2016 US Presidential Election

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Nov 10, 2015 1:07 pm UTC

Sardia, that's talking about the general election, not the primaries. The general is a year away, the GOP primaries start in February. There is no reason to believe that Rubio will take most of all of the blue states; just intuition and a belief that there is a large groip of Republicans with common sense when there is absolutely no evidence to support that.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Tue Nov 10, 2015 5:53 pm UTC

What is taking about the general election? I posted several sources. They almost all refer to the primary.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Nov 10, 2015 6:13 pm UTC

You only posted a link from 538 - it's all about Clinton vs Carson, Bush vs Clinton, etc. It doesn't talk about the primary at all.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Tue Nov 10, 2015 7:38 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:ess having a coalition in power instead of a single party helps. This adds an element of unpredictability. Occasionally the coalition breaks and elections are called early. Last elections [for the national parliament] for example were announced I think 4 or 5 months in advance. There's simply no time for very long election seasons then.

The main difference might simply be the budget. All Dutch parties together spend about 10 million on a parliamentary election. The US presidential candidates spent about 1 billion dollar each on the 2012 elections.

Dutch campaigns run almost entirely on volunteers - you can't keep those active for long. But even in this early stage, the US primary candidate campaigns have a full-time, fully paid team, and the money to keep that staff in place for months or years. Even the obscure vanity candidates in the US have already spent more money today, then the largest Dutch parties will spend up to election day.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Nov 10, 2015 8:25 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Diadem wrote:ess having a coalition in power instead of a single party helps. This adds an element of unpredictability. Occasionally the coalition breaks and elections are called early. Last elections [for the national parliament] for example were announced I think 4 or 5 months in advance. There's simply no time for very long election seasons then.

The main difference might simply be the budget. All Dutch parties together spend about 10 million on a parliamentary election. The US presidential candidates spent about 1 billion dollar each on the 2012 elections.

Dutch campaigns run almost entirely on volunteers - you can't keep those active for long. But even in this early stage, the US primary candidate campaigns have a full-time, fully paid team, and the money to keep that staff in place for months or years. Even the obscure vanity candidates in the US have already spent more money today, then the largest Dutch parties will spend up to election day.


Perhaps one day, obscure vanity candidates will make a practice of embarking on other, more electable positions for other countries. That'd be...interesting. We could just export you all of our, ahem, more unique candidates.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby sardia » Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:42 am UTC

Thesh wrote:Sardia, that's talking about the general election, not the primaries. The general is a year away, the GOP primaries start in February. There is no reason to believe that Rubio will take most of all of the blue states; just intuition and a belief that there is a large groip of Republicans with common sense when there is absolutely no evidence to support that.You only posted a link from 538 - it's all about Clinton vs Carson, Bush vs Clinton, etc. It doesn't talk about the primary at all.

There are 3 sources that I posted,
1. Rough sketch of the reliability of polls as certain benchmark time passes.
2. General election polls a year from now fail to determine the PRIMARY nominee (aka 10% margin of error after 1 year)
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-y ... ion-polls/
3. Blue states still contain Republicans, mostly moderates and have an outsized moderating influence on the primary election due to similar flaws as the electoral college.
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/the ... -and-cruz/


Number 2 is probably the one you're referring to. All of the sources all reference the primary, or who will win or lose the primary. That's why I'm confused.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Wed Nov 11, 2015 4:10 am UTC

sardia wrote:2. General election polls a year from now fail to determine the PRIMARY nominee (aka 10% margin of error after 1 year)
http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-y ... ion-polls/


Have you actually read the article? It's not in any way, shape or form, not even as a casual remark, talking about how good general election polls are in predicting the primary, it's purely in response to the headlines that Carson would beat Hillary with a 10-point lead if they both went to the general.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Diadem » Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:57 am UTC

Zamfir wrote:
Diadem wrote:ess having a coalition in power instead of a single party helps. This adds an element of unpredictability. Occasionally the coalition breaks and elections are called early. Last elections [for the national parliament] for example were announced I think 4 or 5 months in advance. There's simply no time for very long election seasons then.

The main difference might simply be the budget. All Dutch parties together spend about 10 million on a parliamentary election. The US presidential candidates spent about 1 billion dollar each on the 2012 elections.

Dutch campaigns run almost entirely on volunteers - you can't keep those active for long. But even in this early stage, the US primary candidate campaigns have a full-time, fully paid team, and the money to keep that staff in place for months or years. Even the obscure vanity candidates in the US have already spent more money today, then the largest Dutch parties will spend up to election day.

That's a good point. But that also raises the question: Why?

