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Moore and delayed election  RSS feed

 
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I read in the local paper that some people want to delay the Alabama election because of Moore. And there was a cry of indignation that the election was not delayed after 9/11. Except that it was. New York City had a primary election that day. If you voted in the morning, your vote was voided. The primary was rescheduled to two weeks later and everyone voted on the new date. I think this was the right thing to do. We had an attack in the city; many people couldn't vote. And having everyone vote on the same day with the same information has an advantage. (Not counting absentee/early voting where it is voluntary)

Don't get me wrong. I don't think the Alabama election should be delayed. But facts are facts. Meaning 9/11 isn't a great example. And "someone was wrong on the internet" so had to post.
 
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Well, a major catastrophe like 9/11 is a damn good reason to postpone an election. But in Alabama they don't have any excuse to postpone their election, as far as I can see.
 
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I see no reason why it should be delayed. So the state Republicans can select a more appropriate candidate? They should have thought of that before, when they allowed someone who repeatedly broke laws to seek the nomination.

(Slightly related to the topic of how parties choose their candidates: I'd like to see serious soul-searching in both major parties into how they ended up with such flawed candidates. That doesn't seem to happen, though, at least one doesn't hear about it in public.)
 
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The American electoral system unfortunately works from the extremes towards the middle. The party primaries are generally restricted to members of the party (which has both good and bad points). The voters for those primaries, however, are not representative. They tend to be people who don't have distractions that would keep them from getting out to vote (e. g., retirees) and extremists who want the most rabid and uncompromising example of their particular ideology they can get. The Tea Party is a notable example of that.

So when the general elections come, it's not a choice between 2 reasonable candidates, it's a God-versus-Satan contest between absolutes, which tends to disgust a lot of more reasonable people so they also tend to sit out the general elections. And that's how someone like Moore stands a very real chance of being elected in a Bible Belt state. Because for the people most likely to vote in the election, even a perverted Republican is better than a Democrat.

Back before the parties swapped ideologies, there was a Southern term "Yellow Dog Democrat", meaning that they'd rather vote for a yellow hound dog than a carpetbagging Republican. I suppose what we're seeing now could be called "Pedophile Republicans" by the same token.

I understand that Rush Limbaugh claims that it's all nothing because Moore was a Democrat when he did most of what he was accused of. Limbaugh evidently thinks that Moore saw the error of his ways, repented his sins and became a Republican rather than stay with the party of Weigand. A cynic might observe that any repentance Moore did - if any - was strictly sotto voce and that maybe the Republican party was more suited to his moral character. In other words, that's no better than the Virgin Mary defense.

Moore, like Trump, is just a symptom of a far larger disease. The Republican Party has been slowly tearing itself apart since about the year 2000 or so. Primed by the absolutist mentality brought in when the self-styled "Moral Majority" became politically polarized, abetted by the Tea Party's insistence that compromise - generally considered the soul of effective government - was unacceptable, even if it mean torpedoing their own party's goals (but then again, Republicans have been saying since Reagan's time that government doesn't work and have been doing their best to prove it). The core Republican demographic is literally dying as white people move from a majority to just another minority and white men no longer have a total lock on economic or political power.

In many ways, I think Trump is simply the head on the boil. His party has maintained for years that their ignorance is as good or better than other people's knowledge, that if the facts don't support you, you can simple adopt an alternative set of facts, a là 1984, and that if the facts might prove unpleasant, you should forbid research altogether. They offered a haven for people who are literally deplorable, while pretending (nudge, wink) that they didn't. They elected a president who on the surface may seem aligned with their ideology, but in reality has no ideology but himself. Because the mainstream candidates offered the same old failed ideas, and so did their opposition.

But you can scream at the hurricane all you want - the hurricane will always win.

So how do we fix this? I fear in large part, all we can do is wait and watch it crumble and hope that whatever political landscape succeeds it will be more appropriate to the times.

