The United States Elections/Political Party Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by liberalmaverick, Mar 6, 2006.

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  1. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    I tend to think that gas prices could have a more meaningful impact on the election... I doubt the stock market will have much influence. Then again, what do the Dems have to offer? A gas tax to try to limit demand?

    The housing market has been absolutely amazing over the last 5-7 years, and the country is basically at full employment (we even have these illegals doing the jobs that Americans are just too good for themselves to do).

    The state of the economy generally depends on who you ask, though. I've done exceptionally well over the last 5 years.





  2. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    What can any side do about petrol prices, realistically? It's an unfeasible expectation for voters to expect politicians can lower the price of oil, and frankly, you STILL get it cheaper than the rest of the world (which breeds resentment about how spoiled you look complaining the petrol honeymoon is over ;))

    E_S
  3. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    E_S, the speculators are really to blame, in my view. As you know, we don't tax our citizens to death which is why our gas prices are cheaper than the $5.50/gallon I paid in Denmark for regular gas in 2004 (It was quite fun driving an M3 BMW through Denmark and Germany, though :cool: )... I also read something that it costs just over $20/barrel for them to make the gas and a decent profit, yet barrels are trading at 70 bucks...

    Bush will go down like Jimmy Carter did if we continue to have these overinflated oil prices until 2008.

    I don't excuse the blame from these overindulgent Americans with their ridiculous SUVs. It's almost as if people didn't know how to live without them even a decade or two ago...

    //sigh

    I can understand an indivdidual owning a truck or a compact to small SUV, but I won't personally own one of those ridiculous monster machines.
  4. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Actually DM a series of agreements between the US and Saudi Arabia was responsible for low gas prices - they sold it to the US below cost in exchange for arms, investment and whatnot. :)

    ES
  5. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    Well, it stands to reason that whichever political party can come up with a viable.. I mean viable plan to drastically reduce dependency and/or facilitate alternative innovations, then that party will benefit extremely.

    I'd imagine that we'd benefit extremely if we invented and manufactured reliable, efficient, and powerful alternative energy vehicles. Too bad American auto companies are basically teh suck.

    Along with gas prices, illegal immigration (and the total disconnect between the President and the Senate with the American public) will be the benchmark issues for the upcoming November election.
  6. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    E_S is right. There are no short-term solutions for high gas prices and it's easy to make an argument that gas prices in the U.S. ought to be a lot higher.

    Candidates from both parties will be offering up wrong-headed "fixes" for high gas prices in the runup to November.

    Roscoe Bartlett is the only legislator insane and astute enough to suggest that what we really need is a $2 trillion crash program to bring significant quantities of alternative fuels to market within the next decade. Tough sell.
  7. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    This is one area where I think there is increasing bipartisan demand for a long term fix. However, it doesn't seem to be affecting American consumption or sales of gas-guzzling vehicles.

    I think you guys are right concerning the short-term situation, though.
  8. Fire_Ice_Death Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 15, 2001
    star 7
    Can we (as voters) sue the GOP for breach of contract? I've went over that a couple of times and for all intents and purposes the Bush adminitration and the Republican-controlled congress is in breach of it.
  9. Obi-Wan McCartney Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 17, 1999
    star 5
    My prediction is, GOP controls the House but by a very narrow margin, and the Senate is essentially split with one or two seats throwing it the way of the GOP or the Dems, (the Grand OLDER Party.) Both parties will claim victory, the Dems for gaining so much ground, the GOP for maintaining a slim majority in one or two houses of Congress.

    So on the whole, the Demcrats will gain a lot of ground, claiming victory, but the GOP will not quite be put out of power, so they too will claim victory.
  10. Darth-Seldon Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 17, 2003
    star 6
    IF the elections were held this week, the House would go to the Democrats, and while the Dems may pick up a few more seats in the Senate (i.e. PE & OH.) the Senate would remain under the GOP.

    A lot can change over the summer, though I expect Democrats to make some advances.

    -Seldon
  11. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    I'm not so sure...

    I think if GOP candidates rebel against the President on the immigration issue in key States, then they will have a significant advantage. The Dems prefer amnesty (or amnesty worded differently to hide its intent), which is very unpopular. They also can't say that they're for gay marriage, because that will kill them in local elections, too. Tax increases? They have to word it very carefully....

    The Dems have to make it a referendum on Bush, or they will not win control.

    If the Dems don't win control, then that says a lot about what people think about the Democratic Party when they don't even really like the Republicans.
  12. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    Immigration will only be that much a hot button issue for the election if there's a significant economic downturn before November. Undocumented workers then become a bigger target for people's diaffection.
  13. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    It looks like that is a distict possibility as we are starting to see signs the current economic boom is peaking. I think that a real recession will probably not start to happen until sometime in 2007 or later.
  14. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I think it depends on whethe/how fast the housing market unravels. You have a lot of different factors. Although inflation is still relatively low overall, price increases have really hit the construction sector (copper, drywall, lumber, steel, etc.). Then you have the increase in mortgage foreclosures, increase in interest rates. Downturn could come faster than you think.
  15. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    Looks like George Allen will face James Webb in the Virginia Senate election. Webb could be a formidable challenger...moderate on some issues, strong military/national security credentials...providing he proves to be a competent campaigner.

    Here in Cali, Arnold will face Phil Angelidas for Governor. For the record, I voted for Westly in the primary. Unless Angelidas can tie Bush around Arnold's neck, I don't think he can win. Personally, I think Arnold does try to do a good job and so long as the legislature remains in the hands of the Democrats, he probably should be re-elected. I'll consider voting for him, mainly because he fulfills my two requirements when voting for someone to the right of me politically...he's not a holier-than-thou uber-religious wacko, and he ain't a Bush toady.

