Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

Politics
posted by janrinok on Monday January 27 2020, @05:46PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Political polarization among Americans has grown rapidly in the last 40 years—more than in Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia or Germany—a phenomenon possibly due to increased racial division, the rise of partisan cable news and changes in the composition of the Democratic and Republican parties.

That's according to new research co-authored by Jesse Shapiro, a professor of political economy at Brown University. The study, conducted alongside Stanford University economists Levi Boxell and Matthew Gentzkow, was released on Monday, Jan. 20, as a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper.

In the study, Shapiro and colleagues present the first ever multi-nation evidence on long-term trends in "affective polarization"—a phenomenon in which citizens feel more negatively toward other political parties than toward their own. They found that in the U.S., affective polarization has increased more dramatically since the late 1970s than in the eight other countries they examined—the U.K., Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Sweden.

"A lot of analysis on polarization is focused on the U.S., so we thought it could be interesting to put the U.S. in context and see whether it is part of a global trend or whether it looks more exceptional," Shapiro said. "We found that the trend in the U.S. is indeed exceptional."

Using data from four decades of public opinion surveys conducted in the nine countries, the researchers used a so-called "feeling thermometer" to rate attitudes on a scale from 0 to 100, where 0 reflected no negative feelings toward other parties. They found that in 1978, the average American rated the members of their own political party 27 points higher than members of the other major party. By 2016, Americans were rating their own party 45.9 points higher than the other party, on average. In other words, negative feelings toward members of the other party compared to one's own party increased by an average of 4.8 points per decade.

The researchers found that polarization had also risen in Canada, New Zealand and Switzerland in the last 40 years, but to a lesser extent. In the U.K., Australia, Germany, Norway and Sweden, polarization decreased.

More information: Levi Boxell et al, Cross-Country Trends in Affective Polarization, (2020). DOI: 10.3386/w26669


Original Submission

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
1 (2) 3 4
  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @06:00PM (100 children)

    by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @06:00PM (#949438) Journal

    You have 2 parties to vote for (reasonably speaking): you wind up with half the population hating the other half and you wonder why there is polarization?

    In Canada, reasonably speaking, we have Liberals, Conservatives, NDP, with Green climbing and Bloc Quebecois throwing a wrench into things for every party wanting to have a go in Quebec: so, 3-5 major (reasonably speaking) parties to feck things up.

    Compare that to Democrats and Republicans both wanting to cater to the rich (except for HOLY FECK Sanders possibly leading the pack????? and Warren putting THEIR wrenches in there!!!)

    Gee...polarization much?

    Polarization? In Canada, you spell that 'Ukraine', or 'IHateBlackYellowBrownPeople' and you then understand what US polarization means. In Canada, polarization is "Timmys" or "NotTimmys".

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by DannyB on Monday January 27 2020, @06:08PM (74 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @06:08PM (#949441) Journal

      It wouldn't hurt if the US could fix:
      * corruption
      * lobbying
      * campaign finance / spending
      * foreign influence

      Good policy ideas should win, no matter how much or little money is behind them.

      The system is rigged.

      --
      When trying to solve a problem don't ask who suffers from the problem, ask who profits from the problem.
      • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @06:17PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @06:17PM (#949445) Journal

        And just like Today's Capitalism, what is needed is choice (competition): with the choice you have now (in the US), you dont really have a choice...the devil you don't want or the devil you don't want.

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by janrinok on Monday January 27 2020, @06:23PM (32 children)

        by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @06:23PM (#949448) Journal

        I agree wholeheartedly.

        But in recent years we have seen large gatherings in the USA in support of - or against - the 2nd amendment and the right to bear arms, for the ultra right wing or against it, for the Republicans or the Democrats etc. However, I do not recall a single gathering complaining about the state of US politics. The public is apathetic, or so it appears to any onlookers. The is no interest in changing the two party system which is even more surprising when, to much of the world, both of those parties are to the right of centre. I do not see any likelihood of change in the near to mid-term.

        I have read here on this site that some believe that the struggle would be futile, that big business would still pull the strings of those politicians who are in their pockets. Well, one thing I know for sure is that if nobody tries it will certainly not change. I'm not advocating insurrection - merely that the public stand up and say 'No More!'.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @06:41PM

          by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @06:41PM (#949460) Journal

          I think the fight about gun rights is propelled by the media: a lot of school shootings are reported and you have a division. If the shootings WEREN'T reported, the interest would be almost nil.

          What is needed is MORE reporting about things like the swamp/corruption/lies/ etc and suddenly more people will care: but will they have the education to say "No more!".

          Not while the rich can get away without paying their share of education taxes.

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 2) by FatPhil on Monday January 27 2020, @07:16PM (1 child)

          by FatPhil (863) <reversethis-{if.fdsa} {ta} {tnelyos-cp}> on Monday January 27 2020, @07:16PM (#949485) Homepage
          A two party scenario, where the two are effectively equal, is a stable attractor in vote-share state space of a first-past-the-post quasi-democratic system like the US. Duverger predicted this 60+ years ago. It's amazing the UK hasn't completely fallen into that well, but we keep getting herp-derped up over single issues that are cross-party or divisive such as you-know-what.
          --
          Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people; the smallest discuss themselves
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @10:11PM

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @10:11PM (#949608)

            The UK is sort of a two party system, if you look at the regions in isolation. England is mostly Conservative vs. Labor, Northern Ireland is DUP vs Sinn Fien. Scotland is SNP vs everyone else. And then there are smaller regional battles between parties. There are single-issue voters propping up the parties in the UK, just like there is in the U.S., but the singe-issues are different in different regions of the UK, unlike in the U.S.

        • (Score: 3, Interesting) by RS3 on Monday January 27 2020, @08:31PM (28 children)

          by RS3 (6367) on Monday January 27 2020, @08:31PM (#949543)

          Firstly, we (US) have many parties, but only 2 get most of the votes. And I think that's more the point- that we do have many options, but people mostly choose D or R.

          I think there are many (obvious) factors, and a large one being $ spent on advertising, and generally $ involved in campaigning. I think the money machine is probably the main problem. I've been aware of it for more than 20 years, and it's always the root problem. I see no way to solve it.

          Another is "popular misconception". People are fiercely passionate about this or that, but are usually very misinformed, or only know isolated bits of, not the whole truth. A great example: when I was a kid I remember GreenPeace (IIRC) being fiercely against nuclear power. More recently, the founder / head of GreenPeace reversed himself, realizing that coal and gas are much much worse for the environment. Narrow-minded, short-sighted, misinformed, hyper-focused- many ways to name it, but lack of wisdom (foolishness) is what I call it.

          There's a psychological factor in that people want to belong to a group. Most animals tend to stay in groups.

