where religion and politics meet

Everyone has a worldview. A worldview is what one believes about life: what is true, what is false, what is right, what is wrong, what are the rules, are there any rules, what is the meaning of life, what is important, what is not.

If a worldview includes a god/God, it is called a religion. If a bunch of people have the same religion, they give it a name.

Countries also have a worldview, a way of looking at life that directs government policies and laws and that contributes significantly to the culture. Ours used to be Christianity. Now it is secularism, which is practical atheism.

Some of us are trying to engage the government, the culture, and the people who live here to see life again from a Christian perspective and to show how secularism is both inadequate and just plain wrong.

A religion is not a culture, though it creates one. It is not what you prefer, like your taste in music or your favorite movie. It is what you believe to be true. Because it deals with things like God, much of its contents is not subject to the scientific method, but the reasons why one chooses to believe in God or a particular religion certainly demand serious investigation and critical thinking.

Every human being has the duty to search for and learn the truth about life. Education and science used to be valuable tools in this search, but science has chosen to answer the foundational questions without accepting the possibility of any supernatural causes, and education no longer considers the search to be necessary or worthwhile.

poligion: 1) the proper synthesis of religion and politics 2) the realization, belief, or position that politics and religion cannot be separated or compartmentalized, that a person’s religion invariably affects one’s political decisions and that political decisions invariably stem from one’s worldview, which is what a religion is.

If you are new to this site, I would encourage you to browse through the older articles. They deal with a lot of the more basic issues,

For now I want to focus my writing now articles specifically addressed to Christians. So most of my new posts will be on my other website listed below. I will continue to write and post short responses to newspaper columns and letters and even other articles as the inspiration hits me.

Visit my other websites theimportanceofhealing blogspot.com where I talk about healing and my book of the same name and LarrysBibleStudies.blogspot.com where I am posting all my other Bible studies. Follow this link to my videos on youtube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCb-RztuRKdCEQzgbhp52dCw

If you want to contact me, email is best: lacraig1@sbcglobal.net

Thank you.

Monday, January 5, 2015

The biggest problem with our elections and what to do about it

The biggest problem with our electoral system is that most elections are made for only two candidates.  If there are more than two candidates, many people who would have voted for one candidate vote for another, and the other candidate who would have lost often ends up winning the election with less than 50% of the vote.  This is wrong, but don’t expect lawmakers to change this.  This would completely revolutionize our electoral system and lessen the chances that most politicians currently in office would keep their jobs.  People could finally vote their conscience and not just for the candidate pundits say has the best chance of winning.
Any election where no candidate receives more than 50% of the vote should require a runoff election of the two highest vote getters.  An alternative to this is to allow voters to rank or otherwise show preferences for more than one candidate on their original ballots, so that votes can be shifted from a person’s first choice to their second choice if there is no clear winner on the first ballot.  This is especially pertinent in Presidential elections where a third party candidate splits the vote in a state, so nobody gets a majority.  You don’t want to wait for a runoff election before finding out who won that state.
This principle applies particularly to primaries, where often there can be a large field of candidates.  In the last Presidential primary, the large number of candidates failed to show a clear winner.  I don’t think any candidate ever had more than 50% of the vote, so we didn’t ever really know which candidate had the most support of all the potential voters.
My suggestion:  Say we have ten Republican candidates and ten debates.  After the first debate, have the Tea Party and the Republican Party each conduct a poll of likely voters.  This would be necessary to keep both parties honest here.  Then after the second debate, let them conduct the same poll but without the name of the person who got the least number of votes the first time.  After the third debate, conduct another poll but again eliminate the name of the candidate who got the fewest number of votes the last time.  I wouldn’t ask these candidates who got those least votes to drop out or be removed from the debates just yet.  Some of them may still be unknown to the voters.  After the fourth or fifth debate, you could ask on the poll if any of the dropped candidates should be brought back, but I think things should be getter clearer.  After the fourth or fifth debate, these candidates could be asked to withdraw from the debates.
But the final candidate should have a majority of the likely Republican voters and not just be the best of three or four leading candidates.

So I agree with you that more candidates running for office is better than fewer.  It’s just that our system is not currently constructed to best handle that.  

2 comments:

  1. Are you familiar with the youtube user CGP Grey?

    He has a number of videos that are very good on the subject of voting.

    The Problems with First Past the Post Voting
    How the Electoral College Works
    The Trouble with the Electoral College
    Gerrymandering Explained

    And some alternate voting systems:

    Mixed Member Proportional Representation
    Single Transferable Vote
    Quick and Easy Voting for Normal People

    And possibly some other stuff that I've forgotten or missed.

    For what it's worth, my outsider's perspective of the US political nonsense is as follows:

    Gerrymandering is the problem with everything.

    Political representatives will gerrymander excessively to protect themselves and keep their seats safe from other parties. However, this has a particularly odd side-effect. It means that as an individual their main competition comes from within their own party.

    So someone who represents their own parties views better than they do themselves could conceivably remove them from office in an election.

    As a result, politicians have to become more and more extreme so as to better represent their core constituents, and continue to gerrymander their block so that their constituents become more and more condensed into hard-line party supporters.

    As a result the political process becomes progressively more and more extreme and partisan. A politician that makes a concession to the other side as part of a deal to get through a vital and useful piece of legislation runs the risk of having that concession thrown in their face on the next election cycle and potentially losing to an incumbent from their own party.

    That's why you get nonsense where nothing gets done because the parties wind up treating the opposition as an enemy to be defeated at all costs rather than their political opposites and colleagues with whom a reasonable solution can and should be devised.

    The problem at it's core is (in my view) the electoral college making it impossible to effectively avoid gerrymandering.

    The solution would be to replace the electoral college with a voting system that makes gerrymandering obsolete.

    The problem there is that no government is going to kick out the apparatus that put it into power in the first place.

    It's a nasty problem, and I don't envy the mess you guys in the US are in when it comes to how to straighten it all out.

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    Replies
    1. Hi Daniel
      Thank you for taking the time to write and to share all this information.
      There are two purposes of the Electoral College, which to me demand its retention. The first is that through the Electoral College, it is the states that elect the President and not individuals. This way the President represents the whole country and not just a few parts. I have seen election maps where a candidate won maybe 99% of the counties in a state or the country and the popular vote was very close. That’s why every state has two Senators, regardless of size. To represent states equally and not based on their respective populations.
      I am a believer in the original use of the Electoral College. The legislators chose electors, who were not affiliated in any way with the government, and they voted for the person of their choice. No campaigns, no speeches. They could have chosen a college president, a CEO, a philosopher or professor. Just the best person they thought for the job. Of course, the person ultimately chosen had the majority of the votes, not just being the highest vote getter. You can read about it in the Federalist Papers.
      The Electoral College is only used in Presidential elections, where Gerrymandering makes no difference, so I don’t see how replacing the Electoral College with anything would make Gerrymandering obsolete. Gerrymandering is evil. They tried to get rid of it in Illinois, and the courts threw it out.
      Thanks again.

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