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Green Party Candidate David Cobb Answers Your Questions

samzenpus posted more than 9 years ago | from the third-party dept.

1038

Last Thursday you got to Ask Questions of the Green Party's US Presidential nominee, David Cobb He answered 12 of the most highly rated comments. A thanks goes to Mr.Cobb for taking the time to explain some of his positions to us. Read on to see what he has to say.

Switching (Score:5, Interesting) by MikeMack (788889)

If I was a Republican or Democrat, what would you say to me to make me switch to the Green Party?

The Green Party offers both Republicans and Democrats the true essence of what each of their parties should be. For Republicans, the Greens offer true conservatism, which means keeping the government out of your personal business, out of your bedroom and out of your library. A true conservative would never support the so-called "Patriot Act;" nor would a true patriot for that matter. A true political conservative would recognize that public resources, such as forests, parks and oceans, should be conserved for use and enjoyment by future generations.

For Democrats, Greens are the party which champions what Democrats used to: support for working people and people of color and protection of the environment.

Both Democrats and Republicans don't represent the people of this country, they represent the transnational corporations who line their pockets and make their election to public office possible.

How do you avoid corruption? (Score:5, Interesting) by kwiqsilver (585008)

It's commonly accepted that power corrupts politicians. The Greens are always speaking out against politicians who sell favors to their corporate buddies or other special interests. But the Green party also espouses a system where the government strictly regulates most industry. How do you propose to have such strong government controlled regulation, without falling victim to the corruption inherent in a bureaucratic system?

The bureaucratic system may well be corrupt but what we really need to address is the corruption in the White House and in Congress-that's who makes the laws and the decisions which support the transnational corporate empire. The halls of Congress are filled with lobbyists representing the international profiteers who play Congress like puppets on strings. Although, I suppose, instead of strings it's campaign contributions which make the puppets dance.

If we take the private money out of our public elections and away from our public officials, we'll go a long way in addressing corruption and ensuring that we truly have a government by the people. We also need to strengthen public meeting laws so Dick Cheney and Enron can never again meet in private to determine the energy needs of this country. We also have to stop the revolving door between industry, Congress and the White House. There have to be much tighter restrictions on public servants going over to private industry.

Here goes again (Score:5, Insightful) by MORTAR_COMBAT! (589963)

I'll ask the same questions I posed to the Libertarian candidate:

Would you approve of, and what would you think would be the results of, the following election reforms:

1. Abolition of electoral college, president is elected by simple popular vote.

The Electoral College is an historical, anti-democratic and racist anachronism which needs to be abolished. If you're wondering why it is racist, remember that when it was created, slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person to determine representation, yet they couldn't vote. Therefore, slave states had greater representation in the Electoral College-as if counting any human being as a portion of person wasn't insulting enough.

However, replacing the Electoral College with what you call a "simple popular vote" really doesn't go far enough. We need to replace it with Instant Runoff Voting to ensure that the winner of the popular vote wins with a majority of that vote. Instant Runoff Voting is a voting system, used to elect the mayor of London, the president of Ireland and many office-holders in Australia, which allows you to rank candidates in order of preference. If someone wins a majority of first choice votes, the election is over. If no one wins in the first round, the candidate with the fewest first choice votes is eliminated and a runoff is held instantly taking into account the second choice votes of people who voted for the eliminated candidates.

Instant Runoff Voting will be used in San Francisco this November and a number of other cities and counties have approved of using it or are considering doing so. Instant Runoff Voting, or IRV, solves the perceived "spoiler" problem because you can vote for all the candidates you like; you don't have to make a lesser-evil choice. I encourage people to learn more about IRV at Center for Voting and Democracy.

2. Federal mandate that electoral votes from a state be split proportional to the popular vote within that state. (e.g. if California splits 60-40 Kerry-Bush, then their electoral votes are split 60-40 as well). This helps move away from the very brittle "all or nothing" electoral system, where as few as 1 fraudulent or defrauded vote can change the outcome of the national election for president.

I believe we should move rapidly towards Instant Runoff Voting, as outlined above, rather than tinker with an anachronistic relic.

3. Constitutional amendment granting naturalised citizens the eligibility to run for president or vice president. This would allow for the 2008 ticket for the new political party, C.O.P. (Cast Of Predator) to field Arnold Schwartzeneggar and Jesse Venutra as their presidential ticket.

Democracy should be as inclusive as possible. While I don't necessarily find myself opposed to this proposed amendment, I believe there are much more profound and necessary reforms, such as Instant Runoff Voting and proportional representation, where we should focus our energy and attention.

Our country is made up of immigrants. Your place of birth should not disqualify someone from serving as president or vice president.

Lastly a question: is the democratic system as instituted in the United States hopelessly mired in a two-party stranglehold, leaving corporate interest in defacto charge of the discussion? Is legal election reform necessary, or even possible?

Election reform is absolutely necessary, it is possible and we are being successful in changing our system for the better. Instant Runoff Voting is part of the equation. So are open and unrestricted debates, free media for candidates on the public airwaves which we own, less burdensome access to the ballot, proportional representation and public financing of campaigns. A number of states, including Maine, Massachusetts and Arizona, have been successful in implementing campaign finance reform.

We also have to strike right at the heart of the corporate empire and rescind the human rights which have mistakenly been conferred on corporations.

Voting Rights for Noncitizens? (Score:5, Interesting)by anzha (138288)

Thank you for your time. Recently in San Francisco, Matt Gonzalez, a popular local Green Party politico, has been pushing for the ability for noncitizens to vote in some of the local elections. While there are other places that offer this long before SF, it seems as though this erodes the differences between having citizenship or not. Rather than expanding the franchise this way, why not work to streamline the process for getting citizenship and encourage people to seek it?

Can you expound and explain a bit on your stance on this?

Matt Gonzalez has championed the ability of non-citizens who have kids in school to be able to vote in School Board elections. This makes sense and we should support it.

I would like to see the process streamlined so that undocumented workers, who are here and are paying taxes and contributing to our society, can obtain citizenship more simply and easily. We have to remember that we are all immigrants or the children of immigrants, with, of course, the exception of the Native people of this continent.

Mainstream Perception (Score:5, Interesting) by Locky (608008)

The Green Party is best known for its progressive policies on the environment, however its other policies are often shrouded by this, most people not knowing where the Green Party stands on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

What do you think might be the best approach to educate the masses about the rest of Green Party polices?

Greens work both within and outside of the electoral system for genuine democracy, social and racial justice, a healthy environment and for peace and non-violence. We have to march both in the streets and into the ballot box. If we do one and not the other, we won't be successful. All great social movements have used this approach.

Greens believe in freedom and privacy. We support same-sex marriage and reproductive choice.

Copyright and Digital Law (Score:5, Interesting) by Nick Fury (624480)

Obviously we here at slashdot are a bit on the techie side. I know that I have personally watched my rights being taken away from me over the past few years. Mainly my right to fair use. Under current law it is illegal to watch CSS encoded DVDs under Linux or any other Open Source operating system. What are you and your party's feelings on loosening certain restrictions to make the act of fair use a right again.

Also, on the concept of intellectual property and copyright laws. What are your party's and your feelings on the current trend of extending the length of copyright terms? Do you have any plans to reverse the current trend or perhaps to set the lengths back to their original terms?

Nick, first let's look at what the Green Party's platform says about open source: copyrights:

"10. The Green Party supports protection of software (free or proprietary) by means of the copyright. We strongly oppose granting of software patents. Mathematical algorithms are discovered, not invented, by humans; therefore, they are not patentable. The overwhelming majority of software patents cover algorithms and should never have been awarded, or they cover message formats of some kind, which are essentially arbitrary. Format patents only exist to restrain competition, and the harm falls disproportionately on programmers who work independently or for the smallest employers."

Greens favor information flows that come from the grassroots and empower the grassroots. Excellent examples include free/open-source software, open document formats, and the Creative Commons Licenses. We recognize that creativity and productiveness do not exist in a vacuum. Rather, most innovations build on earlier innovations. Creators and producers should be entitled to seek financial compensation for their work - or not, as they choose - but to wall their work off from public access for unreasonable lengths of time is, well, unreasonable.

