2008 United States Election


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Now this is obviously a super hot topic in the world, and even as a Canadian I'm being swept up in the media hype and coverage. And honestly, I don't blame anybody for it. Who knew politics could be so exciting? People can place me under the cult of personality if they want, but I really do buy into Obama's message of hope and unity. It's ridiculously refreshing and the fact that he's getting ACTUAL support and is a real contender is absolutely amazing. I'm a cynic of the worst sort, so I never thought someone like Obama could even make it this far and make this much of a splash. The fact that he's gaining so much support is actually really encouraging to me for a lot of reasons.

I'll make the short leap and say I'm a public Obama supporter (not that it means much being in Canada). So one thing that has been bothering me about some of these talking points is this whole "Hillary is more experienced. Obama hasn't been in the senate for 4 years!!!!!111" 

Let's consider this for a moment. When people say that Hillary has experience they're implying that experience means skill, competence and expertise. Fine fair enough. But... where are the results? In the real test of her skill, knowledge and expertise she's being shown up by a complete newcomer! If her experience isn't enough to get her a nomination that many deemed "inevitable" then how can people be sure that her experience will be enough to deal with the MASSIVE challenges that the United States is facing, and will face over the coming years?

Other critics slam Obama for speaking in vague messages without much substance. But I say look at the results. Obama's vagueness is making real results, while Clinton's experience doesn't seem to be helping much.

As for the GOP. I'm still dumbfounded by Guiliani. I honestly thought he'd not only become the Republican candidate but actually win the presidency. And now he's totally out of it. Just incredible.

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Nice thread Omar! I'd been debating starting this, but because half the site is Canadian I was unsure. The election has been crazy so far, even in Michigan, whose delegates don't count for the dems, and the GOP would only get half the total. I'll explain that later if you don't know what I'm talking about.

First off the Dems will win. Period. John McCain, who practically has the nomination on his desk, wants to stay in Iraq "for 100 years" if neccessary. That is a direct quote. With the outbreak of young voters actually voting, the idea of staying in Iraq brings up fears of a draft, which no one wants. This draws votes away from McCain.

I, like Omar, am an Obama supporter (Not that it matters because I'm not 18 yet, and won't be in time for the election). I really like Obama's style and policy's, however the policies of the two major candidates (Obama and Clinton) are practically the same. I think that if Hillary Clinton is nominated, Bill Clinton may be running too much of the scenes from behind the curtain. This "Billary" co-presidency effect is not good. One of the last things the U.S. needs is another dynasty leading us (Although the Clinton's are still much better than the Bushes).

Though now I am slightly contradicting myself, I think the Democrats have a much better chance of winning if Obama is the nominee, not "Billary." The main reasons being that some people just hate Hillary, for no reason. Others don't like Bill because of the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal (Because obviously cheating on your wife is much worse than lying to the American people about WMDs and starting a war for no reason). Obama also has this rock star mentality about because of his amazing public speaking skills and endorsements. It's almost hip to support Obama.

Now for the GOP/Republicans. I remember think way back in January of '07 that McCain would get the nomination, and then learning I was the only person that thought that. Looks like I was right. On the Guiliani topic, 9/11 only works inside New York. Additionally, the social religious conservatives don't like him because of his three wives. Mitt Romney was just so fake that there was no way he would ever win.

And now for Mike Huckabee. He obviously is not going to beat McCain (It's not even possible anymore I think, even if he won every delegate from all the next states). He does appeal to the evangelicals because he was a priest. However, this is this little thing called SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE. The church should not lead the country. Huckabee believes that God told him to run for President. And he's dumb. When he appeared on Letterman back in January around the Iowa Caucus, he didn't know the writers were striking. He also couldn't tell you which country Benzir Bhutto was from, or find Iran on a map. While some people may not know this, Huckabee is running for President. You have to know current events if you are commander in chief.

Let's hope Obama wins today's primaries. If you want to keep up with the election. CNN.com has an election center link of their home page that has running totals and dates.

 

 

 

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How The Primary System Works

The primary system is run by the individual political party's. You must either vote all Republican, or all Democrat, which are the two major political parties of the United States. For each state a candidate wins, they are awarded delegates. Each state has a certain number of delegates, which are based on population. For the Democrats it works like this in almost all states.

    Obama wins 60% of the popular vote in State X -> Obama get 60% of State X's delegates.

However for the GOP/Republicans it works like this in almost all states.

    McCain win 51% of the popular vote -> he get's all the delegates.

There are also 400 "super delegates" between all the states that can go to any candidate. Each state has a set number of super delegates. This will probably be the deciding factor between Obama and Clinton.

