Florida early voting

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Sayhey, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Sayhey macrumors 68000

    Sayhey

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    #1
    I read this account on Josh Marshall's website of one person working the early voting in Florida and I have to say it made my heart skip a few beats. Read and believe in the possibility of a better America.

     
  2. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #2
    Wow! Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? :)


    Or is it...? Nah, I won't spoil it. :cool:
     
  3. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #3
    There is only one vote that counts in Florida...

    and that's Jeb Bush's and no-one can say for sure who he's voting for :p

    America has adopted a lot of innovations from elsewhere, such as Universal Sufferage (from NZ - over 40 years late), the Secret ballot (from Australia - also over 40 years late), time to look around and check out how America could live up to its own hype.

    Starting with an independent Federal Electoral Commission and bipartisan inspection of voting procedures, followed by compulsory voting, preferential voting and the kind of sophisticated rotating ballot listings, anti-gerrymander legislation and Hare-Clark multi-seat electorate we have in Australia.

    Come on America, the land of "Can-do", it's not too late to become truly democratic! What the heck, whilst you are at it, you could even go metric like the rest of the known universe!!!
     
  4. solvs macrumors 603

    solvs

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    #4
    That is very pleasing to hear. I was watching Chris Matthews, and Tucker Carlson (yes that :eek: Tucker Carlson) said people are more likely to stand outside and wait to vote if they are angry than if they aren't sure who they want. There are plenty of people who fear life without a Bush presidency (thanks to the Bush spinning), but not that much. There are plenty more people who hate Bush so much they will do whatever it takes to vote him out. Even if they have to vote for John Kerry to do it. :p

    For once I agree with the Bowtie.
     
  5. takao macrumors 68040

    takao

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    #5
    the US dropping the (british) imperial standard ? i'm pretty sure hell will freeze over first ;)
     
  6. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Must be nostalgia for the pre-revolutionary good old days that makes them keep it . :)

    Typically the American Imperial system of measurement does not match the British. Volume for example. US pint is not equal to the British pint, similarly the fluid ounce and many other units. The way they measure things is semi-rationalised too eg pounds as a basic unit counted right up to tons, whereas the British had intermediate units: Stones and Hundredweights.

    Must be the inward looking nature of Americans too that when President Ford signed the Metrication Bill, the US Paper industry immediately set up a committee to design a metric series of paper sizes. Totally ignoring the international standards and defeating the whole point of adopting the standard. Bit like Microsoft screwing up what everyone else is doing to maintain control.

    One of the most irritating aspects of everything being Amero-centric is metric paper sizes in US software is always miscalculated because they don't know an inch = 25.4mm exactly.
     
  7. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #7
    The US pint and the UK pint are exactly the same measure. The difference is the gallon, which in the US is four quarts and in the UK, five. (Perhaps you hadn't noticed, but neither country is fully committed to the metric system.)
     
  8. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #8
    Excuse me, but how on earth can five quart(er)s make one gallon, in any language?

    FYI:


     
  9. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #9
    And just for the sake of completeness:


     
  10. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #10
    Yikes, that's way too much math for a Monday morning. The reality of all this is, the Imperial Gallon is essentially equivalent to five US quarts. As for the 20 oz British pint, this works out to be nearly the same volume as the US 16 oz pint.
     
  11. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #11
    "Fully committed"! Hardly is more like it, although Britain is further down the road.

    I attribute both to a tendency to xenophobia. In Britain's case directed against Europe, in America's against the world.

    We changed long ago here in Australia. It was well organised and thorough, probably because we are outward looking (25% of us are born overseas) and see the world as our playground.

    Interestingly enough we still keep older expressions like "to take an inch" and "mileage" for distance. But even the Germans use "Pfund" when they buy vegetables. It has lost its old measure and is now equal to 0.5 kg.
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    Sure. Metrification seemed so inevitable in the US during the '70s. What stopped the progress I don't entirely understand. The resistance of industry mainly I should think, though in the long run it's industry that stands most to benefit. I don't accept the xenophobia explanation, though. It's got a lot more to do with tradition and the unwillingness of most regular people to learn a new system when they don't see it as necessary. That's what I've heard people say over the years.
     