For most of the history of the US Patents and Copyrights Office, most patent applications were denied. Most "inventions" didn't meet the triple test of being novel, useful/valuable, and not obvious to "someone skilled in the art." Patents that were granted lasted 12 years which was considered to be a third of an invention's useful life. Today, the patent office rubber stamps just about anything. We don't need a new policy, we need the old policy. Let's give standing to all stakeholders to challenge and strike down mistaken or overly broad patents, or patents granted despite the existence of prior art. (Besides genetic patents being a particularly vile abuse of corporate power, genes are, by definition, prior art. We oppose the genetic modification of organisms, as well, but that's another topic.) There's also a place for an eminent domain process for striking down a patent when there is an overriding public interest, as in the case of absurdly overpriced life-saving drugs.

In copyrights, as in patents, we favor not a new policy, but a return to the original, which provided for protection for 20 years.

If we get the general principle right, we won't need a special policy for protecting proprietary digital artworks or people's right to make fair use copies of them. But we do need a prohibition on abusive license agreements. The case law striking down "shrink wrap licenses" should be legislated. A valid contract provides an equal exchange of value: It's not all prohibitions on one party while the other party has no obligations and retains all rights. It shouldn't be legal for Microsoft, for example, to license its OS for use on only one particular CPU. That is, you shouldn't have to buy a new copy of XP when you upgrade your motherboard. When you buy a movie on DVD you should be allowed to play it on any DVD player, and when you buy a copy of an OS you should be allowed to run it on all your computers. This should be a natural result of a more general prohibition on unfair contracts.

I am happy to say that our website is open source (Plone/Zope, running on BSD).

Three Contentious Technologies (Score:5, Interesting) by rumblin'rabbit (711865)

Here are three technologies which environmental groups have generally been opposed to, but which have undergone major advancements in recent years: * Nuclear energy. * High-temperature garbage incineration. * Genetically modified foods.

All of these technologies have drawbacks, but they also have many advantages over the alternatives. Nuclear energy does not produce greenhouse gases, incineration destroys toxic chemicals and does not require land fill, and GM foods can greatly reduce the amounts of pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer, or water needed to grow food.

What is the Green Parties' stance on these, and do you see them changing their stance in the near future?

Greens have moved beyond a lesser-evil approach to politics as well as to the issues you describe above. I cannot under any circumstances accept nuclear power and genetically modified foods as a healthy alternative. There are such simpler and more sensible ways to approach these issues. We could easily eliminate the need for nuclear power by conserving more energy. We could replace nuclear power-and coal and other dirty forms of producing power-with the abundance of solar energy which shines on our country. Wind turbines, like the one I visited in Nebraska recently, are also part of the solution.

Food was grown by humankind for an awfully long time and rather successfully before the advent of pesticides and herbicides. We don't need that poison on our foods, on our soil or in our water supplies. And we don't need Frankenfood either.

As to our shortage of landfill space, we need to increase recycling and require manufacturers to take material back if it is not completely recyclable or biodegradable.

Drug Reform (Score:5, Interesting) by L3on (610722)

What is your stance on the use of medical-marijana? What do you think can be done to change the way in which the war on drugs in America is being fought, either legalizing/decriminalizing and taxing or otherwise?

Furthermore, How will you deal with our budget deficit and reform the GOP's relentless tax cuts and the Democratic Party's exorbanent spending?

Marijuana has been declared by an Administrative Judge for the FDA as one of the safest therapeutic substances known. I fully support the right of physicians and patients to use what they deem best for treatment.

The "war on drugs" is racist and an insult to all Americans. This "war" has incarcerated people of color at a much higher rate than white people. It has resulted in senseless attacks on innocent people and on our Constitution. We have to treat drug addiction as a health problem, not as a crime.

The main contributing factor to our national deficit is the world's largest military budget. The Green Party supports closing overseas military bases and reducing the military budget by 50% over ten years.

Single Payer Healthcare (Score:4, Interesting) by Coryoth (254751)

You often point out that pretty much every developed western country except the US has some form of single payer healthcare, and I think it is a valid issue, worth dicussing. However, having lived in a few countries that operate such a system I have generally found the governments involved to be having difficulties sustaining the system.

"The dilemma amounts to this: as medical science continues to advance, and as we in general live longer and longer, the amount of things that can be done continues to expand, along with the costs involved with any new technologically advanced treatments. Because of this, the costs of providing complete healthcare continue to expand at a rate faster than we can pay for. With healthcare, if something is possible, people tend to demand that it be done, even if we do not have the resources to do it.

Complete provision of healthcare simply isn't a sustainable practice as the costs are not proportionally bound by population (and hence very roughly speaking, government income), but instead by the ever expanding limits of medical science.

How do you intend to deal with this dilemma? Do you only plan to provide single payer healthcare for core and emergency services only? Do you intend to allow a parallel private health system to provide the more expensive treatments?

The basic point of single payer is that it is cheaper to administer and also that the cost of pharmaceuticals are lower as a result of bulk purchase. It is true what you say, the costs of medical care will increase in all countries as a result of innovation. However, empirical evidence shows that they will increase far less in countries that employ single payer. The best example is that of Canada and the U.S. When Canada enacted single payer their health care costs were the same percent of GDP as the U.S. Now, some 30 years later, they spend 8.9% while we spend close to15% of GDP. They spend much less in Canada on health care while treatment outcomes are similar overall in both countries.

Besides, we could pay for lifelong health care for every citizen in this country, along with college tuition for everyone who wanted to attend universities, if we stopped waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan and cut 50% from the biggest and most bloated military budget in the history of our planet. We could also do a much better job of focusing on preventative measures and take special care of infants and pregnant women, thereby ensuring a healthier start to life and reducing costs later on.

We are not opposed to allowing a private system to offer services not covered by a public system, such as Canada does. However, it is our intention to offer a comprehensive health care system which includes outpatient, inpatient, medication, dental, mental health and long term care, as research shows that this is both the most efficient and effective means for delivering health care to our population.

Viable Third-parties (Score:5, Interesting) by thewiz (24994)

Mr. Cobb, What do you believe is necessary for your party or any other to become a viable third party in American elections? Even though George Washington warned against having a partisan political system in his farewell speech, America seems to have developed a two-party system that forces third-parties out of the political process.

Also, what do you think of the Democratic and Republican parties shift away from what's good for America toward what is good for their respective parties and the businesses / people that support them while leaving the majority of Americans out?.

The need for a viable third party-or a second one, given the similarities between the two old establishment parties-is obvious and dire. We need a viable political alternative because thousands of innocent civilians and hundreds of young American kids have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need a viable political alternative because we are the only industrialized nation which doesn't provide health care for its citizens. We need a viable political alternative because our country is addicted to fossil fuel and will literally kill to sustain this addiction. We need an alternative because both of the old parties support the expensive and failed "war on drugs." We need an alternative because they are more intent on building prisons than schools; because they conspired to pass the unconstitutional civil liberty-threatening "Patriot" Act and because we need to develop a solar-based economy and create family wage jobs.

We need a viable political alternative because we need to manufacture democracy here at home before we can export it.

We don't have a "two party system" so much as we have an electoral system which favors two center-right political parties. And those two parties have done everything in their power to maintain their power and eliminate, ridicule and harass the competition.

To establish viable political alternatives, we first have to create a genuine democracy. Let's remember that this country was founded by rich, white landowners for their benefit. Our founders did not create a democracy. "The people" did not-and still don't-elect the president or the judiciary. Only the House of Representatives was elected by the people when this country was founded and those people were not women or people of color or the poor.

Our democracy is evolving and we still have a long ways to go. We need to get private money out of public elections and public policy. We can't have Enron and Dick Cheney's friends writing our energy policies in secret. We need to open up the whole process including how we make decisions on who will represent us. We need to have presidential debates open to all candidates on enough ballots to win the presidency. We need to address our voter participation rates which are among the lowest of any democracy.

I'm glad to see that we are making inroads with Instant Runoff Voting which will be used this fall in San Francisco's city elections. Instant Runoff Voting is a voting method which eliminates the perceived "spoiler" problem and ensures that the winner of an election has the support of a majority of voters. Our last three presidential elections were won with less than a majority vote. Instant Runoff Voting solves this problem and allows you to vote your hopes instead of your fears.