I looked up the rules for campaign donations in The Netherlands, and there hardly are any. There's no limit on the size of donations, neither for natural persons nor for companies. Donors don't even have to be Dutch, even foreign groups are allowed t donate without limit. The only rule is that donations above €4500 have to be made public, but that only applies to national political parties, candidates and affiliated groups. Anonymous donations to local parties (including local branches of national parties) are perfectly legal. As are officially unaffiliated super-pacs. And the maximum fine for not disclosing donors is only €25,000.

So the reason there's less money involved in Dutch polical elections is not tighter regulation.

The US is bigger than the Netherlands, so it makes sense that influence in the US is worth more than influence in The Netherlands. But the size difference is a factor 20, so even taking that into account there's still a huge budget gap. Buying influence in the US also buys a lot of foreign influence, but that's not untrue for The Netherlands either. I don't know which country has more influence per capita, but certainly the difference is not three orders of magnitude. Another explanation could be that individual politicians are more able to directly influence policy in the US than in The Netherlands, but I don't think that's true. The opposite in fact. First the Netherlands is more centralized, we don't have states. Secondly our house of representatives is 150 instead of 538 members. Thirdly since we have a prime minister instead of a president, you get to influence both the legislative and executive with a single election. And finally we don't have districts, no winner-takes-it-all, which means that donations to the loser aren't lost. The opposition still has some clout.

So why is there so much less money in Dutch elections than US ones? I have absolutely no idea. I've been thinking about this, but I just can't explain it. I don't think The Netherlands is particularly unique in this regard either, compared to other European countries.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Wed Nov 11, 2015 11:09 am UTC

I don't think anyone has easy answers on that...

The difference cannot only be due to the specifics of the elctoral systems. These megabudgets in the US are a fairly recent development, while the system wasn't changed much. They always spent much by our local standards, but not this much. The oldest numbers I could find were for 1976 and 1980: 67 million when (nominal) GDP was 1800 billion, and 92 million at 2900 billion GDP. The numbers for 2012 were 2.6 billion on the election and 16,000 billion for GDP.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Wed Nov 11, 2015 12:28 pm UTC

Because the money is there to spend. And because there are people with agendas and the wealth who are capable of and willing to spend. Add to that 200 or so major media markets and a steadily increasing length of the process.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:44 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:I looked up the rules for campaign donations in The Netherlands, and there hardly are any. There's no limit on the size of donations, neither for natural persons nor for companies. Donors don't even have to be Dutch, even foreign groups are allowed t donate without limit. The only rule is that donations above €4500 have to be made public, but that only applies to national political parties, candidates and affiliated groups. Anonymous donations to local parties (including local branches of national parties) are perfectly legal. As are officially unaffiliated super-pacs. And the maximum fine for not disclosing donors is only €25,000.

So the reason there's less money involved in Dutch polical elections is not tighter regulation.

...

So why is there so much less money in Dutch elections than US ones? I have absolutely no idea. I've been thinking about this, but I just can't explain it. I don't think The Netherlands is particularly unique in this regard either, compared to other European countries.

It amazes me how little money seems to have infiltrated the UK system also. Total spend on advertising in the 2010 UK election was $15m - which is actually a reduction from what was spent in the previous election in 2005.

Also came across this little beauty:
In real terms, expenditure on [UK] elections was far higher in the 19th century than it is today, because of the cost of bribing and treating electors. In the 1860s, the average cost of each vote, adjusted for inflation, was around £60, while campaign spending in the 1880 general election – in real terms – exceeded £100m.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Eowiel » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:47 pm UTC

Here in Belgium we have rules that strictly regulate political advertising during a three month period before the elections: radio and TV-advertising is forbidden, the size and number of billboards is regulated, you can't freely distribute gadgets,... So at least here, I think there just aren't that many ways left to spend big amounts of money. Donations are also regulated to such an extent that all our political parties get almost all of their money from the state (they get subsidized based on their performance during the last election).

But that doesn't explain why there aren't thing like Super-pacs here, or why political parties don't just ignore the rules because while there is a lot of regulation, there aren't any penalties for ignoring the rules other than it being made public. Maybe everyone is afraid that if they start, others are going to outspend them. Or maybe because elections here are more party oriented than person oriented. I don' have a clue either.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:59 pm UTC

Eowiel wrote:Here in Belgium we have rules that strictly regulate political advertising during a three month period before the elections: radio and TV-advertising is forbidden, the size and number of billboards is regulated, you can't freely distribute gadgets,... So at least here, I think there just aren't that many ways left to spend big amounts of money.

