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Old 09-02-03, 12:22 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Political Science 101

As most of you know I make lots of jokes about Democrats and calling folks Democrats. As this advanced it occurred to me, many people I talk with do not understand ether political philosophy. So, allow me to explain for those who are interested. (This will not apply to the Canadian users. Furthermore I am completely ignorant to the Canadian political system and if someone would care to post Canadian Poly Sc 101 I would be very interested to ready it.)

Democrats are considered the liberal party and Republicans are the conservative party. The root definitions of liberal and conservative:

Liberals hold that people are by nature good and if left to their own accord will do good and need little supervision. Example: Liberal parenting allows kids to do pretty much what they want.

Conservatives hold that people are by nature evil and left to their own accord will do evil, thus much supervision is needed. Example: Constrictive financial policy keeps a tight watch over funds.

The Democrats are the left wing as where the Republicans are the right wing. This comes from an ancient French version of parliament. The officials who wanted lots of government control over the people sat to the left of the king, the others that wanted less official control sat to the right of the king. Examples: Modern liberals (left wing) want more government gun control and conservatives (right wing) want less.

In modern political climate the Democrats are often accused of being weak and unable to make harsh decision that are for the good of the people. Republicans are accused of being uncaring and against the poor people. Democrats push for total equality. Everyone should be treated the same and have the same. They push government social programs that aid the poor and try to raise there living standards. The republican viewpoint is that money for the programs has to come from somewhere and it’s not the poor, so those programs are basically the ideas of redistribution of wealth.

I chose to follow the path of the Republican. I feel that if someone has worked hard for what they have, it is theirs and it is not the place of the government to reallocate what they have worked for to someone else. I do not feel all people are equal in all levels. Some are more intelligent, some are better athletes, and some are better musicians. By trying to force all people to be equal, you hinder people from excelling. For example, total inclusion on the schools. This puts students who learn very slow into the class with normal and excelled students. The intent is to provide equal education to the slow learner, but in reality, it only holds back the other students. The current situation in CA is a text book example of failed Liberalism. Gray Davis is a liberal Democrat who gained office by promising social programs for the poor. He was elected and followed thru with his programs. To pay for his programs he taxed heavily the wealthy and the business of the state. Well, as a result many wealthy people moved. Then business started to move and middle class and poor people began to lose jobs and it put the state into economic calamity. The beginning of this post is simple text book facts with no room for debate, the last paragraph is my interpretations and the reasons I have chosen Republicanism. I am interested to hear from others as to why they have chosen one or the other, and perhaps even hear from Scott why he is a Democrat posing as a Republican. =) Seriously, I would not like to see this degenerate to the point it is deleted, so if you post use facts and explain why you interoperate those facts to your philosophy but save the name calling for later. Thanks –Chuck
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Old 09-02-03, 02:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very intersting thread, I truly hope that this discussion doesn't degenerate to the point of stupidity causing the thread to be pulled. I see that while you hold your own opinions you have sincerely tried to be even-handed in your descriptions. That being said I think there are some things missing. I enjoyed the human nature compairison. I'm a little confused about the Conservative side believing Man is essentially evil but believing in less government control at the same time. I consider myself to be left of centre (and that's on the Canadian spectrum that tends to sits left of the American spectrum). I believe in strict economic control because I believe corporations, if not people, are driven by pure greed and we shouldn't wait for them to change their nature. Companies are created to generate wealth for their investors, why should we expect anything different? For that reason I believe in things like publicly owned health-care,schools and utilities such as electricity, water, roads. I believe that the market and competition have their place but not in the essential needs of citizens. I also believe that people who work hard should be rewarded, but not disproportionately (spoiled execs) and not at the cost of those who's sweat went into generating those earnings. (Remember Enron? common worker's pensions gone forever, lying and stealing CEO is forced to give up some of his many mansions, boo hoo) Saying that anyone who wants fairness in the distribution of wealth is basically a communist in that they want everyone to have the same things is just not accurate. Speaking for this lefty only I am for equality in opportunity not identical wages and lifestyles for everyone regardless of how ambitious or lazy they might be.
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Old 09-02-03, 03:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well being Canadian I can state that we have 3 main parties here in politics. The liberal party(currently the Canadian governing party)The progressive Conservitive party (have some provincal government holdings IE Ontario is a PC goverment on the provincal level) And the N.D.P New Democratic Party the smallest of the three main parties here in the great white north. I would suggest that due to the fact that our two countries were founded by settlers from western Europe for the most part (like the States) The Ideas of left and right are somewhat the same to a point( as you know there are major differences in both our countries) and the way things run in both. I must say Chuck I don't really pay attention to the crying and whining that goes on here in politics anymore. I do love Canada but really when we look at the big picture up here things pretty much are the same whoever is the governing body at any one time.There are always bumps in the road but we all do seem to get along quite well for the most part they all make mistakes and they all do some good as well. I guess what you see is not always what you get but we are working on it slowly but surely things get better year by year. Oh yeah I almost forgot we have a party here thats the best party of all It is called a beer bash and they get my vote every time lol. I hope some one here on this site can give you better more educated anwsers as to how our system works.





