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From the Economist: Voting Wrongs

Lafayette

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America's electoral laws are a recipe for chaos

Excerpt:

America organises its democracy differently from other rich countries. Each state writes its own voting laws, there is no national register of eligible voters and no form of ID that is both acceptable in all polling booths and held by everyone. Across the country, 17 states have new voting laws that, in November, will be tested for the first time in a presidential contest. In several states these laws face legal challenges, which allege that they have been designed in order to discourage African-Americans and Latinos from voting. It is past time to start worrying about where these challenges might lead.

The X factor
The new laws date largely from a Supreme Court decision in 2013. Before then, many states in the South, and a couple elsewhere, that had spent much of the 20th century finding ingenious ways to prevent minorities from voting, had to clear any changes to their voting laws with the Justice Department or a federal court. Three years ago, the Supreme Court ruled the country had “changed dramatically” and that the formula for choosing which states were covered was outdated. That allowed all the states to write laws unsupervised.

Handed power over the rules for electing themselves, Republican politicians in southern statehouses have, unsurprisingly, tilted them in their own favour. Early voting, which non-whites (who lean Democratic) are keen on, has been restricted. Another change has been to limit the kinds of ID that are acceptable at a polling station. In Texas student IDs are out, handgun licences are in.

The authors of these laws protest that they have nothing to do with race or political advantage and claim that they are necessary to guard against voter fraud. Yet there is scant evidence of fraud. To claim otherwise is cynical and corrosive. In the 12 years before Alabama passed its new voter-ID law there was one documented case of impersonation.

The second argument made, in southern states, is that the new voting laws merely bring them in line with those elsewhere in the country, some of which do not allow early voting at all. This is true, but tantamount to an admission of guilt: politicians in some safely Democratic districts in the north have not been above fiddling with election rules and redrawing district boundaries to protect incumbents either. Indeed, it is an argument for a more general change.

The worst of all the arguments for the new voting laws is that casting a ballot should not be made too easy, because if people are not clever enough to understand the rules governing elections they should not be entrusted with choosing the government. Any political party that hopes for lower turnout has lost its way. William F. Buckley, a conservative pundit, once wrote that he would rather be governed by the first 2,000 people listed in the Boston telephone directory than by 2,000 members of Harvard’s faculty. Republican lawmakers must decide whether they still believe in the good sense of those they aspire to govern, or whether they lost that faith somewhere on the way to the statehouse.

Articulate as he was, WFB was an ornery guy. But I have to agree with him on this one.

As much as I tire easily of the bird-brain simplicity of Replicants on this forum, I prefer that they be here than were the forum infested with the rabidness I see emanating from the Sanders contingent. (Largely because Bernie does not know how to control them, and he should.)

For as much as I think Sanders is the most like a European Social Democrat, and the Europeans are light-years beyond us Yanks as regards Social Justice, I don't think he can get elected PotUS.

Though he most certainly could get elected President of France, or Sweden and most certainly Poland - the ancestral home of his parents.

We will have enough of a problem getting Hillary elected first female PotUS of the US. It seems everybody is upset with her emails when Snowden has shown how effing it easy it is to obtain anything that is SuperSecret in LaLaLand-on-the-Potomac where government agencies have some of the most antiquated information-systems in existence.

But, that it is not the real point. Which is that Obama won the Female Vote by 11 points (55% to 44%). This factor was crucial because women made up 53% of voters.

Go for it, ladies ... !
_____________________________
 

Chomsky

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America's electoral laws are a recipe for chaos

Excerpt:



Articulate as he was, WFB was an ornery guy. But I have to agree with him on this one.

As much as I tire easily of the bird-brain simplicity of Replicants on this forum, I prefer that they be here than were the forum infested with the rabidness I see emanating from the Sanders contingent. (Largely because Bernie does not know how to control them, and he should.)

For as much as I think Sanders is the most like a European Social Democrat, and the Europeans are light-years beyond us Yanks as regards Social Justice, I don't think he can get elected PotUS.

