World Politics


Ward Girl
Here's the opportunity for everyone to discuss what is going on in the World of Politics.

We all don't share the same views so please remember to be respectful of each others views.
ooh good idea. although i was a politics student and that appears to have killed my interest in politics! oops. well, that and uk politics being so boring at the moment. it's basically lies followed by scandal with a few more lies and all 3 main parties saying exactly the same thing in a slightly different order, it doesn't really inspire confidence... basically i'm either going to spoil my ballot at this year's general election (which i would rather do than not vote at all) or go off and join the SWP or something.
Well, Obama just had his State of the Union to Congress last night in the US... anyone have any comments on that? I'd be curious to see what people took away from it (other than Congress wastes a lot of time in these things by standing up and clapping... :lol: )
Oh I was planning to start this, already had post written on notepad :p

I study politics (changing major from IR to Political Science.. not big change tho) and I am member of The Centre Party of Finland. I am active especially in party's youth and student organisations.

The politics have been quite scandallious (is that a word?) here also in past few years, I think party because media is trying to find selling headlines and of course a few incidents including our ministers.

As in general, people who do not vote always say "one vote doesn't count". But what if that 10,000 who don't vote would vote the same person? I think it's a duty to vote, because yes. They affect YOUR life in many ways and if you are going to complain about how your state treats you, you have to do something about it.

So to get thread running I have few questions:

- Do you vote when having a chance?
- Are you a member of some party?
- If you are not a member, do you still support a certain party and attend to their meetings etc.?
- What kind of is your government/parliament/senate? How many parties, structure?
- How often are elections?

I am an active member of the party and I do vote as much as possible. Except church elections (lutheran church is statechurch and since I am a member I get to vote).
Munincipal and parliament elections are every 4th year and presidental elections every 6th year. Same president can be only 12yrs. I have to say, last time Presidental elections I couldn't just vote on 2nd round. First I have principle not to vote Social Democrat and I don't like Conservatives :p

Parliament has 200 members, at the moment from 8 different parties (sizes: Centre Party 51, Conservatives 50, Social Democrats 45, Swedish People's Party9, Left Wing 17, Christians 7, True Finns 5, Greens 15, Others 1

Government: Centre Party, Conservatives, Green and Swedish

As for European Parliament we have 13 MEPs: Centre 3, Conservatives 3, Greens 2, Social Democrats 2, Christians 1, True Finns 1, Swedish 1
Thank's Jacquie good idea, and keeps fans aware of what's going on in this crazy world of politics. I for one was mesmorized and thrilled and inspired by our wonderful presidents speech. He pretty much covered everything. I especially was impressed by his comments on "bringing our troops home from Iraq in August":bolian: he did promise that when he was campaigning. It was 70 minutes, and I listened and watched it with great interest. Did any of those in other countries get to see it, or highlights of it? There is a brief summary and a poll in this news article~
This will be the first time I vote in the general election since I turned 18 last May. Hopefully there will get an election here early May (6th May I think correct me if I'm wrong).

Some yeah if you're in the UK will you be voting and who for?
This will be the first time I vote in the general election since I turned 18 last May. Hopefully there will get an election here early May (6th May I think correct me if I'm wrong).

Some yeah if you're in the UK will you be voting and who for?

Good for you shazza_018 congrat. and you go do it:bolian: and BTW your icon is delicious Adam baby:p
OBAMA WANTS CELL PHONE TAX ABOLISHED:bolian: Great idea, who's gong to resist this?

