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Party-line voting criticism
Posted: 23 May 2018 02:44 PM   [ Ignore ]
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In the spirit of good constructive criticism of ideas, I’ve been stewing on this, as a simplified, general example:

Consider a person who votes for political Party A in an election.
Political Party A does something the person likes.
The next election, the person votes for political Party A again.
Political Party A does something the person dislikes severely.
The next election, the person votes for political Party A again anyway; they’re a staunch party-line supporter of Party A.

At this point, what incentive does political Party A have to change their behavior in any way? This person votes for them no matter how good or bad Party A’s behavior is.
Furthermore, what about political Party B? Nothing they do seems to be able to change this person’s vote, so they have no incentive to do anything this person wants either.
Furthermore, there are some options to add or subtract this person’s vote, but the options are pretty nefarious. Party B can try to convince the person that Party A is so terrible that they don’t vote out of apathy. But, if this person votes consistently, this will not work. Party B can also forcibly remove this person’s vote legally - this will work as long as Party A does not successfully prevent it. Think of citizenship hurdles for immigrants or losing voting rights due to felonies.

Given that party-line voting seems to leave all political parties with no incentive to do anything the voter wants, and that the only ways to alter a party-line vote are pretty nefarious, it seems to me that party-line voting is a pretty terrible idea. Does this conclusion seem reasonable?

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Posted: 24 May 2018 06:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I disagree.  I voted for Ronald Reagan in his first term, because he was saying things that I tended to agree with.  By his second term, I was a staunch Democrat, and I’ve voted for Democrats ever since precisely because the platforms that they present are much closer to what I would like to see done than the Republicans are.  Yes, from time to time an individual Democrat will do things that I disagree with.  And every now and then a Republican does something statesmanlike.  But overall, the policies of Democrats are more in tune with what I believe in, which is why I keep voting for them.  If they weren’t, I’d pick a third party candidate.

Just how does a party “forcibly remove a person’s vote legally” anyway?

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Posted: 24 May 2018 07:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Advocatus - 24 May 2018 06:57 AM

Just how does a party “forcibly remove a person’s vote legally” anyway?

By changing the grounds by which the right to vote can be legally removed. Several states remove voting rights for felons; by changing what kinds of things are considered felonies, this can become a tool to disenfranchise pools of voters who are more prone to target behaviors, like smoking weed.

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Posted: 24 May 2018 08:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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§

TromboneAndrew - 24 May 2018 07:25 AM
Advocatus - 24 May 2018 06:57 AM

Just how does a party “forcibly remove a person’s vote legally” anyway?

By changing the grounds by which the right to vote can be legally removed. Several states remove voting rights for felons; by changing what kinds of things are considered felonies, this can become a tool to disenfranchise pools of voters who are more prone to target behaviors, like smoking weed.

Look up Ari Berman, he’s written a number of articles detailing precisely how the GOP not only can, but IS, tactically engaged in many efforts to keep as many undesirable people from voting as they can. 

Given GOP’s ruthlessness and obsessive self-righteous totalitarian tendencies and Democratic Party’s’ timidity - this coming election could turn into the greatest disaster our democratic system has ever seen.

Lordie knows Republican’s have made it clear they are not interested in anything but their own agenda and anyone or thing that opposes it is an enemy to be ignored or shut out, or if possible utterly destroyed. ...

How the GOP Rigs Elections
By Ari Berman,  January 24, 2018
https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/gop-rigs-elections-gerrymandering-voter-id-laws-dark-money-w515664

With a combination of gerrymandering, voter-ID laws and dark money,

Republicans have tipped the political scales in their favor.

Will it be enough to keep Democrats from claiming victory in 2018?

“... The gerrymandering in Wisconsin, which experts call among the most extreme in U.S. history,
is but one part of Republicans’ stealth plan to stay in office.

Since Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican Legislature took power,
they’ve also introduced some of the country’s harshest voting restrictions,
passing laws that make it harder for Democratic-leaning constituencies to register to vote and cast ballots.

At the same time, the state has become the “Wild West of dark money,” according to Lisa Graves,
a senior fellow at the Madison-based Center for Media and Democracy,
with Republican politicians like Walker raising unprecedented sums from billionaire donors to finance their campaigns.

“All three of these things have to be seen as part of a whole,” says Eric Holder, Barack Obama’s attorney general,
who founded the National Democratic Redistricting Committee in 2016 to challenge Republican gerrymandering efforts.

“Unregulated dark money combined with these voter-ID laws combined with gerrymandering is inconsistent with how our nation’s system is supposed to be set up. American citizens ought to be concerned about the state of our democracy. We could end up with a system where a well-financed minority that has views inconsistent with the vast majority of the American people runs this country.”