Most democracies use proportional representation to elect their legislatures. Countries which use proportional representation have a much broader representation of political parties and also have greater representation by women and higher voter turnout.

Of course, first a party has to get on the ballot in the first place and here again, the U.S. is light years behind the rest of the world. The United States is the only country where someone has to comply with 51 different and separate requirements to run for national office.

We also have to address the corporate control of the media. It's gotten to the point where, literally, a handful of companies control everything most people see and hear on the radio, on television and in the movies. We, the people, need to reclaim our public airwaves and we need to support our local, grassroots broadcasters.

Green activists are working on all these issues and, with San Francisco as just one example, we are succeeding, even if success is often incremental and not as quick as we would like. These issues also provide an opportunity to work in coalition with other political parties, concerned citizens and "good government" organizations.

To address your other question, I'm not sure that the two old parties actually ever represented the people. As long as there have been powerful, monied interests in this country, they have had their servants in Washington, D.C.

The Green Party is beholden to no one except the people. That, above all else, is what makes us unique.

All politics is local (Score:5, Insightful) by Quixote (154172)

In the words of Tip O'Neill, "All politics is local".

What is this desire to aim directly for the Whitehouse? Why not pool resources and fight the local battles? By aiming for the presidency (and ignoring the local politics), you are setting yourselves up for a fall. We all know that in a 2-party system, rigged the way it is, your chances of winning the Whitehouse are somewhere between 0.00 and 0.000. Then why waste the resources on this race?

How many members of Congress do you have? How many locally elected officials does the Green Party have? How many judicial appointees do you have? See the pattern here?

Maybe this isn't a question as much as a rant, but if you feel like, please answer why you are wasting the time and effort on a run for the Whitehouse, when the same resources, applied at local levels, would yield immensely more benefit.

I'm glad you asked this question because many people are not aware of the fact that the Greens have elected hundreds of local officials all across this country, including Green judges. We have elected city and county councilors, school board members, soil and water conservation board members, mayors and members of state legislatures. And that's just in this country. The Green Party is an international movement and around the world we have elected members to over two dozen national legislatures and parliaments. We haven't yet elected a member of congress in this country but we will. We are getting bigger, stronger and better organized in each election cycle. We are the fastest growing political party in America.

One of the reasons why we are the fastest growing party in America is because we participate in presidential elections. Like it or not, much of the nation-indeed the world-focuses on our presidential election. One of the main reasons I'm running is to continue to build the Green Party; to register more Green voters and especially to support local candidates. Running a national and a multitude of local races are not mutually exclusive endeavors. They are actually symbiotic and each enforces and supports the other.

Obvious answer (Score:5, Funny) by RickyRay (73033)

Obviously with the current unpopularity of Bush and Kerry the final vote is down to either you or Ralph Nader. What decisive advantages do you feel you have over Nader that make you more likely to win the presidency? ;-)

Thank you for the vote of confidence, but I am a realist and realize that until there are some significant changes in this country-especially how we conduct presidential elections, including campaign finance reform, Instant Runoff Voting and free use of the public airwaves, the chances of a Green winning the presidency are somewhat remote. I do believe, however, that we will be successful in time.

In this election, the Cobb-LaMarche campaign is the only campaign which supports a genuine, progressive agenda for change and which will continue building a movement beyond Election Day. Greens are in this for the long haul. What we are trying to accomplish is greater than any one candidate or any single election. People who want to invest in a long-term movement for peace, for social and racial justice, for grassroots democracy and for a sustainable economy and environment should vote Green.

We are the party of peace, we are the party of hope and we are the party of America's future.

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1038 comments

Thank you Mr. Cobb (-1, Redundant)

Gentoo Fan (643403) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405438)

"Nothing for you to see here. Please move along."

At least he's consice.

Instant Runoff Voting (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405456)

As if the two major parties are going to let that happen.

"racist" (-1, Flamebait)

Twirlip of the Mists (615030) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405465)

The Electoral College is an historical, anti-democratic and racist anachronism

Oooh, you lost me at "I'm a colossal dumbass." People who use the word "racist" when there is absolutely no racial argument to be made whatsoever--not even an obviously specious one--are not worth our time or attention.

Re:"racist", perhaps prejudice (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405500)

slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person to determine representation

What else would you describe this as being, unless of course you also want to include women in the definition of slavery?

Re:"racist", perhaps prejudice (0)

Chess_the_cat (653159) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405558)

The Electoral College is an historical, anti-democratic and racist anachronism.

Here, I've highlighted the important words for you.

Re:"racist", perhaps prejudice (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405629)

A little definition of anachronism:-

One that is out of its proper or chronological order, especially a person or practice that belongs to an earlier time

Re:"racist", perhaps prejudice (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405567)

Yes it was a long time ago true, but its not true anymore. Either way the slave count was most important in the taxation and the representation in congress. The North wanted the slaves to be taxed as full persons (remember the feds taxes a state based on population back then, no individual federal tax) but to not to be full people for counting representative. Obviously the south wanted it the other way. So a comprimise was reached. Either way it wasn't just about blacks there were non black slaves, so to say the electoral college is racist is a bit of a stretch, maybe say it had ties to slavery.

Re:"racist" (1)

ral315 (741081) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405541)

No, it does keep minorities out of winning anything. If Barack Obama were to run as a third-party candidate, even with his strong following with the African American community, and in many whites' minds, it wouldn't do much, as he would carry very few states and likely receive no electoral votes.

Re:"racist" (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405570)

And this is different than the white 3rd party canadites how?

Re:"racist" (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405587)

WTF!!!!! Do your saying the oppression of 3rd parties is racist!! WOW.. Just WOW!

Re:"racist" (2, Insightful)

magarity (164372) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405784)

If Barack Obama were to run as a third-party candidate ... it wouldn't do much, as he would carry very few states and likely receive no electoral votes.

Umm, maybe he wouldn't get any electorial votes because at 41 he's too young to run for president.

While we're on race, compare the Clinton's, the self-styled "first black president", cabinet with GWB's.

What do you think of a Guiliani / Powell GOP ticket in 2008?

Re:"racist" (1)

Megahurtz (154320) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405608)

If you kept reading the paragraph, you would have seen his argument:

"If you're wondering why it is racist, remember that when it was created, slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person to determine representation, yet they couldn't vote. Therefore, slave states had greater representation in the Electoral College-as if counting any human being as a portion of person wasn't insulting enough"

By the way, the name is Dumas...

Re:"racist" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405778)

So it was racist THEN.

Where is the proof that it is racist NOW. Certinaly black voters are no longer counted by partials any more.

Re:"racist" (1, Insightful)

saforrest (184929) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405612)

Oooh, you lost me at "I'm a colossal dumbass." People who use the word "racist" when there is absolutely no racial argument to be made whatsoever--not even an obviously specious one--are not worth our time or attention.

Well, one could argue plausibly that, because the Electoral College gives greater representation to rural areas than urban ones, that it is unfairly biased towards whites simply because few people of color live in rural areas.

Further, one could argue plausibly that since most states have a winner-takes-all approach to electing Electoral College representatives, that their systems are unfairly biased towards "the majority", which is in many cases white European descendants.

I have no interest in defending these claim, but you could make them. One does not need to have poll taxes or segregated waiting rooms to have racism.

Re:"racist" (1)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405748)

...since most states have a winner-takes-all approach to electing Electoral College representatives, that their systems are unfairly biased towards "the majority", which is in many cases white European descendants.

As far as I know, democracies are always biased toward the majority. If they weren't, it wouldn't be a democracy.

I suppose we could normalize votes between minorities and majorities. But what are you goint to do when every election gets normalized to a tie?

Re:"racist" (2, Interesting)

phyruxus (72649) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405640)

>>People who use the word "racist" when there is absolutely no racial argument to be made whatsoever--not even an obviously specious one--are not worth our time or attention.

