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Vindictive
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I'm wondering exactly what it is that people are looking for in a leader, since many people are agreed that Obama hasn't succeeded in delivering the hope and change he promised. What issues do you want to see addressed and what solutions do you think deserve the attention of the media.

My own list looks something like this:

Complete withdrawl from Iraq and Afghanistan
End NAFTA
Abolish "Most favored nation" trade status
Fairtax.org
Reallocate military spending to infrastructure developement
Cut congressional "in house" budget
Pass an ammenment to cover congressional ethics violations under treason law
Re-establish the gold standard for American currency
Eliminate the FED and replace it with a GOVERNMENT body
Major healthcare reform that includes provisions against conflict of interest for insurance companies. No more insuring both the doctor AND the patient.
Increase spending on education and healthcare research
Decrease subsidies to corporate farms and pharmaceutical companies
Eliminate pay for play politics by capping corporate sponsorship of lobbies
Make violating an oath of office a civil offense comparable to breach of contract
Create a national green energy administration to convert the entire power grid from fossil fuels to more ecologically friendly forms of power
Make an immigration status check a mandatory part of EVERY check for outstanding warrants
Arrest employers who hire illegal workers
End marijuana prohibition and use the taxes from it for education innitiatives
Propose an ammendment guaranteeing equal rights for all men and women regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation.

I would support a candidate who demonstrated a grasp of these issues and their importance if I could find one... how about you?

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TomDavidson
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It's a libertarian! Run! [Wink]
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Viking_Longship
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Vindictive, so when you gonna run and what for?
I like your list though I've got some other concerns I would add.

Decentralize the Dept of Ed and look to put as much power in the hands of the local school boards as possible. End no Child Left Behind entirely.

Start looking to hand over many of our bases abroad to the host countries and moving away from defending allies that are perfectly capable of funding and arming their own armies (which would be nearly all of them)

Retire the economic hit men and end our relationship with the IMF and World Bank

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cherrypoptart
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Ron Paul is probably the one big guy who comes close to any of that and even though he conducted himself very well, he didn't have a chance.

I don't agree with Ron Paul on a lot of his issues so I can't pretend like I'd support him even though I do like him a lot.

But the next question after yours is when you find that candidate and support him or her, are you just throwing your vote away since they basically have no chance of getting elected to the Presidency?

Locally, they can do well though, but it depends on a lot of factors.

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Colin JM0397
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You all are slipping.

Vindictive, you are obviously wrong.

Welcome to the asylum.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
Ron Paul is probably the one big guy who comes close to any of that and even though he conducted himself very well, he didn't have a chance.

I don't agree with Ron Paul on a lot of his issues so I can't pretend like I'd support him even though I do like him a lot.

But the next question after yours is when you find that candidate and support him or her, are you just throwing your vote away since they basically have no chance of getting elected to the Presidency?

Locally, they can do well though, but it depends on a lot of factors.

I saw an interview with a libertarian recently who got asked why they always focus on the presidency instead of offices they can win like dog catcher.

I think Rand Paul is going to win although if he loses its going to be because the law enforcement lobby is backing Conway.

Ron Paul isn't going to win in the primaries because of republicans who are primarily interested in maintaining as much military presence abroad as possible will not support him. I think that had he ever gotten the nomination the media would have turned on him the same way they did his son when HE ceased to be Don Quioxte, but he also would have done suprisingly well in the general election.

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Viking_Longship
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Heck I'd love to see an Obama/Ron Paul match up just to see whose side OSC, Ron Lambert and Cherry took.
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cherrypoptart
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I would definitely favor Ron Paul over Obama.

Obama's big government is about twenty times bigger than what I think the size of a good government should be.

Ron Paul's government is about three times smaller than the size of a good governmnet, at least for my taste.

Ron Paul may be a little too small for my comfort level, but Obama is way, way, WAY too big.

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Viking_Longship
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Would you be willing to risk Paul's approach to foriegn policy?

Honestly I don't believe you on this. Not saying I think you're being untruthful, just that I don't believe when push came to shove you'd risk Paul's approach to national security.

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Daruma28
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Ron Paul's "approach" to national security involves national security....

...not foreign imperialism under the guise of "spreading democracy."

What's not to like?

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Viking_Longship
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For me nothing, but Cherry's accused Obama of "surrendering to the terrorists", and Obama's far closer to the Bush/Neocon approach than Paul.
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cherrypoptart
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I didn't say I support Paul's approach to foreign policy, though there is something to be said for the Fortress America approach. I'm not convinced it would work, but it might be worth another shot.

