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Third Party Debates Moderated by Larry King: Discuss

Unknown Lamer posted about 2 years ago | from the now-that's-entertainment dept.

Politics 221

Since the two big guys got their three debates covered, and the last third party debate kind of fizzled due to technical difficulties, we invite you to discuss the third party debate happening at 9 p.m. EDT tonight. Candidates from the Green, Libertarian, Constitution, and Justice parties will be debating in the same room with Larry King moderating. It would appear that C-SPAN is rebroadcasting it, so you catch it using rtmpdump if you happen to not use Flash. Since third party politicians are still politicians, remember to print out some Logical Fallacy Bingo. Topics for the debate include climate change, the drug war, and civil liberties. Update: 10/24 02:32 GMT by U L : It turns out there will be a final third party debate next Tuesday on foreign policy between two of the candidates. To determine who will be in the debate Free and Equal is holding an IRV vote until 10:30 p.m. EDT October 24.

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Zynga lays off 5% of workforce (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41746897)

Cancels 13 games. Ouch.

Re:Zynga lays off 5% of workforce (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747037)

Good.

Happy Tuesday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41746903)

Thank you for being a friend
Traveled down the road and back again
Your heart is true, you're a pal and a cosmonaut.

And if you threw a party
Invited everyone you knew
You would see the biggest gift would be from me
And the card attached would say, thank you for being a friend.

Re:Happy Tuesday from The Golden Girls! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747007)

Did you hear about the brave Indian?

He's a brave sucker..

Why bother without IRV (4, Interesting)

markdavis (642305) | about 2 years ago | (#41746925)

It is so incredibly sad that we don't have some type of IRV (Instant Runoff Voting). If we wanted real change, this is the only way to get it because it is the only way to have a real possibility of electing someone other than a Republicrat (or a Demolican).

Imagine a system where your vote actually counted, no matter who you vote for... I guess I can dream.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant-runoff_voting [wikipedia.org]
http://www.fairvote.org/instant-runoff-voting [fairvote.org]
http://www.instantrunoff.com/ [instantrunoff.com]

Re:Why bother without IRV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41746997)

The properties of IRV seem to be less preferable to a Condorcet voting system or even a system like range voting or approval voting. What makes IRV better than these methods in your opinion?

Re:Why bother without IRV (3, Insightful)

markdavis (642305) | about 2 years ago | (#41747069)

>"The properties of IRV seem to be less preferable to a Condorcet voting system or even a system like range voting or approval voting. What makes IRV better than these methods in your opinion?"

Generally, most people (myself included) throw all "alternative" voting systems into the IRV category. Just about ANY type of voting system is better than the simple majority system in use by 99+% of the governments of the USA (and most countries).

That said, I have spent many hours reading about many of the various preferential voting systems out there. I don't know which one is "best" overall. I am not a statistician (having only about 6 credits of university stats) nor a subject matter expert, so I am not going to pretend I am qualified to compare them. But any intelligent person will quickly realize just how incredibly poor our current system is; I would jump at the chance to use even the *WORST* "IRV" solution over what we currently use.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | about 2 years ago | (#41747315)

I would jump at the chance to use even the *WORST* "IRV" solution over what we currently use.

Don't you think that's a problem? As bad as plurality voting is, it's always possible to make things worse, so maybe we'd better talk to some statisticians and subject matter experts before we jump at anything.

Re:Why bother without IRV (3, Insightful)

tragedy (27079) | about 2 years ago | (#41747933)

No, it's not really possible to make things worse than they are now (without going to something ridiculous like throwing darts at a wall). The simple plurality voting commonly used really is the worst system for greater than two candidates. For exactly two options it's the perfect method, but for more it's the worst of all the voting systems.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

englishknnigits (1568303) | about 2 years ago | (#41748319)

Actually, I think I would prefer throwing darts at a wall over our current system.

Re:Why bother without IRV (3, Interesting)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41748077)

The problem with IRV is we elect too god-damned-many politicians to actually count all the IRV races we need to count.

Count the races you're supposed to vote on next time you vote. I guarantee you it will be in the dozens.

I would love it if it if somebody with power proposed that we go over to a less-American, more Westminster syetem that would allow luxuries like IRV/Concordet but nobody does. Nobody says "hey let's make all these Judges Gubenatorial appointees," or "It's fucking stupid that we let these guys run the library system, but we insist on referendums anytime they want to pay for a new library," or "Why the fuck do we have both a State Senate AND a State House?"

They just bitch that nobody pays attention to their vanity campaign for Governor.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

sgunhouse (1050564) | about 2 years ago | (#41748499)

I don't know about "99+%" ... and of course the president isn't really decided by plurality anyway. However ... some states do have a runoff system for state and local offices. I recall runoffs in Texas when I was living there. Of course the President has to be handled according to the US Constitution (the electoral college and all that), the state has no say in that.

Re:Why bother without IRV (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41747013)

If we wanted real change,

The system we have today fights against meaningful change...

Re:Why bother without IRV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747045)

Unfortunately, the Rep-Dems are never going to legislate (or vote for) IRV - however, you can help make a difference by voting Green or Libertarian - any party getting 5% in the election gets $20 million next time around, which may not be enough to take the presidential spot, but could put some congressional reps into place.

Re:Why bother without IRV (2)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41747955)

President is the wrong office to be voting for if you really want to change the voting system in place, as he has 0 power to change it.

