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California's new "Golden Oldie" Governor





deanhills
He is 72 years old, has already served two terms of Governor of California - 1975 to 1983 - and the people who relate most to him are golden oldies. Wouldn't it have been better for Jerry Brown to retire gracefully with his dignity intact after an illustrious career as Mayor of Oakland (1999-2007) and State Attorney General of California (2007-)? Why would he want to stick his head into a hornet's nest of political troubles? And will he be able to make a difference?

His toughest challenges apparently will be the budget and labour contracts. Do you think he will be able to stand firm and risk being unpopular to make a difference?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Brown
Afaceinthematrix
I hate him and despise him utterly. I did NOT vote for him and, in my opinion, people who did are morons. He is the worst possible candidate for the job. During his last term as governor, he did only two things: raise taxes and then lie about it. He'll most likely kill jobs. He has had very few successes.

Although we didn't really have much of a choice during this last election. I had a huge distrust in Meg Whitman. She started off sounding like she was in it for altruistic purposes. She wanted to create jobs, cut wasteful spending, and fix public education. She had "Meg's Plan" online - which I read and it was decent. I didn't really want to vote for her because she was against freedom (against Prop 19) and so I was going to vote for the libertarian - Dale Ogden. Then I read Ogden's website and found out that he's an utter douchebag. So now I was stuck. Meanwhile, I was losing more trust in Meg. The reason for that is that she started off with these altruistic views that were the foundation of her campaign. However, her campaign was turning more and more into a politicians' campaign. She began mudslinging and using all sorts of other tricks and lies.

So if, during a couple months of campaigning, she was starting to become more and more corrupt, what will happen during the years of actually being an office? So I didn't trust her.

So who did I vote for? Meg Whitman. My reasoning: Jerry Brown was so terrible that I had to vote for the one person with a shred of a chance of actually winning. That was her. She lost. So now the (probably same) morons who voted against proposition 19 voted in someone who will do only two things: raise taxes (we already have high taxes!) and then lie about it! Luckily I'm only two years away from getting out of here.
jwellsy
I'm sure the Fabian Socialists are happy about having him.

I think it's a great example of what Marx and Lenin were talking about when they would say that socialists were "useful idiots". Jerry Brown is a Fabian Socialist Useful Idiot.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
So who did I vote for? Meg Whitman. My reasoning: Jerry Brown was so terrible that I had to vote for the one person with a shred of a chance of actually winning. That was her. She lost. So now the (probably same) morons who voted against proposition 19 voted in someone who will do only two things: raise taxes (we already have high taxes!) and then lie about it! Luckily I'm only two years away from getting out of here.
Doesn't this make a sham of all of the elections? Such as it did with the Presidential Election in 2008, that there aren't any really suitably qualified politicians who are nominated for these positions? Where are all the good guys? Looks as though the political election system has grown so far apart from the people that it has become a sham of sorts. Maybe there should be a two-tiered election. People get to approve whether the person is eligible for standing for election, i.e. Brown and either vote him in or out for election. If out, then the Party has to come up with another candidate. And ditto Meg Whitman?
jwellsy
How about a written exam to prove basic competencies and understandings. Hairdressers, plumbers, massage therapists and a hundred other professions have to pass board exams, even to drive a car you have to pass a written test. Politicians should have an entrance exam too.
watersoul
Most politicians are as bad as each other in my opinion. As long as 'the party' is the dominant force we'll always have inadequate individuals in some form of power, solely because they have to 'toe the party line'.

I can't comment on the US situation really but I remember arguing on the phone with a junior British government minister some years ago when I was in the Civil Service, and actually more qualified to comment on the statutory law than this elected representative who was disputing our interpretation of it.

