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  1. #1
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    Voter suppression in the US

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a North Carolina Supreme Court ruling that had upheld the state’s Republican-drawn legislative and congressional districts.
    The nation’s highest court ordered the state’s highest court to reconsider whether legislators relied too heavily on race when drawing the 2011 maps, which shape how state and federal elections are decided.
    In an order released Monday, the U.S. justices ordered North Carolina’s highest court to reconsider the 2011 maps in light of a recent decision the court made in a similar Alabama case.
    The North Carolina case is Dickson v. Rucho. Dickson is former state Rep. Margaret Dickson, who said in a statement Monday that North Carolinians “deserve to have this resolved so that they can benefit from fair and legal maps for the 2016 elections.”

    “We have always known that the current maps were unconstitutional and are gratified that the Supreme Court of the United States has now set in motion a way forward for final disposition of this long-running and wrongly-decided case,” she said in the statement.

    Attorneys for Dickson asked the N.C. Supreme Court shortly after the ruling to quickly schedule a hearing on the matter.
    Monday’s decision was set in motion in March, when the U.S. justices issued a divided ruling in the Alabama case, saying the court there must take another look at whether Alabama’s Republican-led legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew the state’s voting districts in a way that black leaders say limited minority voting power.

    In that case, the justices split 5-4 across ideological lines in ruling that a three-judge panel had not properly considered complaints that state officials illegally packed black voters into too few voting districts.
    Writing for the court, Justice Stephen Breyer said the lower court should have reviewed claims of racial gerrymandering on a district-by-district level, not just statewide. He also said the court didn’t apply the right test when it found that race wasn’t the primary motivating factor.

    Breyer said both the district court and the state legislature relied too much on a “mechanically numerical” view of whether the new plan reduced minority voting strength. Instead of asking how it could maintain the minority percentages in districts, the court should have asked what percentages the minority should have to elect their candidate of choice.
    “Asking the wrong question may well have led to the wrong answer,” Breyer said.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy, often a swing vote, joined the court’s four liberals in the majority, including justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

    North Carolina attorneys and voting rights advocates who have challenged the new legislative and congressional districts approved by the N.C. General Assembly in 2011 watched the Alabama case with great interest.
    Anita Earls, executive director for the Southern Coalition for Social Justice, has said that she and other challengers of the North Carolina maps think they have a stronger case, in many ways, than the Alabama case.
    “The decision in the Alabama case makes clear that the Voting Rights Act does not require, and the Constitution does not permit, the use of mechanical racial targets in redistricting, as was done in North Carolina,” Earls said.

    Though Earls and other challengers contend the North Carolina maps drawn after the U.S. Census in 2010 were gerrymanders designed to weaken the voting power of African-American and Latino voters, the districts have been upheld by a three-judge panel and the N.C. Supreme Court.
    But now the N.C. justices will have to take another look at the case, focusing on the questions and issues raised by the U.S. justices.
    Rep. David Lewis, a Republican from Harnett County, and Sen. Bob Rucho, a Republican from Mecklenburg County, chairmen of the legislative redistricting committees that led the map drawing, speculated that the N.C. Supreme Court would come to the same conclusion it did in December, when upholding the unanimous ruling of the three-judge panel that heard the case in N.C. Superior Court.
    “Since 2011, every court that has issued an opinion and the Obama Justice Department has reached the same conclusion – North Carolina’s redistricting maps are constitutional,” Lewis and Rucho said in a joint statement on Monday. “Today’s procedural ruling is not unexpected and we are confident that our state Supreme Court will once again arrive at the same result and the U.S. Supreme Court will affirm its decision.”
    In March, Phil Berger, the state Senate leader, and Tim Moore, the N.C. House speaker, said in a joint statement that they had not expected the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Alabama case to have an impact on North Carolina.

    “The Alabama and North Carolina redistricting cases involve different questions of law, and legislative leaders do not believe today’s Supreme Court decision impacts the North Carolina case,” they said at the time.
    Like other states, the North Carolina General Assembly had to redraw political boundaries to reflect population shifts in the 2010 Census. The process can often lead to accusations of gerrymandering – the manipulation of district boundaries to gain a partisan advantage.
    Republicans, new to power then, point out that districts in counties where “pre-clearance” was necessary were pre-approved by the U.S. Justice Department.


