Author Topic: Why Democracy?  (Read 2791 times)

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Why Democracy?
« Reply #25 on: June 27, 2019, 23:31:01 »
>There was significant, although not conclusive evidence in the last election that a number of California congress seats were decided through ballot box stuffing by the democratic party.

If you mean ballot harvesting, it's not a type of stuffing - it's basically a get-out-the-vote technique.  It introduces more potential for fraud, but is not inherently fraudulent. 
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Offline YZT580

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Re: Why Democracy?
« Reply #26 on: June 28, 2019, 08:29:46 »
That is what I meant, thanks for the explanation.  Although not necessarily fraudulent,  the extent to which it affected the outcomes after the polls had already been tallied would indicate some degree of illegal activity.  Just saying.

Offline mariomike

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Re: Why Democracy?
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2019, 09:30:37 »
There was significant, although not conclusive evidence in the last election that a number of California congress seats were decided through ballot box stuffing by the democratic party. 

Although not necessarily fraudulent,  the extent to which it affected the outcomes after the polls had already been tallied would indicate some degree of illegal activity. 

Quote
Polifact
June 24th, 2019

Trump’s latest California voter fraud claim as baseless as past allegations
https://www.politifact.com/california/statements/2019/jun/24/donald-trump/pants-fire-trumps-latest-california-voter-fraud-cl/
We found Trump's new voter fraud claim as baseless as his past allegations.





« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 09:34:52 by mariomike »

Offline FJAG

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Re: Why Democracy?
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2019, 12:04:55 »
For those of you who have no quarrel with the Supreme Court on the Gerrymandering decision, here's an article from the Atlantic which I think articulates your viewpoint very well:

Quote
The Gerrymandering Ruling Was Bad, but the Alternatives Were Worse
Highly partisan redistricting is a scourge, but the solutions involve political judgments that no court should make.
Jonathan Rauch
Contributing editor at The Atlantic

The Supreme Court made a painfully flawed decision yesterday on partisan gerrymandering. In fact, the decision has only one point in its favor: It is better than the alternatives. There was no good answer, but the Court chose the least bad one.

If that sounds like a reluctant endorsement, it is. Like nearly every sentient American nowadays, I think partisan gerrymanders have gone too far. In the case before the Court, North Carolina Republicans gerrymandered their purple state so that in 2018 they won only half the statewide vote, but nine of 12 congressional districts. At least they were explicit about their motives. “I think electing Republicans is better than electing Democrats,” David Lewis, a Republican member of the North Carolina general assembly, told a redistricting committee. “So I drew this map to help foster what I think is better for the country.” In a second instance before the Court, Maryland’s Democrats did something comparable.

Extreme partisan gerrymanders are unfair, because they distort the result of elections to produce legislative bodies that do not accurately reflect the party leanings of the voters. Extreme partisan gerrymanders are also unhealthy for democracy, because they allow politicians to choose their voters, rather than the other way around. I won’t belabor those points.

The question is not whether there is a problem, but how to solve it. Yesterday, in Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court said: Don’t look at us. In a 2004 decision, the Court had declined to strike down a partisan gerrymander, but it dangled the possibility that it might overturn a more extreme gerrymander in the future. Encouraged, reformers had no trouble finding outrages to challenge. In Rucho, the Court slammed the door against such challenges and locked it. “Partisan gerrymandering claims are not justiciable,” wrote Chief Justice John Roberts for the majority. Translation: Go away and don’t come back. The Court’s four liberals were scathing in dissent.

Why, then, was the Court’s ruling the least bad decision? Three reasons: political, constitutional, and prudential.
...

See rest of article here:

https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/06/gerrymandering-ruling-could-have-been-worse/592879/

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Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Why Democracy?
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2019, 12:11:28 »
>the extent to which it affected the outcomes after the polls had already been tallied would indicate some degree of illegal activity.

