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Democratic Deficits (Tequilla fucking long)

AZDuckAZDuck Posts: 13,043
Swaye's Wigwam 10000 Comments 250 Answers Fucktard of the Week Award
I spent a lot of time reading up on EU law back in the 1990's.

One of the big criticisms of the EU from Euroskeptics and just plain old people who gave a shit about transparency and democratic political processes is that the EU's executive (the EU Commission) is not directly elected, and only the Commission can initiate legislation in the EU parliament. Commissioners are selected by the President of the Commission from of each of the 28 EU countries, from a field of candidates suggested by each country.

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Lies, damned lies, and Brexit

Voters have responded by not voting for their EU Parliament MP's, because they don't really matter in the grand scheme of things. This has resulted in lots of silly fringe parties having far more representation at the EU level than the national level e.g. The Party Party from Germany and the irredentist Jobbik Party from Hungary. The EU Parliament has also become an incubation chamber from far-right neo-fascist groupings such as France's National Front, Britain's UKIP, and the Dutch Freedom Party.

EU voters turn out for EU elections at American rates - 43% of eligible voters as compared to 68% turnout across the EU for national elections. The EU government is seen as not having the same legitimacy, seriousness, or power as EU members' respective national governments.

Sound shitty? You bet!

Hence the term "democratic deficit."

At rock bottom, anyone should be concerned when elected representative bodies don't represent the actual will of the people they represent. There also tends to be a strong correlation with democratic deficits and low turnout and corruption. This used to be the case mostly in semi-free republics in Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Funny, those seem to be big problems in our Union these days.

Folks will tell you that the Electoral College is a feature, not a bug, and that the Founders wanted to ensure that smaller States' and lesser-populated States' voices were not drowned out by larger, more urban States.

Of course, the Founders also envisioned a republic of yeoman farmers living on the land, and not a post-industrial nation of city dwellers. They also thought slaves should count in the census, even though they couldn't vote (and the whole point of the census is determining how many electors a State gets at the Electoral College and in the House). Oh yeah, and only the top 6% of white males could even vote in 1789, due to property requirements

So, let's stop fetishizing the Founders a little bit. Yeah, the Constitution was great for 1789, but it is very archaic and hard to amend in 2017.

Besides more voters choosing Hillary last fall, more Americans chose Democratic candidates for Senate and the GOP gained about 20 more seats than their share of the national vote would net them if seats were allocated on a truly proportional basis, as the 14th Amendment seems to call for: "Representatives shall be apportioned among the several States according to their respective numbers".

So, an inherent small-state bias in the Electoral College and the Senate, combined with inaccurate apportionment and outright partisan gerrymandering in the House has led to a government with significant (small d) democratic deficits.

Now if you followed those links I put in the Senate popular vote and gerrymandering, you'll see that the Washington Post doesn't think much of the claims that the Dems got more Senate votes in 2016 and that compact legislative districts for the House are not necessarily the solution to our problems. And they have a point on both counts.

But none of that gets to my fundamental point - which is that at no point in the current iteration of American government is the principle of "one person, one vote" accurately reflected. Not even close.

Our system distorts the value of everyone's votes at every level of Federal government, and probably every state level as well. I'm willing to concede the value of inflating the voice of rural and smaller-state interests to serve the Republic as a whole - I'm just not willing to concede the franchise in toto.

Also, we tend to suffer three layers of distortion in the House. First, as people move, the census gets increasingly inaccurate. States which lose population over time have more power in the election years ending in 6, 8, 0 than the election years ending in 2 and 4. The second is the gerrymandering which happens within states after the census. And the third is the archaic first-part-the-post employed in almost every state, leaving most people to vote tactically for the "least bad" candidate rather than for a party, platform, or candidate which best aligns with their interest. If they vote at all. Non-Presidential election turnout is awful - only 36.4% turned out to vote in 2014, for a Congress that actually has power and stuff.

All of this encourages politicians to become creatures of K Street rather than their home states. Once elected, incumbency brings enormous power and clout, and incumbents are almost impossible to unseat.