It would be better to err on the side of less government than on more. It's easier to increase the size of government to do the things we find are necessary than it is to shrink it back when it's become Brobdingnagian.

We don't have to surrender to terrorists if we are successful in keeping them from attacking us in the first place.

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Pyrtolin
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I'll use the list as a baseline for my own:
Orderly transfer of power and withdrawl from Iraq and Afghanistan
Reinstate, if not expand the Estate Tax and Gift Taxes
Pressure states to replace sales taxes and regressive income taxes with more progressive systems if not explicitly wealth oriented taxes
Establish a poverty line index minimum income/dividend (and correspondingly eliminate FICA, SS, Medicaid, Welfare, Minimum wage laws. Modify unemployment benefits as well)
Count investment/trust income as earned income.
Set the tax rate on total income up median to 0%, and establish more sharply graded levels above that, with the first one absorbing the citizen's dividend at about 150% of median or perhaps 3-4x poverty.
Reallocate military spending to infrastructure development
Index circulating currency to total production capacity- use the newly printed currency to fund the dividend above.
Replace Medicare with a full single payer system allow private insurance for elective care above and beyond the basic system
Increase spending on education and healthcare research
Cap farms subsidies to make them more valuable to smaller than larger farms.
Reduce pharmaceutical subsidies, institute growing prize pools for high priority cures that will offset R&D costs and a reasonable profit margin in exchange for waiving patent rights.
Eliminate fossil fuel subsidies
Continue public official salaries for a minimum 5+ years after leaving office- require that they cannot work in lobbying or industries that they had official oversight of while they receive that benefit.
Restrict public officials from investing in industries that their duties affect, escrow all prior investments in those industries from the time they start to at least 5 years after leaving their positions.
Create a national green energy administration to convert the entire power grid from fossil fuels to more ecologically friendly forms of power
Eliminate immigration quotas. Allow legal residency automatically for anyone who passes a background and health check and can find employment within a renewable 90 day period.
End recreational drug prohibition and use the taxes from it for education innitiatives
Propose an amendment guaranteeing equal rights for all people regardless of sex, race, creed, color, or sexual orientation.
Eliminate the Hyde amendment and related policies.
Create a program to buy out the underwater portions of current home loans and refinance the balance at current market rates, allow a certain amount of deferment of payment on the government bought portions of the loans for current economic hardship.

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Viking_Longship
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quote:
Originally posted by cherrypoptart:
I didn't say I support Paul's approach to foreign policy, though there is something to be said for the Fortress America approach. I'm not convinced it would work, but it might be worth another shot.

It would be better to err on the side of less government than on more. It's easier to increase the size of government to do the things we find are necessary than it is to shrink it back when it's become Brobdingnagian.

We don't have to surrender to terrorists if we are successful in keeping them from attacking us in the first place.

Okay, well if such a situation ever arises we'll see how it goes. Right now you could shrink every other part of our government besides the military and Homeland Security and still have a huge government.
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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Viking_Longship:
Right now you could shrink every other part of our government besides the military and Homeland Security and still have a huge government.

I think that's a very succinct statement. I think alot of sentiment against "big government" is actually sentiment against "no big government that I find unnecessary". That is not to say that some people are truely against any form of big government, but they are in the minority.

However. The defense and homeland security budget has definately been shrinking, as a percentage of the whole, for the last 15 years, and will probably continue to do so. While defense and homeland security spending are indeed large compared to every other nation, or groups of nations, in the world, it is far from "runaway spending", and is much easier to curb. One can easily cut defense spending, i.e.: no more F-22s, no more Armored Gun System, no more Crusader self propelled howitzers, no more Nimitz class aircraft carriers, no more Ospreys, no more R&D into powered infantry armor, no more bases in Germany, etc. It's even pretty easy to cut "man"power. In contrast, cutting back on social services and entitlements is akin to self mutilation of the gentalia. It's much easier to cut the pay of the legions then it is to stop the bread and circuses. The wonderful thing about America is that we've never had to fear the Legions turning on us, while the people have made it a tradition to turn on the government every 2, 4, or 8 years.

So in the end, one can forgive the fathers from taking the money from defense and homeland security before taking it away from the plebs. Until the Germans come knocking.

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Vindictive
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The problem with turning on the government every 2, 4 or 8 years is that pendulum politics has no foresight.

Right now we need to be implementing infrastructure development that will put us AHEAD of the global technological curve and simultaneously reduce wasted energy and raw materials. Instead were funneling money into highly replaceable weapons technologies that would be unnecessary if we would curtail our history of tragic foreign policy decisions that are predicated primarily on the idea that our military is our strongest asset in diplomacy.

