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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: World's most demented electoral system? on: May 23, 2016, 11:35:43 am
Because it is a federal republic with elected provincial parliaments who have constitutionally guaranteed powers? I.e., the opposite of being unitary and centralized?
2  General Discussion / Constitution and Law / Re: Life peerage (UK) on: May 23, 2016, 10:43:56 am
You could theoretically have life viscountcies, earldoms, etc., as far as I'm aware. I'm sure it's been done at least once before in the past 950 years-- not including peerages created in the knowledge that the title would die with the first holder-- but considering the primary point of life peerages is to enable their holders to sit in the Lords, they would be somewhat redundant for that purpose.

If the objective was to honor the grantee and barony was regarded as insufficient for that purpose you could always just create a normal hereditary peerage (but you would need to append a life peerage for them to sit in the Lords). The awarding of hereditary peerages seems to have stopped almost by accident-- I'm quite certain Thatcher (who resumed awarding them after Wilson stopped doing so) would have been given the customary earldom for retiring Prime Ministers (and become a Countess) if not for the fact the title would pass to her son Mark, who was by then already regarded with suspicion. They likely gave Denis Thatcher a baronetcy to compensate somewhat, which has left enough people scratching their heads, wondering when Mark Thatcher was knighted, as is. The custom was to name the title after the PM's constituency, meaning she would have been Countess of Finchley.

Alas, she never was never given an earldom, so the last non-royal to be granted a hereditary peerage remains Harold Macmillan, in 1984. Removing hereditary peers from the Lords could have conceivably made granting them easier since they no longer conferred parliamentary privileges, but they are yet to make a comeback. Which--and this should come as a surprise to absolutely no one-- is in my view a shame. I suspect Blair would, by now, be open towards accepting one if it was offered. Wink Blair would be Earl of Sedgefield, Brown likely Earl of Kirkcaldy (where he grew up), and I'm not sure about Major, as they're already Earls of Huntingdon (17 of them, to be exact). The Spanish are still in the habit of granting titles, and that's after not having a monarchy for 50 years! (Although Franco awarded some himself; Dali was made a marquis)

What better way is there to honor one's accomplishments than to ensure they are honored for generations to come? Smiley
3  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: New Jersey goes Republican? on: May 23, 2016, 07:55:21 am
The Cubs are 7 1/2 games ahead in first place.

this isn't the best sporting analogy that you could have used; with the team that the Cubs have they should be winning!  Leicester City winning the premier league however...

Murica.

Actually, I posed the question on Facebook back in December, of which was more likely to happen:
1. Trump wins the GOP nomination
2. Leicester City wins the Premier League

We all had a great laugh at the preposterousness of both.  My Liverpool supporter friends were like, "NO WAY the Foxes even finish top 4, and LFC is going to the Champions League! YNWA!!!!!"

LOL.

Screenshots or GTFO. Tongue
4  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Opinion of Libertarian Pres. Candidates: Gary Johnson, John McAfee, & etc on: May 23, 2016, 07:36:40 am
Johnson/Weld is a freedom ticket. McAfee is crazy and Petersen will garner a whole 0.5% if nominated.

Isn't McAfee wanted for murder in some Central American country?
5  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Lindsey Graham becomes #EventuallyTrump on: May 23, 2016, 12:44:26 am
SAD!
6  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Will Bernie Sanders be gracious in defeat? on: May 18, 2016, 06:20:49 am
He's being just as gracious as the Clinton campaign was at this point in 2008.

At this point Clinton was behind but still had something of chance, not to mention leading in the popular vote, whereas Bernie has no chance and is almost 15 points behind. The only reason Hillary hasn't clinched the nomination yet is because California is so late this year.
7  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Haiti to join African Union on: May 18, 2016, 12:35:40 am
I literally said "Haiti is an African country" in a conversation today but I didn't literally mean that Haiti was an African country. One wonders if the North African states (or, I guess the Indian Ocean island states) will welcome this development, considering it would appear predicated on the idea that African=Black.

I lean unfavorable on this, Haiti may be culturally African (and its politics and economic condition stereotypically so), but it is not part of the African continent. The role of the AU is to facilitate continental economic integration and political cooperation, goals which aren't really feasible when you have members in completely different parts of the world.

Well, those goals are vague enough that they may very well be, but the general point of "neighbor countries should be able to trade with each other more" and "trans-national transport infrastructure should be improved" cannot really be made applied to Haiti.
8  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: PRC political ideology by Province on: May 18, 2016, 12:17:53 am
What exactly would a "rust belt" region be in the Chinese context? There's not much to be rusting yet...

