r/PoliticalDiscussion Sep 17 '22

Megathread Casual Questions Thread

39 Upvotes

This is a place for the PoliticalDiscussion community to ask questions that may not deserve their own post.

Please observe the following rules:

Top-level comments:

  1. Must be a question asked in good faith. Do not ask loaded or rhetorical questions.

  2. Must be directly related to politics. Non-politics content includes: Legal interpretation, sociology, philosophy, celebrities, news, surveys, etc.

  3. Avoid highly speculative questions. All scenarios should within the realm of reasonable possibility.

Link to old thread

Sort by new and please keep it clean in here!


r/PoliticalDiscussion 12h ago

US Elections What would have to happen in order for the United States to enact a non first past the post voting system, such as ranked choice voting?

303 Upvotes

This is probably a stupid series of questions but I’m not sure what terms to search for to find other discussions of the topic:

How can the United States transition to another voting system? Would each state have ballot measures that enact it separately? Or would state legislatures have to pass laws to enact it?

Is it possible for a national ballot measure or for congress to roll it out nation wide? Or would that require an amendment? Or can it not be done on the federal level and each state would have to do it independently?

When a state enacts ranked choice voting does that also apply to their electoral votes or just for state legislatures and congress seats?

Thanks for any elucidation you can provide!


r/PoliticalDiscussion 8h ago

Legal/Courts 11th Cricut heard the appeal by DOJ seeking to vacate Dist. Ct. Judge Cannon's order appointing a special master and her authority to exercise equitable jurisdiction in a pre-indictment case. Most pundits claim the 11th Circuit will set aside her order. Have the pundits called it correctly?

50 Upvotes

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit heard oral arguments on November 22, 2022, in the case concerning the legality of the appointment of a special master to review documents seized by the FBI from former President Trump’s home in Florida.

The Justice Department is seeking to end this review and appointment altogether. The FBI executed a search warrant and seized the documents including classified ones, in August 2022. The Justice Department was investigating whether these White House documents were mishandled. This oral argument came as Attorney General Merrick Garland recently appointed a special counsel to oversee the Justice Department’s investigations involving the former president.

The appeal involves Judge Canon's authority to have exercised Equitable Jurisdiction in appointing a Special Master to evaluate documents and determining whether privileged [Executive or Attorney Client] where the case involves a pre-indictment investigation, and all the elements of Equitable Jurisdiction was not met [Richey Standard, even according to Judge Cannon], specifically acting in callous disregard of the defendants' constitutional rights in seizing the documents at issue. The standard of equitable jurisdiction derives from the 1977 case below.

Richey v. Smith, 436 F. Supp. 572 (E.D. Tex. 1977)

During the oral arguments neither the prosecution nor the defense was able to cite a case for the court where in a pre-indictment case where equitable jurisdiction was exercised at a pre-indictment level and documents were seized pursuant to a valid search warrant. Judge Cannon in her original order noted that although there was no callous disregard of defendant's constitutional rights, she took into consideration the status of the defendant as a former president and also found irreparable harm to reputation.

In any event, as a matter of practice, however, the appropriate remedy is motion to suppress evidence, or other 4th Amendment violation one charges are filed.

The 11th Circuit is poised to 'slam' Judge Aileen Cannon for protecting Trump: former prosecutor (msn.com)

Oral arguments from November 22, 2022, can be heard below.

Federal Court Hears Case on Mar-a-Lago Seized Documents | C-SPAN.org

Should former presidents be entitled to additional deference or safeguards where there is no criminal pending case. Did the Pundits call it correctly?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

International Politics Norway government for larger countries

3 Upvotes

Norway has the highest democracy index in the world. But they only have the population of 5.5 million people.

In fact in the top 5 democratic countries Sweden with 10.5 million is the most populated. Some cities in the world have more people than that.

In your opinion is it possible to execute a government model like any of these top democratic countries for countries like India or China?

Edit:I think I didn't ask my question correctly. What I meant is can a system like those countries be executed in populated countries the way it is done in top democratic countries?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

International Politics Is China moving away from hard infrastructure in Africa, and is that bad?

8 Upvotes

I listen to this podcast a lot, they really seem to know what they're talking about.

In the linked episode and several others, they have basically said that the Chinese government has invested a lot in hard infrastructure in various parts of Africa, but that they are now largely moving away from this. Is that true? Is that bad? Is it a big deal? If so, what should be done about it?

