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The Politics Guillotine Descends 301

A final pre-election assemblage of political news for voters, conscientious objectors, felons, minors, and non-U.S. citizens. Philom points to an interesting analysis of NaderTrading by UCB grad student Scott Aaronson. Cheshyre sent in an interesting tidbit that may affect the odds of George Bush sneaking north for some subsidized health care. Of course, if that's embarrassing, so is trading cigarettes for Gore Votes, as pointed out by photozz. flimpy points to another tech-centric voter's guide. Finally, Mike McCune allleges that "About 90% of the national elections use use a device called the 'Shouptronic' to count the votes. The Shouptronic is a closed system that isn't open for inspection. Several groups argue that it has been used to fix the vote in elections. This is a good argument to use an open system for election counting." He points to this wacky but intriguing book by the equally wacky but intriguing Collier family. I'm convinced.
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The Politics Guillotine Descends (Add to this, anyone)

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  • Well, there is definitely enough meat there at [] to convince me that the information technology that runs the vote counting etc *should* be open source.

    but then again, politicians have never made anything like that all that easy.

    as it has been said:

    "Neve apply a Star Trek Solution to a Babylon 5 Problem"
    (Seen on a bulletin board in Fermi Lab)

  • It's like eating Tenderflake. :^)

    Look, people eat bacon on hamburgers with cheese because this paragon of unkosher cholesterol nightmares tastes damn good. Our bodies are programmed to love fat, and poutine delivers. Trust me, if you love bacon cheeseburgers, you'll love poutine.

    Now, having said that, poutine is probably worse for your health than smoking and ought to come with a label from Health Canada just like Export A's. You can gain weight just watching someone else eat it.

    But, after a night of hard drinking and pot smoking (did I inhale? Hell, yes!), nothing hits the spot like hitting Chez Lafleur at the corner of rue St-Denis and Carreé St-Louis (in Montreal's Plateau district next to St-Denis Metro - you can't miss it, it's open 24/7) and ordering a big ol' poutine.
  • I was going to propose that you get a passport and see some of the world to give some perspective to your notion of the US as the world's leading disaster. But apparently you've already done that.

    It's funny -- there are the stereotypical "We're the best at everything!" Americans, and then there's their mirror image, "We have the worst country in the world! Everybody laughs at us!" folks. The two types hate each other but what's funny is that both mindsets come from the same parochialism and ethnocentrism and the idea that the US must necessarily be unique in every quality.

    Incidentally, I keep seeing posts from people from other countries expressing dismay and horror about what the US must be like. To them I'd say that believing what you read about America on Slashdot is about as smart as believing all the stuff here about how Windows crashes every ten seconds and is completely impossible to use. Get yourself a plane ticket and see for yourself instead of taking the word of all the nitwits here.

  • It's "sheeptronic"

  • ... that segments of the electorate might like. I don't see anything especially different about commutions than, say, directed tax breaks. Or changes in the law to legalise something I want to do.

    The original poster was quite right that it makes a bit of a joke of democracy to cut the disenfranchised out of the vote.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 06, 2000 @02:51PM (#644941)
    from tm []

    2% of the total population has lost the right to vote as a result of a felony conviction, and 13% of the black adult male population has lost their right to vote.

    In eight states, 1 in 4 black adult males has lost the right to vote.

  • by interiot ( 50685 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @02:07PM (#644942) Homepage
    It HAS happened before in the US, though only in local elections. Most of them seem to be mistakes, but one can never tell. see here []
  • I wouldn't trust Gore enough to vote for him- I think he's treacherous and untrustworthy and I'm voting for Nader regardless.

    If I don't trust Gore, why would I trust Gore _voters_ to vote for Nader in exchange for me voting for their guy? Nobody's watching inside the voting booth. I bet they all go and vote for Gore anyhow regardless of the promise they made. Explain why supporters of Gore should be considered trustworthy? Smart, I'll grant- Gore's pretty smart too. But trustworthy? I don't think so- not in this context. We're talking about making bargains that can't be checked up on, with people who have a vested interest in defecting on the agreement. I just don't trust that...

    If they're voting Nader because they would have anyway and it's not a swing state- I wouldn't call that a Gore vote in the first place.

  • Anyone concerned about privacy and stoping government intervention in cyberspace should be voting for Bush, not Gore.

    Go look at their records, and remember, it was the Clinton/Gore administration that brought you UCITA and DMCA! There will be more to come if Gore gets in...
  • by John Jorsett ( 171560 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @02:11PM (#644960)
    If I were a Nader supporter, I'd be a bit concerned about him getting over 5%. If he manages that feat, the Green party is going to qualify for Federal funds next time around. I think that that would make an attractive honeypot for some roving band to come in and attempt a takeover of the party. How'd you like a bunch like the Buchananites suddenly registering as Green, the way they did with the Reform party? Fed funds could be more of a curse than a help to a third party, unless they're certain that their real base can outnumber potential conquerors.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Dear Governor Bush,

    It's been awhile since we've talked. I believe your last words to me were, "Go find real work!" You kidder, you! That very night, it was you who found real work for yourself by executing your 117th human being in Texas. How DO you do it?!

    Actually, the "real work" I do now, my job, is due in large part to your family. Few people know what you and I know... that it was your cousin Kevin who shot much of "Roger & Me." At the time, I didn't know that your mother, Barbara Bush, and his mother were sisters. Kevin must have missed the train the rest of you were on! He came to Flint to return a favor to me for helping him on a film he was making about hate groups. He is the person who taught me how to make a movie. Without his generosity, "Roger & Me" might never had been made.

    I remember the day your dad was inaugurated as President. I was editing the film in a ratty old editing room in D.C. and decided to go down to watch your dad be sworn in on the Capitol steps. How weird it was to see my mentor/cinematographer sitting next to you up on the dais!

    Months later, when the film was released, your dad, the President, ordered a print of "Roger & Me" to be sent to Camp David for the family to watch one weekend. I wish I could have been a fly on the wall as all of you watched the havoc and despair your father and Mr. Reagan had helped wreak upon my hometown. I've always wanted to know -- at the end of the film, as the deputy sheriff was tossing the kids' presents and Christmas tree out on the curb because they were $150 behind in their rent -- were there any tears in the room? Did anyone feel responsible? Or did you just think, "nice camerawork!"

    And now you want to be President of the United States.

    I'm sorry to tell you, but that can't happen.

    The American people need to know a few things about you -- and they had better consider them right now, before a tragic mistake is made.

    You know what I am talking about.

    Your possible victory on Tuesday is a threat to our national security.

    That may seem a bit strong, but I don't make this charge lightly. It has nothing to do with your positions on the issues (all of which I disagree with) or your patriotism (I'm sure you love your country).

    It has to do with you. I believe, with all due respect, that if you sit in the Oval Office, this nation of ours, its security, and in turn, the security of the world, has the potential to be in great jeopardy.


    There are three reasons.

    1. It appears you cannot read and write on an adult level. I'm sad to say it, but you may be a functional illiterate. How can we entrust our nuclear secrets to you if you can't read them?

    As I have pointed out before, all the signs of either dyslexia or illiteracy are there -- and no one is asking you about it. First, you lied about your "favorite book" as a child ("A Very Hungry Caterpillar" you said). That book wasn't even published until a year after you graduated from college!

    Then there is the question of your college transcripts and if, in fact, they have been doctored. How DID you get into Yale when the prospective students we uncovered had higher SATs and grades? During this campaign you have made up answers when asked to name the books you are currently reading (when quizzed about the books' contents, you didn't know what to say). Is it any wonder you have not had a press conference in over a month and a half? Your handlers are scared to death of what might be asked or what you may say.

    One thing is clear to all -- you can't speak the English language in sentences we can comprehend. At first, the way you mangled words and sentences was cute and funny. But after a while, it became worrisome. Now, I'm just scared. If you are Commander-in-Chief, you have to be able to communicate your orders. What if your subordinates don't understand you? What kind of chaos could that cause with our national security? No wonder you want to increase the Pentagon budget. We'll need all the firepower we can get after you accidentally order the Russians to be "wiped out" (when you meant to say that the Russians are just "whipped" these days).

    Your aides have said that you don't (can't?) read the briefing papers they give you and that you ask them to read them for you or to you. Your mother was passionately committed to reading programs as First Lady. I assume she knew first hand the difficulty of raising a child with a learning disability.

    I say none of this to knock you personally. Forty million adult Americans cannot read above a 4th grade level and millions are dyslexic. There is no shame in this. In fact, there is help. But for you to have your finger on The Button when you may be disabled in this way is too great a risk for the country to take. You need help -- not the Oval Office.

