Political Views
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02-08-2017, 03:59 PM
RE: Political Views
(02-08-2017 03:21 PM)Deesse23 Wrote:  There is no "the winner takes it all" in our elections. Each party that receives a certian % of votes in any election will be represented accordingly.

There are basically only two exceptions:

#1 5% threshold
Any party that scores below 5% will not be represented at all. This is a lesson from Weimar. Too many too small parties and your parliament is going to end up being a big clusterfuck that gets nothing done at all.

#2 In Schleswig-Holstein, the state bordering Denmark, the party of the Danish minority is guaranteed to be represented, being the exception to rule #1, since they have less than 5% population /votes.
Didnt we become real nice Germans? Tongue So fluffy Big Grin

Very fluffy. Like a little too fluffy.




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02-08-2017, 04:04 PM
RE: Political Views
In America we are taught that the Constitution is the most brilliantly conceived work of political thought ever and is copied throughout the world by smart nations that know perfection when they see it. So not only is it almost impossible to make changes to (by design and by resistance from entrenched powers that stand to lose) but there is no will to do so, as if to learn from others would be an insult to the gods or something, it might bruise our political superiority complex.

I think some form of proportional representation by interest group rather than by accident of geography might be good for the US. It's 2017, screw geography. If you're a lefty in a righty neighborhood, or vice versa, you're out of luck with your "local" congressperson. Maybe they could take 75 or so seats in Congress and make them truly national, meaning no matter where you live you could vote for the national candidate that fits your values and interests. No doubt it will have some negative unintended consequences but it would probably get some secularists into power.

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02-08-2017, 04:15 PM
RE: Political Views
(02-08-2017 04:04 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  I think some form of proportional representation by interest group rather than by accident of geography might be good for the US. It's 2017, screw geography. If you're a lefty in a righty neighborhood, or vice versa, you're out of luck with your "local" congressperson. Maybe they could take 75 or so seats in Congress and make them truly national, meaning no matter where you live you could vote for the national candidate that fits your values and interests. No doubt it will have some negative unintended consequences but it would probably get some secularists into power.

Is the electoral system in the constitution? The two party system that hardly allows for third party candidates?

The system seems to be tailor made for the 18th century, complete with electoral college, which obviously is a remnant from a time when votes came from far and wide without any means of modern communication between states and cities.

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02-08-2017, 04:51 PM
RE: Political Views
(02-08-2017 04:15 PM)abaris Wrote:  
(02-08-2017 04:04 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  I think some form of proportional representation by interest group rather than by accident of geography might be good for the US. It's 2017, screw geography. If you're a lefty in a righty neighborhood, or vice versa, you're out of luck with your "local" congressperson. Maybe they could take 75 or so seats in Congress and make them truly national, meaning no matter where you live you could vote for the national candidate that fits your values and interests. No doubt it will have some negative unintended consequences but it would probably get some secularists into power.

Is the electoral system in the constitution? The two party system that hardly allows for third party candidates?

The system seems to be tailor made for the 18th century, complete with electoral college, which obviously is a remnant from a time when votes came from far and wide without any means of modern communication between states and cities.

It is but it allows the states to determine how to choose electors so in that it is a self-inflicted wound...the states could on their own come up with a proportional system to dole out electors. I think someone else mentioned it somewhere recently but two states (?) allow their electors to be split based on popular voting outcome. But in the other 48, the party in power has no incentive to do anything but have a "winner take all" result, because they're (most likely) going to be the winner and they want the full power of their punch to go to their presidential candidate. And no way in hell they want some third party edging in on their monopoly.

But at any rate the electoral college stuff is just for the president, third parties have no hope for that goal, I would just want to see some in Congress just to mix things up a bit and break up the "Big Two" super shit monopoly.

Your description of the rationale for the electoral college is about how I understand it too.

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02-08-2017, 09:32 PM
RE: Political Views
(02-08-2017 02:27 PM)Dom Wrote:  
(02-08-2017 02:07 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  I didn't know that. That's interesting Tongue

There are also more than two parties, and voters can and do switch according to current events. Kind of like picking the best guy for the job at hand... makes a lot more sense.

