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#off-topic
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2021-01-08
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raicotop08:01:42

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGkCwSdZBds Totally forgot this video existed. Made my day again.

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Theodor M.18:01:58

I'm a bit confused about what's going on in US atm and why? What's the deal with Georgia also?

noisesmith18:01:16

this is debated, but the mainstream explanation is that the president lost the election and is using baseless assertion and absurd conspiracy accusations to hold onto power

noisesmith18:01:51

Georgia's senate elections were won narrowly enough that a re-vote was triggered

alexmiller18:01:54

(it's worth reading about the history of why they do runoff elections in Georgia, spoiler alert - it's racism!)

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noisesmith18:01:26

a recurring theme in US politics

seancorfield18:01:39

Specifically, in Georgia, no one got at least 50% of the vote for two Senate seats back in November, so they had special elections for just the top two candidates (from each of those November elections).

noisesmith18:01:08

oh - so it wasn't about the narrowness but not gaining a plurality, thanks for clarifying

noisesmith18:01:55

the legislative branch is working on impeachment, which would mean (if it passed) that the president, who is otherwise immune to prosecution as the head of state, would be stripped of powers and could be criminally prosecuted

noisesmith18:01:23

in parallel, there's a push to use a procedural rule to declare him incompetent (under a clause of the 25th ammendment)

noisesmith18:01:50

this is all while he only has two weeks left in office

noisesmith18:01:27

we are seeing news reports that many who stormed the capitol building in an attempt to stall or halt the counting of the electoral votes were out-of-uniform soldiers and police officers at the same time we are seeing baseless (but widespread) accusations that the ones leading the rioting were "undercover leftists"

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noisesmith18:01:42

there are unsubstantiated claims (conspiracy theories) of widespread electoral fraud (which went to court in 60 separate cases and were thrown out or lost every time), and the supposed goal of the rioters was to stop the counting of the fraudulent votes

noisesmith18:01:02

(which doesn't match any procedural precedent or power in this case (as I understand it) - the counting is ceremonial and confirms the choices of the state electors)

caumond18:01:47

Interesting but as a french guy, I still have difficulties to understand why counting is not accumulated globally at the federal level.

emccue18:01:23

@U018QDQGZ9Q Do you mean "why doesn't 1 person get 1 vote? Why are the states voting?"

noisesmith18:01:48

the constitution is procedurally difficult to ammend, and it is meant to balance power between states not between citizens

emccue18:01:53

because spoiler alert - it's racism!

caumond18:01:27

A kind of north vs south old contest ?

emccue18:01:36

nah a bit before that

andy.fingerhut18:01:37

I don't think the problems here are because of the electoral college, but because of many believing that several election officials were improperly counting votes, which would be an issue whether it was state-by-state or summed over the country.

noisesmith18:01:02

historically the debate was between southern states and northern during the formation of the federal union - southern states were "disenfranchised" because so much of their population were slaves inelligible to vote, the compromise was to mix population based vs. state based electoral votes

emccue18:01:20

Where a slave would count as 3/5ths of a person

noisesmith18:01:37

@U0CMVHBL2 but the solution in that case would be to make claims in those states, and those claims failed

andy.fingerhut18:01:19

I am only making the claim that I don't think summing votes over the entire country would change the fact that if election officials are committing fraud, it is a problem.

emccue18:01:28

@U0CMVHBL2 Disagree. "The issues being discussed" are about how we aren't following the rules of the elections as specified by the states and the system of the electoral college

emccue18:01:55

There is a really strong argument to be made that the electoral college has been a large contributing factor to getting to this point

emccue18:01:06

and just having disproportional representation in general

caumond18:01:19

The more complicated it is the easier it is to opposite

seancorfield18:01:21

Just a friendly reminder from an Admin that discussions of politics can get heated so please all bear in mind the Code of Conduct. Thank you.

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caumond18:01:29

Discussions here are often calm. But its true that this kind of subjects are traps

seancorfield18:01:56

US politics can be a very strange (and polarizing) beast, especially when seen from afar. I'm from the UK and have lived in California for over 20 years and I still roll my eyes at a lot of what goes on here πŸ™‚

noisesmith18:01:31

a little more detail about the federal electoral vote compromise I mentioned above: the compromise allowed slave-owning states to have a voting power proportianal to the population (including slaves via some notorious math), while only counting the votes of white property owners

noisesmith18:01:37

by the time we outlawed slavery, states objected to changing the electoral college based system under the objection that popular vote would give too much power to high population states (and that's where we still stand today)

caumond18:01:50

Useful context. Thanks @U051SS2EU

noisesmith19:01:53

I've always found it ironic that we talk so much about "union" and "federation" precisely because our states are less joined and have more independent power compared to the political entities making up other nations (though consolidated federal power has been trending to increase)

Lennart Buit19:01:23

Yeah, when I visited the US a few years ago, it struck me as odd how different states were. I’m from (well, admittedly a very small) european country, and it feels like one big whole, not a collection of (what we call) provinces

Lennart Buit19:01:34

Noticing stupid things like wildly varying speed limits between states :’)

noisesmith19:01:08

those are also a revenue source for sparsely populated towns between bigger ones within one state

noisesmith19:01:18

even within one city, we see differences between county government vs. city (the county includes more rural power, so roads that the county is in charge of reflect rural priorities (maximum traffic flow, lots of lanes) and ignore city ones (pedestrian safety, usability by those that live nearby))

caumond19:01:22

But you know, europe is far from being united as us is. Even inside France you have separatism. Speed limit are different now. Tax are.more and more locally managed...

noisesmith19:01:16

in the US we have separate state and federal tax systems, with separate rules

noisesmith19:01:31

you have to file with both agencies individually

seancorfield19:01:38

(and state taxes vary quite dramatically from state-to-state)

Theodor M.19:01:32

So people started getting violent because they figured the electoral votes were corrupt?