Re:Why bother without IRV (3, Insightful)

Relic of the Future (118669) | about 2 years ago | (#41747077)

Not the only way, or even the best way. IRV still has spoilers, and so still tends toward two-party domination (just ask Australia.) If you want a system where more than two parties can actually compete, better to go with approval voting or score voting.

http://www.electology.org/approval-voting [electology.org]

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

ifiwereasculptor (1870574) | about 2 years ago | (#41747813)

Approval voting on the first part and then a runoff voting between the top two candidates would be ideal, IMHO. Narrowing down allows for more focused debate and as a sort of check. Given the importance of selecting a president, I'd say it's warranted.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

loshwomp (468955) | about 2 years ago | (#41748393)

IRV still has spoilers, and so still tends toward two-party domination (just ask Australia.)

But not the same two parties, because the voters are free to vote for whomever they want, instead of the lesser of the likely-to-win evils. If it tended toward domination the same two parties, there wouldn't be much resistance to changing the vote system.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

amanaplanacanalpanam (685672) | about 2 years ago | (#41747137)

It would take a constitutional amendment to authorize such a fundamental change to our voting system, which would require congress to approve -- the very people whose vested interest is in keeping the status quo. So other than revolution...we'll likely have to keep dreamin'.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

ZOmegaZ (687142) | about 2 years ago | (#41747613)

Many cities in the US [wikipedia.org] use IRV now, and the Minnesota Supreme Court, at least, thinks it's perfectly constitutional.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

amanaplanacanalpanam (685672) | about 2 years ago | (#41747837)

Local and state elections maybe...presidential though?

Re:Why bother without IRV (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748277)

I don't recall anything at the federal level specifying how exactly the electors from the states are selected for the electoral college.

Re:Why bother without IRV (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748303)

My understanding of the United States legal system is that we don't actually have any federal elections; instead, we have state elections which decide federal positions indirectly. In fact, states are not even required to hold a presidential election, other methods of choosing electors [wikipedia.org] have been used in the past. More recently, there has been discussion of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact [wikipedia.org] which would make states give their electors to the winner of the national popular vote instead of to the winner of their own state election (but only if enough states agree to the do same). Changing to IRV or some other preferential voting scheme would be a much smaller change.

Of course, it's probably best politically to focus on getting it accepted at the local level first and then push for broader support once more people are used to it.

Re:Why bother without IRV (3, Insightful)

nzac (1822298) | about 2 years ago | (#41747237)

IRV is not that different to the current system in the US. You need a proportional [wikipedia.org] system, which allows other parties to get to at least have some representation and everyone’s vote count (except for those lost in rounding).

PR has its problems but most of those already are present in the US system anyway. What kind of backwards system allows only voters in the small number of "swing states" to have a vote that actually ends up mattering in deciding you president.

Re:Why bother without IRV (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747783)

Does proportional mean I am effectively voting for a party rather than an individual? That seems like a pretty significant downside.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

alexander_686 (957440) | about 2 years ago | (#41748083)

Mod parent up.

There are plus and minus with America's first past the post system. What I like about it is that I get a clear chocie between 2 moderate people. I don't have to worry what type of deals they will cut to get into a political coalition - I have less to worry about political hacks cutting inside deals. I am voting for an individual.

That being said, I am sadden by the recent trend of extreme left / right people hijacking the primaries.

Which means I am looking at WA top 2 primary voting system, where the top 2 winners - from whatever party - go to the primary pole. This means that in a deep blue state voters should still get a decent choice.

Re:Why bother without IRV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748439)

There are plus and minus with America's first past the post system.

That has nothing to do with a first past the post system. At least not exclusively.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

loshwomp (468955) | about 2 years ago | (#41748431)

IRV is not that different to the current system in the US.

Huh? Except in the ways that it's better. It differs significantly in that voters can vote for whom they want instead of against the lesser of the two likely-to-win evils.

If you don't understand the difference, then please watch this [youtube.com] .

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

ortholattice (175065) | about 2 years ago | (#41747601)

Another IRV-type (I think) system I've been curious about is called "fractional voting". It seems relatively obscure and apparently is not described on Wikipedia. I hope to study it more eventually, although I'd prefer if someone more knowledgeable about voting systems could provide an opinion. Two links are: Fractional Voting for Presidential and Job Candidates [recruiter.com] and Arrow's paradox and the fractional voting system [e-atheneum.net] (PDF)

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about 2 years ago | (#41747895)

YOUR vote doesn't count. Only those of the electoral college count. You don't have a democracy.

Re:Why bother without IRV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748021)

Because we are a union of states. To have some sort of national popular vote would require some sort of federal takeover of elections.

Better yet, approval voting (1)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41747959)

Instant runoff is an improvement over first past the post. But I seem to remember reading approval is an improvement over instant runoff: easier to count, less modification needed to voting machines, and less subject to gaming the vote.

Re:Why bother without IRV (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748027)

People who are for IRV in the US have no idea how different US elections are from foreign elections.

In most countries you only vote for one or two offices at a time. If it's two offices then they're either two houses of the same Parliament (Australia is an example) or two sets of seats for the lower House (the Bundestag in Germany, for example, is divided between Party List seats and individual seats). Everyone who goes to your polling place gets the same ballot, and each race is on a separate sheet of paper. Which means implementing IRV is trivial, because you can just send all the ballot papers for South Brisbane, the Queensland Senate ballots sent to another, and spend a few hours implementing an algorithm of any level of complexity on each set of ballots. there's no need for one precinct to tally it's ballots, send the info to central, wait for them to add everything up, be told "OK re-count with Bob Jones deleted," repeat until 50%+1.

OTOH my Ohio ballot had 33 races on it. They were all on the same sheet of paper, because 33 sheets of paper would have been insane. Almost all (85%+) were Judges, including Judges to the local municipal court. But there was also the President, US Senate, US House, State House, a referendum on whether to have a Constitutional Convention, and probably some other crap I ignored. You cannot centrally count these ballots because the races on the ballot vary even within polling places; and applying an algorithm of any complexity 33 times within a month is literally impossible.

