## US Midterms

• 4.1k
We're both pretty liberal. I think you're a bit more on the Bitter Crank branch of the party though.

Well, you probably know my preferred labels by now, humanist/socialist/democrat/atheist/optimist etc.
I could not use an ID such as Bitter Crank. I don't find it ironic, and I have told him that I don't understand his choice of 'handle' based on his postings. A liberal in the UK is a 'soft tory,' so I would never call myself a UK liberal. A US liberal, I would find more acceptable but still not left-wing enough for me.

It only matters what is possible and sustainable. I don't believe the system you describe is either.

Fair enough, I can only hope you will be convinced differently in the future, if those who agree with me and those who I agree with, ever number enough to democratically create such a system.
• 4.1k
The only viewpoint under consideration when it comes to voting is deciding which person you want to decide matters for you.

But voting is also a way to change that. I would vote for someone who believes in getting rid of party-political systems.
• 6.5k

Dobbs would not have happened if the Senate was Democratic during the last half of Obama's second term or while Trump was president.

It would not have happened if there was an amendment to the constitution affording people the right to an abortion.
• 10.8k
I could not use an ID such as Bitter Crank. I don't find it ironic, and I have told him that I don't understand his choice of 'handle' based on his postings.

I wasn't saying you are bitter or a crank. I was saying your politics is nearer his than mine.

I can only hope you will be convinced differently in the future

It doesn't matter whether or not I'm convinced. It matters what will work and what won't.
• 10.8k
It would not have happened if there was an amendment to the constitution affording people the right to an abortion.

That's quite a non-sequitur.
• 6.5k

That's quite a non-sequitur.

I’m not sure how. As I understand it SCOTUS ruled that abortion was not a protected right under the Constitution in that case.
• 10.8k
I’m not sure how. As I understand it SCOTUS ruled that abortion was not a protected right under the Constitution in that case.

It was a non-sequitur because a constitutional amendment has nothing to do with the discussion you and I were having. We were talking about the recent election and the effects of congressional elections.
• 6.5k

A non-sequitur is when the logic does not follow. I thought we were talking about the differences between the two parties. Then you mentioned Supreme Court decisions, for some reason.
• 4.1k
But if new group are formed after each election, that could be detrimental also: you simply wouldn't know what de facto your candidate will choose. It's the basic "problem" with coalition governments: you might pick a President in direct elections, but you never know who will be the prime minister as usually it's the one who finally gets the administration together, which might not be the leader of the largest party.ssu

Let's say you have 700 constituencies in your country. So, 700 independents are elected based on a local single transferable vote system. They become the government. The old government remains in place until the new government is 'brought up to speed,' got to know each other via debate topics etc.
Probably a 2-to-three-month job. In that time they will elect amongst themselves all necessary ministerial positions and who will serve as prime minister.
Prime minister and ministers would be held in high esteem and would be the main spokespersons for the departments they would head but individually, they would have no more political power than any other member of the government. The members could vote to replace the prime minister or any other minister anytime they decided to. The civil servants would do all the admin.
The government would govern on an issue by issue basis. Common cause would be the driver of what actions the government takes. A majority vote of the 700 will decide, issue by issue. Each representative would be moderated by their own local constituency group and the government as a whole, would be further moderated by the second chamber of citizens.

Now you wouldn't know which faction you would be voting for. If your an American, perhaps this idea is strange because you have just two parties, but in reality specific candidates would be hard to notice just what they represent.ssu

But I am not typing about how the current American system works I am advocating for replacing it.

I assume that you also have these "election surveys" where you can answer a question set from a broad variety of political issues and then get the candidates that are closest to you (and the most against your ideas). Usually in multiparty system you'll easily get the parties that are most against you, but many candidates that have answered the questions most according to you are from different parties. Some that you would never vote.ssu

How does this relate to my suggestion of removing party politics altogether?
• 10.8k
Then you mentioned Supreme Court decisions, for some reason.