  13. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #13
    btw To get back on subject, I don't want to make out that Australia has a stranglehold of virtue on sufferage. To our shame up until 1968 Aborigines were not even given citizenship in their own country and so were not elligible to vote!

    How that worked exactly I don't know. Obviously a lot of people who now classify themselves as Aboriginal did have the vote. But certainly tribal Aborigines did not.

    To our credit, most Australians did not even know that was the case and as soon as it was raised overwhelmingly granted sufferage and citizenship to the Aborigines in a national referendum. Still I'd like to know what was going through the minds (if anything) of the odd percent who voted against the referendum.

    Once they got the vote there was no issue of keeping them from voting, as happened in the USA with Afro-Americans, because here in Australia voting is compulsory. It is even a criminal offence to suggest ways to avoid voting or rendering your vote invalid.
     
  14. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Xenophobia I guess is not quite the right term, though it does apply to some degree with some Americans, certainly a number I have met*. Something that is much more obvious to outsiders than yourselves. Fostered by an extreme flag waving jingoism that the rest of us feel is not just uncomfortable but threatening.

    The term should be maybe Ethno-arrogance or Xeno-irrelevance.

    When in America it is pretty obvious that the rest of the world does not have much mindshare unless it impacts directly on America or Americans.

    Earthquake in Peru - Americans trapped in Hotel
    Idaho tourists, Oliver and Dolores Schlitzheimer lost their luggage after Richter scale 8 tremors hit the capital... 10 paragraphs later ... Rescuers search for 10,000 Peruvians buried under rubble.

    typically gets page 8

    Heck you don't even notice the Canadians are in your "World Series" unless they get in the finals.

    I don't know what the end result was but when the Europeans and the USA were co-ordinating work on the Space Station, I remember NASA demanding everyone, including the Russians work in Imperial units. How dangerous and counter productive this can be is when things go wrong as in the Mars missions that crashed due to unit confusion.

    Metric measurements just make sense. I remember what a bastard it was working out a flight of stairs working in imperial measures back when I was studying architecture. Glad to give them the arse.

    Now there you have some sample Strine ! :D

    btw Other really oddball Americanisms are quoting share prices in eighths and 16ths of dollars and the extremely illogical M/D/Y date order.


    * After 9/11 I was turned upon by someone I thought was a friend on a peer to peer network. I presume because I was a "Foreigner" and "Foreigners" had done this to America.
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #15
    Jingoism -- we've had some debates here about that word, especially during the run-up to the war and its first months (where are they now?). Quite a few hereabouts were accused of it, and rightly so I think. Need I remind you though that by no means are Americans the only people capable of cultural chauvinism.

    I can quite easily turn the tables on you "foreigners" in terms of the often stereotypical views people from abroad hold about what Americans think, believe and know. I find a lot of these views are the product of politics and television -- neither of which are fair barometers of any culture, and not least of all, our large, diverse and pluralistic country.

    Incidentally, the fractional stock pricing system was eliminated a few years ago. It's all dollars and cents now. I have wonder what you thought this was symbolic of, though. The old system might have long outlived its usefulness (the brokers liked it because it increased their spread), but Americans are hardly the only people in world who cling to antique cultural artifacts.
     
  16. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #16
    True, there is no such thing as a typical national. We are all moving targets (some of us literally so) and it is obvious from the posts to these forums that it is no way representative of America as a whole, in fact no Republicans in sight at all. You are not at all representative of what I am saying.

    If you have travelled outside of America I think you might note the absence of flags hanging off anything but public buildings. In fact even that is slightly disturbing to me, but not to the American architect who designed our Federal Parliament building and surmounted it with what I think is a tacky giant flagpole and Australian flag.