    Hey, I'm not one to talk -- just look at this letter and all its wacky syntax! But I ain't runnin' for President. At the very least, the voters deserve an answer to this question of your illiteracy by Tuesday.

    2. Are you an alcoholic? Again, there is no finger being pointed here and no shame or disrespect intended. Alcoholism is a huge problem and it affects millions of American citizens, people we all know and love. Many are able to recover and live normal lives. I greatly admire anyone who can deal with this addiction. You have told us that you are not able to drink, and haven't touched a drop since you were 40. Congratulations.

    But it has just been revealed tonight on CNN that, in the past, you were arrested for drunk driving (and that you tried to cover it up). You have told us that you used to "drink too much" and that you were "more in love with the liquor" than you were with your own family. That is the definition of an alcoholic. This does not disqualify you from being president, but it does require that you answer some questions.

    Why won't you use the word "alcoholic?" That is, after all, the first step to recovery. What support system have you set up to make sure you don't fall off the wagon? Being president is perhaps the most stressful job in the world. What have you done to insure you can handle the pressure and the anxiety associated with being the Leader of the Free World? How do we know you will not resort to the bottle when faced with a serious panic? You have never had a job like this. For 20 years, from what I can tell, you had no job at all. When you stopped "drifting," your dad set you up in the oil business with some ventures that failed and then he helped you get a ball team which required you to sit in a box seat and watch a lot of baseball games. Now you have served as governor of Texas, a relatively ceremonial job in that state. How will you deal with a massive world crisis? Do you have a sponsor you can call? Is there a meeting you can attend? I know this is very personal, but the voters have a right to know.

    3. Please, tell us the "felony" you committed and anything else of a similar nature that you have been hiding. When you were asked last year about your alleged cocaine use, you replied that you have committed "no felonies in the last 25 years." That implies that you DID commit a felony before that. What was the felony?

    The reason I am asking this is not to seek retribution for what you did. I am concerned that if there is some deep, dark secret you are afraid of, it means you are, in effect, providing ammunition for whoever discovers this secret, be it a foreign enemy (that Bin-Laden guy) or a domestic enemy (ExxonMobil). If they discover your secret felony, they will have something over you -- and will be in a position to blackmail you. That makes you a national security threat.

    Trust me, someone will find out what you are hiding, and when they do, all of us will be at risk. You have made yourself a national security threat and you have a duty to disclose whatever this felony was that you committed. To reveal it will nullify its potential use as a weapon against you or this country should you be elected.

    There are enough scary reasons why you should never be President. You will oversee further destruction of our environment. You will push to have more people executed. You will make sure your rich buddies make a killing off the hard work and suffering of those less fortunate than you. Any of these reasons is enough to stop you on Tuesday.

    But, no matter where any of us stand on the political spectrum, liberal or conservative, Democrat, Republican or Green, all of us have a right to know the answers to these three critical questions.


    Michael Moore [] [] [mailto]

    Addendum (added 11/05/2000):

    My apologies to my dyslexic friends. That portion of my letter to Mr. Bush was not as clear as I intended it. Dyslexia and illiteracy are NOT the same and, yes, a dyslexic cannot only be President, he can be Albert Einstein (yes, Einstein was dyslexic). I do believe that George W. Bush cannot read and write on an adult level and that he has learned to be a functional illiterate (which means, I guess, he still hasn't read my letter). This is not to say that Bush is dumb or Reagan-like. It is meant to only point out that he is friggin' dangerous.

    Also, regarding the other danger I referred to in my letter to Bush -- his "drinking problem" -- the issue is NOT that Bush is an alcoholic -- alcoholics can and have been President -- but that he refuses to acknowledge he is an alcoholic (the first step to recovery) and the way he so quickly wants to blame everyone else but himself. That's a dangerous sign. For those who say, "well, c'mon, it's his personal life, that was 24 years ago," I have this to say. I was hit by a drunk driver 27 years ago, and to this day I cannot completely extend my right arm. When you go out on a public highway drunk, that is no longer your PERSONAL life. It is MY life and the lives of my family.

    To watch Bush swagger and smirk as he tried to reduce his "youthful indiscretion" off on just him and the boys having a few beers (smirk, smirk), I felt for the families of the half-million people who have been killed by drunks like George in the 24 years since his "little adventure." Thank God he chose to drive drunk for only ANOTHER 10 years after he "learned" his "lesson."

    And the nerve of him using his daughters as the reason he covered up this conviction! "SNL" put it best tonight: "George Bush said he didn't reveal the drunk driving charge because of what his daughters might think of him. He had preferred that they think of him as a man with numerous failed business ventures who now executes people."

  • See What in the world is a Cheese Curd? []
    cheese curds are fresh, young cheddar cheese in the natural, random shape and form before being processed into blocks and aged.

    It describes the cheddar cheese form; the curds used for poutine are sufficiently "mild" that I cannot say for certain whether they are either:

    • Very Very Young Cheddar, or
    • Some other Very Mild Cheese ala mozzarella.

    See The Famous St-Albert Cheese Curds [] page for a nice picture of the classic cheese curd used in Eastern Ontario poutine.

    "For questions or comments send to: "

    (Unbelievable. They're on the web now. This company happens to be the very one that makes the brand of curds that my mother always preferred to purchase, and they sell 3kg "poutine bags" of curds...)

  • It's mostly the same as generic mozzarella - raw farmer's cheese with the standard set of industrial additives and conservatives, uncoloured and prepared in whatever manner most cost effective.

    Poutine cheese is not for cheese conoisseurs. It's cheap and nasty.
  • When Nader sees a problem, his *first* answer is to get the government involved. When Browne sees a problem, his *last* resort is to get the government involved.

    The libertarians will never be popular among the masses because they are the only party that doesn't promise you a place at the money teat of Washington.
  • With so many checks, balances, and dissenting political views, changes in our nation's political "gut" are slow. There can't be discontinuity. If Clinton is a "New Democraft" (left of middle) and his hold was weakened due to scandals/whatever, then Bush's (right of middle) opportunity forced Gore to move closer to the center.

  • please stop using racist terms like "black" in this forum

    I'm not American, but I grew up in the era where, in the US, the slogans were things like "black power" and "black is beautiful". The word "black" used to be a badge of pride and dignity. When did those people (whatever I'm supposed to call them) decide that "no, we don't want to apply this term to ourselves any more, we now think it's racist"? Or is it only white people who think the word is wrong?

    The question is serious, not rhetorical.

  • Do Gore and Bush truly believe that they themselves should have gone to jail in their youths for partaking of proscribed substances?
  • ---
    (please stop using racist terms like "black" in this forum)

    Huh? Since when is that racist? Is it racist to refer to someone as being white?

    Politeness is one thing, but this is the first time I've heard of anyone being offended over the term 'black' - even African Americans. And I've never heard anyone offended over the term 'white'. What's up with the overt political correctness?

    - Jeff A. Campbell
    - VelociNews ( [])
  • "It's coming to America first
    The cradle of the best and the worst
    It's here they've got the range
    And the machinery for change
    And it's here they've got the spiritual thirst."

    That's a snippet from Leonard Cohen's Democracy, which has always struck me as one of the best summaries of American life. I've done a fair bit of travel, from Canada to the UK to half of Europe.

    The simple truth is that the US is a hell of a lot better than most places out there; if you think living in America is bad, I invite you to try Mogadishu or Chechnya. And if you think America is perfect, I'd invite you to try opening your eyes and seeing all the problems we've got.
  • I'm ready! For the amount of money I send to the social security hole every week, I could have a nice fat retirement account. Hell, I could be retired right now!
  • If I don't trust Gore, why would I trust Gore _voters_ to vote for Nader in exchange for me voting for their guy?

    Absolutely. It's an anonymous, one-shot prisoner's dilemna and the best strategy is to defect. Not that that's a bad thing, since "defect" in this scenario means to vote your conscience.