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Old 09-02-03, 04:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow Chuck, thanks for the info, I was always wondering how politics worked in the U.S.
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Old 09-02-03, 05:00 PM   #5 (permalink)
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MouseKilla, it sounds like you are almost as far left, if not as far left as I am. I am a proud Socialist. People can say whatever they want about Socialism, Sweden proved (and continues to prove) that it can work. That said, I absolutely refuse to get into a discussion about why I support socialism vs. why I refuse to support right-wingers, because frankly, I could wear out 10 keyboards explaining my standpoint. Suffice it to say that I have been into politics since I was about 12 years old, and have done extensive research on political systems throughout the world. Socialism, at least in its ideology, if not its practice, is what I have decided is in accordance with the way I feel things should be run. I would like to add, however, that socialism and communism are TOTALLY different ideologies, and should not be confused with each other.

I also hope this thread doesn't turn into cross-bashing of peoples' political views. I think if we just state where we stand and leave it at that, this thread can probably stay amicable.
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Old 09-02-03, 05:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'm with Invictus, I'm also quite far left. I love the idea of Socialism, and Sweden is proof that it can work. If only Canada was open to the idea, it could actually work for us too in my opinion.
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Old 09-03-03, 05:42 AM   #7 (permalink)
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My political view (in general)

Politician= thief, liar and cheat only interested in advancing thier power base and influence to benefit-THEMSELVES! Let's give em all a polygraph and see how many actually care about the folks they represent. It doesn't matter which party they are from.
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Old 09-03-03, 07:21 AM   #8 (permalink)
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There are, in my simplified view basically three types of political systems democracy (generally seen as right wing), communism (generally seen as left wing), and socialism (falling in the middle but generally also seen as left wing). First let me state that it does not matter which system you support they are all, in an ideal world (one without people in this case), are good systems. For the problems with any system can basically be found with people. All or any of the systems would be ideal is there wasn’t any people involved to screw things up (IMHO). And yes there are other systems that are so far on the fringe of the before mentioned ones that you could argue they are totally different, but for the sake of simplicity I generally stick to the three. Like Invictus said you could wear out a lot of keys on this conversation. In Canada there are actually four parties in current running of things. The NDP (New democratic Party), which is defiantly of a left wing bent, is a Socialist type party, and is heavily supported by unions. They have also suffered at that the polls in most places because while their ideas and plans are great their handling of finical matters really suck big time. They generally run up the debt of the government they control like a drunken sailor in a whorehouse and use the excuse that if you want social systems in place they cost money. If any of us ran our households the way ruling parties (the NDP are just worse at this than others IMO) run governments there would be a return of debtors prisons. The Liberal and PC (Progressive Conservatives) are basically the old parties, which have their power base in eastern Canada. These are the traditional old boy parties. They are the traditional the left and right wing parties but if their actual practices are any indication there is a hairs breath difference separating their actual practices. This I believe is the simple reason why the PC were just about got wiped off the face of the map in the last two elections by the new kid on the block, the Canadian Alliance Party (formerly the Reform party) which from a Canadian view point is definitely right wing. The Alliance seems to be viewed as a western party, particularly by people in eastern Canada , mostly I think because that is where it got it’s start. One thing you have to understand is that in Canada we are not in my view a democracy, but rather an elected dictatorship. Yes compared to a lot of places in the world we are defiantly a democracy. But in our system based very closely on the original British system 300 years ago, you as a citizen have your say every 4 to 5 years and that is good enough. I think in today’s world that is ridiculous IMHO. But I digress, the way it works here is once in power the leader of the ruling party, who is known as the Prime Minister (PM) and is elected by the members of his party not the people, basically makes all the calls and the individually elected MPs (Member of Parliament) toes the line or face discipline (sent to the back benches + Siberia ). So what you get is a dictator who can do what he wants within limits, but with no regard for the peoples opinion or wants, He has to face the people once every 4 to 5 yrs, his choice of when (a 5 yr limit), but can otherwise pretty much do what he wants. And people, the afore mentioned problem with the system, have terribly short memories. The whole thing is pretty simple when you think about it and live t for a few years!!