One comment he didn't like was (paraphrase) 'we've interpretated the legislation exactly as intended and if you are now unhappy with the consequences then perhaps you are in a better position than me to alter the new law which your own party voted for last year'

Another comment which he didn't like in our heated conversation was (again paraphrase) [sarcasm] 'Your position is something I enviously aspire to, as it's possibly one of the highest paid unqualified jobs in the UK, requiring simply the backing of your party and the votes of the people in your constituency' 'How foolish it is for our state to rely on educated people in the Civil Service to interpret and administer the laws which are blindly voted for by the MP's' [/sarcasm]

Yes I suffered a misconduct inquiry but thankfully won it after blatantly denying the whole conversation. Smile
The majority of politicians are, sadly, self-centered (party following) pricks, in my opinion and experience, but hey, someone has to do it I suppose!
deanhills
jwellsy wrote:
How about a written exam to prove basic competencies and understandings. Hairdressers, plumbers, massage therapists and a hundred other professions have to pass board exams, even to drive a car you have to pass a written test. Politicians should have an entrance exam too.
Right! And maybe those who participate in elections should also write an exam? Think we've had a discussion on that one too .... Very Happy

But over and above all of that, I think those who are eligible to vote should be able to approve whether a candidate is suitable or not. Brown qualified in all the right places, but Matrix set out some important points why Brown was not a good candidate, nor Meg Whitman. So people who were voting had to vote for the lesser of two evils. Just does not sound very good in overall.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
So people who were voting had to vote for the lesser of two evils.

Which is why we desperately need 'none of the above' options in all elections.
(If 'none of the above' gets the majority of votes, the election must be re-done with new candidates.)
It won't happen though, because politicians know that most voters are voting against the other guy, not for them - it would make mudslinging an ineffective tactic... and then they'd have nothing left. Having a 'none of the above' option would force politicians to offer something people want, rather than just looking 'not as bad as the other guy'.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:

Which is why we desperately need 'none of the above' options in all elections.
(If 'none of the above' gets the majority of votes, the election must be re-done with new candidates.)
It won't happen though, because politicians know that most voters are voting against the other guy, not for them - it would make mudslinging an ineffective tactic... and then they'd have nothing left. Having a 'none of the above' option would force politicians to offer something people want, rather than just looking 'not as bad as the other guy'.


We should just go on a "Mickey Mouse" campaign. We, as a nation, should try to use the media to get the word out that if you're unhappy with all candidates, you vote for Mickey Mouse as a write-in candidate. This would essentially be the same as a "none of the above" option because Mickey Mouse obviously cannot fulfill a public-office position (unless there is an actual human-being with that name).

So if Mickey Mouse wins the election, then we're going to have to redo the election. Well actually, maybe Florida would just recount... I do not know if there's an actual procedure for this almost impossible outcome. I highly doubt this would ever actually happen.

However, if there was a "none of the above" option it would be more likely to happen because people will forget to put "Mickey Mouse" but if they see "None of the Above" then they might just decide to draw the line through that option...

Of course some people would still vote against the other candidate. I would have voted for Meg Whitman no matter what just because Jerry Brown in the worst person and politician ever. I think that Mickey Mouse might just do better... At least mice cannot raise taxes and then lie about it over and over and over again...
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
We should just go on a "Mickey Mouse" campaign. We, as a nation, should try to use the media to get the word out that if you're unhappy with all candidates, you vote for Mickey Mouse as a write-in candidate. This would essentially be the same as a "none of the above" option because Mickey Mouse obviously cannot fulfill a public-office position (unless there is an actual human-being with that name).
Laughing Laughing I vote for that suggestion Matrix. Maybe you should put it forward as a New Year's Resolution for Bondings' competition? Think the topic has potential for a great essay?
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

We should just go on a "Mickey Mouse" campaign. We, as a nation, should try to use the media to get the word out that if you're unhappy with all candidates, you vote for Mickey Mouse as a write-in candidate. This would essentially be the same as a "none of the above" option because Mickey Mouse obviously cannot fulfill a public-office position (unless there is an actual human-being with that name).

Nice idea, but by the time you've finished your media campaign, I bet there would be a few dozen politicians who've recently legally changed their names to Mickey Mouse.
deanhills
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

We should just go on a "Mickey Mouse" campaign. We, as a nation, should try to use the media to get the word out that if you're unhappy with all candidates, you vote for Mickey Mouse as a write-in candidate. This would essentially be the same as a "none of the above" option because Mickey Mouse obviously cannot fulfill a public-office position (unless there is an actual human-being with that name).