  • The best system that's been thought up to assure a true majority is INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING. Basically, the system lets you vote for your top three candidates, in my case Ralph Nader [], Harry Browne [], and some one else who I'd think up later. Now, let's say that no one gets a clear (50% + 1) majority. Then, the first-choice votes for all but the top two or three and the second (and, if necessary, third) choice votes would be counted towards these top few. Whoever gets the true majority first wins the election. This way, we'd get no more Clintons (elected with This has been argued to provide for a stronger presidency, as the winner would have some sort of mandate, but it still sucks that turnout is less than half (theoretical) nationwide. (I happen to think that if an election has less than half the eligible voters nationally voting, it should be redone. Wishful thinking, I know :) So, for all you lazy bastards who are not thinking of voting, remember: If you do not get involved in politics, politics will get involved with you. (Also, if your state has you voting for judges, vote NO to all of them. They are all pricks. It's also a lot easier and a lot more fun.)
  • Well, I just finished reading the whole votescam site. As you might imagine, it is very interesting. I won't buy the book though. For whatever reason (probably hippy parents combined with strong Baha'i upbringing), I have always been incredibly cynical about our political systems. On their surface they are obviously disfunctional and it does not suprise me one bit to hear evidence that elections are completely rigged. One thing that really bothers me about all of this stuff is the lack of solutions. People are apathetic, they are focused on material gain, and they no longer trust even the _idea_ of Institutions of government. Our culture is evolving/designed to only increase these things. So. What are the solutions? Well, I say this at risk of karma: there is only one solution and it is spiritual. People need to change - to become better. If we are apathetic, we need to become heroic. If we are materialistic, we need to become detached. If we are cynical, we need to become idealistic. How can we become these things? Only by inspiration and by hope. And inspiration and hope can only be had by faith. And I'm not talking about some stupid blind faith. We need to see that Humanity is One. The world is our shared environment, we have so much to offer each other in diversity of thought, in diversity of culture, in diversity of religion and beliefs. And we should forget about the ridiculous cultural relativism we have been fed by the media so that we can actually learn from each other. We need to accept that depravity is the easy route for each and every one of us, but nobility is worth the struggle. Every time we make a mistake, we need to go beyond it: learn from it, forgive ourselves, share our new wisdom, and try not to make the same mistake again. So how does this relate to voting? We have to realize that the current system of government is irrelevent, and that power really has been taken from the hands of the rulers. We as individuals do have the power to change things, locally and globally, but we need to stop relying on failable, often corrupt people to lead us. And this is the real hard part for most of us, we need to believe in a higher power. We need to believe that the perfections we see in the physical universe can be had in the human universe. We need to hear the call that is sounding in our souls to unify the world. How can we possibly expect to solve our problems until we are united in our diversity. Peace is impossible unless and until our unity is firmly established - to paraphrase from the Baha'i writings. So that means: don't worry about voting. Do it, vote for the person who has served humanity best, but don't worry about it. Instead, worry about your neighbor, worry about your enemy, worry about your boss, worry about your children, worry about the stranger you pass on the street. And then worry about the world. Find what talents you have, perfect them, and use them urgently to solve humanity's problems. That is Faith, and that is Spirituality, and that is what is going to work.
  • More of that will come no matter which one gets in. They both cave to the interests of the the software, movie, and music industries. Gore says things to make you think he won't sometimes, but then other times he says things that make you think he will. Bush always says things that make me think he will cave. He's a Disney-lovin sort of guy.

  • FLame Flame Flame big Flamy Flames Flaming Flaingously Flaming you.

    Oh um ooops you had a disclaimer. sowwy

  • Woahh.

  • by firewort ( 180062 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @02:29PM (#645014)
    I stopped to read the whole contents of the votescam website, which is more than most posters here, who either read only the slashdot summary or the first page that was linked.

    They raise some important questions, and encourage us, as voters, to go and find the answers. Who learned in civics (or ELP: Economy, Legal, Politics as it was called in Raleigh NC in 1991) precisely how the votes are counted?

    We only know that the votes are tallied, and the results magically announced on the news before bedtime.

    IF it isn't a conspiracy, then let's see the votes from beginning to end, from the time they are cast, to the time they are tallied, and verify the tally.

    Let's see the source code behind the systems that do the tallying, or have interviews with the people that won't let us see the code. (time for a slashdot interview!)

    It may not be a conspiracy but when people start hiding parts of my democracy, I want answers why.

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • Who's counting the votes? Who's giving lastminute instructions to Democrat voters as they go into the polling places? But most of all, who's counting the votes? I do think at least some of the Dem voters are going to renege on 'swapping' plans and vote their people in. Who is going to stop them? If they cared about supporting the Green Party, why wouldn't they just vote for it rather than professing to be supporting Nader (in efforts to get 5%) from the Democratic Party? I'm afraid I am very skeptical about this. How important could it possibly seem to a Gore supporter? By contrast, wouldn't it seem important to get more Gore votes wherever possible to fight Bush?

    I think when people go into the polling places and the curtain falls behind them- they better vote their own interests, because that's what the other guy is going to be doing.

  • by laborit ( 90558 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @06:03PM (#645019) Homepage
    This might be true if the Greens were a small, young party based around a few popular characters, like the Reform party. In fact, they're a well-established organization with over 250 candidates [] running in the 2000 American elections, as well as allied green parties throughout the world []. To some extent, they're willing to bend the party line to admit good, honest candidates (e.g., Nader himself), but they're hardly too small to hold together in the face of popularity.

    - Michael Cohn
  • by clinko ( 232501 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:14PM (#645023) Journal
    ok, i have to put this up
    It's a collection of G.W. Bush's Bong Pics []
    I'm sorry i had to do that
  • The 14th Amendment pretty clearly states that the right to vote may be taken away for "rebellion or other crimes". It also states that the state's representation in the House of Representatives must be reduced proportionately.

    Of course, at that time they were primarily concerned about ex-Confederates voting themselves back into power (thus the reference to "rebellion" -- that amendment was passed in 1866). It's unclear whether the framers of that amendment intended it to be applied to drunk drivers, people with a few joints of Mary Jane in their possession, or other such dangerous criminals. Still, without an amendment to the Constitution that explicitly states that the right to vote may not be deprived of any citizen for any reason, those states who do strip convicted felons of the voting rights have the Constitution on their side.


  • Yeah- I hear that. I just hope the Nader supporters in 'swing' states aren't gonna be hosed by their good intentions.

    A vote for Gore is a vote for Gore- don't con yourself that you can make deals with people on the other side. Vote your data- for me that means voting Nader as that's the data I want to put into the system. Expecting some Gore person you don't even know to vote Nader just because you ask them is 'trusted client'- and we already know that's stupid! :)

  • Voting machines are not conspiracies.

    Except in Chicago.

  • by Eric Green ( 627 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @06:14PM (#645035) Homepage
    I read that web site too. I found it disturbing. I also found that Harry Harrison was prescient -- in one of his Stainless Steel Rat novels (The Stainless Steel Rat For President), he describes how to steal an election using widespread corruption of the electronic voting machine apparatus.

    But then, Harry Harrison was always prescient. Too bad nobody ever chalked him up as being anything other than another libertarian kook.

    For those of you who think it's farfetched -- obviously you never lived in Cook County (Il.) where the graveyards still turn out every election to vote for Mayor Dailey (the father, not the son :-), or in Louisiana, where the graveyards are famous for their high turnout... the description of how the mechanical voting machines (which Louisiana still uses) are doctored, went a long way towards explaining certain chapters in Louisiana history (though to be fair it's harder to doctor the mechanical voting machines than it is to stuff the ballot box, remember how LBJ got elected to Congress with the mysterious "lost box"?).


  • Al Gore lost this swing state voter when his minions tried to tell me I
    couldn't hold a "Stop the Drug War" sign at his appearance at our State
    Capitol, and had Nader and Browne supporters arrested for their signs in
    Waukesha. (State Capitol police were smart enough to refuse Secret Service and
    Gore Campaign entreaties to arrest me.)

  • Or maybe because letting convicted felons out of prision is a Bad Idea (tm).

    What if they're in prison due to the War On Drugs(tm), which is also a Bad Idea(tm)?

  • Now, I do agree with you that the U.S. sucks ass. Unfortunately, from what I am finding out, every country is a horrible place to live, because they are infested with people.

    Actually Canada has been voted the best place to live on Earth for seven years running by the UN. I love it here, the only downside being our neighbours to the south have undue influence on us.
  • by plover ( 150551 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:16PM (#645048) Homepage Journal
    If Gore loses because of Nader votes in swing states, hopefully the democrats will realize they'll have to move farther left to differentiate themselves.

    Yeah, a Bush presidency is a dreadful thought, but something has to be done to wake them up. You'd have thought losing Congress in 1994 would have done the trick...


  • truth: Al Gore is a ho.

  • Hey you are more then welcome to start your own "Lets let murderers vote" campaign. I'm sure it will be real sucessful.

    Of course, I think we should still have literacy tests at the polls... I mean is it right that people who can't even read are allowed to vote?
  • by Wellspring ( 111524 ) on Tuesday November 07, 2000 @04:03AM (#645053)

    What the Dems need to do is move the electorate to the left.

    Good idea! We won't get a national ID database or restrictions on strong encryption unless we convince people that privacy is for felons or the 'radical right' (both policies were supported and fought for by Diane Feinstein and Clinton/Gore).

