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SWF
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #75 on: Jul 9th, 2007, 6:38am »
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on Jul 8th, 2007, 10:31pm, JiNbOtAk wrote:
Are you saying that the voting process should only be allowed to the informed ones ?

 
I am not saying uniformed voters should be stripped of their voting rights, only that I prefer they not vote. The get-out-and-vote campaigns are ridiculous. I don't want a bunch of votes cast by people who only voted because a commerical told them to just get out there and cast a ballot. Actually, the state where I used to live bans former convicted felons from voting, and Paris Hilton may qualify. In that case taking away her voting rights is OK with me.
 
Part of the problem is too many voters lack foresight and live for the moment- the same mindset that puts so many people in credit card debt. Sort of what would happen if you have a family of 8 children and let the household be run by majority vote. You would end up have candy for meals, no school, dental checkups, or exercise.
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JiNbOtAk
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #76 on: Jul 10th, 2007, 8:28pm »
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on Jul 9th, 2007, 6:38am, SWF wrote:

 
Part of the problem is too many voters lack foresight and live for the moment- the same mindset that puts so many people in credit card debt. Sort of what would happen if you have a family of 8 children and let the household be run by majority vote. You would end up have candy for meals, no school, dental checkups, or exercise.

 
How do we segregate the voters with foresight, and those who lacked them ? Democracy is simply that, the decision is made by the majority. How insightful, or ignorant, the majority might be, is not in question. As I've said in my earlier post, I'm not a big fan of democracy anyway, but if one were to adopt the system, they should do so without prejudice.
 
As for the family example you've given, how is that different from a dictator system ? Granted, it works for families ( with good fathers anyway ), but will it work on a large scale, i.e. government ?
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #77 on: Jul 11th, 2007, 12:50am »
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on Jul 10th, 2007, 8:28pm, JiNbOtAk wrote:
How do we segregate the voters with foresight, and those who lacked them ?
You stop urging people to vote. People with foresight will mostly vote anyway, those without will be less inclined. It's self-selection.
Giving people a choice, and urging them to make it regardless what, are not the same thing.
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #78 on: Jul 11th, 2007, 1:35am »
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Whoa, stop urging people to vote ? Come on, that is not right. I mean, how is that democratic at all ? We should always strive to have 100% turnout at the polls, as that is what democracy really is, representation of the people, chosen by the people, rite ? Not just a select group of the people.
 
Even if we have only the informed ones voting, there would always be opposing sides, and I believe the same results would be in, even discounting the not so informed voters.
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #79 on: Jul 11th, 2007, 2:40am »
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on Jul 11th, 2007, 1:35am, JiNbOtAk wrote:
Whoa, stop urging people to vote ? Come on, that is not right.
Why not? I'm not saying to should be urged not to vote. Just give them the choice, the means, and let them figure out for themselves whether it means enough to them to get out there and vote.
They should not be pressured to give up their right not to care about politics.
 
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I mean, how is that democratic at all ?
How isn't it? Essentially people get an extra choice. Urging people that don't want to to vote, is a few steps removed from making a law forcing everyone to vote. People need to take that responsibility themselves.
 
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We should always strive to have 100% turnout at the polls, as that is what democracy really is, representation of the people, chosen by the people, rite ? Not just a select group of the people.
There should only be 100% turnout, if 100% of people want to vote. If they do not want to they should not be badgered or forced to. If the will isn't there democracy has already failed, and making them vote anyway only makes it worse.  
One way in which it is worse is that apathic voters tend to vote for people that they don't actually support (partly for lack of even knowing their position). At best this produces random noise in the election results, at worst it randomizes election results so that majority of voters that do (still) care about politics don't get the result they deserve and become apathic and disillusioned.
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #80 on: Jul 11th, 2007, 8:50am »
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Well, the Australians have to show up and vote, or face a fine. I don't see them going to hell in a handbasket.
 
However, there is always the choice of spoiling the ballot paper, and so pro-actively abstaining. Personally, I prefer to have people show up to make their vote (or lack of it) on the basis that at least they are then fulfilling a responsibility within a democratic society, even if it is just to say "I don't think any of these candidates are any good".
 
