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Midterm elections

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by khaavern, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    In case you forgot, next week there are elections for Senate and House here in the US. And it looks like this time the Dems might actually gain control of at least the House :rolling:

    So, anybody care to come up with some predictions? Are the Dems going to win the House, the Senate, or both? Myself, I think they'll win the House, and come close in the Senate, but I hope I am too pessimistic :)
     
  2. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I don't think they'll win either, to be honest. For the sole reason that everyone was making exactly the same predictions they are making now two years ago today, and the Dems still got trounced. I no longer think polls really mean anything. Kerry was ahead by 5-10 points in almost every poll on election day, and look what happened. Polls, schmolls.

    The fact that so many - particularly on the left - are already considering a Dem house to be a foregone conclusion is a big indicator to me that they're already screwed. The two big lessons the Dems should have learned in the last three election cycles - agree on a unified party message, and always play as if you're 10 points behind - have as yet gone unlearned. With the exception of Obama, Biden, and a few others, I've more or less lost all faith in the Democrats. They have the tools for succes but are two dumb to use them properly.

    Call me a Negative Nancy.
     
  3. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    well, one can hope ... :)
     
  4. AMaster Gems: 26/31
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    To be perfectly blunt, it's quite possible that voting doesn't really mean anything with the present state of our voting infrastructure.

    I refer you here (if it's partisan, it does a real good job of hiding it).

    Someone hacking one of the Diebold voting machines a grand total of a minute is hardly encouraging.
     
  5. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    The best I can say is I am cautiously optimistic about the Dems chances. Here in Maryland we already have an almost entirely Democratic representation in the House and Senate (both Senators are Democrats, and all but one of our House members are Democrats), and I do not aniticapte that will change.

    Uncharacteristically, however, Maryland currently has a Republican Governor. I do anticiapte that changing. I think Governor Ehrlich (the incumbent) kissed his chance at re-election goodbye last year, when he struck a "deal" with energy companies. The result of this deal is that the cost of electricity increased by 72% this year. Yes, that's the right figure - there's not a missing decimal point or anything - seventy-freaking-two percent increase.
     
  6. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Consider, if you will, what it will mean for the Dems, and the nation - if they lose the midterm election:

    When James Madison went to the Constitutional Convention in 1787, he knew the risk of forming the "perfect union." It would mean the centralization of the American government. Centralization was something that America had resisted since its official declaration of independence from England in 1776. It had put in place a weak Articles of Confedration, which was designed to avoid the specter of what Jefferson termed the "consolidation" of government.

    But Madison argued time and time again - even in the Federalist Papers - that the danger of consolidation was to be avoided by the "diffusion of interests" that would make up the American electorate and its political system. In other words, America would be so diverse that no political group or party could gain complete control over the system of government for very long, and the balance of power among the insitutions of government would act as a correcting mechanism to keep the system from breaking down. Madison remarks in Federalist Paper #10:

    Thus, the institutions of government were crafted - but not for the benefit of a political party - but for the accountability of each institution. And that system has worked until now. Even during the years of Jimmy Carter, the Democratic controlled Congress gave the executive branch of govenment fits, as Tip O'Neal and the Democratics in the House, hammered on Carter for his failures as the chief executive. Good government mattered to all Americans, regardless of which party was at the levers of power.

    Those days are gone. Now govenment is no longer there for the governed, but for those who govern. If the Democrats lose on Tuesday, the GOP will be emboldened to continue on with the current situation of placing the Constitution at great peril. And despite any inroads which the Dems are sure to make, without total victory, they will still have no political might to change the march towards greater consolidation of power by the institution of the presidency. The Congress was in session for a mere 93 days this year, matching the very lazy workload of its real master, and it was only in session long enough to do its master's bidding.

    If the Dems lose on Tuesday, not only are they finished, for the moment at least, but so is the Constitution.

    [ November 05, 2006, 06:10: Message edited by: Chandos the Red ]
     
  7. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    I have to agree with that. The amount of self-serving and corruption in government (and not just at the federal level) is sickening. Which probably explains the typical low voter turnouts. The Los Angeles mayor and city council are going to get a 5% pay increase, and they are already the highest paid in the nation. They make more than US Congressman, and the mayor of LA's salary is going to be more than the state governor.
     
  8. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    well, regardless of the fact that both parties are corrupt, I say some changes at the top from time to time are beneficial.

    Chandos and DR: don't be so glum :) I do not think the Dems will lose this time.
     
  9. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Chandos: If I read you right, I think you're actually railing against the two party system. With the Democrats not having mush luck in recent elections, you claim that too much power is in the hands of the Republicans. Perhaps in the interest of diversifying the government, the country needs to disband both the Republican and Democratic parties, and replace them with a wide array of parties to choose from representing numerous view points. I'm not even comfortable with 3 (4 in Quebec) major parties in Canada, so I'd guess that you're screwed with only 2...

    But that will never happen. The people with the power under that system will never give it up. I guess that the Democrats will choke again this year...
     
  10. Montresor

    Montresor Mostly Harmless Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder

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    With a "Winner takes all" system like the one in the USA, there will only be a few major parties, and third parties will have trouble establishing themselves. The last third party to successfully replace an older party was the Republicans, who replaced the Whigs back in the 1850's...

    If America wants to do away with the "Demopublican" hegemony, they'll need to change their election system - which is up to the politicians in power, and can you imagine the Democrats or Republicans doing that?