          But one of the biggest problems: USA was founded on representative government. But IMHO, govt. does not truly represent the people. They represent 1) people with money, including lobbyists (which I hate mostly), and 2) issues that get news coverage. Which gets back to the concept that the news media largely steers USA.

          I don't think we USAians are apathetic. Sorry if it appears that way- I think we're largely unempowered and we know it, but some of us vote anyway.

          You made an interesting comment/observation that both major US parties appear right of center. Remember that USA is pretty young, and was open and wild and about as close to extreme right capitalism as any somewhat civilised country has ever been. We descendants have inherited those ways, and it's not easy to adopt more leftist policies. Someone always gives up something, or perceives potential loss.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @08:57PM (4 children)

            by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @08:57PM (#949558) Journal

            I look at it as an education problem: for example, the black voter preferring Biden. All i ever hear is that the 'average black person' is under employed, uneducated and not able to make ends meet.

            And yet, they support Biden, who is a 'rich person' supporter. I would think they would support someone like Warren or Sanders, who would help them more and help them get ahead (free college education, tax the rich, etc)...

            ...and yet, they support Biden.

            I do. not. get. it.

            --
            --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @09:23PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @09:23PM (#949579)

              I do. not. get. it.

              You aren't educated enough, then.
              A shock dose of FauxNews may correct that. (large grin)

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by number11 on Monday January 27 2020, @10:46PM (1 child)

              by number11 (1170) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @10:46PM (#949627)

              I think many blacks support Biden for (one of) two reasons:
              1) He was Obama's VP, and has been on the national stage for a long time, and they're used to him;
              2) They think he's the most likely to win. (While I don't agree with that, if you look at the polls you can make a decent argument for it.)
              And, of course, as a group they're not informed all that much better than the average white guy (except that they're less likely to watch Fox News).
              I don't think it's necessarily because they like Biden, or think he will be particularly good for them. But another 4 years of the Twitterin' Narcissist could erase a century's progress.

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @11:09PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @11:09PM (#949650)

                3) Being party establishment, he'll make sure that dole moneys will still flow to the underemployed black community, while replacement citizens are brought in from elsewhere.

            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:08AM

              by Grishnakh (2831) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:08AM (#949747)

              It's the same as in 2016. The black voters overwhelmingly supported Hillary in the primaries, even though Bernie supported policies that would have benefited them far more, while Hillary was cheering for Goldman Sachs. BLM protesters even crashed one of Bernie's rallies in WA state.

              Black voters are just like poor rural voters, and really most US voters. They very, very strongly vote against their own economic interests.

          • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Mykl on Monday January 27 2020, @11:38PM (22 children)

            by Mykl (1112) on Monday January 27 2020, @11:38PM (#949662)

            Firstly, we (US) have many parties, but only 2 get most of the votes. And I think that's more the point- that we do have many options, but people mostly choose D or R.

            I think there are many (obvious) factors, and a large one being $ spent on advertising, and generally $ involved in campaigning. I think the money machine is probably the main problem. I've been aware of it for more than 20 years, and it's always the root problem. I see no way to solve it.

            1. Replace first-past-the-post voting with runoff voting. People are able to vote for alternative options without 'throwing their vote away'. Even when minor parties don't win, the majors will adjust their policies to stem the bleeding as voters move away. See: Australia's environmental policies being driven for decades by the Greens despite them only ever holding a couple of seats in government
            2. Term limits for Congress Critters. Most are there to protect themselves and their job-for-life. Any public good is an accident. If it's known in advance that you'll only get 8/12/16 years out of the job, then the only people who will go into the career will be those who are there to make a difference
            3. Mandatory voting. Part of the reason for partisanship is that the parties are only pitching to those citizens who are actually going to bother to go out and vote. The people in the middle don't care enough, so policies increasingly cater to the edges. If everyone has to vote, then policies automatically become more centrist since the parties now need to cater to winning the middle vote.
            • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Monday January 27 2020, @11:51PM (15 children)

              by RS3 (6367) on Monday January 27 2020, @11:51PM (#949672)

              Great ideas, I mostly agree.

              #2: I've heard that a lot all my life, and I don't get it. What if there is a truly good representative in office? Toss them out because years? I think if you implement 1 & 3, and some much stricter limits on campaign finance and advertising, you won't need to restrict terms- we the people will decide that.

              All that said, I get that an incumbent is well known, and a challenger may not be, so it's not quite a fair competition. Need to think a long while...

              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:41AM (2 children)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:41AM (#949702)

                The reason why major democracy reform groups support term limits is because being in office is basically one giant, running ad. In addition, the "ad" is often either free (through press coverage of the official's activity) or paid for by the taxpayers (through official activities). Without term limits, the argument goes, every time a limit comes up, you will force all parties to campaign from scratch and lose the incumbent advantage they get from the "ad" and built-in name recognition. Whether or not it actually accomplishes that in practice is the subject of quite a bit of debate and scholarship.

                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:13AM (1 child)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:13AM (#949856)

                  The problem with term limits in legislature is that it tends to toss people out just as they finally know the job and have good working relationships with the other representatives. So the only ones that know anything wind up being the lobbyists. Who already write enough bills, thank you very much.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @07:23AM

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @07:23AM (#949959)

                    Yeah, I get it has problems too, especially in lower and legislative offices. I was just trying to explain the key positive that many groups see in them.

              • (Score: 5, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:53AM (4 children)

                by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:53AM (#949706) Journal

                Ah, but what about if the current government truly represents Americans?

                It certainly matches up well with all the stereotypes of the vulgar American redneck tourist pretty closely. A government ready to compromise core values in return for oil (Saudi Arabia anyone?). A people who believe that it's their manifest destiny to rule the world, while betraying their allies and overthrowing democracies and installing puppet tyrants (the shah of Iran).

                You already have a government that perfectly reflects the population - easily led (ask Putin), believing your economy is the strongest in the world while you can't afford universal health care that other countries take as a basic human right, incapable of enforcing taxes against the rich so you just pass laws allowing them to keep the money same as any 3rd world dictatorship, a corrupt political financial regime, rampant racism, misogynistic and anti-"get, that's pretty much a government that represents the USA.

                All empires come to an end, mostly from internal strife. Why should the USA be an exception? Or more to the point, how could it not eventually come to an inevitable end?

                --
                SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:21AM (3 children)

                  by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:21AM (#949897) Journal

                  Ah, but what about if the current government truly represents Americans?

                  The horror... The horror...

                  (so horrific that you have good chances to be right!)

                  --
                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                  • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:32PM (2 children)

                    by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:32PM (#950093) Journal

                    Well, you know how it is - truth is not just stranger than fiction (everything in The Handmaid's Tale is happening to women somewhere in the world at this moment), it's stranger than we can even try to imagine.

                    Anyone remember Nehemiah Scudder [wikipedia.org]? We've gone WAAY beyond that in the 80 years since it was written (it's set in the years after 2012, so he n got the date right).

