Karl`s PC Help Forums

Super Tuesday primaries
scholar - 9-1-2008 at 21:30

The following primaries are held Feb. 5

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Georgia
Illinois
Massachusetts
Minnesotta
Missouri
New Jersey
New York
North Dakota
Oklahoma
Tennessee
Utah

New York and California have the most delegates.

Will any of the candidates drop out before then? It takes a lot of money to do enough advertizing to be competitive in so many states, and some of them will be non-competitive (i.e. if it is a candidate's home state, he is likely to win it based on home-state advantage).

Some candidates may stop campaigning, but hold on to the delegates they already have, in case the convention goes to more than one ballot (more likely for the Republicans than the Democrats).


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 09:42

I was watching an English TV programme last night about how much people earned. One part of the programme was about a business set up by one woman where she basically picked up clothes for the rich and charged them 1000 per day for the work - which they paid.

To me, the amount of money spent on elections - particularly in America, is equally offensive and indefensible. The fact that there are so many candidates who have nothing better to do with their money than squander it on an elaborate election campaign is a damning comment on the western world.

I note that at least one candidate has bailed out. I couldn't help but wonder how much he had spent so far on getting nowhere.

Having said that, I am finding myself moving towards a Hillary position. Although it would be good to have a Black President, I think there are more women in the World and its about time they got their share of power.

John


janet - 10-1-2008 at 10:02

I'd rather vote for a candidate on the grounds of their politics...

I don't for a moment think Clinton will represent "women" as though we were a homogeneous group, or that a black candidate would do the same for black people, as though they were a homogenous group.

What I'd *really* like is to be in a position where people were seen as people... (with a certain generosity of spirit, in some cases...). ;)


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 10:17

Fair point, Janet,

But I still think that having a woman president would be a step towards equality of the sexes. Whatever she does.

John


janet - 10-1-2008 at 10:20

It'd break a glass ceiling, that's for sure!


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 10:28

True,

But what has happened here since Thatcher? Not a lot really. Mind you, she was only a token man anyway.

John


janet - 10-1-2008 at 10:55

And there was little in her campaign about "elect a woman!!"


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 11:08

Quote:

I'd rather vote for a candidate on the grounds of their politics...

Sorry Janet, I missed that point the first time. Quite right but my point is that I dont have a vote and dont really know much about what they all plan*. So in that respect its pretty academic.

But, I do believe that Hilary is using the woman thing more than Margaret did.

John

*Except that Hillary is a Democrat and from what I gather they are slightly more in line with my personal view of politics.


janet - 10-1-2008 at 11:15

Oh, she certainly is - but then, people are voting directly for her (well, ok, but more directly) than for Mrs Thatcher as she was then.

And believe me, anyone who would be part of any of the UK parties would be far too left wing for either of the two main US parties... :}


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 11:24

:)


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 12:24

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
To me, the amount of money spent on elections - particularly in America, is equally offensive and indefensible. The fact that there are so many candidates who have nothing better to do with their money than squander it on an elaborate election campaign is a damning comment on the western world.

John
Why would it be offensive?

The money is spent communicating the candidate's qualifications, encouraging people to vote, persuading toward political positions and solutions, and pointing out problems in the other candidates--all of which are good things. More candidates mean a wider selection, more choices (the Republican candidates this year have real political differences between them--some cut taxes, while others oppose tax cuts or even raise taxes; some are strongly against advantages for illegal aliens, others believe that those who have kept most of the laws should be allowed to stay under certain conditions.

Lots of money is required because advertising (especially television) is expensive, and it makes no sense for people to vote for names of people whose political positions are not known to them. Without advertising, people are less likely to vote. Since many people vote for whomever is the candidate of the party with whom they most agree, picking the best candidate for that party is important. If the candidate does not agree with all the positions most in his party hold, that can discourage those in his party from voting--or, if he makes a good enough case, it could mean a change in the party's direction.

Especially in the case of candidates who use of lot of their own money, I see no reason for them not to spend it as they wish. It shows they really believe in what they are trying to do.

Good ideas put forward in ads may well be put into practice, whomever wins. Both parties like to adapt the best ideas of the other party and promote their own version of them.