And it should be noted Ohio is a massive improvement over my last abode in Detroit. 40 races every time, usually close to 50. The extra was mostly because a lot of Michigan's Public Universities have boards that are elected, as do all the Community Colleges.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41748037)

People who are for IRV in the US have no idea how different US elections are from foreign elections.

In most countries you only vote for one or two offices at a time. If it's two offices then they're either two houses of the same Parliament (Australia is an example) or two sets of seats for the lower House (the Bundestag in Germany, for example, is divided between Party List seats and individual seats). Everyone who goes to your polling place gets the same ballot, and each race is on a separate sheet of paper. Which means implementing IRV is trivial, because you can just send all the ballot papers for South Brisbane, the Queensland Senate ballots sent to another, and spend a few hours implementing an algorithm of any level of complexity on each set of ballots. there's no need for one precinct to tally it's ballots, send the info to central, wait for them to add everything up, be told "OK re-count with Bob Jones deleted," repeat until 50%+1.

OTOH my Ohio ballot had 33 races on it. They were all on the same sheet of paper, because 33 sheets of paper would have been insane. Almost all (85%+) were Judges, including Judges to the local municipal court. But there was also the President, US Senate, US House, State House, a referendum on whether to have a Constitutional Convention, and probably some other crap I ignored. You cannot centrally count these ballots because the races on the ballot vary even within polling places; and applying an algorithm of any complexity 33 times within a month is literally impossible.

And it should be noted Ohio is a massive improvement over my last abode in Detroit. 40 races every time, usually close to 50. The extra was mostly because a lot of Michigan's Public Universities have boards that are elected, as do all the Community Colleges.

Sorry for the double-post, but I forgot was not signed in under Firefox

Re:Why bother without IRV (2)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about 2 years ago | (#41748245)

Only a few percent of the popular vote in the US is for anyone other than the Republicans and Democrats. No fancy electoral system resembling any kind of democracy is going to solve your problems for you.

Re:Why bother without IRV (2)

englishknnigits (1568303) | about 2 years ago | (#41748411)

There are lots of people who will vote for a Democrat or for a Republican because they are afraid that voting for a third party will just waste their vote and give a victory to the greater of the two evils (Democrat or Republican). If they were able to vote in an IRV system they would be able to vote for their third party candidate without serious worries about giving a victory to the party they are most opposed to.

This might just mean third parties get 10% instead of 4% which will end up making no real difference. Then again, we might be surprised.

Re:Why bother without IRV (1)

rroman (2627559) | about 2 years ago | (#41748263)

I have to disagree. If you have more than two parties, your government is terribly weakened and cannot make any significant changes. I'm from Czech Republic and our governments haven't been able to make crucial economic changes in 20 years. And even though in 2009 we have elected parties, that had very strong mandate to do something and there was strong will to make such changes, it now seems that they won't be able to make them anyway, because there showed up a bunch of idiots in one party. The result is, that we won't have this important legislature passed for at least 4 years and communist party will be part of the next government.

It may seem, that you are fucked once from democrats and once from republicans, but the alternative is, your government will be incompetent and you'll be fucked anyways. There is simply no other way in democratic system.

Re:Why bother without IRV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748469)

There is simply no other way in democratic system.

There are plenty of workable systems. It's just that it's not easy to change a system once it's in place.

I'd MUCH rather have a government that fucks each other over than having a government where both parties (one party?) violate my freedoms. TSA, DMCA, Patriot Act, free speech zones... The economy is nothing compared to freedom.

If you want change, get on your congressman (1)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | about 2 years ago | (#41748563)

It isn't magic, it won't happen if people just wish or complain hard enough. We'd need to amend the Constitution. It prescribes how presidential elections will be done. That would most likely start with congress. The states can start an amendment process directly but it has never happened.

So if you want it, it is the kind of thing to start working on. Get on your congress people, start making others aware. It'll be a long time in coming, since it takes 66% of both houses of congress and 75% of the states. So what it'll take is a lot of demand from people. If it is something that matters to you don't dream, start working. The Constitution has been amended before and it didn't happen quickly. It took some work.

What a waste.. it's the political Special Olympics (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747019)

It's kinda fitting to see that old fart Larry King doing this though..

Re:What a waste.. it's the political Special Olymp (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41747125)

Actually if you are living with the bulk of the populations in a non-swing state. Voting 3rd party gives you more power. Yes your candidate will not win. But with more people voting third party, It gives that party more strength, as well their views gets more credit.

For example the Green Party often effect the polices of the Democrats, and the Libertarian party effects the republicans.

I live in NY for the president probability has Obama going to win. I personally don't like Romney either. So for me I can either choose from the lesser of two evils. Or look at the third parties, and vote of the guy like the most. I prefer the Modern Whig party myself.
So other then wasting my vote on a candidate who will win and only pays attention to my state for fundraising. I might as well vote third party to get my voice on the issue I find very important.

Ok if you live in a swing state Choosing Democrat or Republican has more power. However if you live in a solid state, don't wast your vote on a winner but use it on the issue you care about and get heard better.

That strategy will bite you in the ass (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747917)

That strategy always bites you in the ass, because there's no such thing as a 'non-swing state', there's only a state that hasn't swung yet.

Your best chance was to vote for a change candidate within your own party, that was why Ron Paul attracted so many votes and why the party elite did that suppression campaign (taking 10 votes away by a rule change, changing the rules to stop a future Ron Paul and refusing to announce his votes at the RN Congress).