You said there is no difference between the parties. I disagreed and noted that if Congress had been Democratic when the most recent SC judges were appointed, the right to decide to have an abortion would still be protected nationwide. There's a direct connection between party and an important social and legal outcome. Then you brought up a constitutional amendment, which does not follow from the previous discussion.

We don't have to go back and forth on this. I'll give you the last word if you want it.
• 4.5k
Funny to think that they're gonna win the House purely due to gerrymandering given what the final margins are likely gonna be.

Their positions are so unpopular that they have to do something. They know they're a minority party. You have to hand it to them though, it's always very close. The move to stack the courts has paid off for them, and the wave of state legislators in 2010 continues to give dividends.

The fearmongering and demonization only gets you so far, however. People in the US may be wising up to the fact that the Republicans have no ideas, no plans, no solutions. They love to attack the liberal elite, and all the problems of the country, but they fail to mention that it is their party and its policies that are most responsible for them, and that they obstruct any measures to help.

See their stances on the environment: the reality is that we need less fossil fuels, not more. Their stance? They want to drill more. We need to tax the wealthy and large corporations. They want tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations. Etc.

Their only plan:

(1) Make the country ungovernable.
(2) Blame the Democrats for why things are so crappy.
(3) Have the electorate blame the party in power, ride the wave.
(4) Do nothing but posture, cut taxes for the rich, privatize education, de-regulate businesses, and give the country away to corporate America by any means necessary.

Didn't quite work this time. Maybe it's Trump...or maybe people have woken up to the predictable pattern.

With how the youth vote turned out to overwhelmingly vote for the Democrats, I hope that this will cause the Republicans to reevaluate their stances on issues such as climate change so as to appeal to the increasing concerns of that demographic.

The fossil fuel industry supports Republicans far more than Democrats. As long as that remains true, and the owners of media (like Murdoch) and think tanks (Koch) continue to support Republicans, this won't change.

I think finally the GOP can come back to it's senses. Trump is a losing card.ssu

What "senses" would that be? They have basically one thought: minimize government (i.e., for the people). Cut taxes (for the wealthy), deregulate industry so that businesses are unfettered by rules, de-fund public goods (schools, public lands, etc). Getting back to that is an even worse message. Trump at least railed against the donor class and their puppets like Jeb Bush.

Is there a risk that the end of Trump might bring with it more astute and cunning demagoguery by people like Ron DeSantis who might actually know what they are doing?

DeSantis would be far worse, since he'd be far more focused on implementing even more failed neoliberal policies.

I believe you predictable a blue wave, no? Didn't really materialize, but you were closer than what the media was saying.

It's a mistake to think that conservatives are all better now, having gotten Trump out of their system.

Agreed.

You could not get a sheet of paper between the official positions of the two parties.

Yeah, they're definitely both the same. One party believes in climate change, the other says it's a hoax. Minor differences.
• 4.1k
I wasn't saying you are bitter or a crank. I was saying your politics is nearer his than mine.

I know you weren't, I was just responding to your comparison of us both. I would agree that I probably have more political common ground with Mr Crank than Mr Clark!

It doesn't matter whether or not I'm convinced. It matters what will work and what won't.
It does matter because I, and those who agree with me, need to convince you, to support us enough to gain the numbers we need to democratically demonstrate that there is majority support in the country to get rid of the current party political system and employ the system we advocate for. If the movement for such change was here in the UK or where I think it could really happen, an Independent Scotland, then convincing you, would only matter, if you lived in that independent Scotland.
The fact remains, convincing others is essential if you want change. That's the chance to demonstrate that your system will work!
• 6.5k

I apologize and thanks for clarifying. The legal outcome, though, is decided by the Supreme Court, and has zero to do with party politics. My point was that the parties can avoid this by amending the constitution so as to make it unequivocal. Thanks for the last word.
• 6.7k
How does this relate to my suggestion of removing party politics altogether?
It relates in the way that even if you have parties, it's actually difficult to know just what a candidate stands for even if there belong to parties.