There are certainly some things that would help. Make election days be official holidays - after all, if we can take days off to honor national birthdays and the birthdays of national figures, we should certainly allow days off to allow the people of this nation to actually participate in the future of the nation. We could modify our electoral system so that a relatively small number of low-population areas don't have excessive influence over the bulk of the nation. We could put the boot on gerrymandering.

And we could change ourselves. Stop living in echo chambers. Accept that just because other people's ideas are "wrong" doesn't mean that they aren't in thrall to the Evil One and that even the wrongest ideas may contain some good. That there is no one-size-fits-all solution, be it Capitalism, Socialism, Libertarianism or Communism. To be more than just puppets who jerk in time to ideological string-pullers. To think for ourselves instead of uncritically spooning up whatever swill someone else sets before us just because it seems to agree with us.

And, of course, to recognize that simple and easy solutions rarely work well. It's a complex world and it takes more than bumper stickers to get though life.
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:. . . The party primaries are generally restricted to members of the party  . . .

Who pays for running the primaries?

I don't think making election days a holiday will have any effect on the turnout. It would give me an excuse to go somewhere a long way away rather than walking the 150 yards to the polling station. Unless there is something very different on your side of the Pond. It takes me a good three minutes to vote.
 
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From my experiences thus far in Ontario, Canada, usually it takes at most 30 minutes (more likely less then 15 minutes) to make your way through the line up to vote.
We all have it pretty simple, if you file income taxes then you are a registered voter. Therefore you don't need to make it a point to re-register each time/year before you can vote.

In the US they have different rules on voting registration. I think that they need to register to vote before they can vote and you have to re-register whenever you move or maybe once before the each election.
 
Tim Holloway
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Making election days holidays is no guarantee that all voters will vote, but it eliminates an excuse. And don't forget that in the USA, we're all paranoid that if we don't show up for work that we'll get laid off. Preserving Freedom is not considered as an Excusable Absence.

Polls generally stay open late enough that many could go after work, but by that point, too many just want to go home. Plus the lines are longer because of all the other people who waited until after work.

Sure, a lot of people given an extra day off would just waste it, but it's not like we get 5 weeks of vacation over here and can't spare any more time off. So why not try and see?



I don't know if it's universal, but at least in Florida, you register and it's permanent. You can file a change of address if you move to a new voting district. Whether you pay taxes or not doesn't factor.

There used to be a dis-incentive to registration in that being a registered voter put you at risk for being called up for jury duty, so people wouldn't register, since jury duty may be legally an Excusable Absence, but the pittance financial compensation and implicit management disapproval piled on top of "who wants to sit in a courthouse all day?" ... That was changed, however to include people with all forms of ID, most notably driver's licenses. So there's no excuse not to register.

In fact, the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 ("Motor Voter") law allows you to register at your local Department of Motor Vehicles. It's widely opposed by Republicans, who seem to think that voting is too precious to be made easy for demographics who might vote Democrat, but since they own the federal government lock, stock, and barrel at the moment, it obviously doesn't hurt them too much.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Campbell Ritchie wrote: Unless there is something very different on your side of the Pond. It takes me a good three minutes to vote.


Right. You vote at a local school or library or community center where I live.

Pete Letkeman wrote:In the US they have different rules on voting registration. I think that they need to register to vote before they can vote


Part of the problem is that "the US" doesn't have ONE set of rules different from Canada. It varies by area. Incidentally, this is why Trump's own kids couldn't vote in the Republican Party for him. In New York, we have a really early deadline for changing parties.

Pete Letkeman wrote: and you have to re-register whenever you move or maybe once before the each election.


Only when you move. Or if you don't vote for X period of time.  Definitely not once per election.
 
Tim Holloway
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Before the USA was formed, the word "state" was virtually synonymous with Nation. There was a certain implication that the USA was a confederation of somewhat independent nations right up until the South put it to the test and the War Between the States settled the matter. But even now a lot of laws are parochial and that's the way people like it. Backtracking on what I said earlier, you actually register to vote locally, but generally don't have to renew, just register to your new district of residence if you move. In Florida, you register through the county government and are assigned a polling place by them.