    Supreme Court tosses NC court decision on GOP-drawn voting district maps | The Charlotte Observer The Charlotte Observer
    Last edited by bsnub; 29-04-2015 at 02:20 PM.

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    This could redraw the election map in the south and totally fcuk the GOP. They are stealing elections down there by grouping blacks and latinos into concentrated districts to dilute there votes. Voter dilution as well as suppression is how these scum get elected.

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    Republicans Got Only 52 Percent of the Vote in House Races

    How did they end up with 57 percent of the seats?


    As the final Election Day votes are being counted, national attention has focused on the Republicans’ near-sweep of close elections for Senate and governor. But elections for the other congressional branch deserve more scrutiny. Given that Republicans will only win about 52 percent of votes in House races, how are they ending up with 57 percent of seats? Why did Democrats concede control of the House months ago, even when congressional approval is so low?
    The reason is bracing to believers in accountable and representative government. The House is shockingly skewed toward the Republican Party. It’s always hard to oust incumbents—some 96 percent just won re-election—but now it extends to control of the chamber. In 2012, Republicans won a lopsided majority of seats despite securing only 48 percent of the vote, about the same vote share as Democrats this year. To keep the House in 2014, Republican needed only 45 percent of votes. Putting it another way: control of the House comes from winning 218 races or more. The 218th biggest Republican margin was fully 14 percentage points.
    Looking forward, it’s even worse for Democrats. FairVote’s Monopoly Politics projection model was, as usual, highly accurate in this election—of 368 projections made a year ago, only two were wrong. We’ve already released our projections for 2016—that’s two years away, folks—and picked sure winners in 373 districts, leaving only 14 percent of the House even potentially in play. To win a majority of 218 House seats, we project that Democratic candidates would need to win ten million more votes than Republicans.
    Imagine if analysts assumed that structural bias in the Electoral College would allow the Democrats to keep the White House in 2016 even if their candidate lost by 10 million votes. That distortion would stir an uproar—remember that when Al Gore lost in 2000, he had won the popular vote by 500,000 votes. Yet the partisan skew in House elections draws barely a yawn.
    There’s every reason to care. Our founders designed the House to reflect the people, yet its leaders today are electorally unaccountable to voters in November. All Republican House leaders and committee chairs represent safely Republican districts won by Mitt Romney in 2012, and now an absolute majority of House seats will be held by Republicans in Romney-won districts. With little to fear from general election voters, Republicans representing such districts are incentivized to play to their party’s base to fend off primary challengers. The 113th Congress was one of the least productive in history, and it’s hard to see the 114th Congress being much better.
    Gerrymandering Is Only Part of the Story
    Those who notice the partisan skew usually misrepresent its origins by placing the blame either on gerrymandering or campaign spending. Yes, gerrymandering is wrong, and Republicans leaders in swing states like Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania drew brutally unfair congressional maps—ones where Republicans packed Democrats into relatively few districts and won most of the rest. But the skew’s origins run deeper. It’s a combination of a changing electorate and increasingly politically polarized voting.
    Over the past twenty-five years, Democratic gains in the electorate have come from increases in the number of voters who are people of color and single women, but Democrats have lost support among white voters overall. The result is a startling urban/rural divide, with the Democratic base increasingly concentrated in cities—as evidenced by the fact Jimmy Carter in 1976 won 1,711 counties, nearly three times the 693 counties won by Obama in his comparably close win in 2012. This inefficient distribution of Democratic votes explains why even impartial redistricting will strongly favor Republicans. Indeed, the district skew was already in place by 1996, when Bill Clinton ran behind his national share of the popular vote in 55 percent of districts despite Democrats having drawn most of them—exactly the same share of districts where Obama trailed his national average in 2012.
    In 2006 and 2008, Democrats won the House, but only by winning in dozens of Republican-leaning districts. That route to retaking the House has become much harder. Fewer voters now split their tickets between Republicans and Democrats. In 2012, Democrats failed to take over a seat in Romney’s best 201 districts, and after 2014, Democrats represent only five of the 226 districts carried by Romney.
