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» The Ornery American Forum » General Comments » Yes, people ARE idiots.

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Author Topic: Yes, people ARE idiots.
Everard
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Recent polls suggest that the Clean Elections law in MA is supported by about 2/3 of voters in the state, and this support is with knowledge of what the law means in regards to funding.

On the ballot yesterday was a question "Do you support tax payer money being used to support elections?"

MA voters returned with "No."

Gotta love people who don't know what they're reading.


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msquared
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Ev,

Not all people are idiots, just those in MA.

I mean look who they vote for for Senator.

msquared


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Everard
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Nah, I think the idiocy holds.

People don't PAY ATTENTION! At all. Its frustrating. They must have not understood one or the other of the questions.


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TomDavidson
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It's the wording. If you say "should federal money be used to keep elections honest," people will say yes. If you say "should taxes be increased to pay for elections," people will say no.
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Pete at Home
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I agree with Tom. Wording misleads.
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msquared
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Now Tom there I agree with you. I also think you make a valid point. I think any proposal that requires the government to do something should be worded so that people know that their tax dollars are being used. Too many people think, "Well it is federal money doing it" with out realizing that all government money is OUR money.

msquared


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LetterRip
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There is a major difference between raising taxes, and using federal money. One is a change in the tax rate, the other is a reallocation of taxes paid. Thus I would vote against the first, and for the second.

As to different results in the polls versus actual results - this could be attributed more to how opinions are distributed, with non-voters being much more likely than voters to dislike how elections are currently funded.

LetterRip


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Brian
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Pete is back! YAY!!

What is the hypertext for a smiley-face wearing a party hat and blowing out one of those rolled-up noise makers?


Okay, I just read Pete's post on the elections, so obviously my 'welcome back' is a bit late. Just pretend that this post is actually in that thread.

[This message has been edited by Brian (edited November 07, 2002).]


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Dan Allen
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Ev, was there any campaign backlashes from how the Clean Elections money was used in MA like there was in AZ?


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Everard
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There never WAS money. There was a HUGE battle between the SJC and the legislature about funding the initiative, with the SJC saying that a ballot passed initiative must be funded by the legislature, according to the state constitution, and the legislature refusing. This rewording of the question was put on the ballot by the legislature so that they could have an excuse not to fund clean elections... which they now will continue not to do, even though the law is still on the books and still supported by a huge majority of both the people of the state, and voters of the state. Incidentally, 70% or so of MA voters turned out on tuesday, and clean elections typically gets 67% or better support in polls, and was passed by a huge majority when it was on the ballot. So, there could have been an odd distribution, but I'm betting against it.
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Dan Allen
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So "Clean Elections" is not actually working in MA yet? I had misunderstood then.

This was the first election in AZ where money actually went to the candidates. Part of the promise was that the candidates had to agree to no negative campaigning to receive any money.

This campaign was so negative, that there is actually talk of recinding the law.


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LetterRip
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What I'd like instead is to give a few 15 minute or half hour tv spots to each candidate plus numerous radio spots. If you are not doing 30 seconds, then it is a lot harder for mom and apple pie to be your only positives. If any campaign spot could be deemed as unfairly negative (perhaps by some sort of multi-party panel), then the opposition gets a spot of equal length to present the action in a different light. So you lose much of the benefits of mud slinging since you give your opponent more cumulative time than you recieve.

LetterRip


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Everard
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I sorta like that. I have to think about it a bit, though.
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TheSilentAssassin
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actually, that only works if the panel that controls the decision is impartial. If one party or the other controls that panel, then it will be mudslinging on one side, unpenalized, and the other side will have their hands tied. Creating a truly impartial committee would be nigh impossible.
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dyany
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Perhaps -- but if you get a committee that simply hates all politicians, it would be fair -- and ridiculously easy to put together.

Dy

P.S. Idaho just voted against term limits, because it was worded 'do you agree with the repealing of term limits?' only in a far more confusing way. Now, I'm actually glad they repealed it because term limits are (IMHO) a stupid way of saying 'we're too stupid to vote out bad representatives', but most of the state wanted 'em, so I just have to sit back and chuckle.


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Dan Allen
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quote:
actually, that only works if the panel that controls the decision is impartial. If one party or the other controls that panel, then it will be mudslinging on one side, unpenalized, and the other side will have their hands tied. Creating a truly impartial committee would be nigh impossible.

This is the clearest failure of the Arizona Clean Elections Commission during this last election. Candidates who didn't even accept clean elections funds were publicly investigated for violations - that didn't happen, while other candidates used clean election monies to produce blatant attacks on their opponents - while the commission stood asside and did nothing.

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