listen much more closely to their voters, or they will immediately leave your party for another, closely aligned party.

 

Another point you are missing is that the US system of elections to the HoR is not intrinsically proportional to actual political support in any sense at all. You could have a party with the support of 50% of the US population, plus one person for every district that gets to send a representative, and have them control 100% of the representatives. The fact that it is possible to redraw district border to fine-tune this (and that this is happening!) should be enough for any person to immediately reject this bizarre system. The winner-takes-it-all principle - the polar opposite of the proportional principle - is a system that is perfectly tailored to throw away the maximum number of votes, and my guess is that was only used because it must have been far easier to organize voting that way back in the days. This since you don't have to sum the results of all the votes centrally.

 

Hell, even John Adams realized all of this, and he lived 250 years ago: "It should be in miniature, an exact portrait of the people at large. It should think, feel, reason, and act like them. That it may be the interest of this Assembly to do strict justice at all times, it should be an equal representation, or in other words equal interest among the people should have equal interest in it.".

"Well, overkill is my middle name. And my last name. And all of my other names as well!"

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http://news.yahoo.com/gay-marriage-advocates-victories-kansas-south-carolina-010308837.html

 

Some good news, I see both Kansas and South Carolina will be allowing same sex marriage. This means there are now 33 states that recognise this type of civil union. This is a progressive step. Well done USA :thumbsup:

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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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http://news.yahoo.com/gay-marriage-advocates-victories-kansas-south-carolina-010308837.html

 

Some good news, I see both Kansas and South Carolina will be allowing same sex marriage. This means there are now 33 states that recognise this type of civil union. This is a progressive step. Well done USA :thumbsup:

Bruce, I doubt this is a progressive victory so much as a libertarian one. I don't pretend to know the minds of the voters or legislature of Kansas and South Carolina but those are states where the Progressive idea of there being no such thing as right or wrong really wouldn't fly.

 

But I think people are coming to see that it is not necessary to approve of gay marriage to realize it's wrong to oppose it. As you know I am a supporter of the right but personally I do not approve of it. I don't disapprove of it either. My personal attitude towards the idea is one of complete indifference. I don't think I'd ever attend or participate in one in any way. I firmly believe though that if two free and consenting adults wish to get married no one has the right to tell them no. If someone has a moral objection to it, fine and good but your morality ends at you, you don't get to impose it on others.

 

What I’m seeing now is something insidious following this though. A number of businesses, one bakery in particular has refused to make a cake for a gay couple. They are now facing lawsuits and criminal prosecution. Just as no one should be able to stop a gay couple from getting married, no one should be compelled to participate in it either. That is the difference between progressivism and libertarianism

Edited by Guard Dog
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What I’m seeing now is something insidious following this though. A number of businesses, one bakery in particular has refused to make a cake for a gay couple. They are now facing lawsuits and criminal prosecution. Just as no one should be able to stop a gay couple from getting married, no one should be compelled to participate in it either. That is the difference between progressivism and libertarianism

 

 

When you run a business, you are subject to non-discrimination laws.  

 

Religious organizations can get around this, but I fail to see how a for profit business deserves a free pass here.  Would it be fair for your local bar to only serve white people?  

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It's definitely not a libertarian victory, except perhaps if you're a Reason magazine type libertarian. A real libertarian victory would have been the abolishment of marriage licenses and government getting out of the marriage business entirely.

 

Neither Kansas nor South Carolina wanted same sex marriage. Federal Judicial overreach, and one heck of a stretch of a misinterpretation of the Constitution is what gave Bruce his happy day. The propaganda is overwhelmingly in support of gay marriage these days, and one really has to try to ignore the overt anti-religious sentiment behind it as well as the 'conform or die' sentiment (doubt it? go read some of the comments in Bruce's most recent linked article, or reference what Guard Dog mentions in regards to the lawsuits). Whether one is for or against it, one should be wary of some of the ways it's becoming the law of the land, especially when Federal Judges are overruling voter and state legislative wishes, and on what many (who are both for and against gay marriage) would say is shaky ground. The end does not justify the means in this case, and most of the people cheering these decisions are ignorant of the legal implications.