    Politically polarized voting largely explains the Senate and House election outcomes this year, but it next extends down to state legislature. Of the hundreds of legislative districts in Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, fewer than ten have a representative from a party whose presidential nominee didn’t win that district’s vote. In this partisan reality, any House district where one party has an underlying advantage of just 53 percent to 47 percent is essentially safe for an incumbent absent personal scandal or a national partisan wave.
    A Reform Roadmap
    There is only one way to ensure that partisan representation in Congress accurately reflects voters in congressional elections: replace winner-take-all, single-winner elections with fair representation forms of proportional representation. Proportional representation describes a family of electoral systems in which like-minded voters earn representation in proportion to their share of the vote. In fair representation systems, which are already used to elect more than 100 city councils and schools boards, from Peoria, Illinois, to Amarillo, Texas, voters are directly cast for candidates (instead of for parties, as in other forms of proportional representation).
    Winning fair representation for the House is not a pipedream. More than a quarter of House seats before 1842 were elected in multi-winner districts, most state legislators were elected in multi-winner districts as recently as the 1950s, and most local officials today represent multi-winner districts. We don’t support the winner-take-all rules that were used in these multi-winner races, but Illinois showcased how fair representation voting works when it elected its house of representatives with a cumulative voting system in three-winner district until 1980, when a misguided ballot initiative shrunk the size of the legislature and installed winner-take-all elections. Former state Treasurer Judy Baar Topinka captured what most old-timers in Illinois say when writing, a decade ago, “Cumulative voting provided proportional representation, a fairer way for the public to participate. It could accommodate more women, ethnic and minority legislators, independents and yes, even ‘characters’ who march to different drummers and dare to push the envelope with new ideas and visions for Illinois.”
    Eliminating winner-take-all only takes a congressional statute. Our proposed legislation requires states to adopt fair representation voting methods in larger, multi-winner elections. As detailed in FairVote’s interactive map at FairVoting.US, just over a quarter of voters would then have the power to elect a representative in a three-winner district, and 17 percent of voters would do so in a five-winner district. One example of a fair representation method would be ranked choice voting, as used today in Minneapolis and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and by every voter in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and Scotland. Voters rank candidate in order of choice, with backup choices counting in the event their first choice loses, and nearly all voters ending up electing a preferred candidate. The result would be that voters would almost always be able to vote for candidates they truly believe in and end up with representatives who fairly reflecting each district’s left, center and right—Republicans would win in Manhattan, Democrats in Oklahoma and so on.
    As an example, Louisiana would replace its six single-winner districts that are now locked down for five Republicans and one Democrat with two competitive multi-winner districts each with three seats. African-Americans in both districts would have the power to elect representatives, as would conservative Republicans. Each district’s third seat would be in play, with the winner better representing the more moderate voters who are nearly shut out of House elections in the South today.
    By expanding the number of voters able to elect preferred candidates, our FairVoting.us plan completely eliminates today’s partisan skew—winning 51 percent of the vote nationwide would mean earning the most seats. Democrats and Republicans would likely be elected to represent voters everywhere in the nation. That would mean every district would be meaningfully contested and both parties would better represent their “big tent” of supporters even as independents and minor parties could hold the major parties more accountable. Women and racial minorities would among the beneficiaries, making them important allies in our drive for reform.
    Can we win fair representation? Republicans may not take the lead, as they would lose their unfair advantage in House elections, but many Republicans want to be able to compete in areas with Democratic majorities and better adapt to our changing electorate in order to win the White House. Democrats that have the most to gain, of course, and many congressional Democrats already back legislation to take on gerrymandering with independent redistricting commissions. But that in itself won’t end the partisan skew nor do much for women, racial minorities and stranded Democrats in Republican turf. It’s time to think bigger, support fair representation, and rally behind the goal of achieving truly free and fair elections for Congress.


    Republicans Got Only 52 Percent of the Vote in House Races | The Nation

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    Steny Hoyer: House Democrats won majority of 2012 popular vote

    Republicans control the U.S. House of Representatives by 33 seats, an advantage Speaker John Boehner once suggested gives them a mandate to block tax increases.