                    --
                    SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:44PM (1 child)

                      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:44PM (#950098) Journal

                      Anyone remember Nehemiah Scudder

                      I missed reading this one!
                      Thanks.

                      --
                      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:10PM

                        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:10PM (#950110) Journal
                        I've read it a few times (I have a copy floating around somewhere). It's worth revisiting, if only for the examination of the changing of the protagonist's views on sex as the story evolves (Heinlein always manages to score a few points about sex - see "All You Zombies" as a story way ahead of its' time if you like time travel).
                        --
                        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
              • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:58AM (6 children)

                by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:58AM (#949712) Journal

                What if there is a truly good representative in office? Toss them out because years?

                Ummm... what makes a good representative? Policies or personal traits?
                If the first, the identity of the person doesn't matter much - you can throw him out.
                If the second, the risk of the person to "go rogue" in regards with the policy is high enough to consider throwing him out.

                If both in the same time? Now, that's hard! In any case, sticking with such a person on long term it's very likely to be polarizing.
                Who should you love more - thy neighbor or thy representative?

                (large grin)

                --
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:03AM (5 children)

                  by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:03AM (#949845)

                  Neither - I forget the official logical fallacy but you only offered 2 options then argued your point.

                  I know I'm vague, because it's difficult to define, but the answer is in the word: representative. Representing their constituents. Evenly, fairly.

                  I think they need a more tiered system like a good organizational structure. One senator covering 20 million people is not good math for good representation. I know they have many approachable people working for them, but I still think it needs better structure. Maybe I'll do it. :) Time to run for office.

                  But I forgot to include one of my strongest tenets: I don't like terms much anyway. I think we need to be able to vote them out more quickly. Maybe quarterly would be good.

                  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:17AM (1 child)

                    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:17AM (#949859)

                    Senators, at the national level, represent States, not people. It's the House of Representatives that represents the people. I'm not entirely sure what the difference between senators and representatives is in those state governments that use both.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:55AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:55AM (#949885)

                      You mean state senators in bicameral legislatures? They used to have a similar function to federal senators, representing regions, but that was invalidated by the Supreme Court deciding that the "one man one vote" principle was binding on the states.

                      So they are now elected like representatives, but there are fewer of them and their districts are larger and they may have longer tenures in office.

                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:59AM (2 children)

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:59AM (#949889) Journal

                    Neither - I forget the official logical fallacy but you only offered 2 options then argued your point.

                    False dichotomy? Yeah, naaah, mate.
                    1. I offered 3 choices (one, the other or both). So it'd be a "false trichotomy" (grin)
                    2. you discounted the (large grin). Now, I lost the link to (a very old now) comment on S/N explaining what my (grin) does mean, so I'll try to paraphrase: "it means that c0lo is goofing around, wasting everybody's time, and it's your fault if you take him seriously". Now, I reckon you can extrapolate what a "large grin" may mean.

                    I think we need to be able to vote them out more quickly. Maybe quarterly would be good.

                    If voting often is not a problem, how about direct democracy [wikipedia.org]?

                    True, TANSTAAFL, everyone will need to pay attention and think a bit about the initiatives (and their consequences) they are about to vote; but the advantage... oh, yes, baby! No more whinging about how it was the Hellary's or the Orange Clown's fault when the things turn ugly (eh, I wish. I don't know about reason or intelligence, but for sure rationalization really differentiates humans from the rest of animals - grin; but only a small one).

                    --
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
                    • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:50AM (1 child)

                      by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:50AM (#949918)

                      Sorry, I got you, and I much like you and your style, wisdom, humor, views, etc. :)

                      What would 4 be, quadcotomy? Or maybe lobotomy?

                      I tend to hold this political stuff in and when I do let it out, I can be a bit passionate. But I'm still holding back. Some things seem super obvious to me, like that we need more frequent elections, and less campaigning. Being a descendant of the American Revolutionary there's a bit of fire in me. You know, someone's got to take this stuff seriously and do something about it!

                      I've pondered direct democracy for a long time. Well, the Founding Fathers discussed it, and decided that 1) communication was too slow in those days- too cumbersome for everyone to discuss issues, and 2) sometimes the masses are just plain wrong, misinformed, partially informed, etc. Look at lynch mobs, riots, etc. Better that a few wisest people specialize in knowledge, wisdom, and governing.

                      But we're back to the popular misconception problem- it's guiding the voters.

                      How about this: semi direct democracy: official elections on issues, results are tabulated and published, tabulated and published by nation, region, state, county, district, and then we decide how we like the senators' and representatives' job performance. And we'll all know how people really feel about certain topics, rather than what $ can buy in advertising, lobbying, congressional influence, etc.

                      I've used sarcasm, cynicism, subtle humor, etc. here, but too often people don't grasp it and argue inappropriately, downmod me, etc. I'm trying to learn to be more clear and exacting. I struggled much with writing growing up. Had to have some tutoring. Phenomenal English teacher in college helped me greatly. But I'm still behind... I guess it's better to be behind, than be a behind... ba-dump.

                      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:57AM

                        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @06:57AM (#949953) Journal

                        What would 4 be, quadcotomy? Or maybe lobotomy?

                        To slip on my pedantic hat, there is a distinction between "false dilemma" (presenting only two choices when there are more) and "false dichotomy" (presenting as distinct two choices which aren't actually disjunct).

                        "False choice" takes care about the generalization to "limiting to N choices when there are more" - even if, when N is high enough, it becomes hard to tell if we are seeing a "deliberately false choice" or just "human imagination limits" (or, for the matter, a mixture of the two; or even other motives not necessary "chotomical" one with the other... large grin).

                        I don't know how to call "mashing together heaps of options that are neither distinctive nor making a comprehensive set". Maybe... I don't know... call it "a referendum used in the exercise of direct democracy"? (large grin)

                        I've pondered direct democracy for a long time. Well, the Founding Fathers discussed it, and decided that 1) communication was too slow in those days- too cumbersome for everyone to discuss issues, and 2) sometimes the masses are just plain wrong, misinformed, partially informed, etc. Look at lynch mobs, riots, etc. Better that a few wisest people specialize in knowledge, wisdom, and governing.

                        1. no longer an issue based on the technical reality.
                        2. wouldn't be an issue if not artificially maintained so.

                        But we're back to the popular misconception problem- it's guiding the voters.

                        You mean something like "creating an artificial scarcity of time to make one's mind in regards with the politics"? Or, less pretentious: "Keep 'em busy and may the best dog wagger among us be the winner".
                        1. Why, isn't one secondary advantage of the "gig economy" and the "keep them working 3 jobs just to stay afloat"?
                        2. If that's not enough, how about the DDoS of non-sense news to exhaust the remaining bandwidth/processing power of a wetware that was not educated into critical thinking anyway.

