Trump - I don't wanna go!

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Foureyes
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by Foureyes »

Katherine says: "They need to bring their election systems up to date..."
That's as maybe, Katherine, but we in the UK are scarcely in a position to preach. For over one hundred years people have been saying that 'something must be done' about the House of Lords. There has been a little tinkering around the edges and all but 90-odd hereditaries have been kicked out, only to be replaced by a crowd of underachievers and former MPs whose career in the Commons has come to an end. Then there are 26 'lords spiritual' which actually means the top brass of the CofE - words fail me! It used to be that a very few admirals and generals who had achieved some stupendous victory would be given a peerage at the end of the campaign. Now every Service 4-star and top civil servants get a peerage, apparently as of right. In all, some 800. Nobody can claim that they are 'representative'. However, they do have some very nice restaurants and bars.
So, by all means criticize the US presidential electoral system, but let's not do so too loudly, as we have our own long-standing problems, which are no nearer resolution.
David :shock:
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bakunin (Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:16 am)
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by loringa »

Foureyes wrote: Tue Nov 10, 2020 11:36 pm Katherine says: "They need to bring their election systems up to date..."
That's as maybe, Katherine, but we in the UK are scarcely in a position to preach. For over one hundred years people have been saying that 'something must be done' about the House of Lords. There has been a little tinkering around the edges and all but 90-odd hereditaries have been kicked out, only to be replaced by a crowd of underachievers and former MPs whose career in the Commons has come to an end. Then there are 26 'lords spiritual' which actually means the top brass of the CofE - words fail me! It used to be that a very few admirals and generals who had achieved some stupendous victory would be given a peerage at the end of the campaign. Now every Service 4-star and top civil servants get a peerage, apparently as of right. In all, some 800. Nobody can claim that they are 'representative'. However, they do have some very nice restaurants and bars.
So, by all means criticize the US presidential electoral system, but let's not do so too loudly, as we have our own long-standing problems, which are no nearer resolution.
David :shock:
Here is a list of all the members of the House of Lords: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_m ... ng_members which is worth a quick look when you see what most of them have done to achieve their elevation. Whilst I agree that they should certainly get rid of both the remaining hereditaries and the Lords Spiritual, the principle of appointing highly able and distinguished people as Life Peers has its merits and it is interesting to note that a small number of former Bishops sit as Life Peers. To pick up on your specific point about every 4-star and top civil servant getting a peerage that simply isn't correct. There are in fact nine former 4-stars in the Lords (most, not all, surviving Chiefs of the Defence Staff, and Lord West who was a 'Government of all the Talents' pick by Gordon Brown). As for the Civil Servants it seems to be only former Cabinet Secretaries, former Heads of the Security Services, a few former senior ambassadors and former Met Police commissioners. There are a few luvvies such as Andrew Lloyd Webber (though he no longer sits), sportsmen such as Ian Botham and other luminaries of arts and culture. The vast majority, however, are political appointees, either politicians who have lost their seat or retired as MPs, party hacks and party donors.

To be honest, once the hereditaries and Lords Spiritual have gone, it's not the former Public Servants that are the problem but the political appointees. I don't think we want an elected upper house or we just end up with more politicians; what we really need are those who have the background and experience in all fields to add value to the lawmaking process: industrialists, businessmen, former military officers and civil servants, grass-roots activists, charity officials, philanthropists, those who have made their mark in culture and even sport plus a whole raft of others who would bring valuable skills to the process. There is room for statesmen and women to be sure so that the most respected former politicians can have a role, just not party donors or hacks and the mates of former PMs! I agree that we need to get our own house(s) in order before we can be overly critical of the US system but ours is actually no worse than theirs.
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by Ajarn Philip »

The problem with a presidential election (as with a referendum) is that you can't have any form of proportional representation. If 75 million people vote one way, the 75,000,001 who vote the other will carry the day. Though even that doesn't necessarily apply to the electoral college system...
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by LongGone »

The problem with reforming the US electoral process is that it is embedded in the Constitution. To change it would require not just passing both houses but also to be approved by 75% of the States. Since none of the smaller States are likely to approve a change, as it would reduce their influence, there is no realistic chance of it passing.
However, there is a possible way to effect as change without posing a Constitutional crisis. As of now, fifteen States have passed a conditional law that would recognize the National popular vote. This would require such States to have all their electors vote for the winning candidate, regardless of how the State vote went. None of the laws become active until enough States have signed up to guarantee a majority of electors. Since the laws are at the State level there is no Federal or Constitutional conflict and would effectively make the Electoral College moot.
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by marty »

Foureyes wrote: Mon Nov 09, 2020 12:13 pm
Despite all that, he has some significant achievements to his credit. He has not initiated any foreign wars and has tried to wind-down many of those already in existence involving overseas campaigns. He has made some major advances towards peace between Israel and some Arab states. He also went far out of his way to try to coax Kim Jong-un into joining the international community. On a different level, I could not fault his demands that many NATO countries should meet their financial obligations. I worked in NATO several times and know that the USA poured huge amounts of money, manpower, resources and expertise into NATO, which many countries use to reduce their own commitments - and often accompanied by oral condemnation of the USA! I am NOT (repeat NOT) a supporter of Trump, but I can see why many 'ordinary, decent' Americans might vote for him.