This is true, and is the case in the UK also, but it seems to me that the wild-west and international nature of the internet makes such regulations unenforceable - and so third-parties with deep pockets should still be able to bypass such rules, and yet it just doesn't seem to happen.

Maybe it's something to do with the more independently-minded nature of UK MPs and the fact we have no history of every piece of legislation having random and unrelated pork attached - so what would attempts to buy off legislators actually achieve?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Diadem » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:18 am UTC

Quite a lot, I'd expect. There's more than just laws. There's an endless amount of regulations and policy and subsidies that comes directly from the executive. So having the right minister in your pocket can immediately make a huge difference. How much would slightly lower investments into green energy be worth to a company like Shell? Or lower taxes on alcohol to a company like Heineken [a major Dutch brewery]. Or maybe cheap imports from China are outcompeting my product, and I want import barriers. The list of things that individual politicians directly influence that are worth huge amounts of money to companies is nearly endless.

I can think of arguments for why donations don't matter as much as you'd think. But I can't think of any arguments that apply to countries like The Netherlands, Belgium or the United Kingdom, but not to the United States. We're not that dissimilar. Companies want to make money on both sides of the ocean, and on both side of the ocean you'll find both company owners and politicians not caring about little details like ethics or personal integrity.

Maybe the difference is just cultural. But that would be surprising. Dutch businessmen have TVs and internet, they know how things are done in the US and should be perfectly able to copy it.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Eowiel » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:51 am UTC

Could it maybe be because there are cheaper ways to influence policy making? For example, in Belgium a lot of politicians get seats on the board of directors of big companies, mostly after or in between their public mandates but sometimes even during. Getting the policy makers on your payroll is probably a lot cheaper and effective than throwing money trying to sway elections. No idea whether or not this also happens regularly in the US.

That would of course only possibly explain why big companies don't give money. As I understand it, not all the campaign money is provided by companies in the US, citizens also donate money and politicians actively request it, that's also something you don't see here.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Xenomortis » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:57 am UTC

I've heard the idea floated that one reason the UK election season was so relatively short (and with relatively little money spent) was because the actual date of the election was not known long before hand.
How true that is, I don't know, but the Fixed Term Parliaments Act ended that and so the date of the 2015 election was known - I honestly don't know how much money was spent in comparison to 2010, but election talk did start a little earlier I seem to remember.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Thu Nov 12, 2015 12:41 pm UTC

Diadem wrote:That's a good point. But that also raises the question: Why?
People spend money because they hope to achieve something. The President and his party can influence the course of the country for the term of any sitting Supreme Court Justice. Add to that the possibility of getting both the legislative and the executive. If you control both you control the nature of the Supreme Court. As goes the Supreme Court as goes the country socially. Social and Religious conservatives could write policy for years. And then imagine the perks for any sitting President. Your own personal air fleet, the most powerful standing military in the world and the opportunity to push the world in a direction the suits your world view. Now imagine men and women of great wealth willing to spend to influence that. Add to that the ability to reach out to small donors as well via the internet. And add the profit incentive for all of those who which to sell the tools of elections and influence.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby leady » Thu Nov 12, 2015 1:57 pm UTC

The difference in spending for the UK to the US is a combination of a few things & is within 5-10x per capita for presidential elections

First the UK has public broadcast advertisement legal mandate based on polling stats through Ofcom - i.e. TV broadcasting is controlled and I think free based on expected poll results (hence 7 years ago or so the BNP even got a slot). Hence there is a massive reduced demand for TV spot money - which I imagine costs a pretty major chunk of US spending

Second is the electoral cycle, historically the UK has no fixed cycle for elections leading to a shortened campaign times, but this may change now we are on 5 year fixed terms.

But the big one I think is that the UK and in effect most of Europe to degree are parliamentary lead political systems, were to a large extent the power broker (prime minister, chancellor etc) is an internal selection within the party - primarily the MPs and their power is internally curbed by the parliamentary system, including being replaced. Conversely the US system has a crazy focus of power in the executive and its election, including the presidents ability to directly appoint key positions without further mandate. That I think is what drives the extra spending per capita - you really do get the kings ear to an extent :)

As a side note, there isn't a lot I agree with Aaron Sorkin on, but that constitutional discussion in the west wing for some imaginary African country is gold, there is no way the US system would be stable anywhere without centuries of tradition. Arguably the same applies to the UK and its constitutional arrangements on a party basis and absence of governmental limits.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 12, 2015 4:04 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:I don't think anyone has easy answers on that...

