Stranglehold on Progress, er, Politics

esh_gaSeptember 21, 2013

I thoroughly enjoyed this very long read about how we got to the state we are in today in regards to getting things done in Congress.

The preamble:

Most of the electorate can't be bothered with midterm elections, and this has had large consequences--none of them good--for our political system and our country. Voting for a president might be exciting or dutiful, worth troubling ourselves for. But the midterms, in which a varying number of governorships are up for election, as well as the entire House of Representatives and one third of the Senate, just don't seem worth as much effort. Such inaction is a political act in itself, with major effects.

Here is a link that might be useful: source of course

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mrskjun(9)

I think for those who feel the process is important. They get out and vote at midterm. Certainly more likely to know the direction of the country, because it is usually those who feel their votes are important, and care about the issues, rather than the billions spent on presidential campaigns, who feel the midterm elections are important.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:11AM
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esh_ga

So you're saying that only the people that vote in mid-terms are the ones that count?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:21AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

To encourage Mid-term voting then make Election Day Tuesdays a National Holiday to allow working citizens the time to fulfill their duty. Yeah, I know, politicians don't dare fool around with "tradition" no matter how silly it is, besides, many of them really don't want to encourage voting.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:33AM
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mrskjun(9)

I don't think anything I posted said that esh. Every vote counts. But those that get out and vote midterms, all their state elections, all their local elections are certainly better informed on the issues, I'll certainly say that.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 9:39AM
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ann_t

That is a good idea Vgkg. Or at the very least, do what Canada does and give workers paid time off to vote.

By law, qualified electors must have three consecutive hours to cast their vote on election day. If your hours of work do not allow for three consecutive hours to vote, your employer must give you time off.

For example, if you live in a riding where voting hours are 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and you usually work from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., your hours of work will not allow three consecutive hours for voting. To give you three consecutive hours to vote, your employer could allow you to arrive late (at 12:30 p.m.), let you leave early (at 6:30 p.m.), or give you three hours off at some point during the work day.

Your employer has the right to decide when the time off will be given.

Can an employee lose pay for taking time off to vote?

No.

Employers cannot impose a penalty or deduct pay from an employee who is taking time off to vote if required by the Canada Elections Act. An employee must be paid what he or she would have earned during the time allowed off for voting.

~Ann

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:03AM
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vgkg(Z-7)

Thx Ann, I've been pushing that idea here for years. Election Day should be the Biggest pro-Citizen Holiday on the calendar as it's the one day of the year where we have real power change things. But unfortunately, to many politicians that's a change that they can live (and survive) without.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:39AM
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esh_ga

Canada ... maybe I should move there.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 10:42AM
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jodik_gw

Well, no, Esh... progress is being made... see how the divide is widening? It's just not progressing in a fashion that helps all the citizens.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 11:14AM
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mrskjun(9)

I've been voting since I reached 18. I have worked my entire life. I have managed to make it to the voting booth every single election. Shall we start sending a limo out to pick people up?

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 12:09PM
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vgkg(Z-7)

No need for a limo, just a real holiday like Xmas. I missed voting only once, it was during an off election year when I was working 2 part time jobs and going to college. At that young age it's too easy to rationalize that your one vote won't matter that much, esp when you're juggling other time tight priorities. Waiting possibly hours in line on a Tuesday in today's world is even less of an option for far too many more people who are working even longer days than I did back then. Make it a friggin holiday, as citizens we deserve it, but no, we don't deserve nor require a limo.

    Bookmark   September 21, 2013 at 4:33PM
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jillinnj

Limo? Really, was that snark necessary? Just once could there be a conversation where you don't say something snarky and obnoxious. Do you have any reason to think that making it a holiday wouldn't be productive?

I think it would be productive, but I doubt it will ever happen. My days off are dictated by the stock market. It used to be that the market was closed on Presidential election days. But, they stopped that a long time ago.