It could be interpreted that way in the absence of other information, but that's not what happened.  The ballots are counted later, hence the "after the polls" (immediate counts when the polls close) impression.  The Democrat-favouring vote swing stems from the fact that Democratic campaign workers were diligent in seeking out and turning in Democratic votes, and Republican campaign workers were not ("get-out-the-vote").  I read an article which alleged that some Democratic campaign workers were asking voters how they voted, and then offered to turn in the ballot if the answer was "Democratic" but not if "Republican".  That's a bit slimy, but not illegal - it's not the job of Democratic partisans to get Republican votes into the boxes.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Why Democracy?
« Reply #30 on: June 28, 2019, 12:25:45 »
"Extreme partisan gerrymanders are unfair, because they distort the result of elections to produce legislative bodies that do not accurately reflect the party leanings of the voters. Extreme partisan gerrymanders are also unhealthy for democracy, because they allow politicians to choose their voters, rather than the other way around. I won’t belabor those points."

Yes.  And the author mentions a solution which involves "the whole of the voters" (is unaffected by the gerrymander borders themselves):

"There is a better way: make reforms through the political process. This is hard, but it is happening: “In 2018,” reports The Washington Post, “five states had independent redistricting commissions on the ballot, and it passed in all five states.” Independent redistricting commissions, which exist in eight states, aren’t perfect, but they are more disinterested than elected politicians and more accountable than the courts. And because they are empowered by voters, legislatures, or both, they are vested with the legitimacy needed to make controversial political judgments, something courts are specifically not supposed to do."
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

Despair is a sin.

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Why Democracy?
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2019, 17:14:24 »
A notion as to why democracy, as understood by Brits, is not appreciated across the Channel.

Quote
Silence has befallen French pronouncements on Brexit. Le Monde’s vitriolic editorial (12 June 2019) on Boris Johnson apart, the scene is remarkably calm. But this isn’t good news. In fact, such silence is often a sign of French anxiety and a presage to trouble, particularly when Britain is concerned.

As rationalists, the French are frequently frustrated by the ‘wait and see’ of the empirical British. ‘What is not clear is not French’, said the 18th century French philosopher Antoine de Rivarol. At the height of the 1914 July Crisis, when France desperately sought a British government commitment to side with Paris in the event of war with Germany, the phlegmatic Sir Edward Grey politely reminded the French ambassador that cabinet divisions meant that Parliament would decide in good time on the facts. Eventually, long-term frustration got the better of diplomatic poise and the French ambassador enquired acidly of the editor of the Times whether the word ‘honour’ should be struck from the English dictionary.

https://blogs.spectator.co.uk/2019/07/why-france-is-frustrated-and-baffled-by-brexit/

Again I am reminded of this dichotomy as voiced by Pierre Trudeau.

Quote
Trudeau on Adam Smith per Max and Monique Nemni (William Johnson) - Young Trudeau.

"Smith initiates us in how to analyze the problems of society, he shows us how to grasp the interdependence of phenomena, he fashions a framework for sorting out the complexity of institutions and grasping the central issue ..... True, this is English-style thinking and perhaps not the compressed appearance of French thinking, where the principles are hard diamonds.  But I have learnt that there is not only the French way of being condensed.....(For Smith) The system came after the study of the facts, and did not drive it. Moreover, Smith himself never claims to have attained the Absolute,...."

The Nemnis' comment:

"Implicitly, and perhaps without fully realizing it, Trudeau was contrasting Smith's empiricism, which took as its starting point concrete facts to end with a theoretical system, with the scholastic method of the Jesuits (who had trained Trudeau - Edit), which took as its starting point a pre-established system postulated as True and Good because created by God, and with the facts made to fit accordingly. At the age of twenty-five, he was delighted to discover the scientific method."

This is at the heart of the inability of the EU and the Brits to understand each other.  The EU starts from the world as they would like it. The Brits start from the world as it is.

The EU is having similar problems with Switzerland just now.  Another democracy.

Quote
In a meeting of top negotiators on June 12, Brussels offered Switzerland clarifications on key issues raised by Bern on future relations.

But Swiss Foreign Minister Ignazio Cassis said his nation needs more time to strike a deal with Brussels and said they would not be rushing into signing a new deal.

He said this is “because we have a different political structure and we cannot simply decide in government and that’s it”.

https://www.express.co.uk/finance/city/1147896/eu-switzerland-stock-row-swiss-market-shares-european-union-die-welt

Apparently the Swiss version of "no-deal" has resulted in a slight up tick in Swiss stocks, to the chagrin of the EU.
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