U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

The place for chatting and discussing subjects unrelated to Wesnoth.

Moderator: Forum Moderators

User avatar
Telchin
Posts: 334
Joined: December 20th, 2010, 10:01 am
Location: Czech Republic

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by Telchin »

@Speedbrain
Nope, you are right. It is intentionally hard to change. The method of change is an amendment, which needs 75% of the states to ratify it to go into effect, after two-thirds of congress have approved it.
It has to be something very popular or important to be successful.
Thanks for the info. Czech constitution is hard to change when compared to a normal law, but much easier than the american (it needs only 3/5 of our parliament and we're an unitary country, so there are no "states" to ratify).
@UnwiseOwl
Here in Australia, we don't vote for a head of state. We have the Queen, but all the real power is vested in the Prime Minister, who is the leader of the party that gets the most seats in the lower house. That means that your vote for your local electorate directly translates to a vote for that party to govern.
Yes, I believe that the USA is in the minority in that they don't have separate head of the state and head of the goverment. This is why I'm not sure that direct presidential elections wiil help us, as it's the Prime Minister who does the everyday governance. That said, unlike Australia (or the UK) the party that wins the lections doesn't have to be in the goverment. Our goverment needs vote of confidence from our lower house (chamber of deputies), but said chamber usually contains about five parties, so a coalition of several parties is required to reach majority. Thus a leader of a party that ended on the 2nd place can become a prime minister if he is better in gaining the support of the smaller parties (this is not a hypothetical scenario, this is the foundation our current goverment). And there is even the possibility of a prime minister that isn't member of any party (this happened in the previous term as a result of a stalemate in the chamber). The drawback of this system is that the stability of our goverments is... well, we had 9 different prime ministers in the last 20 years. Do the math.
P.S. I'm sorry if it looks like I turned this thread about american elections in a lecture on the Czech constitution, but I study law, so I was curious about opinions of people using different law systems.
Insinuator
Posts: 706
Joined: January 6th, 2004, 10:42 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by Insinuator »

Telchin wrote:Yes, I believe that the USA is in the minority in that they don't have separate head of the state and head of the goverment.
You sure about that? Or are you just thinking about Europe? According to this list: https://www.cia.gov/library/publication ... /2128.html, most countries in South America and Africa are Republics, modeled on principles more similar to the American constitution than Europe's parliamentary inspired separation of head of state and head of government. Of course, each of those countries would have to be examined individually, but I think it is safe to say there is a least a more even distribution than you assert.

EDIT: This chart: http://chartsbin.com/view/6kx gives a better pictorial depiction showing the distribution of world governments. As you can see, ceremonial monarchies are concentrated in Europe and it's closest former colonies.
Blarumyrran
Art Contributor
Posts: 1700
Joined: December 7th, 2006, 8:08 pm

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by Blarumyrran »

Insinuator wrote:According to this list: https://www.cia.gov/library/publication ... /2128.html, most countries in South America and Africa are Republics
Huh. I've seen people (mostly americans) use "Republic" and "Democracy" as shorthand for "presidential" & "parliamentary" before, but I always thought that's slang originating from Civilizations 1 (where they come with different rules of gameplay).
Insinuator
Posts: 706
Joined: January 6th, 2004, 10:42 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by Insinuator »

Democracy is a bit of a misnomer. Mostly when people refer to democracy, they're referring to the principle, not the actuality perfectly represented by a government. Republics (of a variety of sorts), are the usual manifestation of a democratic process on any scale large enough to call itself a country.
User avatar
tr0ll
Posts: 529
Joined: June 11th, 2006, 8:13 pm
Location: canada

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by tr0ll »

None of those classifications say anything about how much control normal (i.e. low income) people have over their own lives. Voting and all its trappings is just one tiny feature of a democracy. I hope you U.S. voters will take some interest in who sets the agenda for public debate and why the range of policy options is so narrow. For example what is most of your tax money really being spent on?
Blarumyrran
Art Contributor
Posts: 1700
Joined: December 7th, 2006, 8:08 pm

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by Blarumyrran »

Insinuator wrote:Republics (of a variety of sorts), are the usual manifestation of a democratic process on any scale large enough to call itself a country.
absolutely, that's why I assumed that people like you who contrast "republics" with parliamentary democracies do it only because of slang derived from Civilizations 1.
Insinuator
Posts: 706
Joined: January 6th, 2004, 10:42 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by Insinuator »

I'm afraid I don't quite follow you. Why do you refer to Civ 1? It's just a game.
User avatar
doofus-01
Art Director
Posts: 3948
Joined: January 6th, 2008, 9:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by doofus-01 »

tr0ll wrote:. For example what is most of your tax money really being spent on?
Foreign aid and food-stamps! To heck with that - Job Providers need RELIEF!
BfW 1.12 supported, but active development only for BfW 1.13/1.14: Bad Moon Rising | Trinity | Archaic Era |
| Abandoned: Tales of the Setting Sun
GitHub link for these projects
User avatar
Telchin
Posts: 334
Joined: December 20th, 2010, 10:01 am
Location: Czech Republic

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by Telchin »

@Insianuator
You sure about that? Or are you just thinking about Europe? According to this list: https://www.cia.gov/library/publication ... /2128.html, most countries in South America and Africa are Republics, modeled on principles more similar to the American constitution than Europe's parliamentary inspired separation of head of state and head of government. Of course, each of those countries would have to be examined individually, but I think it is safe to say there is a least a more even distribution than you assert.
Well, I guess I was speaking more about Europe, because that is where I live. :hmm: That said the first page you liked uses really weird system of using republic and parliamentary democracy as different systems, which distorts the table. For example the USA, France and Germany are all listed as republics (which is technically true, see below), but the first has a presidential system (the president is both head of state and government), the second is semi-presidential (separate president and prime minister, the president more important) and the last one is parliamentary (separate president and prime minister, prime minister more important). The second page you link seems more precise.
EDIT: This chart: http://chartsbin.com/view/6kx gives a better pictorial depiction showing the distribution of world governments. As you can see, ceremonial monarchies are concentrated in Europe and it's closest former colonies.