Please read the story again. Mr Cobb clearly stated that the electoral college's foundation is in the slave era and owes to the fact that slaves could not vote but were counted as 3/5ths of a person for voting purposes; the electoral college addressed the counting of vote-ineligible population by assigning "electors" to represent the weighted populations.

>>Oooh, you lost me at "I'm a colossal dumbass."

I must have missed the line where Mr Cobb said "Twirlip of the Mists is a collosal dumbass". What specifically do you find offensive about his position?

Re:"racist" (1)

stevejsmith (614145) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405696)

Oh, but there is! Did you even read what he wrote? The idea was that by using an electoral college system, you kill the extreme minorities' votes - namely blacks, immigrants, and slaves. This is a cause-effect thing, where x is the cause and the electoral college is the effect - not the other way around.

There are a lot of things that were actually racist at the time, but are not inherently racist. The 1914 Harrison anti-drug act was one of them, as was the disenfranchisement that occurred in Florida, as was - although not necessarily is - the electoral college.

Now, saying that something was racist isn't the same as saying that something is racist, but it sure does hint at a huge flaw in its inception. The Harrison act might do a lot of good in keeping heroin and crack-cocaine illegal, but what reason do we still have for keeping marijuana illegal but that at one point in time a lot of blacks and Mexicans used it? How is marijuana any different than alcohol? I can tell you that the most obvious cause of death resulting from alcohol is car-related fatalities, and I can also tell you that driving while stoned is a hell of a lot safer than driving while drink. And the lung cancer thing doesn't apply, considering cigarette smokes ingest a lot more smoke for the amount that they smoke and cigarettes are actually physically - and psychologically - addictive, as opposed to marijuana which is only mildly psychologically addictive.

Anyway, the whole marijuana thing was just a really round-about way of showing you that even if the causes might not be apparent, there are a lot of things that were originally racist, even if we cannot conceive of them today. Sure, a lot of people through around the word "racist" when it's not even remotely relevant, but in this case, it is.

Re:"racist" (1)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405816)

Oooh, you lost me at "I'm a colossal dumbass." People who use the word "racist" when there is absolutely no racial argument to be made whatsoever--not even an obviously specious one--are not worth our time or attention.

I take the same stance, but this is an argument made by many and is not without merit (at least, if I'm reading him correctly).

I think that the issue that he has is not so much with the Electoral College per se (as it might exist in a vacuum) as the existing electoral system (which in common parlance gets associated with the Electoral College).

And there *are* racially-biased policies involved with our existing voting system. Specifically, Southern states generally restrict sufferage of those jailed for felonies (of which many -- and perhaps most; I'm not familiar with the details involved -- are drug-related and overwhelmingly black).

This is pretty much a Republican dirty trick, as most of those people would otherwise vote Democrat. I'm sure that Democrats have plenty of their own dirty tricks to try to suppress Republican votes. This one tends to get a lot of interest from third party candidates because it's tied in with other controversial topics like the War on Drugs and racism.

We still don't know... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405469)

about his stance on anal sex. I think we should be told.

I'll answer his question: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405472)

Yes, I would like fries with that.

what my party should be? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405474)

The Green Party offers both Republicans and Democrats the true essence of what each of their parties should be.
...
Greens believe in freedom and privacy. We support same-sex marriage and reproductive choice.

Thanks for the honest answer. As a Republican, I feel this is not what my party should be.

Re:what my party should be? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405701)

Thank you for admitting that you're homophobic and misogynist.

Re:what my party should be? (3, Funny)

0x0d0a (568518) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405724)

Okay, I can understand that someone with a fundamentalist Christian background could take stands against gay/lesbian marriage and abortion, but what's your gripe with freedom and privacy?

Re:what my party should be? (2, Funny)

Fred_A (10934) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405837)

Privacy for lesbians ? Free gays roaming the streets ?

Are you INSANE ? Think of the children !!!

(mod me down, I don't care, I'm not even from the US :) )

Re:what my party should be? (2, Interesting)

illuvata (677144) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405731)

When he talked of 'the true essence' of the republican party, he was talking about leaving people their rights, as opposed to cramming your morals down other peoples throats.

re: what my party should be? (2, Insightful)

ed.han (444783) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405782)

my reading of mr. cobb's answer is that he's responding in the context of the failed gay marriage prohibition constitutional amendment. that's a traditionally non-conservative approach to what social conservatives view as a social problem. now, viewed in that context, his answer makes sense: that's not in line with the traditional republican mantras of fiscal responsibility or smaller government.

ed

And that is why you fail (3, Insightful)

paranode (671698) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405489)

"For Democrats, Greens are the party which champions what Democrats used to: support for working people and people of color and protection of the environment."

In my book, this is why I can't stand neither the Democrats nor the Greens. Libertarians have a much better sense of what equality really means, not overcompensation by creating two wrongs.

Re:And that is why you fail (4, Interesting)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405611)

the libertarian view would work if there was a level playing field.

There isn't. And that is why they fail.

Re:And that is why you fail (1)

syrinx (106469) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405824)

So can poor white children receive extra help, since they started out "so far behind"?

Oh, that's right, they don't count, only "people of color" could possibly need anything.

Libertarians don't know anything about equality (2, Interesting)

October_30th (531777) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405619)

Libertarians have a much better sense of what equality really means

Huh? Equality as in: "You're stupid, sick, handicapped, lazy or environmentally conscious and therefore you should be treated like shit by the dog-eat-dog, profit-hounding winners with a can-do attitude like us"?

Hey, wake up already! It's OK to be lazy (the truly lazy will always be in a minority), stupid, sick, handicapped and politically conscious and to be supported by tax money. It's the primary function of a society to guarantee the welfare of the weak - not to guarantee free trade or maximum profit for you "winners".

I vote for Greens because they've got a pretty centrist - at least in a European context - fiscal policy and very liberal social agenda (drugs, sex, immigration and religion).

Re:Libertarians don't know anything about equality (3, Insightful)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405808)

It's OK to be lazy (the truly lazy will always be in a minority), stupid, sick, handicapped and politically conscious and to be supported by tax money. It's the primary function of a society to guarantee the welfare of the weak - not to guarantee free trade or maximum profit for you "winners".


No it's not OK to be lazy. Being stupid (genetically) is something beyond our control, but being uneducated is not excusable either. If you are sick or handicapped, I agree, it is fair for society to guarantee your welfare and help support you. I do agree that you can be socially liberal, focused on the concept of individual liberty, and fiscally moderate, without being a Randian bastard. This is why I don't call myself a libertarian, though I agree with libertarians on many issues.


In any case, pure laziness or lack of education are definitely not excuses to be on the dole for life. The primary function of society is to balance everybody's interests and end up with a net utilitarian benefit without screwing anybody over too much. Protecting the weak is definitely one important function of society, but the interests of the slothful and stupid shouldn't be given more consideration than the interests of those who contribute more to society.

Re:Libertarians don't know anything about equality (5, Insightful)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405813)

Interestingly, this says a lot about your preconceived notions:

"It's the primary function of a society to guarantee the welfare of the weak"

I personally do not want to live in such a society. Yes, everyone should be given the tools to make themselves happy (whether stupid, sick handicapped, etc.), but an external force will NEVER be able to make someone happy.

I believe that the primary function of society is to give everyone an even chance. Beyond that, what you do with it is your own affair. (Yes, there should exist safety nets for people that get slammed by pure economics. But that is not the primary function of society, in my opinion.)

The key here is that what anyone believes the primary function of society is going to be opinion, not fact.

Oh, by the way, I am handicapped.

Re:Libertarians don't know anything about equality (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405833)

I'm not going to get into a full-out flame war here, but I'm going to generally respond to you here.

We live in a *modified* capitalist society. Capitalism in it's most basic form says that more or less those who work hard, and play by the rules of economics, and the market willing will succeed. In true capitalism, the lazy are not propped up for a socialistic hand-out. (Note: DO NOT mis-read my use of the word 'socialism' as Russian or Communism and the stigmas that go along with it. Read the word as it is.)