Understand the elite in the party FEAR a change candidate, that why they did the fake vote here for example (where the teleprompter had the script for what to say when the 'ayes' win the vote even while they were voting!):
http://youtu.be/pKaXqoC4DjE?t=3m3s

And this is why the refused to even mention his votes, blocking a microphone at one point when Ron Pauls votes were read out. Sending Romney uniformed banner wavers to block Ron Paul banner wavers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B39W91O-rUg&feature=related

You need change candidates on the major party ballot and to vote for them. When the elite try to block them with fake votes (like the one at the RNC), you need to legally challenge them, and fight for your change candidate.

Re:That strategy will bite you in the ass (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 years ago | (#41747971)

Your best chance was to vote for a change candidate within your own party, that was why Ron Paul attracted so many votes

Voting third party is a backup plan in case a change candidate loses the primary.

3rd party vote splitting (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748397)

If you voted Democrat, and if the Republican elite lost their power base, in Congress, or their seat in the Senate, then the elite is weakened and change candidates like Ron Paul can get through the next time.

There's a strategy Karl Rove urged his employees to do in that leaked email. He said that they should pretend to be disillusioned Democrat voters, encourage Democrat forums to vote for the third party as a protest vote. In effect he wanted them to try to split the vote of the opponents.

But that's not progress, if you are a Republican and you don't like the scum at the top, you might vote for Democrat. Rove wants you to vote for a third candidate because that would neutralize your negative vote. The vote becomes symbolic rather than one that can actually elect the other guy. Likewise if you're likely Democrat he tries to get you to vote third party, since you're unlikely to swing to Republican, but perhaps a little swing to third party.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/08/27/1010778/-BREAKING-Leaked-Rove-email-singles-out-Daily-Kos

The best strategy IMHO, is to vote for the other guy if you're unhappy with your party. Then when they need to 'change direction' after the disastrous election, vote for the change candidate. Ron Paul didn't make it this time, but change candidates have made it in the past.

I don't think symbolic third party votes means squat to any politicians. All they care about is that they won.

No Modern Whig? (2)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41747033)

Why not the Modern Whig Party? You know the group that is actually on a platform of being moderate.

Re:No Modern Whig? (2)

Relic of the Future (118669) | about 2 years ago | (#41747131)

Probably because they're on the ballot in ZERO states, putting them behind at least FORTY other groups. (The four in this debate are on the ballot in enough states to theoretically get over 200 electoral votes each (they'll get zero, but the Whigs, from all appearances, didn't even try.)

Re:No Modern Whig? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 2 years ago | (#41747135)

You can always write in.

Re:No Modern Whig? (0)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41748023)

Why not the Modern Whig Party? You know the group that is actually on a platform of being moderate.

Because the conservatives that run the show - as both "democrats" and "republicans" - would just label them as "socialists" and they would be marginalized out of existence.

To paraphrase Lewis Black - the American political system is a bucket of shit looking at itself in the mirror.

Re:No Modern Whig? (0)

ArsonSmith (13997) | about 2 years ago | (#41748205)

Also, because the liberals that run the show - as both "democrats" and "republicans" - would just label them as "capitalists" and they would be marginalized out of existence.

Editors loving them some 3rd party candidates (0)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 2 years ago | (#41747043)

Their debates get more coverage than the Dem/Rep debates.

third parties have no chance in the USA (-1)

alen (225700) | about 2 years ago | (#41747095)

the two major parties cover all issues across the political spectrum with minor differences between them. there are city and rural democrats. there are northeastern republicans as well as rural republicans.

the third parties are on the fringe of the political spectrum and have no chance

americans are not libertarians. lots of us like paying taxes for services. i know people paying $20,000 and more in property taxes for good schools
Ralph Nader and the Greens with their crazy socialist and union agenda has no chance either

the far right learned their lesson with Perot and now has the Tea Party to push their agenda

the US government is designed for deadlock and political deals. the times when the government acts too fast we get the Patriot Act and Sarbanes Oxley

Re:third parties have no chance in the USA (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | about 2 years ago | (#41747275)

americans are not libertarians

Most Americans are not CEOs or wealthy investors; which party are we supposed to vote for? The problem with the Democrats and the Republicans is that both parties are basically fascist: the government is right, the policy are soldiers, and if you disagree you go to jail. Unless you run a big corporation; then you get to call the shots and command the fascist system.

When you have police officers with automatic weapons and grenades attacking civilian homes in your country, you know that the people in power probably do not represent you. When anti-aircraft missiles and considered to be part of providing Honduras with law enforcement assistance, you know that the minor differences between Democrats and Republicans are too small to really matter.

Who do you think is on the fringe -- the person who says, "Never mind the fact that the US has the largest prison population of any country, and never mind the fact that unarmed civilians are being attacked by paramilitary teams, you should be focused on whether or not the wealthy are taxed at 15% or 18%!!!!!" or the person who says, "Let's use tax money for constructive programs rather than destructive programs!!!" ?

Re:third parties have no chance in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747485)

americans are not libertarians. lots of us like paying taxes for services. i know people paying $20,000 and more in property taxes for good schools

People like that are idiots, who are so focused on political divisiveness that they've lost all sight of reality.

Violent monopolies (aka governments) have no reason to be competent, efficient, or innovative, and every reason to be corrupt. If you're getting something from the government for $20,000, there's a good chance that the competitive marketplace could provide it for $10,000 or less - without holding a gun to your head.

If the goal of government is redistribution for the poor, then there are better ways to do that - negative income tax [wikipedia.org] , matching funds for charities (until the culture of philanthropy can stand on its own), etc.

--libman

Re:third parties have no chance in the USA (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747903)

Violent monopolies (aka governments) have no reason to be competent, efficient, or innovative, and every reason to be corrupt. If you're getting something from the government for $20,000, there's a good chance that the competitive marketplace could provide it for $10,000 or less - without holding a gun to your head.

