New Hampshire!

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New Hampshire!

Postby Generic » Mon Jan 07, 2008 11:43 pm

So, is it gonna be Obama Vs. McCain, or what?
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Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:32 am

Can anyone explain this stuff to me?

I don't understand. Does this stuff mean anything? Who is voting in these primary things?
Can anyone vote?
Do you have to be a party member or something?
Do dudes from opposing parties vote in the other parties primaries to try to get them to choose a dick?
Do parties have to choose candidates this way? Is it in the Constitution or something.
Can anybody just throw their hat in and run for President?

It seems so weird having people from the same party dishing dirt on each other so close to an election. Here, the internal party back-stabbing and blood letting is usually done early in any new term, so that come next election the parties can look all united and happy behind their leader. Though - who actually is the "leader" of your parties? Is the Presidential candidate considered the "leader" of the party?

Every 4 years we get these news reports full of unintelligble drivel about "Super Tuesdays" and such with pictures of strange, toothy men with orange skin and plastic hair and names like Mitt or Newt or Randy.

WTF does it all mean? I have wikisearched this, but I am still really no wiser
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Postby Tonamel » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:52 am

Caravan Ray wrote:Can anyone explain this stuff to me?

I can try. If I'm wrong, I'm sure I'll be corrected.

I don't understand. Does this stuff mean anything? Who is voting in these primary things?

Primaries are when the political parties choose who amongst them is going to run for president.

Can anyone vote?

Short: Yes
Long: Must be old enough, not a convicted felon, a registered voter, etc etc etc

Do you have to be a party member or something?

Varies from state to state. In some states you have to be a party member to vote for that party's primary. Here in Indiana, you can be registered "Independent" and vote in any (one) of the primaries.

Do dudes from opposing parties vote in the other parties primaries to try to get them to choose a dick?

If you're registered in a particular party, then you're voting for that party. Again, that may vary from state to state, but since people only get one vote, they're more concerned about getting their own guy in than screwing with other parties.

Do parties have to choose candidates this way? Is it in the Constitution or something.

No.

Can anybody just throw their hat in and run for President?

Well, there's a bunch of hoops to jump through (Must be over 35, natural born citizen, must have so many signatures endorsing you, application fees, etc), but yeah. That's pretty much what the whole Ross Perot thing was. Lots of people do it, but he had enough money to get noticed.

Though - who actually is the "leader" of your parties? Is the Presidential candidate considered the "leader" of the party?

The parties have committees that organize them, but the individuals in those committees tend to stay out of the limelight, so their nominees get all of the attention. The presidential candidates are more like the champions of the party, not the leaders.

Now everybody else may feel free to correct me.
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Postby mkilly » Tue Jan 08, 2008 2:54 am

Caravan Ray wrote:Can anyone explain this stuff to me?

I'll try.

Caravan Ray wrote:I don't understand. Does this stuff mean anything? Who is voting in these primary things?

Yes, it does mean something. We choose here who the nominees will be for the presidential election.

Caravan Ray wrote:Can anyone vote?

Anyone over 18, which is the age one must be to vote in the US.

Caravan Ray wrote:Do you have to be a party member or something?

Technically, yes, but you can declare yourself a party member at the door. There are lots of people who are generally unaffiliated with a party who vote in Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been the first states to caucus (which doesn't involve actual "voting") and primary (which does) for the last while.

Caravan Ray wrote:Do dudes from opposing parties vote in the other parties primaries to try to get them to choose a dick?

It happens sometimes. Some states have laws that force people to choose a party registration. Other states do not. In either case, however, you can only vote in one primary. Sometimes people will try to spoil a race (or, as in Idaho when it's rare for a Democrat to win, to choose the least-offensive Republican candidate).

Caravan Ray wrote:Do parties have to choose candidates this way? Is it in the Constitution or something.

No. The Constitution doesn't actually say anything about political parties. They just kind of came about one day. From day one there were Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and then Jefferson founded the Republican Party (which, funny enough, later became the Democratic Party of today). The rules about selecting candidates are in the party's own bylaws. In Iowa, for instance, Republicans show up and cast a vote, but Democrats stand around in an Obama corner or a Clinton corner, and supporters of candidates who don't have enough support are wooed by other candidates' fans to their own camps, and so forth. The process takes a few hours in the Democratic side.

