Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
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25-07-2017, 06:51 AM
Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
Is it a crime?

Should it be a crime? If yes, how do you enforce it?


It seems to me, that short of jury rigging the voting results - pretty much anything goes.

That is, if a foreign national wants to try to influence the voting of US citizens, they should be able to do it.

Otherwise, you're restricting US citizens in their right to vote as they like.

If they want to sell their vote to the highest bidder, why not???

I'm betting a financial incentive would make for higher voter turnout...

Big Grin

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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25-07-2017, 08:12 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
I could be talked into some exceptions I'm sure but I lean heavily to the “game on!” side. Ideally it's up to the people of a nation to not let themselves get manipulated. Assume someone's trying to manipulate you, assume someone's trying to trick you, assume something's fishy if all you get in your Facebook news feed (did I word that right? I have a Facebook but it's like ten years all on one page) is one-sided. And it shouldn't matter if the manipulating is being done by a foreign nation or a domestic interest group or corporation or the ideologue on a forum or whatever.

I do think foreign nations caught with their hand in our cookie jar should be punished out of principle but I wouldn't form it into law (one exception off the top of my head- direct donations to a candidate from a foreign govt, that should be straight-up law, just to get that off the table. They probably wouldn't want to be that obvious about it anyway). You could say Congress isn't virtuous and wouldn't do anything if the foreign manipulation favors them, but forming it in law wouldn't make a difference, they would still manipulate a way to do nothing.

I would want full disclosure in law as far as campaign funding. Funds can be shifted and hidden, etc., but at least try to allow a voter to know who is staking a candidate.

And of course totally agree about actual ballot box physical manipulation. That's a no-no (that's just for the locals!).

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25-07-2017, 08:25 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(25-07-2017 06:51 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  Is it a crime?

Should it be a crime? If yes, how do you enforce it?


It seems to me, that short of jury rigging the voting results - pretty much anything goes.

That is, if a foreign national wants to try to influence the voting of US citizens, they should be able to do it.

Otherwise, you're restricting US citizens in their right to vote as they like.

It doesn't logically follow. The US citizen can still vote as they like no matter who they talk to.

(25-07-2017 06:51 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  If they want to sell their vote to the highest bidder, why not???

Because it would fuck the nation even worse than it already is.

(25-07-2017 06:51 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  I'm betting a financial incentive would make for higher voter turnout...

Big Grin

As if that's the be-all and the end-all of the election.
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25-07-2017, 09:27 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
Interesting idea ...so whichever country comes up with the best propaganda or tells lies the most convincingly wins? One world government would certainly come a lot sooner.

I suddenly think of the old melodrama trope "Give me the detonator to the nuclear bomb I'm attempting to detonate in the other room, or I execute the hostages."
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25-07-2017, 09:37 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
This is not a "what if" situation, it's already reality.

So, how do you all like it? Facepalm

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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25-07-2017, 09:50 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(25-07-2017 06:51 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  That is, if a foreign national wants to try to influence the voting of US citizens, they should be able to do it.

Then why not just let everyone in the world vote in American elections? They have big stakes in the outcomes too.

Hobo
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25-07-2017, 09:56 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(25-07-2017 09:37 AM)Dom Wrote:  This is not a "what if" situation, it's already reality.

So, how do you all like it? Facepalm
I mostly agree; I'm more aghast at the effort to seemingly excuse it as "since it's happening, it's okay" (caveat being, as long "as it's my side doing it"), or the defeatist "nothing we can do about it anyway."
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25-07-2017, 10:08 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(25-07-2017 06:51 AM)onlinebiker Wrote:  That is, if a foreign national wants to try to influence the voting of US citizens, they should be able to do it.

Otherwise, you're restricting US citizens in their right to vote as they like.

If they want to sell their vote to the highest bidder, why not???

Sure. Why not? Give me the money, and then I'll vote for the opponent of whomever I was paid to vote for. Secret ballot, so it works out great. Willingness to pay for a vote helps me identify the scumbags willing to sell out, and I get money. What's not to like? But I hold out for allowing voters to sell to more than one candidate. Why not take money from both scumbags, then vote for a third party candidate? Free enterprise and democracy in one easy package. Big Grin

What we have to watch for is electronic intrusion that can change votes once they are cast. I like electronic voting machines, but the software needs to be thoroughly screened before elections, and the votes need to be tallied on site (preferably with a hard-copy print-out) before the machines are moved or serviced. I also prefer that machines and software be provided by a bunch of different companies. If someone wants to hack our elections, I see no reason not to make the hackers earn their money. Thumbsup

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25-07-2017, 10:22 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(25-07-2017 09:37 AM)Dom Wrote:  This is not a "what if" situation, it's already reality.

So, how do you all like it? Facepalm

It's been a reality since day one in 1776.

You can't have contact with people from other countries without them having some influence on you - and vice versa.....


With today's worldwide availability of instantaneous worldwide communication, even a casual conversation by someone with any social media following at all, is going to help make opinions.....

So - if some celebrity in France says "Trump is zee twat." that might be just the thing to change a few minds in the US.... While probably a small effect, it does influence an election......

.......................................

The difference between prayer and masturbation - is when a guy is through masturbating - he has something to show for his efforts.
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25-07-2017, 10:30 AM
RE: Influencing or Interfering with US Elections
(25-07-2017 08:12 AM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  I could be talked into some exceptions I'm sure but I lean heavily to the “game on!” side. Ideally it's up to the people of a nation to not let themselves get manipulated. Assume someone's trying to manipulate you, assume someone's trying to trick you, assume something's fishy if all you get in your Facebook news feed (did I word that right? I have a Facebook but it's like ten years all on one page) is one-sided. And it shouldn't matter if the manipulating is being done by a foreign nation or a domestic interest group or corporation or the ideologue on a forum or whatever.

I do think foreign nations caught with their hand in our cookie jar should be punished out of principle but I wouldn't form it into law (one exception off the top of my head- direct donations to a candidate from a foreign govt, that should be straight-up law, just to get that off the table. They probably wouldn't want to be that obvious about it anyway). You could say Congress isn't virtuous and wouldn't do anything if the foreign manipulation favors them, but forming it in law wouldn't make a difference, they would still manipulate a way to do nothing.

I would want full disclosure in law as far as campaign funding. Funds can be shifted and hidden, etc., but at least try to allow a voter to know who is staking a candidate.

And of course totally agree about actual ballot box physical manipulation. That's a no-no (that's just for the locals!).

Quote:The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) prohibits any foreign national from contributing, donating or spending funds in connection with any federal, state, or local election in the United States, either directly or indirectly. It is also unlawful to help foreign nationals violate that ban or to solicit, receive or accept contributions or donations from them. Persons who knowingly and willfully engage in these activities may be subject to fines and/or imprisonment.
...

The following groups and individuals are considered "foreign nationals" and are, therefore, subject to the prohibition:

Foreign governments;
Foreign political parties;
Foreign corporations;
Foreign associations;
Foreign partnerships;
Individuals with foreign citizenship; and
Immigrants who do not have a "green card."

https://transition.fec.gov/pages/brochur...eign.shtml

Of course, there are always loopholes. One easy ways for foreign corporations to slide money to a candidate is to disguise it as a business expense. Transfer money to a US corporation with ties to the candidate, and let the US company make the contribution. They may get away with it, or not, depending on who is watching the bank transactions, and whether there's a Special Prosecutor looking for just that sort of thing. Angel

I’ll be a story in your head, but that’s okay, because we’re all stories in the end. Just make it a good one, eh? Because it was, you know. It was the best.
The Doctor
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