Archive for the ‘Vote’ Category

Primary Field

January 25, 2012

This is a break-down as of January 25, 2012.

Obama
Weaknesses:

  • Economy is still weak.
  • Perception that he isn’t doing anything/ineffective.
  • Perception that he doesn’t care about his job performance.
  • Perception that he allows political games to prevent him from doing what’s right for the country.
  • Perception that he’s weak on foreign threats.
  • He pushed through a large, expensive insurance reformation while the country was dealing with economic instability.
  • Perception that his political views aren’t consistent.

Strengths:

  • He pushed through a major insurance reformation even while the country was dealing with economic instability!
  • He’s the incumbent.
  • He appears presidential.
  • His base is large and it is virtually impossible to lose their support.

Romney
Weaknesses:

  • Perception that he made his money solely by firing people.
  • Perception that (some of) his policies are too left-wing.
  • Unanswered questions about his financial dealing (offshore accounts).
  • Perception that his political views aren’t consistent.

Strengths:

  • He has large name-recognition.
  • As a former republican governor from Massachusetts, he can work with Democrats.
  • He has been through the primary season before, so he should be equipped to succeed.

Gingrich
Weaknesses:

  • He has aligned himself with Sarah Palin.
  • Perception that he’s a weasel.
  • Perception that he’s two-faced.
  • Perception that he’s immoral.
  • Perception that he took money from places that he advocated and advocates shutting down.
  • Perception that he’s unstable.
  • Perception that he cares more about himself than the Republican party or the country.
  • Perception that his political views aren’t consistent.

Strengths:

  • He has aligned himself with Sarah Palin.
  • He is a good orator.
  • He rabble-rouses effectively.
  • He currently espouses Conservative principles that resonate with his base.

Paul
Weaknesses:

  • Perception that he’s kooky.
  • Perception that he’s a racist.
  • Perception that he’s antisemitic.
  • Perception that he’s weak on foreign policy.
  • Perception that he has no chance to win the nomination.
  • Perception that he’s old.
  • His base tends not to vote in elections.

Strengths:

  • He resonates well with young, idealistic, and conspiratorial people.
  • He appeals to some libertarians.
  • Perception that his political views are consistent.

Santorum
Weaknesses:

  • Little name recognition.

Strengths:

  • His ideology would resonate with the Conservative base, if they knew about him.
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2010 Election – What happened?!?!

November 4, 2010

The election is over. Right wing parties won enough seats in the House of Representatives to take leadership away from Nancy (Don’t call me ma’am) Pelosi. They also won enough seats in the U.S. Senate to significantly bother left-wing parties’ senators.

What does the electorate want?

How can they overwhelmingly elect Barack Obama and his allies in 2008 only to throw out his allies two years later when they do what they promised to do?
I understand that there’s anger about the economy, but does anyone really think the economy would be better under McCain or Bush?

I didn’t support Obama’s health care plan and I still don’t. In fact, there are very few policies that Obama and I see eye-to-eye on. However, my personal politics is irrelevant to the rest of the electorate. What are they thinking?

Have we seen another great shift in thinking, from left to right? I don’t think so.

I think in 2008 a lot right-wing voters stayed home because they were upset with the Republican party for tremendously increasing federal spending. Also, they mistrusted John McCain because of his history. (I know I couldn’t vote for him.)
However, with the “invention” of “Tea Parties” right-wing voters could pretend that these were new ideological politicians who will really hold the line on federal spending. New Tea Parties allowed right-wing voters to keep their anger with the Republican party while still allowing them to vote a straight Republican ballot.

At the same time a lot of left-wing voters were disillusioned with the progress of their politicians.
I never thought that they would be able to get Obama’s health care plan into law, but left-wing voters wanted the health care plan to be more comprehensive.
They wanted Obama to repeal Clinton’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” military policy. They wanted Obama to outlaw foreclosures, raise taxes on anyone making more than themselves, and bring world peace.
Since they didn’t move quickly enough to make these changes, more of their supporters didn’t vote.

I don’t think the country changed its mind. I think, rather, that it’s two (or three) different countries expressing their thoughts. The left-wing of the country are still in 2008 – desperately seeking a far left-wing agenda. The right-wing of the country is still in 1994.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if both countries were motivated to vote during the same election.

Right wing politicians that think they’ve received a mandate to take the United States all the way to the right are making a partial mistake. They have received a mandate, but only from their supporters. The other half of the voters haven’t given them any such mandate.

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Why I prefer NY’s new polls

November 2, 2010

The United States required New York state to change their polling machines. The old machines required people to walk into a curtained booth, pull a lever, mark their votes by flipping a switch for each position/policy decision, and push the lever again.

The new voting process debuted in the September primary and was panned by many voters, including NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. However, I prefer the new voting process.
Old and new polling layout
1. Location, location, location: Under the old process the back of the machine faced the people. The curtain was supposed to protect the voter’s privacy, but too often had gaps which deprived the voter of privacy. The new process has 3-sided enclosed stands that opens facing a wall. No one can see from in front of you, and there IS no one behind you to see what you are doing.

2. Simplicity: The old machine required the voter to understand how the machine organizes information and polls. The new ballot is a piece of paper that just requires the voter to fill in ovals in appropriate places.

3. Write-In: The new process makes putting in a write-in candidate extremely simple. The old machines made it very complicated to write-in a vote. There were a few elections that I wanted to write-in a candidate, but I couldn’t get the machine to allow me to do so and I couldn’t ask for help with out….

4. Privacy: Because of the simplicity of voting and the ease of writing in a candidate, voters don’t need as much help from poll volunteers. Poll volunteers’ help decrease privacy. I once asked a volunteer for help under the old system. She saw my ballot and chewed me out for not voting for the candidates she preferred.

5. Speed: The old process had one dedicated polling booth per district. If one district had 10 people waiting to vote, and another district in that same polling center had none, the 10 people had to wait in a queue to use their district’s machine while the machine wasn’t used. Under the new process the enclosed stands and the scanning machines can be used by anyone from any of the districts.

6. Pressure: Because of the bottleneck that built up from the wait time to use your district’s voting booth, there was a lot of pressure to vote quickly. In fact, I’ve seen polling volunteers get upset with voters who took too long in the voting booth. Under the new system there isn’t the same pressure, so people have more time to mark their ballots correctly and answer all the ballot initiatives completely.

There are two caveats.
1. Type: It was rather small and probably difficult to read for people with sight issues.

2. Layers: There were so many candidates for governor that it went onto two rows. People might have gotten confused and thought they were supposed to vote for one from the first row and one from the second row.

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