The November Election

After the primaries are all done, one candidate from each party will be left standing. They will run against each other in the November 2008 election. This election is only one day, and not spread out like the primaries are. The winner in November will become the next President of the United States. They are sworn in  on the 20th of January. (Hence the bumper sticker that just says 1/20/09, it's the date Bush is no longer President.)

In the November election each state once again has a set number of delegates. However, in almost all of the states which ever candidate gets the most votes gets all the delegates. There are a few "split states" where the delegates are divided. There is a problem with this system. Because the winner is based on delegates, not the popular vote, it is possible to have lost the popular vote, but still have won with the delegates like George Bush did in 2000 when he ran against Al Gore.

What Happened to Michigan and Florida

For the Democrats, Michigan and Florida's primaries didn't count at all. The the Republicans, only half the delegates were up for grabs. This is because both Michigan and Florida "broke the rules" and did not formally change the date of their primaries. They just moved them. The political parties punished the states for this. In the November election, the states will still get their full number of delegates.

All of the Democratic candidates removed their names from the ballots in Michigan and Florida, except for Hillary Clinton. Apparently, she didn't meet the deadline for removing her name. Some speculate she purposefully did this, and will attempt to reinstate the delegates, because she was the only candidate and therefore won. However, Hillary did not get the entire vote, because many Democrats went out and voted "uncommitted." If enough people vote uncommitted, uncommitted delgates will be sent to the convention where the winner is decided that can go to any candidate. In theory, these would go to Obama.

General Public Opinion

Our system is way screwed up, and should be changed.

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I was up at 4am on morning, and hopped on IRC. About this time, there were a bunch of euros on my favorite channel, #ubuntu-offtopic. So I threw out the question, "who should I vote for?", this being the first election I have the right to vote it.

The response came back generally, Obama. So, Obama it is. I have also created a fantasy in my mind about how Obama faught off three super dragons while carrying I pile of orphaned babies.

Also, Obama is the only candidate who supports net neutrality. That is my hot button issue, because it's the only paradigm-shifter.

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*WARNING* personal political views alert

I concur. Obama. Squalor's experience on the Euro IRC channel is indicative of a greater truth, I believe. Hence, my message to America: THE WORLD WANTS YOU TO VOTE FOR OBAMA. USA's foreign policies have left, let's say, a bitter taste in the mouths of many non-Americans. If America were to vote for an African-American president with both Obama and Hussein in his name whose running on a platform of "hope", it would send a message to the world that perhaps USA is less prejudiced and more compassionate that it is currently perceived by the International community.

Thanks, dialup, for the rundown on the primaries.

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Bigger Warning of personal political views.

 
I needed a break and don't have a ton of time (have been way too busy), was going to post in the movie thread and spotted this one. 
First up let me say that I live in 'America' (US[S]A) I was born here, but I'm not an american. There are two forms of 'natives' (first peoples; american indians) - BIA tribes (American citizens with special indian benefits, apx. 512 tribes) and NON-BIA tribes (non-american citizens commonly called domestic nationals, apx. 3,500 tribes). Needless to say I don't vote, and my views are internally outside (per se).
 
For the last 24 years I have studied law, history, politics and religion. The lines between them become very blurred depending on the country and timeline so you need to understand them all to help understand how and why things happened. I won't state what I do for a living as this board (like many others I visit) is for the specific purpose of escaping those things (but here I find I'm involved with them again, kinda heh).
 
America was originally founded as a Republic and rather than quote all the historical figures involved with that, recite the Pledge of Allegiance "and to the Republic for which it stands." 
There is a BIG difference between a Republic and a Democracy, loosely quoting "The manual of citizenship training" USGOV printing, 1928-1933:
A Democracy is naked communism; there is nothing but the will of the masses no law, rule, or order. A government ruled by the masses and subject to their whims.
A Republic is a nation of Law where the constitution is supreme, and there exists 4 branches of government; the executive to manage the day to day operations, the legislative to appropriate and pass laws, the judiciary to ensure those laws compliancy with the constitution, and the people whose rights are inviolate.
(You can get that book and read it yourself if you like; simply visit your local library and request an inter-library loan from the US Archives call number: JK1759.F86 there are also copies on the internet).
In any case it is very important that you understand the differences before you can understand the candidates. As, the political media event is a circus (a magic show).
 