                        How about this: semi direct democracy: official elections on issues, results are tabulated and published, tabulated and published by nation, region, state, county, district, and then we decide how we like the senators' and representatives' job performance.

                        Ummm... regarding that "representatives' job performance".... there's something called imperative mandate [wikipedia.org]. It has been tried a couple of times, didn't get working for long enough when it was tried.

                        I've used sarcasm, cynicism, subtle humor, etc. here, but too often people don't grasp it and argue inappropriately, downmod me, etc.
                        ...
                        But I'm still behind...

                        Look mate, seriously, a question you need to answer yourself to: how much of you is you, how much of you is others and if you like the point of balance between the two.

                        Speaking about myself: I'm serene and at peace. With myself.
                        Maaaybe not at peace with all the others but, really, does it matter? (grin)

                        I guess it's better to be behind, than be a behind... ba-dump.

                        I don't know about that. Being an asshole on S/N has some sort of "je ne sais quoi", something familiar and full of an ageless charm, a full-bodied flavor of long passed times.

                        Yeah, yeah. I guess some may call it "the smell of an old fart" and dismiss it in the "Ok, boomer" category, but is still good fun.
                        You don't actually need to let this hold you back, just look at TMB... Besides, remember? "when a man has to go, ...."?!?

                        (large grin)

                        --
                        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
            • (Score: 4, Interesting) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:30AM (4 children)

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:30AM (#949764) Journal

              If it's known in advance that you'll only get 8/12/16 years out of the job, then the only people who will go into the career will be those who are there to make a difference

              With term limits, they know they need to have a job lined up after, so they're more likely to be corrupt, granting all sorts of political favours so that they can have seats on boards of directors, become lobbyists themselves, etc. This will just accelerate the pace of corruption.

              Problem is, there is no solution. People who seek power are the very people who should never be given power.

              It would be better to pick politicians by random draw, or from a group of homeless folk - at least the homeless won't aspire to steal billions. They would be far more likely to be so grateful that they would do everything that they can to live up to the position, unlike the politicians who say "I was born for the job of President!" or who lose twice and won't take "fuck off Clinton" as an answer because they think it's their "destiny," that they're "owed" it.

              --
              SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
              • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:06AM (3 children)

                by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:06AM (#949846)

                See my above answer, but basically- elections much more often, maybe quarterly. Might make 'em pay attention to the job at hand, which is the People.

                • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:05PM (2 children)

                  by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:05PM (#950055) Journal
                  Quarterly elections mean we're always in an election bubble. Pork, pork, lies and pork. Get rid of fixed terms, make a failure to pass a budget automatically bring down the government and trigger an election . Same a parliamentary governments do. After all, if you can't pass a budget the government shuts down anyway ...
                  --
                  SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
                  • (Score: 2) by RS3 on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:17PM (1 child)

                    by RS3 (6367) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:17PM (#950114)

                    Being an engineer, I may be too practical for politics. I agree with you 100% in principle, but practically: how do you get congress, or anyone, to give up power? It took a Revolutionary War in 1776 to do that. Can't do that again.

                    Many congress members have suggested and even started legislation to limit terms, limit campaign finance, etc., but how are you going to get a power-hungry group of mini-despots to give up some power for the greater good?

                    Maybe we can pass out free bottled water to congress, that we import from our good neighbors Canada, and we don't tell them about the special ingredients.

                    Okay, ball's in your court. :)

                    • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:51PM

                      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:51PM (#950139) Journal
                      Sure you can have another revolutionary war. As long as one side want it badly enough, it will happen - and there are plenty of governments hostile to the US (Russia, North Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc) with cyber assets that can foment hate and distrust among Americans.

                      Given the rising inequality in the US, some sort of insurrection is probably inevitable.

                      --
                      SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
            • (Score: 1) by Jay on Tuesday January 28 2020, @08:31PM

              by Jay (8679) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @08:31PM (#950213)

              2. Term limits for Congress Critters.

              This is one I've struggled with, because some elected officials are really, really good, and people very much appreciate what they do. I think I just came up with a solution, however:

              After 2 terms you must primary, and each primary you need 50% + 10%*#of primaries to stay in. So after your 2nd term, your next primary you need to win with 60% of the vote, the one after 70%, etc. That way if you're awesome and everyone loves you, you can still stick around. But once even a small percent of people are sick of you, you're likely going to be out. And at some point even if everyone loves you to death and there's no competition, you're still out.

      • (Score: 2) by DeathMonkey on Monday January 27 2020, @06:35PM (32 children)

        by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday January 27 2020, @06:35PM (#949459) Journal

        And the voting system. First-past-the-post is why we can only have two parties. [wikipedia.org]

        Support Ranked Choice or any of the other modern voting systems if you want more parties!

        • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @06:49PM (19 children)

          by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @06:49PM (#949462) Journal

          In Canada, we currently have first past the post but still have at least 3 major parties: but yes... election reform IS needed here too.

          Our current prime minister Trudeau ran on legalizing marijuana and election reform: guess which one we got (probably because he wanted to be able to toke legally).

          Yeah...we need election reform more than we need marijuana.

          --
          --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
          • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Monday January 27 2020, @07:19PM (8 children)

            by Immerman (3985) on Monday January 27 2020, @07:19PM (#949488)

            >... guess which one we got
            I'm guessing the one with less opposition. I don't know how legislation works there, but do you really think the Prime Minister would be able to pull off election reform without broad support from the legislature? When you attack the heart of the problem, you attack the heart of the current power structure. You hear "eliminate the systematic problems that keep the government from representing the people", the legislators hear "eliminate the gravy train that lets us do what we want without fear of losing our position"

            You'd better believe marijuana legalization was the far easier battle to win.

            • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @07:55PM (5 children)

              by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @07:55PM (#949506) Journal

              Yeah: the system as it is seems to slightly favour the Liberals (Trudeau), so yeah: he fed us a line and we took it.

              I'm hoping that in the future (near future) people will remember this and vote differently.

              I've been supporting the Greens for about 10 years now and have seen them climb steadily.... basically I'm supporting anarchy against the current system while hoping the Greens will actually keep promises and enact electoral reform AND environmental reform.

              Here in Canada, the province of Alberta had HUGE...and I mean BIGGLY amounts of oil money coming in...a surplus to choke Scrooge McDuck. Instead of spending it on researching green alternatives to oil, the changing provincial governments spent it on goodies for the people.

              Now that the price of oil has dropped, the crying has begun about no money coming in: they COULD be in great shape with green patents and green jobs. Instead, they're stuck in a revenue model of the 70's.

              --
              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
              • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Monday January 27 2020, @08:54PM (4 children)

                by Immerman (3985) on Monday January 27 2020, @08:54PM (#949555)

                Is it feeding you a line if he'd actually want to do it? (Not that I have any idea if he would) It's just not something in one man's power to push - you'd need huge support in the legislature as well - how many pro-election-reform legislators do you currently have? My guess is not many. And without that support the fight is dead before it even starts.