I think the state of the (mostly) private medical system in the US puts the lie to that statement, or at least makes it far from being a general principle.

Tea Party is libertarian, not far right (2, Interesting)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 2 years ago | (#41747551)

The Tea Party wants exactly two things: Limited government, a lower federal spending.

A byproduct of both those things is that states can do what they want. Federal raids on marajana pharmacies? The Tea Party would be against that as wasteful federal spending, and not letting states decide what they want to do re: drugs.

Before you reduce support for the only group in America that is bringing Libertarian ideas to the public at large, re-think who it is that told you the Tea Party is far right... Yes they have far right members, but also many socially liberal members because the core goal overlaps with people of many different philosophical backgrounds.

I am a Tea Party supporter but in favor of all kinds of things the far right would dislike.

Re:Tea Party is libertarian, not far right (3, Insightful)

compro01 (777531) | about 2 years ago | (#41747803)

Yes they have far right members, but also many socially liberal members because the core goal overlaps with people of many different philosophical backgrounds.

Yes, and I see lots of the former and none of the latter actually in office.

Which tea party? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748571)

The Tea Party that was the angry Republicans who wanted an end to Bush TARP bailouts, or the new Tea Party, the marketing strategy to get old style Republicans elected as 'tea party change candidates'?

Without that leadership, they let the Republican marketing machine take control of the Tea Party brand and stamp it on any candidate they chose and any policy they wanted to brand as 'change'.

"I am a Tea Party supporter but in favor of all kinds of things the far right would dislike."

Yet the Tea Party *is* the far right now. It's just a new brand on the old product.

Re:third parties have no chance in the USA (1)

u64 (1450711) | about 2 years ago | (#41747625)

"third parties have no chance in the USA" ...with that attitude, the US itself has no chance. The DemRep-cartel sucks until they gets 100% of all wealth and power.

Voting for anyone else sends a clear and loud message that real change can eventually happen.

Re:third parties have no chance in the USA (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41747991)

"third parties have no chance in the USA" ...with that attitude, the US itself has no chance

Heres a spoiler: No government in the history of governments has lasted forever. At best, you get a few hundred years before either radical reform or everything crumbles.

What we have has worked pretty well (all things considered) for 200 years, and in that time no 3rd party candidate has come close to winning. If you ACTUALLY want to change things, voting on someone who isnt an option is the wrong way to do so.

Re:third parties have no chance in the USA (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about 2 years ago | (#41747999)

Actually, if you really want to change things, vote in the primaries.

Third-party topics for third-party candidates (4, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about 2 years ago | (#41747099)

Here is Rasmussen's list of things that the voters care about:

Economy
Health Care
Gov't Ethics and Corruption
Taxes
Energy Policy
Education
Social Security
Immigration
National Security/War on Terror
Afghanistan

Or a similar list from NBC/WSJ [pollingreport.com] :

"Climate change, the drug war, and civil liberties" are not on either list. The mainstream candidates don't care about them because the voters don't care about them.

It's of no use getting wrapped up in our Slashdot bubble and insist that the things that are important to us must be the top priorities of the nation. A President has to be picked by half the country (or a bit less). We can rant and rave all we want that their priorities are wrong, but all that gets us is the joy of ranting and raving.

Democracy sucks, but less than the other options. We're stuck here in a country that cares more about Afghanistan than about getting their junk groped at the airport. Unless they're service members, or their family, the odds are that the latter affects them more. But it's no use telling me that. Tell them.

I suppose this debate is going to try to do that, and maybe it'll change something. But it's not going to suddenly propel a minority issue into a game-changer.

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (2)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about 2 years ago | (#41747289)

Climate change is part of energy policy, government ethics and corruption are inextricably tied to abuse of civil liberties (corrupt governments oppress), and the war on drugs is probably part of national security (I mean, given the whole "open warfare between cartels in mexico" and "central america").

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (1)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41748191)

Climate change is part of energy policy

I guess we would use a little more electricity with global warming. I'm not seeing the grouping otherwise.

government ethics and corruption are inextricably tied to abuse of civil liberties (corrupt governments oppress),

It doesn't even make sense to speak of government ethics, if such abuses are allowed to fester.

the war on drugs is probably part of national security (I mean, given the whole "open warfare between cartels in mexico" and "central america")

More as blowback which the US public and government seems to have successfully ignored for some time.

There does seem a reasonable connection, but I imagine it's a case of compartmentalization. We're concerned about what we think about and don't connect that to related affairs. I imagine there are a few people who think government ethics and civil liberty abuses are different things, for example.

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (1)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#41747407)

President has to be picked by half the country (or a bit less). We can rant and rave all we want that their priorities are wrong, but all that gets us is the joy of ranting and raving.

Yes, but if a minority cares very strongly about specific issues, in any other country they would form their own party. And if that party only gets 10% or so, it would have a seat in parliament ( or house or agora, whatever it's called in the US Republic) and be able to have some influence. In the US you could have a 1/3 off all votes and not get a single seat.

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41748157)

Actually a savvy group in the US with 10% can totally dominate everyone. The more extreme pro-life position -- no abortion or abortion like birth control anywhere, for anyone, even rape victims -- for example, is only held by 15-20% of the country. But they always vote, and they only vote on that issue, therefore instead of the left position being "let's give free abortions to rape victims," it's "let's not make it illegal for rape victims to get abortions." Gun control works the same way. By the polls a majority of the country likes assault weapons bans, limits on high-capacity magazines, etc. But 10% of the population prefers hitler to a guy whop'd do that shit, so the left position on that issue is "Let's not repeal any of our current gun-control laws."