Now; the Media Hype is just that (Yellow journalism if you will). It is intended to drag your attention around, to charge you with emotional issues and ignore the rule of law that is supposed to be your root founding. This is not much different than those bogus e-mails you get about immigration, gun control, et ala.
That you buy into it is exactly what 'they want' - they being the media that in the end promotes or discourages your vote by slanting the presentation to fit their own agendas (or the agendas of the controlling parent company). Commercialism at its finest. In fact a True Democracy - Mob Action.
 
The Question of Candidates:
That is simple. I can show where each of them have violated their oaths of office (taken under article 6) and committed multiple acts of treason. They should all be shot, or a petition should be made to present a vote of no confidence - IE: None of you.
 
Everyone says 'Ron Paul' is the best, and by his voting record he is (BTW: Check their voting record, IE: what they really do verses what they promise at (Project Vote Smart; http://www.votesmart.org) and do more than glance, see how they voted on a bill, and what that bill did.
 
Lets look at the others:
Clinton (Hillary), voting record:
YES - S. Amndt. 2351 on Guantanamo Bay - violation of Geneva Convention, articles of war - the same crimes Nazi's in germany were convicted of.
YES - S. Bill 1927. Allows wiretaps without warrants. (Treason, right to privacy without court order - COINTELEPRO violation).
YES - S amdt 2022. vote to deny Habeas Corpus to detainees held by the US government (Treason, right of habeas corpus (even applies to foreigners on american soil)
YES - HR 5005. Establishment of Homeland Security (secret police on american soil)
YES - HR 3199. The Patriot Act II
 
Obama, Voting record:
YES - S. Amndt. 2351 on Guantanamo Bay - violation of Geneva Convention, articles of war.
YES - HR 5441. allows confiscation of all firearms if any type of emergency is declared (Treason - violation of 2nd amendment)
YES - HR 3199. The Patriot Act II
 
McCain, voting record:
YES - SJ Res 14 & SJ Res 12 making it a crime to desecrate the US Flag (Treason - Violation of first amendment)
YES - S 254 to allow religious memorials at schools (Treason - Violation of First amendment, separation of church and state)
YES - HR 3396 prohibiting Gay Marriage (Treason, violation of privacy)
YES - HR 5005. Establishment of Homeland Security (secret police on american soil)
YES - HR 5441. allows confiscation of all firearms if any type of emergency is declared (Treason - violation of 2nd amendment)
YES - S Amdt 3907 making telecommunications companies immune from lawsuits on illegal wiretaps (Providing a governmental immunity to non-governmental business)
 
Please remember here, the US Supreme court is the final arbitrator of "Constitutional Rights" no matter your view on things. Roe v Wade and the latest gay marriage challenges are good examples of those 9th amendment rights. Once the US Supreme court has established those things as a right, you cannot take them away and trying it is treason. No matter your view, or my view on the matters, that is the final answer.
 
Before I finish here, let me put this in terms that most can deal with. 
I have had people tell me well so-and-so is not that bad, well you don't understand the political system then, so let me try it this way.
 
You are taken into a room, and told you are about to meet different candidates to become your child's mentor and teacher. You are then told they are all child molesters but these are the ones that only molested a few children, which would you choose?
 
These people, who are about to become a controlling force in your life, and your children's lives in the future, are who you are voting for. Ask yourself if you would trust them to manage your childs life or your own for that matter. Some call this the 'Political High Ground' and that is fine with me, as the current state of america, its foreign policies and internal problems are all results of compromise and little abuses that add up over years.
 
Shakespeare almost had it right, but not just the lawyers shoot the professional politicians and as well. That means those idiots you see on the TV lying to you day by day.
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It's clear to people with their ear on the ground that the current political climate is severely broken to say the least. However, this is the society we live in (it's not that different in Canada). As the slide down has happened gradually over generations, the slide up will probably take just as long, and that FIRST requires halting the momentum down. It's a long and hard road and projects like Vote Smart are a great start.

So now in this election season is it better to abstain or protest vote than to vote for the "lesser of evils"? If everybody abstained/protest voted then ya that'd be the way to go - and if you look at voter apathy that seems to be what most people are doing! But most people don't, and I understand the fallacy of this circular argument... but practically speaking I do think you can enact more change from the inside than out.

And I'll be the first to admit my naivite and lack of real world experience in these matters. I'm what you call a straight up armchair activist. Though I would put ProductWiki as a grass roots movement to inform consumers about making smart purchasing decisions. Which I find to be important :)

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I have to agree with the grass roots movement and this site as well, I think all forms of unbiased public information is very important (why I like this site and what it is trying to do). I must say, that normally I avoid these forms of conversation as I tend to build a lot of hatred from the average person when I talk about them, by the same token however I feel remiss in an (almost) lifetime of work if I ignore them.

