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I read the news today (oh boy) - Current world events
4 November 2020
3.12am
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Ron Nasty
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Too many of the battleground states are still in play to call either way. Not that that's stopped Trump declaring himself victor before all the votes are counted, calling the election a "fraud", and saying he will take it to the Supreme Court. We could be heading into an American constitutional crisis that could easily spill out onto the streets. Let's hope the divisions in an already sharply divided nation don't get too much worse.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

4 November 2020
5.46am
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QuarryMan
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In times like this, I always draw comfort from the words of the late, great Tony Benn - "There is no final victory, as there is no final defeat. There is just the same battle, to be fought over and over again. So toughen up, bloody toughen up." 

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kelicopter

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4 November 2020
12.13pm
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Ahhh Girl
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The Johnny Depp and Amber Heard situation makes me think of Getting Better .

I used to be cruel to my woman
I beat her and kept her apart from the things that she loved
Man, I was mean but I'm changing my scene
And I'm doing the best that I can (ooh)

I wonder what Paul thinks about this situation having worked with Depp.

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4 November 2020
1.46pm
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Dark Overlord
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For some positive news, Oregon has voted to decriminalize all drugs. This is great because The War On Drugs has been abysmal and despite being nearly identical to prohibition (ie making things significantly worse by pushing it underground), we've been ignoring that fact forever.

To make this explicitly clear, i'm not saying that drugs aren't bad but rather that the government has been failing for decades trying to enforce morality and i'm glad that Oregon has taken the first step in trying to fix that.

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6 November 2020
3.48am
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The Hole Got Fixed
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In some breaking news, Biden has finally taken a 917 vote lead in Georgia - which suggests that he will probably flip that state given most of the rest of the vote is from Atlanta, and assuming his lead in one of Arizona or Nevada stays, Biden will be president in two and a half months.

Of course, nothing is concrete yet, this is just my projection.

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6 November 2020
4.29am
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Ron Nasty
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Trump can't win if Georgia goes to Biden. It's 16 electoral college votes would take Biden's total (currently 253) to 269. If every undeclared state went to Trump (highly unlikely) the result would be a tie and decided by the Senate, with 270 electoral college votes the winning line.

Trump will likely try to have states results overturned in the courts because of the postal votes and his allegations of fraud in the process, but those around Trump have yet to provide any evidence of voter fraud, and the majority of legal manoeuvres attempted so far have fallen at the first hurdle.

Settling the election in the courts, hoping he can get a case to the Supreme Court that he's stacked, has always been his strategy. It could have been a landslide by Biden and Trump would still be braying about it being a fraudulent vote.

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The Beatles Bible 2020 non-Canon Poll Part One: 1958-1963 and Part Two: 1964-August 1966

6 November 2020
5.10am
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QuarryMan
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If Biden wins Georgia and keeps Arizona and Nevada then he's won. 

Even if he does win, though, this election will have been a monumental failure for the Democrats. They were given a global pandemic with over 230 thousand people dead in the USA alone, a huge economic crash, a summer of complete unrest only fuelled by the actions of government, and one of the most divisive presidents in history. This election should've been a landslide, and yet it looks like it's going to come down to a matter of literally hundreds of votes. It's almost comical how effective the Democrats were when they had to deny the nomination from Bernie twice, versus how utterly useless they've been in resisting the majority of Trump's agenda and beating him on an open goal of an election.

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Dark Overlord

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6 November 2020
6.33am
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I wouldn't count on Biden winning Georgia just yet. There were a lot of mail-in ballots that were corrected after election day and if Trump can get these disqualified, it's very likely that it would be enough for him to win the state.

QuarryMan said
If Biden wins Georgia and keeps Arizona and Nevada then he's won.

Even if he does win, though, this election will have been a monumental failure for the Democrats. They were given a global pandemic with over 230 thousand people dead in the USA alone, a huge economic crash, a summer of complete unrest only fuelled by the actions of government, and one of the most divisive presidents in history. This election should've been a landslide, and yet it looks like it's going to come down to a matter of literally hundreds of votes. It's almost comical how effective the Democrats were when they had to deny the nomination from Bernie twice, versus how utterly useless they've been in resisting the majority of Trump's agenda and beating him on an open goal of an election.

Definitely, this would be the equivalent of narrowly beating Dick Cheney if he won the Republican nomination in 2008.

Bernie would've significantly increased young voter turnout and if it were him, he'd be declared the winner on election night.

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6 November 2020
9.12am
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Ron Nasty
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Biden has pulled ahead in Pennsylvania by 6000+ votes with 98% of the vote counted. If he takes Pennsylvania that takes him over the 270 mark.