                Politicians mostly fight the easy battles - victories make them look good, and if there's no real effect to the flow of money or power, then they'll mostly be fighting against politicians who wish to use the opposition to appeal to their base - and those may actually be best served by losing the battle.

                • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @09:04PM (3 children)

                  by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:04PM (#949566) Journal

                  Yeah: i think Canadians wanted election reform, but yeah: his fellow cabinet members (Liberal) knew that election reform would actual harm them so they quietly let it go away.

                  Which is why i support Green. They say they support reform: if they were to drop that, i would tell them what's what and drop support.

                  People need to be more vocal and aware and election 'woke' (although i hate the word, the idea is okay). Too many people vote Conservative, then hate the
                  Conservatives and vote Liberal, then hate the Liberals and vote Conservative.... too many people DON'T THINK.

                  --
                  --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                  • (Score: 2) by NickM on Monday January 27 2020, @10:07PM (2 children)

                    by NickM (2867) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:07PM (#949606) Journal
                    The cabinet also sent Dion in Germany instead of nominating him minister in charge of electoral reform. Dion is an expert on electoral systems and he invented the P3 system that was tailor made for Canada. That system is the work of a genius : https://ideefederale.ca/documents/Dion_ang.pdf [ideefederale.ca] but it might have be to complex to sell.
                    --
                    I a master of typographic, grammatical and miscellaneous errors !
                    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @10:55PM (1 child)

                      by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:55PM (#949637) Journal

                      Read some of it and so far like it: the problem is, why do people STILL use Windows: because it is too difficult/no knowledge of other systems. "i can use windows or i can use apple.....i'm using Linux? Really??? I thought i was using android!

                      Too many people are idiots and vote conservative, then vote liberal, then vote conservative, then vote liberal....or vote conservative with no idea, really, why they do.

                      People are stupid: BUT, i will look further into P3.... this looks interesting: i like the personal choice.

                      But the people who use windows because "What else is there"....... will they be smart enough to SEE a difference...a choice....another FECKING UNIVERSE.

                      "To paraphrase Mackenzie King, Canada has little history but a lot of geography."
                      VERY true: which is Alberta's problem right now because of a lack of forward thinking.

                      Okay: read teh meat of it. I like it: vote for WHO you want, plus the party you want, plus it opens competition between candidates! Makes good sense!

                      THIS should be part of the educational system. Period.

                      --
                      --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
                      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @11:47PM

                        by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @11:47PM (#949668)

                        Never mind that Trudeau promised electoral reform, then sent out surveys asking tricky questions that weren't "do you want electoral reform Y/N" or "which one of these options for electoral reform (including none) do you prefer", then throwing up his hands and saying the people didn't want it...

                        Never mind that for the 2019 election, Trudeau asked for strategic voting to avoid a conservative victory, whereas if he actually followed through with his electoral reform promise there would be absolutely no need for strategic voting...

                        On the other hand you have the conservatives that "solved" first past the post many years ago by their unite-the-right merging of the major parties right of center, because they weren't getting elected enough due to vote splitting. A solution to the first past the post problem that's simple, elegant, and wrong. So if you're slightly more right of center than the Liberals, your only option is the one conservative party, which admittedly has much more of a chance now because now only the non-conservative parties' votes are split. But there's no room for a range of conservatism, you're either with them or against them.

            • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:40AM

              by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:40AM (#949770) Journal

              He ran the numbers and realized that if electoral reforms had already been in place, he would not have won. He's a lying coward. A faux feminist who didn't hesitate to blame the women in his cabinet when he was caught meddling in a legal case, after publicly dressing down the Chinese over Huawei, saying "In Canada, our justice system is independent of political meddling."

              The only reason he heads a minority government is that, like the last US election, the opposition ran the worst candidate possible. You couldn't get more wishy-washy, or more pasty-faced a candidate, if you took an empty suit and hung it out in the rain.

              --
              SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @10:20AM

              by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @10:20AM (#950000)

              I'm guessing the one with less opposition. I don't know how legislation works there, but do you really think the Prime Minister would be able to pull off election reform without broad support from the legislature?

              Two major reasons.

              1. It would need constitution changes. Opening constitution is bad idea in Canada, since Quebec (the frenchies) didn't even ratify it. Last one someone tried to do this

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meech_Lake_Accord [wikipedia.org]

              it wasn't very good. Almost ended up breaking up Canada

              2. people don't actually support these changes

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2005_British_Columbia_electoral_reform_referendum [wikipedia.org]
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_British_Columbia_electoral_reform_referendum [wikipedia.org]
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Ontario_electoral_reform_referendum [wikipedia.org]

              That's why Trudeau stopped. It sounded good but it's not something that people actually want or even care about. And that's why Canada will always have either a Liberal government or a Conservative government and sometimes a coalition government.

              The only major polarization I see in Canada is the idiots at Fox News polarizing the Canadian conservative voters through their propaganda bullshit.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @09:46PM (9 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @09:46PM (#949590)

            You might have first past the post, but you also have a Prime Minister instead of the US having a President with king-like power.

            • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @09:54PM (5 children)

              by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:54PM (#949596) Journal

              We also didn't have #NeverHillary, so yeah. Trump or Hillary was like Idiot or Douche-bag: not really a choice.

              --
              --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
              • (Score: 2) by hemocyanin on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:53AM (4 children)

                by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:53AM (#949707) Journal

                More like warmongering-bloodSoaked-psychopath vs. douchebag. We're lucky we got the douche.

                • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:53AM (3 children)

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:53AM (#949779)

                  Ah yes, thank GOD we got the narcissistic douche who almost kicked off WW3 a few times....

                  More like thank ALLAH and MOHAMMED that the Iranians know Trump is a crazy piece of shit and didn't up the ante.

                  Try again you crazy apologist, the only good thing that might come from Trump is a bunch of real reforms to reign in future abuses of power. I guess we should be grateful you're finally starting to realize the reality that is the Trump admin, but I won't hold my breath about you ever taking responsibility for the damage he has caused. Which is why you still say better than Clinton as that lets you stand by your decision and not feel the guilt for the damage he has caused.

                  Preeeeetty pathetic, but better than another Civil War!

                  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by hemocyanin on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:56AM (1 child)

                    by hemocyanin (186) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:56AM (#949783) Journal

                    Yes -- thank fucking spaghetti monster -- HRC would have succeeded at WWIII for sure. Trump's fucked it up so in fact, we are all better off.

                    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:56AM

                      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:56AM (#949887)

                      I do recall Trump making comments about nuking the middle east, also echoed all the time by his supporters. Then he drops the MOAB, doesn't pull out of the ME, and assassinates an Iranian general?