I'm not telling you what to vote, etc. That is a decision that comes from information.  I think what I'm saying is more along the lines of what are your options, as if you don't explore them then you are stuck with what 'they' hand you.  I do a lot of political work with third party politics (Libertarian party, etc).  I just kind of find it funny that no one debates those candidates I guess. These third parties debate these exact things, but stick to the rules and laws - and when in office 99% of them stick to their guns because that is what put them in office to begin with. I guess this is in line with what you are saying that change must begin to stop what is happening before you can correct it, I think our disagreement will be in what form of change though.
 
In any case History shows us something different in situations like this.  If you go back and look at history the downfall of every nation can be found in political frustration; America would be a good example.  Left with no options to control their own destiny there first came a revolution (defined by Plato; a new way of thinking that normally leads to...) and then came the rebellion (...a rebellion).  Speaking of that same history, Rome was a Republic and devolved to a democracy and then was burned to the ground (per se). Russia was a democracy but shifted to a commercialist democracy with their 'fall from communism.'
 
I wish I could agree with the change from the inside verses outside, but that again has shown to not work. The AIM has attempted this many times over the last 30 years and there has been no change in the politics, policies, or events. France's fall attempted the same thing, and failed. The American Colonies attempted the same thing, and failed. Governments by their very nature are incapable of that type of change, it is like a river, it only flows one way until it meets a force that is more powerful than itself to cause it to backup. Take for instance the Excise Tax passed during the american civil war as a temporary way to pay for the war (note temporary) this same Excise Tax is still on every phone bill, etc. and it has been well over 140 years. Look at the Temporary Measures of the Patriot Act, all re-approved and now permanent law. A man named Wiseman did research into every temporary measure ever passed by the US, none were ever repealed and are all still in full effect.
Governments through history have proven that it will take a little bit of power under some temporary necessity and never surrender that power again.
 
I only want to say one more thing here: Stop being an armchair activist; Elvis found out that screaming at his TV and even shooting it didn't do a thing. Until you 'do something' then nothing gets done - and I know you are in Canada .... I have almost no knowledge of the overall politics up there; I do know they have the same Indian relation problems --- The Oka Conflict and that tells me they have a festering problem there as well.
 

 

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I disagree with the points about the treason in voting. One of the things the U.S. constitution was designed to do was be able to change with the times. Obviously, back in the 1700's there were a lot less random shootings in the streets and such. Additionally, automatic and semi-automatic guns had yet to be invented, No phones were around back then, and there were not problems with suicide bombers. All of the amendments are open for interpretation. The second amendment (Right to bear arms, for those who don't know) states that "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."  This is open to interpretation as to whether or not the right to bear arms refers only to the militia (army), and what the weapons that are neccessary to the security of a free State are, and what that sentence even refers to. Are hand guns not neccessary, but rifles are? Should semi-automatics and automatics be illegal for common citizens? The supreme court will make a decision on this sometime this year, as D.C, recently outlawed hand guns, and did see a drop in crime.

Additionally, the section of the constitution know as the elastic or necessary and proper clause gives Congress the permission to make are laws that are deemed "necessary and proper." This is how Congress is able to regulate the Internet, and various other things. Gun control could be deemed necessary as more technological advances are made in guns that make them more lethal, or if the crime rate becomes to high. I personally believe hand guns and rifles are OK, however auto's and semi-autos should be outlawed. I do think that the Patriot Act is wrong, however I would like to say this. A Congressperson has a duty to their constituents. At the time of the Patriot Act, everybody was afraid because of 9/11 and the country was very anti-terrorists at all costs. To vote against the Patriot Act would have been a dumb vote at the time. Additionally, police have found ways to abuse the Patriot Act, as the Act was originally only supposed to allow wire taps for a period of 24 hours or something like that.

Yes, many Congresspeople voted for the Patriot Act, however that has already happened and people are running for President, so let's take a look at the issues and idea's, not concentrate on whether or not we should shoot the candidates because they committed treason. This isn't going to get us anywhere, and won't accomplish anything. Times change, as well as the people, which in turn results with changed laws.

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Since this thread was started, Obama has won 10 straight primaries in a row, and is ahead of Hillary by about 70 delegates. If right now, Hillary has to get 70% of the popular vote in ALL the remaining states to beat Obama in pledged delegates. However, the super delegates may still be the deciding factor. Al Gore, who besides being the global-warming man was Bill Clinton's VP, is a super delegate, and may lead other supers in voting for Hillary, even if she is behind in the pledged votes. Hopefully the super delegates will go with the general population and the candidate will come out being the one people want, as opposed to who a select few want.

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