If we cut military spending to 1/4 of what it is now and redirected the resultant surplus to pay down the national debt we might be able to rein it in before the IMF declares the U.S. bankrupt... which is actually a possibility right now.

Once the debt is eliminated, we could actually INVEST government surplus in infrastructure projects like green power plants that would replace all the fossil fueled plants and upgrade our transportation infrastructure.

I would love to see a new highway system that could incorporate high-speed electric rail technology for personal vehicles and cargo, eliminating the need for hands on driving and reducing air traffic, which is generally not fuel efficient.

Imagine your car as a mobile office where once you had reached the highway, you mount a track system with built in traffic management capacity and high-speed data transfer. Instead of driving to the office, you drive the office to the customer... or relax and watch a movie. And all the on-board technology could be driven by government owned power generating facilities...

Okay... maybe I'm getting a little fanciful.

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Grant
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Yeah, I'm still waiting on a flying car. Everything you said can be done, but look for it to be done first in China, Korea, or Japan.
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Ben
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Funny this thread came up as I was thinking about starting this app I saw the other day.

Visible Vote

Basically you use this to vote on stuff and it will respond to you on what candidate in your area is closest to your political views. Can't say that it's good or anything as I just was about to start using it and see, but figured I'd share and see if y'all had any comments or knew of other similar apps. It has good ratings so far, from http://download.cnet.com

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starLisa
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quote:
Originally posted by TomDavidson:
It's a libertarian! Run! [Wink]

What part of replacing the Fed with another central bank is in any way libertarian? Or increasing spending on education? Or taxing pot? Or mandating "equal rights", which sounds a lot like abrogating property rights even more than they've already been?

Feh.

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starLisa
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  • Orderly transfer of power and withdrawal from all US military presence outside US borders other than that in international waters.
  • Amending the Constitution to remove corporate protections as legal persons, and only recognizing individuals and groups of individuals (with each individual enumerated) any standing under the law.
  • Amending the Constitution to abolish the Federal Reserve system and ban any central bank.
  • Amending the Constitution to state explicitly that the Federal government has only enumerated powers, and no "implied powers", and that the Commerce Clause means only preventing states from taxing or otherwise limiting commerce with other states.
  • Phasing out the federal public education system. (I know it's implied in the previous item, but it bears emphasis.)
  • Phase out the income tax.
  • Encourage an end to third payer health care for anything but catastrophic care.
  • Amending the Constitution to (a) void all drug and alcohol laws for adults and (b) specify that any crime or tort committed under the influence be treated mandatorily as premeditated.

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Pyrtolin
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I forgot one:
Replace simple majority voting systems with score/range voting.

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G2
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quote:
Originally posted by Vindictive:


If we cut military spending to 1/4 of what it is now and redirected the resultant surplus to pay down the national debt we might be able to rein it in before the IMF declares the U.S. bankrupt... which is actually a possibility right now.

Once the debt is eliminated, we could actually INVEST government surplus in infrastructure projects like green power plants that would replace all the fossil fueled plants and upgrade our transportation infrastructure.

What? Cut military spending to a quarter of current levels and pay off the debt? This is a talking point that just doesn't hold up. You're talking about $580 billion dollars compared to a debt somewhere around $70 to $120 trillion. In the incredibly unlikely event such a savings was directed at the national debt, it would take more than a century to pay it off.

But it's worse than that. Current deficits are more than double what this talking point "saves" and current budget plans would generate deficits of $7.1 trillion over the next 10 years. Even with such a massive and ridiculously dangerous cut in military spending and the absurd notion that it would not be spent elsewhere, we would still generate well over a trillion in new debt in the next 10 years.

"Once the debt is eliminated" is a fantasy statement that does not reflect budgetary realities in the slightest.

[ September 13, 2010, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: G2 ]

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Grant
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quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I forgot one:
Replace simple majority voting systems with score/range voting.

I find this one really intruiging. Describe your plan, please.

I would note that I suggested, in jest, on a voting system scaled on how much tax you pay, a few months ago, that was swiftly shot down as Plutocracy (all true).

First, please state your case on how the present form of republican democracy is failed, give examples, and how your proposed system would fix said shortcomings. Be honest and add in what you believe would be potential weaknesses to your proposed system.

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JWatts
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quote:
Originally posted by Grant:
quote:
Originally posted by Pyrtolin:
I forgot one:
Replace simple majority voting systems with score/range voting.

I find this one really intruiging. Describe your plan, please.

All such plans I've seen always amount to 'Give My Side More Power'. None-the-less, I'll second the vote for an iteration of the plan.
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Colin JM0397
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I think he's talking weighted voting where you rank, for example, your top three.