Caravan Ray wrote:Can anybody just throw their hat in and run for President?

Yeah, anyone over 35 who is a natural-born citizen of the United States and has been a resident for at least 14 years. But to have a shot at winning the Presidency you have to run for President as either a Republican or a Democrat. The last time a third-party candidate had any kind of support was Ross Perot, who ran in 1992 and again in 1996. He didn't win any states, however, which is how the President is actually elected--via the Electoral College--which is why there was all that hubbub about Florida in 2000, hanging chads, etc.

Caravan Ray wrote:Though - who actually is the "leader" of your parties? Is the Presidential candidate considered the "leader" of the party?

The candidate isn't, but the sitting President (or President-elect) is considered the leader of his party and the setter of its agenda. Else there are the leaders in the House and Senate, whether majority or minority, and the elected leaders of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. Right now Nancy Pelosi (California) is the Speaker of the House, in which Democrats are the majority party; Harry Reid (Nevada) is the Senate Majority Leader (again, Democrats); Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and 2004 Presidential candidate, is the chairman of the DNC. Mike Duncan is the RNC's chair, and its House leader is John Boehner and its Senate leader is Mitch McConnell. But all those guys are subservient to George W. Bush in almost all policy matters. The party platform is the platform of the Presidential candidate in election years, sure.

Iowa and New Hampshire are the first official contests in the season, wherein delegates are chosen. The person with the most delegates at the Democratic or Republican National Convention is chosen as the Presidential nominee for their party. It used to be that we didn't really know who the candidate was going to be until the Convention happened, because some people would switch and some behind-the-scenes deals would take place, but now after a few states hold their contests (Iowa, Wyoming for only Republicans, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada) it's usually clear who has the 'momentum.' Bill Clinton lost Iowa in 1992, but won New Hampshire; George W. Bush won Iowa in 2000 but lost New Hampshire (to McCain). Nevertheless Clinton and Bush became the nominees afterward. It will be very, very hard for Clinton or Edwards to win the nomination of Obama wins New Hampshire after winning Iowa. His margin is notable, too. Iowa was by 8%. If New Hampshire is by double-digits then he will almost certainly become the nominee.
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Postby Paco Del Stinko » Tue Jan 08, 2008 4:43 am

Good explaining there, guys. The polls open in 15 minutes, and I'll be over there in a couple of hours to vote. The entire town votes at a middle school which is a couple of minutes walk from my house. I'll be glad when the assault on New Hampshire is over and the circus leaves town, but am ready to cast my ballot.
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Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:09 am

Thank you Marcus. Now specifics:


mkilly wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:I don't understand. Does this stuff mean anything? Who is voting in these primary things?

Yes, it does mean something. We choose here who the nominees will be for the presidential election.

What do you mean "we". The US public or party members?

mkilly wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Can anyone vote?

Anyone over 18, which is the age one must be to vote in the US.

You are implying that the electorate for these primaries is more or less exactly the same as that for a general election. (Is that right?) That doesn't make sense to me. Why bother with general elections? Why not ust pick the President in state-by-state primaries?

mkilly wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Do you have to be a party member or something?

Technically, yes, but you can declare yourself a party member at the door. There are lots of people who are generally unaffiliated with a party who vote in Iowa and New Hampshire, which have been the first states to caucus (which doesn't involve actual "voting") and primary (which does) for the last while.

Am I confusing the terms "caucus" and "primary"? (BTW: "Caucus" has a very specific meaning in Australia - it is the group consisting of all Members of Parliament who are members of the Labor Party. It is apparently an American Indian word introduced here by an American Labor Party member King O'Malley, at the turn of last cenury. He may also be the reason why the Labor party spells "labour" wrong in its name....but I digress).

But this is the bit confusing me - you are saying that people who have no real affiliation with the parties have the privilege of selecting the candidate?

mkilly wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Do dudes from opposing parties vote in the other parties primaries to try to get them to choose a dick?

It happens sometimes. Some states have laws that force people to choose a party registration. Other states do not. In either case, however, you can only vote in one primary. Sometimes people will try to spoil a race (or, as in Idaho when it's rare for a Democrat to win, to choose the least-offensive Republican candidate).


