• comment on a post Frist Doesn't Have The Votes over 8 years ago
    (That's what David X Machina says above.)

    The public should really get it's act together. The issue is huge, in case they don't know. (And we do have to get past Diebold!) Consider the thread I began here.
  • comment on a post Democracy just died in Massachusetts over 8 years ago
    Kerry may not be behind this, and my local reps must not be behind it. As a whole, the Democrats in Boston do a professional job in the same line of work as Bush and his neocons. But these Massachusetts state legislators are the pro's, whereas the Bush goons are just amateurs.

    I'm from Connecticut originally, and looking at these "Bay-Staters," I see a vast flock of sheep. What's their problem?

  • on a comment on Looking from the outside in over 9 years ago
    Certain progressive folks don't seem to like my message, but you can't please 'em all. What we have here is a bunch of reasonably decent Red State church-goers who've been sold right down the river by preachers who were bought and paid-for by rich proto-Nazi entrepreneurs and corporations through tax-exempted "religious contributions."

    They were told that the democrat liberals were all tied up with the Clinton / Lewinsky scandal, and that the Republo-fascists would "restore morality." Little did they know of the dark Satanic nexus between the Republo-fascists' passion for power and their cynical devotion to devils-horn hand gestures, skulls and bones, and libidinous profligacy.

    Well, what the hell did they expect of the Antichrist, anyway?

  • I should answer *tunesmith's suggestion favoring the Condorcet voting method. In theory, it might work, but I am fairly sure that voters would still give the strongest vote to the candidate who they feel could most easily prevent the election of a Black Hat candidate. I don't know if it is hard to explain, since I've never tried to explain it, but I do not think it is easy to understand. In any case, it would be vastly more complex to implement than the approval method.
  • Previously, I have had a great deal to say about various voting methods in other forums. It can be extremely difficult to discuss the various possible methods without getting mired in endless, virtually circular arguments. Let me say upfront that I have come to favor a modified form of approval voting, and to be quite concerned about the problems inherent in the method that is being most heavily promoted currently (by, for example, Rockefeller Brothers Fund and the Ford Foundation).

    First of all, if the problems encountered in the 2000 and 2004 elections indicate anything, they demonstrate quite convincingly that voting methods need to be absolutely as simple as possible. Now, our current "plurality" voting system is really quite simple, except that it tends strongly to create a nasty paradox, which I will call the Black Hat effect. A quick example: Imagine an election in which the major contenders are, say, Bob Dole and Ralph Nader. There is no problem here as far as the voters are concerned; they can simply choose between Bob and Ralph. But suppose there are three major contenders, say, Bob Dole, Ralph Nader, and Josef Stalin. The issue of who wears white, gray, or black hats is relative in that it must be decided by each voter individually. For me, Ralph would wear the white, Bob would wear the gray, and Joe would wear the black hat. Unlike the scenario in which I could choose white-hat Ralph over gray-hat Bob, I would need to do everything I could to prevent black-hat Joe from getting elected, and all I could to in that regard would be to vote for gray-hat Bob. The mere presence of the black-hat candidate effectively prevents me from voting for my first choice, Ralph. More importantly this Black Hat effect can be manipulated with ease to create a situation in which I can never vote for a white hat, and the white hat can never win.

    So-called IRV has been touted as being able to neutralize this black hat effect by, for example, allowing me to give the first-rank vote to Ralph, and the second-rank vote to Bob. In reality, this is not quite what would happen, because the truth is that if Bob seems to be strongly favored over Ralph, and I fail to give my first-rank vote to Bob, this failure could readily bring about the election of Joe. And there is really no way around this. There are several reasons why IRV at first appears to be favorable to the voter. Most people assume that the mere fact that they would get to enter more information into the "voting system" indicates that they would automatically have "more say," but this turns out to be fallacious. Let me give a rather harsh example of how this could be. Consider two situations: In the first situation, you find yourself in a Roman Coliseum facing a choice between two barrels, one containing a pretty girl, one containing a vicious tiger, and you are required to guess which one contains the girl, and open it. Now second situation: you're faced with 10 barrels, 9 of which contain vicious tigers, one of which contains the pretty girl. Which situation would you prefer? Obviously you would want the first one, despite the fact that the only affords two options, whereas in the second situation you would have 10 options. Obviously, having more options is not give you more control of your situation in these examples. If you look at the IRV method closely enough, carefully examining various possible scenarios, you'll find that it contains its own Black Hat effect, and only provides a very slight, if any, advantage over the plurality voting method.