Since registration generally carries a party affiliation, you also have to notify the electoral authorities or be ineligible to vote in elections specific to your chosen party. The actual rules and time limits do vary, and some primaries are open so that anyone can vote regardless of party. As Jean says, Your Mileage May Vary.

Locally, there are 2 or 3 polling stations I know of within a 2-mile walk from home, but only one that I'm permitted to use. But US elections do sometimes have long lines for popular elections. I would hope that making election days official work holidays would reduce that, because the only other reason I can come up with to explain extended waits would be if the polling places in question were too few, too small, or too encumbered (which is generally considered a sign of someone deliberately interfering with the election process).
 
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Tim Holloway wrote:Moore, like Trump, is just a symptom of a far larger disease..



I complete support Trump!
 
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Imagine the howls of rage undoubtedly coming from Republicans if the party affiliations were the other way around, and Democrats were contemplating postponing the election.
 
Jan de Boer
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Probably, but looking at how the anti Trump anti populist main stream media eagerly jumps on this case, is the other side of the medal. It is remarkable how these media react on any step or sentence of the politician they do not endorse. Even how Trump drinks from a water bottle, was a prime issue for them. Personally I do not care that much about the personal life's of politicians, it is the policies I support.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Jan de Boer wrote:PIt is remarkable how these media react on any step or sentence of the politician they do not endorse. Even how Trump drinks from a water bottle, was a prime issue for them.


It happens both ways. The Democratic mayor of New York City (Bill DeBlasio) was poked at eating pizza with a knife and fork.
 
Campbell Ritchie
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:. . . eating pizza with a knife and fork.

Somebody else would have fussed had he eaten the pizza with his hands, with chopsticks, or even with a steam shovel.
 
Jan de Boer
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Campbell Ritchie wrote:

Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:. . . eating pizza with a knife and fork.

Somebody else would have fussed had he eaten the pizza with his hands, with chopsticks, or even with a steam shovel.



Eating pizza with a chopsticks would have been a real gimmick! Very multicultural though.
 
Jan de Boer
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Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:It happens both ways. The Democratic mayor of New York City (Bill DeBlasio) was poked at eating pizza with a knife and fork.



In media coverage, not with the same intensity. Media dislike Trump and his fellow thinkers and continuously try to libel them. You see it everywhere not only in the USA. Take Germany. Look at how ARD and ZDF cover AfD. Look at the UK and the BBC and how they cover Brexit advocates and UKIP. Every coin will be turned thrice to find something to get at them.
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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Jan de Boer wrote:In media coverage, not with the same intensity.


Agreed. Just saying it isn't only one party.
 
Paul Clapham
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Jan de Boer wrote:Look at the UK and the BBC and how they cover Brexit advocates and UKIP.



That may be true, but much of what shows up in my news feed is from the Express and the Sun which do nothing but rubbishing people who aren't wholly supportive of Brexit. It's hard to claim that the British press are opposed to Brexit.

On the other hand much of what shows up in my news feed from the US is from CNN, which seems to be obsessed by Trump and never misses an opportunity to publish something negative about his recent activities.
 
Jan de Boer
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Paul Clapham wrote:

Jan de Boer wrote:Look at the UK and the BBC and how they cover Brexit advocates and UKIP.


That may be true, but much of what shows up in my news feed is from the Express and the Sun which do nothing but rubbishing people who aren't wholly supportive of Brexit. It's hard to claim that the British press are opposed to Brexit..



Well yes, that is a valid point. I am watching the TV channels I can receive here in the Netherlands. For both Germany and UK, these are the 'state initiated'*) media. That is not all media.


*) I don't know a good word for that in English. State subsidized? Nation sponsored? Public Service?
 
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