    Not to say that we are not proudly Australian. We love it when we thrash other nations in sport or in any competitive field. It is just not seen to be smart to be overtly tub thumping about it. Or blindly insensitive to other's love of their own country.

    Again trying not to be too broadbrushed here, but we get a strong feeling that many Americans know that anything other than American patriotism is merely a mistaken delusion. Why? Because you are told so endlessly. You are made to repeatedly put your hands on your hearts and swear allegiance to your flag, tears in eyes grateful that God made you American.

    The Texans seem to have taken this one whole step further within the USA and made Texas the centre of all that is good and superior.

    It keeps slipping out too at the most inappropriate times as when the US flag was drapped over Sadam's statue in Baghdad. Because this spelled out 2 different messages. One to the unquestioningly patrotic US soldiers, and a totally differrent one to the Iraqis who saw invaders raising their flags in conquest. The rest of the world looked on and saw either what the Iraqis saw or culturally insensitive blundering of monumental proportions.

    It is beyond insensitivity though because of the danger inherent in the only world super power, and holder of the world's largest arsenal of WMD, acting so blindly on emotion not reason.

    A local satirical TV program here called CNNN went to America and interviewed people on the street in a very simple ruse. All they did was say Bush had said (perfectly innocent) Uzbhekistan (actually a US ally in the war on terror) was a terrorist nation, would they (the public) support an attack on Uzbhekistan? Without questioning anything, the people invariably said a wholehearted yes.

    Frankly the unguided missile of the American public scares the heck out of a lot of people. The propensity to act violently in total ignorance of politics, history or geography is a nightmare scenario. A standing joke in Australia is that we hope America never goes to war against Austria because Sydney will be wiped out in the first 5 minutes.

    This impression is not just from television it is personal, from Americans I have met here and in my wide travels. Even my sister-in-law who moved to New York when she married has succumbed to the incessant strident nationalism. It is hard to discuss anything on its merits when "it is just so" because you have been told often enough by "everyone".
     
  17. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #17
    If you don't want to broad-brush, then perhaps you shouldn't do it. Too simple a solution? I hope not.

    Maybe I need to remind you that fully half the voters in this country want Bush out -- and with a deep and abiding passion. He has done more to split the nation along its natural political fault-lines than any president in living memory. This is his reelection strategy in a nutshell, and if he manages to smirk his way back into office tomorrow, both he and the country will pay dearly for it. Even Nixon, with his "silent majority" strategy was not as divisive.

    You don't indicate a detailed understanding of American culture (outside of your apparent deep loathing of its every aspect) by assigning so much importance to displays of the flag. I'm probably the most liberal person in my very conservative neighborhood, but I'm probably also the only person on my street to display a flag on my front porch on every public holiday, without fail. Go ahead and explain that phenomenon if you think you understand it so well. The same goes with the pledge. I've never been wild about the thing and I know some people who skip the "under God" part, but I do recite it at public meetings -- and without a tear in my eye, I promise you. These patriot displays may seem hugely important to someone from abroad, but they are not so central to American life as you may think, just because they happen to be peculiar to it.

    All this being said, something changed in the American psyche after 9-11. This should not be too surprising to anyone. I do blame Bush for the way he manipulated our fears to his political advantage and for creating an impression of Americans abroad that simply does not represent the entire country, or perhaps even a clear majority of it.

    American public opinion is much more diverse than you seem prepared to accept. I suggest you hang around here if you have a difficult time accepting this. We do have some conservative posters and (even) they don't necessarily advance the kind of stereotypical American opinions you seem to think are the rule here.
     
  18. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #18
    LOL. Dyslexic lynch-mobs are a bit of a problem: during the last "We don't want any stinking paedophiles in our street" phase over here, a paediatrician had his house torched... :rolleyes:

    (true)
     
  19. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #19
    The trouble is not even half of those elligible vote, so what you are talking about is only a quarter of the potential voters or less, or is that being too broadstroke?

