US Midterm Election 2014

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Tue Nov 04, 2014 11:08 am

The sad thing is, local elected officials are arguably more important than national, but get so little attention due to economy of scale in advertising. Back before electronic communication I think things were possibly reversed.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:46 pm

We have county councils and the like in the US too. They're the standard unit of local government, and are subsidiary to the states (much like local government in the UK is subsidiary to Westminster and/or the devolved assemblies; counties do not share in sovereignty). They get jack shit in terms of attention here, too. County executive (roughly analogous to mayors) get a bit more, but I don't think most people know or care who their county councilmembers are. I don't really, tbh.

Theoretically, state and local elections in the US don't have to coincide with federal elections, because they're technically on their own cycles. And some states do go ahead and have them in federal off-years. But the majority of states schedule things so that federal, state, and local elections coincide every two years (with both primaries and the general election in the same year).

Pettytyrant101 wrote:That seems to me a bit of a problem (one our system shares) as if I am understanding the current elections right it could change the balance and if so directly effect the chances of any effective government taking place for the next two years.

Kinda. But the Republicans already control the House, which means the two houses of Congress are already split. And even if the Republicans take the Senate (which polls suggest is likely), there will be a split between Capitol Hill and the White House. That situation tends to lower the chances for effective governance, but the House GOP has been able to do that a lot just on their own.
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Tue Nov 04, 2014 1:47 pm

I'd like to point out before the results come in that the party which controls the Presidency almost always loses ground in the midterm elections.  There are decades of historical precedent for this with only a handful of exceptions.  I remember on election night in 2010, my college roommate wanted to have FOX on, and they were crowing over the "rejection" of Obama's policies by the electorate.  It's important to keep the historical context in mind and not over-react to a loss of ground by the incumbent party, unless it's a truly massive defeat.

{{{Also, holy shit, it's been almost four years since I lived with that roommate. Shocked}}}
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 2:44 am

So the Republicans have it, and quite comfortably too it seems.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:33 am

This is the third time in a row a president has entered controlling both houses of congress, and left controlling neither. Since we've gone democrat-republican-democrat, this says the pendulum may be endemic to current american politics. Though the phrase "throw the bums out!" has a long and hoary history in this country, so it may not be that new.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:51 am

Maybe US politics is going the same way UK politics has been going for some time and a big shake up is coming in which independents and disgruntled folks on the fringes of the main parties form smaller parties that challenge the big two.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:09 am

It would be refreshing to be rid of the two party system.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by David H on Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:25 am

The two party system is unfortunately pretty well entrenched, both in the system and in the expectations of the American people.

Just look at the Democratic Party's push-back against the Green Party after Ralph Nader's Green Party campaign in 2000 after they were accused of throwing the election for Bush {{ Rolling Eyes }}, how quickly the Tea Party was co-opted into the Republican Party, and how the Occupy Movement was marginalized as a political force.

I'm not expecting a viable third party any time soon. I think that's one of the few things the Democrats and Republicans can agree on unanimously.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:41 am

It was pretty entrenched here too for a long time. Even now the Tories and Labour are thought of as the big two.
Maybe moving to some sort of proportional representation vote would better reflect the people.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:32 am

Actually we had two black republicans elected, which I think is a damn good sign that gives me some hope.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:46 am

Actually a lot of positive firsts trailblazed by the new crop of Republicans this time around, which makes me hope the party which has watched the Tea Party try to swing it into oblivion has fought back and is on it's way to becoming a worthwhile part of the political system again.

http://news.yahoo.com/election-2014-firsts-145726951.html

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 11:53 am

Republicans climb out of swamp shocker!!!!! Shocked

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 05, 2014 12:03 pm

We can only hope. There was a period in the 20th century when the two parties actually did good work together, balancing the other's extremes. Much better than the pitched battles (we're talking brass knuckles and clubs) of the 19th century. It seems recently things are almost as bad as that again, but I prefer the present ray of optimism I'm feeling. Don't know how long it will last.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Pettytyrant101 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:00 pm

I see they are still talking about trying to repeal Health Care which is a waste of time as Obama will just veto it. And then they say they will amend what they can of it.