The difference cannot only be due to the specifics of the elctoral systems. These megabudgets in the US are a fairly recent development, while the system wasn't changed much. They always spent much by our local standards, but not this much. The oldest numbers I could find were for 1976 and 1980: 67 million when (nominal) GDP was 1800 billion, and 92 million at 2900 billion GDP. The numbers for 2012 were 2.6 billion on the election and 16,000 billion for GDP.


Yeah, there's been some changes. Granted, there's inflation in there too, but even adjusting for inflation and population, we're seeing significant changes. Those factors don't do much to alter the basic fact.

It is kind of a puzzle. Maybe something emergent more likely at a given size, but what?

morriswalters wrote:Because the money is there to spend. And because there are people with agendas and the wealth who are capable of and willing to spend. Add to that 200 or so major media markets and a steadily increasing length of the process.


Well, the Netherlands isn't exactly in the grip of poverty. They have some wealth. No doubt people there also have agendas. Sure, I'd expect it to be proportionately smaller, for the size of the country, but wealth differences do not explain it, I think.

Even senator/congressman races can involve quite substantial sums of money.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:28 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Well, the Netherlands isn't exactly in the grip of poverty. They have some wealth. No doubt people there also have agendas. Sure, I'd expect it to be proportionately smaller, for the size of the country, but wealth differences do not explain it, I think.

Even senator/congressman races can involve quite substantial sums of money.
If I'm reading the data correctly, according to the Wikipedia, only 9 countries spend more on their total budgets than the US does on defense. We appear to be 20 percent of global GDP. That means power. Politics is about power and who will wield it. And power isn't necessarily proportional. Their are limits to that and it may be ending, but that is my opinion. But the price for the Presidency is in the billions in the market it exists in.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 12, 2015 6:39 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Well, the Netherlands isn't exactly in the grip of poverty. They have some wealth. No doubt people there also have agendas. Sure, I'd expect it to be proportionately smaller, for the size of the country, but wealth differences do not explain it, I think.

Even senator/congressman races can involve quite substantial sums of money.
If I'm reading the data correctly, according to the Wikipedia, only 9 countries spend more on their total budgets than the US does on defense. We appear to be 20 percent of global GDP. That means power. Politics is about power and who will wield it. And power isn't necessarily proportional. Their are limits to that and it may be ending, but that is my opinion. But the price for the Presidency is in the billions in the market it exists in.


Well, yes...but election spending isn't proportional even considering that. Governments inherently spend money, and while sure, the US spends a lot in absolute terms, we're also a reasonably large/wealthy country. European countries, while smaller, are still mostly pretty well off. Certainly, the netherlands and the UK are not poverty stricken, and neither are they noted for extremely tiny governments relative to their population.

Power, in terms of "who gets money from it" should be reasonably proportional. After all, we're assuming that corporations, etc are mostly donating out of self interest, right?

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Thu Nov 12, 2015 7:19 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:Power, in terms of "who gets money from it" should be reasonably proportional. After all, we're assuming that corporations, etc are mostly donating out of self interest, right?
Why would you assume that? Power isn't just about money. How much would the Koch brothers be willing to spend to put someone in the White House antithetical to the goals of social liberals. Or who would manipulate the response to global warming in such a way to make old oligarchs more powerful? Anyway just my opinion.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Thu Nov 12, 2015 8:29 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:Power, in terms of "who gets money from it" should be reasonably proportional. After all, we're assuming that corporations, etc are mostly donating out of self interest, right?
Why would you assume that? Power isn't just about money. How much would the Koch brothers be willing to spend to put someone in the White House antithetical to the goals of social liberals. Or who would manipulate the response to global warming in such a way to make old oligarchs more powerful? Anyway just my opinion.


Sure, but presumably people also have differing ideals in the Netherlands.

If we're talking oil oligarchy/global warming...yeah, that's straight money. Money and power may not be exactly identical, but they are very, very similar. I'll grant that there's some idealistic spending in addition to money being spent on self interest, but I can't see a good justification for why either doesn't exist elsewhere.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Thu Nov 12, 2015 11:00 pm UTC

Okay I guess. Side note. There are close to a half a million elected offices in the US. Take that Netherlands!(just kidding)

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Fri Nov 13, 2015 4:25 am UTC

leady wrote:But the big one I think is that the UK and in effect most of Europe to degree are parliamentary lead political systems, were to a large extent the power broker (prime minister, chancellor etc) is an internal selection within the party - primarily the MPs and their power is internally curbed by the parliamentary system, including being replaced. Conversely the US system has a crazy focus of power in the executive and its election, including the presidents ability to directly appoint key positions without further mandate. That I think is what drives the extra spending per capita - you really do get the kings ear to an extent :)

This occurred to me after my last post and I agree it's a biggie.