    This message of personal freedom and limited government is too catchy. We have to make people change their minds.

    It escapes me, really, why people don't realize that Important, Connected Media Personalities have our best interests at heart, and can manipulate the details of our lives far better than we could ourselves. I mean, our Social Security money is earning about 2% annually before inflation. What, do you really think a mere ordinary person could do better?


    The problem of government is ultimately similar to a large-scale software engineering project. Attempts to be purely top-down, with huge binders or requirements specs, leads to bloated projects that go nowhere. The solution is to have some leadership at the architectural level, but mainly to leave the code as modular and encapsulated as possible-- ie give the most freedom to everyone. Those of you who think Nader is somehow Libertarian are deluding yourselves-- even Gore is more libertarian than Nader is.

  • Don't you think there would be an easier way to steal an election if you wanted, then to rig thousands of voting machines, to secretly coopt the hundreds or thousands of people who have to administer them. Wouldn't it be easier to simply call up the mothership and have it beam a 'special message, from the space overlords' to all of us who haven't aleady been abducted and anally probed while listening to the new world order speech from JFK and Elvis straight from their secret moonbase?

    I mean c'mon, voting machines? How pedestrian when we all know that the Illuminati, TLC and the Bildeberg group can instantly power up their UN run mass delusion machines and cause us to think that such and such candidate has won when actually its someone else from the Vatican-ZOG-Masonic electorate?

    Remember - the one great conspiracy was that there is one great conspiracy. The one great deception the devil succeeded with was convincing the world he did not exist.
  • Your easy dismissal tells me that you live in a state with a history of "clean" elections. I grew up in one of the most corrupt states in the country, Louisiana, where the graveyards are famous for voting on election day, and have no difficulty accepting that electronic voting machines can be rigged as easily as the prior mechanical voting machines (which Louisiana still uses, BTW, probably because the good ole' boys who vote the cemetaries can't agree on a new voting machine that each side could equally easily rig).

    Harry Harrison wrote a novel, The Stainless Steel Rat For President. The description of how to compromise electronic voting machines in that novel is naturally somewhat simplistic (the novel was written years ago, after all, when computerized voting machines were still science fiction), but the general principle still applies.

    As you mention, no one vendor has a monopoly. Some states don't even do electronic voting (such as Louisiana, with its mechanical voting machines). Thus it's unlikely that anybody is capable of outright stealing a national election (a local or state election is a different story). On the other hand, for elections that are extremely close, one corrupt precinct can mean the difference between defeat or victory (just read about LBJ and the case of the "lost" ballot box -- that's right, Richard Nixon wasn't the first corrupt president we had, and this nation has a long history of corrupt elections that people prefer to ignore).


  • Lots of talk about "the vote counters are using an application that is closed source, maybe there's fraud!"

    I want to ask you how Open Source would sweep away those claims? Before you go, "Duh..."

    Who says the source you're reading is the source they'd be using?

    Just because they hand you a sheaf of source code and say, "look, no fraud," doesn't mean they are 100% certainly using only 100% that "illuminated" source code.

    It's like the carnival magicians who let you examine the deck of cards (or even takes your deck of cards) before doing something improbable with them... "sleight of hand" and "illumination" may always be paired up.

  • Orin Hatch called the Napster hearings because he believes that his law is being misused in the courtrooms. He is fighting to change the law he wrote, because it isn't doing what he wants it to. The US Senate submitted a briefing to the court in the Napster case saying that the DMCA was being misused, and did not support its use against Napster.

    Diane Feinstein is vocal in supporting the RIAA and MPAA-- and spoke out against fair use at the Napster hearings. SHe's running for re-election in California, and like all Democrats, has the strong backing of the RIAA, MPAA, and the trial lawyers. Make your own judgements.

    The Clinton/Gore legal team have defended the modified interpretations of the DMCA that have caused so many problems. Judges they appointed are making the rulings we don't like. ICANN, which they created, is slowly turning into a tyranny.

    As for the UCITA, this just shows how important it is that we support state and local candidates. If you are in a state which passed the UCITA, remember this when you vote for your state offices.

    People on /. have said that Bush is dumb, that he is mean, that he lies, etc. But I have yet to hear, even from CmdrTaco, anything other than cheap shots. Gore, meanwhile, is actively supporting virtually every technology policy we don't like. In Texas, Bush was re-elected as governor in a race where the highest ranked Democrats in the state supported Bush over their own party. So I don't know how people believe that it would be such a disaster if he was elected, any more than anyone else who thementve policy disagreements with.

  • Interestingly, federal prosecuters never seem to go after people who deliver the vote for whoever's in power.

    Note that the last Chicago scandals came about because the vote was delivered for a Democratic candidate, and a Republican won the presidency.

    'Nuff said. Local pols who deliver the vote never get indicted. I'm from Louisiana, which is as notoriously corrupt as Chicago, and I've seen that happen time after time... otherwise half the pols in Louisiana would be behind bars.


  • by Pacer ( 153176 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:18PM (#645071) Homepage Journal
    Slightly off-topic but hey, the blurb brought it up.

    OK, I understand the logic behind not letting felons have guns, but taking away their vote? I don't see the democratic value in that ...

    Just make something politically unpopular a felony (like, um, recreational drugs, for starters?) and you begin to silence your opponents with every conviction.

    Is it any wonder that recidivism is so high when ex-cons don't even have a voice in the system?

  • by Megane ( 129182 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:18PM (#645076) Homepage
    So were the cigarettes made from the tobacco that Gore harvested himself?
  • I have read many posts here and am amazed at how strongly people feel about the candidates. What is funny is that no one is strongly for any of the candidates as much as they are strongly against his opponent. So many dire predictions about what is going to happen if Bush/Gore wins. One post even predicted a revolution if Bush wins. It is funny on one hand and sad on the other.
    The truth is that who wins is irrelevent and is interesting only for the entertainment value. The real source of America's greatness is its people, not its government. This country has achieved greatness inspite of its government, not because of it. It was the laws established by the founding fathers giving power to the people that is responsible for all that is good about America not the actual mechanisms of government and certainly not the crooks that we elect to represent us and especially not the insane two party abomination that has become synynomous with our system of government. All real change in this country was brought about by people who were disatisfied with the way things were going, people who got involved to right some wrong, to fight injustice. The changes brought about people were made into law only when it is politically expedient to do so, not because it was right to do so. Need some examples? In my lifetime alone, I have seen the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement against Vietnam, equal rights for women, the environmental movement. All brought about by people who were willing to get involved. These changes would have only been possible through revolution or civil war in past ages and societies, but were brought about relatively peaceably in a short period of time, because power in this country ultimately lay in the hands of its people. I am not suggesting that these movements have produced perfect results, that we don't still have a ways to go, but, any rational person will agree that great progress has been made. Those who don't agree either don't remember how things used to be or they are the zealots who are the driving force behind these movements. I don't mean that in a derogatory way either. It takes people with an obsessive single minded focus to achieve changes like this, and people like this will accept nothing but perfection as acceptable. (Bring anyone to mind, say, RMS perhaps?)
    When I said that it was irrelevant who was elected, I did not mean that Bush or Gore would not have an impact on our nation or that they would not affect our country's future. I believe that either one of them will have a negative influence on the future of this country because both of them will simply keep America moving in the same direction it is already moving and that is the wrong direction. Both parties are steadily taking power away from the people they are supposed to represent. While one party wants to transfer this power to the government the other wants to give it to the corporations. Both are wrong, and both will lead to the decline of our country.
    The message I am trying to get across is that if you are not happy with the way your country is going, and you should not be, then get involved and make a difference. Take power back from the politicians and the corporations and return it back to the people where it belongs. If this country does continue to decline, it won't because of the people elected in Washington, it will be because of the apathy of the people who allow it to happen. One thing I would like to point out is how the power of the media helped act as a catalyst for all the changes that I used as examples. This was because the media allowed the ideas behind these movements to spread to a wide audience, allowed these ideas to infect and change a people one mind at a time. The power of the internet to be a catalyst for change is many orders of magnitude greater still.
    Now, why am I bothering to post this here on Slashdot? Because most of the readers here are young, and it was our young who were at the forefront of each of these revolutions. In China, it was the youth of that nation who lay in front of the tanks, trying to bring about change in their country. The idealism and passion of youth is an almost unstoppable power for change when it is channeled into something other then the mindless gratification that is the focus of most young. So, I am posting here because I hope to infect a few minds with the idea you can make a difference if you get involved and that the liars and thieves in Washington are the problem, not the solution.
  • by Moderator ( 189749 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:19PM (#645080)
    This may be off-topic (actually it isn't, since there isn't a story), but why don't the Libertarians get as much press coverage as Ralph Nader or the Reform Party? I mean come on, the Libertarian party is the third largest party in the US, and it isn't even listed in Yahoo!'s 2000 Election section.