 

This subject doesn't really belong here though, unless we want to start listing things where what the voters wanted was ignored or overturned. That could fill many many threads.

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Courts protecting the rights of minorities against the tyranny of the majority is an extremely important function.  It is nice that society has been slowly shifting towards tolerance, but it shouldn't be the only way minorities gain more rights.  What is the non-religious justification for denying gay couples the right to marry?

 

 

I do agree that the best case would be the government getting out of the marriage business.  But that is simply not realistic, there isn't enough support for such a movement.

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What I’m seeing now is something insidious following this though. A number of businesses, one bakery in particular has refused to make a cake for a gay couple. They are now facing lawsuits and criminal prosecution. Just as no one should be able to stop a gay couple from getting married, no one should be compelled to participate in it either. That is the difference between progressivism and libertarianism

 

 

When you run a business, you are subject to non-discrimination laws.  

 

Religious organizations can get around this, but I fail to see how a for profit business deserves a free pass here.  Would it be fair for your local bar to only serve white people?  

 

 

This is really the point  GD, substitute the word  gay for African American and ask how you or society would feel about a bakery not making cakes for an African American couple ?

 

Bigotry is bigotry and it doesn't matter how you try to sugar coat it

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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The only thing encouraging about this election was the voter turn-out. Only 1 in 3 eligible voters cared to show up. That is indicative that perhaps the other two understand the false dichotomy of Red vs. Blue. Nothing about this election will change anything. Economic liberty will still decrease. Personal liberty will still decrease. That is the function of The State. It is legalized crime and oppression. Voting for who gets to hold the reigns of violence and theft is merely legitimizing that evil. Hopefully poor voter turnout is a tacit realization of this.

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@ GD

 

Something else about that bakery story that upsets me that I want to add

 

Imagine when you and Stef were about to get married, you are in love and want to spend the rest of your life together. And you are making all the wedding plans, you have breakfast at your local restaurant and while you are walking down the street hand in hand Stef  says " Look GD at that adorable bakery, lets go and choose our wedding cake "...you can see how excited she is and of course you say "okay "

 

You walk in the shop and say to the owner, with your fiancé brimming with excitement, " we are planning our wedding and would love to see your catalogue"

 

The owner takes one look at your and says "sorry we don't serve your kind, we don't serve straight couples in here "

 

How would you feel? How would Stef feel? What about the embarrassment and hurt from being treated like there is something wrong with you when in fact there is NOTHING you can do about your sexual orientation....

Edited by BruceVC

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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Heh, I know GD well enough to know that scenario is not going to win him over.   :p

 

That's why I used a bar in my hypothetical scenario!

 

Yeah that bar was a good example :)

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"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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What I’m seeing now is something insidious following this though. A number of businesses, one bakery in particular has refused to make a cake for a gay couple. They are now facing lawsuits and criminal prosecution. Just as no one should be able to stop a gay couple from getting married, no one should be compelled to participate in it either. That is the difference between progressivism and libertarianism

 

 

When you run a business, you are subject to non-discrimination laws.  

 

Religious organizations can get around this, but I fail to see how a for profit business deserves a free pass here.  Would it be fair for your local bar to only serve white people?  

 

 

Non discrimination laws are bull**** and discriminatory themselves. People and businesses discriminate all the time, and they always will despite the utopianist idea in the minds of some that they won't. You cannot get more fundamental than the right of association. Denying someone that right is evil. Forcing someone to adhere to a certain behavior they fundamentally are opposed to is evil.

 

In regards to the example of a local bar serving only white people. This happens all the time in practice, and it happens all the time that some bars only serve blacks, or gays, or lesbians, or wealthy people, or people who wear certain clothes, or people who have a certain amount of money, or people who live in a certain neighborhood, or people with a certain level of cleanliness, etc. People can, will, and do come up with reasons to deny people service all the time. Most people generally don't want to go where they aren't welcome either so it's almost never an issue. Step outside of pop culture and visit the real world and you'd see this. There are consequences for such discrimination, some would say they are good, some would say they are bad, smarter and more realistic folks would say they are situational and dependent on one's point of view. Discrimination is definitely not a black and white (and I don't mean skin color here) issue.