The Prime Minister in the UK has way more power than the President in the US - and yet the public has very little say in who he is. Take our last PM for example - Gordon Brown. He was PM despite never winning a general election - and despite also never being voted in by his party! In the UK, one party can be voted in by the public and then change PMs to someone with radically different politics: Imagine if, mid-term, Obama handed over the reigns of power to Sanders without any further say from the public..!

And even when 'primaries' do occur in the UK, there's no ad-wars between all the leadership contenders - partly because the MPs have a huge say in who takes over - but partly because there's simply never been a culture of trying to win over the public with ads.

Such mechanics might seem 'anti-democratic' but, assuming a culture of non-corruption is largely in place - and I believe there are enough independently-minded MPs in parliament to ensure it largely is - think of the permanent rebel Jeremy Corbyn as a recent high-profile example - it does seem to work.

It also helps that our Judiciary are appointed by non-political means, and likewise our unelected second chamber with its Life Peers can vote against the government unencumbered by any re-election concerns.

Also, I do think we have a higher quality media and, by extension, a better informed public. I think the more nonsensical attack ads would get exposed in the UK where they get a pass in the US.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Fri Nov 13, 2015 10:33 am UTC

elasto wrote:Also, I do think we have a higher quality media and, by extension, a better informed public. I think the more nonsensical attack ads would get exposed in the UK where they get a pass in the US.
:roll: :lol:

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Fri Nov 13, 2015 11:34 am UTC

morriswalters wrote:
elasto wrote:Also, I do think we have a higher quality media and, by extension, a better informed public. I think the more nonsensical attack ads would get exposed in the UK where they get a pass in the US.
:roll: :lol:

Not sure if you're mocking me but I think it's true. Our news channels don't have nearly the same ideological partisanship of FoxNews or whatever, and the likes of BBC news and Channel 4 news are widely respected and viewed across the political spectrum.

(Sure, there are wingnuts in every country who think even the likes of the BBC has massive and overt political bias, but such extremists represent a much smaller proportion of the voting public than in somewhere like the US)

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:06 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Not sure if you're mocking me but I think it's true. Our news channels don't have nearly the same ideological partisanship of FoxNews or whatever, and the likes of BBC news and Channel 4 news are widely respected and viewed across the political spectrum.
Not mocking, more laughing at your idealism. Which I'll admit I shouldn't do. Sorry. But drawing conclusions like yours without the experience of living here is similar to me thinking that I understand politics in the UK or China. I don't have the cultural grounding to understand, and no amount of wishing on my part will change that. As to the average American, I don't know if there is such a beast. I'm from Kentucky and quite frankly I have only a limited understanding the mindset in California, much less the UK.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby leady » Fri Nov 13, 2015 12:11 pm UTC

The bbc and channel 4 in particular have a huge ideological left wing bias, but this reflects the majority view of the country. Only on economic issues are they close to centralist. Its telling where they place their job adverts and how they politically poll.

The absence of openly identifying this is not really a good thing imo :)

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Tyndmyr » Fri Nov 13, 2015 1:36 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:
elasto wrote:Not sure if you're mocking me but I think it's true. Our news channels don't have nearly the same ideological partisanship of FoxNews or whatever, and the likes of BBC news and Channel 4 news are widely respected and viewed across the political spectrum.
Not mocking, more laughing at your idealism. Which I'll admit I shouldn't do. Sorry. But drawing conclusions like yours without the experience of living here is similar to me thinking that I understand politics in the UK or China. I don't have the cultural grounding to understand, and no amount of wishing on my part will change that. As to the average American, I don't know if there is such a beast. I'm from Kentucky and quite frankly I have only a limited understanding the mindset in California, much less the UK.


It's possible to have an understanding without being there...it's just a lot harder, and requires research. Seeing whatever you grew up in as the norm and other things as horrible bias is really, really common.

Even words like "liberal" can mean subtly different things when you cross the ocean, and the same issues can have different overtones. Say, immigration, you can certainly draw a lot of parallels, but the US immigration debate is very Mexico-influenced, while the European version of that is oriented towards folks from Syria and what not. So...you end up with different allusions, steriotypes, that whole ball of wax. You've got to dig deep into the local context to understand it.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:08 pm UTC

morriswalters wrote:Not mocking, more laughing at your idealism. Which I'll admit I shouldn't do. Sorry. But drawing conclusions like yours without the experience of living here is similar to me thinking that I understand politics in the UK or China. I don't have the cultural grounding to understand, and no amount of wishing on my part will change that. As to the average American, I don't know if there is such a beast. I'm from Kentucky and quite frankly I have only a limited understanding the mindset in California, much less the UK.