    Have any of you Nader-voters actually read what Ralph Nader stands for? If you did, you wouldn't be so quick to vote for him.

    Libertarian FAQ []

    Harry Browne, Libertarian for President []

    Thank you, have a nice day!

  • by Eric Green ( 627 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @06:43PM (#645089) Homepage
    Most Americans think that Harry Browne is too whacked. They're all for eliminating the income tax etc., but when it comes to eliminating Social Security and other such pork, it comes down to "I want my pork!".

    Then there's Harry's irritating refusal to play the "political game" -- refusing to accept matching funds etc. It makes him look like a flake.

    Then there's the sneaking suspicion that the Libertarians would eliminate consumer protection laws (laws that make fraud etc. a crime), while keeping laws that favor business. The law currently gives corporations very favorable treatment -- they are allowed to deduct things from their taxes that ordinary citizens aren't allowed to deduct (that is why, despite billions in income, Cisco and Microsoft paid not one dime in income tax last year), the owners of these mega-corporations are given special protection against being sued for the actions of the business that they own, etc. Some of these are a matter of good public policy -- without the limited liability, corporations would have a hard time finding shareholders. Still, these do represent special treatment for corporations, and most consumers are suspicious about attempts to take away current special treatment for consumers (such as fraud laws, antitrust laws, etc.).


  • All voters are required to have a mailing address (for obvious reasons). Sample ballots are mailed out to all voters before all elections. If the mail bounces, the voter is removed from the list of eligible voters. Theoretically.

    Of course, since the people who mail the sample ballots are the same people who are being elected by those ballots, who knows?


  • Hey you are more then welcome to start your own "Lets let murderers vote" campaign. I'm sure it will be real sucessful.

    Felony does not necessarily equal murder.

    It's a felony in many states to vote in your old precinct if you move and forget to update your registration. (In Florida, it's 5 years in prison.)

    It's a felony in many states to have sex with someone to whom you aren't married.

    It's a felony in some states to have oral sex with someone to whom you *ARE* married. (And this has been upheld in the courts.)

    It's a felony to make an unauthorized copy of Microsoft Windows on your PC.

    Do you really think people should lose their Constitutional rights over these transgressions, or any of the literally tens of thousands of other bullshit felony laws in this country?

  • Har har.

    Politics in Chicago? Yeah, right. How much more fixed can you get?

  • Orin Hatch called the Napster hearings because he believes that his law is being misused in the courtrooms. He is fighting to change the law he wrote, because it isn't doing what he wants it to. The US Senate submitted a briefing to the court in the Napster case saying that the DMCA was being misused, and did not support its use against Napster

    and that's fantastic! So where the hell does Gore or Bush fit in? he still didn't write the law, and he still doesn't have anything to do with civil lawsuits between private parties that are using the DMCA as a basis.

    Diane Feinstein is vocal in supporting the RIAA and MPAA-- and spoke out against fair use at the Napster hearings. SHe's running for re-election in California

    Wow! A congressperson from california who is agreeing with the entertainment industry! Gosh, next you'll tell me That Orrin hatch sides with his constituents (Novell) against Microsoft. This is shocking. So don't vote for feinstein -- again, I'm not seeing where Gore has anything to do with this (the original poster did, of course, say this was Gore's fault and GW would fix it).

    The Clinton/Gore legal team have defended the modified interpretations of the DMCA that have caused so many problems

    No they didn't -- the Justic Department said that they didn't think Napster could be excluded from the scope of the DMCA as Napster was arguing, they had nothing to say about the legal merits of the arguments about distribution or copying (I may be getting this mixed up with the case, though!).

    But again, the DMCA, AS CONGRESS WROTE IT, clearly applies for exactly what the RIAA and MPAA are using it for. It is Congress' fault for NOT LISTENING when they wrote the law to those who said it was overbroad. Now CONGRESS has to fix the law, and I sure hope they do it quickly.

    Judges they appointed are making the rulings we don't like. ICANN, which they created, is slowly turning into a tyranny

    The federal judges (appointed, BTW, mostly during the Reagan/Bush years) are making rulings that are consistent with the law. They don't get to second-guess the DMCA, as Congress wrote it the law is incredibly broad and quite clearly includes a lot of the stuff we'd like to see be legal. All I hear is Bush people complaining about judges "legislating from the bench" and now you bitch because the judges are ruling on the law AS CONGRESS WROTE IT.

    Talk to fucking Congress if you have a problem with the law -- the Justic department IS NOT PROSECUTING ANYONE under the DMCA, these are all civil lawsuits. The judges HAVE TO RULE ON THE LAW. That's their job, and it has nothign to do with who appointed them -- I would be disappointed in any judge who said that napster and didn't violate the DMCA because they clearly do. That's why we should change the DMCA, not the judge!

    As for ICANN, jeesus, that's fucked. Although I'm not really sure (again) how Gore/Bush have anything to do with it. It's ICANN going bonkers, not the administration. I would like to know what (if ANY) ability the govt has to bitch-slap those losers, though. The whole point, after all, was to get the government out of it (Bush people keep telling me government can't do anything as well as a private company -- so why was it all fine until ICANN was private?).

    But I have yet to hear, even from CmdrTaco, anything other than cheap shots. Gore, meanwhile, is actively supporting virtually every technology policy we don't like

    Well i don't really know that many people who are voting on tech issues (I don't think the govt has anywhere near the influence there as elsewhere). As for economics and social issues, I think it's pretty clear where each candidate falls, so that's surely substantive enough to justify voting for or against one. If you want abortion, you probably won't want to consider Bush, etc.

    As for Texas -- having lived there most of my life (and now being closer to DC), I can tell you that Bush will have a rude awakening. Democrats in Texas are like Republicans everywhere else -- he doesn't have experience working with the kind of ideological spread that exists nationally. Uniting democrats and republicans in a state where everyone is for the death penalty and concealed weapons is not exactly a great challenge for a conservative -- let's see how well he can do in a place where the NRA is considered evil and his dad isn't quite as univerally loved.

  • by thex23 ( 206256 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:22PM (#645104) Homepage
    I wish I could vote for him. Hell, I wish I could vote him as Prime Minister (some of you may have heard that we are having our own little excercise in democratic futility up here, as well), too. I can't think of another case where I have actually been interested by your choices (Perot notwithstanding... he's such a funny little loonie, and very watchable). I just hope you guys make Ralph look good this election.

    I don't know how any L/libertarian could do less than support a dissenting voice in the ongoing love duet of corporate America. I'll make you all a deal. Vote for Nader, and next time you're north of the border, you can all get free poutine and doughnuts on me. Promise.

  • by vlax ( 1809 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:23PM (#645105)
    My mother-in-law was denied entry into Canada becasue she (stupidly enough) admitted to the customs inspector that she had had a drunk driving conviction 14 years earlier.

    We had to wait two hours and pay a $300 fine to clear this up. It was stupid and embarassing, especially when a simple little self-serving lie would have eliminated the problem.

    Of course a President usually travels by invitation - which is equivalent to a diplomatic passport for most purposes - so it makes no difference while in office. But, I wonder if Bush has travalled to Canada in the last 20 years and if he admitted his past crimes at the time. If not, he is in violation of the Immigration Act and can be permanently barred from entering Canada.
  • The democrats could quietly endorse this coalition at the local level with the understanding that any Gore 'swappers' are to renege on their agreement with a wink and a nod, in the privacy of the polling booth.

    But then, if you trust the Democrats- you might as well vote for them- and where's the 'coalition' then? Same old same old.

    Again- if I trusted them I would VOTE for them. Nader happens to express my concerns well- I'm voting my interests in voting for him, there is no mistaking what my Nader vote represents. It's dead obvious. I'm going to be counted as representing the issues I care about, not some game theory nonsense that doesn't convey any information other than 'we won!' and doesn't lead anywhere.

    I'm just one guy and just one vote but I have to say, ditch the voteswap idea! It's pitifully naive. If all us Nader people voteswapped I'd give more than a 50% chance that when the votes were counted, "Unaccountably, the third party Nader makes a very weak showing with 3% of the popular vote- apparently grassroots support for him was not very effective"

    No kidding. And why would that be? Because they voted for Gore!! Furrfu! One would think that effective support for a political candidate would include _voting_ for him! If you think the Democrats are equally naive you've got a lot to learn- I have _huge_ respect for their tremendous experience in power politics, all the more if this 'vote swap' thing is orchestrated from the Gore camp to trick Nader supporters into voting against their own guy. (Worse has happened- the Republicans broke into Dem campaign headquarters in 1972, as well as directly financing huge NYT fullpage ads from supposed 'coalitions' supporting Nixon.)