                      Yeah, so you bet on Mad Dog Trumpen and him being a fuck up is how you try to pretend putting him in office wasn't a total cock up?

                      The journey to reality is a slow one. I assume you're an older gent from the generation taught that admitting being wrong is a sign of weakness, and weakness is for liberal homosexual commies.

                  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:29AM

                    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:29AM (#949900) Journal

                    More like thank ALLAH and MOHAMMED that the Iranians know Trump is a crazy piece of shit and didn't up the ante.

                    And yet... can you images the consequences of Hillary doing the same and more [youtube.com]?
                    Now, honestly, tell me you don't feel lucky now, pun... err, sorry, I take this one back

                    (grin)

                    --
                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
            • (Score: 5, Insightful) by NickM on Monday January 27 2020, @10:35PM (2 children)

              by NickM (2867) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:35PM (#949619) Journal

              A Canadian prime minister in a majority government is as powerful as a president thanks to the P.M.O. stronghold on the governing party caucus but in a minority government compromise is the name of the game.

                In my opinion, a minority government is a better government: as the checks and balances works!

              --
              I a master of typographic, grammatical and miscellaneous errors !
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:09AM (1 child)

                by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:09AM (#949683)

                IMO the problem with Canadian minority governments is there are too many votes of confidence; too many opportunities for failed legislation to result in an election; after enough of these, people get tired of going to the polls and vote not for who they want but for who they think will get a majority so their votes can stick this time.

                I'd much prefer for a failed confidence vote in a minority government to just mean "OK, that didn't work, what additional compromise do we have to make to get more votes for this piece of legislation?" instead of "flush the previous election results down the toilet and start over!"

                • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:56AM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:56AM (#949710)

                  A minority government only fails if it can't pass a budget or if it loses an explicit no-confidence vote, which is similar to a US impeachment vote, and frankly those are rare occasions. It has never been a problem.

        • (Score: 3, Informative) by PartTimeZombie on Monday January 27 2020, @09:13PM (11 children)

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:13PM (#949572)

          First past the post is the worst possible voting system, and one of the reasons you only have two parties.

          It is not the only reason however. The UK has first past the post as well, and they currently have 8 parties in their Parliament. I suspect money is the real reason you only have two parties.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by DeathMonkey on Monday January 27 2020, @10:29PM (4 children)

            by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:29PM (#949614) Journal

            First past the post is the worst possible voting system, and one of the reasons you only have two parties.

            Sure, I can get behind that. It's not the ONLY cause but it sure ain't helping!

            I suspect money is the real reason you only have two parties.

            That sure ain't helping either! Overturning Citizens United would go a LONG way towards addressing that particular issue.

            • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday January 27 2020, @10:31PM (3 children)

              by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:31PM (#949615)

              Overturning Citizens United...

              Yes, it would, but your ruling class have money, so they're not going to allow that.

              • (Score: 3, Informative) by DeathMonkey on Monday January 27 2020, @10:40PM (2 children)

                by DeathMonkey (1380) on Monday January 27 2020, @10:40PM (#949623) Journal

                The bill to amend the constitution and overturn Citizens United passed the House on a party-line vote (to be killed by Moscow Mitch). H.R. 1 [washingtonpost.com]

                So it's Republicans, not some nebulous class, that are standing in the way.

                • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @10:46PM

                  by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @10:46PM (#949628)

                  So it's Republicans, not some nebulous class, that are standing in the way.

                  Apparently, yes. I'm not so sure about the reality.

                • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday January 27 2020, @11:04PM

                  by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday January 27 2020, @11:04PM (#949642)

                  Thanks. I did not know that.

                  The Republicans, in particular Moscow Mitch are like cartoon villains really.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @10:33PM (1 child)

            by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @10:33PM (#949618)

            In the US we get first-past-the-post for every congress seat as well - each congress critter is individually elected from some geographical region. So our congress ends up with only two parties as well, for the most part. Whereas the UK gets proportional representation in parliament thanks to a different system:

            Closed Party List

            The Closed Party List system is used by England, Scotland and Wales to elect Members of the European Parliament.

            A voter marks a cross on the ballot paper next to the party’s name. Parties get the number of seats in proportion to the votes it receives in each constituency.

            https://www.parliament.uk/about/how/elections-and-voting/voting-systems/ [parliament.uk]

            • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Monday January 27 2020, @11:06PM

              by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday January 27 2020, @11:06PM (#949644)

              You have misunderstood that link.

              The UK elect their parliament using first past the post. The European parliament is not the same thing, and is in fact subservient to the UK parliament.

              The UK is also leaving the EU. Brexit is actually going to happen, so no more proportional voting.

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:51AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:51AM (#949832)

            It's not just the voting system, the USA has a massive permanent campaign that ingrains the crazy idea that voting for a party that didn't win is 'wasting your vote'. You are somehow a loser if you didn't support the 'winner'. This benefits both sides by excluding minor parties, so they both promote it.

            It is a stupid idea that ignores the change in the political landscape from voting for what you want rather than who you think will win. In a two party system like the USA you can have more influence on policy by voting third party than by voting for the 'winner'. They watch third parties and co-opt any position important enough that it starts 'stealing' votes from the main two.

          • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 28 2020, @08:10PM (2 children)

            by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @08:10PM (#950207) Journal

            First past the post is the worst possible voting system, and one of the reasons you only have two parties.

            I can think of worse - the staged kind where votes are predetermined and have no relevance. The US isn't doing so great on those either, but most elections at least have some uncertainty to them.

            • (Score: 2) by PartTimeZombie on Tuesday January 28 2020, @08:38PM (1 child)

              by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @08:38PM (#950215)

              ...but most elections at least have some uncertainty to them.

              Really? Some might I suppose, but most? Anyway, they're all won by a Republican or a Democrat so no real uncertainty.

              • (Score: 1) by khallow on Tuesday January 28 2020, @09:58PM

                by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @09:58PM (#950262) Journal
                Well, no elections are won by zombies, so the outcome is completely certain, right?
      • (Score: 2, Disagree) by EJ on Monday January 27 2020, @08:34PM (6 children)

        by EJ (2452) on Monday January 27 2020, @08:34PM (#949546)

        If you could fix those things, then communism would work just fine too.

        You can't, so you have to decide between the lesser of the evils.

        • (Score: 5, Touché) by c0lo on Monday January 27 2020, @08:43PM (3 children)

          by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @08:43PM (#949550) Journal

          False dichotomy detected.

          --
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
          • (Score: 2, Disagree) by EJ on Monday January 27 2020, @09:32PM (2 children)

            by EJ (2452) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:32PM (#949582)

            Your detector is broken.

            • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @09:40PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @09:40PM (#949586)

              Your brain is broken. You bring up communism ehen no one else did, suggest it is impossible to fix corruption etc. in a communist system, then declare the unstated capitalism as the winning lesser evil.