    I hope for America that the Democrats can take at least one of the chambers of Congress (the House is most realistic, since only one third of the Senate is up for election), since this will break the Republican stranglehold on their political system. But Gerrymandering and political manouvering to get incumbrants reelected will make this very hard. I would like even more to see a few third-party candidates elected (preferably Libertarians), but this is not realistic.
     
  11. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Yes. But these are very strange times in American politics. The two party system used to function fairly well. But no more. It functions as only a one party system, something that is leaving many Americans without any real representation.

    The system was not crafted to be a "party" system, but one based on the balance of power between the branches of government. Now, the party leader appears to control all the levers of power. That is a very dangerous situation, because there is no accountability or oversight in the functioning branches of government. Hopefully, that will change in about 2-3 hours. If not, then the system will remain broken....
     
  12. khaavern Gems: 14/31
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    Looks like the Dems are on their way to winning the House, but they'll fall short in the Senate (by one or two seats). Oh, well, you take what you can get :)
     
  13. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Keep the faith, Khaavern; it's still very close in 3 of the 4 Senate seats that are still in play, altough it appears unlikely the Dems will take the 3 or 4 they need. On balance, it has been a good night for the Dems. :)
     
  14. Register Gems: 29/31
    Latest gem: Glittering Beljuril


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    As it looks right now, it's 49-50 to the Democrats, with the last area the democrat is in lead by about 12k votes with 64% of the votes counted.

    YES YES YES OH GOD YES
     
  15. Cúchulainn Gems: 28/31
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    If it makes a difference, then :thumb: from me :)
     
  16. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Does anyone know how voting tends to run on a County basis? i.e. does a county have a tendancy to vote particulary one way or other due to local government, or are they a lot more diverse across precincts?
    I imagine that individual counties tend to favour Democrat or Republican, at least that is the way it seems to work in the UK. In Montana, those counties that aren't showing 100% precinct reporting all seem to be going Republican so I would suggest Montana will stay Republican.

    Virginia is still to close to call, even comparing Counties.


    EDIT
    Random meaningless statistics to predict vote in Virginia and Montana

    (I'm assuming that when 100% or precincts have reported, it means they have counted all of their votes)

    Getting really close in Montana. Just 6% of Yellowstone county and all of Meagher county to go.
    Meagher is traditionally Republican country (75%/25% in 2000 and 2004) but only have about 1500 eligible voters (2000 figures, 1400 people voted in 2004) - say 700 gain to the republicans.
    If the 6% outstanding in Yellowsone goes the same way as current voting, gives a gain of 88 votes to the republicans.
    This gives a Democrat majority of about 600 votes in Montana.

    In Virginia: Really meaningless considering the low numbers, but it wasted some time:

    If the 14% outstanding from Fairfax city go as currently, there is a possible gain of 164 votes to the democrats.
    Similarly in Isle of wight, 8% outstanding means a possible gain of 168 votes to the republicans.
    Similarly on Loudoun, 4% outstanding means a possible gain of 43 votes to the republicans
    Total gain of 47 votes on the current poles means a democrat win by about 8000 votes in Virginia.

    Edit 2:
    Yellowstone results updated,
    Appears votes in precincts not even spaced, 149 extra votes to the republicans, but not enough. Even with 100% of the Meagher vote the rebulicans can't catch up.

    [ November 08, 2006, 15:14: Message edited by: Carcaroth ]
     
  17. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Typically, yes. It is rare for a state to be almost 100% one way or the other, but it is not unusual for counties to have 75% of the electorate belong to one party, and only 25% to the other party. To give an example of my home state of Maryland, I live in Baltimore County, which is largely Democratic, but I work in Harford County, which is largely Republican. The local county government are mirrors of the electorate, with most county officials being Democrat in Batlimore County, and Republican in Harford County.

    But, I think most Democrats can start doing the dance of joy! :banana: At the very worst here, they are taking control of the House, and the Senate is looking very good - they'll have just a one vote majority, but that's enough. I think Bush is going to have to get used to breaking out the veto pen - something he's needed to do just once in the 6 years he's been in office, due to a lapdog Congress that has always done his bidding. Even with control of one Chamber of Congress, the Democrats can stop the radical agenda the Republicans have been pushing. The difference between one Chamber and both Chambers is the Dems will actually get to start setting policy.
     
  18. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Interesting election results. Several democrats I wanted to win didn't and many republicans who I felt were the best candidate lost. Such is life in the land of mudslinging.

    On a related note, the only problem I see with a democratic house is the speaker is third in line to be president. I hope the democrats go for a new leader in the house.
     
  19. Blackthorne TA

    Blackthorne TA Master in his Own Mind Staff Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Gah. Slightly off topic, but every single bond measure on the California ballot passed. Tens of billions (yes, billions with a "b") more in debt. I can only surmise voters have no idea what a bond is; it seems like they think it's free money.

    [I voted No on all of them - dmc]

    [ November 08, 2006, 18:03: Message edited by: dmc ]
     
  20. Carcaroth

    Carcaroth I call on the priests, saints and dancin' girls ★ SPS Account Holder

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    Well my calcs are up the swany. It would appear that a precinct "reporting" doesn't actually mean they have counted all the votes. At least the total votes cast appeared to have changed without the number of precints reporting having done so.

    Blackthorne TA.
    Looking forward for Arnie as Pres?
     
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