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Old 1st December 2018, 12:59 PM   #41
BobTheCoward
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
Well, I came into this thread hoping to read a discussion on a topic I think is interesting and timely.

Instead I find a troll jacking off all over himself and being rewarded with a dinner buffet.
If you have a claim, just support it with evidence.
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Old 1st December 2018, 01:01 PM   #42
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Elections Canada
Elections Canada is the independent, non-partisan agency responsible for conducting federal elections and referendums.
Calling yourself non-partisan fools very few people. Do the members of the agency check their personal beliefs at the door?
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Old 1st December 2018, 01:04 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Calling yourself non-partisan fools very few people. Do the members of the agency check their personal beliefs at the door?
Are you capable of checking yours?
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Old 1st December 2018, 01:41 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
If you have a claim, just support it with evidence.
Evidence is this thread + body of work.
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Old 1st December 2018, 02:14 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Calling yourself non-partisan fools very few people. Do the members of the agency check their personal beliefs at the door?
It is possible to act independently. It helps if the entire process is transparent so that the candidates and their agents can observe the process and non-candidate citizens can oversee much of it too.

I haven't heard any complaints about the partiality of the UK Electoral Commission

Obviously, there are complaints about spending rules having been breached and potential fraud, but not about the process of oversight.

https://www.electoralcommission.org....nd-referendums

It helps that there are national standards. For example all polling stations open at 7am and close at 10pm.


This suggests England has around 50,000 polling stations, so a little over a thousand voters per station on average. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2015-32229745

And this (2004 figures) suggests the US equivalent is about 1200 voters per polling place so not much difference. https://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/1410/1410.8868.pdf[/quote]

The electoral commission is interesting - note that special considerations need to be made if polling stations are serving a larger number of voters.

https://www.electoralcommission.org....ganisation.pdf

Quote:
Polling station staff

2.16 You must appoint and pay a Presiding Officer and such Poll Clerks as
may be necessary to staff each polling station. This cannot be any person
who has been employed by or on behalf of a candidate in or about the
election.

2.17 In order to ensure that voters can receive a high-quality service, when
deciding on the allocation of electors and staff to polling stations you will need to ensure that polling stations are properly staffed, giving consideration to the factors set out in paragraph 2.20 below.

2.18 The Commission recommends the following ratios (which exclude postal
voters) when allocating electors and staff to polling stations:
  • A polling station should not have more than 2,500 electors allocated to it.
  • In addition to a Presiding Officer, there should be one Poll Clerk for
    polling stations with up to 1,000 electors.
  • One additional Poll Clerk should be appointed for polling stations with up to 1,750 electors.
  • One further Poll Clerk should be appointed to a polling station with up to the maximum of 2,500 electors.

2.19 These ratios are recommended minimum levels: there may be
circumstances in which you wish to employ a higher number of staff.


2.20 Any polling station over 2,000 electors will create particular challenges in ensuring voters can vote without delay, taking into account the hours of poll and the fact that voters will not typically vote in an even spread across the day. To be able to respond to these challenges, staff should be capable of being deployed flexibly to respond to peaks in voter activity and limit the time voters are expected to queue to receive their ballot paper. One mechanism for managing larger polling stations effectively could be to split the register within that polling station to create two separate issuing desks, each managed by two members of staff, thereby doubling the capacity for processing, while recognising that there would need to be sufficient space within the polling station for this to operate effectively.
Such uniform guidelines would reduce the scope for a lot of voter suppression. I have literally never had to wait more than half a minute to vote, and have voted in urban and rural, Labour, Tory, and marginal constituencies.

similarly there are rules for registration.

The boundary commission has a long process that does take time to alter electoral boundaries, due to the review of objections. The system is not ideal, but it generally functions.

Last time I looked, the Electoral Commission had 104 individual instances of reported electoral fraud from the last General Election, most of which were very minor, which again suggests that that part of the system is working.

And there is the other factor that all our ballots are paper ballots, which are effectively anonymous, but if there is suspected fraud, individual votes can be tallied to the voter as each ballot has a unique number.

I don't worry about this because of it being on paper, so it is inaccessible unless needed. The data isn't in any database on the off-chance.
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Old 1st December 2018, 07:34 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Calling yourself non-partisan fools very few people. Do the members of the agency check their personal beliefs at the door?
In all that MAGA rhetoric, is there anything about bible-huggers who would vote to defend secular government from the over-reach of proselytizing poseurs? It was very common and one of the lynch pins of the candidacy of a noted Catholic and noted Evangelist president.