I like that better than the two party system. In my US history class I believe it was George Washington who had a list of things we should avoid as a country and I think the two party system was one of those things. Don't quote me on that thought. If anybody on here knows what I'm talking about please let me know!
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02-08-2017, 09:37 PM
RE: Political Views
(02-08-2017 04:51 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  
(02-08-2017 04:15 PM)abaris Wrote:  Is the electoral system in the constitution? The two party system that hardly allows for third party candidates?

The system seems to be tailor made for the 18th century, complete with electoral college, which obviously is a remnant from a time when votes came from far and wide without any means of modern communication between states and cities.

It is but it allows the states to determine how to choose electors so in that it is a self-inflicted wound...the states could on their own come up with a proportional system to dole out electors. I think someone else mentioned it somewhere recently but two states (?) allow their electors to be split based on popular voting outcome. But in the other 48, the party in power has no incentive to do anything but have a "winner take all" result, because they're (most likely) going to be the winner and they want the full power of their punch to go to their presidential candidate. And no way in hell they want some third party edging in on their monopoly.

But at any rate the electoral college stuff is just for the president, third parties have no hope for that goal, I would just want to see some in Congress just to mix things up a bit and break up the "Big Two" super shit monopoly.

Your description of the rationale for the electoral college is about how I understand it too.

I also learned about this in US History, but wasn't there a third party guy who ran for president around the same time as Bill Clinton? He was pretty successful in his campaign and then something happened. I will have to look that up.

Edit:
It was Ross Perot
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02-08-2017, 09:44 PM
RE: Political Views
(02-08-2017 09:37 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  
(02-08-2017 04:51 PM)jerry mcmasters Wrote:  It is but it allows the states to determine how to choose electors so in that it is a self-inflicted wound...the states could on their own come up with a proportional system to dole out electors. I think someone else mentioned it somewhere recently but two states (?) allow their electors to be split based on popular voting outcome. But in the other 48, the party in power has no incentive to do anything but have a "winner take all" result, because they're (most likely) going to be the winner and they want the full power of their punch to go to their presidential candidate. And no way in hell they want some third party edging in on their monopoly.

But at any rate the electoral college stuff is just for the president, third parties have no hope for that goal, I would just want to see some in Congress just to mix things up a bit and break up the "Big Two" super shit monopoly.

Your description of the rationale for the electoral college is about how I understand it too.

I also learned about this in US History, but wasn't there a third party guy who ran for president around the same time as Bill Clinton? He was pretty successful in his campaign and then something happened. I will have to look that up.

Edit:
It was Ross Perot

My middle school (the one I went to during the half of the year I was in civilization Tongue ) had a mock election, complete with campaigning and everything. In it, Ross Perot won. So if my school had been in charge, he would have been president Big Grin

In the REAL election, he ended up winning about 1/5 of the popular vote without actually winning any electoral votes.

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02-08-2017, 11:51 PM
RE: Political Views
(01-08-2017 02:59 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  I will hear people say that ( such as Stephan Molyneux) and others a lot of anti-left things and he has used Europe as an example saying they are falling apart. One reason he gives is because of all the Muslims coming in and trying to take over. I can't remember where, but I'm pretty sure that's the gist of a lot of what he says ( feel free to correct or "enlighten" me).

The basic argument as I understand it when stripped of its hyperbole is that what we consider to be "Western" culture on include but are not limited to, the right of self-determination, equal treatment under the law, gay rights and women's rights, free speech, due process and so forth. It's nearly universally true in nations where Islam is the dominant force either religiously or politically that those values don't exist, or more precisely that they are not enshrined in law.

The argument they are making is that taking two cultures with radically different and often incompatible values will be problematic in the long run.

(01-08-2017 02:59 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  •Why do you lean left?
• Why do you lean right?
•Why are you neither?

I have so many problems with both sides that it's fully impossible for me to throw my hat in for either side. In a very very broad sense, so broad as to be basically useless, I'd be considered liberal on most social issues but conservative on most economic issues.

There are so many things from both sides that I just can't stand though from the increasing radicalization on both sides, where the mainstream elements of both parties have started to increasingly pander to the most toxic element of their side, to Liberals think they can legislate prosperity conservatives think they can legislate morality, to the fact that no one seems to have a political memory longer than 13 minutes.