How would you know what kind of asshole in the end you are voting? Political candidates will likely talk only about issues that everybody is against and likely just say that they will solve the problem. They will likely shut up about really problematic issues. And how will they pass legislation? With whom? It takes a majority to pass legislation. That's team work, not individuals doing their own thing.
• 6.7k
What "senses" would that be? They have basically one thought: minimize government (i.e., for the people). Cut taxes (for the wealthy), deregulate industry so that businesses are unfettered by rules, de-fund public goods (schools, public lands, etc). Getting back to that is an even worse message.
:smile:

Yeah. And the center-left has also a quite familiar agenda too. We have the left and the right in politics, you see.

Trump at least railed against the donor class and their puppets like Jeb Bush.
Really? Lol.

How much did he truly "drain the swamp" with those billionaires in his cabinet? From 2016:

Donald Trump has built a cabinet in his own image. The first billionaire U.S. president has appointed two billionaires and at least a dozen millionaires, with a combined net worth of about $6.1 billion, to run government departments. Well, at least one third of his cabinet had no prior government experience, so if you think government is bad, that must be good then. I would say people pinned hopes on Obama with all that talk of change and so on. On Trump they pinned fantasies. • 4.1k It relates in the way that even if you have parties, it's actually difficult to know just what a candidate stands for even if there belong to parties.ssu Does that not support my position that we should get rid of political parties? How would you know what kind of asshole in the end you are voting? Political candidates will likely talk only about issues that everybody is against and likely just say that they will solve the problem.ssu Not everyone is nefarious. People are well known by many locally. "I went to school with him/her etc" I trust local scrutineer's more than I trust voting for whichever suit the part rosette is pinned to, don't you feel the same way? I can go meet the independent candidates and ask them my questions. They don't know what my questions are, and they have no national political party horror to stand behind. I think people would be able to make much more informed decisions about independent candidates compared to those with million-pound dodgy party-based advertising campaigns behind them with well-formed disingenuous pre-prepared sound bites, they can use to speak in tandem with all over the nation. They will likely shut up about really problematic issues. And how will they pass legislation? With whom? It takes a majority to pass legislation. That's team work, not individuals doing their own thing.ssu If they do so, then I wouldn't vote for that candidate! Individuals who find common cause on an issue will vote the same way and the common cause must be based on the viewpoints of those who voted them in. That's what I think a government of independents would produce. • 11k I believe you predictable a blue wave, no? Didn't really materialize, but you were closer than what the media was saying. I didn't predict a "blue wave", just the complete absence of a red one. I thought the Dems would hold the House – close but no cigar. • 6.5k Yeah, they're definitely both the same. One party believes in climate change, the other says it's a hoax. Minor differences. Bipartisan Senate Climate Solutions Caucus Conservative Climate Caucus • 10.8k Independent Scotland The population of Scotland is less than the population of the state of Massachusetts, where I live. Given that, it makes a better test case for your reforms than a much larger country would. • 4.5k Yeah. And the center-left has also a quite familiar agenda too. We have the left and the right in politics, you see.ssu This has nothing to do with what I said. Trump at least railed against the donor class and their puppets like Jeb Bush. — Mikie Really? Lol. ssu Yeah, really. It's fairly well documented. I would say people pinned hopes on Obama with all that talk of change and so on. On Trump they pinned fantasies.ssu No kidding. • 11.9k The legal outcome, though, is decided by the Supreme Court, and has zero to do with party politics. I believe his point was that Congress would have protected abortion by federal law, in the same way that they plan to protect same-sex marriage by federal law. • 11.9k Governments should be made up of independent local representatives, who are democratically elected based on how well they can demonstrate that they reflect the views of the majority of those they represent. In systems which don't use proportional representation that's how things technically work. Here in the UK you vote for an individual to represent your constituency. It just happens to be that this individual has joined with like-minded others to pool their resources. I'm not really sure how you could take parties out