I'm sorry - are you seriously trying to claim that the US electorate isn't hugely polarised post G W 'you're either with us or against us' Bush, post Tea Party and so on?
Are you seriously trying to claim that news services like Fox News aren't far more partisan than UK equivalents?
Are you seriously trying to claim that the US Supreme Court doesn't frequently split on political lines, and far more so than the UK equivalents?

Remember - this is a comparative claim I'm making here. I'm not claiming the US is completely polarized, nor that the UK isn't polarized at all, simply making a comparison.

leady wrote:The bbc and channel 4 in particular have a huge ideological left wing bias, but this reflects the majority view of the country. Only on economic issues are they close to centralist. Its telling where they place their job adverts and how they politically poll.

The absence of openly identifying this is not really a good thing imo :)

Are you seriously claiming that the BBC nightly news or Channel 4 nightly news have the same degree of bias that Fox News has?

I mean, I accept that some people think that the BBC is biased, but it's easy to refute

Spoiler:
To begin with there’s the BBC current political editor, Nick Robinson, who is about to swap his five minutes on the evening bulletins for three hours on the Today programme. Aeons ago Robinson was chairman of the Young Conservatives, a fact that much exercised Alastair Campbell when he was Labour’s director of communications, although I have to say as a viewer (and former colleague) I have always found Robinson’s reporting to be both insightful and scrupulously fair.

So if Robinson is off the hook, how about the BBC journalist who gets the more political airtime than any other – Andrew Neil? He presents or co-presents five hours of television a week including This Week, the Daily Politics and Sunday Politics. Neil might be a penetrating interviewer exposing weaknesses in the arguments advanced by politicians of the left, right and centre but his past leans in one direction.

He is a former Rupert Murdoch editor, was a researcher for the Conservative party and is chairman of the Conservative-supporting Spectator magazine. He also stoutly argued his free market views at the Hayek lecture at the rightwing Institute of Economic Affairs in November 2005.

But the real worry for me lies behind the scenes where, many suggest, the real power lies. For it’s there we would have found Nick Robinson’s former senior producer, Thea Rogers, who left in 2012 to become special advisor to the chancellor of the exchequer, George Osborne. Then there’s Robbie Gibb, the current excellent editor of all BBC TV’s political programmes In a former life he was a vice-chairman of the extreme rightwing Federation of Conservative Students and went on to become chief of staff to the senior Tory MP Francis Maude before joining the BBC.

And we, or the bias investigators, should not overlook the fact that David Cameron replaced his previous press secretary, Andy Coulson, with the then editor of BBC News, Craig Oliver and, around the same time, London mayor Boris Johnson recruited BBC political correspondent Guto Harri, to head his media team (and when Harri moved on to the Murdoch empire he was replaced by Will Walden, a BBC news editor at Westminster).

But in the context of Tory-aligned personnel in influential positions within the BBC, perhaps most importantly of all, one thinks of the recently retired chair of the BBC Trust, Lord Patten, a former Conservative cabinet minister.

Hands up those who can remember the last time a former Labour minister chaired the BBC – the correct answer, is never. Patten was, by my reckoning, the tenth BBC chair to sit in either the Commons or Lords on the Tory benches The equivalent Labour total is one – Phillip Inman – who was chairman of the governors in 1947, for less than a year.

There are of course others with Labour links who have been associated with the BBC. The last chairman with any Labour connections was Gavyn Davies who was unceremoniously sacked by a Labour government. A former Labour minister, James Purnell, is currently working as a senior BBC executive, specifically on charter renewal, and both Andrew Marr and ex-Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason had flirtations with Trotskyist groups in their youth.

The only other current or recent Labour connections I am aware of are political correspondent Lance Price, who left the corporation to become Labour’s director of communications, and one of his predecessors at the Labour party, Joy Johnson, who had been the BBC’s political news editor at Westminster and was told, after she ceased to work for the party, that she could not expect to return to the BBC (and she didn’t).