Though he most certainly could get elected President of France, or Sweden and most certainly Poland - the ancestral home of his parents.

We will have enough of a problem getting Hillary elected first female PotUS of the US. It seems everybody is upset with her emails when Snowden has shown how effing it easy it is to obtain anything that is SuperSecret in LaLaLand-on-the-Potomac where government agencies have some of the most antiquated information-systems in existence.

But, that it is not the real point. Which is that Obama won the Female Vote by 11 points (55% to 44%). This factor was crucial because women made up 53% of voters.

Go for it, ladies ... !
_____________________________
Is this your way of saying you want that statue back? :mrgreen:
 

joG

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America's electoral laws are a recipe for chaos

Excerpt:



Articulate as he was, WFB was an ornery guy. But I have to agree with him on this one.

As much as I tire easily of the bird-brain simplicity of Replicants on this forum, I prefer that they be here than were the forum infested with the rabidness I see emanating from the Sanders contingent. (Largely because Bernie does not know how to control them, and he should.)

For as much as I think Sanders is the most like a European Social Democrat, and the Europeans are light-years beyond us Yanks as regards Social Justice, I don't think he can get elected PotUS.

Though he most certainly could get elected President of France, or Sweden and most certainly Poland - the ancestral home of his parents.

We will have enough of a problem getting Hillary elected first female PotUS of the US. It seems everybody is upset with her emails when Snowden has shown how effing it easy it is to obtain anything that is SuperSecret in LaLaLand-on-the-Potomac where government agencies have some of the most antiquated information-systems in existence.

But, that it is not the real point. Which is that Obama won the Female Vote by 11 points (55% to 44%). This factor was crucial because women made up 53% of voters.

Go for it, ladies ... !
_____________________________

You are absolutely right that it would be a good idea to make sure that one man one vote procedures should be guaranteed. I have not read any studies on the size of the problem. Do you have any links, by any chance?
As to the socialist stuff, you keep saying that. But Socialism is not progressive and social justice is a fool's pursuit as usually understood. The first is anti individual rights and the other mixes bleeding hearts consumption with investment, while it confusing public goods and private ones and thus damaging societies that act on the concepts. The population pays a heavy price for the nincompoop populism that sells it to voters uneducated in economics. That is why Americans would be stupid to vote a professed follower of the erroneous ideology he picked up in 1968 and was never able to go beyond.
Of course, the Europeans think it would be nice, if the US did such a stupid thing and put their lead in question. But that is pretty short sighted and even very bad for their own position and populations, as the US has been and still is the main guarantor of European security and so their prosperity. Whether it would be a good thing for Europe to see the Russians, Indians, Brazilians and Chinese catch up more quickly than that is happening might seem good, till one stops one's feelings getting in the way and thinks about it.
 

Lafayette

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But Socialism is not progressive and social justice is a fool's pursuit as usually understood. The first is anti individual rights and the other mixes bleeding hearts consumption with investment, while it confusing public goods and private ones and thus damaging societies that act on the concepts. The population pays a heavy price for the nincompoop populism that sells it to voters uneducated in economics..

You see. I live and work in a Socialist country. In fact, about 70% of the EU countries have or have had Socialists Governments.

And nobody is complaining! Wow!

(Except for the 8-years of unusually large unemployment that Uncle Sam gifted us in 2008 ...)

Btw, I keep a long-list of European friends who have lived in the US after graduating from university, and they all came back to Europe. Nice place to visit, but. And how about the 3.5 million Americans living long-term in the EU. They aint goin' back either. Why should they when the Health Insurance costs next to nothing because they were sent to work here and stayed. Or when their kids get postsecondary degrees for less than a 1000€ a year.

And, funny enough, since they are mostly "half-American" the kids want to go work stateside - just to see. But they too come back.

