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  • Debate

    Things to debate to.

    3 articles in this category

      Is USA a Democratic country - and should it be?

      As a Swedish citizen I tend to look at the USA elections with morbid fascination. While we have our own issues with politics the USA seem to go all in and for months the country go into a state of near war like frenzy. While it seem obvious from the outside that the election process in the USA is a strange process that appear promoting corruption, one question always comes up for me: is the USA really a democratic country?
      Why would I have this question? Well, there are a few reasons why I wonder just how democratic the USA really is and to what level you can actually claim to be a democratic country. I know this is a touchy subject for some Americans and I rarely write about politics, but I write this because for every election this question is getting louder and louder around the globe.
      As I do not claim to be a political expert take this with a grain of salt. It is just my reflections based on my limited understanding of the complex presidential election process in the USA.
      Indirect voting system
      The USA is not a direct democracy, meaning that the people do not vote for a party or a president directly. They instead employ an indirect elector process where a group of people do the actual election for president and vice president.  This group is referred to as the United States Electoral College and while the presidential electors mostly vote according to the popular vote of their state, they are not obligated to. If someone cast their vote differently they are referred to as a faithless elector. In fact there has been incidents where presidential electors
      While a federal constitutional republic is technically a democracy, I can't help feeling that if you can't really trust that your vote will actually count towards the desired outcome, then how democratic is that system really? In fairness this has not been used more than 165 times in the history of the USA, but it does happen. 33 states have laws against faithless electors, though the laws in half of these jurisdictions have no enforcement mechanism. In 2016 there were 4 faithless electors.
      The Plurality System
      The plurality system, or the winner takes all system, is common in the USA. What it means is that only the winner of a certain district count. This means that all votes that is not made on the winning candidate are lost and essentially useless. Because of this system there will be as few candidates as possible to avoid dilution of votes. As a result the people have very limited choices for whom they can vote for.
      Not only will this make voting less appealing if the candidates are few and not to your liking, it can also lead to a situation where a presidential candidate loose even if the majority of the people vote for that person.
      The Design of voting districts
      This is something I did not know existed, but apparently it is the right of the ruling party to redefine the boundaries of voting districts between presidential elections. This even has its own name: Gerrymandering. What it means is that the ruling party redefine voting districts in a way that have the potential to give the best outcome in  presidential election. This to me is a very bad way to manipulate the outcome of an election by rigging it beforehand to tip the scales in your favor?
      This also have the potential to make it more difficult to know what district you are in and where to go to vote.
      Making voting difficult
      If designing the districts add a barrier and the plurality system make it less likely that you will vote the design of the vote itself and how information on voting is managed may be worse yet. Back in 2010 there was a big debate over the design of the Florida ballot and how it might have caused people to vote for the wrong candidate. This led to a guideline for better designs of ballots, but it is not enforced as they are just guidelines.


      There has been quite a few issues where legal and illegal methods of voter suppression have prevented people from voting, misinformation is used to make it harder to vote and so on. In This election we see quite a few concerns over mail-in ballots for example. Overall it seems that the fear of voter frauds seem a bit strange considering that there are almost no confirmed cases for that in the USA? To me, it seems that the risk of manipulation and corruption is a far greater threat than voter fraud?
      Conclusions
      Considering the way people's votes are managed, the risk of manipulation through the design of districts, information and the ballots themselves is it fair to say that the USA are not a democratic country? I am not sure to be honest, but I do think that the people in the USA deserve better. I think a good start would be to scrap the United States Electoral College and use a direct voting system so all votes count equally. Then make it as easy as possible to vote and I think many of the issues currently in the USA can be mitigated if not completely fixed?
      In the end however this is not up to me to judge or demand a change for. It is up to the people of the USA if they are happy with the current system or if they want to see it changed.
       
      I leave you with a presentation by Mike Monteiro who is slightly more critical than I am. This is from 2017 at a Swedish event called from business to buttons that I attended.
      Mike Monteiro
       

      Disney+ is drip feeding content to keep you as a paying customer

      Nothing make my skin crawl as deceit and greed and Disney is pretty good at that. Their release of Disney plus in Sweden probably takes the cake however and I instantly cancelled my subscription when I realised that they are drip feeding old content, just to make me stay as a paying customer longer.
      As Disney plus finally arrived in Sweden I was happy to jump in to enjoy the Mandalorian and season 7 of the Clone Wars. I paid for the monthly subscription because like many other services they don't have enough content for me to remain a constant subscriber. Instead I cycle the services to get the most out of them.
      If you are unfamiliar with the Mandalorian, then you should know that it was released in November 2019 and season 1 was concluded in December 2019. So it is a 9 month old series with the season 2 releasing on October 30th. Even if content sometimes, for some weird reason, is realease differently in different parts of the world I was not expecting to see only 2 episodes available!