The parties which dominate our political discourse don't actually stand for much. Instead each is a tent containing sub-groupings of interests and views that would probably be their own parties in other countries (the Tea Party, the Blue Dogs, the Berniecrats, the Christian Right, the Democratic Leadership Council).

The Swiss have a federal, multi-lingual system of government. Their system is very different from their neighbors, and their economy tends to be more free-market oriented than those of their neighbors. They also have a very large immigrant population, with 25%of the national population not being naturalized Swiss citizens, and many of them come from dirtbag Third World type countries (5.4% Kosovar Albanian, 3.3% Turkish, and so forth). Yet they have one of the highest per capita GDP of any country. Higher than the US, anyway.

Switzerland modeled a great deal of their constitution after the US Constitution in 1848. Both being federal states, the US made a good model for the Swiss who wanted to incorporate democratic principles to their country after an internecine war in 1847.

The Swiss federal system protects small cantons. For example, the canton of Glarus (pop. 40,028) has the same representation (2) in the Council of States (similar to the Senate) as the canton of Zurich (pop. 1,500,000). However, Zurich gets 35 seats in the National Council (similar to the House of Representin') while Glarus gets one. Some cantons, for historical reasons, are half-cantons (like Basel City). They only get one seat at the Council of States, but Basel City gets 5 seats in the National Council.

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Now I understand everyone's shit is emotional right now

But the Swiss have added innovations that keep their politicians in line and subject to the will of the people. Members of the National Council are elected proportionally within the canton. The Swiss cantons probably have greater powers of self-government than US States, and smaller cantons are still probably slightly over-represented in the National Council, but not to a point where each voters' rights are significantly distorted or reduced.

Also, the structure of the Swiss government compels members to compromise. The executive branch is not run by an elected monarch, as the presidency in the US, but is a council of the leading parties in the parliament who share executive functions and rotate the (largely ceremonial) position of head-of-state.

Finally, if the Swiss parliament comes up with a terrible law, 50,000 voters can petition to have the law annulled. At that point a referendum must be held on the law. People will say that this is an invitation to chaos, but in practice very few parliamentary laws have been annulled. Likewise, while the Swiss people can also legislate via initiative at both the cantonal and federal levels, enactment of legislation via initiative is less common than in the US. In part I think that is because the Swiss are the highest rate of satisfaction with their government than any other developed country, certainly higher than most Americans.

What we're doing isn't working - the democratic deficit is higher in the US right now than virtually any other Western country, and those failures are encouraging "illiberal democracies" such as Hungary, Poland and Russia.

There are other models and systems that adapted/used in the American context. Otherwise we're gonna be Brazil with nukes.

whlinderPitchfork51UWhuskytskeetRaceBannonEdwin_BambinoSoutherndawgTierbsHsotBoobs
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Comments

  • YellowSnowYellowSnow Posts: 3,541
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    Chinteresting piece. I used my speed (TL;DR) reading skills to skim through. I am coming around to the idea that we need to scrap the EC. Smaller, less urban states still get their bulwark via the US Senate which I think is enough of a check for where we are at in our history as a Republic. I think the French system of 1 round of popular vote, and if no candidate gets over 50% of the popular vote, you go to a 2nd round of the final 2, would be a good way to go.
    TierbsHsotBoobs
  • AZDuckAZDuck Posts: 13,043
    Swaye's Wigwam 10000 Comments 250 Answers Fucktard of the Week Award
    Thanks. I'm open to ideas. I just think that what we're doing isn't working, and polarization is going to kill the Republic sooner rather than later.
    YellowSnowpawzTierbsHsotBoobs
  • salemcoogsalemcoog Posts: 6,222
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    Special interests and their moneys are too deep seated in Congress and State governments to make going to a popular vote make a dent. And if the shoes were on the other foot, you wouldn't be wanting that anyway. Presidents don't control special interest donors. In fact it would be the other way around. Trump's appeal was that He didn't owe any special interests anything and therefore wouldn't be subject to their wants when making policy.
    Trump needs to play ball with members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to get anything changed. He isn't doing that. Instead He's using his rattle aka Twitter to try to influence his change, It will never work. All the while the media , the leakers and the other party dedicates all their energy to pretend that Russia is the special interest that owns Trump. While it's clear there is some pre election contact, it will turn out to be about as compelling as Oregon's ban hammer.