I kid you not, and I can take you to a Democrats Abroad meeting here and introduce them to you ...
________________________________
 
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Lafayette

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Is this your way of saying you want that statue back? :mrgreen:

Frankly, if I wanted one, I could buy it just down the road. Yes, there is a molded copy of the Statue of Liberty on sale at garden-store nearby.

As far as France is concerned ... well, in Paris, the statue (much smaller in size) is located on a bridge over the Seine. If you take a "bateau-mouche" ride on the river, you are more than likely to see it. If not, this will do:
80684513.jpg



In fact, there are at least 34 copies of Bartholdi's original Statue of Liberty to be found in France. Photos here.
_____________________________________
 
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Fenton

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You see. I live and work in a Socialist country. In fact, about 70% of the EU countries have or have had Socialists Governments.

And nobody is complaining! Wow!

(Except for the 8-years of unusually large unemployment that Uncle Sam gifted us in 2008 ...)

Btw, I keep a long-list of European friends who have lived in the US after graduating from university, and they all came back to Europe. Nice place to visit, but. And how about the 3.5 million Americans living long-term in the EU. They aint goin' back either. Why should they when the Health Insurance costs next to nothing because they were sent to work here and stayed. Or when their kids get postsecondary degrees for less than a 1000€ a year.

And, funny enough, since they are mostly "half-American" the kids want to go work stateside - just to see. But they too come back.

I kid you not, and I can take you to a Democrats Abroad meeting here and introduce them to you ...
________________________________

2008 exposed Socialism's primary flaw. They ran out of other peoples money

France's solution to this was to raise taxes on " the rich " to 75%

What idiocy. Did that tax increase fix disparity? Create economic growth? Create new jobs ?

Nop, nope and nope.
 

Lafayette

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WHAT COMES FROM THE WHOLE ...

2008 exposed Socialism's primary flaw. France's solution to this was to raise taxes on " the rich " to 75%.

It was a good idea, but it didn't work. See, here.

The French still pay taxes far greater than the US: 44.6% (of GDP) whilst the US pays only 26.9. (Numbers from here.)

And nobody whimpers like you about the high-taxation, since the return comes from a decent standard of living. Moreover, some New Thinking comes to a very interesting conclusion.

From the Economist, Beyond GDP, excerpt:
A new global comparison of standards of living

MANY people complain that conventional measures of GDP fail to capture a country's true standard of living. But their attempts to improve on these conventional metrics are ad hoc. In a new paper* Charles Jones and Peter Klenow of Stanford University propose a new measure of standards of living based on a simple thought experiment: if you were reborn as a random member of another country, how much could you expect to consume, in goods and leisure, over the course of your life?

America, for example, has a higher GDP per person than France. But Americans also tend to work longer hours and live shorter lives. They also belong to a less equal society. If you assume that people do not know what position in society they will occupy, and that they dislike being poor more than they like being rich, they should prefer more egalitarian societies, everything else equal.

For these reasons, the authors calculate that France and America have about the same standard of living.

... MUST RETURN EQUITABLY TO THE WHOLE

What idiocy. Did that tax increase fix disparity? Create economic growth? Create new jobs ?

I've said this a hundred times on this forum because many, like you, are simplistic about the notion of Income. They are impervious to egalitarian logic, "What comes from the whole, must return equitably to the whole". Not equally, but equitably.

Taxation is a duty since it allows all citizens to contribute to the governance of a nation according to egalitarian principles. Foremost of which is Income Fairness.

And a flat-rate tax of 30% on upper-incomes is the prime reason for Income Disparity in America - where 15% of the population (that's 50 million people) live below the Poverty Threshold, whilst the 1Percenters walk away with 20% of all Income. (See that fact corroborated from the research of Piketty and Saez in the NYT here), here.)

In fact, taxation is so bizarre in the US that 10Percenters obtain nearly half of all Income generated, leaving us 90Percenters to scramble after the other half:
Piketty Top10% Income Share.jpg

Selfish people are blind to the Income Disparity. Because they are basically egotistical and paranoiac that someone, someday, will change those numbers by introducing real progressive taxation.

