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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • The only new thing, is that it will be too short to present/explain/compare seriously the different programs...

    Otherwise it seems it will be as usual in France :
    • People only talking about what others did wrong
    • People talking about the "affaires"
    • People making vague promises that they will forget as soon as they'll be elected...
    • No serious real debate

    The worst is that it's true for each party !
    (I can give example, if asked)

    It sometimes makes me sick to hear them complaining about the people's lack of

    • As I said in my previous entry on the subject, campaigns aren't where politics happen. Never, not in any country that I know. To a certain extent, this can be considered "logical". The goal of the campaign is to win the elections, and then the politics happen (or not ;-)

      I totally agree that this is not optimal, but in the past having genuine public debates has proven disastrous as any well-developed idea is broken by the simplest demagogy. One thing that I find a pity is that the programs are avail

      --

      -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

      • I hope you won't take it for a personnal attack, but what you say is a perfect illustration of what I dislike in politician politic :

        The goal of the campaign is to win the elections, and then the politics happen (or not ;-)
        Sorry but no, Call me an idealist but I thought it should be a moment when everybody would present/share/compare his Ideas to make the things better.
        Now every people involved in politic find it normal to see it ONLY as a race to win (Should I underline that the reach for power total
        • The goal of the campaign is to win the elections, and then the politics happen (or not ;-)

          Sorry but no, Call me an idealist but I thought it should be a moment when everybody would present/share/compare his Ideas to make the things better.

          Well, autarch, this is one place where I absolutely agree with you. Democracy fails in the current American election system, because Democracy (in America) is supposed to be where the people decide how the country should be governed. And that is not what happens.

          Only rich or powerful men can run successfully, the media tells us whom we should vote for with flawed polling numbers to convince us that their choice is a popular one, and the two policitcal parties collude with the media to restrict access to alternative candidates. A leader of the "nonpartisan" (i.e., "bipartisan") Commission for Presidential Debates -- run by a Democrat and a Republican -- said that third-party candidates shouldn't be involved in the debates because people might like them [salon.com]. "Our role is not to jump-start your campaign and all of a sudden make you competitive." No, your role is to help foster Democracy. Not to try to get your political candidate a victory.

          George Stephanopolous gave proof of this collusion in the same piece, where he noted that in exchange for not allowing Perot in the debates (because Mr. Dole, who said the only poll that matters is the election, who was also telling the American people that Perot was not popular enough to be in the debates, didn't want Perot participating), the Clinton camp would be able to get anything they wanted: their own setting, moderator, time, length. The media could have demanded Perot's (or Nader's) involvement, demanded a better time frame (months instead of weeks before the election), etc., but chose not to. Why? At best it is because they think it is a better story. That's what CNN head election correspondent Jeff Greenfield says: more than two people isn't a good "story."

          Well, some of us still care about fair exchange of ideas determining our nation's fate, and not what makes a good story, however "boring" it might be to Mr. Greenfield, and however much jeopardy it might put in the two major candidate's chances. Bah.

          You want fair elections? We could start by having a little law that says any public debate in the primaries or the normal campaign will have to invite every candidate that is on enough ballots to win the election. For a local primary debate, such as one put on for people in Georgia, that would mean everyone on the ballot in Georgia for the Republican nomination. You want to nationally televise it? Well, count up all the possible delegates each candidate is capable of getting nationwide, and allow in at least that number which is capable of getting the requisite number of winning.

          Is it abridgement of the right to free speech and free press? Perhaps. But those things were always intended to foster our system of government, and this is one clear example where they are used to damage it, hopefully not beyond disrepair.

          Don't think that I believe the debates are the only problem we face in this regard; but it is the most obvious one that addresses the point about campaigns not being a free exchange of ideas.

          • I don't know if that could help one way or another, but there's a law in France that guarantees that all candidates have equal access to televised speech. Such laws are hard to evaluate and put into practice, but overall I think it helps. Those rules are possible because the french legal system differentiates between free speech and free press, and puts the former above the latter. I'm not sure how that would map into the american approach to free speech, which is notoriously different.

            There are al

            --

            -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]