Isn't the selection of a candidate a party matter? How can State legislate over how a Party selects its candidate?

mkilly wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Do parties have to choose candidates this way? Is it in the Constitution or something.

No. The Constitution doesn't actually say anything about political parties. They just kind of came about one day. From day one there were Federalists and Anti-Federalists, and then Jefferson founded the Republican Party (which, funny enough, later became the Democratic Party of today). The rules about selecting candidates are in the party's own bylaws. In Iowa, for instance, Republicans show up and cast a vote, but Democrats stand around in an Obama corner or a Clinton corner, and supporters of candidates who don't have enough support are wooed by other candidates' fans to their own camps, and so forth. The process takes a few hours in the Democratic side.


And this is the crux of what I don't understand. Why do the parties go through all this crap then? Why waste so much time and effort campaigning against each other?

mkilly wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Can anybody just throw their hat in and run for President?

Yeah, anyone over 35 who is a natural-born citizen of the United States and has been a resident for at least 14 years. But to have a shot at winning the Presidency you have to run for President as either a Republican or a Democrat. The last time a third-party candidate had any kind of support was Ross Perot, who ran in 1992 and again in 1996. He didn't win any states, however, which is how the President is actually elected--via the Electoral College--which is why there was all that hubbub about Florida in 2000, hanging chads, etc.
But you guys do actually all cast a vote for President don't you? So in theory - Ross Perot couuld have been President without a Party behind him (compare with the Westminster system where the PM is simply the leader of the party with the most seats in Parliament. We don't actually vote for a PM)

mkilly wrote:
Caravan Ray wrote:Though - who actually is the "leader" of your parties? Is the Presidential candidate considered the "leader" of the party?

The candidate isn't, but the sitting President (or President-elect) is considered the leader of his party and the setter of its agenda. Else there are the leaders in the House and Senate, whether majority or minority, and the elected leaders of the Democratic National Committee and the Republican National Committee. Right now Nancy Pelosi (California) is the Speaker of the House, in which Democrats are the majority party; Harry Reid (Nevada) is the Senate Majority Leader (again, Democrats); Howard Dean, former Governor of Vermont and 2004 Presidential candidate, is the chairman of the DNC. Mike Duncan is the RNC's chair, and its House leader is John Boehner and its Senate leader is Mitch McConnell. But all those guys are subservient to George W. Bush in almost all policy matters. The party platform is the platform of the Presidential candidate in election years, sure.
And from that answer - I gather that the main problem with me is that our completely different Party systems is confusing me. What you describe is nothing like a political party as I understand it.

But thanks again. Do you know much about the Westminster system Marcus? (do you do any comparative stuff in this so-called political-"science" you study?) Do you understand why I find your system so confusing?
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Postby Lord of Oats » Tue Jan 08, 2008 6:49 am

If I understand correctly, the states all pick which candidate they like for each party, in the same proportion as they pick who gets to be the President in the general election. I believe the parties give the states the same amount of delegates in the party convention as they have electors in the electoral college.

Assuming you know nothing about the electoral college, this is the idea. Each state gets a certain number of votes for the President, based on its representation in Congress.* According to the constitution, it is up to the state's legislature to determine how to spend its electoral votes. The founding fathers apparently thought the citizenry too stupid to directly elect their leader, so they put this system into place, so that the individual state governments would choose the President. So it is up to the states to make their own laws governing how votes will be distributed. Eventually, every state implemented laws that said the population of the state would vote for the electors. Some states send electors in direct proportion to how the state voted, and others have a winner-take-all system. Once again, it's up to the states, individually.

I believe a primary election is technically held by the party's nominating convention, and really has nothing to do with the law, and everything to do with party rules, (as has been said, the constitution doesn't mention parties), but in practice, it seems to follow the same model as the general election. So each state's primary election is run by the organization representing that party in that state. So that the states all vote out of order. Iowa and New Hampshire are not very big states, and don't represent the US very well, but they always get to go first. If you don't vote by Super Tuesday (a day in early Feb. when a ton of states hold primaries), you don't have much influence in your party's nomination. The whole thing seems a bit silly to me, letting these little states pick the party nominee when it is the entire nation that ends up voting.