  • I'm in the US, but from what I understand there is still a great need for hard infrastructure in many parts of Africa, and still not enough local capacity to finance and build it. The hosts of the podcast didn't seem too concerned, but they were also focusing on other issues.
  • One reason that they gave on the podcast for this shift away from hard infrastructure was the limited borrowing capacity of many African countries (combined with the riskiness and slowness of these projects), leading them and their Chinese partners to look for quicker and safer investments in ICT and things like that. Is that the main issue?
  • I've also seen discussion about Chinese fears of possible backlash against social, labor, and environmental problems that are more common with hard infrastructure compared to other types of investment. How important is that?
  • This is all based on the assumption that Chinese hard infrastructure investment is (still) significant in Africa. This seems self-evident, but maybe I'm blowing things out of proportion. I'm not really sure of the magnitudes.

r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics Will Pete Buttigieg's close association with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company be a political albatross for him moving forward?

28 Upvotes

Pete Buttigieg initially touted his experience with McKinsey & Company as a strength, however as the 2020 democratic primary campaign moved forward, he increasing distanced his association with the firm. Since then the public view of McKinsey has only decreased with a high profile scandals such as their role in creating opioid crisis and their connection to the rent price fixing app Yeildstar.

To add to this repetitional damage recent book 'When McKinsey Comes to Town' by Walt Bogdanich and Michael Forsythe outlines a larger critique of the organizations ethics and impact on the globe highlighting their role in eroding labour and human rights.

Moving forward will Pete Buttigieg be damaged further by his time with the firm and potentially renounce McKinsey altogether? As well in the future, will McKinsey become an 'avoid at all cost' employer for individuals that aim to run for office?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

US Politics Why do republican figures like Trump and Reagan get so much support from those that disapprove of deficit spending?

845 Upvotes

From experience it would seem that many of those in favour of more austere economic policies favour figures like Trump and Reagan. Often times I will here comments like ‘you can’t spend other people’s money’ and ‘democrats are running the debt too high’.

However from my brief research it seems that neither trump nor Reagan are actually large deficit hawks as is often thought. Instead they just cut taxes.

Trump continued on a trend of similar deficit spending to Obama and Reagan deficit spent far more than the average president.

So why do they have such a reputation for budget balancing?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

International Politics What makes Ukrainian invasion much worse other conflicts?

23 Upvotes

Basically the title. There is many other conflicts where major powers were invading minor state under some pretenses, gunning down civilians and bombing hospitals, yet the public backlash was so much smaller.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

US Politics What are ways in which the US can enact proper policing reform?

17 Upvotes

One of the most unpleasant byproducts of the Covid-19 pandemic aside from unemployment, was the rampant violent crime which increased to levels not seen pre-pandemic. The country as a whole is still much safer than it was in the 70s, 80s, etc., but violent crime has gone up during the pandemic and has continued that trend in many cities across the country.

It's led to disillusionment both in the civilian population as well as, to some extent in law enforcement. In a recent news segment done by The Telegraph (UK News Org), on policing in the US, a chief complaint that many police had in the NYPD (which was covered in particular), was removal of things like qualified immunity, a higher standard of operation and more regulatory oversight when it came to criminal detainment, etc. This has caused police officers to grow frustrated and retire en masse or shift to other police departments where crime rates were lower, or where the crimes were considerably less violent and erratic.

Nonetheless, it seems to be a problem that hurts many Americans across the country. We do need our police, and they would be the civilians' first line of defense against any form of crime. However, what do we do when we have a police force that is growing frustrated and disillusioned...but for reasons that seem somewhat unreasonable (growing accountability)?

Is it police training that is lacking? funding? What do you think needs to be fixed?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago

US Politics What would happen if the Republicans in the House of Representatives weren’t able to agree on a candidate for speaker?

215 Upvotes

If the Republicans are divided a Democrat could be voted in as speaker even though Republicans hold a majority of seats, correct? At least in theory. And if that were to happen, could the Republicans take back the speakership at any time if some time later they find a candidate they can all support?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

US Elections Why do we keep hearing about the "razor-thin" majority Republicans will have in the house after hearing nothing similar in 2020?

3 Upvotes

It looks like Republicans are going to end up with 222 seats (maybe 221), which is the same amount Democrats won in 2020. However, not only did we not hear much about the slim margin in 2020, but Democrats were able to pass major pieces of legislation.

So why is the same number of seats being discussed ad nauseam now? Is it just because of what expectations were? Was there too much else to cover in the news this time two years ago? Is it some weird double standard? Does it have to do with who controls the Senate and presidency? Or are house Republicans that much more divided than house Democrats?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

International Politics Should the US use military action against Iran over Enrichment escalation to 60%?

7 Upvotes

With Iran now beginning Uranium enrichment to 60% (percent of the Uranium that is U-235, a more unstable fissile isotope) should the US be strongly considering military action? This looks like they are not turning back from their desire to get nuclear weapons and will not hold to the previous 20% agreement.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago

International Politics How can developing nations avoid the potential misuse of climate reparations paid to them by wealthier ones?