I do believe that my employer is required to give me time off to vote. Perhaps that is a NY law and not national?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 7:42PM
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elvis

"I do believe that my employer is required to give me time off to vote. Perhaps that is a NY law and not national?
Depends on the state. I found this:

"States Strike a Balance

While federal law protects a citizen's right to vote, state laws specify time-off-to-vote provisions as well as the rights employers may have to discipline employees or withhold pay for time not worked. Many of these rules attempt to balance between the interests of the employee and the employer.

In 24 states, employees must be paid for time spent voting: employers are prohibited from penalizing an employee or making deductions from wages for at least part of the time the employee is authorized to be absent from work to cast a vote. Five states ��" Hawaii, Maryland, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming ��" spell out in their statute books that workers will be paid for their time off only if they actually vote, although in Maryland it's sufficient for employees to establish that they attempted to vote.

Eighteen states require employees to give advance notice of their intention to take time off to vote. Iowa and West Virginia add the requirement that the notification be in writing. Employers are allowed to specify the hours to be taken for voting in 22 states."

Here is a link that might be useful: Time off to vote

    Bookmark   September 22, 2013 at 10:50PM
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adoptedbyhounds

"Most of the electorate can't be bothered with midterm elections, and this has had large consequences--none of them good--for our political system and our country."

I disagree.

If you "can't be bothered to vote" in the off years, it means you can't work up the ambition to do your duty.

Leave it to an MSM journalist to see a lack of "participation" by voters too lazy to get off their behinds as a bad thing for the country.

I'm guessing the MSM will repeat this lament over and over until the next election. They have good reason to be worried.

When their core constituency is too lazy to vote in the off years, and obama isn't running, who will save Democrats at the polls?

Even as the press does its best to cover for incompetent politicians, our system is still working for the people. The voters who care most about our country will show up at the polls and vote whether it's inconvenient or not. They are the ones who will continue to hold politicians accountable for as long as it takes. Nothing could be more energizing to those voters than knowing Democrats have to run next year on the same unpopular, dictatorial, unworkable Obamacare mandate that got them kicked out of the House in 2010. Only next year, more people than ever will be suffering.The loss of jobs and insurance are well underway, but nowhere near what they will be by next year.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:10PM
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tishtoshnm Zone 6/NM

Perhaps more would be willing to vote in mid-term elections if the quality of candidates improved or if some were not nearly so jaded. For instance, I might have more of an inclination to vote in the primaries if it was not already pretty much decided who presidential nominees were going to be. In my state, there is little variation year to year in the mid-terms so it often comes down to a question of why bother?

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:17PM
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esh_ga

Leave it to an MSM journalist to see a lack of "participation" by voters too lazy to get off their behinds as a bad thing for the country.

Duh. That is a bad thing.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 3:36PM
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Pidge

Yes, a very bad thing. Everyone who can vote should be encouraged to vote for the sake of all of us who care about what happens to our great country.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:00PM
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patriciae_gw(07)

I get to sit in my own living room to vote-we have an all mail in system in my county. I love it. I can consult my voters brochure or go on line for some last second updates on issues while I sit at the table and fill out my form-it is the 21st century for heaven sakes.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 4:40PM
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heri_cles

Nothing could be more energizing to those voters than knowing Democrats have to run next year on the same unpopular, dictatorial, unworkable Obamacare mandate that got them kicked out of the House in 2010. Only next year, more people than ever will be suffering.The loss of jobs and insurance are well underway, but nowhere near what they will be by next year.

The private health insurance mandate is "workable" as it was in Massachusetts when Romney and the far Right championed the plan as a furtherance of "personal responsibility."

Cruzer Republicans may be the ones who get surprised at the polls because of their obstruction and their refusal to work with our current administration and the American people, who did give a resounding mandate to President Obama and Healthcare reform.

The American people do not want any more Stonewall Jacksons. You might recall how Stonewall met his Waterloo - shot by another Confederate. There is a circular firing squad happening right now in your political Party.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:02AM
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jodik_gw

"There is a circular firing squad happening right now in your political Party."

The order to fire can't come soon enough!

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 11:08AM
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