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 13:04

Hi Scholar,

Well, firstly because its shows what a sham is the American ethos that anyone can run for President. But what sort of "civilised" country has to use propagander and psychology to persuade people to vote for them rather than their policies.

But the main offense for me is in the juxtaposition of World Poverty and death from simple diseases and hunger when all that money is being spent on a whim.

John


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 13:21

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
But what sort of "civilised" country has to use propagander and psychology to persuade people to vote for them rather than their policies.

The advertising is to tell people what policies the candidates are proposing (as well as their qualifications [to show that they are capable enough toget the policies enacted and implemented] and their record [to show that their previous actions have matched their words]). There is also the aspect of pointing out the weak points in the other candidates, who are not likely to volunteer information about their failures, reversals, or inconsistencies.


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 13:38

Well, what I will concede, Scholar,

Is that the USA is a large country with a complicated electoral system and a lot of people in out of the way places that may need a special effort to reach.

But I'm willing to bet that most of the votes come from high density urban areas where people have access to national newspapers and other broadcast media that is quite capable at getting the policies across the vast majority of the population.

The truth is, they all spend this money because all the other candidates spend that amount of money and without that money, they will not get elected.

So people are voting for money - not policies.

John


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 13:43

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
But the main offense for me is in the juxtaposition of World Poverty and death from simple diseases and hunger when all that money is being spent on a whim.
A good US President is like the rudder on a huge ship. The money spent on an election could buy some food, and everyone could eat it, and it would be gone. But, a good President can push for tax policies that keep trillions of dollars of business healthy and growing, and the people hired can earn and pay taxes on more money than was ever spent on the election. Money made by companies importing and exporting, both domestic and foreign, can employ people in other countries as well and help lift them out of poverty. A President who could get Congress to pass legislation allowing more US oil drilling could bring down oil prices around the world; a President who could get Congress to streamline and establish nuclear electric plants could bring down the price of electricity and reduce polution in our country, and save some of the fuel oil that is now burned for electricity for other use. If American agriculture policy were shaped to enourage raising oil-intense crops (like castor beans) for bio-deisel, and if the non-bean parts of the plants were processed to make cellulosic ethanol for car fuel, we would need very little gasoline or crude oil for road vehicles. A President who would implement a health care plan that would use privete-plan competition to drive down health costs and bring economies of scale to insurance could save billions of dollars of bloated health costs.


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 13:52

Cant argue with that, Scholar, per se,

But all that could be true and they could still use the money saved on election expenses to feed people as well.

And why is the amount spent on an election campaign the measure of a good President?

John


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 14:04

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
But I'm willing to bet that most of the votes come from high density urban areas where people have access to national newspapers and other broadcast media that is quite capable at getting the policies across the vast majority of the population.
If the candidates pay to run their own commercials, they can say what they wish to say, listing their policies and plans, qualifications, previous accomplishments, etc., and can criticise their opponents.

When the newspapers and broadcast media cover the candidates, they favor the candidates they like and furn a blind eye to some of the criticisms. During the last presidential election, CBS TV News ran a story against Bush based on phony evidence that a Democrat fabricated on his computer and faxed from a Kinko's shop in Texas. The story, had it been true, would have spoken badly of Bush's service in the National Guard. The CBS News anchor, Dan Rather, was humiliated and required to retire for his role in the fake story. During the same period, a number of people who served in Vietnam at the same time as John Kerry declared they had witnessed that Kerry's Vietnam actions were not as glorious and commendable as they had been represented, but none of the networks covered their eye-witness accounts which contradicted Kerry's stories.

In NBC news coverage, the reporter covering the Democrats has declared that he is enthusiastic about Obama. Do you think Senator Clinton will get as favorable coverage as Obama? Presently, ABC and NBC are both employing former Democrat political operatives in their news departments. Do you think they will be as favorable to the Republican viewpoint as they will to the party under whom they were formerly employed? (Fox has had a Republican news anchor, on the other side. Do you think he would be as favorable to the Democrats?)


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 14:15

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
Cant argue with that, Scholar, per se,

But all that could be true and they could still use the money saved on election expenses to feed people as well.

