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confused unitedstatesian is confused

Posted on 2010.07.05 at 07:37


try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2010-05-08 13:50 (UTC) ()
No, it definitely makes sense. What I'm mostly trying to wrap my brain around is how a minority government isn't a viable option. Yes, there's no mandate, but is that absolutely necessary? It's worked in other governments with similar systems (see my comment below for stuff about Canada). In the US we have minority governments all the time, also (and right now we have a majority and can't get stuff done, but that's mostly about Republicans hating on Obama rather than actual policy issues). Our system is different from yours, though--we say we're FPtP, but we have the silly Electoral College, which seems to cancel it out, and we vote for people instead of parties, so it may not work the same way.
melpemone at 2010-05-08 14:03 (UTC) ()
It's still an option, yes, but it's an undesirable one. This likely comes down to cultural differences - the UK simply doesn't end up with minority governments that often, and so the problems with them are viewed more critically. Nobody wants an uphill battle over every piece of legislation put forward. It may still happen - the way things look to have panned out, a minority govt run on a "confidence and supply" basis looks like the most likely option, if only just (with a Tory/Lib Dem coalition running a close second) - but it would be appalling for the economy and the next election would be called ASAP.

Yeah, your Electoral College process gives me a brainache. People say our preferential system is weird, but it's child's play in comparison. :)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2010-05-08 14:16 (UTC) ()
Nobody wants an uphill battle over every piece of legislation put forward.

Heh, we have that now with a majority, because every time the Obama administration puts out a significant piece of legislation the Republicans invoke cloture, which means they need two-thirds majority to even discuss it. Cloture wasn't used very much until Obama came along and started offending the opposition by his mere existence. [/rant]

And it's been fun to watch Harper turn himself inside out to avoid confidence votes (not so much fun for Canadians, though, because they have to deal with the guy 24/7).

Our Electoral College is silly and pointless and needs to go away now. It worked okay when the US was a tiny, brand-new country, but not so much with a couple hundred million people). Preferential voting looks like something I might like, because I'm so indecisive. I'd be all, 'hmm, I like that person, but not quite so much as this one--I'll put him/her second and see what happens.'

Edited at 2010-05-08 14:16 (UTC)
melpemone at 2010-05-08 14:28 (UTC) ()
the Republicans invoke cloture,

So I read! Can't something be done about that? Maybe I'm naive, but it strikes me as undemocratic in the extreme. Why aren't these people embarrassed to resort to such bullshit measures, I ask you?

I like the preferential system, for the most part. I'm also a below-the-line voter, so I at least make the most of the system. My main problem with it is that my #1 vote always goes to a smaller party (I've always voted Green, and I've recently become a Founding Member of the Pirate Party of Australia (yes, really. :D)), and preference distribution means that my vote winds up Labor - it beats the alternative, but I sure would love a Greens PM. :)
try to catch the deluge in a paper cup
primroseburrows at 2010-05-08 14:48 (UTC) ()
Republicans these days apparently have no shame whatsoever. They make stuff up all the time and don't care if it's true or not as long as it suits the political ambitions of their party. With the 24-hour news cycle and the internet, there will always be people to believe it and spread the stupidity.

Above-the line voting is kind of like our straight-ticket voting. I'm a definite split-ticket voter. I usually vote Democratic but every once in a while there'll be an independent or a liberal Republican worth voting for.

There are usually more than just the two major parties on the ballot, but the little parties don't stand a chance because voting for one of those splits the vote, and in some cases can do terrible things, like make George Bush President. It's a Catch-22 situation, because if enough people voted for a third party the two big ones might be unseated, but very few people do because they think it really doesn't help because they can't win, and so on. Grr.

The idea of a Green Party President is lovely. See above for why it'll never happen. :/ And I really, really wish the US had a party like the NDP. As a social democrat, I would so go for that.
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