I wasn't referring to parliamentary monarchies, but to separate head of state and head of government in general (e.g. as its name suggests Czech republic isn't a monarchy, but we have separate president and prime minister, with the latter being the head of government). The thing with Europe and its close colonies might be still true (the South American countries seem to be preferring the presidential system found in the USA, if the linked map is to be believed). I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear in my previous post.
Democracy is a bit of a misnomer. Mostly when people refer to democracy, they're referring to the principle, not the actuality perfectly represented by a government. Republics (of a variety of sorts), are the usual manifestation of a democratic process on any scale large enough to call itself a country.
Here in the Czech Republic we (or at least the schools where I've studied) tend to use "republic" and "democracy" to describe different qualities of a state. For lack of better words, "republic" is a form of "who governs" (as contrasted to monarchy and theocracy), while "democracy" is a type of "how does the government governs" (as contrasted to authoritarian and totalitarian regimes). For example the Czech Republic (as well as Germany, the USA, etc) is a democratic republic, the pre-Velvet Revolution Czechoslovakia was a republic (it had a president), but not democratic (it was either authoritarian or totalitarian, depending on the decade) and the UK is a democracy (it has free elections), but not a republic (it's a monarchy). Apparently in other countries these terms are used differently.
Insinuator
Posts: 706
Joined: January 6th, 2004, 10:42 pm
Location: Portland, OR

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by Insinuator »

Telchin wrote: I wasn't referring to parliamentary monarchies, but to separate head of state and head of government in general (e.g. as its name suggests Czech republic isn't a monarchy, but we have separate president and prime minister, with the latter being the head of government). The thing with Europe and its close colonies might be still true (the South American countries seem to be preferring the presidential system found in the USA, if the linked map is to be believed). I'm sorry if I didn't make myself clear in my previous post.
This is really just a question of semantics. I too was referring to separation of head of state & government in general. To be honest, it doesn't matter whether the head of state is inherited, elected, or chosen, if the power they wield is the same. Whether it's monarchical or presidential, the separation is the key common denominator here.
gooby
Posts: 154
Joined: August 8th, 2012, 6:47 am

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by gooby »

doofus-01 wrote:
tr0ll wrote:. For example what is most of your tax money really being spent on?
Foreign aid and food-stamps! To heck with that - Job Providers need RELIEF!
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/ ... story.html
In poll after poll, Americans overwhelmingly say they believe that foreign aid makes up a larger portion of the federal budget than defense spending, Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, or spending on roads and other infrastructure. In a November World Public Opinion poll, the average American believed that a whopping 25 percent of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. The average respondent also thought that the appropriate level of foreign aid would be about 10 percent of the budget — 10 times the current level.

Compared with our military and entitlement budgets, this is loose change. Since the 1970s, aid spending has hovered around 1 percent of the federal budget. International assistance programs were close to 5 percent of the budget under Lyndon B. Johnson during the war in Vietnam, but have dropped since.
As far as relief for job providers is concerned ... well I can't speak for small businesses but corporate profits are at a high and the US Gini coefficient (measure of lopsidedness of wealth distribution) is also as high as it's been in decades, before or after taxes. If tax cuts to the tippy-top are supposed to increase employment, it's not showing.
User avatar
doofus-01
Art Director
Posts: 3948
Joined: January 6th, 2008, 9:27 pm
Location: USA

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by doofus-01 »

gooby wrote:As far as relief for job providers is concerned ... well I can't speak for small businesses but corporate profits are at a high and the US Gini coefficient (measure of lopsidedness of wealth distribution) is also as high as it's been in decades, before or after taxes. If tax cuts to the tippy-top are supposed to increase employment, it's not showing.
You just don't get it do you? It's not working because we haven't truly committed. If we stuff enough champagne into the bladders of the Job Providers, it will have to trickle down to the rest of us - we'll be taking golden showers!

Johnny B. is in the House, he'll explain it better in the coming weeks.
BfW 1.12 supported, but active development only for BfW 1.13/1.14: Bad Moon Rising | Trinity | Archaic Era |
| Abandoned: Tales of the Setting Sun
GitHub link for these projects
gooby
Posts: 154
Joined: August 8th, 2012, 6:47 am

Re: U.S. General Elections - Tuesday, November 6

Post by gooby »

doofus-01 wrote:
gooby wrote:As far as relief for job providers is concerned ... well I can't speak for small businesses but corporate profits are at a high and the US Gini coefficient (measure of lopsidedness of wealth distribution) is also as high as it's been in decades, before or after taxes. If tax cuts to the tippy-top are supposed to increase employment, it's not showing.
You just don't get it do you? It's not working because we haven't truly committed. If we stuff enough champagne into the bladders of the Job Providers, it will have to trickle down to the rest of us - we'll be taking golden showers!
Oh OK.

You were being facetious.
Post Reply