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20 February 2004 @ 12:54 am
More politics stuff  
Apparently Dean isn't actually _withdrawing_ from the primaries, he's just not actively campaigning. He's encouraging all of his supporters to still vote for him and try to up his delegate count.

I'm not sure what he's planning to do with his delegates, although i've gotten the impression that if no one has a majority then people will start negotiating with each other for delegates, in which case things could get interesting.



Probably everyone who doesn't win will be shooting for the VP slot. It's possible that if anyone has a simple majority they'll pick someone random for VP rather than one of the other candidates, however lets ignore that possibility for now. The usual strategy is to pick someone who has strengths to match your weaknesses.

If it gets down to the convention and Kerry has won, he'll probably pick Edwards. He's not likely to pick another new englander, so Dean is out, but Edwards would help him out in the South.

If Edwards continues his upward trend and wins he'll probable choose between Kerry and Dean. Either would help him out in the north, Kerry has his war record, Dean has his Deaniacs. All else being equal, he'd probably go with Kerry.

If no one has a majority then things will get really interesting, especially if Dean has enough to push either Edwards of Kerry over the top. In that case technically any one candidate could join with another and make them the nominee, however it would be unlikely in the extreme that Dean would end up the winner since he'd have a very small percentage of the votes.

The um, politics of the situation would be very interesting. Kind of like a games problem. If you're one of the big two, you can offer to become the VP to the other big winner and probably get taken up on it, you can ask Dean to join with you as VP and probably get him to agree unless he gets the same offer from the other major and he likes them better, or you can try and convince the other major that they should be your VP and hope that they're not talking to Dean.

Of course they don't have to wait till the convention to start making deals, which allows some other possibilities. If Edwards were smart, he might try to cut a deal with Dean right now, and sign him on as his VP in exchange for his, well, endorsement i guess. Saying you endorse your running mate is usually an exercise in trviality, but yeah.

He would be giving up the potential of getting Kerry as a running mate, who most people apparently see as a more viable candidate, but he would greatly increase his odds of winning the primary in the first place.


Apparently Bush's "secret weapon" in the election battle is Laura Bush. I don't really understand why she's such a big deal, but apparently she's already raised $5 million for Bush so far. Supposedly she's supposed to be a softer presence to counteract Bush's "shoot from the hip" style. I just find it amusing that she's an educator. I'd say that she's obviously well needed in that capacity, except her presence in Bush's life doesn't seem to have had any effect =P

But anyways,the whole issue just reminded me of how screwed up our election system is.



There is clearly a conflict of interest for a sitting president seeking re-election, as well as a huge temptation for the abuse of power. An incumbent president doesn't have quite the same lethargy advantage that congresspeople and other lower ranking incumbants do since the presidential race is so high profile, but they have correspondingly more power that they can apply to keeping their position. Nixon is certainly a prime example of that, and Bush may be one as well, given that he seems to be using his position to gather the biggest war chest ever.

A lot of states have proposed term-limitation for Senators and Representatives, we've got the same system for the president, but we need something a little more creative and/or restrictive.

There are two possibilities i see, the easiest is to reduce the term limit for presidents to one, while maybe lengthening the term to six years. This would certainly prevent the incumbent from worrying about re-election.

A more interesting solution might be to prevent anyone from holding the office for two terms in a row, and perhaps as an added guard, to prevent the vice-president from running for president in the next term. (Or the president from running as vice-president for that matter.)

There would probably still be some problems with the incumbent supporting the next candidate for their party, but i'd like to think it wouldn't be quite as bad that way.

With the alternating term system it might not even be necessary to keep the two term limit anymore. Not only would they not have the incumbent advantage, but if they wanted to have three terms they'd have to commit at least 20 years of their life to the effort.

It would be interesting to see two ex-presidents running against each other in an effot to obtain the office again. It would also be interesting to see what patterns would develop. Would republicans and democrats tend to alternate? Or would one hold onto the office for two or three terms before the other gained an advantage?


Anyways, this doesn't deal with all the other problems we have with our election system, especially vis-a-vis the electoral college, but it would be interesting and hopefully prevent some of the more obvious abuses.
 
 
Current Mood: thoughtfulthoughtful
 
 
 
Leora: ouroborosleora on February 20th, 2004 09:35 am (UTC)
The two term system is a problem, in my opinion. It leads presidents to try to make short-term changes. They don't do what is best in the long-term, because the long-term is irrelevant to most presidents. They think in blocks of four years.

Allowing multiple terms, but never in a row would be an improvement. Although they're still likely to think short-term. Alas, part of it is cultural. And cultural problems always are a great deal of work to fix, and they fix very, very slowly.
Chaos Never Blinkssithjawa on February 20th, 2004 12:16 pm (UTC)
Re:
And in some cases, "it's an election year. Time to do something really ambitious in the next three months."