Make America great again, like when we could rely on judges with a conscious and the rare county electoral officials to say, "Sorry, Cletus... it's the law and I gotta let 'em vote."

Start by taking the choice of actual officials away from the parties, as it's always the party-in-power. We don't need the consternation when the city, county or state changes. Neutral bureaucratic professionals who are steeped in the regulations would be a far better method. The quadrennial fiasco in Florida should be the How Not to Do This model. Dems point to the corrupt vote-counters in the panhandle; GOPers point to the corrupt vote-counters in Miami. It's ongoing and the bastards like it because they all think, "Yeah, but we'll be in power next time and we'll run things our way". Not "run things the fair way", but "our" way.
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Old 1st December 2018, 08:00 PM   #47
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I think "non-partisan" is just one of those weasels words at this point.

Maybe, maybe it had meaning back when everything wasn't politicized (and personally I think that was always more of a fake affect put on, back in the days when it was common to think of politics as separate from society) but even that false wall has been torn down.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 02:21 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
You can add the UK Electoral Commission to that.
UK isn't socialist. Everyone knows that!
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Old 2nd December 2018, 02:28 AM   #49
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Calling yourself non-partisan fools very few people. Do the members of the agency check their personal beliefs at the door?
Do all top league baseball umpires and football referees in the USA check their team loyalties at the door before each game?

I would like to think they do. I would like to think they want to see all the games they supervise played fairly for the player's sake and for the fans' sake. And the evidence so far suggests they definitely can.

Ditto for an electoral commission. Evidence so far where they are in use in similar democracies says they can.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 05:06 AM   #50
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Originally Posted by Lurch View Post
The US is astonishing in its backward-thinking, fearful-of-change attitudes. Late to the party in so many ways. Take metric, for instance. Or universal health care. Or sensible gun laws. Or a long outmoded electoral college. Or....

For the so-called greatest nation and leader of the free world, the US is in a number of respects so last century (19th, that is.)

I really hope that it's realized the time has come for real electoral reform for my southern neighbors. That might get the ball rolling on other necessary changes for the better.
It is amazing when you compare it to the state when it was created. There was boundless energy and enthusiasm to create something new and novel.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 06:11 AM   #51
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Calling yourself non-partisan fools very few people. Do the members of the agency check their personal beliefs at the door?


Interesting that you don't consider the possibility that someone might actually believe in doing their job in a non-partisan fashion. Because Elections Canada does just that. I've never heard anyone seriously complain about any bias on their part, they don't make any effort to weight certain ridings to favour certain parties, they don't go out of their way to disenfranchise certain voters. We don't have the by-now-standard complaints of vote rigging that you see in the US.

And this is why the US is probably going to collapse as a democratic state. Too many people there have literally given up on even the possibility of believing in the benefits of democracy for its own sake.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 06:42 AM   #52
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Interesting that you don't consider the possibility that someone might actually believe in doing their job in a non-partisan fashion. Because Elections Canada does just that. I've never heard anyone seriously complain about any bias on their part, they don't make any effort to weight certain ridings to favour certain parties, they don't go out of their way to disenfranchise certain voters. We don't have the by-now-standard complaints of vote rigging that you see in the US.

And this is why the US is probably going to collapse as a democratic state. Too many people there have literally given up on even the possibility of believing in the benefits of democracy for its own sake.
I concur with this. The will to achieve it has to be re-instilled. It is possible to be non-partisan if the job calls for it. We have the same group of uber skeptics here who are saying we need to apply critical thinking and the scientific method to issues of whether chocolate is better than vanilla. They do it every day in various threads. Are we saying that we're skeptics so we're superior and those average humans can't live up to our standards.

I run a non-partisan pair of polls for the The Language Awards/Pith Awards. I don't think anyone, for a second, doubts that my politics are quite partisan. I am very strong about my beliefs and very willing to speak up about them. But I personally nominate arch-fiend conservative members for the awards and see that they get into the finals if I find they deserve it. It's not hard. It's not a well-paid position but it's a job, nevertheless. Doing it properly includes being non-partisan. I clock in, do my job, clock out. I'll meet you guys out by the bike racks after seventh period and we can duke it out over your horrific political positions (that's the editorial you). During formal time, I have to be non-partisan.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 06:44 AM   #53
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There's a fundamental difference between running a non-partisan language award and running a non-partisan political policy making group of some kind.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 06:58 AM   #54
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Interesting that you don't consider the possibility that someone might actually believe in doing their job in a non-partisan fashion. Because Elections Canada does just that. I've never heard anyone seriously complain about any bias on their part, they don't make any effort to weight certain ridings to favour certain parties, they don't go out of their way to disenfranchise certain voters. We don't have the by-now-standard complaints of vote rigging that you see in the US.