It’s also worth recalling that, unrelated to news coverage, when the writer Melvyn Bragg became a Labour peer, he was immediately banned from appearing on any programmes that might have any political content.

http://www.theguardian.com/media/2015/j ... k-robinson

But I'm astonished if even amongst those who perceive a bias think that the BBC/C4 news during election season is politically partisan. And that's what I'm claiming is the antidote to ads which are too nonsensical during election season.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby morriswalters » Fri Nov 13, 2015 5:58 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Are you seriously trying to claim that news services like Fox News aren't far more partisan than UK equivalents?
Are you seriously trying to claim that the US Supreme Court doesn't frequently split on political lines, and far more so than the UK equivalents?
I would have no idea. I don't consume much of the UK's news. And I have no idea how your highest courts works. Let me live there 20 or so years and I would probably get some idea. But I could read about it forever without understanding the cultural practices that define it. I don't expect UK society to understand the makeup of the US any more than you should expect me to understand yours.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Zamfir » Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:29 pm UTC

Our news channels don't have nearly the same ideological partisanship of FoxNews or whatever, and the likes of BBC news and Channel 4 news are widely respected and viewed across the political spectrum.

You're not comparing apples to apples here. Fox News might draw a lot of attention, but it's not anywhere near the US equivalent of the BBC News. It's a niche channel, closer to the Discovery Channel than a national institution like the BBC News. It just looks big because niche in the US still adds up.

In numbers: the 10 o'clock BBC One news draws around 5 million viewers, 8% of the UK population. That's similar , percentagewise, to the combined viewership of the NBC, ABC and CBS news broadcasts. Unsurprisingly, 'local' news has a larger viewership share in US compared to nationwide programs.

The best-watched regular show on Fox News on the other hand is the O Reilly Factor, at a tad less than 1% of the US population. That's still millions of viewers, but only because the US is large. Fox News is an oddly partisan phenomenon by American standards, just as much as by ours. Their regular news is bland as milk.

EDIT: I looked at the BARB to see which UK channel comes closest to Fox News in viewership percentage for their daily flagship show. That would be CBeebies with Go Jetters, or ITV3 with Midsomer Murder reruns.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby leady » Fri Nov 13, 2015 7:39 pm UTC

elasto wrote:Are you seriously claiming that the BBC nightly news or Channel 4 nightly news have the same degree of bias that Fox News has?

I mean, I accept that some people think that the BBC is biased, but it's easy to refute


But I'm astonished if even amongst those who perceive a bias think that the BBC/C4 news during election season is politically partisan. And that's what I'm claiming is the antidote to ads which are too nonsensical during election season.


To be clear no they aren't as nakedly partisan as Fox and I didn't quite say they are political party biased (although a reasonable inference) - they are however firmly entrenched in a social democratic left wing world view like 70% of the UK population. Politically this is kind of fine ish given the two main parties are more left leaning social democrats and more right leaning social democrats. But the audience loading on for example question time is near scandalous for a country that voted 52% right (not 10% as the average QT audience seems to be :) ). Heaven help anyone wanting a two sided view of say syrian immigration or Israel on the bbc either and on channel 4, well ...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Mutex » Fri Nov 13, 2015 9:30 pm UTC

Zamfir wrote:EDIT: I looked at the BARB to see which UK channel comes closest to Fox News in viewership percentage for their daily flagship show. That would be CBeebies with Go Jetters, or ITV3 with Midsomer Murder reruns.


A children's show, and a show known for it's unrealistic backwards-looking whitewashing portrayal of the country. Ironic.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:50 pm UTC

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/republic ... d=35263609

BREAKING NEWS: BOBBY JINDAL DROPS OUT OF 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE
I REPEAT: BOBBY JINDAL DROPS OUT OF 2016 PRESIDENTIAL RACE

There is no font effect to express the amount of shock I am experiencing. This pretty much renders every existing poll invalid.
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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby elasto » Wed Nov 18, 2015 1:43 am UTC

Spoilered for OT:
Spoiler:
leady wrote:To be clear no they aren't as nakedly partisan as Fox and I didn't quite say they are political party biased (although a reasonable inference) - they are however firmly entrenched in a social democratic left wing world view like 70% of the UK population. Politically this is kind of fine ish given the two main parties are more left leaning social democrats and more right leaning social democrats.

So, basically you're arguing I'm right - that the bbc is politically neutral in terms of the country - and you especially agree it's even-handed during elections - unlike the US equivalents.

(I don't even really know what it means to say that the UK is 'firmly entrenched in a left-wing worldview'. It's somewhat left-wing compared to the US but somewhat right-wing compared to Europe. The UK is something of an outlier in how much it believes in government healthcare but all countries believe in government healthcare to a greater or lesser extent; The UK is pretty right-wing overall if you exclude the NHS.)

But the audience loading on for example question time is near scandalous for a country that voted 52% right (not 10% as the average QT audience seems to be :) )

This is so wrong it's hard to know where to start. But I'll quote the bbc defending itself on this issue:

Bailey admitted that the regular weekly Question Time audience [was] based on proportionate support for each party, “the larger the party, the more people who intend voting for that party are selected for the audience”.