David :shock:
I think the well-known phrase about a broken clock being right twice a day applies to anything Trump appears to have 'achieved'. It's quite clear he only ever acts in his own self-interest so if other people occasionally benefit from something he does that is simply a by-product and not his initial intention. The man is a colossal ringpiece and the sooner he disappears the better.
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Ajarn Philip (Wed Nov 11, 2020 3:16 pm) • bakunin (Fri Nov 13, 2020 2:15 am)
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by rockfreak »

For many years the first-past-the-post system worked better in both Britain and the US because there was a kind of gentleman's agreement that the parties should tread a bit carefully. After all, the majorities based on a headcount, were often very slim. Thus, in say Eisenhower's day, politicians were more prepared to "cross the floor" to vote with the opposition on issues that they felt were in the national interest. Likewise, when the Tories came back to power in 1951, they didn't radically meddle with the postwar building blocks put in place by the Attlee government.
This state of affairs obtained until the advent of Reagan in America and Thatcher in Britain. This is the point at which all remaining traces of egalitarian, Keynesian "new dealism" are trashed and the law-of-the-jungle, privatising, free market ideology of the Chicago University professor Milton Friedman takes hold of politics. We're still living with it. Don't let a good crisis go to waste, said Friedman to his acolytes. Move in, slash government funding, slash taxes, de-regulate, sell off to the private sector. Forty years on we can see the results with inequality in our country back to Edwardian levels (ONS figures). Trickledown? No it went in the opposite direction. Yet still the Tory party try and sell this snake oil with able assistance from their friends in the right-wing press. We had the opportunity to change our way of voting to a more representative system but we voted against it. Another example, like Brexit, of this strange country shooting itself in the foot.
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by rockfreak »

There's still been no reply to my query as to why the Incels have thrown in their lot with the Trumpist complainant right rather than the left. OK. here's the original limerick before Ajarn picked me up on it:

The Incels all started to whinge
About their perceived lack of min*e.
They all got quite snotty
'Bout having no totty,
And felt they'd been pushed to the fringe.

I feel quite disappointed that CH has produced no socio-political behavioural scientist who might throw some light on the fascinating subject as to why left-wingers are apparently doing better in the legover stakes. I'm sure that the late Dr Scuffil would have had a theory.
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by loringa »

rockfreak wrote: Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:14 pm There's still been no reply to my query as to why the Incels have thrown in their lot with the Trumpist complainant right rather than the left.
According to the font of all knowledge that is Wikipedia: Discussions in incel forums are often characterized by resentment, misogyny, misanthropy, self-pity and self-loathing, racism, a sense of entitlement to sex, and the endorsement of violence against sexually active people.

Probably answers your question assuming you still think of all Trump supporters in the way you articulated earlier on in this thread? In reality I suspect most Trump supporters would have no more truck with this sort of viewpoint than most Democrats would.
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by Ajarn Philip »

loringa wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:10 am In reality I suspect most Trump supporters would have no more truck with this sort of viewpoint than most Democrats would.
Probably, but how many of them are getting sucked into this call for contributions to fight the 'fraud', which in reality seems to be more about raising money to pay off campaign debts - which may well explain Trump's reluctance to concede.
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by loringa »

Ajarn Philip wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 6:22 pm
loringa wrote: Thu Nov 19, 2020 9:10 am In reality I suspect most Trump supporters would have no more truck with this sort of viewpoint than most Democrats would.
Probably, but how many of them are getting sucked into this call for contributions to fight the 'fraud', which in reality seems to be more about raising money to pay off campaign debts - which may well explain Trump's reluctance to concede.
I can't speculate on the issue of campaign debts - some of these allegations of electoral fraud are going to cost millions of dollars so I would be a little surprised if there is a net gain. Whilst I remain convinced that most Trump voters are ordinary, decent folk, I also accept that they are being fed a particular line which they seem to be swallowing. I guess people tend to believe what they want to believe and if they are told something that chimes with what they wish to hear then they are going to be predisposed to accept it; that's at the root of any information campaign.

Notwithstanding my earlier comments about Trump giving people the illusion of hope at a time of considerable despondency, and I'm talking about 2016 here not 2020, I think it is almost impossible for most Brits to understand what the American people see in Trump. For us being 'rich' is something we tend to (pretend to?) despise whilst secretly envying; for many Americans it is the acme of achievement, however gained (earned or inherited doesn't seem to matter much). We greatly admire the idea of the Welfare State, again whilst secretly despising those who live off it, while to most Americans, even some of those who would benefit from it, it is anathema. The idea of a National Health Service: again, anathema to many Americans, including many of the less well off; we wouldn't be without it (though, once again, we don't much like those we as 'scroungers' getting in front of us in the queue). The nearest we have philosophically to the Trump phenomenon is Brexit. Everybody knows it will hurt us economically whatever your perceptions might be of sovereignty, but the areas where it garnered most support were largely those that benefited most from the UK's membership of the EU.

In short, Trump, like Brexit, is an idea. And when one becomes invested in such an idea, just like Brexit, folk are reluctant to give it up, however much it may hurt them. I suspect this is why the Trump supporters are buying the electoral fraud line; for many it's the last chance saloon!
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Re: Trump - I don't wanna go!

Post by sejintenej »

loringa wrote: Fri Nov 20, 2020 8:15 am

some of these allegations of electoral fraud are going to cost millions of dollars so I would be a little surprised if there is a net gain.
Ah, but he will claim those costs as either
a) debts incurred as a result of his being President and (perhaps or)
b) debts incurred in his duties to ensure free and fair elections

I wouldn't be surprised if the lawyers will be loading their costs and later giving the agreed backhanders
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