The legislature in my state, Florida, the third largest state in the US, apparently agrees with me, and has decided that they've had enough of this and would like to have some influence, and have moved our primary this year from March to the middle of January. In response, the national party conventions have said that Florida has broken the rules, and that they will deprive the state of its delegates, and have sued the state in federal court. Florida said something like, I'm sorry; the ballots have already been printed. I have no idea how this is going to turn out, but I'm excited.

Apparently, some are banking on it. Giuliani, the fellow from New York, considered the Republican front runner for most of last year, came in sixth place in Iowa, 4% behind my favorite fringe candidate, Ron Paul. He has apparently skipped campaigning in Iowa and New Hampshire almost entirely, and is banking totally on Florida. Seems a little silly, considering the circumstances. We have a lot of delegates, but we may not be allowed to send them. Then again, Iowa and New Hampshire don't have many delegates to fight over, in the first place. The whole point of winning there is to prove that you can win things and to gain momentum. This will be a very bizarre and interesting election year, I'd say.

*In case anyone in the international community isn't familiar, the US has a bicameral legislature that was devised as a compromise between the large and the small states. Membership in the lower house is determined by the state's population, and favors larger states. In the Senate, the upper house, each state has the same number of representatives, 2, which favors the little states. In theory, this is supposed to balance the power somewhere in between the two. The compromise carries over to the electoral college. The number of electors a state has is equal to the total number of legislators. A state can have as few as one representative in the lower house, so the lowest possible number of electors in a state is 3. California, the largest state, has 55 electors.
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Postby Lord of Oats » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:00 am

Perhaps to clarify a bit, as I've said, primary rules vary from state to state. So each state determines who gets to vote in the primary election. Some states have open primaries. Any resident of the state can vote in any party's primary, but they can only pick one. In Florida and many other states, you can only vote in the primary for the party with which you are registered. I'd rather not affiliate with either of the big two parties, but it seems the only way to have any influence in the matter, and I do agree that it should be the folks that are actually in the party that should get to choose who they want to be their candidate.

Also, a party doesn't technically have a leader. Parties aren't governed at all by the constitution. If you asked me who the Democratic party leader is right now, I'd probably say Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee. I don't really know Parliamentary systems, but I understand that you, at any given moment, have a ruling party. Hypothetically, in 1992, we could have had Ross Perot win the Presidency, the Democrats win the House of Representatives, and the Republicans the Senate. Power in the legislative branch would be controlled by both parties, and the executive branch would be run by an independent. And the judicial branch isn't made up of people explicitly associated with parties. It typically runs a bit behind the current state of politics, as federal judges are appointed to life terms by the President (and confirmed by the Senate.) Having a majority in the senate, for instance, really only gives that party advantages in the Senate, not in the nation as a whole. The ruling party controls appointments to Senate committees, for instance, and they chair them all.

The President's power is by no means associated with the ruling party in the legislative branch, especially since it could be different in both houses. In fact, the opposite party from the President is quite often elected to the legislature when we get fed up enough with him. We got tired enough of Bush, finally, and elected Democrats to Congress, just as we elected Republicans during the Clinton years, and Democrats while Reagan was in office.

I think it's good for the opposite party to control the legislative branch. In theory, it should simply lead to less bills overall getting passed in Washington, which is almost certainly good for the nation. It seems they do little but enable the IRS to collect our money, so they can distribute it as corporate welfare, in one form or another. Thanks you, lobbyists! Do you have anything like lobbyists in parliamentary government? They're the folks that bribe congress on behalf of big corporations. They're called that because they have to stand in the lobby in the Capitol, long-standing rules prohibiting them from actually entering either chamber of Congress.
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Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:14 am

Lord of Oats wrote: The founding fathers apparently thought the citizenry too stupid to directly elect their leader,
It is the citizenry that made Paris Hilton a star and gives Nickleback gold records. The founding fathers must have been very wise.

But thank you - you did fill in few more holes for me. The concept that I find so foreign is the idea of the general public choosing a parties candidates.



Another question: is it really feasible that the Republicans could win again?