      Not only are they not releasing the full 8 episodes of the 9 month old Mandalorian series, they are releasing one episode each week. The same is true for Clone Wars and it is an obvious attempt to keep people subscribing to their service for at least 2 months. It's such a bad way to treat new customers that have waited almost a year for Disney plus to even be available.
      I see absolutely no reason to pay for old content only to get 1-2 episodes of old content. I am pretty sure we will not see season 2 of the Mandaorian anytime soon either.
      This is such a douchebag move from Disney and it pissed me off to the point where I will just skip their content, or pay for a month next year to get access to season 1 and 2 and then cancel again.
      That is a solid way to treat potential customers.

      Cancel Culture is very real - the inquisition has returned

      Not a day goes by it feels like, without another angry mob lash out at someone online over an allegation or perceived misbehaviour.  People loose their income, their relations and some even take their own lives. The Cancel Culture has gone beyond cyber bullying and gone full inquisition. Burn the witch!
      To say that the Internet these days are hazardous to venture is an understatement. The social injustice mobs are everywhere and it seems any reference to race or incorrectness gain the response of blind hate with little to no reason. Sebastian Stan for example are under fire because his girlfriend posted a picture of her in Kimono going out for asian night. It's not even Sebastian Stan doing anythin wrong, but the mob want his head because of something his girlfriend did 2 years ago.
      Seriously, if clothes piss you off, then there is a whole fashion industry to be mad at...

      Ellen Degeneres is getting flailed over allegations of being a terrible person and J.K Rowling is called the transworld Voldemort because she has an opinion that is considered transphobic. Now why would you get upset over the fact that Ellen Degeneres alledgedly treat people poorly and unless you are a trans person why would J.K Rawlins poorly worded attemtps to explain her view on transgender issues offend you?
      You have literally thousands of people in management and leadership positions that are absolute assholes and I bet there are far worse things out there than Ellen Degeneres. That is if the allegations are even true, because as far as I know there are no formal claims of misconduct yet and even if there is, she has not been convicted of any wrong doing. You might want to wait for that before you light your torches.
      J.K Rawlins misguided view of transgender people is unfortunate, but how will burning her on the cross for heresy change things? Misguided and misinformed people need to be educated, not cancelled or having their lives threatened. If other people have opinions that you do not agree with then you discuss the matter with hem. You do not grab the pitchfork and put on your red robes of blind mindless  hatred.

      There are countless others as well like SayNoToRage that was accused for harassment by several women. Harassments that never was filed or investigated, but instead was spread around the community as being "true". Once made public by a tweet of all things the angry mob climbed on their high horses to crucify him, with no evidence or due process.
      While it may not be the direct cause of his suicide, the twitch streamer known as Reckless faced hate in his chat daily and he even begged the viewers to stop telling him to kill himself before he took his own life. Byron Daniel Bernstein as was his actual name died on July 2nd 2020 and was mourned by thousands online. He was only 31 years old.
       
      Stop Hating and start thinking
      I know the Internet is a place where hateful people roam free and trolls take out every frustration their actual lives subject them to, but please don't join them in their hate. People will do and say awful things. People will accuse others of wrong doing just to be mean or because they are hurt and they want revenge. This is why we have laws and processes to protect people from being falsely accused and to put those that break the laws in jail.
      Taking the law in your own hands and form lynch mobs online is not the answer. Reacting as if someone comitted murder and should burn by the hand of the inquisition because they have a different opinion than your own is not justice. It is madness and fanatisism. Although it is hard to conceive for many, you are not obligated to post every opinion and thought that you have online. It is fine to think or even say that you think someone is doing something you do not approve of.  You do not need to go online and publish it for the world to endure.
      If you are hurting because of things in your life, then ask for help instead of making things worse by hurting others. You can not counter hate and anger with hate and anger, it will only feed the negative spiral.  Just because no one hold you accountable for the hate you spread does not mean you are not responsible for the outcome. Proclaiming that you just expressed your own opinion becomes hollow when you express it to be read by thousands to whom you are considered a person of importance.
      You do not stop harassment by harassing others and trying to avoid being harassed by doing it first. That is how the Spanish Inquisition and the Nazis was created.
      Do good, not evil.
      ...and take off those damn robes and start thinking for yourself.
       
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