    Trump needs to do 2 things, put up his rattle aka Twitter and hang out in Capitol hill and get meetings with those on the other side to use what his talent is, negotiating.
    AZDuckTierbsHsotBoobs
  • doogiedoogie Posts: 5,003
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    Europe is fucked up. We all know that. Always has been. Why are you so keen to follow failure down a rat hole?
    AZDuckTierbsHsotBoobs
  • AZDuckAZDuck Posts: 13,043
    Swaye's Wigwam 10000 Comments 250 Answers Fucktard of the Week Award
    doogie said:

    Europe is fucked up. We all know that. Always has been. Why are you so keen to follow failure down a rat hole?

    Yeah, Switzerland is a total piece of shit country. That's why they make more money than we do and everything's all clean and shit
    UWhuskytskeetEdwin_BambinoTierbsHsotBoobs
  • AZDuckAZDuck Posts: 13,043
    Swaye's Wigwam 10000 Comments 250 Answers Fucktard of the Week Award
    I guess you're right. Your insightful poast made me check the facts.

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    Davos
    TierbsHsotBoobs
  • doogiedoogie Posts: 5,003
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    Hondo territory now.
    AZDuckCirrhosisDawgRaceBannonWoofSoutherndawgTierbsHsotBoobs
  • Pitchfork51Pitchfork51 Posts: 5,347
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    I read and mainly took from it that you are an unamerican freedom hater who thinks Hillary Clinton is the rightful president.

    CirrhosisDawgRaceBannonSoutherndawgTierbsHsotBoobs
  • AZDuckAZDuck Posts: 13,043
    Swaye's Wigwam 10000 Comments 250 Answers Fucktard of the Week Award
    edited July 27

    I read and mainly took from it that you are an unamerican freedom hater who thinks Hillary Clinton is the rightful president.

    image
    image
    Pitchfork51Southerndawg
  • RaceBannonRaceBannon Posts: 25,757
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    This post is for our Bama visitor regarding UW and how they match/fit with what Bama does. Most of this stuff will be something that will probably be discussed at length when we record the next edition of the TSIO Podcast next week ... so if you don't like the length of this post, then FUCK OFF!!! and don't read anymore.

    It will be important for UW to put themselves in positions where they always have a check down option(s) for Jake to get rid of the ball in a hurry. 4-5 yard gains against Alabama keep you ahead of the sticks ... that's important. LSU is actually a very important game to watch because it shows what happens when you have a good defense coupled with an offense that does not give Alabama EASY scoring opportunities. That's a good blue print for figuring out how you can stay competitive against Alabama. LSU's biggest problem in that game was that their offense and in particular the QB position was so inept that Alabama didn't respect the passing game much at all and was able to focus on the run game. UW is by far more balanced ... I don't think it's close to a stretch to say that they are the most balanced team Alabama has played all year by a long shot. That will cause some issues for Alabama.

    Another thing I've noticed when watching some of the Ole Miss game is that Alabama almost always brings a slot corner or a MLB (or both) in a blitz situation against teams that spread them out. It not only helps to slow down any run situations that may come, but allows the secondary to squat on routes and not be concerned about plays down the field. Picking up those blitzes and giving a pocket will be critical because IF you can get situations where the WRs are 1 on 1 versus the Alabama secondary, you do have opportunities to create some chunk plays. And, the blitzes that Alabama runs really aren't that hard to figure out where they are coming from. They tend to tip the blitz location.

    For UW, the LT, LG, and RT are good enough to compete at this level. In the USC game, the LG was coming back from an injury and I do question how healthy he was. We "hopefully" learned a few things from that game that can help us going forward. UW's 2 most basic formations that they run are 2 WR, 2 TE, 1 RB and 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 RB. Alabama is very strong when you get them in a position where they line up and are able to easily identify their responsibilities. A staple of Chris Petersen's offenses though are shifts and motions and I suspect that we'll try to use those situations to either out-flank or confuse the Alabama defense and get a bust in their assignments. UW has at least 3 TEs that they rotate into the game that all are very good run blockers with Darrell Daniels a potential option if they decide to use him in the passing game (which I think could work very well for UW in this game). I expect our line to be in positions where we will be chipping at least one of the edge rushers each time with the TE before releasing ... the TE releasing should quiet some of the middle blitzes from Alabama. I'd expect the C + RG to combo block a fair amount and our RBs often stay in to block so I'd expect that whichever guard isn't being helped with combo blocking will get focus from the RB.