As I mentioned a few months ago - I thought our election could be seen as a template for your upcoming one. Our incumbents had just told too many lies and were covered in too much dirt. All the Labor party had to do was put up someone who wasn't a complete knob-end. They did - and they won easily

However - this is as opposed to our 2004 election when the Labor party choose the "complete knob-end" option. The issues then were similar to last year - illegal war, war crimes and torture, refusal to ratify Kyoto, abuse of refugees - but the leader of the Labor Party was a complete buffoon. Conservative voters - no matter how much they were disgusted by John Howard still voted Liberal because there was no alternative.

So - are any of the Democrat candidates complete losers like Mark Latham was in 2004? Will any of them be complete poison for the electorate? Or is the upcoming election one that the drover's dog can win, so long as he isn't a Republican?
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Postby Paco Del Stinko » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:23 am

Well, I'm back from voting. A half an hour to walk over, vote, and walk back. The place was jammed with cars coming and going but the biggest line inside was for people to register to vote if they haven't done so already. Here in New Hampshire, you register as a Democrat, Republican or Undeclared, which is what I am. You have to pick either a Dem. or Rep. ballot, then after voting re-sign up as an Undeclared.

The ballot had a dozen+ names on it of people who were running for president, and two who were running for the vice-president slot. I voted for Bill Richardson although I know he has no chance to win. I did this as a show of support for the guy that I'd like to see as either vice-pres. or in a high ranking diplomatic seat, maybe Secreatary of State. Go ahead Marcus, tear me up. :)
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Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:32 am

Paco Del Stinko wrote:Well, I'm back from voting. A half an hour to walk over, vote, and walk back. The place was jammed with cars coming and going but the biggest line inside was for people to register to vote if they haven't done so already. Here in New Hampshire, you register as a Democrat, Republican or Undeclared, which is what I am. You have to pick either a Dem. or Rep. ballot, then after voting re-sign up as an Undeclared.

The ballot had a dozen+ names on it of people who were running for president, and two who were running for the vice-president slot. I voted for Bill Richardson although I know he has no chance to win. I did this as a show of support for the guy that I'd like to see as either vice-pres. or in a high ranking diplomatic seat, maybe Secreatary of State. Go ahead Marcus, tear me up. :)


You register as "undeclared" but still get a say in who a Party's candidate is?!? Wow! So why the 2 bites at the cherry? Why not just pick the President from this process? There seems to be far too much "democracy" going on here.

Oh - and this is all "first-past-the-post"-style voting is it? Not two-party preferential voting?
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Postby jimtyrrell » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:41 am

I am UNDECLARED as well; I do not care to carry a party affiliation. But at the polls I am required to temporarily declare an affiliation in order to receive a ballot. This requirement comes with the assurance that I can re-undeclare immediately after casting my vote. What a waste of my time and theirs.

ALSO: I noticed on the Republican ballot there's some dude running named VERMIN SUPREME. I gotta find out about this guy.

2nd ALSO: Okay, I read about him. Meh. Awesome name though.
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Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:46 am

jimtyrrell wrote:I
ALSO: I noticed on the Republican ballot there's some dude running named VERMIN SUPREME. I gotta find out about this guy.

VOTE FOR HIM!!!!! VOTE FOR HIM!!!!!!!!! That would be soooo cool.



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Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:57 am

jimtyrrell wrote:I am UNDECLARED as well; I do not care to carry a party affiliation. But at the polls I am required to temporarily declare an affiliation in order to receive a ballot. This requirement comes with the assurance that I can re-undeclare immediately after casting my vote. What a waste of my time and theirs.
So why vote? What do you see as more important - a) who the President is, or b) what the party of the President is? If the answer is b) - why would anyone bother voting in primaries?

(and by default - the answer to that question is b) in Aus. because we have no say in who leads our Partys. K'Rudd could be sacked tomorrow by his party and we would have a new Prime Minister instantly)
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Postby Sober » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:58 am

Votes already coming in, with Obama stomping uteruses in the two midnight-primary towns.

Obama has been my #1 pick since the '04 DNC. For VP, there are a lot of good choices out there, though I don't think Richardson is the best one, simply because having a dual-minority ticket will be a hard sell to a lot of people.