 

To throw a few similar examples back at you, would it be fair to deny a brother and sister a marriage license ? Would it be fair to deny a man who wants to marry a thirteen year old a marriage license? Would it be fair to deny a person who is swearing up a storm service at business X? Would it be fair to deny a pedophile service at business X? Would it be fair to deny 'pick any behavior out there' service at business X. Some would say no to all, and on some philosophical ground I'd agree, but a great many won't, and there's nothing wrong with that. In the real world discrimination is normal, and ok. People do it all the time whether they admit it to themselves or not. That discrimination and 'judging' has become a pejorative of sorts is part of the brainwashing perpetrated on people through the media and 'education' in order to keep them from thinking for themselves. A mind that doesn't discriminate or judge is a mind that isn't capable of higher or even medium levels of human intellect.

 

The Constitution guarantees legal equal protection and rights under the law, it does not guarantee that one is treated equally everywhere they go. On a realistic level it cannot do that (no law can), and trying to twist it to mean that it does do that is pie in the sky utopian lalalalaland thinking at best, but evil really when you get down to it as at the end of the day some people are still deciding what is acceptable or not and forcing their view with the force of government guns upon others.

 

To sum it up. Your line of thinking gives us the thought police, and empowers them with the ability to confiscate property. The thought police are more evil than any thought there ever was.

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@ GD

 

Something else about that bakery story that upsets me that I want to add

 

Imagine when you and Stef were about to get married, you are in love and want to spend the rest of your life together. And you are making all the wedding plans, you have breakfast at your local restaurant and while you are walking down the street hand in hand Stef  says " Look GD at that adorable bakery, lets go and choose our wedding cake "...you can see how excited she is and of course you say "okay "

 

You walk in the shop and say to the owner, with your fiancé brimming with excitement, " we are planning our wedding and would love to see your catalogue"

 

The owner takes one look at your and says "sorry we don't serve your kind, we don't serve straight couples in here "

 

How would you feel? How would Stef feel? What about the embarrassment and hurt from being treated like there is something wrong with you when in fact there is NOTHING you can do about your sexual orientation....

 

Yeah, and now imagine that the same couple wanted to host their wedding in your own home too. If the bakers are not free to operate their property according to their will, then how is their home any different? Where do you draw the line? You can't--not without being hypocritical and illogical.

 

Bigotry is undesirable, but codifying in law that one must be compelled to interaction is slavery. Attempting to correct bigotry with slavery is an outrageous proposition. Property rights are an extension of self ownership. If the law can compel a baker to offer one service, then they can be legally compelled to provide any service. It actually ceases being a service, because the act is not consensual--it's compelled labor. That's slavery.

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http://news.yahoo.com/gay-marriage-advocates-victories-kansas-south-carolina-010308837.html

 

Some good news, I see both Kansas and South Carolina will be allowing same sex marriage. This means there are now 33 states that recognise this type of civil union. This is a progressive step. Well done USA :thumbsup:

I'm happy to see that gay people are finally getting treated with some respect by the government.

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"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

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I do want to bring up another point about running a business.  You can appeal to a certain audience.  You can limit your inventory, or only offer to do certain types of cakes.  This woman in Oregon shot herself in the foot because she made it very clear that she was refusing to do business with this couple because they were gay.  She has to offer them the same service she does any other customer, and she refused to do that.  That is open discrimination.  

 

You can feel free to discriminate in the services you offer, but when you pick and choose your customers based on race, gender, or anything else, you are putting yourself in a bad position. 