    Some House Democrats have countered this idea with their own talking point: GOP members may control more seats, but they did not win the popular vote in 2012.

    U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 Democrat in the House, mentioned it to Capitol reporters on Feb. 12, 2013.

    "The American people elected a Democratic president, a Democratic Senate, and the majority of them voted for a Democratic House, but we have a Republican House, and it's necessary for all sides to come together and take responsible action," Hoyer said.

    It’s a claim that’s been repeated several times in recent months, so we decided to check it out.

    Hoyer spokeswoman Stephanie Young directed us to a December 2012 analysis by the Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan, Washington, D.C. publication that analyzes and handicaps congressional and gubernatorial races, with the headline "House GOP Won 49 Percent of Votes, 54 Percent of Seats." (The story and corresponding chart are accessible to subscribers only.)

    By Cook’s calculations, House Democrats out-earned their Republican counterparts by 1.17 million votes. Read another way, Democrats won 50.59 percent of the two-party vote. Still, they won just 46.21 percent of seats, leaving the Republicans with 234 seats and Democrats with 201.

    It was the second time in 70 years that a party won the majority of the vote but didn’t win a majority of the House seats, according to the analysis.

    The National Republican Congressional Committee did not dispute these findings. NRCC spokesman Dan Scarpinato pointed out that Republicans enjoy a comfy majority, their second largest since World War II (234 seats in 2012, 242 seats in 2010).

    Cook’s House editor David Wasserman pointed to two "unprecedented" factors that explain the phenomenon: the thick concentration of Democratic votes in urban areas and the GOP’s wide control of drawing congressional districts in 2010.

    For the record, Wasserman considers the House popular vote an imperfect read of the nation’s attitude about House party control, for several reasons. Weak opposition to incumbents in many districts will usually lead to a bloated vote count for the incumbent party. In some districts, a "personally popular moderate" will usually outperform his or her party’s national popularity. And a new top-two primary system in California, which featured eight districts with races between two Democrats or two Republicans, meant the other party did not get any votes in some cases.

    Regardless, he wrote, House Democrats will need to win 55 percent of all House votes cast in order to win a majority of seats for the next decade. (That has only happened twice in the last 15 cycles, he wrote.)

    What if we consider votes for candidates whose political party is not Democratic or Republican?

    Michael McDonald, George Mason University public affairs professors, says it’s almost certain the Democrats would not maintain their majority of the popular vote. However, the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives, which publishes official vote counts of federal elections, has not yet posted its 2012 tally. (McDonald thought the delay in posting may be due to New York pushing back its reporting due to Hurricane Sandy.)

    Still, "I am certain we will find that the Democrats received more votes than Republicans," McDonald said.

    Wasserman compiled his own tally of the national popular vote for House races. With the addition of late December data from New York, the Democratic advantage widened to 1.36 million votes.

    According to his breakdown, House Democratic candidates got 49.15 percent of the vote, Republicans got 48.03 percent, and other candidates got 2.81 percent. Again, that means the Democrats gained a plurality of the vote.

    Looking at the data this way shows that third parties, not Democrats, are really more disenfranchised in terms of votes versus seats, said Eric McGhee, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California.

    "They win almost 3 percent of the vote but get 0 percent of the seats," McGhee said.

    Our ruling

    Hoyer said the majority of Americans "voted for a Democratic House." We found an impartial and thorough analysis that supports his claim, at least when considering votes for the two dominant parties. Indeed, Democrats earned a majority.

    When considering votes for candidates of all parties, House Democrats still earned the most votes. But the share is a plurality, not a majority. It’s a small but noteworthy difference.

    Steny Hoyer: House Democrats won majority of 2012 popular vote | PolitiFact

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    Federal judges bring Va. one step closer to a new congressional map

    Another domino falls. Hopefully this will become a national trend. If so it is the end of the Republican party as we know it. Without stacking the deck they cant win elections...