What Obama needs is an archetype politician with him - a middle-aged white guy. That will balance the ticket out and make closet bigots more comfortable.

Jim Webb has a good deal of discussion going on about him, and wouldn't mind seeing Edwards swing in, though he wouldn't help pull any more votes in key states.

My wet dream: McCain drops from the GOP race to be Obama's running mate. WHAT NOW, NUKKKAAAA?
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Postby Lord of Oats » Tue Jan 08, 2008 7:58 am

A while ago, I would have said that a Republican probably won't win, unless Mrs. Clinton gets the nomination. I don't believe she can win in a general election, so I would guess that whoever the Republicans put up could beat her by default. Recent developments, however, are suggesting that she can't win anywhere, so that probably won't happen. However, Obama is mysterious enough that they might be able to smear him similarly. My father is going around telling people that he's a Muslim and has some big pro-Africa agenda, and won't win in a general when that information comes out. Of course, I said that he belonged to a Christian church and had no idea what he was talking about. The criticisms all seem very silly, like that. Like that his name rhymes with Osama. It's utter rubbish, really. Maybe there's not as much fodder there, or they'd already be trying to smear him. Or maybe the Republicans did think Clinton enough of a threat that they had to knock her down. But figures in both parties have been putting her down all year. It doesn't look good for her now. And they say Edwards can't win without winning Iowa, which he didn't. So the question, I suppose, is, can a Republican beat Obama? I don't know. In many cases, yes. It basically depends on how much they call him a terrorist, I think.

Potentially, we could have Giuliani, a hero of 9/11, running against him. He's a social liberal and fiscal conservative. Democrats, as well as "patriots" could go for him. I don't like him personally, but I'm pretty close to him on the issues (stop taxing me so much and let me do what the hell I want with my life.)

Democrats also have a soft spot for John McCain. Al Franken likes him. I don't know why, exactly. I think he comes across as honest and actually wanting to do good, whether he actually does or not. He was the major backer of campaign finance reform in the Senate, so quite possibly yes. And we like war heroes. Although we don't like this war, specifically, and he's been behind the President on it. But Republicans stand behind their (de facto) party leader in a way that Democrats do not. Watch a debate from each party, if you come across it. The dynamic is totally different. It seems that Democrats are at each others' throats, while Republicans tease each other a bit.

Except for Ron Paul. He looks like the only angry one in Republican debates. He says to hell with the party platform and the war. Get rid of half the federal government, including the IRS. Don't get involved in unnecessary conflicts. Radical stuff, it seems, until you check our constitution and realize that most of the departments in the federal government are explicitly forbidden by it. I doubt he's totally with you on Kyoto, but what Republican is going to be, anyway? At least his position isn't rooted in a pro-big business stance. And he's certainly closer to the international community's position on having big wars in the Middle East. He came in fifth in Iowa with 10%. It doesn't look good, but hey, we can dream.

Huckabee is a conservative Christian. The only people that like those are the people that are those. I think the nation as a whole has probably had enough of those. He won in Iowa, but that's probably meaningless. I don't think he could win in a general election, unless maybe he ended up against Clinton.

Mitt Romney is a Mormon. Even worse. Most Christians don't acknowledge those as Christians. They're not going to vote for heathens, and nobody else gives a shit about this guy. I'd never even heard of him before last year.

Anyway, those won't get the nomination. Oh, right, and Fred Thompson is apparently a joke. And a piece of garbage. Would you elect someone who's worked as a lobbyist and an actor to lead your country?

To sum up, I think McCain or Giuliani could conceivably win. As I've said, a lot of Democrats like both of them, for different reasons. If any of the others somehow get nominated, I don't think so. It depends on who's up to bat on the Democratic side. It's looking more and more like Obama, isn't it? I don't think that the country will punish the party for the war (again). Especially since the Democratic party platform is not explicitly ending the war (the Clinton platform includes no specifics on withdrawal, anyway). Obama keeps hassling her about voting for it, but I have no idea what his actual proposed policy is. If it's something like Obama vs. McCain, and McCain still backs the war, I'm sure a very big deal will be made about it and it won't bode well for McCain. Yeah, like I said. What an exciting year this will be.
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Postby jimtyrrell » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:00 am

Well, I vote in the Primaries because each of these major parties are going to end up with one -- well, primary -- candidate moving forward. My vote influences that.