    As for misrepresenting American views, I politely put up with 11 year olds (we get them from the embassies here) in my scout troop who pointedly and loudly refuse to do the curtesy salute of the Australian flag (nobody has asked them to) at the opening and closing of our meetings because their "Dad says it isn't the American flag".

    Perhaps I was beating around the Bush (sic) too much. What you call neo-cons I call crypto fascists. Crypto-fascists with poison gas, biological weapons and a vast nuclear and conventional arsenal at their finger tips.

    But then those are the nice WMDs, not like those nasty Brand X ones that we've been warned of but can't find.

    By being critical of those aspects of America, I have forced you into being defensive, which you should not be if you don't agree with Bush and you obviously don't.
     
  20. blackfox macrumors 65816

    blackfox

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    #20
    gastroboy, what is your objective/point here?

    That the US has problems? Well, we living here are fully aware of this fact, regardless of our politics.

    While I am sorry that the the power of the US attracts attention and/or is an attention whore, that is hardly the fault of the average American. I personally would rather that not be the case, as I enjoy traveling the world and do not appreciate being pigeon-holed merely by the passport I carry.

    Yes, some Americans are insulated to the rest of the world, and some are naive elitists/Nationalists. Some are not.

    I am afraid I do not understand what you are driving at here...

    BTW, I have met many Australians traveling around in Europe and Canada (I am British originally), since I often travel in the winter to avoid crowds and scheduling and to save money. This coincides with prime travel-time for many Australians. I have found those I met to be a likeable, boisterous lot, who enjoy good times and many a pint. I do not pretend to know about Australian character from these experiences, however.

    Every country has it's problems and if the spotlight was on Australia instead of the US, I am sure there would be plenty to gripe about. In such a situation, as a foreigner, I might still inject opinion about matters from an outside "perspective". I might be well-read or otherwise knowledgeable about current events and trends. I might even be occasionally insightful. Still, I would hardly pretend to know more about the country's character and potential than it's own citizens.

    Frankly, I am sorry if this post is somewhat unfocused in nature, because I am deeply confused as to the nature of your posts.
     
  21. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    It's not a matter of being defensive, it's a matter of explaining something to you that you might not understand as completely as you suppose you do. But if you're going to insist on a constructing a cardboard cutout view of America in your mind, then far be it for me to insist that you expand it into something more three-dimensional and lifelike.

    FWIW, I would not expect a foreign national to salute the American flag or recite the pledge, whether it be as a "courtesy" or otherwise. Without quite meaning to do so I think you've proven my point that national chauvinism is not a uniquely American quality.

    Feel free to resent US foreign policy all you wish. A lot of people do, both within and without the nation. But if you convert that resentment into a generally bad attitude about Americans, which it seems to me you clearly have done, then I think you've fallen into a foolish trap which is constructed at least in part out your own sense of nationalism.
     
  22. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #22
    No I appreciate that chauvinism is not one nation's perogative. You didn't read what I said closely enough, though I tried to write it as clearly as I could. I do not ask the boys to salute our flag. But then they didn't do what I do when grace is said in someone else's house or even my own, which is quietly let those say it who will. They made a loud, slighting point of not doing it, in a way that clearly spoke of their parents' views. A point that was not lost on the other kids.

    Frankly I don't give a damn except it is part of our ceremony and not an opportunity for someone else to show their parochialism. I cited it because it was an example of what I was saying, which you tell me is "atypical".

    I observed much the same thing when I travelled around Europe and Asia. Many, definitely not all, Americans seemed to travel to point out to the "inferior nations" what is wrong with them, down to MacDonalds costing too much in Paris, before rushing home and telling everyone how they had seen the World in 2 weeks or less.

    It seemed to me to reveal much more about them than those countries. Particularly after being congratulated on my grasp of English for the umpteenth time.

