Political Question

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Diddiyo, Jun 16, 2006.

  1. Diddiyo macrumors member

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    #1
    Hey people,

    since i'm not allowed to start a topic in the subfoum i thought i might start it here. I have a question regarding the american state/governor situation:

    california is considered a strong democratic state, though it's governor is a republican. same with new york. and states like oklahoma or wyoming which are all considered a republican state all have a governor from the democratic party. how is this possible?

    can anyone please explain this to a german guy? :) thanks in advance!
     
  2. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    #2
    Actually you shouldn't put the thread header as "political question", I'm sure alarm bells are ringing in the moderators' head once they see it. Other than that, this seems like a rather innocent question. However, I think I will leave it to the rest to answer your question. :)
     
  3. Diddiyo thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    Can't edit the header anymore :(
     
  4. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    #4
    Trying to extract some logic from the electorate that has voted George W Bush in twice is only going to end in tears :p


    (j/k - The people on this forum generally appear to be the more enlightened section of American society. Anyway, if theres anything worse than re-electing Georgie, its re-electing his British Poodle :rolleyes: )
     
  5. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #5
    Let me start by asking everyone to keep this non-political so that Diddiyo can still participate.

    In the US, pretty much since it was found our government has been dominated by 2 opposing parties. In the beginning it was the revolutionaries and the loyalists. Then the Federalists/Anti-Federalist. The parties shift ideologies usually having one wedge issue that divided them. The rolls of the State and Federal governments is the original split. Federalists wanted more power in central government. Slavery was the issue after that Socialism and the New Deal, dealing with Communism. With now seem to be moving towards a basket of social issues (abortion, gay rights). The parties hold massive conventions every 4 years to decide the way that the party will go with positions on issues. There is not usually and massive shift but it can happen. There have been the occasional single issue parties but they usually don't last. The last one to survive were the Republicans.

    The last major third party was the Reform Party whose theme was "George Bush sucks." Which became a real non starter after he lost to Bill Clinton.

    Yes there are the Libertarians, the Constitutional party, the Green Party and the Communist Party(which oddly is the only party that doesn't have to report campaign donations) but with the way the American system works are not likely to do much more than gain a couple of local seats with the help of a charismatic candidate.

    The country is roughly split in thirds, (once again always has been) 1/3 Republican, 1/3 Democrat, 1/3 who don't identify with one or the other or who are likely to vote for someone out of their party.

    In a state like California which is heavily Democratic the numbers shift from 33/33/33 to 22/43/33 or there abouts. Haven't looked at the numbers in years. There is still a good number of people who are willing to vote Republican and when a moderate runs the turnout is worse for the other side. Scwarzenegger(CA) is a moderate. Pataki(NY) came in under Gulliani's coat tails. (How many mayors can get the governor elected!) (Gulliani got in as Mayor of NY because he had just taken down John Gotti, the 'Teflon Don', and New York had as many murders as some cities had people.)
     
  6. Les Kern macrumors 68040

    Les Kern

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    #6
    Wow, this could be a loaded weapon!
    Californina elected Ahnold because Gray Davis was held to the fire for the last time during the energy crisis, which turned out was made by the likes of Enron. He was cast aside by a concerted effort by the GOP think-tanks and the likes of Fox news. Bloomberg, mayor of New York, is actually a DEM in disquise. Wyoming and Oklahoma had a moment of lucidity. :)
    Okay, I'm sorry.... political answers belong elsewhere.
    :)
     
  7. Diddiyo thread starter macrumors member

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    #7
    thank you! this is not about pro/con any political party!

    i just don't understand how someone from the democratic party can become a governor in a state that voted heavily for the republican party (or vice versa). :)
     
  8. Black&Tan macrumors 6502a

    Black&Tan

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    #8
    Many times, its the lesser of two evils. I would vote for either party, if I felt one candidate was better than the other. However, the latest group of candidates left us...wanting.
     
  9. OnceUGoMac macrumors 6502a

    OnceUGoMac

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    #9
    It's pretty simple. Reagan was elected as Governor of CA due to name recognition/charisma/ and ideas. Arnold was elected because CA has been a financial mess for many years, still is. I don't think that Americans are as blind as you Europeans seem to think. It's a logical fallay to assume that most Americans vote straight ticket.
     
  10. mactastic macrumors 68040

    mactastic

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    #10
    Arnold getting elected here was a highly unusual situation. Essentially he managed to sneak in through the back door so to speak, because he didn't have to run in a Republican primary. Combined with a hugely unpopular Democratic governor, Californians made a leap of faith that Schwartzenneger would be the cure to our problems. Unfortunately that was just more political hype.
     
  11. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #11
    Here in Australia, every state government is held by the Labour Party (liberals) but the Federal government has been held by the Liberal Party (conservatives) since 1996.

    Definitely the lesser of two evils on all counts. Problem is when the guy running against John Howard would not be as good a PM as Little Johnny despite the fact that Little Johnny is a snivelling grub of a man.

    I'm using the term "snivelling grub" because it's been in the news recently as a fairly commonly used insult within the House of Reps.

    Actually, I miss Paul Keating, now that was a man who could hurl insults in Parliament
     
  12. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

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    #12
    I think that we can keep this thread here as long as it remains a factual discussion of the American political system. Let's please avoid making it, well, political, though, OK? Looks acceptable so far.
     