How does Question Time select its audiences?

The short answer is: with great care.

People apply through a phone number given on the programme or via the website. They are then questioned about their views, voting intentions, background etc, in much the same way as an opinion poll. From that, the producers select a broad and balanced cross-section.

If, from those applying in a particular area, they feel any group or view is under-represented, they will - occasionally - contact local groups to encourage their members to apply to be in the audience.

Why are Question Time audiences always biased in favour of left-wing policies?

They are not. As indicated above, they are selected to reflect a broad range of views right across the political spectrum. It is, however, notoriously impossible to make a judgement about the overall views of an audience based on the noise they make or the levels of applause.

It is also impossible to force people to speak in favour of a particular view, even if you know they are in the audience and hold that view.

In fact, there has been more criticism recently that the audiences "sound" anti-government. That is not because there are not people in the audience who support the government, but, in my view, because those people are less willing to air their views in public than those who attack the government.

Five years ago, the opposite was true. This says more about the climate of British politics, than it does about the balance of the Question Time audience - these are perceptions which tend to ebb and flow.


The BBC has defended how it chose the audience for the leaders’ debate on Question Time, after its selection process was accused of both leftwing and pro-coalition bias.

The audience for BBC1’s Question Time Election Leaders Special on Thursday, which will feature David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg, will be made up of 25% of those who say they will vote Tory, 25% Labour supporters, 25% Liberal Democrat supporters, 15% who favour “other parties” and 10% who say they are undecided.

The Telegraph and the Sun both said the composition of the audience exaggerates the proportion of people likely to vote Liberal Democrat, and that up to two-thirds of the 150-strong audience could be leftwing supporters.

Tory MP Andrew Brigden, a critic of the BBC, said that the selection process proved the “unashamed leftwing bias of the BBC”.

However, the Independent cited a Labour source saying that Miliband will be at a disadvantage because 50% of the audience will be supporters of the current coalition.

The BBC said the selection process meant that “each party leader faces the same prospect – an audience where one in four supports him, but where the majority does not”.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby leady » Wed Nov 18, 2015 11:10 am UTC

Spoiler:

Basically you're arguing I'm right - that the bbc is politically neutral in terms of the country - and you especially agree it's even-handed during elections - unlike the US equivalents.


Its politically neutral with regards to the time spent on specific parties, but its left of the UK centre with regards to its coverage outside such things. What do I mean by this? If there are political panels then yes they have MPs etc in reasonable proportions and the questions are fair. In terms of non-overtly party political discussions they are heavily left on any discussions of social policy, immigration etc.

(I don't even really know what it means to say that the UK is 'firmly entrenched in a left-wing worldview'. It's somewhat left-wing compared to the US but somewhat right-wing compared to Europe. The UK is something of an outlier in how much it believes in government healthcare but all countries believe in government healthcare to a greater or lesser extent; The UK is pretty right-wing overall if you exclude the NHS.)


I know a lot of people in the UK think we are to the right of Europe, but that is highly debateable. On a GDP consumed by government basis the UK is a couple of percentage points lower than France. The NHS as a concept is uniquely to the left of every healthcare system in the world. The UK benefits system as a non-contributory system is significantly to the left of other European countries even if on paper theirs look more generous. On a schooling basis, the UK has a almost pure flat secondary system with a small amount of grammar and private systems - In Europe grammar equivalents and even school selection through voucher schemes abound. So whilst its different, a lot of red line elements in UK politics are well to the left of the bulk of our European cousins - so maintaining that the UK is particularly to the right of the rest of Europe is mostly selective perception.

This is so wrong it's hard to know where to start. But I'll quote the bbc defending itself on this issue:


I take it you never actually watch the show :)

But this is all highly off topic so...

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby curtis95112 » Wed Nov 18, 2015 6:42 pm UTC

Trump is dominating in New Hampshire

I still don't think that Trump is actually going to get the nomination, but his ridiculous staying power is disturbing and fascinating at the same time.
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Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

Thats the best description of the USA ever.

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Re: 2016 US Presidential Election

Postby Thesh » Thu Nov 19, 2015 9:10 pm UTC

Donald Trump is trying really hard to get back on the front page to take the racist vote.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015 ... ng-mosques

Although he never said it directly, and was baited by the interviewer, he wouldn't rule out having special IDs, warrantless searches, or databases of Muslims. Trump has always refused to give details about anything in interviews, but what he did say was this:

And certain things will be done that we never thought would happen in this country in terms of information and learning about the enemy. And so we’re going to have to do certain things that were frankly unthinkable a year ago.
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