GarryB wrote:I remember seeing a news report where the government of an Eu country stepped down and was replaced by the person responsible for putting that country in the EU... I think it was Greece but can't remember.
That wouldn't suprise me at all if the people who took over were involved in the bailouts. But as joining the EU was likely somebody's platform, or part of it, if their party took over I still don't necessarily see anything nefarious about it. Hell, you even get Eurosceptics who want to disband the EU elected to the European Parliament. I should try running on the "I want to disband Congress" platform and see what happens
GarryB wrote:And BTW hmmm more than two US candidates but anyone outside the two major parties is largely unknown because the major media outlets ignore them? Where have I heard about that before?....
They don't get ignored, they're on TV here all the time. They just can't get elected President as they fail to win electoral college votes because they don't ever win a given state. They do start to get less coverage as they demonstrate that they have no chance of getting elected. This isn't anything wrong with the system, either, it's something wrong with us, the voters. Congress has had an approval rating south of 25% for a whole long time now, yet historically speaking 80-85% of incumbent Congressmen will get re-elected. Nobody cares. It's far easier to just vote the party line for whatever reason rather than actually, holy crap, educate yourself about the issues and make an informed decision. And if people did that, maybe the results would still be the same, who knows. This does all dovetail into a separate argument for terms limits in Congress, but I digress.
GarryB wrote:So really all Russia needs is one more powerful political party to split the vote and give the morons at the bottom a better chance of getting seats... is that really how democracy should work?
What? All I was saying is that if United Russia gets around 60% of the votes in the Duma elections, then it isn't a shock to expect that the people might just vote United Russia when the Presidential elections roll around. OSCE is trying to claim a rigged election, I'm trying to explain that no, not necessarily, just look at the voting records. Same thing happens here, you get voters who always vote for one particular party regardless, or voting districts that vote predominately one party or the other for various elections.
There's no reason for Russia to change anything as far as I'm concerned, I wasn't saying that. Their proportional representation system gives the most power to the party with the most votes, but gives power to any party with over 7% of the vote. If there's 100 seats (there's not but this makes the math easier), say UR gets 65% of the vote, the Communist Party gets 10%, the Liberal Democrats get 10%, and three fringe parties get 7%, 7%, and 1%. The 1% party gets no Duma seats, the rest are broken down according to what relative percentage of the votes they got. What this does is it forces UR to theoretically govern by coalition, as they no logner have a constitutional majority to govern unopposed in the Duma. Coalitions aren't bad, they bring mroe ideas to the table and because you have to cooperate with someone you can make more progress. Our two party system over here basically ensures that we never really fix anything and that the two parties spend most of their effort complaining about each other. If we had a PR system of electing Congress over here things might be improved as far as progress is concerned. We're about the only place I can think of with a two-party dominated system, and if you ask me it clearly isn't working all that well anymore.
GarryB wrote:If you are studying the EU Sean then you will know better than most that there are plenty of different types of democracy and criticising Russias' implementation is the height of hypocrisy...
Like I said, I wasn't being remotely critical. I was just relating the presidential results to the voting trends from the 2011 Duma elections, illustrating to any OCSE genius reading this that hey, UR apparently had support, and enough of it to likely get Putin elected. What, does OCSE think that UR did something retarded in the brief time the new Duma was in office prior to the Presidential election, retarded enough to erode away all of that support?
GarryB wrote:US elections take about a year, while India seems to get itself sorted in a month or so.
Our actual elections take about 2 and a half months from election day in November to inauguration in January. The parties just like to draw out the whole primary process and campaigning process as long as possible. Which is really hilarious, as 80-85% of people in Congress are going to be re-elected regardless. All of that money spent when you know the results are pretty much in the bag already.