    RICHMOND — A panel of federal judges issued a ruling Friday that Virginia lawmakers illegally concentrated African American voters into one congressional district to reduce their influence elsewhere, bringing the state a step closer to being forced to redraw its election map.
    The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia affirmed its earlier decision and ordered the Virginia House of Delegates to redraw the state’s 11-district congressional map by Sept. 1.
    The costly and time-consuming process would force the General Assembly back to Richmond for a special session this summer.
    But an appeal from the state’s congressional Republicans could derail that timetable.
    Attorney Michael A. Carvin, who represented Virginia’s Republican congressional delegation in their appeal of the court’s decision, said another appeal is likely.
    “There’s a good chance that we will,” he said. “It was wrong for the same reason the original decision was wrong.”
    Democrats and advocates for reducing the influence of politics on redistricting applauded Friday’s decision. And they could benefit politically: Diluting the African American makeup of the state’s black-majority district would make adjacent districts less Republican and potentially vulnerable to Democratic challenge.
    The suit was brought by Marc E. Elias of the law firm Perkins Coie and funded by the National Democratic Redistricting Trust.
    “I’m happy that the federal court, for the second time, has found that the Republican legislative map was an unconstitutional racial gerrymander,” Elias said. “I look forward to the state of Virginia enacting a constitutional map by the September 1st deadline that the court provided.”
    House of Delegates Speaker William J. Howell (R-Stafford) said he supports letting the case play out fully in court.
    “The House of Delegates fully intends to exercise its legal right to attempt to remedy any flaw ultimately found by the courts with respect to the current congressional districts,” he said. “However, we maintain that the defendants should have the opportunity to fully litigate this case.”
    Because of the special nature of redistricting challenges, appeals from three-judge panels go directly to the U.S. Supreme Court. The justices are required to summarily affirm or reverse the decision or accept the case for full briefing and argument.
    The case could foreshadow the court’s decision in a separate but very similar case — also brought by Elias — that calls into question the constitutionality of a dozen Virginia House of Delegates districts on similar grounds. That case has yet to go to trial.
    The stakes are high for Howell in the legislative case because his Republican supermajority helped craft and ultimately approved the maps. He also petitioned to be part of the case to defend them.
    Republicans hold eight of the state’s 11 congressional seats — a lopsided reality that stands in contrast to the fact that the GOP has not won a statewide election in Virginia since 2009. Democrats regularly point to that statistic as evidence of the gerrymandering of district boundaries.
    In October, the same federal court ruled similarly — that the General Assembly must redraw the congressional maps because the current plan “packs” African American voters into Democrat Robert C. Scott’s 3rd Congressional District at the expense of their influence elsewhere.
    While an appeal from the congressional delegation played out in that case, the Supreme Court in March made a high-profile ruling in an Alabama case, requiring lower courts to look more closely at whether lawmakers make race the predominant factor in drawing new district lines after the 2010 census.
    [Supreme Court hands win to opponents of Alabama redistricting plan]
    Around the same time, the high court ordered the lower court in the Virginia case to reconsider its decision to uphold district maps — which it did on Friday.
    The Virginia and Alabama cases hinge on when it is legal to use race to draw district boundaries.
    Del. Charniele L. Herring (D-Alexandria), chairwoman of the House Democratic Caucus, said she was not surprised by Friday’s ruling.
    “We need to redraw the map. It’s important that the voters choose their representatives and not the other way around,” she said.
    Redistricting is regularly blamed for the partisanship that often defines the legislative process.
    In this year’s General Assembly session, proponents of nonpartisan redistricting pushed to remove politics from the process with a raft of bills but none passed.
    Advocates of restructuring argue that under the current system, districts are drawn to protect incumbents. As a result, they tend to include populations that lean heavily toward one party over the other — attracting candidates who appeal to the extremes of their parties at the expense of bipartisanship and moderation.
    Brian Cannon, executive director of OneVirginia2021, which pushes for nonpartisan redistricting, said: “This just proves the General Assembly can’t handle the responsibility of doing this without some kind of reform.”


    Federal judges bring Va. one step closer to a new congressional map - The Washington Post

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    Thailand Expat Black Heart's Avatar
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    Good thread, bsnub.

    The whole "gerrymandering" process, regardless of party, has always been undemocractic, IMO.

    I don't know what can replace it, or if there is a true democratic way when it comes to districts.

    And far as the GOP diminshing, and the Dems growing larger and larger.