  13. kretzy macrumors 604

    kretzy

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    #13
    I kind of think this type of balance is good in any political system.

    Man I love watching Question Time. The way the politicians behave and the insults they hurl at each other make for top quality television. :D
     
  14. FleurDuMal macrumors 68000

    FleurDuMal

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    #14
    Which is exactly what makes the British 'elective dictatorship' such a depressing situation. Parliament, the home of British democracy, the most prominent and capable institution for keeping checks on government, is in reality a mere formality for Mr Blair to push through any legislation he wants.

    I've spent two years now of Constitutional Law trying to extract the democratic logic of having the executive selected from the largest party in the legislature, yet none has struck me so far...:rolleyes:
     
  15. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

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    #15
    To summarize some of the above posts in a simple answer:

    The party that a state votes for in the local election does not determine how that state is viewed when considering Dem/Repuiblican states. Rather it is a general summary of how that state has typically voted in the general election, but specifically for the President. Also factored into the idea is the makeup of the state legislature. This serves as a good vehicle, as most people vote on party lines (since you normally don't have major personalities running). It gives you a good flavor as to how the people feel on election day.

    You will usually see a non-matching governer for a few reasons - one is the major personality, where voters recognize the name. However, another reason tends to be that the leading party overlooks the voters and the candidate runs a poor campaign. Even in strongholds, it is essential to treat the constituents as your masters, not as your servants. The third big reason compliments the second. Failure of the previous administration. When the governor from the leading party is an abject failure, voters will revolt for that office, while retaining their legislators. When the failure and bad compaign are combined, it often spells major (and surprising) victory for the minority party. If you want to know more about that last point, ask Gary or anybody else who lives in Maryland.

    Any other questions of need clarification? Let me know.
     
  16. Chundles macrumors G4

    Chundles

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    #16
    Same here, The Libs took over the Senate a while back and now have the majority in both Houses. Little Johnny can pass whatever he wants now.

    Basically though, we have one party governing the country on a federal level and a different party filling in the gaps the fed. govt. doesn't cover at a state level for the main reason that "the other guy would be worse."
     
  17. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #17
    Another thin is that elections are staggered here. The Federal positions run on 2, 4, and 6 year cycles. (House, President, Senate) Governors are elected usually on off years as are State Houses.

    Here in Pennsylvania, we are in the middle of a big throw the b....rds out push. There were Shenanigans with a pay raise. Most of them either didn't run for re-election or were ousted in the primaries.
     
  18. MarkCollette macrumors 68000

    MarkCollette

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    #18
    In Canada, some provinces tend to vote oppositely at the provincial level than they do federally. By this I mean, they don't always vote for any given party at any given level. It's just that if an election comes, and whoever was in power pissed people off, then they switch. And then when an election happens at the other level, people tend to vote in an opposing party. It's not a hard rule, just a bizarre tendency.

    The point is, do you Americans perceive that you do the same?
     
  19. JurgenWigg macrumors 6502

    JurgenWigg

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    #19

    If that's true, explain the Whigs, the Democratic Republicans, and the Jeffersonian Republicans at the same time as the Federalists and the Anti-feds? They've all held seats and competed against each other...

    Yes, for the last 150+ years it's been dominated by Democrats and Republicans, but that doesn't mean it was always this way... A house divided by itself cannot stand - ben franklin, beware the dangers of party politics - George Washington, etc.



    Here in Massachusetts we're pretty liberal - abortion, gay marriage, stem cells, but we elected a republican governor because while we love our democrats, we don't trust them with free reign over the state.

    Remember that whole thing about competition can only reward consumers? Well, having a 2 party government can only be good for the constituents.
     
  20. JurgenWigg macrumors 6502

    JurgenWigg

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    #20

    MA gubernatorial elections are this fall, coinciding with midterm elections... Every once in awhile, you get the incredibly vote where on presidential election years you also have a lot of senate chairs up, as well as the expected house seats...

    This midterm election has a lot of congressional seats up for grabs
     
  21. MongoTheGeek macrumors 68040

    MongoTheGeek

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    #21
    Usually it was two parties. As one of the parties mentioned above was in relative ascendency the others were in decline. The US house has almost never had more than 10% independents and only twice ever has an independent group held more then 10% of the seats. That was in 1823-1825 when the Republicans split. Then melted down and disappeared with parts joining the democrats and the rest reforming as the Whigs. The second was 1855-1857 with the formations of the Americans Party, also known as the Know-Nothings (perhaps I should say the Know Knothing Krew... :) )


    No it doesn't, the stability of the names is interesting in modern times but is not really the point. The American system is biased towards two parties who each have a large base of support. Nature of the beast.
     
  22. adk macrumors 68000

    adk

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    #22
    While there is a National Congress with a House of Representatives and a Senate, all of the states have similar systems that govern state affairs only. The state is considered Democratic/Republican based on which party dominates the state congress. California is considered a liberal state because of the many democrats that dominate California's congress, not because of one republican governor.
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #23
    The election of Schwarzenegger was a quirk of political history, but the fact remains, California elects more Republicans as governors than they do Democrats, even though the Republicans haven't held a majority in the California Legislature for eons. The state is sharply divided along geographical lines. The urban and coastal areas are heavily Democratic (except for San Diego), and the rural and inland areas (except for Sacramento) vote reliably Republican. I believe California also has one of the largest percentages of non-aligned voters in the county.
     

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