Ever make a personal call on your company cell phone? Did you record the value of that call, as taxable income, as required by law? Join the club, but don't worry. President Barack Obama will propose repealing the widely ignorned requirement in his 2001 budget plan, a Treasury Department official said Saturday. Obama is scheduled to release his proposed tax and spending plan on Monday. If the cell phone tax is repealed this year, taxpayers would be off the hook for all of 2010, said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. A 1989 law says tha personal use of a company cell phone should be taxed like other fringe benefits, such as a company car. The law, however was passed when cell phones were referred to as car phones and were considered a luxury. ~

Here's a poll, showing the ratings of all U.S. states, from the election, and how Obama stood against McCain, and now~

I study politics (changing major from IR to Political Science.. not big change tho) and I am member of The Centre Party of Finland. I am active especially in party's youth and student organisations.

nice work! i used to be quite into political stuff but like i said it seems studying it turned me off a bit! it made it too much like work, and anyway my degree was philosophy (which i hated!) and history as well and i decided history was my "thing" :)

as for your questions:
- Do you vote when having a chance?

always. i think not voting is really bad. people say they're making a statement by not voting, especially when there's very little difference between candidates, but i disagree - i think not voting just makes you lose your voice altogether. i'd much rather, as i said earlier, spoil my ballot - at least that way you're saying *something* even if it's not going to help any particular candidate/party - and there's the aspect that it removes at least one vote that a party you dislike might need. also the last couple of elections i've tactical voted somewhat, if the conservative party get in (which is reasonably likely this time, although at the moment a hung parliament is looking likely as well) i might have to emigrate. after what thatcher did to this country i can never, ever, ever vote conservative.

- Are you a member of some party?

no. i've been a labour supporter all my life (the mainstream socialist party in the uk) but since blair has ruined everything they stand for and turned them into a close runner up in the tory stakes i don't feel comfortable supporting them any more, which is a real shame. there are a lot of people here now who were traditionally labour supporters (and moderate socialists) but who now feel unable to vote for them but don't have many other options because the only other leftist parties (respect (hah, respect!) and the swp are too far the other way). i think this is why the lib dems are suddenly doing better than ever - they are getting a lot of votes from ex-labour supporters who will vote for them just to stop the tories getting in (and i've done this myself).

- If you are not a member, do you still support a certain party and attend to their meetings etc.?

i think i just answered this ;)

- What kind of is your government/parliament/senate? How many parties, structure?

we have many parties but most are marginal and get few seats. traditionally here general elections are a 2 horse race between labour and conservative - every few years we swap them over and they become more and more like each other. there's also the lib dems who usually do ok but are unlikely to ever win, they're always in 3rd place. this probably explains the recent increase in smaller parties- new technologies mean there's more public participation in niche interests that the main parties just don't cater for, and with the only 2 parties with any chance at all of power being so similar and so shambolic, many people would rather vote for something they believe in with a smaller party even if they only get a few - or no - seats in parliament because (a) they give at least a small voice to minority interests and (b) it gives the main parties less power. this is why it looks like there might be a hung parliament after our election this year, because more people will be voting for minority interests and neither of the big parties will be able to get the majority they need for outright government.

on the whole i think having minority parties is good - the fact that the two main parties are so similar is a major problem - it means there is *no* opposition. the role of the opposition party, imo, is to challenge the governing party and question it and offer alternatives, but when that doesn't happen people get disillusioned very quickly. hence there being so many smaller parties - at least these give people a voice against the status quo. however it also means we get a lot of awful parties who get a voice. most notably the BNP (basically a racist, proto-fascist party with a long history of extreme racial/homophobic violence which they now try to deny but no one with half a brain cell is fooled, run by nick griffin who is a hateful little man who most sane people have on some kind of mental hitlist!) who are doing well enough to have actually won seats in the last election, thus giving them political legitimacy when in actual fact given (a) their history and (b) their beyond-offensive-and-well-into-actively-violent views they should probably not even have been allowed to stand.

the other problem with lack of opposition is that neither of the main parties have clear cut policy on certain issues - things that are "hot" issues just get ignored and we get woolly statements about vague ideas but neither will commit to anything specific because they're so in fear of losing majority. this is the main factor in the BNP's popularity - immigration is a massive issue here at the moment, and the fact that both main parties can't say anything specific on it either way, or give any firm policy ideas, or reassure the public that they are at least thinking about it, means that when a small party comes along with a very very clear outlook on immigration (albeit a vile and despicable one) people latch on to it because it's all they have.

we have a first past the post system which i think is massively flawed - the other big flaw for us is that the party chooses candidates, and not often in the most democratic way. usually the party members get to vote on a candidate but the candidates are often selected by those at the top so it's not much of a choice when it gets down to the ordinary people. personally i think a PR system would be preferable but a lot of people here think it would be a disaster so i think it's unlikely to happen.

i really really don't understand the electoral college system - i've tried, and failed!