of the political process. Perhaps by not having the party mentioned on the voting slip, just the candidate's name? I think in practical terms that will just reduce voter turnout as most people probably wouldn't know who the actual individuals are or what they plan to vote for, whereas they do understand parties. • 6.5k I believe his point was that Congress would have protected abortion by federal law, in the same way that they plan to protect same-sex marriage by federal law. Is it a “They would have” but they didn’t, sort of argument? • 11.9k Is it a “They would have” but they didn’t, sort of argument? It appears to be a "they would have were they able, but they weren't able" sort of argument. • 11.9k I believe his point was that Congress would have protected abortion by federal law, in the same way that they plan to protect same-sex marriage by federal law. Actually, I misread. He seems to have been saying that a Democrat-led Senate would have affirmed Obama's Supreme Court nominee, and wouldn't have affirmed Kavanaugh or Barrett, only accepting more moderate nominees, and that such a Supreme Court wouldn't have overruled Roe and Casey. • 1.2k I didn't predict a "blue wave", just the complete absence of a red one. I thought the Dems would hold the House – close but no cigar. Very close. I'm very pleased with how the Dems did. • 6.5k Counterfactuals. Such speculation is fun, no doubt. • 11.5k I don't find it ironic I suppose I can spell it out for you. Once upon a time, decades ago, I had a disagreement with someone about philosophy, politics, or religion (can't remember) and they called me a bitter crank. The irony is that I was not / am not bitter, and in my opinion, not a crank either. I thought it a novel and amusing brickbat to turn into a bouquet. If you still don't get it, or don't like it, then... too bad. Well, I dont know the name of the current body of such political facilitators in the USA, but in the UK the body you describe is called the civil service. The Civil Service in the US administers the laws passed by the 2 political bodies. By law, the Civil Service is protected from politics: Hatch Act Overview (U.S. Office of Special Counsel) ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ The Hatch Act, a federal law passed in 1939, limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs. ​ The law’s purposes are to ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation.​​​​ ​​ So in the US system, the intent is to separate the administration of the law from the politics involved in the creation of the law. I do not like the conduct of politics, but it is absurd to suppose that it can be done away with. Given the reality of politics, the best policy is to stay alert to what is going on above and below the table. That's what a free press is supposed to help us do. An eviscerated press can't perform it's vital functions. Politics exists because people have an appetite for power and preferences for particular policies. The way to make politics really dangerous is to deny it exists. Some people apparently suppose that people conduct election campaigns, get elected, and then sit in legislatures or congress and engage in pristine impartial procedures to produce laws for the equitable good of all. Horse shit, of course. It's also dangerous to under rate the intensity of partisan motivation. There really are very ambitious people who covet power most greedily. • 2.7k Frankly I think the outcome of this midterm was foreseeable given the surreal GOP messaging centered around abstruse topics like anti-trans rhetoric and legislation, anti-critical race theory, and of course the Dobbs decision and J6 Capital attack, in lieu of conventional messaging around the economy or inflation. The GOP is on autopilot in being more and more insane, and as off-putting as the democrats can be, it's clear that the Republicans are far more unpalatable to general Americans. Hard to gauge at this time, but DeSantis looks like a sizeable obstacle to Trump's 2024 run. At this point, I would place a light wager on DeSantis winning the primary, given his massive win in Florida against Trump who, between the 2018 midterm, the 2020 election, and the 2022 midterm, is clearly a massive three-time loser, and who clearly just got lucky in 2016 by running against a nearly equally despised candidate. Trump also benefited as an outsider, which DeSantis cannot claim, and given DeSantis' all around lack of charisma and general reptilian demeanor, I very much doubt he'll win in a general election. Additionally takeaways are that Beto and Abrams should stop running for senate, they do not have what it takes. • 4.5k At this point, I would place a light wager on DeSantis winning the primaryMaw Let's do it. I put my money on Trump. I bet you$1.

He's already got a cult following, and he'll embarrass DeSantis just as he did Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush -- and everyone else who's gotten in his way. But we'll see....
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