Also, is there any explanation for the apparent belt of poorer inland provinces running from Shanxi to Jiangxi, between the wealthy coast and a second belt of wealthier provinces to their west? Were they "leapfrogged" in the spread of industry into interior China in favor of places further inland? Geographical disadvantages? Poor natural resources? 

I know relatively little about the economic geography of China-- or its geography in general. (It doesn't help that so many of them have confusingly similar names.) Still, I never fail to be surprised when reminded of Inner Mongolia's apparently vast wealth. I can only assume that the place is highly unequal, although it's an assumption grounded purely in intuition. One also wonders who the leftists are in Xinjiang. They can't possibly be the locals.

I'd ask how they were able to collect such data in the first place, but I imagine the answer could be found in the linked document. Alas, I'm too tired to read it now-- maybe later.
9  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: May 2016 Pacific Constitutional Amendment Ratification Voting Booth on: May 17, 2016, 08:18:40 am
AYE
10  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Will Donald and Melania Trump be happy living in the White House.......... on: May 14, 2016, 11:21:38 am
Majorie Merriweather Post originally donated Mar-a-Lago to the government to be used as a presidential retreat so Trump would merely be carrying out her legacy.
11  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: If I were to make a Romney ad on: May 12, 2016, 11:55:41 am
It's a shame Lena Dunham and I are on the same side this election, because I'd be interested in a remake. In fact, Lena Dunham, who's only gotten worse over the years and continues to symbolize what's wrong with American society today, is almost enough to make me not want be on her side. Well, maybe not almost. But her threat to leave if Trump is elected is one of the few plus sides to that otherwise terrifying prospect.
12  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Presidential Election Trends / Re: Are we ready for a (literal) bastard president? on: May 12, 2016, 10:52:14 am
It will probably never happen. The stigma itself isn't an issue, but illegitimacy today generally occurs in tandem with a number of socioeconomic factors that, in our increasingly immobile society, heavily stack the odds of ever rising that high against such a child.

I could see Adam Laxalt, for the simple reason that he does not face these problems.

Even Georgiana Emma Georgiana Bloomberg has had a son out of wedlock.

EDIT: Here is the, uh, bastard with his grandfather, who for some reason is wearing his neck ribbon of a Knight of the Order of the British Empire:



I'd say there's a non-zero chance that he takes up British citizenship at some point, thereby legitimately making him Sir Bloomie.
13  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: NDP Leadership Convention 2017 (2018) on: May 11, 2016, 07:33:20 am
Why do Canadian parties wait so long to hold their leadership elections?
14  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: India 1977-present on: May 11, 2016, 07:27:42 am
Not sure why that is so funny.

Voters: chose between dynasties!

Both Rahul and Varun Gandhi may yet end up leading their parties in the next UP election...

Either way the country should thank its stars that Sanjay's plane fell out of the sky before he could take office.
15  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Austrian Elections & Politics 2.0 (Presidential Election: April 24 & May 22) on: May 10, 2016, 03:30:05 pm
Hofer's latest newspaper ad was quite hilarious:



The word "erhalten" has 2 very different meanings in German:

"Only he wants to preserve the cash/paper money."

or

"Only he wants to receive the cash/paper money."

Wink

Why would paper money need preserving? Is Austria considering abandoning paper money, as Norway has been talking about doing?
16  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Philippine General (Presidential, Congress and Local) Elections - May 9, 2016 on: May 10, 2016, 03:26:09 pm
According to polls and initial returns, Marcos will fare well in overseas votes

How many are there?
17  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: #NeverTrump GOP endorsements (Sasse,Whitman,Romney,Baker, Beck,Kristol,Ridge...) on: May 10, 2016, 06:36:32 am
Have we heard anything from McCain? I feel sorry for him, really, since he's up for re-election. Hopefully the voters would understand after what Trump said but right wing bigoted ignoramuses are, well, bigoted mouthbreathing ignoramuses who are likely to be angry McCain isn't getting on the TRUMP train.
18  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential General Election Polls / Re: Morning Consult national poll: Clinton 45% Trump 40% on: May 10, 2016, 06:08:58 am
Lol, Trump already polling better than Kasich:
5
Clinton 43%
Kasich 37%

Clinton 46%
Cruz 33%

rofl lmao

Morning Consult has consistently been more favorable to Trump and less so for Kasich. I wouldn't put much stock into it.
19  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Regional Governments / Re: 20th Pacific Legislative Council on: May 09, 2016, 08:32:40 pm
This is unfortunate. I repeatedly checked the forum to see if voting had opened, and when I didn't look, it did!
20  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / Election What-ifs? / Re: DBWI: Trump's campaign does not collapse on: May 09, 2016, 08:12:13 pm
DBWI? Wrong website!
21  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Austrian Chancellor Faymann (Social Dem) resigns on: May 09, 2016, 07:53:59 pm
How come those two are the front runners and not some other minister or state governor?