And this is why the US is probably going to collapse as a democratic state. Too many people there have literally given up on even the possibility of believing in the benefits of democracy for its own sake.
I suspect it isn't helped by the practice of having many posts as either political appointments, or as elected posts that in other countries are apolitical although with the heads of departments answerable to either ministers of local elected officials.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 07:13 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
There's a fundamental difference between running a non-partisan language award and running a non-partisan political policy making group of some kind.
Why? In its simplest terms it's a job. If the job requirement is "chuck your partisan politics and personal beliefs at the door and treat everyone equally", then you either do it or you don't take the job and certainly shouldn't even be offered it.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 09:06 AM   #56
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Perhaps I've been spoiled by living all my life in small rural areas where things tend to be done well. Everyone is partisan, but it does not mean you can't be honest.

What seems to be lost in our political climate these days is the classical sense of comity.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 11:04 AM   #57
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
There's a fundamental difference between running a non-partisan language award and running a non-partisan political policy making group of some kind.

But that's just the thing - professional public servant generally don't make policy. We carry out policies that were created by the politicians. And in this case, the policy is, "Carry out free and fair elections". Now, sure, I suppose the Government of the day could enact a "**** that noise, we want to win" policy, but that would be so obviously partisan that this alone would probably guarantee their losing the next election, no matter how rigged they tried to make it.

Hell, I do this in my own job. There's one policy that's come down to us from up on high, and it's one I think is fundamentally flawed. I even got into a shouting match with my boss over it, because I thought it was being applied improperly, even with the caveat that it's fundamentally flawed to begin with. But at the end of the day, I still do my job, and do it well enough that my boss held up one of the arguments I wrote as an exemplar of how to enact the policy. An argument I didn't even really agree with.



Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
I suspect it isn't helped by the practice of having many posts as either political appointments, or as elected posts that in other countries are apolitical although with the heads of departments answerable to either ministers of local elected officials.

That is certainly a big part of the problem. In most of our Departments, only the top ranked people tend to be political appointees, with the rest being professional public servants, who serve over multiple governments. No one worries about Elections Canada biasing the election, because we've seen them run elections that toss out one government for another, with none of this "hanging chads" and lawsuits nonsense.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 11:17 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I have no stance on partisan officials because I haven't seen evidence supporting a claim on it.
The burden of proof is clearly on the partisan officials.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 11:20 AM   #59
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
The burden of proof is clearly on the partisan officials.
The partisan officials have not made a claim in this thread.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 11:30 AM   #60
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I seriously don't see how anyone interested in democratic fairness would prefer a partisan election commission to a non-partisan one.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 11:37 AM   #61
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
The partisan officials have not made a claim in this thread.
yes, they have claimed repeatedly and publicly that they can be impartial enough to run an election.
But the number of irregularities observed in many places calls this into question.

That is why most countries have independent observers.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 11:55 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
I seriously don't see how anyone interested in democratic fairness would prefer a partisan election commission to a non-partisan one.
Someone who has not been presented the evidence that non partisan produces more fair results.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 11:56 AM   #63
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
yes, they have claimed repeatedly and publicly that they can be impartial enough to run an election.
But the number of irregularities observed in many places calls this into question.

That is why most countries have independent observers.
You clearly omitted two words in my post based on your reply.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 01:20 PM   #64
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Originally Posted by LSSBB View Post
I seriously don't see how anyone interested in democratic fairness would prefer a partisan election commission to a non-partisan one.
You, me, and all then non-US posters in this thread (and a fair number of the US posters too).

Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
But that's just the thing - professional public servant generally don't make policy. We carry out policies that were created by the politicians. And in this case, the policy is, "Carry out free and fair elections". Now, sure, I suppose the Government of the day could enact a "**** that noise, we want to win" policy, but that would be so obviously partisan that this alone would probably guarantee their losing the next election, no matter how rigged they tried to make it.

