View Poll Results: Is the election process too long?

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  • Yes its far too long!

    21 77.78%
  • Nope I love the build up, if anything its not long enough!

    6 22.22%
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Thread: Is the US election process too long?

  1. #11
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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    I just don't see this "limiting free speech" thing that's often brought up in various guises. Politics never stops, but specific election-focused campaigning can surely be restricted to a few weeks without loss of freem n mocracy. (sorry, I slipped into a Bushism!) Our arrangements are similar to Canada's, so perhaps I'm biased, but two years of campaigning can only turn the general public off the process, leaving only the zealots to care about it until polling day.
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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    I just don't see this "limiting free speech" thing that's often brought up in various guises. Politics never stops, but specific election-focused campaigning can surely be restricted to a few weeks without loss of freem n mocracy. (sorry, I slipped into a Bushism!) Our arrangements are similar to Canada's, so perhaps I'm biased, but two years of campaigning can only turn the general public off the process, leaving only the zealots to care about it until polling day.
    The problem I have is how are you going to define campaigning? I mean politicians, at least in the U.S., have speaking engagements all the time where they criticize other politicians, including those from the opposing party and their own.

    So what kind of laws would be passed?

    That the politician can't do campaign ads? Well, okay then. That just means some other group will do the campaign ads for him. Going to try to restrict that? Well, that's an infringement of free speech.

    That media outlets can't report on politicians speaking out against others or for certain policy positions? Well, it's not the news channel's fault that this is what the politicians are talking about. They're just reporting the news. And news outlets don't need to be censored in that way.

    Regulating the media of political campaigns will be too complicated and litigious to be worth the trouble. Better for the lesser number of people who are annoyed to just exercise their choice not to watch something and instead watch something that doesn't annoy them.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins86 View Post
    This is my first experience living in the US for a general election and even though itís still 11 months away im already sick to death with it. The GOP debates seem to have been going on forever and we are still not done. I donít really feel like this allows America to pick the best candidate as the candidates political opinion doesnít really change in this period. All it does is take away focus from the real issues like the economy, War in Afghan, immigration, both parties focus is on how to get their man elected rather than helping the US people. Seems to me if both parties spent as much effort on fixing the economy as they do with the election build up the people of America would be in a better place.
    Iím sure many of you will disagree with me but I just feel its too long and drawn out with the same old party rhetoric bouncing around our heads for 2 years. 2012 should be fun hopefully I wonít have to blow my head offÖ
    You're right. The main problem is that the states all want to have more influence by having primary elections early. They're in competition and they keep moving their dates further and further ahead to beat the others. On the other hand, this means the candidates will be effectively over by spring, and so you'll get a break until the general election heats up in the fall.
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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Manc Skipper View Post
    I just don't see this "limiting free speech" thing that's often brought up in various guises. Politics never stops, but specific election-focused campaigning can surely be restricted to a few weeks without loss of freem n mocracy.
    Nope. No difference. Speech is speech and must be free.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    You're right. The main problem is that the states all want to have more influence by having primary elections early. They're in competition and they keep moving their dates further and further ahead to beat the others. On the other hand, this means the candidates will be effectively over by spring, and so you'll get a break until the general election heats up in the fall.
    Absolutely. I would be fine with a federal law or a constitutional amendment limiting the presidential primaries in the states to no earlier than January of the year in which a presidential election will take place. I would also prefer that the order in which states have their primaries be staggered randomly every election year.

    But I don't think we should put limits on any of the campaigning itself.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Absolutely. I would be fine with a federal law or a constitutional amendment limiting the presidential primaries in the states to no earlier than January of the year in which a presidential election will take place. I would also prefer that the order in which states have their primaries be staggered randomly every election year.

    But I don't think we should put limits on any of the campaigning itself.
    The states decide when their elections are though. I'm not sure the feds have the power to override them, but I could be wrong.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by misterman View Post
    The states decide when their elections are though. I'm not sure the feds have the power to override them, but I could be wrong.
    Right, I'm not sure either. That's why I would support a constitutional amendment if needed.
    Also, we need to legalize recreational drugs and prostitution.

  8. #18
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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by samsmart View Post
    Right, I'm not sure either. That's why I would support a constitutional amendment if needed.
    No need, I found it:

    "The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Places of chusing [sic] Senators."

    So Congress could do it, if it wanted to.
    "Yes I read the 9th [amendment]. It doesn't say **** about abortion." -Jamesrage

  9. #19
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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    Quote Originally Posted by Higgins86 View Post
    do presidents get more done in the 2nd term without the pressure of re-election?
    Some do and some do not. It largely depends on events beyond their control, not the least of which is the composition of Congress. Since WWII, only four presidents have served two full terms: Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Eisenhower and Clinton both enjoyed a friendly Congress their first two years, followed by an opposition dominated one the remaining six. Reagan enjoyed a friendly Senate the first six years of his administration, but not the last two and never had a Republican-controlled House. Bush had same-party control of the House for six years and of the Senate for about four-and-a-half years of that time, but lost both for the second half of his final term.

    While it's true that presidents can be constrained in what they are willing to try, when attempting something may jeopardize their re-election hopes, the absence of these concerns in a second term perhaps suggest, but certainly do not guarantee greater boldness. Clinton's agenda was almost completely stymied by an opposition Congress midway through his first term. He veered to the Right in order to win re-election and his second term was largely ineffectual. George Bush had an enormously successful first term followed by an inept second, due in no small part to his party's shellacking in the 2006 elections. Ronald Reagan's last Supreme Court appointment has damaged his legacy given that his first choice was rejected by an opposition-controlled Senate.

    The fortunes of a president have more to do with how he is able to navigate the political terrain in order to govern effectively than whether it is his first or second term. But as you suggest, there is some correlation there. After all, a second term means more time with which to get more done, more opportunities if you will.

  10. #20
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    Re: Is the US election process too long?

    This is all poppycock. If you don't want to pay attention to the political process of campaigning until X time away from the actual election, feel free to ignore it. Read the news, turn to the channel and watch or listen to the programming that does interest you. There are many people who want to take a thoughtful, deliberative approach to selecting their national leaders. What you're seeing right now is the nominating process. If you're not a Republican, then you really don't have any say in how long Republicans take to choose their nominee. If you're not a Democrat, likewise. The general election campaigning period will continue to last just a brief two or three months in the autumn leading up to the general election. No party has moved its convention forward in time. No ticket will be formally announced until that time. The idea that the federal government should limit debate and deliberation on such an important topic on who we ask to represent us in government is as shocking as it is dangerous.

    Furthermore, the idea that elected officials should be restricted in the amount of time they spend campaigning for re-election is an intriguing one with its own pros and cons, but if the people of Texas are unhappy with the amount of time and attention Gov. Perry has spent away from Austin...if they believe he is neglecting his gubernatorial duties, they are free to vote him out in the next election. If the citizens of Minnesota's 6th district feel Rep. Bachmann spends too much time on the campaign trail and not enough on Capitol Hill they are free to express that discontent next fall or, more poignantly, to make a public issue of it during her presidential campaign. This happened to Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole in 1996 during his presidential campaign, leading to his resignation in order to focus full-time on the election.

    Proposed solutions to such presumed problems invite greater abuse and raise more disturbing issues that the status quo. They also inevitably damage, rather than safeguard, our liberty.

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