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Will anything change? posted 08 Nov 2006, 13:11 by Harrol, Moderator

Now that the Democrats have won the House and may end up winning the senate. I wonder how much will really change or if they will just maintain the status quo? view post

posted 08 Nov 2006, 14:11 by Sokar, Auditor

Are you referring to the internal changes or the ones concerning foreign policy.. (or both?) As I am not following the US in anything else than its foreign policy..I would say there will be no changes. view post

posted 08 Nov 2006, 17:11 by Harrol, Moderator

Sokar I meant both but of course the emphasis to me is on foriegn policy. view post

posted 08 Nov 2006, 22:11 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

I feel that they talked alot of smack about policies needing to be changed and such but in the end they used that to win the House and Senate, people will say or do anything to be on top. I think as the Democrats control the House and possibly the Senate people will see that nothing is changing(hopefully) and not rant so much about the wrong choices of Republicans. view post

posted 09 Nov 2006, 16:11 by Sokar, Auditor

Hey you have a new avatar.. Baldur's Gate is one of the best games.. :D view post

posted 09 Nov 2006, 16:11 by Peter, Auditor

Insofar as foreign policy is principally the domain of the Executive (ok the Senate has to ratify treaties etc.) then the veto power of Congress will come to nothing in this domain and so that has not changed. Of course domestic policy could be blocked, but this is the final half of the second term of the President's term and so there is always going to be less of this (the majority of policy comes through in the so-called first "100-days" of a President's term). Insofar as no one has been voted in or out of the executive (we'll come to Rumsfeld later) there will not be a change as comes from presidential election. Insofar as Congress, as with just about every other legislature in the world, does not really have any power to propose legislation (well there are powers of proposition but very very rarely is there the power to follow through and make it law), then this will not change anything. So, the basic conclusion is that no, things will not change. But, this basic conclusion is too restricted The election was fought in part on the platform of foreign policy and the defeat will be read as a sign of disapproval at current foreign policy and put pressure on the government to change. Rumsfeld was not competing in this election and yet, he was definitely a casualty of it. The effects of the election have been felt in the executive and insofar as Rumsfeld's replacement is not an exact clone of Rumsfeld and has power then it is nearly certain that there will be some changes following from this. Legislative proposals are not easily begun in the legislature, but they are not impossible, and with the joint support of an entire party, especially a party in the majority, has more of a chance of getting things done (though the committee system will admittedly nearly overcome this advantage). Whilst Congress might not be able to directly affect foreign policy, it can propose legislation which will hinder certain sorts of foreign policy and it can block legislation which favours other sorts. Basically, legislatures are at most, stoppers to legislation, not creators of it (usually, with caveats, when one understands that this is not always the case... and all other things being equal... :) ), but that does not mean they will be powerless. Having said all of this, it depends on what the Democrats are willing to do. Changes are definitely going to happen, and larger ones are actually possible, but what, where, how and when depends upon a lot more than can be analysed. view post

posted 09 Nov 2006, 18:11 by Will, Peralogue

I voted "No", but that is intended to be an answer to a simpler question, that being "Will the democrats change anything before the next election". Currently the US legislative branch is deadlocked, Reps can't pass anything, Dems can't beat the Rep President's veto. Dems can't get their agenda going unless they make further gains, including the White House, in the next election. view post

Can I elect a banana to congress? posted 12 Nov 2006, 02:11 by Fruitbat, Commoner

:roll: Hello. I'm a good junior camper and I vote in every election. I look at the issues... decide who will annoy me less and cast a ballot. Do I think it will make a difference? Nope. Not really. I think the party system is kind of a joke because by the time anybody reaches a certian level of power they are basically the same. Thats all. Oh... and cus someone is likely to ask... I'm a registered independant. The reason being I get less junk mail durring election time. 8) view post

posted 12 Nov 2006, 05:11 by Harrol, Moderator

I kind of think just like fruitbat said after a certain level is attained they all think a like. view post

posted 12 Nov 2006, 16:11 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Precisely its all good and well to say your going to change something but when you actually attain the position they think the same way. view post

posted 13 Nov 2006, 01:11 by paddyenglish, Candidate

it doesn't matter who you vote for the government always gets in.....old english proverb :D view post

