5 thoughts on “US elections open thread

  1. Never really bothered about US elections other than presidential.
    But now. Here is offices California is electing plus state legislature.
    Lieutenant governor
    Attorney general
    Secretary of state
    Insurance commissioner
    Superintendent of public instruction
    State board of equalization
    And Twelve state executive seats in California were up for election in 2018. 
    And here is one persons reasoning writen up at one of my favorite blogs. I feel / fear this level of insight and thought would be how much effort I’d put in.
    I find it hard to believe >80% fully understand all the officers potential rulings. Until my 30’s this level of engagement or knowledge was something I avoided. Legislature candidates I am able to deal with but having all these interlocking positions of power to be voted on by mere mortals would seem daunting. Another reason for the disengaged to stay away? Another polarization point? Gerrymandered / monied / connected candidates as officers?
    I am certainly a beginner of US elections.
    As at 3.10pm aedst seems the repubs have the senate.
    I look forward to your comments.

  2. What the US sorely lacks is an independent body, like our AEC, to run elections. Anecdotes of wrong voter addresses, long queues and many hours wait to vote aren’t helpful to a strong democracy.

    Americans are big on grand statements and poor on execution.

  3. @Rog
    Elections at all levels of governement in the US are run by state election commossions and until recently the commissioner was a political appointee or even elected. This is changing as witnessed by ballot messures (little referendums) creating independent commissions in so.e states in this election. So independent if not centralised election admin is happening.

  4. @Tom. Thanks for the links.
    To understand how to vote in the US as I would in oz, I’d have to take a month off just to decide all the variables. I wouldn’t. 

    Brednda from bristol, and barb from Bondi need more truth. And less staffers spinning bullshit
    @campdig. “So independent if not centralised election admin is happening.” As can be seen the ‘election industry’ seems to be getting bigger inside and out of the swamp.
    ” Last year the total number of people employed by Congress in all capacities, including committee staffs and the staffs of support agencies like the Congressional Research Service, was 32,820, making Congress by far the most heavily staffed legislative branch in the world.”
    1957 – 3,556
    1991 – 11,572 = 34 yrs 3x
    2017 –  32,820 = 26 yrs 3x
    2035 – ? 100,000
    What about an index. Called congressional staffing vs 1%
    Or deficit. Or gdp. Just for fun, yet a handy metric to highlight … “Congress itself has become an integral part of America’s veritable “elections industry.”

    It would seem to me making elections “an industry” is a part of the polarization problem. And;
    We (they) are allowed to lie. ” The politicians lie in most cases not because they are liars or approve of lying but because the potential electoral costs of not lying are too great.” 
    This problem seems to be global. And with the electorate: us.

    Web search x 2 kept leading to this from 20 yrs ago.
    Truth in Political Advertising Legislation in Australia
    Research Paper 13 1996-97 George Williams
    Law and Bills Digest Group
    Languishing for a generation. And our savior is…  an industry body:  “Currently, there is no legal requirement for the content of political advertising to be factually correct. Complainants are advised to raise their concerns with the advertiser directly and/or with their local Member of Parliament. 
    So, if Tony Abbott tells a porky, report it to, Tony!
    And this…
    Truth in Political Advertising
    “87.7% of respondents in a post-election poll say the Senate should pass ‘truth in political advertising’ legislation.
    Only 5% of respondents in the survey of 2875 voters did not support legislation so that political parties and candidates could be fined for false and misleading advertising in the same way companies are.”

    I understand truth is a difficult concept, yet I am with the 87%. Let’s work it out. We seem to provide enough money so truth would be good too. And we are slowly making ‘effective and valid models’ to solve mendacity. Had to end on a positive note or I may turn away from politics again!

    “Australia also faces constitutional problems with seeking to regulate truth in political advertising given the High Court’s recognition that the Australian Constitution contains an implied freedom of political discussion. However, it would seem likely that the South Australian provision, which survived constitutional scrutiny in the South Australian Supreme Court in Cameron v Becker, as well as the provision suggested by the Queensland Committee, are effective and valid models by which truth in political advertising might be regulated.”
    Happy voting!

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