can't be bothered googling...

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Caravan Ray
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can't be bothered googling...

Postby Caravan Ray » Tue Nov 02, 2010 1:49 pm

Why are you having an election today, or yesterday? What is that all about.

What is up for grabs? Is it half of both houses of parliament? Or something else?
How long to the people getting elected get to hold their seats for?
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Re: can't be bothered googling...

Postby Lunkhead » Tue Nov 02, 2010 2:40 pm

We have elections on the first Tuesday of November every year. We have presidential elections every four years, with the last one happening in 2008. Congressional elections happen when the terms end for the people currently in office, so basically randomly. Other stuff happens at other also seemingly random intervals. It's extremely confusing. Yay!

I voted in races for California governor, one of the two California US Senate seats, the US House of Representatives seat for my area of California, and for a variety of other state/county/city offices. I also voted on a variety of state/county/city propositions and measures, which are mechanisms for going around the state legislative bodies and having citizens vote directly on laws, for better or worse (usually worse, like Prop. 8 banning gay marriage, Prop. 13 putting a freeze on properties tax that has helped fiscally screw the state, one proposition this year basically paid for by two Texas oil companies trying to roll back huge swaths of CA's environmental plans/regulations etc.).

We're not voting on a president, which is why they call these "mid term" elections, I believe. They can be important though because the balance of power in our Congress can shift from one party to the other, as is possible this time around, with Republicans trying to take enough seats away from vulnerable Democrats to take control of Congress, or at least take enough control to make it so that Congress can't possibly get anything done.
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Re: can't be bothered googling...

Postby Generic » Fri Nov 05, 2010 9:39 pm

Here in the U.S., our distrct's House representatives are elected every two years (yeah, it's stupid; they're in constant campaign mode), the president every four years, and our state's Senators every six years (why they get longer terms than the president, I've no idea). Each state's governor is also elected at regular intervals determined by the individual state (usually four years as well). There's also a whole bunch of local representatives such as mayor, state house and state senate, school board, local judges, and various ballot measures that come up annually. On every even-numbered year, then, every singe House representative is up for re-election, as are about a third of the senators (usually a bit more, due to special elections) and a little under a third of the governors.

So now, Caravan Ray, I know you're probably not terribly interested in the specifics, so here's the Cliff's Notes:

Every year there is an election held on the first Tuesday in November. This year's was particularly important because some loudmouthed people with controversial opinions said it was, and they managed to convince a lot of easily-manipulated media junkies of the same. As a result, the political makeup of our Congress and many statehouses is now significantly different. Ain't that America.
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Re: can't be bothered googling...

Postby Caravan Ray » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:45 pm

Lunkhead wrote:We have elections on the first Tuesday of November every year.

Heh! We have a horse race on the first Tuesday of November every year, where most of the country spends the afternoon drunk.
http://www.cultureandrecreation.gov.au/ ... bournecup/
I know which I'd prefer.


But I was intrigued to see it reported here that the Democrats suffered a 7% swing against them in the election. That was almost exactly the same as the swing against the Labor government in our recent election.

You may have noticed that our countries have been strangely in parallel over the past decade or so. We both had about 10 years of government by right-wing, economically incompetent, xenophobic war criminals - who were then ousted from power in landslides by governments promising progressive reform. Then 2 or 3 years later, and both of these new governments receive a severe thrashing at the polls.

Here in Aus - although the Rudd/Gillard government suffered a 7% swing against them - only about 1% of this swing went right to the Liberal Party. Most of the swing went left - to the Green Party, such that Labor can now only govern with the cooperation of the Greens. The message from the electorate was clear - we voted Labor in for change, and they failed in providing it. The people that elected Labor who changed their vote, changed it for the Greens - not a return to the past.

Over your way - to me the message seems more unclear. You don't have compulsory voting as we do, nor do you have preferential voting which can encourage votes away from the major parties. So, was the 7% swing really a 7% swing to return to the Republicans? Or was it really like here - that people consider that Obama has failed in his reforms, but having no viable alternative to vote for as we did with the Greens - people simply didn't vote. Making it appear like a swing to the right?
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Re: can't be bothered googling...

Postby Caravan Ray » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:56 pm

Generic wrote:So now, Caravan Ray, I know you're probably not terribly interested in the specifics, so here's the Cliff's Notes:



No - specifics was what I was after. I eventually found a good, simple description here:
http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/40662.html

I had no idea you elected your whole lower house every 2 years. That sounds completely insane.

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