posted 13 Nov 2006, 18:11 by Peter, Auditor

[quote:1fg90uqj]I think the party system is kind of a joke because by the time anybody reaches a certian level of power they are basically the same.[/quote:1fg90uqj] Hmmmmm, I can see the point here. Indeed, have you (or anyone else) read C. Wright Mills and his... don't remember exactly, but it is something like "The Power Elite" and based on an analysis of 1930s Germany by (I forget his name) a German who emigrated before WWII. Basically the argument is that in terms of education, upbringing and culture the Captains of Industry, the Party Elites and the heads of the military are all the same. Indeed it is so similar that the roles are more or less interchangeable (ok perhaps not from the former two into the the last). Eisenhower certainly became president. Mills' argument was that only organised Labour with its bottom up democratic structure could hope to present an alternative and even then the leaders of Labour would, in joining the power elite, suffer from homogonising pressures. So, the Party Elites are likely to have these sorts of problems, all coming from the same background with similar education sorts. This is probably true, with some exceptions (look at Schwarznegger). But, what does that mean for politics? Does it mean that all policies will be the same, that all approaches to policy will be the same? Well, on the one hand there will certainly be a joint interest across parties to have higher salaries, more influence and perks. Does this imply all the policy proposals will be the same? The American model is essentially lacking a left wing in the manner that is found in Europe, and this would fit with the idea that leftwing policies harm power elites. But then again, how many socialists are there in America? We can't tell how the country would be with a stronger socialist movement, but in other democratic countries there do seem to be socialist movements, even when run by party elites. Perhaps it is lack of democratic pressure. Moreover, there do seem to be differences between Democrats and Republicans (though I admit more arguments between the two seem to be negative at the moment), just look at the rhetoric on the Iraq war (there are other differences). Insofar as the US is a democracy, the elites may be the same, but the people are not, so the elites will try and gain votes, but how will they do this except by policy options? Just because the party elites are all the same doesn't mean they won't compete with different policies, at least not if competition like that is one of the best ways of acheiving their ends (i.e. salaries and power). I am not sure it is obvious that dishonesty in any truly extreme way (embezzling money etc.) is going to benefit party elites more, given the dangers of getting caught. This is not to say it won't happen, but even if they do, in order to stay in power there is at least a minimal requirement to do something for their constituents. Of course it might be that being seen to do things is more efficient than actually doing things, or explain pork-barrelling etc. Nonetheless, the power elite theory doesn't seem certain to me, just something to keep in mind when considering checks and balances. Also, apologies for the long post. I get carried away view post

posted 13 Nov 2006, 20:11 by Harrol, Moderator

No that was a great post no apologies needed. I find much of what was stated to be valid when considered with the political landscape that we face. view post

posted 15 Nov 2006, 01:11 by alhana, Auditor

I voted no for all the reasons listed already, but mostly that all career politicians are the same. There is no "extremist" party in the US and so the parties all end up with the same bloated, self-serving existance. The idea of a "socialist" party raises a good point though. Unfortunately I think that most US voters are typically conservative and therefore tend to view "socialist" views as being too extreme for the political arena. Also, many people are ignorant and so the word "socialism" equals "communist" for many of the older voters. Though Canada to our north has many elements of a democratic socialist government, too many people in the US perceive that all the problems of Canada's government are from socialism. Additionally, Big Business has gotten Organized Labor in their political bed, so there will be no splitting up that Odd Couple. I do agree that a good political revolution is long over-due in the US and if the economy takes a dive or the energy crisis continues to spin out of control, then a new Social Group might be able to evolve to challenge the Elephant and the Donkey. On the other hand, as long as US Citizens perceive that they have the Good Life, they won't rock the Political Boat to make any changes. view post

Good point... posted 15 Nov 2006, 02:11 by Fruitbat, Commoner

Thats a good point. I think many people freak out when they hear "socialized" anything. I work in the medical field... and before I did I was very afraid of socialized medicine. It was just that creepy thing they do in Canada. Now, after seeing how insurance companies, lawyers and money run everything I thinking of buying a maple leaf! :wink: view post

posted 15 Nov 2006, 13:11 by Harrol, Moderator

I see what you are saying fruitbat. I am still leary about letting the same government that bankrupted social security even touch universal health care. Right now I just want to give them a pet rock and see if they can competently take care of it. view post

posted 15 Nov 2006, 22:11 by Warrior-Poet, Moderator

Harrol you bring humor into topics I didnt think it was possible. view post

RIP Govt. Pet Rock. posted 16 Nov 2006, 04:11 by Fruitbat, Commoner

:( I'm sure that the govt. would kill the pet rock. But hey... then country singers would have another national tragedy to write about... (all together guys... with twang....) "Man... where were you when the Pet Rock corked off... Where were you when he went to that lonley Garden in the sky..." ugg. view post

posted 16 Nov 2006, 13:11 by Harrol, Moderator

Thank-you WP I do try some times. It is always a pleasure to post with you guys. view post

posted 22 Nov 2006, 20:11 by Harrol, Moderator

Alright well Nancy is trying to create cohession amongst the Democratic ranks but it appears that that is not working for her. Tell Charles Rangle to calm down a little, it is not time to start talking draft. Barak Obama seems to have an intelligent plan that differs from the president. We will see where that goes I think a withdrawl from Iraq maybe the best course in the near future. view post


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