But I can see where you're coming from, towr
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #81 on: Jul 11th, 2007, 9:52am »
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on Jul 11th, 2007, 8:50am, Three Hands wrote:
Well, the Australians have to show up and vote, or face a fine. I don't see them going to hell in a handbasket.
Very few countries at the moment, regardless of their governmental model, are going to hell in a handbasket.  
Between democracies the different voting procedures will in practice not be much more than a philosophical distinction. And as such, I don't expect to ever get what I vote for. So I'm at a loss why I even bothered the last few times.
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #82 on: Jul 15th, 2007, 3:03pm »
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on Jul 10th, 2007, 8:28pm, JiNbOtAk wrote:

Democracy is simply that, the decision is made by the majority.

The way president gets elected is based on the Electoral College, which is not the same as majority of voters in the country. For example, in 2000 Al Gore received more votes than Bush. If vote is divided such that no candidate gets more than half the electoral votes, the House decides the president, which makes it even less dependent on voters.
 
Towr gave good reasons for why people should be free to choose whether they want to vote, so I won't comment much on that question. Even members of Congress can and do abstain from voting or not show up.
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #83 on: Jul 15th, 2007, 10:36pm »
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Talking about voting, I came across this video... pretty hilarious.. please don't take it the wrong way  Wink
 
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=355241692625915095&q=florida +voting+machine&total=105&start=0&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=0
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #84 on: Jul 18th, 2007, 2:49pm »
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If he will be Irish, then yes: leprechauns, clovers with four leaves, so little things, but so honest, warm and big in heart. As for the Statue of Liberty, well, that woman is a bit too large for my taste. I like them smaller than me, so I can look them women from above, not vice versa. Or, or, the president could be an Indian, smoking peace pipe, from which cowboys took his country away from him, just so they divide it into only 50 states. Who needs a president, when you have 50 congressmen? Circus, anyone? Sure! Who is the current clown!? My point is, that there is no need to go to extreme, whatever the subject was, white or black, pink or football, president or his wife. Give the man a break. He is trying. And nobody is perfect. This also means that USA is not that important, as you would like it to be. There is Coke in USA, but so is everywhere. There are nuclear weapons in USA, but even Liechtenstein has nuclear capabilities, thanks to Russians. There are cheeseburgers in USA, but in all other countries as well. Even Bushmen have Macdonald's. So why didn't you mention a president of some other country? What is so special about America, excepting Matrix? One should find a balance of his own, as the president cannot live your life instead of you. He can guide you in the right direction, it is plausible, but it is ultimately up to you to become somebody or nobody. As for an opinion, everybody has one, maybe even two. A lot of people are uneducated, even standing in breadline, which still exists regardless of the Green Revolution. My advice is that, if you want to chitchat like that, get back to riddles instead, even if they are bad. We need some solidarity here, and certainly not a president who might divide everybody, even riddlers here. I mean, the second you pressed the send button, you got more than 100 different opinions. The needs of many are more important than needs of one president. So much about presidents from my part, just in case you were interested in opinion 101 as well.
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #85 on: Jul 18th, 2007, 2:59pm »
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You mention Coke and Cheeseburgers... but aren't these American products? Why are they in the whole world? Why should they be in whole world? Does it feel familiar that Trade, economics and other aspects of your lives are run by decisions made in US? Doesn't that make the President of USA a definite topic of discussion?
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #86 on: Jul 19th, 2007, 7:08am »
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You're right. Sometimes I talk rubbish.  Embarassed  Kiss
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JiNbOtAk
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #87 on: Jul 22nd, 2007, 7:09pm »
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on Jul 18th, 2007, 2:59pm, Sameer wrote:
You mention Coke and Cheeseburgers... but aren't these American products?

 
Tea, coffee, paper, pizza..are these from America too ?  Roll Eyes Reiterating what Icey said in his earlier post, what makes the USA so important ?
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #88 on: Jul 22nd, 2007, 8:45pm »
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on Jul 22nd, 2007, 7:09pm, JiNbOtAk wrote:

 
Tea, coffee, paper, pizza..are these from America too ?  Roll Eyes Reiterating what Icey said in his earlier post, what makes the USA so important ?