So, please, forget about the French - who live in a far more Socially Just nation. Concentrate on the opposite situation in America.

MY POINT

As usual, these words will be far beyond the comprehension of Conservative Americans, so indifferent are they to a sense of Social Justice and so overwhelmed by Personal Greed.
______________________________
 

Archer

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You see. I live and work in a Socialist country. In fact, about 70% of the EU countries have or have had Socialists Governments.

And nobody is complaining! Wow!

So basically you're gloating about how white and European Europe is?

That's so racist!

We here in the States have our own problems and peculiar history. Socialism can't work here, with the "black activists" and Hispanidad La Raza nationalists and the white hippie liberals comprising the American left.
 

Fenton

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WHAT COMES FROM THE WHOLE ...



It was a good idea, but it didn't work. See, here.

The French still pay taxes far greater than the US: 44.6% (of GDP) whilst the US pays only 26.9. (Numbers from here.)

And nobody whimpers like you about the high-taxation, since the return comes from a decent standard of living. Moreover, some New Thinking comes to a very interesting conclusion.

From the Economist, Beyond GDP, excerpt:

... MUST RETURN EQUITABLY TO THE WHOLE



I've said this a hundred times on this forum because many, like you, are simplistic about the notion of Income. They are impervious to egalitarian logic, "What comes from the whole, must return equitably to the whole". Not equally, but equitably.

Taxation is a duty since it allows all citizens to contribute to the governance of a nation according to egalitarian principles. Foremost of which is Income Fairness.

And a flat-rate tax of 30% on upper-incomes is the prime reason for Income Disparity in America - where 15% of the population (that's 50 million people) live below the Poverty Threshold, whilst the 1Percenters walk away with 20% of all Income. (See that fact corroborated from the research of Piketty and Saez in the NYT here), here.)

In fact, taxation is so bizarre in the US that 10Percenters obtain nearly half of all Income generated, leaving us 90Percenters to scramble after the other half:
View attachment 67201956

Selfish people are blind to the Income Disparity. Because they are basically egotistical and paranoiac that someone, someday, will change those numbers by introducing real progressive taxation.

So, please, forget about the French - who live in a far more Socially Just nation. Concentrate on the opposite situation in America.

MY POINT

As usual, these words will be far beyond the comprehension of Conservative Americans, so indifferent are they to a sense of Social Justice and so overwhelmed by Personal Greed.
______________________________

You don't need to explain to me why France's " great idea " had to be scrapped.

It was such a " good idea " it had to be abandoned all together. Lol ! And American Conservatives are the ones who are daft ?

Hardly. We're not the ones who are naive enough to be motivated by toxic socialist rhetoric based on envy and hatred

As for France's 75% tax rate, it was just another idiotic tax policy based on some leflt wing morons arbitrary and subjective definition of " fair ".

It led to a 77 % drop in Foreign investment the following year

Oh but thats " America's fault ".....Hardly. Thats the fault of left wing moronic policies that are predicated on envy

A toxic emotion that normal adults ( adults who aren't emotionally stunted) know not to act on.

I gotta ask, were you raised by wolves or something ? Because I was taught not to react out of anger and envy, to think objectively
 
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Lafayette

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A LONG LITANY

You are not speaking to the facts of the matter. You provide no justification for your comments.

They are nothing more than a long, tiresome litany of preconceived notions the purpose of which is to conserve the unfair status-quo. Meaning the wholesale rip-off at the top (of the Income/Wealth pyramids) of the bottom.

You foolishly think that "because it happens" it "should happen", without the slightest proof of any kind that the result is fair and dignified of a mature nation. Because there is no proof.

Throughout history, people have revolted for less.

In fact, 1776 comes to mind in the US, and 1789 in France. Perhaps history in the US needs to repeat itself?

Let's hope fervently that the revolution happens at the ballot-box - because the last time, in France, heads rolled.