The folks who are screwed are the ones who care about the entire range of issues the US faces. It's hard for them to know which candidate to support, and it's hard for the candidates they support to know "I got 5,000 votes in Cochise County for agreeing with those guys," so they can't win.

They basically have to join a Party, get their folks winning primaries, and wait 5-10 years so the low-level State House and Senate guys they bring up can be well-positioned for a run at the US House.

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (1)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#41748459)

Actually a savvy group in the US with 10% can totally dominate everyone.

That's the sad thing .
And it isn't contrary to 10% not getting heard at all. 10% dedicated crazies is enough to take over a party (especially with open primaries) and dominate that party to an extent where no-one wants to oppose them. If the 10% were elected directly, they would either have to form a coalition and make compromises or stand in the back and shout.

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747571)

These candidates are in fact discussing these issues. They have a lot to say about them, just not what either of the main candidates is saying.

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747655)

I never understood all the fuss about the drug war. Is it really that big of an issue? Are there that many drug users?

I mean I agree it's stupid, but it has zero effect on me or anyone I know. That doesn't make it right, and I understand a certain segments of society (not necessarily nefarious) would be very upset about it, but I find it odd that slashdot seems relatively enriched in strong objectors to the drug war.

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (2, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 2 years ago | (#41747973)

marijuana and the psychedelics should be legal (not addicting) but you will find those who will claim it should be possible to use drugs like cocaine and meth and heroin freely. these are people who only see the constraints on their personal freedom, and not costs to society: lots of addicts who can't take care of themselves. even if you buy the dubious claim that someone can take a drug like heroin or cocaine or meth only occasionally with no ill effect on their relationships or employment, such an outlier does not have any merit on what a nation's drug policy should be like for the average person

of course, drug addiction should be treated as a healthcare problem and not an issue for incarceration, but there are substances which simply can never be legal in society. even all of the programs in europe drug liberalization champions refer to: those programs still have as their goal the reduction of users, these programs have a central belief that using hardcore drugs is harmful and should not occur and must be fought, but with novel approaches instead

some people can't wrap their minds around the simple and obvious fact that using some drugs: heroin, cocaine, and meth, is all downside. and even if they understand that, and see only the cost to the user, and not society, and therefore it should be legal, the problem here is a blindness: of course there is a cost to society when your life implodes. we see in the USA a gigantic debate about all sorts of policy issues involving people who for some crazy reason believe themselves to be islands and think their choices incur no costs on others, when of course they do

in other minds, the issue is simply oppression from government, but in reality the greatest oppression a person can ever suffer in this life is addiction: bars in the mind, an interrupt switch that replaces higher cognition with an empty craven need to feed. in fact, the most oppressive nation that can be conceived by fascist minds would require people to use heroin. there simply is no better weapon for control and oppression and subjugation that can be designed by mankind than drug addiction. and yet, some fools will embrace this horror, simply because they think the only source of oppression in this world is government. it's a sick form of reverse psychology: if a government entity told them not to jump off a cliff, they would jump off a cliff

of course, you will also find people who are in denial about being an addict or attempting to rationalize their addiction. you can see desperation in their words

in a nutshell, some people just don't understand that there's freedom and responsibility, and freedom from responsibility, and mistaking one for the other is immaturity, not a better understanding of true freedom in this world

Re:Third-party topics for third-party candidates (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | about 2 years ago | (#41748273)

I mean I agree it's stupid, but it has zero effect on me or anyone I know.

That's what we call observation bias. If the people you know had gotten caught with drugs and jailed, then you probably wouldn't know them.

There's a lot of people, a significant percentage of the US, who get lost in the drug war. I gather it's something like 300-400k in jail [drugwarfacts.org] solely for drug related offenses (something like half of all federal prisoners plus about 20% of state level prisoners). In addition there's a lot of people on parole for such offenses.

In addition to prison time, there are other fines (assets used in commission of drug related offenses are routinely seized and sold off by police departments and governments) and punishments (such as being unable to vote, if you commit a felony).

It's worth noting that certain ethic groups, particularly, African Americans make up an inordinately large portion of this population.

I don't think it's fair to them that they should suffer from the various heavy criminal or social penalties for getting caught when so many others do not. It's a sort of bizarre anti-lottery where those caught lose out on many opportunities in life for the sole reason that they were the ones who got caught and couldn't get out of it.

Obama had my vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747103)

Until I discovered Jill Stein. She's such a refreshing alternative to Bush W. Warmonger the Second.

Libertarians ARE logical fallacies (-1, Troll)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41747143)

Just having someone cut from the cloth of Ron Paul and his cult should score one an instant win in fallacy bingo. They try to tell the country they are interesting in improving their situation, when the reality is anything but that.

Re:Libertarians ARE logical fallacies (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747273)

Amen to that. The Paulites are perfect examples of walking hypocrisy.

It's time humanity faced the music. You simply cannot have a system that allows personal liberty when there are some that are less fortunate than others.

Obama sort of took a half-assed stab at a platform that would move toward equality of outcome, but his lack of motivation and leadership led to the abysmal failure that he has become.

We'll never get to equality of outcome without direct government regulation of income and spending. Without a Right to a Job, a Living Wage, and Healthcare, people will never be truly equal.

Capitalism and Liberty simply allow the minority to exploit the majority and keep most of the wealth for themselves. It is yet another failed social experiment that never should have been attempted in the first place.

Re:Libertarians ARE logical fallacies (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747329)

You simply cannot have a system that allows personal liberty when there are some that are less fortunate than others.

Sure thing, kid.

You come and try to take my personal liberties. I'll even give you my address and when I'll be home. You stop on by and give it your best shot.