*************************

While Bernie may have invigorated the youth vote among those on the left, he would probably have lost older voters on the centre left. I know there's a lot of support among the young and left on here but had he been facing Trump, Trump would have walked it, in much the way the young and left in the UK trumpeted Corbyn and then watched him lead the Labour Party to one of their biggest defeats against a candidate in Boris Johnson that many had considered a joke.

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6 November 2020
9.33am
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lovelyritametermaid
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Centre-left would still have voted for Bernie since they are more likely than not to just vote for whoever's the blue candidate.

It's undecided and centrists that would've been trickier to get votes from. Also, young leftists would've definitely lent their votes to Bernie-- especially since a good few of them just decided not to vote at all when Biden was confirmed as the Dem nominee.

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6 November 2020
10.03am
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Ron Nasty
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Afraid I have to disagree, @lovelyritametermaid.

The youth vote was high for the democrats in a high turnout election, so maybe Bernie wouldn't have made that much difference among the young, but I would think (looking at it from a UK point of view) that many of those who are older on the centre-left (aka centrists) would not have voted for him, just as Corbyn had a large group on the centre-left - including me - just stopped voting Labour for the duration of his leadership.

The majority are either centre-left or centre-right, and it's there that elections are won or lost.

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6 November 2020
11.08am
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Dark Overlord
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I think it's worth pointing out that Bernie's actually center-left, with establishment Democrats like Biden being center-right, as he doesn't believe in the abolition of capitalism like Noam Chomsky but rather wants it to be heavily regulated.

With that being said, @Ron Nasty has a point. While most Democrats would've sucked it up and voted for Bernie (assuming Howard Schultz didn't run as an independent), a good chunk of Biden Republicans would've either stayed home or voted for Trump, which likely would've likely helped Trump in southern states like Georgia and Florida.

However, Bernie would've crushed Trump with high youth voter turnout in Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Maine's 2nd District, and likely would've won Iowa and Ohio, which would've been more than enough to put him over the edge on election night. But because the Democrats nominated Biden instead of Bernie, many young adults either stayed home or voted 3rd party. Personally, i would've voted for Bernie but ended up voting for Jo Jorgensen because Biden has a HORRIBLE record on a variety of issues (most notably, writing the crime bill).

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6 November 2020
11.38am
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Ron Nasty
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A very interesting view on the spread of US politics, @Dark Overlord. Were Bernie a member of the Labour Party over here, the UK equivalent of the Democrats, he would be considered a member of the party on the left, while Joe Biden would be considered centre-left. As soon as you label someone here centre-right, their party is the Conservative Party, the UK equivalent of the Republicans (unless being used to disparage a centre-left politician as a wolf in sheep's clothing).

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6 November 2020
11.51am
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Ron Nasty said
Trump can't win if Georgia goes to Biden. It's 16 electoral college votes would take Biden's total (currently 253) to 269. If every undeclared state went to Trump (highly unlikely) the result would be a tie and decided by the Senate, with 270 electoral college votes the winning line.

Trump will likely try to have states results overturned in the courts because of the postal votes and his allegations of fraud in the process, but those around Trump have yet to provide any evidence of voter fraud, and the majority of legal manoeuvres attempted so far have fallen at the first hurdle.

Settling the election in the courts, hoping he can get a case to the Supreme Court that he's stacked, has always been his strategy. It could have been a landslide by Biden and Trump would still be braying about it being a fraudulent vote.

  

What are you talking about?? If this goes to the Senate Trump will surely win. People are being way too cavalier about this election imo.

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6 November 2020
12.14pm
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Dark Overlord
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Ron Nasty said
A very interesting view on the spread of US politics, @Dark Overlord. Were Bernie a member of the Labour Party over here, the UK equivalent of the Democrats, he would be considered a member of the party on the left, while Joe Biden would be considered centre-left. As soon as you label someone here centre-right, their party is the Conservative Party, the UK equivalent of the Republicans (unless being used to disparage a centre-left politician as a wolf in sheep's clothing).

From what i've heard, establishment Democrats (ie Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton) are nearly identical to Tories (ie Piers Morgan, Andrew Neil). Of course, Boris Johnson has pushed them further to the right recently but when comparing Joe Biden to someone like Piers Morgan, it's hard to find any major differences (aside from healthcare, in which Piers is to the left of Biden).

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6 November 2020
12.18pm
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My folks in Georgia came through it looks like. Very proud.  I know several people who have worked very hard to finally see this day. 