We have modified our capitalism to have a few socialistic aspects. One of which is our (badly broken) welfare system. Yes, this system is supposed to prop up, to a degree, 'the weak' as you say. Those who are somehow limited in their ability to make their own way. What that broken system lacks is the ability to move those who are capable towards hability. We have too many freeloaders. There are many who are fully capable, who are *LAZY*. IMHO, IT IS NOT "a primary function of society to guarante teh welfare of the"...(weak by your definition) "stupid...(and)...lazy". Those who are stupid can learn. Those who are lazy should be motivated. That doesn't mean you have to have aspirations of great wealth, but it does mean that you don't have an infinite right to leech off of society just because you don't feel like doing for yourself.

We all have our rough times in life, true, but our welfare system is better than most, but still pretty abysmal.

A captialistic society is dog-eat-dog, and it makes everyone better for it. You need to understand that we've made a trade-off. We're not purely capitalistic. We have a socialist side too, and I believe THAT is what allows the large corporations to get away with some of the things that they do. We've had to band-aid our pseudo-captialism with all sorts of trade rules, restrictions, anti-trust limitations, governmentally-support monopolies, subsidies, etc. to try to make it work. American is, and always has been, a big experiment in economics. A mostly successful one. That's something that I, and all of us, should be very proud of.

Re:And that is why you fail (2, Funny)

Gzip Christ (683175) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405624)

For Democrats, Greens are the party which champions what Democrats used to: support for working people and people of color and protection of the environment
The thing is, Greens are only interested in championing people one particular color [usatoday.com] . For shame.

Dear Mr. Cobb (5, Funny)

Letter (634816) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405503)

Dear Mr. Cobb,

Is it easy being Green?

Sincerely,
Letter

"people of color " (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405510)

He uses that idiotic phrase.

How is that better than 'colored people'?

I really don't get it.

It's stilted, and kind of like saying, "Jeans of Blue".

It is also insulting to caucasians. Just look at John Kerry. He certainly is a 'person of color'.
Pumpkin color, but that is certainly a color.

Re:"people of color " (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405599)

Indeed, why not just say non-whites?

How does either use of term declare to the world that I am not a racist?

From my point of view, in this context, purely differentiating is a racist stance, and the lack of confidence in the persons own ability to use descriptive words such as black etc. only cements my opinion that the person is a racist.

Re:"people of color " (1)

01dbs (696498) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405803)

"How is that better than 'colored people'?"

I think Cobb's purpose is to find some all-inclusive way to describe people who are not white. 'Colored people' is simply an outdated way of describing black people, and it's considered offensive by many, since it was generally used in a derogatory way in the days of Jim Crow. To me, 'non-white' carries some connotation of exclusivity, where 'people of color' is artful and inclusive.

But maybe someone else can suggest a better alternative...

Re:"people of color " (1)

WhiplashII (542766) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405842)

My daughter says I'm orange, so I guess I qualify...

Anybody from SF (3, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405522)

I have to ask, in San Fransciso is Instant runnoff voting being used for just the local elections, or will it be used for the presidential race as well?

It would be VERY interesting to see how the presidental votes come out in that race, you could very likly see a 3rd party winning or atleast getting a lot of support.

Re:Anybody from SF (2, Informative)

York the Mysterious (556824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405623)

It will only be used for the local elections in SF. It take some national level change to allow for the system in the presidential elections.

Re:Anybody from SF (4, Insightful)

ornil (33732) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405737)

You know, I think it is the state that decides how its electoral college votes are distributed. So it could in principle run instant runoff vote and determine their delegation based on that. IANAL, so please correct me if I am wrong.

Re:Anybody from SF (3, Informative)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405752)

Not necessarily. A state could have IRV and make the electoral votes match the IRV outcome.

-l

Re:Anybody from SF (2, Informative)

EnronHaliburton2004 (815366) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405773)

Local elections.

I don't think San Francisco City/County government has the authority to change how presidential votes are counted.

The Green Party did very well [ca.gov] in the San Francisco and many other Bay Area elections; and actually beat the Republicans in many districts (including my own).

During the 2000 Governer Elections, the Greens beat the Republicans [ca.gov]

I believe these elections were a large motivator in the IRV movement in San Francisco.

Plone/Zope, running on *BSD* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405527)

looks like someone didn't get the memo!

"Green food" (5, Insightful)

SteveAstro (209000) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405544)

Food was grown by humankind for an awfully long time and rather successfully without pesticides or herbicides

....but not for anything like as many people. Who is to die if the crops fail from something that a herbicide or pesticide could prevent ? Betch it ain't Americans. It'll be the poor bloody Indians or Africans. And "Green" America will do what then ?
Steve

Re:"Green food" (3, Interesting)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405603)

Some people in that movement think that too many people currently inhabit the earth. Crop failure would just help the population level get back to normal.

Re:"Green food" (1)

micromoog (206608) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405834)

What's the point of your .sig?

Proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405848)

Could you please provide some kind of proof for your accusation?

Re:"Green food" (3, Insightful)

York the Mysterious (556824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405693)

So what do you tell the people in Africa at the moment when Monsanto knocks on their doors and tells them to rip out their crops as they're patented. It's already happened and something tells me those people starved.

Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (5, Insightful)

Steve B (42864) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405572)

I cannot under any circumstances accept nuclear power and genetically modified foods as a healthy alternative. There are such simpler and more sensible ways to approach these issues. We could easily eliminate the need for nuclear power by conserving more energy. We could replace nuclear power-and coal and other dirty forms of producing power-with the abundance of solar energy which shines on our country. Wind turbines, like the one I visited in Nebraska recently, are also part of the solution.

Solar power and wind turbines have their own environmental problems (e.g. taking up lots of space and requiring lots of raw materials if scaled up to the point of making a significant dent in US energy needs). Nuclear power is actually more environmentally benign if the political problem of waste disposal (and, yes, it is a political, not a technical, problem) can be solved.

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (2, Insightful)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405637)

Europe does better with the political issues surrounding this than we do. And last I checked, France isn't a nuclear wasteland (though it does have other issues. ;) )

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (1)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405656)

I'm curious, since you seem to be more clued in than most of us, what the technical solution to waste disposal is.

My understanding of nuclear-power generation is that is essentially a variation on hydro-electric power, in that you submerse a radio-active substance in water which raises the temperature of the water creating a syphoning action which turns a turbine.

Given my description above, the 'waste' is now that contaminated water. Technically speaking, how would you resolve that?

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405769)

Read more about it here. [everything2.org]

As far as I know, the "waste" from nuclear power generation is the radioactive material. The water just needs to be cooled (hence those huge steaming towers that you see on the Simpsons).

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (1)

guhknew (123675) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405779)

You are absolutely, 100% wrong. A nuclear reactor does not simply operate by a radioactive substance increasing the temperature of water; a nuclear reaction has to occur. This means the atoms are actually split, releasing the energy of the atomic bonds. What results is a huge amount of heat and, when the reactor is submersed in water, this creates high pressure steam sufficient to turn a turbine. The water is absolutely NOT radioactive and it in fact vents off into the atmosphere. The radioactive bit is the spent fuel (IANANP, but I believe this is plutonium and other wastes).

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405783)


Umm, no, the water is let back into the ecosystem as warm water. There's no contamination of the water (here in Ontario, we have two power plants on lake Ontario that feed thier water back into the lake).

The waste is the remanents of the Uranium that was running the power plant, and is now a different radioactive isotope with a longer half-life.

That's what the disposal problem is. And it is not a technical problem -- many viable solutions exist for long-term containment of nuclear waste, as well as reprocessing of waste into less hazerdous materials.

It's a political problem -- the US has a highly, highly irrational stance on Nuclear technologies (thanks mainly to the widespread fearmongering of Greenpeace and related groups), and so any research into reactors that could reprocess this waste into something less dangerous, or any initiatives to find a place to bury it for 50,000 years are stonewalled by groups acting on those irrational fears.

Both the Democrats and the Republicans have a very firm "no new nuclear power" policy. That isn't going to change anytime soon, so the American's needs for electricity have to be solved some other way.

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (0, Flamebait)

Fnkmaster (89084) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405706)

Unfortunately, if you want to get in bed with these people, you have to realize who your bunkmates are. They aren't well-thought out, rational environmental thinkers. They are the same people who protest everything with the word 'nuclear' or 'genetically modified' in it. This guy is just playing to his base.