Hell, I do this in my own job. There's one policy that's come down to us from up on high, and it's one I think is fundamentally flawed. I even got into a shouting match with my boss over it, because I thought it was being applied improperly, even with the caveat that it's fundamentally flawed to begin with. But at the end of the day, I still do my job, and do it well enough that my boss held up one of the arguments I wrote as an exemplar of how to enact the policy. An argument I didn't even really agree with.






That is certainly a big part of the problem. In most of our Departments, only the top ranked people tend to be political appointees, with the rest being professional public servants, who serve over multiple governments. No one worries about Elections Canada biasing the election, because we've seen them run elections that toss out one government for another, with none of this "hanging chads" and lawsuits nonsense.
A key point highlighted.

Civil Servants enact policy as determined by the ministers. In some situations* the Civil Servants might be unhappy about the policies, but unless they resign they are expected to implement the policies as instructed. Generally they do in the UK and in many other countries with similar systems. It's particularly straightforward to continue to implement established policy according to the established best practice.




*see the rumours about people being advised to avoid careers in the Department for Exiting The EU because of the obvious impossibility of implementing anything whilst David Davis was in charge due to his incotinempetence and the consequent damage to an ambitious Civil Servant's record. I have also read reports that the First Division Association was recommending that DExEU civil servants take even more care than usual in minuting everything so they'd be able to defend themselves in the inevitable public inquiry.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 01:36 PM   #65
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Someone who has not been presented the evidence that non partisan produces more fair results.
Did you miss or just disagree with the civics lesson about the principles that justice not only needs to be done but also be seen to be done? The same applies to elections. If an electoral official has a partisan role, then that obviously can lead to accusations of unfairness. There is plenty of evidence that many of these are justified.

In the UK (or Canada, or Australia) the electoral commissions are generally accepted to be impartial by most parties.
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UK 8.5% of GDP of which 83.3% is public expenditure - 7.1% of GDP is public spending
US 16.4% of GDP of which 48.2% is public expenditure - 7.9% of GDP is public spending
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Old 2nd December 2018, 02:29 PM   #66
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It seems like you could appoint special master to be the arbiter of election issues when a Secretary of State is running for a second term or running for something else. The fairest way would be to have a panel of judges pick the special master. After the primaries, the special master would be seated and review all election related matters normally handled by the Secretary of State.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 02:49 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by JoeMorgue View Post
There's a fundamental difference between running a non-partisan language award and running a non-partisan political policy making group of some kind.
The policy is still made by the politicians. A set of mathematical rules published publicly. They are implemented by the body that runs the elections.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 03:38 PM   #68
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Originally Posted by jimbob View Post
Did you miss or just disagree with the civics lesson about the principles that justice not only needs to be done but also be seen to be done? The same applies to elections. If an electoral official has a partisan role, then that obviously can lead to accusations of unfairness. There is plenty of evidence that many of these are justified.

In the UK (or Canada, or Australia) the electoral commissions are generally accepted to be impartial by most parties.
I have not seen evidence that it is unfair. That needs to be presented by those making the claim.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 06:24 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I have not seen evidence that it is unfair. That needs to be presented by those making the claim.
How many different voting systems do you have in the USA when it comes to federal elections? Answer is: Each state has their own, and none of them are the same. So they each have different "rules" they work by. Which means what is a "fair" election in one state would not be in another. And the election process in one state may be different in another.

Whereas in the UK, Canada and Australia (and these are hardly atypical), there is one set of election "rules" only, applicable country-wide. Everyone plays by these same rules, for better or worse. And if the rules change, they change country-wide.

I'll fall back on the baseball analogy above. The USA already has a nationwide one standard set of rules for major league baseball. Just one. They don't have different "local" rules operative for the different states and cities where the teams play. Why? Because the players want to win fairly and the fans want to see fair play.

The umpires don't want to have to try remembering and applying a whole bunch of local variants at every game and get them wrong and so look to be favouring or disfavouring teams. It's hard enough umpiring with one set of rules let alone at least 51 localised variants.

One set of rules nationwide still means you can cheer your favourite team and boo the umps' decisions. But everyone knows what the rules are.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 06:32 PM   #70
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
How many different voting systems do you have in the USA when it comes to federal elections? Answer is: Each state has their own, and none of them are the same. So they each have different "rules" they work by. Which means what is a "fair" election in one state would not be in another. And the election process in one state may be different in another.