    Alabama is very well coached and very fundamentally sound (that shows up big time compared to other SEC teams and the mistakes that they tend to make play after play). It will be important to use some of that against them by going against tendencies from time to time. To slow Alabama down defensively, you have to get them in a position where they are thinking versus reacting and getting them to question what it is that they are seeing. IF Washington can be successful in this, then you have yourself a ball game.

    Defensively, the 3 DTs for Washington (Gaines, Qualls, and Vea) are stout and will be a handful for the Alabama middle run game. As others have noted here, the secondary will be as good as any that Alabama has seen this year. Budda Baker is as good of a safety as there is in the country. The weakness to the defense is at the OLB positions. To slow Alabama's offense down, you have to make Hurts a passer. Kiffin tries to limit the exposure of Hurts by giving him a lot of quick throws and screens to get the ball out and into the hands of playmakers. We're very familiar with that with Kiffin and Sark being from the same tree. The quick WR screens will be hard pressed to work against Jones/King on the outside ... as good of a CB tandem as Alabama has seen all year and one of the best in the nation. Not only are they good in coverage, but they are excellent tacklers particularly in the quick WR screen game. The defense has gotten better since they moved Taylor Rapp in to play S and moved Budda more into a slot corner/rover type of role. IF and this is a big IF Washington can keep Hurts from beating them with his legs, then Washington should be able to limit Alabama's offense.

    You've noted in a few different areas looking at yardage totals as a measure of the UW defense and specifically cited certain games and yardage totals. One thing you have to understand about the PAC is that teams here like to push play totals upwards of 80-100 on a game by game basis. It's important to look at things from a yard per play basis when looking at the running and passing games. And I also think it's important to look at things from a conference only or P5 only standpoint versus your entire schedule because the entire schedule can be skewed by a few overmatched opponents.

    Washington in conference has given up 4 yards per carry in the run game. The games where UW has given up over 4 yards per carry are as follows:

    Arizona: 43 for 308 (7.2 yards per carry)
    Oregon: 43 for 230 (5.3 yards per carry)
    Oregon St: 30 for 177 (5.9 yards per carry)
    Utah: 47 for 213 (4.5 yards per carry)

    The Arizona game is unique and probably what they do is most similar to what Auburn runs in that the QB is a massive running threat. 176 of those yards came from Arizona's QB ... which is why I said that the biggest obstacle in this game for the UW defense is stopping Hurts in the run game. There's a lot of read option that Arizona runs and if there's a big weakness to the UW defense at times it is that it doesn't like to change what it does to start games. They will adjust at halftime if needed and against both Arizona and Utah the adjustments made really slowed down the opposition offense ... the only plays given up in the 2nd half to Arizona were really a couple of broken plays that hit big. Utah's run game dramatically slowed down in the 2nd half as we brought an extra body into the box and forced Utah to beat us with their passing game. The Oregon game was 70-21 ... I don't read a lot into that. And as for Oregon St, 75 of the 177 yards came on a jet sweep in the 2nd half of a blowout game ... although it was against the #1 defense ... a defense that came out very flat in the 2nd half.

    In the last 5 games (Cal, USC, ASU, Wazzu, and Colorado), the yards per rush have been 3.7, 3.1, 0.6, 2.7, and 2.8.