Austria, Swedish Cheese; Sweedish Cheese, Austria. I don't believe you've met.

Would that also explain why Faymann's decision to cap refugee admissions, according the BBC article at least, was poorly received by the unions, of all groups? One would think they would welcome less, not more, low-cost nonunionised labor sloshing into the country, as is usually their stance elsewhere, and especially given the inclinations of an increasing number of their constituents.
22  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Clinton & Trump VP search news LATEST: Trump putting Carson on VP search team on: May 09, 2016, 07:42:22 pm
I'm quite glad that Castro is being reported as off the list.  He has just about the worst possible gaffe for a campaign against someone like Trump:   

"Joaquín and I got into Stanford because of affirmative action. I scored 1210 on my SATs"

You can bet that Trump would read that aloud for 3 months and call him Stupid Julian.  It would be absolutely brutal.

Wait, he said this? In public? Clearly his affirmative action juju was a lot stronger than mine if he got into Stanford with that score. And then he went to Harvard Law! I understood but never really shared the dislike so many have for this guy until now, not because he got a low score on some test but because he seems to be practically bragging about it (apparently he was talking up affirmative action in the Times). Affirmative action should get your foot in the door, not carry you over the threshold when you're not qualified. Clearly Castro thinks everything should be handed to him on a silver platter without having to do anything-- college admissions, law school, a (virtually ceremonial) mayoral post, a cabinet post (in which he's been far less proactive than his predecessor), and now the Vice Presidency. What a smug pr--k.

At the same time you almost have to admire it. Who would have thought it possible that one could coast their way to being one heartbeat away from being President? Sure, you could stumble into it, like Agnew, but it almost takes a certain talent to get yourself chosen as mayor of a top-ten city yet not have to do any work, monetise your prestigious sinecure to the tune of six-figures through speeches, books, and a seven-figure "referal fee", and then end up in Cabinet giving more speeches, reading reports, and following the recommendations of civil servants.  The rest of us can only wish we could do so much by doing so little.
23  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: How are all the Republicans here feeling today? on: May 09, 2016, 07:16:31 pm
Kinda bad because Ted Cruz is so much better, but trump won't be a bad president and Anyone is better than Sec. Clinton

See, I'm a conservative, and I'm able to admit that absolutely none of this is true. I am assuming Hillary will be the same as the past eight years. Let's be honest here, the past eight years have not been terrible. Obama isn't perfect, and he's certainly not my dream candidate (although I shall always freely profess that I am glad this country elected a black President), but the United States is still here, more or less the same. Which is more than a lot of people were expecting back in 2008.

Hillary may be more hawkish on foreign policy, which is probably a good thing. Now, if we sit back and are honest about it, Obama's foreign policy has been a series of mislaid plans and strategic missteps, mostly caused by a certain lack of decisive action. I give him full credit for dealing appropriately with traitorous leakers and issues of homeland security, but from Russia to Syria to Libya to China... administration policies have gone awry in ways that were largely avoidable. More hawkishness would be a good thing.

Now, take Trump. Here is a man who says he has no problem increasing the debt because he "likes debt", who says we should cut taxes one day and raise them the next, who backs partial birth abortions, then says we should punish women who have abortions, then... who the hell knows. Who knows anything with Trump. And you think this sort of wild, unpredictable changes from a man with no experience in politics who seems like an assortment of bad character traits is better than the past eight years? Give me a break. Be honest.
24  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: As Xavier Becerra Stirs Crowds, Hispanic Democrats See a Running Mate on: May 09, 2016, 06:59:28 pm
He's a much better choice than Perez and especially Castro. But there's a decent chance he could be the House Minority Leader or Speaker at some point...

The only way that's happening prior to 2026 is if Trump wins and then there's a massive backlash in 2018 or 2022.  If Clinton wins in a blowout and flips the House, Pelosi will get the speakership back anyway.  So from his perspective, there is nothing to lose.  In the worst case scenario a loss to Trump anoints him as the young opposition leader going forward.

Or the Democrats could just make a concerted effort at winning state houses and/or increasing nonpartisan redistricting and then getting their base to turn out during midterms. It's only four years until 2020. Indeed, I'm inclined to believe that if they really tried, the Democrats would have a serious shot at taking back the House. Their poor performance downballot for the past six years cannot be explained by unpopularity alone...
25  Presidential Elections - Analysis and Discussion / 2016 U.S. Presidential Election / Re: Trump/Bondi? on: May 09, 2016, 06:51:01 pm
The funny thing is that it's the wrong picture, yes, but the shock is no less warranted!
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