    I'd rather see some sort of balance among the two. Whenever one party is larger than the other, they end up being bad, IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Heart
    I'd rather see some sort of balance among the two. Whenever one party is larger than the other, they end up being bad, IMO.
    To be honest the US needs a new government. The senate is totally obsolete. I mean why should 750k people in North Dakota have as much voice as 40 million Californians. It is absurd.

    Also the two party system does not work. That should go away as well replace with a true multi party system free of lobbyists and special interests.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat MrG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Heart
    I'd rather see some sort of balance among the two. Whenever one party is larger than the other, they end up being bad, IMO.
    Then again, that's democracy. I don't know exactly what you are saying, but the mechanism to control runaway popular will in a "pure democracy", for example, is a representative democracy, which is what we have, or was at least designed to be before oligarchy set in. Trying to stifle a popularly elected official seems like the road to democracy Thai style.

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    Thailand Expat Black Heart's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrG View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Heart
    I'd rather see some sort of balance among the two. Whenever one party is larger than the other, they end up being bad, IMO.
    Then again, that's democracy. I don't know exactly what you are saying,
    By balance I usually don't like one particular with super-majorities or the same party in the Executive branch more than 8 years consecutively. (But of course, it also depends on the particular candidates for potus).

    but the mechanism to control runaway popular will in a "pure democracy", for example, is a representative democracy, which is what we have, or was at least designed to be before oligarchy set in. Trying to stifle a popularly elected official seems like the road to democracy Thai style.
    IMO, the US is a "representative democracy" by name but in reality an oligarchy, as it was recently defined as by one organization.

    Both parties are more the same than differences. There are differences on some issues, of course. But in general it's a duo-policy of 2 parties that are only cosmetically different.

    Pick your poison: the knife in the back or the guillotine.

  10. #10
    I am in Jail

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    Snubbly are you aware this is a Thai forum.?

    Your posts are all about American politics, whats the story have you been banned from all the American forums.?

  11. #11
    Head Skivvie Stacker Storekeeper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Heart
    I'd rather see some sort of balance among the two. Whenever one party is larger than the other, they end up being bad, IMO.
    To be honest the US needs a new government. The senate is totally obsolete. I mean why should 750k people in North Dakota have as much voice as 40 million Californians. It is absurd.

    Also the two party system does not work. That should go away as well replace with a true multi party system free of lobbyists and special interests.
    Except for the gerrymandering scheme our system seems to work exactly the way the framers intended.

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    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower View Post
    Snubbly are you aware this is a Thai forum.?

    Your posts are all about American politics, whats the story have you been banned from all the American forums.?
    Because here he can cut and paste whatever he wants without being contradicted since nobody gives a shit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Storekeeper
    Except for the gerrymandering scheme our system seems to work exactly the way the framers intended.
    Fuck the "framers" would all be dead. They would be on that tree of liberty. They would have....oh never mind...

    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    Because here he can cut and paste whatever he wants without being contradicted since nobody gives a shit.
    Hmm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post

    To be honest the US needs a new government. .
    Absolutely!

    Let's have that commie there in Seattle - that commie chick you bragged about, turn this country around!

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    Thailand Expat Black Heart's Avatar
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    This thread can keep going in a good way.

    Election season is not far away. 17 months. (Good thing or bad thing?)

    I call it "silly season."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower View Post
    Snubbly are you aware this is a Thai forum.?

    Your posts are all about American politics, whats the story have you been banned from all the American forums.?

    You're a bit thick, aren't you?

    Speakers Corner - Air your opinion on current world affairs.

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    Thailand Expat MrG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Heart
    Both parties are more the same than differences. There are differences on some issues, of course. But in general it's a duo-policy of 2 parties that are only cosmetically different.
    That's about it. Both share the same puppet masters, but the strings are a little tighter on one than the other.

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    Are you making a statement or asking a question,bit thick that.


    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower View Post
    Snubbly are you aware this is a Thai forum.?

    Your posts are all about American politics, whats the story have you been banned from all the American forums.?

    You're a bit thick, aren't you?

    Speakers Corner - Air your opinion on current world affairs.

  19. #19
    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower View Post
    Are you making a statement or asking a question,bit thick that.