              Your presumption that corruption can not be fixed is wrong, and your use of communism vs. capitalism shows your just pushing a narrative. False dichotomy indeed! Corruption may never go away completely, but it sure doesn't have to be as bad as it is right now.

            • (Score: 3, Informative) by c0lo on Monday January 27 2020, @10:44PM

              by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @10:44PM (#949624) Journal

              Nordic model [wikipedia.org] is neither communism nor cut-throat capitalism.

              ---

              Ummm... as a sidenote

              In 2019, all five of the Nordic countries ranked in the top 10 on the World Happiness Report.

              USians seem to have transformed the "pursuit of happiness" into an eternal maze - maybe they like the journey so much they deny themselves any bit of the destination?

              --
              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
        • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:47AM (1 child)

          by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:47AM (#949776) Journal

          Lesser of two evils? How about social democracy? Other countries do it. They do things that the richest country in the world has all their talking heads saying the US can't afford, like universal health care.

          The US can save a huge chunk of money getting rid of the for-profit health insurance companies - their overhead is about a trillion a year. More than enough when added to current expenditures, to cover the entire population.

          --
          SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
          • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:32AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:32AM (#949902)

            The US can save a huge chunk of money getting rid of the for-profit health insurance companies - their overhead is about a trillion a year. More than enough when added to current expenditures, to cover the entire population.

            Really? You mean wastage beyond what even the most inept government would be able of?
            But that's not what the free market fairy promises the small kids, how can it be?

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by GlennC on Monday January 27 2020, @06:28PM (8 children)

      by GlennC (3656) on Monday January 27 2020, @06:28PM (#949454)

      The reality is that there's only the ILLUSION of two parties.

      --
      Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
      • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @06:52PM (5 children)

        by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @06:52PM (#949465) Journal

        Wrong: there ARe two parties: there's the party that favors the rich and the party that screws the poor! Get it right, Glenn!

        ;)

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @07:10PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 27 2020, @07:10PM (#949482)

          Best description yet. Many consider the distinction important. The rich and powerful are going to always try and game the system, and given no viable alternative in the interim we should choose the ones that don't actively screw the poor.

        • (Score: 2) by GlennC on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:27AM

          by GlennC (3656) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:27AM (#949762)

          That's another way to look at it. :D

          --
          Sorry folks...the world is bigger and more varied than you want it to be. Deal with it.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:56AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:56AM (#949838)

          Wrong: there ARe two parties: there's the party that favors the rich and the party that screws the poor! Get it right, Glenn!
          ;)

          Wrong: there ARE two parties: there's the party that favors the rich and screws the poor, AND, there's the party that screws the poor and favors the rich.

          FTFY

        • (Score: 2) by dak664 on Tuesday January 28 2020, @01:36PM (1 child)

          by dak664 (2433) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @01:36PM (#950043)

          Is false false dichotomy a true dichotomy?

          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:34PM

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @04:34PM (#950121) Journal

            Is false false dichotomy a true dichotomy?

            Only in boolean logic.
            But why would you restrict yourself to binary when you can have the delights of fuzzy logic [wikipedia.org] at a price no higher than the boolean (still between 0 and 1).

            (grin)

            --
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 2) by nobu_the_bard on Monday January 27 2020, @09:11PM (1 child)

        by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:11PM (#949571)

        This, this very much.

        Both parties are heavily invested in perpetuating this to ensure they stay in power.

        The "Presidential National Debates" are a mockery, paid for by Democrats and Republicans working together (!), specifically to disinclude alternatives, as one example.

        Anything they actually agree on should instantly call your attention, they work so hard to differentiate from each other 99% of the time.

        • (Score: 5, Insightful) by PartTimeZombie on Monday January 27 2020, @09:18PM

          by PartTimeZombie (4827) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:18PM (#949576)

          The "Presidential National Debates" are a mockery, paid for by Democrats and Republicans working together (!), specifically to disinclude alternatives, as one example.

          Exactly, and they're really good at it too.

          Another way of putting it would be that your ruling class have done a fine job of preventing the working class from having a say in government, but of course comments like this one:

          If you could fix those things, then communism would work just fine too.
          You can't, so you have to decide between the lesser of the evils.

          show just how well the brainwashing has worked.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Monday January 27 2020, @08:41PM (2 children)

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Monday January 27 2020, @08:41PM (#949548) Journal

      You have 2 parties to vote for (reasonably speaking): you wind up with half the population hating the other half and you wonder why there is polarization?

      No necessarily. UK used to have only two strong parties. Nowadays, they need coalitions with minor parties and support from some independents quite often to form a government.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0 https://soylentnews.org/~MichaelDavidCrawford
      • (Score: 2) by Webweasel on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:02PM (1 child)

        by Webweasel (567) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:02PM (#950027) Homepage Journal

        Bollocks.

        We have had one since the Second World War (Which is an exception)

        Before that, we had one during the First world war, again another exception.

        Before that:

          Lord Aberdeen (1852–1855)
          H. H. Asquith (1915–1916)

        So, ignoring world war ones, which are exceptional, we have had two in the last one hundred years.

        And the Conservatives just got their strongest parliament with Labor having the WORST election result since 1922.

        So your full of shit and have no idea what your talking about.

        --
        Priyom.org Number stations, Russian Military radio. "You are a bad, bad man. Do you have any other virtues?"-Runaway1956
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:16PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:16PM (#950030)

          So your full of shit and have no idea what your talking about.

          What about yours? 'Cause I can't even.

          So, ignoring world war ones, which are exceptional, we have had two in the last one hundred years.

          I count 2 in the last ten years: Cameron–Clegg coalition (aka Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition agreement) starting 2010 and Conservative–DUP in 2017.
          2 in 10 years qualifies as "quite often" in my books.

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by edIII on Monday January 27 2020, @08:59PM (6 children)

      by edIII (791) on Monday January 27 2020, @08:59PM (#949561)

      You, Sir, Can burn in Hell.

      There is no such thing as "NotTimmys". It's Timmys for ever, or get the fuck out :)

      Damn, now I have to go find coffee and a donut......

      --
      Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
      • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Monday January 27 2020, @09:26PM

        by Gaaark (41) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:26PM (#949580) Journal

        Coffee now makes my stomach turn (i used to drink it black and STRONG) and donuts have gluten and or dairy, so Timmy's is out.

        I get gluten free/dairy free pizza...................................................

        .........................................so yeah......................................................................

        ..............i suck.
        ;)

        --
        --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:53AM (4 children)

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:53AM (#949781) Journal

        Fuck Timmy's. They're no longer Canadian, they keep shrinking the donuts and changing the box in the hope that people won't realize they're paying more for less, their donuts are parbaked and frozen in a factory in Ontario, then shipped cross-country and nuked on-site (which is why the sugar tastes of being partially crystallized and the donuts have a dense consistency), franchisees have been punished for trying to make bigger donuts for the same price as they used to, so fuck Timmy's.