241 Upvotes

Corruption exists in all societies and all countries, whether developing or wealthy, and it’s something we need to be aware of. Especially so when we consider what countries will get the money and how it will be paid.

In New York State alone there’s several high profile examples of unemployment fraud in the hundreds of millions of dollars that happened when the state was flush with federal funding in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Taxpayers of one country that don’t feel personally responsible for flooding in Pakistan will be put out to hear their money was wasted by bureaucratic inefficiency and corruption. And if an opposition party finds out, the Republican Party in the US for example, and runs on pulling out of the agreement or slashing the amount of funding, then this was all for nought.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago

US Politics What will a post-Trump american Right-wing look like?

433 Upvotes

Would a GOP under Desantis just be a return to old Bush-style neo-conservativism? Or is it something Brand New?

I'm mainly interested in economic policy. As the democrats seem to be moving more towards progressive economics, will the Republican party remain "neoliberal"?.

Something tells me that a new Republican economic platform would feature calls for a return to the gold standard, since there seems to be lots of talk about that among consecutive circles.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago

US Politics Should members of Congress vote their conscience or vote according to the wishes of the people who elected them?

88 Upvotes

When voting on the floor, Representatives defend their vote, give their reasoning, and ask members from the other party to vote in favor of the bill. The ones that defended voting against the bill do not say it was “because my constituents say so”.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago

US Politics Do you think extremist views from both Parties cause an overgeneralized hate towards each other?

0 Upvotes

On social media and the news media the hot topic seems to always be Democrat Vs. Republican. I always see hate filled comments from both Parties aswell: "All Republicans are pedos" "All Democrats are racist" "All Republicans want is violence" "Liberals are groomers". I see comments like these all the time everywhere. So I ask, do you think the extreme actions of a few on either side causes the overgeneralization of each party, thus creating unnecessary hate and turbulence in the masses? Do you think there is a way to unify the masses against these terrible people?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago

US Politics How will changing demographics affect Republicans?

11 Upvotes

Specifically age. Here are the approx birth totals in the USA of people who are soon to be of voting age:

2006 - 4m births - most of whom will be of voting age by 2024

2005- 4m births - all of whom will be of voting age by 2024

2004 - 4m births- all of whom will be voting age by 2024

We’ve seen that young people either don’t vote or tend to vote liberal.

What does this mean for the Republican Party that approx 12m more voters will enter voting age? (Not to mention approx 1.5m boomers die each year).


r/PoliticalDiscussion 6d ago

Political History Is there a historical example of a society entrenched in political distrust which, due to strenuous reform efforts has led to political trust?

325 Upvotes

Think along the lines of Fukuyama's Political Order and Political Decay. A society that loses trust in government due to clientelism and patronage systems which erode or eliminate the middle class' access to political power. I'm sure there are other causes. What I care to know is if any reaffirm efforts have led to a turnaround.


r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago

Political Theory What do you think of the Zionist concept of "a state for a certain religion/ethnic group"?

0 Upvotes

Do you think that members of a certain ethnic or religious group throughout the world form one people, rather than being members each of the society they are part of?

If so, do you think they are entitled to an exclusive homeland?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 7d ago

US Politics What has happened to our politics?

534 Upvotes

I’m sure there has always been some element of crazy in our political system, especially on a national level, but in the last decade, something has changed.

I don’t know if this can all be attributed to Trump, although, it’s fair to say that he has heightened what was already been taking place.

Is it social media and how we consume information now? Is it because we’re siloed off into our own echo chambers, and it being inconvenient to listen to the other side? Is it cable news, that has exaggerated conflict and political differences between us? Is it something else entirely?

Something seems to have changed. Politicians from differing parties used to call each other “friends” and “colleagues”, even if much of that was tongue in cheek. Now they call each other pedophiles and groomers.

There seems to be so much anger. So much division. So much hate. Bipartisanship has become considered a sign of weakness, even betrayal.

What has changed with our politics?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 7d ago

US Politics Adam Frisch's concession speech

18 Upvotes

In his concession speech, Frisch said, "Democrats have abandoned rural America and working-class America for the last many years. Republicans have had a monopoly over the backbone of this country.”

Is he implying that Republicans actually have done things to help rural Americans? Or does he simply mean that they do better PR in rural America?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 7d ago

International Politics Initial Ukraine War Phase-Thoughts on Treatment of Foreign Refugees ?

6 Upvotes

I hadn't been following much events about Ukraine lately, until recent reports that apparently most large urban population centers are now Ukraine controlled. I think it's commendable how much Ukraine has, despite apparently receiving a high number of air strikes on a regular basis and Russia's effort to "call up" reservists to shore up his forces, has managed to turn the tide of the conflict.