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6 November 2020
3.03pm
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You should always vote for the party/candidate who most closely fits with your political beliefs. In the UK, you're actually voting for the MP you want to represent your constituency, rather than who you'd like to be the Prime Minister. Boris Johnson's name would only have been on the ballot papers in his constituency. Naturally the leader of the winning Party becomes the PM. The majority of people, however, base their opinions on the leader of the party.

In the US, I think I'm right in thinking you would have seen Trump/Pence and Biden/Harris on your ballot papers? Where do the votes for the House/Senate come into it? Was that a separate election?

Incidentally, I was trying to find out what the closest Presidential Race was before now? 2000, Bush/Gore? I ended up discovering that Reagan trounced his opponent in 1984, and was pretty impressive in 1980 too.

6 November 2020
3.07pm
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Gotta say, I find the practice of discussing how far left and right each politician is to be one of the most pointless conversations people have in politics. The real political landscape isn't a simple linear progression from Stalin to Hitler, it's a complex web of different countries, parties, demographics, policies, electoral systems, donors and so on, and trying to fit it all onto one line, or even a political compass with two axis, will inevitably just confuse things more than it clears them up. I think the concept of an 'Overton Window', representing the range of ideas considered acceptable in any given polity at any given time, can be useful, but more so if you look at it as spanning a wide variety of policies and subjects of conversation, rather than just a section of a left-right divide. In my opinion, you can get a much clearer understanding of where Biden stands politically compared to, say, Boris Johnson, by looking at the respective histories of each politician's country and party.

Healthcare is a perfect example of this. Ever since Clement Attlee's Labour government introduced the NHS in 1948, the UK has had government-run, universal healthcare, and due to its popularity it is something that the Conservative Party here has accepted as an essential British institution, despite the fact that having nationalised healthcare goes against the free-market leanings of many in the party. Even Thatcher, the most aggressively pro-market PM we've ever had, didn't dare sell off the NHS. The US, on the other hand, has never had an equivalent of the NHS. The closest it has had are programmes like Medicare and reform packages like Obamacare. Biden is a product of the country in which he was born, the donor class who pay for his re-election campaigns, and the political landscape he has spent his career in, and for that reason he has outwardly rejected healthcare proposals similar to the NHS, and instead proposes much more moderate reforms such as extending the ACA and establishing a public option (though I am highly sceptical he will even attempt the latter, particularly given that it looks like the Republicans have kept the Senate and will almost certainly block it). If Biden were to come to the UK and propose Obamacare as an alternative to what we have now, the proposal would be seen as borderline Thatcherite, yet in the US the very seem policy has been berated by Republicans as being communist. 

This is why, even if we accept the simplistic premise of understanding international politics along a left-right axis, it makes little sense to characterise Biden as centre left in UK terms if the Tories are centre-right. I've looked through both parties' policy platforms, and I can't think of anything that makes one far to the left of another. Even if you take an idea like Biden's proposed 28% corporate tax rate and compare it to the UK's 18% (not sure if this is the same post-COVID but you'll get the point), it seems that Biden is much more left wing than the Conservatives' own policy, until you consider than Biden is proposing raising it from 21%, the current rate under Trump, and I doubt anyone would argue that Trump is to the left of the Conservatives fiscally. 

TL;DR if I were you guys I would spend less time talking about which politicians are to the left or right of other politicians and more assessing things like which groups are funding them, whose interests they are accountable to, and how they fit in with the historical political and economic context of both their own country and the international community more broadly. 

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6 November 2020
4.23pm
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Dark Overlord
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Fair enough, there's no point of arguing about labels since simply labeling someone as left, right, or center can be incredibly misleading, and we should instead view things on a case by case basis.

Tony Japanese said
In the US, I think I'm right in thinking you would have seen Trump/Pence and Biden/Harris on your ballot papers? Where do the votes for the House/Senate come into it? Was that a separate election?

We vote for all that simultaneously.

Incidentally, I was trying to find out what the closest Presidential Race was before now? 2000, Bush/Gore? I ended up discovering that Reagan trounced his opponent in 1984, and was pretty impressive in 1980 too.

Definitely 1876, where Democrat Samuel Tilden got 50.9% of the popular vote but lost the electoral college by a single vote to Republican Rutherford B. Hayes after an 8-7 decision to hand him all the electors from the disputed states. To stop the Democrats from filibustering, the Republicans agreed to end reconstruction.

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6 November 2020
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Don't vote third party in the US. You are just spoiling the election. People who think they can change the system by voting third party are fooling themself. If you wanna vote third party, do it in local elections.

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