Re:Libertarians ARE logical fallacies (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747353)

Nature abhors equal outcomes. Most times it doesn't even favor equal opportunities.
Sometimes it's best to get all the retards assembled in one room and out of the way so the people with money can get their work done.
Such is all government.
You are poor because your father could not master compound interest. Gahead and blame everyone else.

Top Two System (4, Interesting)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about 2 years ago | (#41747223)

I didn't realize there was a national move toward top two primaries [wa.gov] , closing the election process even more... well, at least these four folks can agree to oppose that.

Also, they are behaving a lot better so far than Obama/Romney did. Maybe it's because of Zombie Larry King.

Re:Top Two System (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747427)

I didn't realize there was a national move toward top two primaries [wa.gov] , closing the election process even more... well, at least these four folks can agree to oppose that.

Also, they are behaving a lot better so far than Obama/Romney did. Maybe it's because of Zombie Larry King.

Just looking at that, if you live in a solid $party state, you will only have a choice of that party only afterwards.... Sounds like a bad idea entirely.

Re:Top Two System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747611)

Yup. California has this now. Just the top two candidates, in the primaries, make it to the final election. The only partisan election where you have other choices or can even write in another candidates name is for Pres. Yup, no write-ins anymore either.

I have never voted for a Republican, and only voted for a single Democrat. Now, I just vote on the initiatives. My vote has been stolen by the right-wing and far-right-wing of the corporate bought and paid for party.

Yes, it was never really counted before, but there was at least a tiny chance of getting someone with principles into office. Now there is none.

Rank Choice aka instant run-off would be a help, but we really need proportional representation. If e.g., the Greens or Libertarians get 10% of the vote they should have 10% of the seats in congress.

Re:Top Two System (1)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41748255)

Californians are so self-centered.

How does one implement PR in a state that only has two or three Congressional seats?

Re:Top Two System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748451)

Two is enough for proportional representation. In most places, that would mean that one seat would go to the Democrat and the other would go to the Republican. In some places, that might still mean that both seats would go to either the Democrats (Hawaii) or to the Republicans (Idaho). In Rhode Island, it might mean one seat for the Democrat and another seat for an independent or third party candidate.

With three, it's even better. The typical response would be to have two partisan seats and a swing seat. The swing seat would be much easier to make into a third party seat. You only need to get a third (or less) of the vote statewide rather than half the vote in a particular region. Consider a state where the vote fell along the following lines:

33% Democrat 1
33% Republican 1
21% Third Party
9% Democrat 2
4% Republican 2

That would put the third party candidate into office. To get the same effect in regional voting, you'd need to concentrate 16.7% of the 21% in one of the three regions.

California is an especially good place to try something like this though. Republicans are more like a third party there. Under proportional representation, they might increase their representation. Also, the initiative system means that it is possible to bypass the Democrats when making changes. And the state is so big that it is almost certain that third party candidates would win some seats. Third parties are getting the necessary 2% of the vote in California elections now. That could improve if those votes actually counted.

I fail to see what is bad about that. (1)

Sanians (2738917) | about 2 years ago | (#41747901)

Judging from what I read in your link, it sounds like they just put everyone in a single primary (regardless of party affiliation) and the top two winners of that primary go on the ballot for the main election. I don't see how that would make things harder for third party candidates. Indeed, getting enough supporters to win a primary is probably easier than getting enough supporters to win a main election due to fewer people voting in primaries, and once on the main ballot, any candidate is likely to get about 50% of the vote simply because they aren't affiliated with the one of the two main parties that someone doesn't like.

For example, a republican, a democrat, and a libertarian may be in the primary. If the republican and democrat are the top two, then only they will be on the ballot, but if the libertarian can't beat either of them in the primary, they're probably not going to beat both of them in the main election, and so it doesn't matter. However, if the libertarian did beat one in the primary, then he'll be on the ballot with the other in the main election. In that case, someone may see a republican and a libertarian on the ballot and vote for the libertarian simply because they hate republicans, or see a democrat and a libertarian and vote libertarian simply because they hate democrats. This could easily give any third party candidate about 50% of the vote, allowing their actual supporters to put them over the top.

Thus I fail to see how top two primaries, as described in your link, would do anything but help third party candidates.

Re:I fail to see what is bad about that. (2)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41748291)

In theory you're right.

In practice it's very difficult for a third party to come in second in any district because most districts a) are 2/3 Dem b) 2/3 GOP or c) 2/3 Dem + GOP. In districts of the first type you get two Dems running, in districts of the second type you get two Repubs, in districts of the third you get one of each.

If any third party was at all savvy politically they'd put all their resources in Cali into a single State Assembly district with a vulnerable incumbent, and totally ignore the Gubernatorial race. But they aren't, so all they see is "Oh shit, we don't get to have one vanity candidate in every State Senate district anymore, the world has ended."

Re:Top Two System (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747937)

Top-two, when combined with approval voting, is a huge improvement over our current system. Better for third parties, better for voters, better for everyone. But the idea of a single-vote top-two primary is chilling. It's literally the worst possible system that can still be called representative democracy at all. Assume that there are two parties which are approximately equally supported by the populace, with no other parties receiving significant public support. That is, assume the current situation in the USA. Let's call the two parties Whigs and Tories. Half the voters will vote for Whigs, the other half will vote for Tories. Assume that there are three Whigs, equally popular among Whig voters, and two Tories, equally popular among Tory voters, in the primary. So each Whig gets one third of the Whig vote, or one sixth of the total vote, while each Tory gets one half of the Tory vote, or one quarter of the total vote. That puts both Tories and no Whigs in the final election, despite the two parties receiving equal support. In fact, the Whigs can combine for as much as 59.9% of the vote and still advance no candidates to the final. Single-vote top-two guarantees that whatever major party has the fewest candidates in the primary will win both spots in the final.