- How often are elections?

usually every 4 years, although i think the maximum term is 5 years. this year will be interesting for labour because although they won the last general election with gordon brown in charge, a lot of people were pissed off because labour themselves never voted to put brown in charge - tony blair appointed him as successor (ha! way to be a good socialist running a socialist party, bliar!!). many people feel that brown has never really been legitimately elected. this will be the first election he's had to run off his own back, so to speak, and it looks like he'll lose spectacularly, which is hardly a surprise as he's not exactly the best guy for the job - even if by some bizarre intervention labour win the election, it seems about 99% likely that brown will be shown the door as leader of the party. but then david cameron is probably the one guy that could be worse! apart from nick griffin but the less said about that idiot the better.

haha i ended up ranting again :guffaw::rolleyes:
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interesting article - it seems unlikely there'll be a republican step-down at the moment i guess, especially as they'll be more aware of the(ir political) need to keep things as they stand. i quite like the idea of the living constitution - i think drastic changes are potentially damaging but i think it also has to be recognised that times do change and there often are grey areas and having very inflexible laws/constitutions in place fails to keep up with that.

also i worry about about the age of the supreme court - i think age and experience are definitely important in positiions like those, but having people that are much older (than in the past) can be problematic too - older people tend to have more fixed views on the world, and can often be dismissive of or reject newer or more modern points of view. then again younger people don't always have the broader, more experienced view that older ones have. so i think it's important to have a balance really, have justices from a range of age groups, to get more balanced rulings.

i worry about our uk equivalent too - the law lords, it's recently been overhauled to make it more like the supreme court (and the name's even been changed to supreme court), and that looks like a change that will continue, which is fair enough but in our nepotistic and class-biased society, it bothers me that they're all basically rich, titled white guys - i know they're lawyers with many years' standing and lots of experience but how can they possibly be expected to rule on things in a very multicultural society? they need more racial minority representation, more female representation and more minority group representation (including a range of religious/secular groups) - if, for instance, a black, disabled, muslim lesbian had a case to be ruled on, how could she ever feel she was being represented if the people doing the judging have no idea of how it is to be her? (ok that was a somewhat contrived example but you see my point).

sadly in a system where they're closely linked to the (unelected) house of lords (which, quite frankly, should be abolished asap, along with the damn monarchy - don't even start me on that!), that is very unlikely to happen any time soon. our legal/governance system is so far out of date it's sometimes quite frightening. obviously a lot of the time they do a decent job, but i fail to see how a system in which the highest decisions of the land can be so dramatically affected by an unelected house of hereditary "noble"-(ha!)-men, most of whom who are really only there because they were born into fortunate circumstances can ever be a good thing. how can they claim to be representing the people of the nation if they are so far removed from them in terms of status, lifestyle, background etc? having a public school education (what other nations would call a private school education! we have to be quirky) does not automatically give someone common sense or empathy. and those are both crucial in making decisions that directly affect the lives of people.

oops, ranting again...
So lisa you sound like a lawyer, is that you forte?;)