    I'm sorry- my voting for Nader may be naive, might even be futile (especially if I stop being politically active _after_ Nov. 7- not!) and I might be politically stupid- but I am _not_ THAT stupid, to be gulled into voting against the guy I'm trying to support. It all comes down to the popular vote in the end- and I only have one- I am _not_ going to use it against my own interests thank you.

    You won't see a lot of _Democrats_ blithely pulling the lever for Nader just because they informally agreed to 'swap votes'. They are veterans of the political battlefields, they are playing for keeps- why the hell does anyone think these people are going to THROW votes away to support a dangerous potential left vote-splitter? Just forget it- it's not going to happen. I don't agree with them but I wouldn't insult them by thinking they were that stupid and naive. They aren't...

  • The libertarian philosophy is an attractive one in prosperous times like these, and particularly for those of us in booming high tech industries. It's easy to feel powerful when big companies bow and scrape and throw money at us. It's easy to believe that anyone with half a work ethic can get rich. It's easy to think that we negotiate with big corporations as equals.

    It's all an illusion, though. I've seen nothing to make me believe that the laws of economics have been repealed. Good times will give way to recession; growth in high tech industries will saturate, and when that happens we will see who has the bargaining power. I'm guessing it's not us, and I'm guessing the results will not be pretty.

    I believe that Bush and Gore have been bought and paid for by big business dollars. Harry Browne looks to be relatively free of campaign contribution corruption, but his political philosophy leads him to give away the store for free, so to speak. Either way, the result is the same. Either way the "rights" of monied interests continue to expand, and the "privileges" of private individuals continue to contract. And in the end, we all cease to be citizens and become merely consumers. In the end we lose control of our goods and chattels (instead "renting" them from corporations that retain actual ownership), we lose our privacy, and we lose the right to choose how we live our lives, free from meddling from outsiders who style themselves our masters.

    I don't pretend that Ralph Nader is a panacea for all of these problems. I even think some of his economic proposals would be very bad for the country in practice. (However, I think that even if Nader were elected today the worst policies would be moderated substantially by the legislative process.) The important thing, to me, is that Ralph Nader stands for something. Among other things, Ralph Nader stands for personal dignity for all of us, not just those who can afford to purchase it. Ralph Nader does not have the answers for all of our problems, but he does have a remarkably insightful grasp of what those problems are, and he is willing to put forward and talk about earnest proposals for solving them. If Bush or Gore or even Browne or Buchanan had either of those two qualities I would consider voting for them. But they don't, and Nader does. So I voted for Nader instead.


  • Hopefully, if you're a Massachusetts registered voter, you already know that there is an initiative -- QUESTION 2 -- to AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO DEPRIVE FELONS OF THE VOTE.

    Vote NO ON 2 to prevent this! Even if you're not voting in the presidential election, PLEASE go vote on this issue!

  • that Al Gore's people are handing out cigaretts considering that he and the Democratic party have accepted substantial donations from big tobacco companies.

    Take a look at this for tobacco contribution breakdown: ml

  • by BrianH ( 13460 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @07:45PM (#645120)
    While I can't vouch for the rest of the country, California voters are pretty much immune to widespread electronic voter fraud. When Cali. residents cast their votes on Tuesday, those votes will be piped through a brand new Java based statewide election reporting system. This system, developed in part by the company I work for, is brand new from the ground up and has undergone full code audits from several parties to verify that no "illicit" code is hiding inside. You still don't trust the code? Well, it's your right to be paranoid, but I regularly have lunch with the guys who wrote the new software and I can tell you my mind will be at ease.

    You can get more info here: 200 0/11/calvoter.html []
  • After you hit the button/fill in the little bubble/shoot the chicken on the screen/whatever your area does to vote, it goes off to a big vote tallying center, which uses this closed source software to count the votes. And, no, the software wasn't tested, because it's not necessary for small elections. And besides, the people running the center can de-fraud (har har) the system for the test. This isn't a COTS system. It's a special company doing the counting.
  • The American electoral college system was established because of the unique balance of power created between state and individual representation. If people want to change it, they should attack it within its rightful context, rather than playing numbers games with possible outcomes.

    The main reason why the EC was created was that at the time, there was no way of knowing that people in X part of the country would know anything about (and thus be able to render an educated decision about) a candidate from Y part. But now, being the Information Age that this is, this argument falls flat on its face. This is one of the big arguments people use against the EC system -- it is waaaaaaay outdated.

  • Last I knew the popular vote didn't determine the presidential outcome, the electoral college did.

    Right. And this is exactly why Nader's tiny little 5%-at-the-most[1] showing is hardly a threat to Gore despite campaign paranoia. You can also factor in the fact that not all of the people voting for Nader would vote for Gore if the big two parties were the only choices:

    There's two components to the Green presidential vote, by my estimation. One component, which I call the DemoGreens (and of which I count myself a member[2]), consists of liberals who consider Gore a significantly better candidate than Bush, but are either tired of voting for "the lesser of two evils" or believe that a vote for Nader is more important (considering state polls, federal matching funds, etc.) than a vote for Gore. The other component, which I call Protest Greens, are people who are entirely fed up with both major parties. These are people who, if Gore and Bush were the only two choices, would simply abstain and join the large percentage of the American population that doesn't vote.

    Gore's (or at least his campaign advisors') mistake is in thinking that all Greens are DemoGreens, and would otherwise vote for him. This is what hardline Democrats mean when they talk about Nader "stealing votes from Gore"--DemoGreen votes are votes that would otherwise go to Gore if Nader wasn't running. But they're ignoring the Protest Greens, and therefore inflating the impact of Nader's candidacy on Gore's (let alone the fact that, even if all Greens were DemoGreens, 5% isn't a huge figure--hardly Bush-spoiler-Perot territory).

    [1] - 5% may not be the most, but it's at the upper end of how Nader tends to show in the polls. It's also the Greens' real target (only the most self-deluded think that Nader can actually win this election)--it would mean that the Green Party gets federal matching funds for the next election, a major coup. If they get it, and if they can hold it together through the next election (unlike the Reforms, who pretty much collapsed--but then, that was a party pretty much devoted to a single candidate rather than an issues-based platform), it could be a serious threat to the two-party oligarchy.

    [2] - In more ways than one. I'm registered Democrat, but voting Nader this election. Then again, I may be voting for a Republican for Senate because the Democratic incumbent is worthless, and none of the third-party alternatives look particularly competent. I prefer to vote my mind rather than follow the "party line".

    Zardoz has spoken!
  • Now you seem to be arguing that Presidents should not have the power to commute sentences at all. That's an independent variable from the power of convicted felons to vote.

    It would be Right to give felons the vote, but you're right that it wouldn't be popular. It's unfortunate that the people's grasp on what democracy is all about - democracy for all, not just for the popular or well-liked - is so poor.
  • It would be very strange to argue that felons should be allowed to own guns but not to vote!

    There again, it's no stranger than allowing people to join the military before allowing them to drink...
  • Actually Canada has been voted the best place to live on Earth for seven years running by the UN.

    Yeah but by my standards Canada sucks. I have met quite a few people from there, and spent a little time in some parts of Canada, and most of the people I meet treat you like you are a stupid child. They are very condescending, although very polite at the same time. The Canadians I have met seem to have the attitude of "We know better than you do" even more than the citizens of the U.S. and France do. I currently work with a Canadian who has soured my perception of the country even more. I'm finding that while Canadians may have things taken care of better in a physical sense than people do in the U.S., their personalities tend to be obnoxious and annoying. Also it gets way too cold for my tastes.

  • The electoral college is merely a method of having the people who voted for the president vote via proxy. There has only been one faithless elector in the past 200+ years of history.

    But the problem is, the electors don't vote in proportion to the popular vote. In many/most states, ALL the electors from that state are required to vote one particular way or the other according to what the voters of that state decide. This may look feasible upon first glance, but here's an example that brings it down very quickly:

    Candidate A wins 60% of the state's popular vote, Candidate B wins 40%
    Candidate A therefore wins the state's electoral votes (all of them, mind you)
    The state has, say, 50 electoral votes

    Candidate A therefore wins 50 electoral votes (100% of the state's influence), whereas if done proportionally by the popular vote, they would have only won 30 electoral votes (60% of the state's influence). Since only 270 electoral votes are required to win the election, this can make quite a difference.

  • A typical libertarian won't acknowledge that most problems exist.