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@ GD

 

Something else about that bakery story that upsets me that I want to add

 

Imagine when you and Stef were about to get married, you are in love and want to spend the rest of your life together. And you are making all the wedding plans, you have breakfast at your local restaurant and while you are walking down the street hand in hand Stef  says " Look GD at that adorable bakery, lets go and choose our wedding cake "...you can see how excited she is and of course you say "okay "

 

You walk in the shop and say to the owner, with your fiancé brimming with excitement, " we are planning our wedding and would love to see your catalogue"

 

The owner takes one look at your and says "sorry we don't serve your kind, we don't serve straight couples in here "

 

How would you feel? How would Stef feel? What about the embarrassment and hurt from being treated like there is something wrong with you when in fact there is NOTHING you can do about your sexual orientation....

 

Yeah, and now imagine that the same couple wanted to host their wedding in your own home too. If the bakers are not free to operate their property according to their will, then how is their home any different? Where do you draw the line? You can't--not without being hypocritical and illogical.

 

Bigotry is undesirable, but codifying in law that one must be compelled to interaction is slavery. Attempting to correct bigotry with slavery is an outrageous proposition. Property rights are an extension of self ownership. If the law can compel a baker to offer one service, then they can be legally compelled to provide any service. It actually ceases being a service, because the act is not consensual--it's compelled labor. That's slavery.

 

 

So just to be clear by your logic you are fine with a restaurant refusing to serve lets say African American people or Jewish people ?

"Abashed the devil stood and felt how awful goodness is and saw Virtue in her shape how lovely: and pined his loss”

John Milton 

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -  George Bernard Shaw

"What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead" - Nelson Mandela

 

 

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I do want to bring up another point about running a business.  You can appeal to a certain audience.  You can limit your inventory, or only offer to do certain types of cakes.  This woman in Oregon shot herself in the foot because she made it very clear that she was refusing to do business with this couple because they were gay.  She has to offer them the same service she does any other customer, and she refused to do that.  That is open discrimination.  

 

You can feel free to discriminate in the services you offer, but when you pick and choose your customers based on race, gender, or anything else, you are putting yourself in a bad position. 

That's a good argument as to why discrimination laws aren't needed.:)

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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@ GD

 

Something else about that bakery story that upsets me that I want to add

 

Imagine when you and Stef were about to get married, you are in love and want to spend the rest of your life together. And you are making all the wedding plans, you have breakfast at your local restaurant and while you are walking down the street hand in hand Stef  says " Look GD at that adorable bakery, lets go and choose our wedding cake "...you can see how excited she is and of course you say "okay "

 

You walk in the shop and say to the owner, with your fiancé brimming with excitement, " we are planning our wedding and would love to see your catalogue"

 

The owner takes one look at your and says "sorry we don't serve your kind, we don't serve straight couples in here "

 

How would you feel? How would Stef feel? What about the embarrassment and hurt from being treated like there is something wrong with you when in fact there is NOTHING you can do about your sexual orientation....

 

Yeah, and now imagine that the same couple wanted to host their wedding in your own home too. If the bakers are not free to operate their property according to their will, then how is their home any different? Where do you draw the line? You can't--not without being hypocritical and illogical.

 

Bigotry is undesirable, but codifying in law that one must be compelled to interaction is slavery. Attempting to correct bigotry with slavery is an outrageous proposition. Property rights are an extension of self ownership. If the law can compel a baker to offer one service, then they can be legally compelled to provide any service. It actually ceases being a service, because the act is not consensual--it's compelled labor. That's slavery.

 

 

 

 

 

So just to be clear by your logic you are fine with a restaurant refusing to serve lets say African American people or Jewish people?

 

I do believe that it should be permitted. That is different from saying that I am fine with it. The alternative is slavery. Slavery is not a rational or acceptable solution for bigotry. The moment you start entitling others to the lives and property of another--let alone against their will, you have no basis for morals.

Edited by Mr. Magniloquent
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These are businesses, not individuals.

 

As an individual you can be as bigoted as you want.  You can keep people off your personal property for whatever reasons you want.  

 

Businesses do not have the same rights.  Why should they?  

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Slavery is a little extreme there. He/she doesn't actually have to do it. At least he/she would still have the option of quitting his/her job. It's not fair, but it's not quite slavery.

"Good thing I don't heal my characters or they'd be really hurt." Is not something I should ever be thinking.

 

I use blue text when I'm being sarcastic.

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