 
 
Of course that was a very specific example, but the point is US influences mostly everything in the world and hence it is important!!!
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #89 on: Jul 22nd, 2007, 10:57pm »
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on Jul 22nd, 2007, 8:45pm, Sameer wrote:

Of course that was a very specific example, but the point is US influences mostly everything in the world and hence it is important!!!

 
Of course, according to the Americans..try selling that idea to, oh, I don't know, the Vietnamese ? Or maybe the Iraqis..
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #90 on: Jul 23rd, 2007, 12:34am »
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on Jul 22nd, 2007, 10:57pm, JiNbOtAk wrote:
Of course, according to the Americans..try selling that idea to, oh, I don't know, the Vietnamese ? Or maybe the Iraqis..
I don't think any of them would object that America is an important actor on the international stage. They might have something to say about how positive a role it plays though..
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #91 on: Feb 13th, 2012, 2:57am »
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i think after Abrahim Lincoln no body is the honest president..
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #92 on: Feb 2nd, 2014, 1:10pm »
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USA has quite good presidents. If you are not happy about USA presidents look at Europe countries presidents
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #93 on: Feb 2nd, 2014, 10:32pm »
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on Feb 2nd, 2014, 1:10pm, jordan wrote:
USA has quite good presidents. If you are not happy about USA presidents look at Europe countries presidents
In many European countries the political power lies with the prime minister, so the president (if they have one) is not equivalent to the position of president in the US.
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #94 on: Feb 3rd, 2014, 12:26pm »
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okay, what about Italian prime minister Berlusconi? Smiley  
 
If you are from USA, then I guess you don't know a lot about small countries presidents and prime ministers. Sometimes it is impossible to understand how did they get this position
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #95 on: Feb 3rd, 2014, 1:17pm »
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I'm from the Netherlands.  
Though I'm sure that in a large country as the US there are plenty of people (well, some, at least), that have a decent understanding of smaller country's politics.  
 
From the Netherland's perspective, of course, Italy is not a small country; it's several times our size in area and population.  
I don't really find it surprising that someone who controls much of the country's most important media might rise to a position of power he's unsuited for; repeatedly. Fortunately Berlusconi is not prime minister any more, and the past seems to have somewhat caught up with him. But he was a good example of how a prime minister is more important politically than the president.
The only European country I can name off the top of my head where the position of president is somewhat equivalent to the US one, is France. (But then, most other countries where I have some idea of the political landscape are monarchies, so they wouldn't have presidents. I suppose there's also Russia, but that's more a Putinocracy -- political power lies with Putin, regardless of whether he's president or prime-minister.)
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #96 on: Apr 20th, 2014, 9:53pm »
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on Jul 11th, 2007, 2:40am, towr wrote:

Why not? I'm not saying to should be urged not to vote. Just give them the choice, the means, and let them figure out for themselves whether it means enough to them to get out there and vote.
They should not be pressured to give up their right not to care about politics.
 
How isn't it? Essentially people get an extra choice. Urging people that don't want to to vote, is a few steps removed from making a law forcing everyone to vote. People need to take that responsibility themselves.
 
There should only be 100% turnout, if 100% of people want to vote. If they do not want to they should not be badgered or forced to. If the will isn't there democracy has already failed, and making them vote anyway only makes it worse.  
One way in which it is worse is that apathic voters tend to vote for people that they don't actually support (partly for lack of even knowing their position). At best this produces random noise in the election results, at worst it randomizes election results so that majority of voters that do (still) care about politics don't get the result they deserve and become apathic and disillusioned.