On the conservative side of things:
1.)I have said this before, black rights, women's, rights, the right to interracial marriage, the right of gays to marry or adopt or serve in the military, and transsexual rights today ....time and time again they are on the wrong goddamn side of history when it comes to individual liberty.

2.)Their constant placating and pandering towards religious institutions is frustrating as shit and I want nothing to do with it. The sentiment that being opposed to religiously inspired persecution is persecution of the religious is on its face ridiculous and vulgar.

3.)So many of them don't seem to understand the difference between a "strong national defence" which the Constitution makes provisions for and a "globe spanning empire" which seems to be what a lot of American conservatives argue for now.


On the liberal side of things:
1.) The fact that, especially in universities, there is a growing trend among youth on the left of open hostility to the freedom of speech and the free exchange of ideas. A growing tendency towards the censorship of any ideas they don't like. The bigger problem here is not that it's happening, it's not that we should be nipping that shit in the bud but are not, but the fact that more and more politicians are pandering to it.

2.)So many don't seem to understand the difference between a right and a commodity or even what the government's role in rights even is under the American tradition. This is exacerbated by the seeming dearth of economic illiteracy on the left.

3.)I don't wanna sound like I'm picking on liberals disproportionally here but this is a huge personal bug bear of mine so bear with me (or skip over the incoming wall of text). My biggest problem with "the left" is who in the world they choose to throw their support behind and why. While the USSR was starving millions of people to death, many people and media outlets on the left were singing it's praises or like the absolute cunt Walter Duranty of The New York Times actively engaged in covering up and lying about the on going starvation in the Ukraine, or like what happened to Malcolm Muggeridge sacking journos who were critical of Stalin's Russia.

They are constantly pointing to examples of socialist economic success that either isn't socialist or are goddamn failures and when the failure is exposed they move on to a new example. Take Bernie Sanders praise of Denmark for the former and Venezuela for the later. This has been going on for decades, I remember back when the big go to was Sweden but Sweden had been trending away from socialism towards more free market policies for nearly two decades. Selling off government property and enterprises, deregulating industries, lowering or abolishing certain taxes, to even partially privatizing its pension programs and so forth. Then the example changed and changed and changed. Once it was Venezuela that was going to be a shining example of socialism triumphant, with its government seizure of private property and control of industry, extensive programs of wealth redistribution, and anti-capitalist rhetoric. There were people on the left praising the country and lying about the extent of government oppression of the media, dissenting political parties, and a host of human rights violations. How's that country now? Pretty fucking horrible to be honest. So bad it's #1 on the Misery Index with a score of 573.4 with the next highest having a score of 83.8. So bad that 15% of Venezuelans have to feed on waste. (Rough English translation here)

What's been the response from those that praised the government of the country and it's socialist market interference? You find more noise in a graveyard. It's been swept under the rug and we are off to pick a new example. It was Denmark for all of 5 minutes before Denmark's own government pointed out they don't have a socialist economy, so who knows what's next.

What about the opposite? What about free market economies in places like Hong Kong with it's Income tax rate of 15% and Corporate Income tax of 16.5%? Or Singapore with it's Income tax rate of 22% and Corporate Income tax of 17%? Tax rates among the lowest in the industrialized world and among the most open and voluntary economies as well, with Singapore occupying the #1 spot.
Are these heavily free market nations with low rates of government regulation on business hell holes of worker violation, and corporate oppression where the people cry out for liberation through government as the more radical elements of the left narrative suggest is the inevitable outcome of free market capitalism? Nope. Singapour has the 3rd highest per capita GDP according to both the IMF and the World Bank, with Hong Kong at #10 (IMF) and #9 (World Bank). (Socialist Venezuela sits at .....#87).
Singapore's GDP growth is 2.5 times it's inflation rate and half the Unemployment of the US, Hong Kong GDP growth is 2 times it's inflation rate. For contrast Venezuela Growth was -14% and it's inflation was 720% in 2017. Oh and the poverty rate is near 82%.

I could go on.


As a giant econ nerd and a person who WANTS to move more to the left because I dislike so much of the conservative platform and history it's mind-crushingly frustrating to watch the left refuse to learn from history again and again and again or worse to actively lie about it.