In that case, if everyone picks the same person for #2, that person could end up winning...
Sounds good in principle, but wouldn’t do anything for the average race where you only have the standard 2 choices.

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Pyrtolin
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First, I'll point you here for a good overall set of discussions about voting methods and the strengths of range voting:
http://leastevil.blogspot.com/

The biggest problem comes down to tactical voting- instead of voting for the candidate that most suits their views, plurality/simple majority voting (not even requiring a winner to get more than 50% of the votes) inevitably forces people to pick from the two most likely winners or else risk "throwing away" their vote and allowing the more disagreeable of the two to win. Third parties have no chance to make a showing short of a critical collapse of one of the two dominant factions, and even then, it's only by actively scavenging from the remaining core of that party that they gain enough support to take its place.

The voting results also end up giving a poor profile of the actual political distribution in an area because second choices are blurred out while picking the major candidates.

(Imagine an area whose support actually was 30% Green, 20% Democrat, 25% Libertarian, 25% Republican, but 80% of the people aligned with the minority platforms held their noses and went with each of the majorities. The election comes out 45% Republican, 44% Democrat, 6% Green, 5% Libertarian. Not only do the Libertarian and Green parties get incorrectly characterized as the minority, but the Greens get blamed for not voting with the Democrats to win the election- when the truth is that if 80% of the Democrats had supported the Green candidate instead, they would have actually carried it (46% to 45%) And that's not even getting into other possible areas where support might cross basic party lines)

Range/Score voting (or it's less expressive, but simpler form- approval voting) eliminates these issues by allowing voters to express their support for each candidate- Approval in a simple Yes/No vote for each and Range by assigning each one a score (per, say, the Olympics) so that you don't have to put aside support for your more preferred candidates to vote for the most likely to win.

At worst (each person just votes yes/10/100% for one candidate) both are equivalent to normal simple majority voting, but they reward people for being more expressive about their preferences rather than less. And trying to vote strategically with Range voting (bumping your preference for the most likely candidate to with up to 10/100% only reduces it to being as effective as Approval voting.

It completely negates the third party spoiler effect, and creates a real chance for third parties and independent candidates to make strong showings in elections rather than being marginalized by inertia.

The only real downside is that it's slightly more complex; having to rate candidates from 1 to 10 or 0-100% (or, say -10 to 10 if you want to open up the ability to clearly vote against a candidate and put the default/no vote value in the middle of the range) Approval voting (just yes/no) is less complex, but it sacrifices a significant amount of expression.

This post provides a decent look at the general quality of the results from each of the major vote systems:
http://leastevil.blogspot.com/2010/05/what-do-you-mean-by-best.html

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Pyrtolin
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quote:
Originally posted by Colin JM0397:
I think he's talking weighted voting where you rank, for example, your top three.

In that case, if everyone picks the same person for #2, that person could end up winning...
Sounds good in principle, but wouldn’t do anything for the average race where you only have the standard 2 choices.

Having only two choices is a direct result of a system that discourages additional choices because of spoiler effects. As long as people can only express support for one candidate, the system will mathematically collapse to only representing the guy they voted for and the one that they didn't vote for.

The idea is to give people the chance to vote on each person on the ballot independently of all the others. No spoilers means there's no strategic disadvantage to running as a third party against a similar close-enough-but-more-likely-to-win party.

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Pyrtolin
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To note- this would also pretty much eliminate the need for primaries, as it wouldn't make a practical difference to voters if a party ran one or five candidates- they wouldn't split the vote, because each one would be evaluated separately anyway.
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Ben
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Following up on my earlier comments with Visible Vote, it seems pretty much like a survey type app, then it takes the results and your local information to match up your federal representatives and the president, giving you a percentage score on how much you line up or oppose with them, and you can add candidates or parties also, though I haven't had a chance to do that yet. Not very specific on what you agree or disagree with each person, just a percentage score. If you want to know what support or opposition each person has with your opinion, you'd have to track the percentage change after answering each question or poll. Nice overall, but you'd still have to look up information on specific topics to see how each person voted anyway, if you don't track the percentage change or forget what the change was.
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Pyrtolin
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It has some trouble with house district boundaries, but I live in PA14 two blocks away from the boundary of PA18 and it's not to hard to sneeze wrong and end up in PA12.

The Gerrymander is mighty in western PA.

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Ben
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I don't think it's just you. I'm clear of my district boundaries by a mile or more, but have two reps offered for my location. Probably the app just goes by zip code and approximates boundary locations.

And wow, the gerrymandering is really nasty there.

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