    I'll be curious to see how the issues pan out.
  16. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    It's amazing how things have turned around for Arnold, DS77.

    Too bad for the Dems that the activists picked the wrong guy to face Arnold.

    I do disagree about the California legislature, though. One party in power for too long leads to the same type of craziness that often goes on over there... The same happens in other States with a long-held GOP majority...

    Do you see the California legislature doing anything substantive about border security? I highly doubt it.
  17. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    I don't get the objection in the states to having a managed migration programme. Is it just me, or are all the policies looking more towards election results and less towards what's good for the people?

    E_S
  18. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
  19. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Well yeah, but I think you'll find it's a little different here. Granted, we have compulsory voting so what that means is that people will vote on purely economic lines rather than say, on issues - but we get governments all over the world getting our opinion on managed migration. We made it, in effect, apolitical though if you check Austr. news papers, you'd see it's not entirely immune.

    The problem I see is that Americans will get screwed on an important issue by short term politicos.

    E_S
  20. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    DM

    Do you see the California legislature doing anything substantive about border security? I highly doubt it.

    It will be interesting to see what the U.S. Congress does regarding immigration/border security, and how it affects California. I am curious to see how the candidates handle the issue, especially considering the diverse population out here.

    One party in power for too long...

    My main concern is balance. My folks, who are of a similar political persuasion as myself, have often told me that there should be a Democrat in charge and a Republican legislature. Or a Republican in charge with a Democrat legislature.

    Or a Democrat in charge with a Democrat legislature, but not by much. [face_mischief]

    ES

    The problem I see is that Americans will get screwed on an important issue by short term politicos.

    While I agree, I am not so sure if it is that we get screwed, rather we screw ourselves by electing these people. ;)
  21. Mr44 VIP

    Member Since:
    May 21, 2002
    star 6
    But on paper, the US does have a managed migration policy just like the UK or Australia has.

    The US has processing centers, where status is determined. The US does have a skill match up program like the Home Office does in the UK.

    That's not what the objection is to.

    Australia hasn't been without its own immigration controveries, as I'm sure most Senate posters are aware of. It's in the past now, but Howard's political career almost came to an end back in 1988 when he made his (in)famous "Asian Blame" speech, which was rather jingoistic in nature, but did serve to highlight the growing problem even then.

    Just before Sept 11 2001, Australian immigration gained international attention when Howard ordered the SASR to board and secure a Norwegian flagged cargo ship because it was carrying illegal immigrants. That action almost resulted in the Australian government having a resolution passed against it by the UN, even if it was only symbolic. Howard's response was that only Australia itself chooses who enters Australia, a claim which was blunt, but which does make sense.

    We don't even have to go into detail about the "Children Overboard" scandal, which in the grand scheme was actually minor I think, but does serve to illustrate the lengths that were taken to highlight the issue.

    The objection falls along the lines where the situation in the US doesn't exactly mirror the situation in Australia or other Commonwealth nations. In many ways, the US and Australia share the same basic premise when it comes to immigration. Both are open as long as the rules are followed. I think the objection differs in the US simply because of the scale.



  22. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    I doubt much will happen on immigration to reflect the will of the American people. As was stated, the politicians are too interested in getting a voting bloc than to actually care about the real issues here. I think there could be real consensus if they get a handle on the border.

    Seal the border up and put those here through a lengthy qualification process (back of the line).

    I think most Dems and GOPers agree with that...

    ...and I don't think people here are anti-immigrant at all (which is the common derogatory insult by the open-borders crowd).

    I'm all for these people coming here, just legally like other generations of poor immigrants.
  23. Ender Sai Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Feb 18, 2001
    star 9
    Mr44; no, we haven't been without our controversies and there's one happening right now.

    What we do, and the US doesn't, is engage actively, day to day, in capacity building projects. By branch, the International Cooperation Branch, does precisely that - we engage in projects which help fix up immigration compliance and border security abroad. We identify either point-of-origin, or transit, states and work with them to stem the tide at the source.

    That's one thing the US would benefit tremendously from doing, especially with Mexico. The problem I see though is that it's really easy to whip up complaints against it. It doesn't deliver immediate results, and I'm sure all it would take is a politician mindful of his career to suggest how unfair it is to spend taxpayer money equipping and training the Mexicans in border management or document fraud detection.

    So I mean more than just saying "we'll take X number of people per year" and being swamped with illegals, when I say "managed migration". I think the US would be an ideal place to practise it, given that if Mexico is given a carrot tied to a related stick, they'd probably be for it. It worked with us and Indonesia...

    What I see as being an obstacle, if you like, to any sort of good reform like the kind Mr Bush is leaning towards, is that it's easy for either party to nix it for short term partisan gain. Which as Espalpy said is politics, but it's a pity since I think the US could easily implement such a programme and to great effect.

    E_S
  24. Darth Mischievous Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 12, 1999
    star 6
    You guys in Australia are also surrounded by water and don't have a 1,000+ mile relatively open border with a poor nation whose citizens are coming to your country by the millions for better opportunities....

    Seal the border first, and then we'll talk about streamlining the immigration process.
  25. DeathStar1977 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 31, 2003
    star 4
    What are the specifics of the McCain-Kennedy proposal? My understanding is that that is the best one out there but I don't recall the details.

    Anyway, I think immigration, as well as gay marriage, will be the top wedge issues this fall.
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