(01-08-2017 02:59 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  How do you feel about people such as Stephan Molyneux who are not religious, but speak against a lot of what the left does?
He is a giant self-aggrandizing, hyperbolic, cunt who uses disparate and often unrelated facts to try to weave a narrative which is frequently not congruent with reality. That said just like people on the left I would describe that way *cough* Young Turks *cough* there is a lot on both sides to speak out against.

I just wish less assholish people were the ones doing it, but the fact remains in a free society they have a right to be as asshole-ish as they want.


(01-08-2017 02:59 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  What research can I do to educate myself and have some more concrete views on my politics? Are there any books, articles, or other sources you recommend?

For me, it's more of a mindset that's important and that is like we would with religious claims, critical evaluation of claims and not trusting arguments just because they come from something/someone claiming authority. I wish more people would recognize that a government funded, supplied, and written education which features numerous assertions about how wonderful and helpful the role of government in society is...is probably not the most unbiased of educations but I digress.

OK as for educational materials I'll stick to the same recommendations as ever when it comes to Economics. First, start with Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics by Henry Hazlitt. It's an extremely valuable book not least of all because it's easy to read and easy to grasp, and is by far and away my most oft recommended book on economics.

Then pick up The General Theory Of Employment, Interest, And Money by John Maynard Keynes. It's the basis for a lot of current economic thought, though large sections of it fell out of favour after the '70s, in the political class and (at least here in Canada) might as well be the only book they have you read in University Econ courses. It's painful to read and if you stop there you will actually be less informed on economics than if you had spent your time reading the backs of shampoo bottles but absolutely required reading for the next book none the less.

Which is The Failure of the New Economics by Henry Hazlitt which is a chapter by chapter and often point by point complete refutation of the entire General Theory book. I really can not stress how important this book is to understanding sound economics.

Now if you are REALLY looking to be no fun at parties where the host is more left leaning I'd recommend The Road to Serfdom by F. A. Hayek because it explains why economic socialism has problems (mostly what came to be known as the Hayekian Knowledge Problem).

If however, you are looking for something lighter and easier to digest I'd recommend I, Pencil which you can read in full here. It's a defense of what Adam Smith called "the invisible hand" and the markets ability to organically steer production towards lower prices and increased efficiency. Or you can read Frédéric Bastiat's satirical Candlestick Makers' Petition here, which was a short bit of writing lampooning the idea of using protectionist tariffs to protect domestic industry from competition (something the right loves to do, especially Trump). Basically, a satirical petition by candlestick makers to "call upon the French government to take protective action against the unfair competition.... of the sun."

Honestly at the end of the day for me I always come back to a single quote from Hayek when it comes to economics in politics:
[Image: Quote-Hayek-Curious-Task-of-Economics.png]

On a more general sense one piece of advice I wanna give is to avoid the Social media echo-chamber. It has a tendency to throw related content at you and almost all of it is in support of what you just read or watched. The US election is a great example as you can see how fast a fucking stupid story spreads because instead of giving you a "here is something you need to know" it gives you a "here is something you might also enjoy" and it creates and Ouroboros of bullshit. Every crap story during the election was easily refuted it's just the refutation never pops up in the feed, you have to go looking and most people wont.


Well...that's about it I think. I'm happy to expound on any questions you have cause other than a few things I left most kinda vague. However right now I'll be busy bracing for impact lol

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02-08-2017, 11:53 PM
RE: Political Views
(02-08-2017 09:32 PM)goldenarm Wrote:  
(02-08-2017 02:27 PM)Dom Wrote:  There are also more than two parties, and voters can and do switch according to current events. Kind of like picking the best guy for the job at hand... makes a lot more sense.

I like that better than the two party system. In my US history class I believe it was George Washington who had a list of things we should avoid as a country and I think the two party system was one of those things. Don't quote me on that thought. If anybody on here knows what I'm talking about please let me know!

Washington or not it's really good advice. When you just have two sides and the sides don't really change they tend to trend towards the radicalization of the far ends and then the far ends get bigger and bigger.

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03-08-2017, 12:38 AM
RE: Political Views
Rep, i want more rep for this man! Clap
Dont make me dress like a cheerleader. Angry

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