So no, the Green Party isn't trying to change thinking on nuclear power or other environmental issues to be logically sound, they are just trying to represent the positions of their left wing (usually slightly nutty) party members. These are the same people who buy organic this and organic that, and shell out lots of money for holistic health care and strange nutritional supplements despite the complete lack of scientific evidence to back up their 'lifestyle'. And you expect them to suddenly become rational scientific thinkers?

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (1, Insightful)

networkBoy (774728) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405711)

"We could replace nuclear power-and coal and other dirty forms of producing power-with the abundance of solar energy which shines on our country."

Specifically the problem with this is that the ammount of damage to the environment caused by producing solar arrays capable of competing with nuclear power completely dwarf the nuclear waste from the reactor.

Thus: Green party == idiot (IMHO)

While I realise the above statement may be flamebait, I can't see how the more polluting technology is preferable to an environmental group. Also the land area used by solar is much greater than nuclear, even accounting for the storage of waste.
-nB

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (4, Informative)

pctainto (325762) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405725)

Ok, I'll bite...

The disposal of nuclear waste IS a technical problem. This problem is inherently imposed by the politicians forcing science to its limits, but to say that we can safely throw tons and tons of nuclear waste in a mountain without a hitch is utterly ridiculous. There are a few problems that are not political...

Getting the waste there:
Yes, that's right, the waste has to get there. ALmost all nuclear plants are on the east coast and would be moving to the west coast. That is A LOT of waste being transported on today's roads or rails. What would happen if just one of these 96,000 (! over 40 years) trucks got in an accident. What if it were hit by a terrorist? Does it make sense to send this waste thousands of miles by road?

Keeping the waste away from groundwater/reducing other contamination:
If you are ignorant on the situation, let me remind you of Maxi Flats, KY. A temporary nuclear waste depository was made there in the 80s. They said that it would take 24,000 for the radioactivity to travel a 1/2 inch ON SITE... they were off by SIX orders of magnitude. It took 10 years for the radioactivity to get TWO MILES OFF SITE. That's a serious mistake! Now, I'm not saying we haven't gotten smarter, but there are many similar assumptions about migration that are still being used.

Geological problems:
There are earthquakes near Yucca Mountain -- there was one there last year. Geologist CANNOT predict what's going to happen. Also, geologist model Yucca mountain as a uniform rock instead of the complex, cracked, structure that it probably is. This makes simulation easier but can lead to drastic miscalculations.

Anyway, if you look at the FACTS and past history, you will see that a permanent storage facility is perhaps not as great as you would think. It makes much more sense to have many, small, repositories that could be guarded for 100 years, and hopefully in that time we know more about what the hell is going on. Politics does not play into these technological problems -- politics is what is making these problems a serious problem because it is forcing scientist to come to conclusions which aren't very well founded..

Re:Knee-Jerk Nucleophobia (4, Insightful)

American AC in Paris (230456) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405838)

Agreed. Conservation is an essential part of a viable long-term energy strategy, but it is a way of reducing costs, not replacing fuel sources.

Solar is promising, but we really need a next-generation solar collection technology to make it viable on a large scale; current systems are cumbersome, comparatively fragile, and contain small amounts of toxic compounds which require careful disposal. Wind power is similarly cumbersome, and requires large amounts of space to generate comparatively little power. They're promising technologies, but they're not there yet, and we may not hit that next-big breakthrough for a while.

The biggest thing nuclear power has going against it as that a lot of people are really, really scared of it. Nevermind that we now have rugged, compact reactor designs that are literally incapable of melting down. Nevermind that we're finding new and better ways of securing/reusing waste every day. Nevermind that we can generate staggering amounts of power in a very, very small space. Nevermind that the physically small amount of waste material is not steadily pumped back into the air we breathe and the water we drink. Nevermind that it could be used to easily meet our power needs in its current technological state.

When, oh when, is the environmental mainstream going to wake up to the boon of nuclear power?

::sigh:: (3, Insightful)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405576)

Greens have moved beyond a lesser-evil approach to politics as well as to the issues you describe above. I cannot under any circumstances accept nuclear power and genetically modified foods as a healthy alternative.

"Under any circumstances"??? So Fusion power is out, too? Or any future nuclear power that solved the waste issues?

And, of course, we know that genetically modified foods are by definition unhealthy. And nice "Frankenfood" reference later on.

There are such simpler and more sensible ways to approach these issues. We could easily eliminate the need for nuclear power by conserving more energy.

No. Conservation will never work; our power needs will continue to increase, and I have no problem with that. I don't want to live back in the dark ages again, sorry.

He's just another anti-science nut.

Re:::sigh:: (1)

CestusGW (814880) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405680)

I agree completely. The fact that the Green Party has, and continues to move in this ludicrous direction despite all the evidence is just sad.

Let's play a simple game: take off your socks so you can count all your fingers and toes. Now, count up all the people who have been killed by functioning nuclear power reactors in North America. That's easy: you can count to zero with your socks on. Now try doing the same thing for deaths from coal and oil burning plants this year (hint: you may need to get a few hundred friends)

Re:::sigh:: (1)

fiannaFailMan (702447) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405686)

[Energy] Conservation will never work
What is the basis of this claim? If your roof is leaking, do you fix the drip or put a bigger bucket under the leak?

Mod Parent UP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405770)

I too agree with many of the values espoused by the Green party. But I cannot agree with the irrational idea that we should eliminate genetically modified foods and nuclear power--two technologies which America can adopt with great benefit to both society AND to those who develop the technology. The position that we cannot patent genes is unfounded since those modifications were not just copied from nature, but actually analyzed, modified and inserted through expensive techniques. This idea is akin to outlawing drugs because the carbon, oxygen and nitrogen atoms present in the molecule were already discovered and present in nature in similar structures.
I'm sorry, but these extreme positions in an attempt to sound environmentalist are too much for me to justify voting for a party that otherwise has legitimate ideas for our society.

Nothing for Natives here (1, Insightful)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405579)

Our country is made up of immigrants. Your place of birth should not disqualify someone from serving as president or vice president.

We have to remember that we are all immigrants or the children of immigrants, with, of course, the exception of the Native people of this continent.


Which is sad, because so many Native American Tribes support many of the goals of the Green Party- living with the land and on the land, not changing the land, is a traiditon in many Native American religions- and the Green Party would do well to remember that TRADIDITON is supported by CULTURE and WHERE YOU GREW UP. Those who grow up in an area are far more likely to be environmentally aware- especially of population growth related problems- than those who came from elsewhere.

Not this year (2, Insightful)

Wind_Walker (83965) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405586)

I respect all the third party candidates for what they're doing, and I know that he went through a lot of trouble to get these answers to the Slashdot crowd, but this is not the year to be voting for a third party candidate. We need to get George W. Bush out of the Oval Office as soon as possible. And a vote for a third party is a vote that Kerry did not receive.

And don't lecture me about "voting your conscience". I voted for Nader in 2000, and would proudly do it again. Hell, I'd vote for Nader in 2004 if it were obvious that Kerry would win the election and get President Bush out of the office. But in a tight race like that, we can't afford that chance.

If a house is burning down, first you put out the fire. Voting third party this year is like redesigning the house while it's still on fire. Kerry will need every vote he can get.

Re:Not this year (1, Insightful)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405719)

It only matters if you're in a swing state. As a Texan, I can vote for anyone I want since the rurales and SUV moms are going to outvote everyone else anyway.

-l

Re:Not this year (4, Insightful)

cephyn (461066) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405721)

Dilemmas like this are why IRV voting is a good idea.

Re:Not this year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405723)

Unfortunately that's the argument used over and over for NOT voting third party. Oh we've got to get this person out of office or that person into office so we can get this or that. We play these games over the lesser of two evils. We refuse to vote for third parties because there's no way they could possibly win. We don't want to "throw our vote away". We do this not understanding that we are throwing our vote away. By continuing to vote these idiots in the Democrat/Republican parties into office we keep things status quo - nothing changes for the better. By throwing our vote away to third parties it helps them gain momentum and support. This helps to put pressure on the other two parties to either reform or be forced to contend with a real third party.