    America is a 500 pound gorilla that likes to share other people's bananas whilst making it very clear that no-one gets to touch its. Same as it likes to give the odd back hander when it is grumpy but cries foul if anyone responds.

    The American government openly declares it is above the law or international opinion. Most of the population, Republican or Democratic, supported that view out of ingrained nationalism. This has set a shocking example for the beginning of the 3rd millenium that by the end of the 21st century will be dictated to by the Chinese and not the USA.

    Britain had its jingoism and its come-uppance at the beginning of the 20th century. America is making the same mistake now. Perhaps it is panicking that its time is running out?
     
  23. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #23
    Yes and no.

    Yes if they don't vote (which most don't) or vote for objectionable policies (which at least half do) or don't bother with history or geography or keeping themselves informed. Yes if they defend the system that oppresses the defenseless within and without the USA.

    Yes if they lash out at "French fries", Iraqis and Hans Blix.

    No if they inform themselves, vote and fight the good fight.

    What we do is of little importance. Not to excuse us also fighting the good fight.

    The average American may feel quite comfortable sitting this out, but we rightly should object to them making themselves comfortable if it is their big fat arse sitting on us. (see I can get away with this because the site swearchecker doesn't recognise English English).

    I too am confused. Mostly as to whether we are still to blame for Rupert Murdoch, now that he has taken his citizenship, and News Corporation, to the USA. Or do we maintain our shame for a decent 12 month period afterwards?
     
  24. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #24
    In a way, I think you've got it exactly backwards. Historically the US hasn't been an imperialistic nation. The obvious exception was the Spanish-American War, but that is generally regarded as an historical aberration. In fact the overwhelming sentiment in the US towards the "European wars" was to stay out of them, and this included the first and second world wars. Isolationism has been more a feature in the history of US foreign policy than interventionism. The current Bush administration policy is not normative at all; in fact, it's a radical departure, and it should be understood that way, not as something which is somehow representative of the American character. These are very strange times, and no less for Americans like myself who don't understand why so many of their countrymen are prepared to avoid thinking deeply about what is happening in the world. Panic might be the right word, but I don't think in the context you assume.

    And here I thought it was Britons who were most likely to complain about how things "aren't like at home" when they travel. I've certainly heard a lot of that myself. Does my anecdote trump your anecdote? If not, why not?

    In fact I did read what you wrote carefully. I was actually trying to do you a favor by not bringing up the remarks you made in the post that kicked off this threadlet.
     
  25. gastroboy macrumors newbie

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    #25
    I beg to differ.

    The US made a grab for Canada and failed. The Mexican grab was not a little one and the Indians could make a case for everything in between.

    Outside your current national borders, there was Tripoli, the Philipines, Cuba, Panama, Puerto Rica and sundry small islands such as Grenada. Central America, parts of the Carribean and South America have felt direct intervention or surreptious interference. Usually in the defence of vital American interests such as bananas or drugs.

    Money made a lot of wars unnecessary such as Florida, Lousianna and Alaska. Missionaries and disease did some of your dirty work in Hawaii and sundry Pacific islands.

    Remember the White Fleet in Japan?

    There was also China, Korea, S. E Asia and Indonesia and some allege even with Australia in 1975. Not to forget the Congo, Lebanon, Somalia, Kosovo and Serbia.

    And now Afghanistan and Iraq.

    Any I missed?

    Here is where I get to be really cheeky. A common thread that runs through all these is you never picked on a country your own size (at least not after the French helped you win your Revolution).

    The greatest moments of "restraint" were WWI and WWII where America waited for everyone else to fight themselves into exhaustion and then only took on more dangerous enemies after being attacked by them first.

    My argument was Australia should always offer to come to your aid, but only after the initial 2 year warm up, and only if "Our Direct National Interests are involved".

    btw Can you tell us who fought with you in all the recent conflicts of the last century?
     

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