    I think even most SEC fans would admit that the QB play in the PAC is usually better than that in the SEC top to bottom in the conference. In conference games, Washington is allowing a completion percentage of 56.5%, 5.8 yards per attempt, and 10.3 yards per completion. In contrast, Alabama's numbers are 52.5% completion percentage against, 6.2 yards per attempt, and 11.9 yards per completion. If there's an area where you could look at the stats and question UW's secondary, it'd be in the completion percentage number as 6 times in 10 conference games have the opposition completed over 60% of their passes. But this also goes to show why completion percentage can be a very misleading stat because when you go back and watch the tape of UW, what you see from them is that they have no problem letting you check it down whether it be screens, rollouts, etc. What they do though extremely well is rally up and tackle those opportunities. Very rarely do you beat a team by making 15+ play drives going 80 yards ... somewhere along the line you're going to get a holding penalty or something to back you behind the sticks or you're going to try to push a pass, etc. that turns into a turnover ... which Washington has averaged over 2 turnovers per game the entire season (they've generated multiple turnovers in every game this season except for the 0 turnovers caused at Utah - hence why that game was relatively close).

    The defenses that are probably most similar to UW in the SEC are LSU and maybe Florida ... and the funny thing when you look at those games is that Hurts wasn't really an effective passer:

    LSU: 10 of 19 for 107 yards
    Florida: 11 of 20 for 138 yards

    The keys for this game from a UW perspective:

    1) Field Position: Limit turnovers and force Alabama to go a full field on a consistent basis
    2) Turnover Margin: +2 or better will give UW the chance to be in the game in the 4th quarter
    3) Bring the Alabama defense out of its comfort zone by emphasizing motion and shifts
    4) Contain Hurts in the running game and force him to win with his arm
    5) Special Teams: Must play at least even here

    I definitely think that UW can stay within 2 TDs in this game. The computer models are saying that UW has about a 1 in 3 shot to win the game ... yet the money line in Vegas is UW +575 or thereabouts. That's a lot of value. The public perception is that Alabama is so elite that nobody is in their class ... my perception is that the SEC was a really bad league this year. Alabama is rightly the favorite ... they should be. But this will be a game.

    TYFYS
    TierbsHsotBoobs
  • PurpleThrobberPurpleThrobber Posts: 7,964
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    AZDuck said:

    Thanks. I'm open to ideas. I just think that what we're doing isn't working, and polarization is going to kill the Republic sooner rather than later.

    Make people who live in blue areas spend a mandatory six months traveling the red states.
  • Pitchfork51Pitchfork51 Posts: 5,347
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    AZDuck said:

    Thanks. I'm open to ideas. I just think that what we're doing isn't working, and polarization is going to kill the Republic sooner rather than later.

    Make people who live in blue areas spend a mandatory six months traveling the red states.
    They would never deign to go somewhere without 4 Starbucks per block
  • CuntWaffleCuntWaffle Posts: 13,329
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    Europe sucks. It will always be the place people will pretend to move to when they are SICK and DISGUSTED with this country!
    RaceBannonGrundleStiltzkinSoutherndawg
  • CirrhosisDawgCirrhosisDawg Posts: 1,119
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    AZDuck said:

    Thanks. I'm open to ideas. I just think that what we're doing isn't working, and polarization is going to kill the Republic sooner rather than later.

    Make people who live in blue areas spend a mandatory six months traveling the red states.
    Curious what you think that will accomplish? We'll see some likable but unemployable dumbfucks with no skills or education, but who make kickass whiskey and bar b q?

    Btw, I have all the respect in the world for the throbber.
    AZDuck
  • UWhuskytskeetUWhuskytskeet Posts: 3,071
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    AZDuck said:

    Thanks. I'm open to ideas. I just think that what we're doing isn't working, and polarization is going to kill the Republic sooner rather than later.

    Make people who live in blue areas spend a mandatory six months traveling the red states.
    They would never deign to go somewhere without 4 Starbucks per block
    Blue states need to support small businesses like Walmart.
  • BearsWiinBearsWiin Posts: 2,300
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    edited July 27
    AZDuck said:

    Thanks. I'm open to ideas. I just think that what we're doing isn't working, and polarization is going to kill the Republic sooner rather than later.

    Competitive redistricting will go along way towards lowering polarization (first in elected representatives then in the populace at large, it's one thing that really does trickle down), and campaign finance reform will go a long way toward reducing "bought" behavior among representation - and will free representatives from the time-consuming drudgery of begging for money, which is what many say they spend up to half of their work time doing.

    Rules determine outcomes. Make better rules, get better outcomes. No need to convene a Constitutional Congress; simple legislation will do the trick.
    pawz
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