The GOP’s Attack on Voting Rights Was the Most Under-Covered Story of 2016
This was the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.
By Ari Berman,  NOVEMBER 9, 2016
https://www.thenation.com/article/the-gops-attack-on-voting-rights-was-the-most-under-covered-story-of-2016/

There were 25 debates during the presidential primaries and general election and not a single question about the attack on voting rights, even though this was the first presidential election in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. Fourteen states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in 2016—including crucial swing states like Wisconsin and Virginia—yet we heard nary a peep about it on Election Day except from outlets like The Nation. This was the biggest under-covered scandal of the 2016 campaign.

Given that destroying our democratic system of government for We The People has become the GOP’s single minded goal, Party Line voting seems to be the only choice Americans are left with.  Sad, but so it goes.  With much worse on the horizon.

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Posted: 24 May 2018 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 24 May 2018 08:13 AM

Given that destroying our democratic system of government for We The People has become the GOP’s single minded goal, Party Line voting seems to be the only choice Americans are left with.  Sad, but so it goes.  With much worse on the horizon.

Yes, well, my argument above is that severe party loyalty leads to this problem. Is this a catch-22?

Edit:

And - oh yeah, totally forgot about Gerrymandering to forcibly remove votes. If people voted less partisan, Gerrymandering would be less effective.

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Posted: 24 May 2018 08:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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another case in point

Democrats will be shut out of a White House-brokered meeting during which Justice Department officials will tell two House GOP chairmen about an intelligence source who provided information about President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

https://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/democrats-wont-get-data-trump-campaign-intel-source

Democrats will be shut out of a White House-brokered meeting during which Justice Department officials will tell two House GOP chairmen about an intelligence source who provided information about President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign.

“The individuals that are expected to attend are Chairman Nunes, Chairman Gowdy, FBI Director Wray, [Director of National Intelligence Dan] Coats, and DOJ official Ed O’Callaghan,” she said, referring to House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes., R-Calif., and House Government and Oversight Reform Chairman Trey Gowdy, R-S.C.

“To my knowledge, the Democrats have not requested that information,” she said. “So I would refer you back to them on why they would consider themselves randomly invited to see something they’ve never asked to.”

“Randomly invited, fellow Security Committee members, buggers belief, yet, yet
(https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/epa-meeting-journalists-banned-contaminated-water-scott-pruitt-a8364111.html).
They keep stomping us into their wine.

Will it ever end?

[ Edited: 24 May 2018 08:35 AM by Citizenschallenge-v.3 ]
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Posted: 24 May 2018 08:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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By the way, my argument suggests that the Democrats have the same incentives to disenfranchise Republican voters, too. It’s a Republican-critical issue right now, but I think that’s just because they happen to have the upper hand right now. I think it’s deeper than that.

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Posted: 24 May 2018 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 24 May 2018 08:24 AM

By the way, my argument suggests that the Democrats have the same incentives to disenfranchise Republican voters, too. It’s a Republican-critical issue right now, but I think that’s just because they happen to have the upper hand right now. I think it’s deeper than that.

It’s true enough that Democratic Party shares guilt in the gerrymandering game.
Just like Democrats could be real jerks when in power and made many mistakes along the way,
Clinton was Reagan lite with a twist, who was too into himself to grasp the seriousness of his position and the time.
While Obama surely squandered many opportunities, and sowed his own seeds of destruction.

Still the trump thing, the embrace of lies and fraud, the viscous absolutism, the base hatefulness towards the “other”
it’s new - neither party had that before.  Now one party has fully embraced that with a commitment to demolish their “enemies.”

It’s the evangelical absolutist agenda, that rejects all opposing lines of thoughts and peoples
after all at it’s root it’s a white supremist thinking
manipulated by “Libertarian” oligarchs (yes, Koch, Murdochs, Mercers and such movers’n doers) in their drive for dominion.
That what terrifies me and what I’m trying to refer to.

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Posted: 24 May 2018 09:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I agree that,

TromboneAndrew - 24 May 2018 08:24 AM

... it’s deeper than that.

Have you thought about what that deeper is?

I lean towards certain fundamentals,
rejection of “enlightened self interest” in favor of immediate gratification and obsessive self-interest,
the evolution of profits over people thinking,
the ease with which we ignore the impacts of our actions upon others,
our obliviousness towards our physical Earth and the life sustaining processes that make our lives possible,
the obsessive need for stuff that we discard with thoughtless easy,
people filling their heads with a phantasy world of facades and not wanting to think about serious issues.

What would your list look like?

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Posted: 24 May 2018 09:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 24 May 2018 09:02 AM

Have you thought about what that deeper is?

Yes. See my argument in the OP.