And why is the amount spent on an election campaign the measure of a good President?

John
The money spent is not the measure in a direct sense. (Not y=ax + b, where an increase in x, the money spent, gives an increase in y, how good the President is.):D

But, if the candidate's own accounts of themselves are unknown (because of lack of advertising), then the voters only get what the news outlets want them to hear. The news outlets favor the candidates they like, and criticise the candidates they don't like. If you don't want the candidates to advertise, and the news outlets by default put out good news on their candidates and bad news on the ones they don't like, the public won't have a fair basis to make their votes.

Compared to the good that a good President might do, the money he spends on advertising are less than pennies for dollars.


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 14:18

Hi Scholar,

Well, quite frankly, that is disgraceful. But does it not make you wonder what has gone wrong with the whole thing? I fully understand your point, its obvious that the system has denigrated to the point where they have to commit themselves to this extravagant farce or stand no chance in the race. But maybe Americans ought to take a step back and ask themselves what is going on.

But, I cant change it. I dont suppose anyone could change it over night so you are stuck with what you've got. That doesn't mean its not open for criticism.

good luck.

John

A quick edit. But what about those people who know they stand no chance of becoming a presidential candidate but still enter the campaign in a big way. What is they hope to gain?


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 16:15

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
Well, quite frankly, that is disgraceful.

I don't see how it is disgraceful for a candidate to spend money to let the voters know his ideas, positions, accomplishments, etc. In the alternative, everyone could just vote for people about whom they know nothing. THAT would be disgraceful. Or, they could suck tax money from the government teat, and have public financing of their advertising. THAT would be bad, if it were done against the will of the taxpayer (but, taxpayers are allowed to decide if they want to donate to a fund to subsidize candidates, so it's voluntary). Or, the government could require the broadcasters to allow free advertising for political candidates--which would hurt them by loss of revenue.

I think advertising funded by the candidates and willing domestic donations to them is the best way to do it. The candidates get to fashion their message as they wish, and the different media they hire get financial benefit, and the public get to vote on the basis of information that has reached them (with the voter being allowed to judge for himself whom to believe).

How is that disgraceful?

Please note, it doesn't mean the same people who finance the campaigns don't also support charities. They have the freedom to do both.


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 16:30

Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
But what about those people who know they stand no chance of becoming a presidential candidate but still enter the campaign in a big way. What is they hope to gain?

There are several reasons they might run:

1--They might wish to influence the outcome. Perot had no real chance to win when he ran, but he took away more votes from Republicans than Democrats, enabling Bill Clinton to win without a majority of the popular vote.

2--They might wish to influence the political positions of others. Ron Paul is the only Repubican running who believes the US should not fight wars away from home. He would like to persuade others to that position.

3--It is common for candidates to learn the first time they run, with a chance of doing better later. Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush each lost the first time they sought the nomination, but they later won it and went on to become President. What they learned on their first attempt helped them when they tried again later.

4--Some might (however mistakenly) think they they are the best for the job and hope that the voters will suddenly wake up to their abilities. Gov. Huckabee, who won the Iowa caucuses, was considered a no-real-chance candidate without enough money or a good enough organization--but he nonetheless beat others who had great advantages in that respect, because people liked what they heard from him.

5--Some do it as part of a whole life of advocacy for certain people or ideas. They go on to make speeches, write books, and appear as guest experts on TV shows, trying to teach people and get laws passed in agreement with their ideas.

The expense of a real candidacy actually helps discourage people from doing it only for their own egos. If it weren't expensive, we'd probably have hundreds of candidates every four years.


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 16:33

John, if you wish it were less expensive, I do agree with you. Generally speaking, I wish everything were more efficient and less expensive (food, fuel, clothing, computers :D). It is possible now to use the internet to spread a candidate's ideas more cheaply (if people are willing to log on and read them). However, many people don't buy newspapers or look up political info on the net. Broadcast TV commercials reach more people than anything else, and they are fairly expensive.:)


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 16:54

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
Quote:
Originally posted by John_Little
Well, quite frankly, that is disgraceful.