I still struggle to understand the seeming complete hatred and loathing in Republicans towards the notion of a tax based health system.
Its not that it is a fundamental right of centre line that cannot be crossed, most other modern western democracies right of centre parties have managed to support the idea in some fashion at least.

Why is it such a red line for Republicans?

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 05, 2014 1:07 pm

Mainly because it came from the other side. It was Mitt Romney's plan first, as governor of Massachussetts. But the very act of bringing it to a national level by Obama made it a plan of the opposition. I hazard they would have loved it if Romney had been elected.

Anyway, that's the level political discourse in this country has fallen too: mainly among the professional politicians rather than the grassroots. This is why the grassroots gets frustrated and throws the majority party out every few years. Most of us don't care so much which party, so long as they stop bickering and get something done.

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by chris63 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:53 pm


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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:57 pm

halfwise wrote:Actually a lot of positive firsts trailblazed by the new crop of Republicans this time around, which makes me hope the party which has watched the Tea Party try to swing it into oblivion has fought back and is on it's way to becoming a worthwhile part of the political system again.

http://news.yahoo.com/election-2014-firsts-145726951.html

It's great that the South has achieved this milestone, and I'm happy for Tim Scott, but he himself is affiliated with the Tea Party, so I don't think he's indicative of its impending demise.
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by chris63 on Wed Nov 05, 2014 5:59 pm


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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 05, 2014 6:01 pm

Pettytyrant101 wrote:I see they are still talking about trying to repeal Health Care which is a waste of time as Obama will just veto it. And then they say they will amend what they can of it.

I still struggle to understand the seeming complete hatred and loathing in Republicans towards the notion of a tax based health system.
Its not that it is a fundamental right of centre line that cannot be crossed, most other modern western democracies right of centre parties have managed to support the idea in some fashion at least.

Why is it such a red line for Republicans?

Well as Halfy says, Obamacare isn't even a single-payer system. It's the conservative alternative to a single-payer system, as endorsed by the Heritage Foundation and Republican governors. Or it was, until 2008 or so.

But only the hardest of the hardcore in the GOP want to get rid of Medicare, which is a single-payer system, albeit one only open to those 65 years old or older. It's massively successful and wildly popular (though also very expensive), so no one who wants to win elections even talks about getting rid of it. But not all voters even realize that Medicare is a single-payer system, as the infamous protest signs show.

Basically, people are stupid.
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by David H on Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:15 pm

Eldorion wrote:
Basically, people are stupid.

Or at least, if you go into every situation with that assumption, you'll never be disappointed. Wink

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by David H on Wed Nov 05, 2014 7:27 pm

Oregon's legal marijuana law passed, and their initiative to require labeling of genetically modified content in foods failed 49.5% to 50.5%.
Between Washington and Oregon, we're slowly bringing the Free State of Cascadia to life.  cheers
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascadia_%28independence_movement%29

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:07 pm

How would refusal to label genetically modified foods align with the free state of Cascadia?

(I'm all for genetically modified foods, just a faster form of breeding. But I think people have a right to know about it, if they want.)

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by Eldorion on Wed Nov 05, 2014 8:59 pm

Why encourage baseless fear-mongering? Shrugging

{{{I assume that's the reasoning but I don't actually know.}}}
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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by David H on Wed Nov 05, 2014 10:58 pm

halfwise wrote:How would refusal to label genetically modified foods align with the free state of Cascadia?

(I'm all for genetically modified foods, just a faster form of breeding.  But I think people have a right to know about it, if they want.)

Sorry, I wasn't very clear. I'm only stopping by here for a few minutes at a time while I download weather data for tomorrow. My point wasn't that it failed, it was supposed to be that it only failed by a statistically insignificant margin, only one percent, when the no campaign outspent the yes campaign by 100 times (or something...) It's the willingness of the people here to use the political process to do battle with big "special interests" that gives me hope for Cascadia, even when the rest of the country seems gridlocked. Nod

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Re: US Midterm Election 2014

Post by halfwise on Thu Nov 06, 2014 6:16 am

We were supposed to figure that all out by ourselves? You give us a LOT more credit than we deserve.

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