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September 24th, 2007 - Adventures in Engineering — LiveJournal
The wanderings of a modern ronin.

Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-09-24 10:50
  Subject:   Ask Reddit: Why are there no third parties in the USA?
Public
  Mood:*YOU* are dumb as shit
  Music:Consolidated - Brutal Equation
  Tags:  politics, reddit, usa not worth saving

There have been many of them throughout our history. But, they rarely gain traction because of our ridiculous winner take all politics, the structure of the Electoral College and restricted ballot access in most states. The duopoly jealously guards access to ballots and even to media opportunities and debates. So third parties like the Greens, Libertarians, Reform, and US Constitution parties never really stand a chance.

Occasionally, 3rd party candidates like Ross Perot or Ralph Nader do manage to shake things up just enough to force the duopoly to address issues that they otherwise wouldn't touch. But, even that is severely hampered by what amounts to an iron fisted control of US politics by a political machine who's chief purpose is to consolidate power.




The [two main parties] starve [third parties] by making it very hard to get on the ballot. If you are a republican or democratic candidate, you might have to get 5000 signatures in a given state to remain on the ballot. If you are a third party, you would need to get something like 50,000 signatures to get on the ballot. This varies by state but these numbers are typical.

It takes a lot of money and effort to get on the ballot.

The other way they starve third parties is by excluding them from the debate.

p.s. Occassionaly, a democrat or republican won't bother to even get the 5000 or so signatures they are required to. When law suits brought by third parties try to then keep them off the ballot, the judiciary usually gives them a pass on the logic that "we can't deny the people their choice, now can we?"

p.p.s What this has to do with funding is that third parties wind up spending most of what they raise toward getting enough signatures to get on the ballot.




How do they do this? Do they just refuse to have debates with third parties?

Thanks a lot for answering my questions! No matter how many episodes of the West Wing I watch, I still find many elements of this system boggling.



http://reddit.com/info/2sxl6/comments


What? Arresting third-party candidates who dare to attempt to participate in debates? THAT NEVER HAPPENS!


What a bunch of sorry-ass, stupid, duped, deluded shitheads you are, America. You can't even fucking impeach a president who lied you into a horrible, evil war. And now you think you can restructure your whole damn government from the bottom up! HA! You dumb, pathetic, brainless morons! Your utter cluelessness would make me sob like a little girl if I wasn't so busy laughing my ass off at your unbelievable, insane levels of naivete!

YOUR GOVERNMENT WILL NEVER YIELD A SINGLE IOTA OF POWER! THEY LIKE THINGS THE WAY THEY ARE! WHY DO YOU ASK, CITIZEN?
10 Comments | Post A Comment | | Link



Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-09-24 16:40
  Subject:   Mass-produced solar, $2 a watt installed.
Public
  Music:Front 242 - Gripped By Fear
  Tags:  reddit

Colorado State University's method for manufacturing low-cost, high-efficiency solar panels is nearing mass production. AVA Solar Inc. will start production by the end of next year on the technology developed by mechanical engineering Professor W.S. Sampath at Colorado State. The new 200-megawatt factory is expected to employ up to 500 people. Based on the average household usage, 200 megawatts will power 40,000 U.S. homes.

Produced at less than $1 per watt, the panels will dramatically reduce the cost of generating solar electricity and could power homes and businesses around the globe with clean energy for roughly the same cost as traditionally generated electricity.


http://www.industryweek.com/ReadArticle.aspx?ArticleID=14932


Anyone hear a big shiver from the offices of oil companies all across the world?
12 Comments | Post A Comment | | Link






Ben Cantrick
  Date: 2007-09-24 20:45
  Subject:   Best thing since sliced bread - wireless stereo speakers on a chip!
Public
  Mood:VLSI
  Music:Kraftwerk - Vom Himmel hoch

https://www.semiconductorstore.com/pages/asp/Item.asp?ItemNumber=NRF24Z1

Doubtless almost nobody will see what is so cool about this. That's okay. I'll just be over here, by myself... doing something private. ;]
2 Comments | Post A Comment | | Link



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