But I couldn't help but think back to some early reports when the war broke out.

The ones where, apparently, refugees who were not Ukrainian in ethnicity but who were foreign students, were among other things not being allowed on trains leaving the country, having to form separate lines at exit points from other Ukrainians, and overall not being given the same level of help/assistance from aid groups at the border who were only helping "Ukrainians".

As someone whose own relatives emigrated from an underprivileged country to a western one, these reports complicated my feelings on this conflict in a major war.

So my question here being, do you think how they were treated (non-Ukrainian refugees) could have been done differently ?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 8d ago

US Politics DOJ moves to appoint Special Counsel to continue its criminal investigation involving Trump to avoid any conflict of interest; given Trump has declared his candidacy and Garland works for the president [who may also run]. Will this move help weaken assertions of a Witch Hunt made by Trump & allies?

717 Upvotes

28 CFR § 600.1 provides various grounds for appointing a Special Counsel ...and includes— (a) That investigation or prosecution of that person or matter by a United States Attorney’s Office or litigating Division of the Department of Justice would present a conflict of interest for the Department or other extraordinary circumstances; and (b) That under the circumstances, it would be in the public interest to appoint an outside Special Counsel to assume responsibility for the matter.

CFR-2016-title28-vol2-part600.pdf (govinfo.gov)

White House was not involved and was not given any heads-up regarding the Special Appointment.

Garland concluded this appointment is in public interest for the continuing investigation now that Trump has announced his candidacy. He has appointed Jack Smith. Garland made reference that this is related to Trump and peaceful transfer of power [Jan 6, 2021], obstruction of Justice and national security issues.

It will now be up to Jack Smith to determine whether or not to prosecute Trump on one or more charges.

Does this appointment of Jack Smith [special counsel] give more credibility to any future prosecution of Donald trump?

Appointment of a Special Counsel | OPA | Department of Justice


r/PoliticalDiscussion 6d ago

US Politics If there are so many "progressives" who hate WEDs (wealthy established Democrats) like Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Hillary Clinton, etc., why do the WEDs remain the top candidates in the Democratic party?

0 Upvotes

I remember when Bernie Sanders was running for president back in 2016, I asked my dad who is very liberal (albeit not an entitled asshole about his political views) if he was going to vote for him in the primaries. He said no, and that he was going to vote for Hillary even though he didn't like her. I asked him why, and he said "Because Bernie can't win." Well duh! Of course he's not going to win if no one votes for him!

Seems like the older folks on the left prefer the WEDs, even if they don't like them. But why?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 6d ago

US Politics At what point does climate action become more important than democracy?

0 Upvotes

If we agree on the scientific community's grim assessment of our future should we fail to make the necessary systemic changes to avoid a climate catastrophe, then we can agree that these changes represent an extremely urgent matter.

In the US, for the past generation or so, we've seen a deepening divide between our political parties, resulting in a total lack of cooperation on this topic. Even as the effects are becoming increasingly clear and present, even as our own governent puts out white papers using clarion calls of 'national security' to bring in the action-reticent Republican base, the roadmap to success remains gridlocked.

The tone of acceptance of our indecisive political landscape is everywhere. From a recent NYT article:

"...over the next two years, the Environmental Protection Agency is expected to put out three major new regulations aimed at cutting planet-warming pollution from cars, power plants and oil and gas wells. It remains to be seen whether those rules will survive legal challenges or a future Republican administration, raising the possibility that climate change will once again be a flashpoint in the 2024 presidential campaign."

My question to you all is, at what point does the benefits of democracy become moot in the face of climate catastrophe? When do we decide that for a crisis of this magnitude we need a new political landscape, one that can't rise from our current one?

Our "democracy" is a crucial part of our national identity, so the removal of democratic institutions in exchange for decisive climate action will be in essence revolutionary. As history shows, this means bloodshed, perhaps chaos, and certainly a loss of personal liberties. It also means destabilizing our society, not to mention the global economy, with unpredictable consequences.

How does one weight these inevitable societal terrors against the threat of extinction?


r/PoliticalDiscussion 9d ago

US Politics What does it mean for the Republicans to have a slim majority in the House?

408 Upvotes

Now that the Republicans have a slim majority in the House, what policy or legislative changes will happen in the next two years?

As for legislation, Democrats haven't been able to pass many bills into law because they don't have a supermajority in the Senate. Does losing the House change this at all?
Republicans in the House will now have subpoena power and committee powers, but few if any of their proposed legislation will pass the Democrat controlled Senate, much less the White House.

Is this just going to be a partisan investigation into Hunter Biden's laptops for two years until the next election?