Nice idea, but by the time you've finished your media campaign, I bet there would be a few dozen politicians who've recently legally changed their names to Mickey Mouse.
I can't believe that there could be more than one Mickey Mouse in any given election. For me the Mickey Mouse solution is an "other" that is just that much better than the two candidates that have been put forward. One problem obviously could be that it could split the votes and maybe create a problem as well, just in case there is one candidate that is OK. Like those who support the second candidate that is not good can deliberately vote for Mickey Mouse. And then no one wins.
ocalhoun
deanhills wrote:
ocalhoun wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

We should just go on a "Mickey Mouse" campaign. We, as a nation, should try to use the media to get the word out that if you're unhappy with all candidates, you vote for Mickey Mouse as a write-in candidate. This would essentially be the same as a "none of the above" option because Mickey Mouse obviously cannot fulfill a public-office position (unless there is an actual human-being with that name).

Nice idea, but by the time you've finished your media campaign, I bet there would be a few dozen politicians who've recently legally changed their names to Mickey Mouse.
I can't believe that there could be more than one Mickey Mouse in any given election. For me the Mickey Mouse solution is an "other" that is just that much better than the two candidates that have been put forward. One problem obviously could be that it could split the votes and maybe create a problem as well, just in case there is one candidate that is OK. Like those who support the second candidate that is not good can deliberately vote for Mickey Mouse. And then no one wins.

One solution I like is the ranking system rather than traditional voting.

Instead of:
Choose one:
_ politician a
_politician b
Xpolitician c
_politician d
_none of the above

You'd get:
Rank these with the one you want most as #1, and the one you want least as #5:
5 politician a
4 politician b
1 politician c
2 politician d
3 none of the above


With this method, you can vote for the candidate who you like the most, even if he probably won't win, and yet still 'vote against the other guy' by putting his best opponent high on the list and putting him on the bottom.
One of the great benefits of this method is that it encourages the growth of third parties, since people would no longer need to 'throw their vote away' in order to vote for a third party that better represented their views.


Another, similar, solution is to allow people to vote for multiple candidates for the same position.
Select all the ones you like:
_ politician a
_politician b
Xpolitician c
Xpolitician d
_none of the above

This would have a similar effect.
You can even vote for all of them if you want, though that makes your vote practically worthless -- the same effect as not voting at all.
Afaceinthematrix
ocalhoun wrote:

Another, similar, solution is to allow people to vote for multiple candidates for the same position.
Select all the ones you like:
_ politician a
_politician b
Xpolitician c
Xpolitician d
_none of the above

This would have a similar effect.
You can even vote for all of them if you want, though that makes your vote practically worthless -- the same effect as not voting at all.


This has an issue of it's own. What if I vote for politician a, b, c, and e but I don't like c and e - I'm just trying to vote against politician d? So I can still effectively be just voting against a politician and not really just voting for the person that I like because if d is the symbolic Anti-Christ and is the worst politician on this planet (like Jerry Brown), then it's in my interest to vote for everybody but him so that I'm giving everybody a chance to beat him. So this still screws up the system.

Ranking is better because a vote of 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 would give the first politician 5 points, the second 4, points, etc. Therefore, I am still clearly showing which one I think is better by giving that person more points (and more chances to win) but also voting against the Anti-Christ.

But I doubt that this will ever actually happen in the U.S. There is just too much corruption with everything in politics to do what is best for the country...

And maybe instead of my polite Mickey Mouse campaign, we can have it be first name: Stupid and last name: Moron. That way, if they change their name then it's at least accurate...
Afaceinthematrix
On a second note, there is an even bigger issue than with the way our system works in electing people. The bigger issue is the way that we campaign. Upper estimates of Obama's race are around 1 billion dollars. And apparently it was money well spent because he won the election! Furthermore, you have to be campaigning for at least two years nonstop to even stand a chance.

So what do you do if you actually have a job and cannot campaign nonstop for two years and/or if you do not have hundreds of millions of dollars at your disposal? Sure the candidate doesn't pay all of it... But do you expect me to get donations when I don't have an incredibly large party backing me up?