    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Horatio Hornblower View Post
    Snubbly are you aware this is a Thai forum.?

    Your posts are all about American politics, whats the story have you been banned from all the American forums.?

    You're a bit thick, aren't you?

    Speakers Corner - Air your opinion on current world affairs.
    Now you're just disingreting ***



    (*** Ask Booners, I have no fucking idea what that means).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Heart
    I'd rather see some sort of balance among the two. Whenever one party is larger than the other, they end up being bad, IMO.
    To be honest the US needs a new government. The senate is totally obsolete. I mean why should 750k people in North Dakota have as much voice as 40 million Californians. It is absurd.

    Also the two party system does not work. That should go away as well replace with a true multi party system free of lobbyists and special interests.
    The US being a very diverse country, and often shown by the difference in peoples lifestyles from state to state, how would you respond to an objection to your theory on the grounds that groups of people from different geological locations would be subject to the likes or dislikes of another geological location with a much higher population. Your example of California and North Dakota might also be a good example of this question.

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    Thailand Expat harrybarracuda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RPETER65 View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by bsnub View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Black Heart
    I'd rather see some sort of balance among the two. Whenever one party is larger than the other, they end up being bad, IMO.
    To be honest the US needs a new government. The senate is totally obsolete. I mean why should 750k people in North Dakota have as much voice as 40 million Californians. It is absurd.

    Also the two party system does not work. That should go away as well replace with a true multi party system free of lobbyists and special interests.
    The US being a very diverse country, and often shown by the difference in peoples lifestyles from state to state, how would you respond to an objection to your theory on the grounds that groups of people from different geological locations would be subject to the likes or dislikes of another geological location with a much higher population. Your example of California and North Dakota might also be a good example of this question.
    Geological?

    Did you confuse indigenous with igneous?


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    Supreme Court Rules Against Alabama in Redistricting Case

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Wednesday sided with black and Democratic lawmakers in Alabama who said the State Legislature had relied too heavily on race in its 2012 state redistricting by maintaining high concentrations of black voters in some districts.
    The vote was 5 to 4, with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy joining the court’s four more liberal members to form a majority.
    Justice Stephen G. Breyer, writing for the majority, said a lower court had erred in considering the case on a statewide basis rather than district by district. He added that the lower court had placed too much emphasis on making sure that districts had equal populations and had been “too mechanical” in maintaining existing percentages of black voters.
    The Supreme Court vacated the lower court’s ruling and sent the two consolidated cases — Alabama Legislative Black Caucus v. Alabama, No. 13-895, and Alabama Democratic Conference v. Alabama, No. 13-1138 — back to it for reconsideration.
    Richard L. Hasen, an expert on election law at the University of California, Irvine, said Wednesday’s decision might represent only a short-term victory for the plaintiffs.
    “It seems likely on remand that at least some of Alabama’s districts will be found to be racial gerrymanders,” he wrote in a blog post. “This means that some of these districts will have to be redrawn to ‘unpack’ some minority voters from these districts.”
    “But do not be surprised,” he continued, “if Alabama pre-empts the lawsuit by drawing new districts which are less racially conscious but still constitute a partisan gerrymander which helps the Republicans have greater control over the Alabama legislative districts.”
    In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said the decision was “a sweeping holding that will have profound implications for the constitutional ideal of one person, one vote, for the future of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and for the primacy of the state in managing its own elections.”
    Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. joined the dissent.
    The 2012 maps were challenged by the Alabama Legislative Black Caucus, the Alabama Democratic Conference and other plaintiffs. They said Republican state legislators had engaged in “racial gerrymandering” by paying too much attention to making districts almost identical in population and by making sure that substantial black majorities in existing districts were not even slightly diminished.
    In defending the legislative maps, state officials have said they had to maintain the high concentrations to comply with Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act, which they said barred any diminution of the black population in particular districts. The Supreme Court effectively struck down Section 5 in 2013.
    A divided three-judge Federal District Court panel ruled that the redistricting plan was lawful. Judge William H. Pryor Jr., writing for the majority, said that black voters in Alabama were politically active and had been successful in electing their favored candidates.
    In dissent, Judge Myron H. Thompson said “there is a cruel irony to these cases” in light of the Supreme Court’s 2013 decision.
    “Even as it was asking the Supreme Court to strike down” part of the Voting Rights Act, Judge Thompson wrote, “the state of Alabama was relying on racial quotas with absolutely no evidence that they had anything to do with current conditions, and seeking to justify those quotas with the very provision it was helping to render inert.”


