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Thread: Off Topic and political - FAO ATCers in the USA.

  1. #1
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    Off Topic and political - FAO ATCers in the USA.

    Some questions for you. I'm trying to get an american perspective on the presidential election process. Do you look aghast on the selection process for the presidential election as we europeans do? Do you despair that that any of the candidates are considered credible or electable? Yes I know, we europeans have nothing to to feel smug about, but what is going on in the primaries fills me with fear and dread. Do you feel the same way? And there is something I don't understand about the voter registration process; I hear of 'registered' republicans or democrats. What does that imply? Do you have to join the party that you register as supporting or do you state that you are likely to vote for the party? It does sound slightly sinister, as in the UK voter registration is independent of the political party system.

    Many thanks in advance for explaining the system to a foreigner.
    Last edited by Moley; 02-01-2012 at 07:26 PM.
    So let the raucous sleigh bells jingle,
    Hail our dear old friend kris kringle,
    Driving his reindeer across the sky.
    Don't stand underneath when they fly by.

  2. #2
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    You can register affiliation with a specific party, but as far as I know, that does not automatically bind you to voting for that party's candidate. I actually enjoy the primary/caucus process. It really gives the candidates a lot of exposure to the public so we can be more educated when we vote. Bottom line, no system of government is perfect. However, as an American, I feel blessed to have the freedoms we enjoy due in no small part to the governing system our founding fathers established.
    I love Outdoor Christmas Lights!!

  3. #3
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    Mike is right. You can register as a republican/democrat, but you don't have to. And that is typically just for primary voting. When election day comes, you can vote for whomever you like, (Even Santa as a write in!),you are NOT required to vote for a specific party. COMPLETELY INDEPENDANT. No one is in that voting booth with you. The primary process is a good one (notice I said good, not great). As Mike stated, it offers a chance for all of the primary canidates to be vetted by the American people. And frankly, if a canidate is going to be elected to represent the USA, they need to be able to withstand the fire of the political office.
    A Very Merry Christmas to all!

  4. #4
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    Yeah...one positive thing I keep hearing on the news is that this year's fierce Republican primaries are going to go a long way as far as preparing the candidate for when it comes time to face off with Obama. I think that is exactly what they mean when they talk about "electability".
    I love Outdoor Christmas Lights!!

  5. #5
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    So am I correct in sensing from your replies an underlying respect and affection for the theory of the primary process as distinct from those participating in it?
    So let the raucous sleigh bells jingle,
    Hail our dear old friend kris kringle,
    Driving his reindeer across the sky.
    Don't stand underneath when they fly by.

  6. #6
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    Mole - this year's primary process is the same as it always is. It is no more "scary" than ever. The individuals seeking the party nomination are always very aggressive during this process and you will hear many opinions that are worrisome. The Republican and Democratic parties are the two main parties in the US, however there are many lesser known groups. In order to vote in a primary, you must be registered with that party. You choose a party affiliation when you register to vote. Registering as an independent means you don't have a party affiliation. No matter how you are registered, you are always free to vote for whomever you like on election day and many people cross party lines when voting. You can write in anyone for any election, however most don't because it would be futile.
    Generally a voter choses his party affiliation based upon his level of "agreement" with the party's basic ideals.

    I also believe that the primary process is generally a good method for each party to select the candidate they see as the right person at the right time. It is a process that is independent of those participating in it. Remembeer that the job of "president of the USA" is one of the most stressful in the world. The vast majority of Americans wouldn't touch that job with a ten-foot pole! So the first qualification is to find well-educated leaders who actually WANT the job and will fight for it!
    I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas

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