So really, there's a reason that we don't often even have a choice. If something was done about campaigning that actually leveled playing grounds, then we might get some choice and some damn good (or even worse) candidates sometime. I don't have the appearance needed to get votes for president - I'm not a haircut, shaving, and suit wearing type of guy. But I think I could do a good job as a governor - professional wrestlers have done it.
deanhills
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
On a second note, there is an even bigger issue than with the way our system works in electing people. The bigger issue is the way that we campaign. Upper estimates of Obama's race are around 1 billion dollars. And apparently it was money well spent because he won the election! Furthermore, you have to be campaigning for at least two years nonstop to even stand a chance.

So what do you do if you actually have a job and cannot campaign nonstop for two years and/or if you do not have hundreds of millions of dollars at your disposal? Sure the candidate doesn't pay all of it... But do you expect me to get donations when I don't have an incredibly large party backing me up?

So really, there's a reason that we don't often even have a choice. If something was done about campaigning that actually leveled playing grounds, then we might get some choice and some damn good (or even worse) candidates sometime. I don't have the appearance needed to get votes for president - I'm not a haircut, shaving, and suit wearing type of guy. But I think I could do a good job as a governor - professional wrestlers have done it.
But is it ever a case of a politician who wants to be a President going out to look for donations? Or is it more like the money bags members of a Political Party Selection Committee headhunting nominees (like Obama), and then let Obama know that they would like him to stand as a nominee and that they may be able to secure funding for him for his campaign?
ocalhoun
Afaceinthematrix wrote:

This has an issue of it's own. What if I vote for politician a, b, c, and e but I don't like c and e - I'm just trying to vote against politician d? So I can still effectively be just voting against a politician and not really just voting for the person that I like because if d is the symbolic Anti-Christ and is the worst politician on this planet (like Jerry Brown), then it's in my interest to vote for everybody but him so that I'm giving everybody a chance to beat him. So this still screws up the system.


If you still want to use your vote to vote against someone, then by all means do so...
The important thing is that you wouldn't be practically forced to do so.
(And you wouldn't have to disadvantage third-party candidates to do so.)

deanhills wrote:
Afaceinthematrix wrote:
On a second note, there is an even bigger issue than with the way our system works in electing people. The bigger issue is the way that we campaign. Upper estimates of Obama's race are around 1 billion dollars. And apparently it was money well spent because he won the election! Furthermore, you have to be campaigning for at least two years nonstop to even stand a chance.

So what do you do if you actually have a job and cannot campaign nonstop for two years and/or if you do not have hundreds of millions of dollars at your disposal? Sure the candidate doesn't pay all of it... But do you expect me to get donations when I don't have an incredibly large party backing me up?

So really, there's a reason that we don't often even have a choice. If something was done about campaigning that actually leveled playing grounds, then we might get some choice and some damn good (or even worse) candidates sometime. I don't have the appearance needed to get votes for president - I'm not a haircut, shaving, and suit wearing type of guy. But I think I could do a good job as a governor - professional wrestlers have done it.
But is it ever a case of a politician who wants to be a President going out to look for donations? Or is it more like the money bags members of a Political Party Selection Committee headhunting nominees (like Obama), and then let Obama know that they would like him to stand as a nominee and that they may be able to secure funding for him for his campaign?

The unfairness aspect of it is bad enough...
Worse is what it does to the politicians.
In order to raise that kind of money, you must be a corporate sell-out... So, anybody with the guts to say no to big money will be eliminated by default.
Rolling Eyes And we wonder why politicians are all bought-and-paid-for... It's because any ones who refuse to sell their influence never even get a chance. We eliminate them from the competition.

Yet, the campaign finance issue is a difficult one... You can force all donations and funds to be distributed fairly... but what about the private millionaire who pays for a political ad out of his own pocket? Allowing the ad invalidates the process; the politicians will sell their influence for others to campaign for them. Disallowing the ad is a blatant violation of freedom of speech -- of the worst kind.
gandalfthegrey
I'd take a Fabian socialist over a Republican any day!
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