I don't see how it is disgraceful for a candidate to spend money to let the voters know his ideas, positions, accomplishments, etc.


Not that bit. The bit about Television companies digging the dirt and spreading false rumours to favour one party over another.

We dont do it that way in the UK.

John


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 17:24

I'd like to make sure I was clear: Dan Rather has said he was fooled by the fabricated evidence, and I believe him. He still thinks the story was true, even though there is no evidence supporting it. He so wanted to get Bush that he gladly used a fax of a document (without being in possession of the original, to be able to judge age by the condition of the paper, whether the purported document would have been typed on that kind of paper, etc.).

He is presently sueing CBS because he now says that the anchorman is really more of a figurehead, that the real news research is done by others and he is just given something to read without control. Anchors in the U.S. are usually happy to let the public think they are the key people in the news operation. ( I think they usually agree with the research people and the news directors, so that there usually isn't a problem. When there is blame, I think it's hard to tell who really had the responsibility to intervene and say, "No, we won't broadcast the story.")

Part of the pressure on Dan Rather was that he expected a newspaper to run the story, and he wanted to be first.


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 17:27

P.S. From the time that the document appeared on the internet, I think it was only a matter of minutes before people viewing it said, "Hey, that doesn't look like something from a military typewriter such as they used in that year. That looks like a Microsoft Word font."shocked_yellowshocked_yellow:P:P:P


John_Little - 10-1-2008 at 18:00

Mind you, Schollar,

When I say we dont do it like that here, I lie.

I was rushing to get the train home when I typed that and on the way to the station I realised what a plonka I was (plonka is UK or rather Peckham slang for idiot).

Of course we do. Rupert Murdoch and his cronies in the press do it all the time. What was I talking about?

John


scholar - 10-1-2008 at 18:21

I think every news outlet filters the news, if only by deciding what to cover, and how much time or space to give it. I don't think some even realize they do it. Does the BBC do any in-depth reporting on the high salaries or waste at the BBC?

But Dan Rather airing a news story based on a fax of a fake document, that the bloggers spotted as a fake so quickly, was especially bad.:(


LSemmens - 11-1-2008 at 12:11

Any person. Dan Rather included, who places themselves up for public scrutiny must be absolutely beyond reproach. In this case a news anchor failed to check his story. The same holds true for our politicians, they, too, must be assured of their facts before they publicise them. To run for public office in any country requires a special sort of person. Who, in their right mind, would apply for a position with a job description like this:

Salary - less than half an average CEO's
Responsible for a multi trillion dollar budget. On call 24 hours a day, no days off. Must account for every decision made. No privacy for yourself, and often family too. No ability to hire and fire as necessary. If you want to spend money here, be careful as those over there will also want their cut. The rest will complain because you've spent the money on necessary infrastructure that does not directly benefit them, yet. Your decisions may also cost young people their lives. Oh! No security of Tenure and at the end of it all there is no peer review, only a slim chance that the ill educated masses may choose to vote for you to keep your job for another four years.

Now? Who wants to be a polititian?


John_Little - 11-1-2008 at 13:19

Quote:
Originally posted by scholar
I think every news outlet filters the news, if only by deciding what to cover, and how much time or space to give it. I don't think some even realize they do it. Does the BBC do any in-depth reporting on the high salaries or waste at the BBC?

Well, to be fair to the BBC, they are quite good in that respect. In fact some of their presenters can be quite anarchic.

TV in the UK is strictly regulated during election times to stop the type of thing you referred to. But the press seems to get away with murder regardless of what's happening.

Mind you, I think the TV has more influence.

John


scholar - 11-1-2008 at 16:20

About the BBC, I'm glad to hear it. I hope that can be maintained. One of the real problems in American network news is a double standard--they go at their political enemies with great energy, but their political allies get their misdeeds downplayed.


janet - 11-1-2008 at 16:31

While the BBC isn't entirely without its prejudices, it's impartiality is fairly well maintained by the fact that it is publicly accountable...


Redwolf5150 - 11-1-2008 at 18:03

The BBC, like Reuters, the British counterpart to the Associated Press, is well known in the field of journalism for its professionalism and impartiality.

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