An letter in our daily newspaper~

Stop all the sniping
I am astounded and disgusted by the disrespect flowing freely thought this paper. One disgruntled Republician after another is trying to make weak-minded voters thin the GOP had it right. HOW? Id President Bush didn't have a health care plan in 8 years, what makes voters think they've got one now? Resloving problems that were created by the Bush years will take time. Also, the editoral cartoons depicting President Barack Obama show disrespect by the way they're drawn. Are we to laugh at them or shake our heads in wonder and disgust? I know a year went by quickly, and some things aren't yet resolved. We didn't expect them to be after a 8 year mess Bush got us tangled up in. Putting another Republican in office is not the answer. Working together to solve the current problems is our best bet. Write to Congress or your local representatives, but please don't add to the problem by being snide and desrespectful. I just doesn't work~

name witheld
Riverside, CA.
^ haha no, at least last time i checked i wasn't! but i was a politics student so maybe it comes from that ;) well, that or i still have a bit of revolutionary firebrand in me somewhere :lol:

as for the letter, i couldn't agree more. the press over here are a bloody joke, especially certain papers, i think we have a stronger tabloid showing here in the uk than in many many other countries (the us included) and they can be pretty bad. although i guess the us equivalent would be some of the less-than-trustworthy and more shiny news channels (we have fewer of those at least). i'm just very glad every week to get my copy of private eye on the doormat :) but he's right - caricaturing and throwing lazy accusations of failure at a new president is so counter productive - he has a hell of a lot to fix and although he's not done everything right, he's making a good effort. from this side of the pond i think we're all pretty positive about him still - i think we all "get" some of his policies more, especially on healthcare and foreign policy, because they're more in line with what many of us have wanted in europe for so long. i think a lot of people in europe were pretty appalled by bush's foreign policy agenda, and i know just about everyone in the uk is always genuinely shocked and appalled by the awful us healthcare system as it stands. it also massively shocks us to hear socialism described as the "european disesase" because over here it's fairly common and we can't see much wrong with it - especially given that the most broadly socialist (or at least social democratic) nations are the ones that tend to be doing best in terms of education, health, job equality, economy, that kind of thing.

there's a doco series on here at the moment called "tower block of commons" in which various MPs (of various standing) are sent to live in some of the most deprived tower block estates in the country for a week. i thought it'd just be an exploitative shock doc, but it's been quite interesting - especially to see how incredibly out of touch the MPs are with the people they're meant to be representing. also what's truly shocked me is that the Labour guy (who is old style Labour, as opposed to part of blair's New Labour crew) is so uncompassionate and dismissive - traditionally labour are the party that supports the have nots, the unions, the working classes etc, it's a socialist party! or rather, it was until a certain tony blair decided to ruin all that. he's been horrible to watch. i never, ever, ever thought i'd see the day a tory was more compassionate towards and understanding of working class needs than a labour guy, but it seems to have happened. it's been a rather depressing eye opener for me... (nb this doesn't mean i'd ever vote tory, i'd rather die!)
So to get thread running I have few questions:

- Do you vote when having a chance?
- Are you a member of some party?
- If you are not a member, do you still support a certain party and attend to their meetings etc.?
- What kind of is your government/parliament/senate? How many parties, structure?
- How often are elections?

to answer some of these questions

yes and no
depends on which level. Far to many in my opinion
it depends


Yes I do vote in elections. I've not missed an election in my 33 years of being eligible to vote. If I'm going to be out of the country or province at the time to vote I will vote in the advanced polls.

We used to be paid supporters of a party but not anymore.

Yes we support one particular party and no we don't go to the meetings.

I'm not even going to try and figure out the Federal Political system because I don't even fully understand it :D

Federal elections are held every 4 years unless the sitting government falls. As I said it's complicated. The last Federal election was held in October 2008. If Prime Minister Stephen Harper manages to hold on with his minority government then the next election will be in 2012.

Province elections are held every 4 years. The next election will be 2011.

Municipal elections in Ontario are held every 4 years and we get to vote this year. The elections are in October.

The mayor's race in Toronto is heating up and it's only February. One of the candidates was got cheating on his partner and has resigned from the race. He pulled a 'Tiger Woods' and was outed by one of his mistresses :rolleyes: This guy is also head of the Toronto Transit Commission and everyone is calling for his resignation from that job but the lame duck outgoing Mayor is not likely to 'fire' him from the job because he's one of the mayor's cronies. I'm so glad I don't live in Toronto.

Oh the joys of politics :rolleyes:

Go Canada