Re:Not this year (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405751)

"I voted for Nader in 2000, and would proudly do it again."

Geez, so, as one of the people who gave Bush the White House last election, you now want others to NOT do the thing you did last time?

Sorry, but you lost all your credibility last election. Thanks for the last 4 years.

Sure, throw your vote away. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405799)

Given that Kerry and Bush agree on so much, isn't voting for Kerry kind of like throwing lower octane gas on the flames?

If you don't lie what is hapenning in this country today, and you vote for Kerry or Bush it is you who are throwing your vote away.

Badnarik said it best: If you vote for the "lesser" of two evils, and your guy wins, you've still got evil.

Gadzooks (5, Insightful)

wallace_mark (83758) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405589)

The first two answers led me to consider this man. Fortunately for me, I kept reading.

The point where I exceeded my sanity was his harping on the need for a true democracy. In one paragraph he harps on racism and in the next the need for a true democracy. (Care to take a true democratic vote on civil rights in 1860 America?) He think that conservation can substitute for Nuclear power. (Do the math; not unless you're willing to watch everyone's standard of living plummet).

In short this candidate is just as much a politician as the others. Full of symbols that have more to do with adherence to ideology than with solutions to real problems.

Thanks for running, thanks for answering the questions. But your symbols don't appeal to me.

Re:Gadzooks (2, Insightful)

York the Mysterious (556824) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405730)

Step 1: Stop subsidizing nuclear energy to the toll of several billion a year Step 2: Take that several billion and mail everyone back a flourescent light bulb with their tax rebate. Step 3: Watch as that saves you enough energy to turn off several power plants.

Re:Gadzooks (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405798)

I don't like him because he dodges questions even though he doesn't have a prayer of winning. He could take an unpopular stance on something, it won't affect his chances.

He's absurdly stiff. He gave a very blah answer to the 'C.O.P' question, and he completely avoided the Nader question, even though both question gave him a chance to joke with his audience.

...bwa. (2, Interesting)

Renraku (518261) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405590)

There needs to be a much easier way of voting people out of office. Voting them out of office of mayor, member of congress, or the president himself.

As of now, they can reisntate the draft like the want to, introduce draconian Big Brother type laws, punish pirates as terrorists, etc, and nothing can be done about it.

But what if a few people got voted out of office for it? That'd change their minds!

Frankenfood (5, Insightful)

nukem1999 (142700) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405596)

Pity, I was rather interested in why the Green party (or many people for that matter) are so heavily against genetically modified foods. I was hoping for something a little more insightful than name-calling.

Re:Frankenfood (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405712)

For fundimentally "religeous" parties like the greens and the libertarians really never have an explaination of "why". The answer is always "Because it's self evident".

Any critical examination of why we would be "better off" without the FDA invariably comes to the conclusion that "we would not". The greens and the libs do not invite discussion of their beliefs because such discussions virtually always put the lie to them. That is why they are so anti-dissention. Only a world with complete mind control could make more than about 2% of the population think the way they do.

Overcompensation of race, underprotection of count (2, Insightful)

numbski (515011) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405602)

Overcompensatino of race, underprotection of the country.

What I'm seeing here are two things. Reverse-racism (instead of discriminating against those who happen to have darker skin tones, discriminate against everyone who does not to make up for it) rather than treating everyone the same, and leaving it at that, and secondly, reducing military budget by 50% over 10 years doesn't seem correct.

Let me explain...I don't like the idea of us policing the rest of the world. For the most part I would like to see each nation take care of itself where possible. That said, there is generally a large reason most countries won't screw with the US. The US doesn't get scared off or back down, we come roaring back.

Now, if we close all of our overseas bases of operation, and we get attacked, where does that leave us? I mean, unless the Canadians or Mexicans finally decide they've had enough of us, we won't have an operational foot to stand on.

Not being offensive doesn't mean we can't be sufficiently defensive. I believe we can fix our deficit without signficantly reducing our defensive stances.

Re:Overcompensation of race, underprotection of co (1)

chasingporsches (659844) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405832)

exactly why i vote republican. republicans aren't racist, for the larger majority of them. this is a common misconception among democrats and others. after all, it was the republican party (not the dixiecrats) that has stood up for african americans and other races all along, but i'm focusing on african americans here. somewhere in the 70's this switched, despite the republican party standing up for their civil rights in the 60's. and because the republican budget isn't going to give handouts to the non-working (white, black, hispanic, doesnt matter), everyone looks at them as racist. it doesn't make sense. but regardless, that's why i don't support affirmative action, because it is the definition of reverse discrimination. even my african american roommate thinks that affirmative action is racist.

IRV may sound nice in theory... (2, Insightful)

stubear (130454) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405610)

...but Florida proved one thing, you can't trust most voters to understand complex design dystems. You're just replacing one problem with another if you swap the electoral college for IRV.

Mr. Cobb also fails to address the issue the EC solves, that of representation for the states with smaller population centers. For all its flaws, the EC forces candidates to deal with issues in smaller states. Going to a proportional voting system or eliminating the EC altogether is going to disenfranchise these states and the people who live there.

Re:IRV may sound nice in theory... (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405794)

Except most of Europe kinda proves you wrong, perhaps American voters are just really stupid and European voters are really smart, but I think that in reality, proportional representation can be easily understood by the American electorate, (Not that Instant Runoff is really proportional representation).

One person one vote is hardly disenfranchising anyone. Why should 2000 square miles of empty space be given the same representation as a real live person?

Re:IRV may sound nice in theory... (1)

ToSeek (529348) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405820)

Mr. Cobb also fails to address the issue the EC solves, that of representation for the states with smaller population centers. For all its flaws, the EC forces candidates to deal with issues in smaller states. Going to a proportional voting system or eliminating the EC altogether is going to disenfranchise these states and the people who live there.

How? Right now a vote in Wyoming counts four times as much as a vote in California. If Wyoming has the same number of people as Long Beach, it should get the same number of votes. There's nothing disenfranchising about one person's vote counting exactly as much as another's.

Re:IRV may sound nice in theory... (5, Informative)

Crazy Man on Fire (153457) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405835)

Actually, IRV suffers from MANY problems. ElectionMethods.org [electionmethods.org] has an excellent summary of many "multiple selection" voting methods. IRV is the worst of all of them, as it can end up selecting the candidate who does not have the most votes. Educate yourself about the dangers of IRV and the many superior alternatives!

Why not green, for me. (1)

sardonic2 (576701) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405617)

Now I know why I am not going to vote green. I was interested at first at an Alternative to the republicrats, but I see that they are a bit fundamental for me. Major points are they want to stay insular, close military bases. I also dont agree with the "Single Player Healthcare", as I remember from our friend michael moore there's much more violence in the US, maybe that causes our cost of healthcare to increase.. or not but that my "empirical" evidence on the subject. I really think that saying Nuclear Energy is not viable is a bit out there, but if we can produce wind/solar power cheap and produce a lot of it that would be great. I am still unsure who im going to vote for, it really doesn't matter though I live in California and Kerry has already won. I do support his "instant runoff voting" but I don't see that happening anytime soon.

staying on message (1, Interesting)

Greg@RageNet (39860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405631)

Well at least the greens don't flip-flop. Pretty much opposed to all technology (do you know how many toxic byproducts are created when they produced the computer you are sitting in front of?) and opposed to any source of energy; if the greens had their way we'd all be living in trees eating acorns.

The big question I have for the greens is how can they claim to be for freedom when their policies would strip so much of it away.. i.e. property freedoms (can't buy cars certain, can't shop at walmart), freedom of speech (can't voice your opinion if it's a currently unpopular one that may be found offensive by one group or another), freedoms of whom to associate with (you can no longer form an association to pool resources for a project larger than one person, commonly called a corporation), freedoms of due process, the list goes on...

-- Greg

Dogma (3, Insightful)

wjwlsn (94460) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405634)

"I cannot under any circumstances accept nuclear power and genetically modified foods as a healthy alternative."

*Any* circumstances? How very dogmatic. The only difference between this guy and a hard-core, right-wing, religious fundamentalist is his choice of religious doctrine. The Greens can tolerate no dissent in these areas... dissent is heresy!

