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Politico
16th Feb, 2008

I like to keep up with current events, and as such I’ve had a quick glance at the US party nomination campaigns. Then I had another glance for a bit longer, a bit of a read and thought I was done. Then I was back again. Normally I can’t stand politicians; I look at Gordon Brown and feel a wave of lethargy wash over me, the only sight that tops that is David Cameron blathering on about something he hasn’t got a clue about. If I watch him for too long it’s a ‘code blue’ and someone has to restart my heart with a defibrillator! My next vote in a general election will be spoiled ballot with ‘none of the above’ penned in by my own hand. The Queen rakes in enough money, give her a go, she can’t be any worse that these lot (Oliver Cromwell would be spinning in his grave!)

So what’s this got to do with the price of fish?

Yeah, yeah, I know this is supposed to be a sci-fi site, but this is my blog so shut it with the complaints! It has nothing to do with anything, other than I wish we had some more interesting politicians. The two over in the US who have grabbed my attention are Ron Paul and Barrack Obama. One is a libertarian republican, and the other is a liberal democrat. Now it seems to my uninformed, doesn’t know the first thing about American politics other than it sucks (much like ours) mind, is that both want to ‘change’ things as they all do, but these two seem to really want to change things – but in two different ways.

Barack Obama wants to reach across the isle and form a coalition with the republications and independents to actually get something done that will benefit someone other that corporations. He spends a lot of time speaking about why Americans should do this (I think he has to spend a lot of time on it, because it’s like asking to gangs to kiss and make up – it’s going to be hard, but he seems to be doing it). I have even read through this plans, they make a lot of sense in a ‘liberal’ type of way, but they don’t address the fundamentals. And this is where Ron Paul comes in.

Ron Paul actually worried me the first time I heard him talk, but that’s more down to my lack of understanding of the American system. I didn’t know the difference between federal and state government in relation to his arguments, and most of the dumping of social security just means shifting it to the state level. After reading a shit load of stuff and watching many a You Tube video, I can honestly say I have a lot of respect for Ron Paul, because he really doesn’t pull his punches. The biggie is the removal of the Federal Reserve and dumping income tax.

Handshake: So, how do I reconcile these two… well Ron Paul is a libertarian, and it turns out a lot of his views aren’t that abhorrent to the democrats. Some democrats have even run for office using Ron Paul material – and won! Considering Barrack wants to reach across the isle, and Ron Paul is pretty much at odds with the higher echelons within the current Republican party – is there are chance of a handshake?

I think Barrack may win the democrat’s nomination, thought it’s not certain, and I can’t think of a more powerful symbol of cross party cooperation that a Obama – Paul ticket (though Hillary would go ballistic). Perhaps if he doesn’t win the nomination due to the super-delegates acting an ass, I think an Obama – Ron Paul on an independent ticket would really shake things up. Besides if Ron Paul is in charge of the economy, the US may actually be able to pay for Barack’s plans, or any plan for that matter. A combination of unifying and inspirational people management with sound economic policy… (this isn’t going to happen is it? Anything that make that much sense is doomed to not come about)

All sounds like great fun, and they are both fun to watch, that’s if you have the net considering the big media censorship of Ron Paul (this may be the first time you heard of him). Go to you tube and have a look. If Barrack Obama becomes the president and Ron Paul the Vice-President I may actually up sticks and move to the USA – for a month! :p what can I say, I’m British and love Britain. I just find our politicians to be incredibly dull and unimaginative.

Mug: Hmm, I think the problem with British politics, as proved by the surge in support for both Obama and Ron Paul among young people, is not that people are apathetic; it’s just that they don’t like what is on offer. It’s like asking a person which mugger would they like to rob them – obviously they say neither, but some else who isn’t going to get robbed gets to vote too, and that’s where the problem is. Our last general election, only 61% of people came out to vote, and of those put labour rose to power on 35% of that, or 21 (21.59%) of the registered electorate. That’s one fifth of the population imposing their will on four fifths.

Block ’em: I think we should have a ‘blocking vote’. If the blocking vote wins an election for an MP, no MP is elected to parliament, instead the people are represented with a ‘blocker’ that always casts a ‘block’ vote in parliament (they can put a wooden dummy in the seat to represent the blocker – no one would notice the difference) A block vote is not a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, it’s a ‘block’, The ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote has to be higher than the blocking vote to win. If the ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote is lower than the blocking vote the bill is ‘blocked’, it’s not a ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but a ‘try again’, and I see no reason to limit the number of tries as long as changes are being made. Nice and simple. I bet if we had a system like that we would get better politicians who actually wanted to find out what people thought.

Imagine if they (the government) started talking about tough sacrifices we all have to make, and how we must rush off to war, only to see loads of blockers turn up in parliament voted in via by-elections as the bills bite, and war continues.

Now that’s real power.

Games, games and more games: Back to games. It’s fun thinking about games, and in designing games it’s possible to look at quite complex problems and see a way to ‘correct’ them in our imagination. To tweak the system. After all politics is often referred to as a game.

I think I’ll use the ‘Block vote’ as some form of Imperial version of democracy, where a full block of parliament results in the Imperium stepping in as a provisional government while the Arbites got to work rooting out corruption and destroying rejected parties.
Armchair politics :p

Philip

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