 
Revisiting this topic after almost 7 years made me realize that opinions do change over time. I have to admit towr, after having a more in-depth experience with elections and the electoral process, I've arrived at a similar conclusion; Freedom of choice is an intergral component of democracy. Even when that choice is not to choose. Though I'd prefer Three Hands' suggestion of actively abstaining, I've come to realize that everyone's choice matter. Even if I think they're sh!tty choice(s).   Roll Eyes
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #97 on: Apr 21st, 2014, 2:29pm »
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I'd side with Icarus - correlate raw intelligence with a profession carefully. Example: the proof of the Pythegorean theorem found by the 20th President of the United States James Abraham Garfield:
 

 
There's more to J. Garfield's fascinating story. Shot twice by an assassin he was treated by doctors with unsterilized hands and, after the doctors failed to locate the bullet, by Graham Bell with a metal detector which instead of a potential bullet had detected a metal mattress spring. Three months after receiving the wounds J. Garfield passed away and an autopsy revealed that the wound was not fatal. Still, the doctors have sent the bill to Congress and got paid ...
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #98 on: Apr 21st, 2014, 3:07pm »
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Can't help it but I just Love the way the Swiss do it - binding referendums. "The people have spoken, and the people is right". The German dictionary lacks the word frequented by the Swiss newspapers - "the threat of a referendum". Man, that's awesome. To the best of my knowledge since its inception in 1848 Switzerland held more than 400 national referendums. And if you add the cantonal and city level referendums that number will likely be close to or more than a thousand. Just recently the Swiss said "hell, no" to EU immigration.
 
I'd prefer referendums to a system where a small number of law making individuals whose pockets are waiting to be lined with cash supplied by the highest bidder decide the fate of the millions. The same small number of law making individuals who very cleverly exclude themselves from being on the receiving end of the very laws they make.
 
I speak from direct experience. Those who live in US know that on that fateful day of October 22, 1986 Congress passed the "Tax Reform Act of 1986" which had a "Section 1706" added to it by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Democrat from New York. That section had (and still has) a devastating effect on computer programmers - we can't work as independent contractors, we can't be entrepreneurs, we can't set up freelance businesses: one-man shows are not allowed. We take home half of what we could otherwise.
 
Why is that? Which law in this Universe says that an electrician or a plumber can be an independent contractor and I can't? You put that question into the Congressional abyss and all you hear back is a deafening silence. You put that question on a referendum ballot and I'm sure all the programmers 1) would vote, 2) would vote a resounding "there's no such law".
 
Which is why people infinitely more smarter than me spoke on (and settled, for me at least) this matter. In "The Ultimate Quotable Einstein" by Alice Calaprice, ISBN 978-0-691-13817-6, on page 302 we find:
 
"It is a happy fate to remain fascinated by one's work up to the last gasp. Otherwise we would suffer too much from the stupidity and madness of man as manifested mainly in politics".
 
And on page 308:
 
"One must divide one's time between politics and equations. But our equations are much more important to me, because politics is for the present, while our equations are for eternity".
 
Riddles anyone?
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Re: Presidents  
« Reply #99 on: Apr 21st, 2014, 10:41pm »
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on Apr 21st, 2014, 3:07pm, rloginunix wrote:
Can't help it but I just Love the way the Swiss do it - binding referendums. "The people have spoken, and the people is right".
If only the people weren't myopic, easily scared, easily swayed by demagogues, etc. People suck. Especially other people.
 
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I'd prefer referendums to a system where a small number of law making individuals whose pockets are waiting to be lined with cash supplied by the highest bidder decide the fate of the millions. The same small number of law making individuals who very cleverly exclude themselves from being on the receiving end of the very laws they make.
I don't know whether it'd make a lot of difference. It's mostly a matter of were you spend your money to get what you want, whether on lobbying to politicians or marketing to sway the masses.  
 
Quote:
I speak from direct experience. Those who live in US know that on that fateful day of October 22, 1986 Congress passed the "Tax Reform Act of 1986" which had a "Section 1706" added to it by Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Democrat from New York. That section had (and still has) a devastating effect on computer programmers - we can't work as independent contractors, we can't be entrepreneurs, we can't set up freelance businesses: one-man shows are not allowed.
Wikipedia is a bit short on that section, but I don't see it. It seems to say that a third-party intermediary has to pay taxes if you're working for all intents and purposes as an employee.
A favorable reading of that would be that a company that employs you can't tell you to become an "independent" contractor so they can enjoy tax-benefits. (Something which, if I recall correctly, has been a bit of a problem around here in construction.)
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