        They're pushing the coffee because they sure as hell can't push the donuts.

        --
        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
        • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:44AM (3 children)

          by edIII (791) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @05:44AM (#949912)

          It's been over 10 years since I've been to one, but my memories of Timmy's are nothing what like you describe. They were damn good donuts when I had them.

          Everything gets ruined by greed eventually :(

          --
          Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @11:59AM

            by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @11:59AM (#950023)

            Everything gets ruined by greed eventually :(

            Not everything. The greed itself just gets better under the circumstances.

          • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:46PM (1 child)

            by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @03:46PM (#950099) Journal

            The chain got sold, then sold again [wikipedia.org] ... everything is half-baked, frozen, then shipped to the franchisees. And there have been franchisee revolts

            On August 26, 2014, Burger King agreed to purchase Tim Hortons for US$11.4 billion;[12] the chain became a subsidiary of the Canadian holding company Restaurant Brands International, which is majority-owned by Brazilian investment firm 3G Capital, on December 15, 2014.[13]

            Even the original owner said, before he died, that the half-baked microwave donuts taste like crap.

            Baking methods and lawsuit

            Coupled with the expansion and expanded menu came the outsourcing of baked goods. Doughnuts, which used to be made at night to be ready for the morning rush, are now parbaked – partly cooked and then frozen and delivered to every restaurant in Canada from Brantford, Ontario.[73] Each restaurant bakes microwaves (edit: see the section about franchises being required to purchase more microwaves below) and finishes the product throughout the day. As of April 2007, many of the various muffin batters were being revoked, as frozen, pre-made and pre-wrapped muffins were being introduced at Tim Hortons locations.[136]

            Tim Hortons switch to the Parbaking system disappointed some customers, who noted that it contradicts the chain's "always fresh" slogan. David Swick reported in the Halifax Daily News on September 19, 2003, Tim Hortons outlets in Atlantic Canada would no longer serve fresh doughnuts, but rather doughnuts that had been remotely factory-fried and then frozen and shipped.[137] In 2008, two franchisees initiated a class-action lawsuit against the parent company for the switch to parbaking, "claiming breach of contract, breach of duty of fair dealing, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust enrichment".[138] The lawsuit cited that parbaking tripled the franchisee's fixed cost to produce a doughnut (from 6 cents per doughnut to 18 cents),[139] required the purchase of new freezers and microwaves, and reduced profitability for the franchises while increasing profits for the parent company.[138] Franchise owners are required to purchase food products from the Brantford-based parbaking company owned by IAWS Group PLC,[139] and had originally been told the price of each doughnut would be 11 or 12 cents (and each Timbit 4.6 cents).[140] The case was dismissed in February 2012.[141]

            A 2009 New York Times article contrasted the baked from scratch at stores approach of Krispy Kreme and some Dunkin' Donuts locations compared to the "flash frozen" and shipped Tim Hortons method. The Times article also noted an apparent scarcity of doughnut specialties such as the dutchie at newly opened Tim Hortons stores in New York City. Noting that "American visitors tend to flock to the sweets," including the "raisin-studded Dutchie", the Times found redemption among Canadians that the brand was once again a Canada-based company while contrasting the way politicians in the US "woo" soccer moms while in Canada they "go after Tim Hortons voters".[142]

            When you freeze foods made with baked flour, the starch molecules undergo a physical change (same reason frozen bread goes stale faster). If you want to eat donuts that are "pre-aged" to taste like they're 2 days old, go to Timmy's. I go to the local store and just buy a dozen honeyglazed for $2. The dogs like it, I like it, and it's never been frozen so it's still fresher the next day than anything from Tim Hortons.

            --
            SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
            • (Score: 2) by edIII on Tuesday January 28 2020, @08:28PM

              by edIII (791) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @08:28PM (#950212)

              We need a +1 Sad-As-Fuck mod. My experiences were before Timmy's went to hell. Thanks for info, I don't have to bother going to a Timmy's if I'm in Canada again.

              --
              Technically, lunchtime is at any moment. It's just a wave function.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Monday January 27 2020, @09:01PM

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Monday January 27 2020, @09:01PM (#949563)

      It's hard to polarize anything that's frozen solid across the ground ;-)

      However, when you put pussy grabbing flaming orange hair and skin with lots of money on one side... there are bound to be people who run (screaming) in the other direction, any direction that is away actually, which is a shame because it allows the D candidates to continue to suck up to the traditional sources of campaign funding (and other incentives) to the detriment of the constituents.

      --
      🌻🌻 [google.com]
    • (Score: 2) by dwilson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:26AM (1 child)

      by dwilson (2599) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday January 28 2020, @12:26AM (#949695) Journal

      In Canada, polarization is "Timmys" or "NotTimmys".

      That's... not entirely accurate. We've got a lovely West/East thing going on right now split down the Conservatives/Not-Conservatives line, where the facts are made up and also don't matter.

      As bad as the US? Nowhere near. But the seeds for it are there, and the ground's been well watered lately.

      --
      - D
      • (Score: 2) by barbara hudson on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:58AM

        by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:58AM (#949785) Journal
        And Quebec racism ... let's not forget Quebec racist xenophobics, and the fed's reluctance to address Bill 21, which discriminates against certain religions as a crude proxy for race. That's what we get for electing a businessman as premier of the province - too stupid to see how bad an idea that is by looking south of the border.
        --
        SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Tuesday January 28 2020, @01:41AM (1 child)

      by Phoenix666 (552) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @01:41AM (#949732) Journal

      What you wrote makes sense for somebody living in Ontario (dunno if you do, but that's how the tone strikes me). Well, Toronto, really. Meanwhile, Quebecois don't like you or the rest of anglophone Canada; remember that time they came within a hair's breadth of leaving the country? The Maritimes don't like you because you pat them on the head and tell them they're cute; also they're rather angry you told them they can't fish for a living anymore. Western Canada seems to be mad as hell at you right now because you're trying to kill their oil and timber industries.

      In other words, polarization beyond "Timmys" or "NotTimmys" is a hobgoblin in the Great White North also.

      --
      Washington DC delenda est.
      • (Score: 2) by petecox on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:20AM

        by petecox (3228) on Tuesday January 28 2020, @02:20AM (#949758)

        I drank good espresso coffee served by gen-Y tattoed hipster lumberjack beardy-weirdies all across the country from Tofino to the Maritimes. There is no divide.

        Tims is a milkshake and doughnut franchise that incidentally sells mega jumbo caffeinated beverages.

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @11:51AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 28 2020, @11:51AM (#950021)

      In Canada, polarization is "Timmys" or "NotTimmys".

      Tim Horton's is a foreign owned public toilet that is bizarrely supported by Canadians who think they're nationalists

1 (2) 3 4