Theodor M.19:01:22

If so, doesn't this mean end of democracy in the US?

noisesmith19:01:28

one take on that is that it depends on whether they get their way

noisesmith19:01:06

but I think phrases like "the end of democracy" generate more heat than light

caumond19:01:08

Ok ok ! France is much more homogeneous than that! But, the tendency is not unification... brexit could have happen in France, ok it would have change it name... and I feel, but Im not an expert, that it is an occidental trend .

noisesmith19:01:03

@U018QDQGZ9Q sure but the EU isn't as unified and powerful over it's member bodies as the US federal government (though both are made of independent states with some combined oversight)

noisesmith19:01:07

it's complicated for sure

caumond19:01:05

Yes could be better but not the worst neither

Theodor M.19:01:09

@U051SS2EU right. That's my bad.

noisesmith19:01:49

leaving the facts for a moment to just situate my own stance: I hold that violence is what happens when communication fails, and regardless of how we get where we are now, the only way to a better place is via communication and mutual respect

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caumond19:01:23

Too complicated for me. Clojure is easier. Tests fail or pass !!!

noisesmith20:01:14

we carry a lot of weird messy legacy code (as humans generally), but we've also seen many refactors turn out disastrously πŸ˜†

andy.fingerhut20:01:34

@U051SS2EU Whether or not we have mutual respect, at least a respect for reason, rules of logic, and objective laws held up in a fair court system, versus feelings, sophistry, who can talk the loudest in a conversation, and use of mob violence.

andy.fingerhut20:01:07

This isn't the core of the problem, I think, only a symptom, but watching TV interviews from 1960s or 1970s on YouTube, versus having 2 or more guests on a political news show today, is so completely different in mode of operation and decorum, it looks like two different planets.

sova-soars-the-sora05:01:22

@U018QDQGZ9Q the 50 states each have their own popular vote and they send "electors" to cast their votes for president. it's like 50 independent elections. Actually, a long time ago, the power to choose electors was purely in the state legislatures, and eventually it was given to the people in like ... 1824? so there were 40 or 50 years of the union where the popular vote was not even a thing; state legislatures decided who they would pick as president and sent electors to sort it out. the more you know. I think the electoral college has stuck around because it was a compromise for small and large states to have a more "balanced say" in the outcome (even small states get a minimum of 3 electors) and it was probably hard to make sure hundreds of thousands / millions of ballots could travel no problem to washington on-time and be counted without any shenanigans... so it's easier to reason about 500 votes than about many millions, although it might look like nonsense to the rest of the world xD

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caumond11:01:29

I definitly understand historical reasons. My concern is more why it is not changing. Seen from this side of the Atlantic, US are unified enough to have a global vote system for the president, more simple and efficient. And the current system is often a reason to discuss. But then as somebody said earlier, if you want to challenge the system you always can. Simplicity is a Graal for me, not only in clojure. So I imagine this would help to insert Simplicity there. But it is more a systemic approach than a political and social analysis of US.

sova-soars-the-sora18:01:06

@U018QDQGZ9Q The Connecticut Compromise is a fairly strong historical reason -- the smaller states would not have incentive to join the union and stay a part of the union without benefits (namely 2 senators + proportional # representatives) So by guaranteeing even small states at least 3 electoral votes they are more enticed to stay a part of the union. A national popular vote would determine president by 6-7 most populous metropolis pretty much all the time. So there are arguments to be made that less populous territories (states) would not have much (any?) say in the outcome, since it was there to sweeten the pot to keep smaller states as a part of the union. Not saying that Nebraska and Kansas would secede immediately, but their votes would become wholly irrelevant with a popular vote, and places like Miami, Houston, NYC, Seattle/Vancouver region, LA would all have a lot more sway on the outcome since that's where the population is densest. Plus, the trend is that population in cities is growing while not growing as rapidly in more rural areas, exacerbating that issue. So yeah, in short it's not just about the population voting, it's also about enticing states to remain a part of the "United" states

andy.fingerhut18:01:08

@U3ES97LAC I saw a comment once, but did not track it down to its source to see if it is historically accurate, that another argument in favor of current USA system is that a president must be able to attract votes from a larger geographical region in order to win. That sounds related to what you describe, and might be the same point in different words.

caumond18:01:38

Thx @U3ES97LAC it s illuminating, especially when I consider how it would happen if europe try to follow the same path. I dont measure if it is a real option for small state to quit the usa, but I measure also how it could an argument. Plus, it is true that the number of people is not the only element to consider. If a majority of people live in megalopolis, it may not be a good news for country side: reconsidering the number of states you have anf rhe variety of density, I finally understand than some people does not want one people one vote. The same reasons lead France to decentralize. I did kot realize the same should happen at the federal level.

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