Trump recommends against hiring Michael Cohen as your lawyer

I gotta say, that was pretty funny.

The difference is I’m automatically eligible to vote in state and federal elections. It’s a constitutional right. In the USA you can be a citizen but not eligible to vote because you didn’t register. Historically this process has been used to create barriers and disenfranchise certain groups.


OK, that is indeed a meaningful difference between the two approaches.

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Party membership is optional and people can and do change affiliations. A good third of the country stays independent. It really only has to do with who gets selected to be on the ballots and not who is actually elected during the general election. Each party puts up their slate of candidates who have been selected via a primary or caucus process.

However, since political parties are not government institutions and are privately funded, their bylaws mandate registration in order to participate in their primary or caucus process (as well as internal elections, leadership, fundraising, etc.). In order to vote in the primaries party registration is required.

Some states have passed laws allowing open primaries which means anyone can vote in either Republican or Democratic primaries without prior registration. However, it’s still an either/or choice - you can’t vote in both. Then you have California’s “jungle primary” where the top 2 candidates that receive highest number of votes are selected regardless of party. This leads to strange situations where only Democrats are on the ballot in the general election for example.

This is all about who gets selected for the ballots. It really has nothing to do with the actual election to which anyone can vote for anyone regardless of party. But generally people usually vote in line with their affiliation.

Each party has slightly different processes (Democrats have super delegates for example while Republicans do not), and every state has different laws governing primaries, voter registration, party affiliation, and ID requirements. Colorado, for example recently switched from closed caucuses to an open primary after long lines kept people from participating in 2012. While the state can regulate them, the primaries are still funded and run by the parties themselves.


And these are the folks we trust to run the country?


In the county where I live, nearly 79% of voters registered as Democrats (and more registered as unaffiliated than Republican) for the 2016 election, and this was nearly 85% for the 2018 primary. However, county-level offices are partisan, which means that the Democratic primary effectively is the election, for the county government. If you aren’t registered as a Democrat (I was unaffiliated until 2016), a large portion of the primary ballot is blank (maybe a “yes/no” on a couple of bond issues etc.), and in the general election you basically get to rubber-stamp whoever made it onto the ballot as a Democrat.

I recall reading something similar here on the BBS, except it was about the Republican party being dominant in that place (somewhere in WV).


The rational reason is for primary voting. The same system is used for voting in primaries as in general elections, but you don’t want Democrats voting in the Republican primary or vice versa. So only registered Democrats get ballots for the Democratic primary, etc.

Of course, people game the system anyway, and you get Republicans registering as Democrats just to vote for the worst Democrat in the primary, so why not do away with it?

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There are states in the USA that have automatic voter registration for anyone who has a state-issued ID card and meets the requirements to be eligible to vote.


Well, they managed to distance themselves from Nixon so…

I think this will make them look bad for a single election cycle if it all goes to shit.

Of course, “It’s the economy stupid”. The indicator of how an election will swing that’s held up over the last 100 years is the economy. If growth is over 3%, the party will pretty much stay in power. If it’s under 2%, then pretty much the incumbent will lose power.

Nobody knows when, but we are due for a big “market correction event”.


I recall some years ago a larger international company, the head of the company was busted for cooking the books. Something along the lines that they had some sort of financial short fall before some date that was critical to investors. He tried to hide the problem. Then of course had to do more to hide that he cooked the books. And on and on. I forget the exact details but I liked how he described it after he was busted.

He said it was like riding on the back of tiger. He knew it was bad to be there but if he tried to jump from the tiger’s back it would immediately turn and eat him. So he held on and just kept making things worse.

I hope the tiger is ready to eat some GOP.


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I consider the fact that this seems strange to us to be one of the big problems with our electoral system.

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Good point. This is strange in so much that it is atypical of other ballot options in most other states. Right or wrong, the 2 party system is what we’re currently stuck with in the US. Unless we adopt a more parliamentarian system which requires multiple parties to work together and form governing coalitions, we are forced to deal with a more adversarial approach. Each has their pros and cons.

My personal opinion is we can make bigger strides towards stronger and fairer representation by removing PAC money and corporate donations and adopting publicly financed elections. Overturning Citizen’s United is the first step.

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Weighted voting could easily allow more than 2 systems.

Don’t forget that in addition to the correct and justified reasons you and others have been discussing, we actually have citizens here who harbor the fear that brown people from south of the border would actually travel hundreds or thousands of miles to skew an election against their favorite (conservative) candidate.
It parallels the fear they’d travel the same distance to single them out of all the people in the world to rape or kill. Loony, I know, but I’ve actually heard people spout this nonsense. For some reason, it flies well in places like Kansas and Missouri.


Yeah, it feels like, in many ways, Republicans have staked their party’s future on being the Trump party. That… doesn’t bode well, whatever happens, for either the party or democracy.

I suspect that’s more true of Trump voters than other Republican politicians/the party establishment (who largely loath him). They know that key voting blocks aren’t going to be there for the party if they stand against Trump. Increasingly, the Republican party is losing voters, so they know they don’t have a future without Trump.

Oh, it is and has been since before the 2016 election. It’s a big part of the reason why Trump won. (The margin by which he won some of the key swing states he took were substantially smaller than the number of people who had been prevented from voting in those states.) They’ve been not just purging voters from voter rolls (supposedly for not having voted recently, but…), but generally targeting demographics that vote for Democrats, so yes, they don’t need the voter affiliation information to target Democratic voters. This election they’re doubling down on it, and if they manage to hold onto power, it’ll get even worse.

As others have mentioned, party affiliation allows for voting in that party’s primary (in presidential primaries and most state primaries). In California we don’t have it for state elections, but that often means Democrats running against Democrats, so I can see the parties not being happy with the idea of being potentially locked out entirely of specific elections, nor the kind of spanner a “top two” primary system would throw into the presidential primary process as it exists (which is totally a weird mess, but one that works in the favor of certain interests).

A lot of conservatives are really not happy with the idea of automatic voter registration. They frame it as a “problem” of some people being “too lazy” to register, so they shouldn’t be allowed to vote. They’re fine with people having to jump through arbitrary hoops to be able to exercise their right to vote - other people, that is. They’d never put up with that nonsense themselves, of course.


Here’s how the republicans try to control who votes.


And random capitalization.


Most don’t…

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