"When just is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails" ...
_________________________________________________
 

Lafayette

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{So basically you're gloating about how white and European Europe is?}

Can't possibly imagine how you come up with that comment from what I wrote.

Proof please, otherwise you're just groping in the dark for a rebuttal ...
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We here in the States have our own problems and peculiar history. Socialism can't work here, with the "black activists" and Hispanidad La Raza nationalists and the white hippie liberals comprising the American left.

You can't see beyond your window-blinds, can you.

If MLK came back today to see what has happened to his people, and those of Latino extraction, he 'd cry himself a river ...

Hint:
History of US Median Income by Racial Class.jpg
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President John F. Kennedy...... paraphrasing Chesterton:

“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.” Our Founding Founders strategically placed fences in an effort to balance power among the branches of federal government and the states. This balance has served our nation well and it should not be cast aside.
 

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ABOUT THE EUROPEAN UNION PARLIAMENT

The European Union (EU) is a nation amalgamated of 28 member states. Like the US is a nation combined of 50 states.

The total population represented by the the European Parliament (the highest political entity) is today 745.2M, and that of the US is 322.8M. The population of the EU is 2.3 times larger than the US.

There is no tripartite-governance (Executive, Legislative and Judicial) at the EU level - only a European Court of Law and the EU parliament. The EU has yet to devise a "Presidency", that role largely assumed by national leaders who meet regularly to decide "EU-policy". The EU votes only on matters that are trans-EU in nature. Therefore, tax-policy is variegated across the EU depending upon each nations sentiments regarding the matter.

The EU Parliament is predominantly constituted of Leftist elected members, and looks visually like this:
140512_euparl_graf2.jpg


From the rainbow of colours above, one understands that, unlike the US, in the EU there is no "Two-Party Blocks" of wholly Left and Right. Meaning what? That unlike what is happening in the US, in the EU it is difficult for either of two major parties to determine the nation's political processes by controlling the Legislative apparatus. (This can be very different at the national level, however.)

At present, from the above infographic, the "voting block" on the Left constitutes 68.6% of the total. But that is no guaranty of any "political hegemony" of a Left Block since the parties that make-up the "Left" are heterogeneous in nature.
 

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“Don’t ever take a fence down until you know the reason why it was put up.” Our Founding Founders strategically placed fences in an effort to balance power among the branches of federal government and the states. This balance has served our nation well and it should not be cast aside.

We have a tripartite system of governance - Executive, Legislative, and Judicial. The founding fathers put up fences to assure the integrity and counter-balance of all three forces. We have since found a way to lower the fences.

With little inculcated sense of Democratic Duty, we, the sheeple, have foregone our right to vote. That very same right that many of us died to protect.

Only 37.5% of the electorate voted in the 2010 elections that gave the HofR over to the Replicant Party. Neither could our founding-fathers have thought to what extent TV commercials could prove to be a powerful tool in manipulating public-opinion, thus remaking political outcomes (by means of "partisan funding of our voting process").

The original preoccupation in the 18th century of our founding fathers was to break away from the hegemony of a monarch. Our monarch today is BigMoney, not much different from European monarchies. In the Agricultural Age that ended in the 19th century, wealth was assimilated by waring in order for monarchs to conquer and possess cultivatable land.

In the very same way, today, in the Industrial Age:
*Corporate revenues are generated from market-consolidation (aka "integration") to render them effectively non-competitive, which provides fat-margins to corporate behemoths thus assuring revenues distributed to executive management (by means of bonuses and stock-options), as well as,
*Flat-rate upper-income taxation, that shifts 70% of all obtained revenues up into personal Wealth.

A sweeter-deal for Corporate Wheeler & Dealers is inconceivable! From Market Consolidation to enormous Personal Income to gigantic Net Worth. Wow! What a recipe for success!

That, dear friends, is the Greatness of America. Once again, as in ages past since Roman Times, We, the Sheeple, are being fleeced royally of the fruits of our own hard labor!
__________________________
 
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Lafayette

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Tant pis pour vous donc ...
______________________
 

AlbqOwl

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America's electoral laws are a recipe for chaos

Excerpt:



Articulate as he was, WFB was an ornery guy. But I have to agree with him on this one.