Re:Top Two System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748085)

He medically used it after an accident.
http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/meet-gary-johnson-ron-paul-2012_520775.html

Re:Top Two System (1, Interesting)

NicBenjamin (2124018) | about 2 years ago | (#41748239)

I didn't realize there was a national move toward top two primaries [wa.gov] , closing the election process even more... well, at least these four folks can agree to oppose that.

Also, they are behaving a lot better so far than Obama/Romney did. Maybe it's because of Zombie Larry King.

The 3rd party's opposition to top two primaries is actually a major reason I can't take them seriously.

With one very simple tweak this would be the best thing ever to happen to those parties. If there was only one guy from every party on the ballot then in most GOP Districts the Libertarians would come in second, which means that if there was an October Surprise for any Republican they actually win an election. Same with the Greens and the Dems. And every year somebody screws up.

But these chuckle-heads don't understand a politicians job is to find compromises. They think his job is to be totally righteous. Therefore instead of offering their support in exchange for the relatively minor concession of having every party caucus and nominate somebody prior to the first election, they go into full-opposition-to-the-death.

Re:Top Two System (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41748513)

I noticed the nice behavior myself from some years ago.

I think it's because they're not fighting for the presidency, they're fighting for the legitimacy of fighting for the presidency.

With the people saying Approval Voting, I like what they say on their page, try it out locally first. If you can imagine & implement that then it will be easier to take it to the big game.

Wheee (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747345)

As we ride the wave of lemmings into a new age of stupid... i gotta tell ya... This sucks!

Drug War (2)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about 2 years ago | (#41747367)

The verdict is in: everyone but Virgil Goode wants to end the drug war. The libertarian dude admitted to inhaling even, totally disqualified from office. Jill Stein is using science, woah.

Re:Drug War (2)

Greyfox (87712) | about 2 years ago | (#41747503)

Didn't Obama and Clinton admit to inhaling? Well OK Clinton didn't, but he still admitted to possession, which would still have been a felony if he'd been caught. I forget if Shrub admitted to anything or not. How hypocritical is our "war on drugs" when holders of the highest office in the land admit that had they been caught, they would not be able to serve in that office, or even vote for it in most states? I think the take-away here is "Don't get caught!"

But we gotta keep that drug war rolling, it's the indentured servitude of the 21st century! Get caught once when you're 18 and enjoy a life of second-class citizenship! And it's all legal! Genius!

Re:Drug War (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747559)

Admit defeat... Never!! Every human population that lives near psychotropics, uses psychotropics. 'Twas ever thus, and ever thus shall be.

I say bring back shamans, guided meditation and make any and all plants available for use... but increase the penalty for trafficking in pharmaceutically derived or synthesized substances outside the medical system.

NDAA (2)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | about 2 years ago | (#41747575)

Hey, finally Virgil Goode agreed with everyone: NDAA is terrible and needs to be repealed.

This would be interesting... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41747647)

except I live in Oklahoma, where the only options to vote are Democrat and Republican, with no place to even write in anyone...
Also, you don't even get to actually vote for the candidate, you're really just voting on the electors, who usually still tend to vote Republican, even if you select Democrat. That happened in 2008, especially. We're one of the states that went for McCain, when even his home state didn't...

This always sucks for an independent, like me. I can't vote in any primary, which include state questions from time to time.

PoliticalCompass.org The US Election 2012 (1)

u64 (1450711) | about 2 years ago | (#41747715)

Here's a neat map of all candidates,
http://politicalcompass.org/uselection2012 [politicalcompass.org]

(Ron Paul was almost exactly where Gary Johnson is)

Re:PoliticalCompass.org The US Election 2012 (2)

EnsilZah (575600) | about 2 years ago | (#41747929)

I'd like to see an animated one to see Romney's dot migrate over time like they do in those TED talks by Hans Rosling.

Re:PoliticalCompass.org The US Election 2012 (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#41747985)

Interesting that they show the green party candidate as being more libertarian than the libertarian candidate - and the libertarian candidate being more conservative than the republican candidate.

Larry King? (1)

rueger (210566) | about 2 years ago | (#41747735)

Seriously, I thought he was dead. Or was that just his suspenders?

Re:Larry King? (1)

White Flame (1074973) | about 2 years ago | (#41748299)

He retired, he didn't die.

Still Undecided (2)

CobaltBlueDW (899284) | about 2 years ago | (#41747787)

After watching the rest of the presidential debates I didn't know who to vote for because I didn't like either candidate. After watching the Third Party debate tonight, I don't know who to vote for because I liked all the candidates.

It's not throwing away your vote! (3, Interesting)

barefoot_professor (2655607) | about 2 years ago | (#41748481)

I do not understand why people think that voting for a third party is throwing away your vote. I don't understand why third party candidates don't point out that even if they do not get enough electoral voters to win, that if they get enough electoral voters to swing the vote they could make a huge difference.

With the way the electoral college is set up if Obama wins 250 electors, Romney wins 249 electors, and Johnson wins 39 electors, guess what? Johnson's not going to win, but he could ask his electors to cast their votes for one of the other two guys. That's quite a bit of power and influence. Not a bad method of actually representing the will of the people either. Of course the problem here is that with the exception of Maine and Nebraska the electors in other states are picked in a winner-take-all fashion. Also, about half of the states impose some minor penalty for electors voting for anyone other than who they were chosen to vote for.

Personally, I would hate to see election by popular vote. I would hate to see the country being run by someone that only 51% of us chose. I'd much rather see the country run by the guy that 40% of chose and who had to make concessions to the guy that the other 20% of us voted for. It really is a much better representation of a larger portion of the population. but I guess we haven't really had a representative government for some time now. :P

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