Of course, my vote went to a candidate that doesn't have much of a chance of moving on. But I thought it important for his support to be as strong as possible, in the hopes that it might have an effect on the policies of the ones that succeed.
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Postby jimtyrrell » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:05 am

Sober wrote:Votes already coming in, with Obama stomping uteruses in the two midnight-primary towns.


Note: Rick Erwin, pictured on that page, is a drummer/bandleader at The Balsams in Dixville Notch, which is also where the voting takes place. He and I played together up there just last week! Not a big deal to anyone else, maybe, but it's neat to see someone you know in the national news.
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Postby Lord of Oats » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:08 am

Sober wrote:My wet dream: McCain drops from the GOP race to be Obama's running mate. WHAT NOW, NUKKKAAAA?


See, I told you Democrats like McCain. Though I guess he beat me to posting. I was also going to mention the 'Obama totally needs a white guy' thing.

You know, from the get-go, I've liked those two as well. Of course, since then I've drifted away from the center and insisted that my dream face-off is Ron Paul vs. Dennis Kucinich. Sure, they're on opposite ends, with radically different approaches, but they're the only ones that want to stick it to the corporations and give America back to the people. So let's just settle this now. Do we want the Libertarian or the Socialist approach?
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Postby Hoblit » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:11 am

Caravan Ray wrote:[And this is the crux of what I don't understand. Why do the parties go through all this crap then? Why waste so much time and effort campaigning against each other?


Yeah, this is something I never got either. I think it boils down to money. If you find you don't have enough gas get the rest of the way there, then you park the car while the other candidate gets support from the party. You don't HAVE to park the car though, you can get up and drive, but you are on your own. I think we may see this actually play out competitively this time around. (which kind of sucks IMO)

The republicans DO have a shot at winning the election just because of this. Right now Obama & Hillary are neck and neck. A woman and a black man are neck and neck (Note: There has never been a woman or a black man as president in U.S.A history) AND we have a white guy holding his own amongst them. I'm not racist or sexist. I'll vote for which ever gets the nomination. I'd prefer Hillary but I'd vote for Obama in a heartbeat...or even the white guy. My point is that OTHER people ARE racist and sexist and this can get its ugly head caught in the door. Too many choices will water down the vote on that side if even one of them runs beyond the party's selection. I'm almost certain Hillary would CONSIDER running if Obama got the nomination. One could just hope they teamed up and took the house together.
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Postby Sober » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:14 am

Caravan Ray wrote:
You register as "undeclared" but still get a say in who a Party's candidate is?!? Wow! So why the 2 bites at the cherry? Why not just pick the President from this process? There seems to be far too much "democracy" going on here.


I'll try to be as plain as possible, as I'm pretty sure I understand your root question here.

The idea is that, during the primaries, a bunch of Democrats run against each other so that we can (in theory) select the best possible candidate for running against the (theoretical) best Republican later in the year.

If one party decided not to have primaries and just put 8 different candidates on the final ballot on the big election day, then the other party would just put one candidate up and win by default because of the split vote on the other side.

It sounds like your idea is to just throw 10 candidates up in the air and vote on the big day. Not a bad idea, just not how our system has evolved.
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Postby Lord of Oats » Tue Jan 08, 2008 8:31 am

France has a bunch of parties. They have two rounds. First is with everybody's candidate, one per party, by the way, nominated by each party. Then the top two compete in a runoff election. Guess what usually happens. The candidate from the moderately conservative party faces off against the candidate from the moderately liberal party. Sound familiar?

Though third parties have a lot more power in France. In fact, two elections ago, the populace was feeling extra xenophobic in light of global terrorism and the guy from the ultra-conservative party made it to round two. But he didn't win there. And he ran again last time, but was eliminated in the first round. In the end, the conservative man beat the liberal woman.

France is a lot more progressive than the US. Too much of the US populace is sexist. And Hillary Clinton is not nearly as hot as Ségolène Royal. I'm telling you, this does not look good for Clinton.

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