Why does skin color matter? (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405641)

Would someone please explain to me why, in 2004, the color of your skin matter?

He lost my interest... (3, Insightful)

Transfan76 (577070) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405668)

when he said Frankenfood. That's such a scare tatic move. Like Bush invoking 9/11 all the time.

Re:He lost my interest... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405733)

when he said Frankenfood. That's such a scare tatic move. Like Bush invoking 9/11 all the time.

or Kerry mentioning outsourcing all the time.

Drug Use Among Minorities (2, Insightful)

Cobblepop (738291) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405675)

It's simple: When minorities abuse substances, they tend to do higher doses, and do it outdoors more frequently. Some guy laying on his floor listening to Bob Dylan isn't likely to get busted. A guy on the street on PCP causing trouble is bound to make the news. (Rodney King anyone? He now lives in my home town - LOL.) "Past research shows that African American adolescents and adults experience substance-related problems at higher levels than those of White adolescents and adults, but their rates of substance use are similar if not lower than those of Whites." http://www.health.ufl.edu/shcc/cadrc/pdf/alc19.pdf

Thank you, Mr. Greenjeans (1, Flamebait)

Gothmolly (148874) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405703)

I was sort of on the fence about the Green Party, but now I've made up my mind. I will never, ever, EVER vote for you guys, and as I make a significant amount of money, and donate it when I feel appropriate, let me say this:

The next 20 poor, powerless slobs that you whip up into a frenzy to vote to confiscate my ends to justify their means will be effectively countered by my donations to both mainstream parties.

Put that in your racist, egalitarian, Europe-loving, (medical marijuana|crack) pipe, and smoke it.

Admit it: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#10405727)

Ralph Nader, you are in love with Bush.

Com'mon Ralph, I know your shy, but we can all tell its true. Don't blush Ralph. If that's how you really feel, then go on Ralph! It's ok, there's nothing to be ashamed about! Just go out and tell him about your love! There's no point beating around the... Oh, well, you get my point. Make a website, "RalphLovesGeorge.com" or something. Anything! Just make sure to keep it a personal matter between you and your crush, that adorable Dubya.

That way, you can get ass-fucked by Bush, instead of the rest of us.

Seems to over use some ideas.... (2, Interesting)

NeoSkandranon (515696) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405744)

How many times did this guy call something racist?

And way get people to take you seriously by using the term Frankenfood. That's right up there with a supposed tech expert spelling Microsoft with a $

I'd love to see what this guy has to say regarding the production methods for solar panels and the waste material that comes from those processes as oppose to nuclear power.

".successfully before the advent of pesticides..." (1)

boomgopher (627124) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405758)

Food was grown by humankind for an awfully long time and rather successfully before the advent of pesticides and herbicide

Yeah, and a lot of people also fucking died from food shortages, which pesticides have helped prevent.

But a maximum wage? (1)

Kurt Granroth (9052) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405763)

I can go along with a lot of what the Green party stands for. In fact, most 3rd parties get closer to representing my political views than the Democratic or Republican Parties. But going through the Green Party platform, I came across their concept of a maximum wage.

Yes, that's right, they are proposing a MAXIMUM wage in addition to a minimum one. Any money you make above and beyond 10 times the minimum wage is taken away from you (taxed at 100%).

Eh? Isn't this political suicide? That's such a monumentally horrible idea that it taints every other position they have!

And no, I'm not complaining because I make more than that (~$200,000/yr since their proposed minimum wage is $10/hr) because I don't come close... but I'd like to think that someday, somehow I might. But if I knew that it would all be taken away from me... yeesh!

"working people" (2, Interesting)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405785)

For Democrats, Greens are the party which champions what Democrats used to: support for working people and people of color and protection of the environment.

What exactly are "working people?"

To me, the implication here is that a person with a shitty, manual-labor job is a "working person," but, e.g., a highly successful, obscenely rich, white-collar worker is not. The implication is because someone is rich, they must not have earned it, they don't REALLY "work" for it, and therefore it is OK if we take more of it to help out "the working people."

Am I way off base here? Why use such a loaded term as "working people."

I am a programmer, I make a nice living. Am I a working person? How much money do I have to start making a year before I'm not considered "a working person" by the Green party?

If I sell my company and earn many millions of dollars due to my ingenuity, skill, hard work, and intelligence, I no longer have to work. Yet I earned the money fair-and-square. I am no longer a "working person," does that mean the Green Party is now against me?

Beware of candidates with a dogma (2, Interesting)

iamacat (583406) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405786)

It's fine to oppose nuclear energy or genetic engineering as an informed choice, but he should be prepared to change his mind when presented with rational evidence. I would love to have this guy as a senator to throw a wrench into Bush'es oil drilling plans, for example. But a president must be able to make a decision against his own beliefs if that's the right thing to do.

Electoral College is racist? WTF? (4, Insightful)

tjic (530860) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405790)

The Electoral College is ... racist ... remember that when it was created, slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person to determine representation, yet they couldn't vote. Therefore, slave states had greater representation in the Electoral College-as if counting any human being as a portion of person wasn't insulting enough.

By this logic, the first ammednment is racist too, because when it was passed, slaves didn't have free speech.

The 5th ammendment is likewise racist, because when it was passed slaves did not have the right to avoid testifying against themselves.

Finally, the comment "as if counting any human being as a portion of person wasn't insulting enough" displays ignorance of history: the slave-holding south *WANTED* slaves to count as full people, because it would give the slave-holders a greater say in national politics, but the slaves themselves would still be property. Abolitionists, and northern liberals pushed for less (even zero) counting of slaves - it's bad enough to enslave people, but then to count their population in order to give the slaveholders more power? Unbeleivable!

You don't like the electoral college? Fine. Say so. Personally, I think it's a final check on potential extremist movements. ...but reasonable folks can disagree.

Don't try to bolster your argument, though, by throwing in some ad hoc reference to "racism".

IRV (1)

Doesn't_Comment_Code (692510) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405806)

Instant Runoff Voting will be used in San Francisco this November and a number of other cities and counties have approved of using it or are considering doing so. Instant Runoff Voting, or IRV, solves the perceived "spoiler" problem because you can vote for all the candidates you like; you don't have to make a lesser-evil choice. I encourage people to learn more about IRV at Center for Voting and Democracy.

IRV does NOT solve all of our voting problems. In fact, as long as you have more than two candidates, there isn't really a good way to elect one. Every method we've thought of so far has major issues. For instance, IRV solves the spoiler problem as long as the spoiler only gets a small percentage of the vote. But as they start to get a larger share of the electorate, the spoiler problem comes back! ...even with IRV.

The best voting method I've seen is Condorcet voting. But even that isn't perfect.

Racist? (1, Interesting)

Christianfreak (100697) | more than 9 years ago | (#10405827)

First of all thanks for the responses. I think I have a better understanding of where the Green party stands. Though I don't agree with all of your points, I would certainly like to see more Green party politics in the elections.

One point I strongly disagree with is the idea that drug laws or the electoral college is racist. Some people are racist yes, but institutions and laws are just that.

Now like you, I strongly disagree with the current drug laws; however, wheither or not you agree with a law, don't break it and you won't go to jail for it.

Its very politically incorrect to say but I'm going to say it anyway. People of color tend to be poor and poor people commit more crimes. Should we change our laws because certain groups of people cannot control themselves and be responsible for their actions?

As for the Electoral College, the idea is so that a rural person's vote counts as much as a person in an urban area. Otherwise we'd have the policies of New York City for the whole nation which are probably not right for a farming community in South Dakota. Instant Runoff voting doesn't exactly do that. Possibly a combination of the two. Anyway, I digress: the point is the EC doesn't count slaves as 3/5 of a person now. How are they still being racist? That's like saying that because I used to be a little kid that couldn't tie my own shoes that I'm still a little kid that can't tie my shoes (even though I learned to tie them sometime ago).

Not the say the EC is perfect. One change that I would like to see is for the EC votes to be proportional to how the state voted. For instance in Florida instead of awarding all the votes to one candidate half should have gone to Bush and the other half to Gore. That way all voters in large states that have a broad range of political opinions have a say in the process.
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