Whereas in the UK, Canada and Australia (and these are hardly atypical), there is one set of election "rules" only, applicable country-wide. Everyone plays by these same rules, for better or worse. And if the rules change, they change country-wide.

I'll fall back on the baseball analogy above. The USA already has a nationwide one standard set of rules for major league baseball. Just one. They don't have different "local" rules operative for the different states and cities where the teams play. Why? Because the players want to win fairly and the fans want to see fair play.

The umpires don't want to have to try remembering and applying a whole bunch of local variants at every game and get them wrong and so look to be favouring or disfavouring teams. It's hard enough umpiring with one set of rules let alone at least 51 localised variants.

One set of rules nationwide still means you can cheer your favourite team and boo the umps' decisions. But everyone knows what the rules are.
I'm an arizonan before I am an American
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Old 2nd December 2018, 06:33 PM   #71
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I'm an arizonan before I am an American
In what way is that even relevant?
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Old 2nd December 2018, 06:36 PM   #72
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
In what way is that even relevant?
Arizona and Iowa are as different as soccer and cricket, or Sudan and Malaysia. Of course the rules are different.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 07:13 PM   #73
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You can create objective rules for running elections that will work pretty well everywhere.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 07:15 PM   #74
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It thought this was partisan vs non partisan, not local vs national.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 07:52 PM   #75
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
In what way is that even relevant?
It isn't. "State's Rights Libertarian" is just one of Bob's personas he puts on to assassinate discussions.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 08:05 PM   #76
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
It thought this was partisan vs non partisan, not local vs national.
Yeah, why did (cough) someone bring up the state vs state differences?
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Old 2nd December 2018, 08:09 PM   #77
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
Arizona and Iowa are as different as soccer and cricket, or Sudan and Malaysia.
Really? REALLY??

Quote:
Of course the rules are different.
Do they run the other way round the baseball bases in Iowa? Or use flat bats? Do they only allow Spanish-speaking baseball players in Arizona?

Honestly, I've never see such a piss-weak excuse as you just tried. "They're different, so we can't use the same rules! Wah!" Weak AF.

The states of Victoria and Western Australia are way different sizes and have many different local issues (and FYI they even battle it out over cricket and football too). And similar for British Columbia and Nova Scotia. And for Wales and Scotland. And yet their parent countries all manage, against all the odds it would seem, to run the same electoral rules country-wide for federal elections.

So please. No more of this US-states-can't-adjust silliness. Americans are perfectly capable of important, positive innovations. It's what made the USA a united country in the first place. So about the only reason this obvious and much-needed change is not happening is nefarious vested interests.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 08:25 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Norman Alexander View Post
Really? REALLY??

Do they run the other way round the baseball bases in Iowa? Or use flat bats? Do they only allow Spanish-speaking baseball players in Arizona?

Honestly, I've never see such a piss-weak excuse as you just tried. "They're different, so we can't use the same rules! Wah!" Weak AF.

The states of Victoria and Western Australia are way different sizes and have many different local issues (and FYI they even battle it out over cricket and football too). And similar for British Columbia and Nova Scotia. And for Wales and Scotland. And yet their parent countries all manage, against all the odds it would seem, to run the same electoral rules country-wide for federal elections.

So please. No more of this US-states-can't-adjust silliness. Americans are perfectly capable of important, positive innovations. It's what made the USA a united country in the first place. So about the only reason this obvious and much-needed change is not happening is nefarious vested interests.
I wasn't implying cant. I was saying, unrelated to any questions of fairness, I want to share as little as possible with a kentuckian.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 08:27 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by Foolmewunz View Post
Yeah, why did (cough) someone bring up the state vs state differences?
I have no idea why Norman brought it up.
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Old 2nd December 2018, 08:36 PM   #80
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Originally Posted by BobTheCoward View Post
I have no idea why Norman brought it up.
No, Abbott, he didn't. He was your straight man. The answer as to why local rules are allowed to vary is not "I'm X and not Y". The answer to that is to explain to us why your silly state authorities should have the right to implement idiosyncratic Arizona rules and yet Tucson and Mesa and Phoenix cannot implement idiosyncratic local rules - - if it effects the governance of the state. "Because I think I'm an Arizonan more than an American" is not answer. It borders on Trump's "well, I call it an invasion".
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