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Old May 8th, 2010
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Lightbulb Goverment breakdown

What is happening to our goverment political issues? You would think they could come to some kind of an agreement...right? I think that the goverment should come up with a better plan that would be agree on by the people of each state. Ever time you turn around back to the chopping block and start all over again. Nothing is ever going to get done. This is what makes american people so upset. Do you agree with me?
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Old May 9th, 2010
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Crymomma

At least you have a government, there has just been an election in the UK, on 6th May, and although the Labour government lost the election the official opposition did not win it.

So the official position is that there is no government until the parties concerned can come to some sort of agreement and form a government.


UK Bob
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Old May 9th, 2010
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Lightbulb Goverment agreement

I just hope that are goverment will be able to make an agreement before the american people give up any hope that this new health care is the right plan for them. Nobody is able to agree on anything.
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Old May 9th, 2010
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UK Bob,

Do you prefer the 'elected party' system, or would you prefer to select your PM as we do our President? (I mean by popular vote rather than our Electoral College system.) Not that anyone would want to copy our system after seeing Dubya steal two elections before putting our country and yours into financial ruin.
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Old May 10th, 2010
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Blackhorse 70V

To tell you the truth, I do not like the current system, which is nick named "first past the post" which means that in the electoral area there can only be one winner. So a political party can get up to 8 million votes and not get any seats in parliament.

As for the American system, again it seems weighted in favour of the two party system and giving one man (the president) virtually unlimited power. However, I'm not going to get involved in that.

What I am in favour of is proportional representation, which translate as every vote will count and parliament will be based on the proportion of votes cast for each party. However, there will have to be a threshold point where votes below this point do not get seats in parliament.


UK Bob
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Old May 10th, 2010
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Anyone watching Obama trying to get anything past Congress, with a majority in the same party, can see how limited is his power. Indeed, we would be better off with more than two major parties. Nowadays, a third-party candidate would likely split off voters from one of the major parties, thus dooming them both. If the "Tea Party" selects candidates other than those chosen by the GOP, we'll likely keep a Democratic majority for another four-years.

In San Francisco, our ballots allow us each to name our first, second, and third choices for each elected local office (though it is not often that we have three or more candidates - occasionally someone runs unopposed).

One of the major problems with our system has to do with the cost of running for office. Our city is only 49 square miles, with a population of around 700,000. Yet to get elected Mayor will cost you close to a million dollars for advertising, campaign offices, etc. Campaign Finance Reform has been discussed for years, but no one has come up with a good plan. Recently our Supreme Court ruled that corporations, with multi-national shareholders, can spend unlimited funds on political causes. If Congress doesn't soon do something to limit corporate involvement in elections, the voters will demand reform. We are tired of having our votes and our interests outweighed by monetary influence.

Pres. Clinton arranged a loan to Mexico that netted $600 million for the US. Then Mr. Bush put us in debt to Mexico. I think Obama can turn things around if he can get some support, or at least less resistance, from Congress.
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Old May 10th, 2010
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Blackhorse 70V

You said:
Quote:
In San Francisco, our ballots allow us each to name our first, second, and third choices for each elected local office
Well, while the UK general election was going on there were also local elections being held, and I too had to vote for up to three candidates.

As for reforming the US electoral system, it seems to me that there are too many vested interest in the status quo.

You see, your system gives power to the big industries, because they are the biggest contributors, so how can ordinary people get back their democratic rights when it cost so much to take part in the democratic process.

Anyway, although the UK system is nowhere near as expensive to run for office as it is in the US, I think we are heading in the same direction where our elected officials are afraid to take on big domineering businesses, like the banks.

Although a new UK Prime minister is not as important as a new US President, the thing that scares me is if the US elects another "Dub Ya" or gun happy "Palin".



UK Bob
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Old May 10th, 2010
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Perhaps SF got the idea for multiple choice elections from the UK.

Indeed, there are too many with a heavy investment in keeping the status quo. And the influence of Big Business is quite obvious when we see them donating to both parties, and then threatening to withdraw future support from whomever won.

As an elected official who wants to give your kids a better education, a politician may have to support other, untoward causes in order to receive support from Big Business. It becomes a "damned if I do or don't" situation. So long as there is a need for large sums of cash to run political campaigns there will always be conflicts of interest among our representatives.

There now seems to be a certain selfishness in the US. I was taught that our Bill of Rights applied to everyone on US soil. Now people want to restrict those Rights to only US citizens. Anti-Obama campaigns often contain the message that his administration wants to take things away from citizens. Many want their Medi-Care, but don't want the government giving healthcare to others. Obama never said that he wanted to take away anyone's guns (though I wish he had), but there is much ado on that subject. "He wants to raise taxes!" Yes, he wants to tax the wealthy at the same rate as Ronald Reagan. "He is weakening us by his position on nukes!" Another Reagan plan. Seems the Republicans like certain ideas, until Obama attempts to implement them.

It is most unfortunate that the US has so much influence on the rest of the world, especially when we allow people like Dubya to take office. Americans are not hated "for our freedom" or for being a wealthy nation. It is our complete lack of social responsibility, on a par with "Let them eat cake".

Since McDonald's became the largest purchaser of beef in the US, most ranchers have complied with McD's requirements. So, even though I have not eaten at a McDonald's in years, I still end up eating their beef. When americans realize how Big Business influences their lives in ways less obvious, we may get an idea of how we impact on the rest of the world.

Any kudos for Brown after stepping down?
Any chance of proportional representation in the UK? Do you think it would work?
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Old May 10th, 2010
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Blackhorse 70V

Your assessment of the American situation seems to be spot on, from where I sit it looks as if most US citizens are blissfully unaware of their influence on the world around them and, worse of all, their affects on their follow Americans, e.g. the very slow government reaction to Katrina.

OK, lets move on to your questions, you asked:
Quote:
1. Any kudos for Brown after stepping down?
Quote:
2. Any chance of proportional representation in the UK?
and
Quote:
3. Do you think it would work?
1) I personally did not believe Gordon Brown would step down as leader of the labour party and give up any chance of continuing to be the UK's prime minister. However, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nicholas Clegg, has publicly said that he cannot work with Gordon Brown. So it looks like (maybe) Labour may have the chance to form a short-lived minority government.

2) Proportional representation is still some way off unless Nick Clegg and his team can come to some sort of arrangement with one of the two major parties.

3) Yes, I do believe PR will work because it works in other European countries, there may be some kinks to work out, such as preventing a small party from holding a disproportionate amount of power, but it can only be a good thing where every electorate's vote counts.



UK Bob
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