This is just my view and opinion of the political thing here in Canada but remember the thing about opinions is they are like a**holes, everyone has one.
I obviously have to much time on my hands, waking up in the middle of the night to type or should I say peck this out.

Sorry for the long rant but you asked

Bruce

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Old 09-03-03, 08:32 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I guess it's time I uploaded pictures of the hammer and sickle tattoo on my chest. LOL!

Craig,
Don't be apathetic. If you don't get involved or at very least vote then you give up all your rights. If everyone voted and paid attention there would be little room for corruption.

Batdad,
I'm puzzled why you would say democracy is a right wing system, it's by definition a populist system. As someone once said, it's the worst system of government in the world, until you compare it to all the others. As for the NDP specifically, they have suffered at the polls because they were in government,provincially in two of our most populated provices (Ontario, BC) during the worst economic times since the Great Depression. Of course there were deficits during a time like that. To use your household analogy, they were buying groceries, paying the rent on their credit cards. The alternative to deficits at that time was horrible social conditions and likely a full depression, in other words the kids wouldn't get breakfast and the family ends up living in the alley. Social spending on things like welfare and employment insurance are what stops a market down-turn from becoming a depression. This is what all governments in N. America did at that time including Bush senior's Republicans in the states (their deficit from that time I believe was in the trillions of dollars). This debt along with the personal economic suffering that comes with a weak market usually results in whatever party that is in power being voted out. In Ontario and BC it was the NDP, in the states it was the Republicans at the same time. The two parties couldn't be any more different ideologically this side of the Middle East but they both had to run up debt at that time and both were kicked out of government decisively the following election. Now we've had the Conservatives in government in Ontario for 8 years, during the best economic times possible and there is still a huge deficit (5 billion this year alone) this can be attributed to the irresponsible corporate tax cuts they've made and a refusal to keep the minimum wage in line with the cost of living.
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Old 09-03-03, 10:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Mousekilla,
Quote:
Now we've had the Conservatives in government in Ontario for 8 years, during the best economic times possible and there is still a huge deficit (5 billion this year alone) this can be attributed to the irresponsible corporate tax cuts they've made and a refusal to keep the minimum wage in line with the cost of living.
This is what happens when elected officials give lip-service to the public, but must answer to the gods of campaign finance. Contributions are nothing more than legal bribery.
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Old 09-03-03, 10:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I agree with you on that one completely. I believe all parties should be funded publically using a representative formula. Allowing Big Business to buy influence through campaign finacing is something the left has fought persistently. I'll use Enron as an example again. It donated money in the millions to BOTH parties in the states so that the idea of publicly owned electricity stayed off the radar. It worked and now there are neglected power grids and impossibly high energy prices. That all goes to prove what I was saying about getting active in politics. Had enough people spoke out against for profit utilities the blackouts could have been avoided.
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Old 09-03-03, 12:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I find the liberals and the progressive conservitives (there's an oxymoron) often try to out do the NDP with socialism (except for the PC's of Ontario). And then there's the Reform party and the PQ. The PQ are for the dismantaling of canada and the reform are akin to republicans of the south all for the right to play with guns but against things they feel moraly wrong such as free speach (lyrics, books etc).
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Old 09-03-03, 03:28 PM   #13 (permalink)
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actually, canada has some other parties to consider. The green party is far left wing, and the Alliance is far right wing. chuck, you definition of liberal and conservative somewhat applies to our versions of the two.
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Old 09-03-03, 10:45 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Well ok, those parties are there but neither are the least bit viable. This country never really goes far enough to the right for the Alliance to gain power and sadly the Green Party is a bit of a joke all around. It's too bad because I would like to vote Green but they don't seem to have a real consistent agenda from what I've been able to figure out. So, for all intents and purposes there are, at best, 3 real parties nationally. Of course there are those who say that there is actually only one national party that counts, have a guess which one that is.
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Old 09-05-03, 06:49 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey, SCR! Where'd ya go man? You started this thread and I was anxious to see southern religious right's view on all this stuff. We simply can't just have everyone agree. What kind of debate is that? It's up to you man, come on stir the pot here would ya?
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