As much as I tire easily of the bird-brain simplicity of Replicants on this forum, I prefer that they be here than were the forum infested with the rabidness I see emanating from the Sanders contingent. (Largely because Bernie does not know how to control them, and he should.)

For as much as I think Sanders is the most like a European Social Democrat, and the Europeans are light-years beyond us Yanks as regards Social Justice, I don't think he can get elected PotUS.

Though he most certainly could get elected President of France, or Sweden and most certainly Poland - the ancestral home of his parents.

We will have enough of a problem getting Hillary elected first female PotUS of the US. It seems everybody is upset with her emails when Snowden has shown how effing it easy it is to obtain anything that is SuperSecret in LaLaLand-on-the-Potomac where government agencies have some of the most antiquated information-systems in existence.

But, that it is not the real point. Which is that Obama won the Female Vote by 11 points (55% to 44%). This factor was crucial because women made up 53% of voters.

Go for it, ladies ... !
_____________________________

Okay speaking as one of the ladies: . . . Europeans are light-years beyond us Yanks as regards to social justice?

It all depends on one's definition of social justice I would think. For me, as a woman in America, social justice for me is the right to live my life as I choose, free of government interference or dictates, so long as I do not require any participation or contribution from any other and so long as I do not interfere with anybody else's unalienable, legal, or constitutional rights.

Social justice for me includes removal of all government barriers to my ability to work when and how I choose, my ability to improve my situation through my own efforts. It is the right to speak what I think, believe what I believe, read what I want, and aspire to achieve whatever my ability and initiative will allow.

For me social justice, among other things, includes having a job available to apply for and the ability to lift myself out of poverty. And it means that I keep and choose how to use what I earn of my own labor or efforts or what is legally mine and contribute to the government only that which the government must have to fulfill its constitutionally authorized responsibilities.

In that, Donald Trump comes much closer to being my champion of social justice than anything Hillary or Sanders have to offer.
 

gavinfielder

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The Economist has it vaguely right for a change, but it barely scratches the surface of the disaster that US voting law is. I just did a research paper on e-voting systems. If anyone wants scary story material, there's this great report from 2005:

  • Only 13 states require national testing and certification of voting machines (page 17)
  • Testing is basically useless for catching major fraud anyway (pages 32-35)
  • even when required, testing and certification doesn't prevent fraud at the operational level, which is easy to do for someone with access, by a variety of ways (pages 25-32)
Rigging an election by e-voting machines is extremely easy for a well-placed person, and those well-placed people tend to either be elected or politically appointed. Probably why pretty much all of Europe has backtracked from e-voting technology in major ways.

There are many areas of policy which are only appropriate to be locally delegated. Election policy is not one of them. With or without e-voting, US functionally has over 10,000 different electoral systems and as a result federal election agencies don't have a ****ing clue what happens in elections. A US national election is when we just kinda have to trust that every county is totally clean and well-regulated, which is obviously utter horse****, and yet we do this every two years and never question it. US electoral processes are backwards-ass dog and pony crapshoots. Some third world countries have more transparent and accountable elections that we do, but nobody ****ing cares because we've basically given up on having a political system that isn't disgustingly corrupt to its core anyway (and then in perfect irony look down on young people when they don't feel like voting. Wonder ****ing why.)
 

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It's a complex question, and a Pew Research Study shows mixed opinions regarding voting results.

Have a look here: U.S. SURVEY RESEARCH - Election polling

Excerpt:
11-15-12-25.png


Frankly, I am more concerned about Voter Turnout - which indicates less confidence in the necessity of voting.

Also: U.S. voter turnout trails most developed countries

The two-party system is broken, and lack of faith in the voting process has provided very mediocre results for a country that prides itself on its "democratic freedom".
______________________________
 
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