    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/26/us...ting-case.html

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    Which state is next?

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    My FB feed friggin" exploded last night when the decision came down.

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    The Supreme Court Strikes a Blow Against Partisan Gerrymandering

    ^It is been a good month eh stores? Time to reclaim the country from the wacko's. I was up in some very very hot and dry mountains out of radio and cell range for the past week so I am just catching up on the flurry of good news. So lets gets started;

    On Monday the United States Supreme Court issued a 5-4 decision in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, which preserved a vital weapon against partisan gerrymandering, a practice which artificially keeps the dominant political party in power regardless of popular will.
    The court held that the elections clause of the Constitution, as well as a federal statute, permit the people of Arizona to use the initiative process to take the congressional redistricting process largely out of the hands of state legislators — those who benefit directly from the redistricting process — and to entrust that important process to an independent body.
    As has been widely reported, the congressional redistricting process in many places has devolved into an anti-democratic procedure where politicians essentially decide who they want their voters to be. Using demographic models and projections of voting patterns calculated down to the neighborhood-level, districts can be drawn in such a way (often into odd-looking shapes) so as to virtually guarantee an electoral outcome.
    Both parties are guilty of this. Thus, for instance, in 2012, in states where Democrats controlled the process, their candidates won about 56 percent of the vote and 71 percent of the seats. In states where Republicans controlled the process, their candidates won roughly 53 percent of the vote but 72 percent of the seats. As one politician has put it, “We are in the business of rigging elections.”
    Though courts have long recognized the anti-democratic nature of partisan gerrymandering, they have thus far been reluctant or unable to stop it. So in states like Arizona and California, the people themselves have taken action. Voter-passed initiatives in both states have put redistricting into the hands of independent commissions, which are required to adhere to neutral redistricting principles, such as ensuring compactness and contiguity. Though imperfect, independent commissions have been an important weapon in the fight against partisan gerrymandering.
    Arizona politicians, having been stripped of this power, sued in federal court. They argued that the United States Constitution prohibits the people from regulating the redistricting process, because it entrusted that responsibility to the state “Legislature.” This cramped interpretation was rejected by a majority of the Supreme Court, which yesterday held that the “Legislature” refers to the lawmaking power, which in states like Arizona can include lawmaking by popular will through the initiative process. In addition, the court found that Congress had permitted such redistricting by initiative in 2 U.S.C. § 2a(c), requiring congressional redistricting in accordance with enumerated criteria “until such State shall be redistricted in the manner provided by the laws thereof.”
    There are three important takeaways from the court’s ruling.

    First, the court confirmed that the democratic principles expressed by the Constitution are expansive enough to embrace methods of democratic participation that did not necessarily exist in 1787. As the majority recognized, “direct lawmaking by the people” was “virtually unknown when the Constitution of 1787 was drafted.” Yet by presumptively entrusting congressional elections procedures to the states’ own democratic processes, the elections clause embraced forms of state lawmaking that emerged later, such as the initiative process.
    Second, a majority of the court agreed that partisan gerrymandering is “incompatible with democratic principles.” Though several justices separately recognized as much over a decade ago in Vieth v. Jubelirer, the case was a splintered decision with no commanding majority. Today’s majority confirmed that principle as a given, and they also confirmed that eradicating partisan gerrymandering is a valid democratic aim.
    Third, the court reaffirmed that “We the People” remain the “font of governmental power.” The majority agreed with the amicus brief filed jointly by the ACLU and other organizations that it would be “perverse” to use the Constitution to block measures that help enshrine this principle of accountability to the People. The Constitution supports representational legitimacy and efforts to secure it.
    As the majority of the court aptly summarized, “the core principle of republican government” is “that the voters should choose their representatives, not the other way around.” This decision marks a victory for democracy, and a victory for the voters.



    https://www.aclu.org/blog/speak-free...gerrymandering

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