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Posted: 24 May 2018 02:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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TromboneAndrew - 24 May 2018 09:44 AM
Citizenschallenge-v.3 - 24 May 2018 09:02 AM

Have you thought about what that deeper is?

Yes. See my argument in the OP.

I’ve read it a number of times, including a couple more just now.
I think I understand what you’re saying and it does make sense, but I don’t know what to do with the information.
It seems more a description than explanation to me.
Sorry.

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Posted: 24 May 2018 02:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I think of it more like a very informal version of a game theory: given a particular set of conditions, what is the winning strategy for politicians and voters? I definitely have a logic-based bent in thinking, so I hope this at least is an interesting take aside from various societal issues that people usually point out in political discussions.

In a way, though, this is also for me just a vent at how much people complain about politics, but also do not seem to be able to take up voting strategies that get voters what they really want. Or, maybe a lot of what we see really *IS* what people want and it’s just ugly.

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Posted: 25 May 2018 03:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I disagree because frankly most of us know nothing about the candidates of the two major parties so we vote for the ones we know we agree with most often.
Case in point, these questions we asked in a political science class I attended in college.

Who were both candidates in the last elections where you lived?
1.  Who ran for POTUS in the last election?  Every class member raised their hand.
2.  Who ran for governor in the last election?  Less than 70% knew.
3.  Who ran for th US Senate? Now down to less than 35%.
4.  Who ran for the House of Reps? Now down to less than 12%
5.  Who ran for the judgeships on your ballot?  You guessed it, not one hand was raised.


The professor made his point, we just don’t know and he was advocating single party voting it was simply how in the hell can you say you voted for the person when you don’t even know who in the hell they were.
# !

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Posted: 25 May 2018 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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deros - 25 May 2018 03:57 AM

I disagree because frankly most of us know nothing about the candidates of the two major parties so we vote for the ones we know we agree with most often.
Case in point, these questions we asked in a political science class I attended in college.

Who were both candidates in the last elections where you lived?
1.  Who ran for POTUS in the last election?  Every class member raised their hand.
2.  Who ran for governor in the last election?  Less than 70% knew.
3.  Who ran for th US Senate? Now down to less than 35%.
4.  Who ran for the House of Reps? Now down to less than 12%
5.  Who ran for the judgeships on your ballot?  You guessed it, not one hand was raised.


The professor made his point, we just don’t know and he was advocating single party voting it was simply how in the hell can you say you voted for the person when you don’t even know who in the hell they were.
# !

I disagree with your disagreement. Judgeships often run unopposed, or are not political. Reps are often well known and accessible, so if you don’t follow them, someone close to you probably does. It gets easier to get news about candidates above that level. I think professors like this put way too much emphasis on knowing details about candidates. Every paper carries something about an outline of a platform before each election, they are hard to miss. A few snippets of news about how someone did vote or will vote is really enough to make your decision. Promises and long detailed plans are often broken or changed once someone is office, regardless of party. I can do all of that without memorizing the name of the person that I wrote off 3 years ago.

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Posted: 25 May 2018 06:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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deros - 25 May 2018 03:57 AM

I disagree because frankly most of us know nothing about the candidates of the two major parties so we vote for the ones we know we agree with most often.
Case in point, these questions we asked in a political science class I attended in college.

Who were both candidates in the last elections where you lived?
1.  Who ran for POTUS in the last election?  Every class member raised their hand.
2.  Who ran for governor in the last election?  Less than 70% knew.
3.  Who ran for th US Senate? Now down to less than 35%.
4.  Who ran for the House of Reps? Now down to less than 12%
5.  Who ran for the judgeships on your ballot?  You guessed it, not one hand was raised.


The professor made his point, we just don’t know and he was advocating single party voting it was simply how in the hell can you say you voted for the person when you don’t even know who in the hell they were.
# !

I’m confused. None of the logical steps I went through are criticized; just a take on a different reason why party-line voting might be OK. This sounds less like a disagreement and more like a different angle.

And BTW, along these lines, the “ask the audience” tool in “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” seems to work OK (most of the time) despite very often much of the audience being ignorant.

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Posted: 29 May 2018 06:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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Basically it sounds as if you’re saying there are problems with the two-party system.  I don’t think anybody would disagree with you.  It leads to a spirit of competition between the parties that does us no good.  We all know of times when a President has proposed a really ground-breaking idea, one that will be of huge benefit to the American people, and the opposing party fights it tooth and nail simply because they don’t want the “other side” to get credit for it.

I’m just saying what can we voters do about it?  Am I supposed to rebel against the system by NOT voting for the candidate I think is the better choice?  Maybe I should vote for Republicans instead, like, “that’ll fix them!  That’ll teach them they can’t pull the wool over my eyes!”

The only alternative seems to be to try to find a third party candidate.  Do you think that would make any difference?

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