    With the approval method of voting, you're allowed to give one vote to as many candidates as you wish. Using the Ralph, Bob, and Joe example, I would give one vote to Ralph, one to Bob, and no vote to Joe. This is a less-than ideal scenario for me, since it Joe Stalin wasn't in the running, I would get to give one vote to Ralph and no vote to Bob. Note that although this situation is less than ideal, I at least get to safely give one vote to Ralph without increasing Joe's chances to win, and it is still possible for Ralph to win. I call this a Gray Hat effect. This Gray Hat effect is only significant when Ralph and Bob are both doing well in polls, and Joe is not doing quite so well, it's still doing well enough to be a potential threat. It then becomes quite difficult to decide whether to give one or two votes, one to Ralph, or one to both Ralph and Bob.

    This Gray Hat difficulty could be largely eliminated by having consecutive runoff elections that utilize approval voting. For example, there could be three consecutive runoff elections, where the four candidates with the most votes are chosen in the first runoff, the two candidates with the most votes are chosen from these four in the second runoff, and one candidate is chosen in the final, third runoff. It might well be claimed that having as many runoffs is asking too much of the voters. When you consider the fact that many people are being asked to spend years fighting the Iraq debacle, it's not asking so much. Further, is well-known that the best way to increase people's interest in any kind of campaign is to increase their level of participation.

  • comment on a post Banned from MyDD! over 9 years ago
    Maybe. But Gad, you should get a load a me!!!
    I got more venom than a rattlesnake stuck for a week
    in a pothole!!!
  • I hate sarcasm! I think people who indulge in sarcasm should be forced to wear Elton John sunglasses!
  • Maybe I shouldn't think you a fool. But you make it so damn hard not to.

    For example, you say:
    "You can't back this up. That is my point. There is no clear evidence of voter fraud."

    Excuse me: "VOTER FRAUD?" What a strange concept. Of course, what I had in mind was ELECTION FRAUD.

    A few pictures of people voting twice may prove the existence of isolated instances of "voter fraud," but so what. Black Box Voting Org has pictures of whole big rolls of vote-scan output tape that were tossed into garbage receptacles. That's ELECTION FRAUD -- and it's certainly not any species of isolated instance.

    In fact, there are so damn many smoking guns all over the whole country that the actual smoke is making it difficult to see anything.

    Therefor, I cannot see my way clear to take your argument -- such as it is -- with even a modicum of seriousness.

  • ...."Whatever happened to the liberal media?"

    BREAKING! -- There is no "liberal media."

    Sure, there are tons of liberal reporters. But, as we all know, 99% of them "report" to fascistic managers.

    Just like there are vast, helpless legions of liberal college professors (who have meaningless "tenure") who are controlled by ruthless, cutthroat administrators.

  • ...."We need to stop whining"

    And went on to proclaim:

    "Since Kerry lost, we look like sore losers by claiming voter fraud."

    ------THIS IS 100% PURE GRADE "A" EXCREMENT. I should "back this up," but I need to try to get some sleep at the moment, and I happen to be suffering with a pinched nerve.

    I basically think that whoever posted this is an enemy of democracy.

    NOW is the time to stand up and protest, like the courageous Ukrainians.

    I am 95% convinced that Kerry actually won by a landslide, and that the election was electronically pirated.

    In fact, this has become so obvious that we are now duty-bound to raise hell until we get the new, hand-marked-ballot election that we now need if we intend to continue to claim to have a democracy.

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