    Ah, flamebait of the highest order... Of course libertarians recognize that problems exist. Are you daft! It's just that we don't agree that the use of police and armies to enforce our solutions is appropriate.
  • I see your point of view, and share it. Sometimes political correctness is taken to far. But if you think about it, although it seems to have very little derogatory value these days, you can imagine that it is somewhat rude, at the very least. If I were from east asia, I would not like to be called a "Yellow". Hey, get out the Yellow Vote! These days not everybody is defined by their skin color - many people are of several ethnicities, and differing backgrounds. So it makes a bit more sense to just be a little more prudent and instead of calling somebody a White, or a Black, or a Yellow, or a Red (or what have you), instead refer to them by their actual ethnicity, or original nationality. Sure, it's a fine distinction, but I think it is best to err on the side of respect. I don't care *what* they would like to be called, but just as I don't want people calling me by my skin color (or any other arbitrary attribute; I'm probably "white" by the way) I respect other people's sensitivities. That said, I'm sure most people are thick skinned enough to not really care.
  • by aint ( 183045 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:28PM (#645140)
    Hi! I saw this funny segfault link today, thought some would appreciate it :

    Link : A Vote For Nader Is .36 Of A Vote For Bush []

    It really is pretty damn funny.

    -- .sig --

  • by askheaves ( 207302 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:29PM (#645141)
    Yeah, a 50-50 vote in this country is an indication that people want something more to the extremes... Please. I dare you to move farther left... free votes for us!!!
  • yes, it did read like a bad novel.

    However, the questions it raises are still valid questions, even if the source is a little questionable in terms of literary or academic value. (For instance, I would have liked to have seen a bibliographic entry for the Library of Congress material they claim is evidence.)

    A host is a host from coast to coast, but no one uses a host that's close
  • by MattLesko ( 155081 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:30PM (#645144)
    I think it's also good to point out that an overwhelmingly majority of convicted felons (especially for drug 'offenses') are minorities. It has been estimated that from 10 to 20% of the entire black population has lost their vote due to this. Any wonder no politician ever seems to give a damn about urban ghettos or the sources of these 'criminals'?

    You are more than the sum of what you consume.
  • This has no chance because it is a classical prisoner's dillema. Aaronson's analysis shows why
    nadertrading isn't.

  • I realize that this is meant as a troll, but did you actually mail this to the Bush campaign? I think it would have been awesome because they are definitely stupid enough to fall for a typical slashdot troll, and they could probably use it as an excuse to get Bush up there blustering about how great it is that he isn't the egotist he used to be.

    I'm sorry, but if Bush is elected either people will be leaving the US in droves (I know of a few movie stars, rock stars and TV personalities that have stated publicly they will do just that, and are prompting those that can afford to, to do the same), or people will set up the quickest and nastiest revolution in the US's history (forget about the Civil war, there will be nothing civil about this one). Too much ingrained political correctness and too little real brains has led us to the brink of voting in the most maniacal idiot in the history of presidential candidates (well, short of Buchanan and Duke). I pray that it doesn't come to pass, but in a way it would be nice to see the resulting chaos.

    Ah, what the hell, bring on Armegeddon!

    Slow moving marsupials and the women that love them
  • Not a bad idea!

    Actually, he would do quite a bit, it just wouldn't be to enact new laws regulating your life down to the level of what water capacity your toilet can have. Instead he would work on getting government out of our daily lives.

    The typical non-libertarian sees a problem and says "there ought to be a law." A typical libertarian sees a problem and says "how can I solve the problem without violating anyones rights?"
  • Although health care is subsidized in Canada, you cannot simply drive from the US to get an operation. You will still be billed if you're not a resident, although you're not going to be denied care (you pay later). You can accumulate a $20000 bill easily with a week's stay in intensive care, for example. Travellers normally purchase extra insurance for this reason.

  • The Kansas Secretary of State, Ron Thornburgh, has been quoted in an AP article as saying that he will prosecute anyone who trades votes in Kansas. He also mentioned that he doesn't know whether it's legal or not.

    It certainly seems to me that threatening citizens who do something legal is a shady practice, especially where it involves elections. If nobody's stepped forward to say they're swapping votes in Kansas yet and challenged Thornburgh to a legal duel, somebody ought to.
  • Go look at their records, and remember, it was the Clinton/Gore administration that brought you UCITA and DMCA!

    Um, the DMCA is legislation -- it was made by congress (currently a slight Republican majority), not Clinton or Gore. Granted, Clinton didn't Veto it, but it's hardly "his" law, and I fail to see why Bush would have vetoed a law that passed a republican congress.

    And UCITA is a state by state law. The federal government has literally nothing to do with it, whether legislative or executive. If you want to stop the UCITA, talk to your STATE congress or Governor, becuase no president has a damn thing to do with it...

  • For what it's worth, poutine is not so much a Canadian food as it is a Quebec food. It is rarely found east of Ottawa, except for the bastardized fast food version (no curds -- usually cheddar cheese). In Quebec and eastern Ontario, its on every street corner.
  • Why risk the accusations of partiality.

    The value of transparent systems and perfect information available to decision makers (voters, citizens) far exceeds skimpy assurances that everything's kosher.

    This is a central tenet to capitalism, and the reason behind the SEC, why wouldn't it translate to every facet of public life? Decision making and basing democracy on imperfect information is wholly unsatisfactory. Would people have bought those SUVs had every sales contract revealed the potential defects in the tire system? Do you appreciate having to buy software with no foreknowledge of how it will operate, or whether it will work, but knowing that nobody will take it back when you discover that it doesn't meet your requirements?

    "It's all about the information;" and we need more, not assurances that we can get by with less.
  • Leaving aside the fact that attempts to convince me that Gore is some kind of acceptable choice are insulting

    You know, I've heard this constantly, and I'm getting a little tired of it. Especially since the people who usually say it have no qualms about trying to convince everyone else to vote for Nader. I'm not settling for Gore; I honestly think he'd make a good president. And even if I had the desire to vote for Nader I wouldn't, because it WOULD be a vote for Bush. Personally I think having the country be led by a competent president is a hell of a lot more important than any personal satisfaction I would feel because I voted for Nader and against Gore. This is NOT a game; it's an extremely important choice, and if you feel that your own personal contentment is worth more than having a real leader, vote Nader. But I'm voting Gore.
  • I respect your feelings but don't agree with your conclusions.

    If these people really have that broad a support for the horrid acts you describe they _should_ win the election. Faking the election and trying to kluge better results isn't going to help in the long run.

    I don't think they do represent the will of the people in that. I think most people are apathetic or conditioned to 'vote' for only certain parties, in a gamelike way rather than an expressing-their-concerns way.

    Finally, it looks like you're arguing Gore's case as in 'he's not as bad as Bush'. I don't agree with that. Another slashdotter was distiguishing 'DemoGreens' and 'Protest Greens', with the latter being the ones who would not even vote if Nader wasn't running. I wasn't going to vote because I think both the Democrats and Republicans are fronting for the same damn crud as ever.

    I'm going to quote a little something from the book I'm reading. It's called 'Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72', and as you might guess it was written in 1972. That's almost 30 years ago. *ahem*

    "How many more of these goddamn elections are we going to have to write off as lame but 'regrettably necessary' holding actions? And how many more of these stinking, double-downer sideshows will we have to go through before we can get ourselves straight enough to put together some kind of national election that will give me and the at least 20 million people I tend to agree with a chance to vote FOR something, instead of always being faced with that old familiar choice between the lesser of two evils?"
    -Hunter S. Thompson, 1972

    I think it's obscene that it's taken this long, but I would say that it took almost 30 years. I am voting FOR something. And I admit to an emotional reaction here- I am _angry_ at the suggestion that I should throw that away and vote for Gore and same old same old, in the blind and retarded faith that some Democrat is going to vote Nader _for_ me. Have you considered the idea that voting _for_ someone is something that I've wanted to be able to do for a long time? That it is both a privilege and my obligation as a Vermont voter to vote for the guy I _want_ to win?

    I don't think so. I don't think you've considered these things in your attempt to enlighten me that this is serious... so it would be wrong to be angry at you directly. But I am angry, angry at this disrespect for the system we have. It may suck but it's the only one we've got- and please don't forget that as a Nader voter I'm the one being asked to completely ignore this chance, this opportunity that HST lamented about almost _thirty_ years ago... and play politics games just like always... and actively vote for a guy who I think is treacherous and untrustworthy and a lot slipperier than Bush.


  • by Chris Johnson ( 580 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:51PM (#645182) Homepage Journal
    Wow- now this, I like.

    I'm voting Nader, don't give a rat's ass what state I'm in (actually I think Vermont isn't likely to go Bush, but I don't care if it does) because voting is NOT A GAME. It is the expression of my opinion, and an attempt to get representation of my concerns.

    Leaving aside the fact that attempts to convince me that Gore is some kind of acceptable choice are insulting, I figure that if this is supposed to be a GAME, why don't we just sit them in front of PCs and have them Quake it out? Better yet, they can wrestle for it and WWF can broadcast it on pay-per-view. This is not a game people! Talking about game theory and win strategies completely betrays your obligation to represent YOUR VIEWS honestly and directly! That means if you really _back_ either of the two main clowns, you should vote for them- but if you back Nader, or Browne, or McReynolds etc etc, you are _obligated_ to vote for them and give the country GOOD DATA. Garbage in garbage out- who knew that computer geeks would have to have this explained to them? But the game concept is so established that it's not suprising...

    GIGO, people. Your vote is not a game! It is DATA. Give the country ACCURATE DATA and we'll go from there and see what else needs to happen. I know that, voting as a Progressive, I seriously doubt I'll be able to roll over and go back to sleep for four years- in particular, corporate abuses have become so outlandish that I don't think there's time for apathy. I think the Libertarians should take a look at the amount of spending BOTH parties are delighted to allow (Libertarians should appreciate this one Nader story- there are government researchers trying to find cures for malaria and other diseases. They're way underfunded which would not impress a libertarian- but Nader asked these guys how they felt about the continued contracts for obsolete B1 bombers, which is spending on an unimaginably greater scale, all from taxes. He asked how much of a B1 would it take to double the researchers' budget. One of them came right back with, "A wheel.")

    This 'votepact' idea seems like just an informal admission of something people are already doing without the securityblanket- it's an excuse to abandon the parties and put in accurate data for a change. Many people are doing this and to hell with the resulting balance of the major parties- this seems to be just a way for people who are more frightened, to do this and feel that they aren't risking anything. But the end result is the same- more accurate DATA being put into the system. Hooray for them :)

  • the man [] must man [] two ways. You can vote for Nader in safe states - if you're in a Bush state, you will infuriate both GOP and Dems by increasing the Green vote. And you can vote for Gore in swing states - which will infuriate the Independents and GOPs by letting them win the popular vote but losing the Electoral College vote - this will make them stew for months.

    It's the equivalent of tossing a lighted match on the man. Or, even better, breathing fire to light a torch, and tossing the torch onto the Man of the Two Party System. Burn, baby, burn!

  • The elections were all fixed by a huge computer somewhere which tabulates based on closed-source code. Horrors!

    It must be rigging the polls and primaries and other things too, spontaneously deciding if the democrats or republicans should be in charge, based on... uh...

    I wouldn't really know who else but the combined efforts of all the people of America capable of pulling off a vote heist like that. This is ludicrous and NOT interesting. Modern daily poll tracking does more than just annoy, it also shows exactly where votes are. And no tabulating machines are used everywhere, which makes this system impossible to enact. There are so many reasons why this would not work in reality.

  • What the Dems need to do is move the electorate to the left.

    It's always interesting to watch candidates be tugged betweent he undecided voters in the middle and their base on the left or right. Bush's 1992 loss was widely blamed on his abandoning the right with his tax increases. But Clinton's win was partly born of his own pitch to the center. The extreme left didn't mind it so much in '92, having endured twelve years out of the White House. Now, they're getting anxious, and ready to vote for Nader as a way to bring them back to their ideals.

    Likewise, many Republicans were initially put off by some of Bush's wishy-washy positions, but once they sensed that he could win, they got behind him fairly strongly.

    It's all about timing, I guess. Sometimes it pays to move tot he center, sometimes it pays to move to pitch the base.
  • that's what I get for not previewing. The second man link should have read burn.

    In other words:

    The man [] must burn [].

    Does that make more sense?

  • OK, I understand the logic behind not letting felons have guns, but taking away their vote?

    I believe the logic behind this was to prevent candidates from promising commutions and / or lessening of sentences in order to boost their vote. America borrowed this bit of common law from the English, BTW...
  • What I've read is that Nader wants Nader to win. No one else.

    He's critical of Gore because, being the encumbant VP in an adminstration where the economy is high (I don't think as strong as the rising tide analogy, but it is undenibly good), Gore should have already won this election hands down. Instead, he made signifiacnt blunders in his campaign and gave Bush edges that should have never been there. If Gore happens to win, will he continue to make similar blunders in his policies and thus screw up America?

  • I am a one-issue voter this year. I am voting AGAINST everyone who voted for the DMCA.

    I live in maryland. Both the incumbent senators voted for the DMCA, so it's easy, just vote for anyone but them.

    for president, both bush & gore are pro-DMCA so it's easy, just vote for anyone but them.

    but the House is another story. The house did a voice vote on the DMCA, so I don't know who voted for it. does anyone have any ideas on how to get a list of representatives who are publicly pro-DMCA and anti-free-speech?

    help please!
  • Wouldn't Instant Runoff Voting work better? I think so.

    If you read the article, you should know that it is pretty much included as one of the two alternate systems of voting discussed. Instant runoff voting is basicly the same as the Borda count, except that the Borda count would notice that people who don't vote for candidate X consistantly put him/her dead last.

    B. Elgin

  • About 90% of the national elections use use a device called the 'Shouptronic' to count the votes.

    Really? I've lived in 4 states in the last 11 years and each used a radically different vote casting mechanism (punched-out holes, SAT-type filled-in circles, 2 different lever machines). I find it hard to believe that there's one counting apparatus behind all of them.

    The Shouptronic is a closed system that isn't open for inspection. Several groups argue that it has been used to fix the vote in elections. This is a good argument to use an open system for election counting.

    And it hasn't been tested, either? And no one but a single family of nuts has noticed? And no one involved in any of those conspiracies has spilled the secret? I'm not getting too excited about this.

    Not that anyone who remembers last year's Beanie Awards is likely to take Slashdot too seriously as a voice for openness in voting...

  • by b0z ( 191086 ) on Monday November 06, 2000 @01:58PM (#645209) Homepage Journal
    The average American (and I include Slashdot readers in this) is so stupid, that they ought to have to take a literacy test before they are allowed to vote. In fact, I'm not sure that I have any faith in "we the people's" ability to judge what is right and wrong anymore.

    Actually, it isn't just Americans. If you look at any country or culture, you will see that the majority of people are completely stupid. I am not meaning this in a flamebait sort of way, but that most people don't want to think and are no better than sheep. Unfortunately, it's not as easy as only letting people of a certain age vote, or of a certain education or any other criteria you can think of. You think that Europeans are so much better, but they aren't. Sure they might know more than Americans in some categories, but they can be stupid in other ways. Take the French for example. Please, I don't want them. Ok, bad joke.

    We don't let children drink alcohol, but we let them vote ?

    Not only do we let them vote, but we make them completely responsible for themselves at 18, and make them sign up to go get killed if the government decides on a whim to go to war for no reason (Vietnam for example, and the politicians involved should have been executed for treason against the U.S.) We should abolish the draft, and not go to war for anything but defensive reasons.

    Now, I do agree with you that the U.S. sucks ass. Unfortunately, from what I am finding out, every country is a horrible place to live, because they are infested with people. The silly semi-hairless monkeys try to be civilized but really are the worst animals to live on this planet. The few of us that do think for ourselves will either become leaders, or outcasts of society. American has never taken itself seriously, but at one time we did have leaders that were good men, and relatively cared for people. Yes, they did some really really bad things (genocide of the native americans, slavery, etc.) but they had some sound principles that today we can apply to all people equally. Unfortunately, the thing that our form of government requires to function is good people. So, with the lack of quality people in the U.S., and the entire world, we are doomed to suffer as we have for thousands of years already.

  • That's nice. Except that The Center for Responsive Politics has this report [] that lists the total contributions from tobacco companies to the two major parties. Over the past 6 years, Republicans have gotten over 4 times as much money from tobacco companies than Democrats have.

    In the end though, it's the citizens who lose, not Al or George.

  • After all, it's not as if they're putting mayonnaise on the french fries :-).

    What's there not to like about poutine?

    • French fries

      You like those, right?

    • Gravy

      ... Which goes with potatos, or even potatoes, depending on your political preferences...

    • Cheese

      The form of the curds used may be a little unexpected, but it's hardly a deviant form of cheese.

    The sheer excess of cholesterol in this form of "haute habitant cuisine" may seem a mite excessive, but I can't imagine this being overly appalling in a nation where they make "chips" by taking pig fat and boiling it in oil...

    (Yes, I grew up in Eastern Ontario...)

"Paul Lynde to block..." -- a contestant on "Hollywood Squares"