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Old 02-11-2007, 03:23 PM   #16
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I agree with you. I voted for Gore and Kerry, so don't blame me for Bush. I don't really consider Bush my president, because the Supreme Court put him in office, not the voters. I've protested his policies ever since he's been in office.
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:33 PM   #17
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I didn't mean to sound like I was dumping on US citizens but it does bring up a point. When you guys elect a president, it affects the whole planet, and apparently after all this time, Bush still doesn't get it.

And what's with all these signing statements (giving him the right to ignore the law) he has added to all the laws he signs, does he think he is the king? I thought the US had a system of checks and balances to prevent absolution of power.

Has congress taken back the power it gave Bush before the Iraq war to unilaterally declare war without approval from the Houses? If not, why not?

I think politicians have disenfranchised so many people with their childish and selfish behaviour that many people are ambivalent towards government. Sadly, this results in poor government for society as a whole. Special interest groups and powerful organizations benefit from policies while vulnerable groups in society continue to lose resources. The skeptic in me thinks that somewhere in those political parties are strategists who are glad that the number of people who participate in the process is shrinking. It is easier to placate small groups of people vs large groups of people. Our electorate turnout in Canada has been steadily decreasing since the 80's just as it has been in the U.S. Municipal and provincial elections have even worse turnouts. Democratically elected governments were supposed to govern for the benefit of the community but that has shifted to the retention of power for individuals and the party. Sad turn of events.

Our present government spends more time talking about the past government than it's own accomplishments (which are minimal) after being in power for over a year. It's ridiculous, whenever questioned about policy, they don't have an answer yet continually refer to shortcomings of the previous government. I find it stunning that no reporter says hey, we get it, we know what they did, what are YOU going to do? But no one does.

I try to apply this kind of behaviour to the workplace and find himself thinking this kind of behaviour would be totally unacceptable. Hey Tim, have you made a decision regarding our client's questions? No, but my predecessor made a poor decision when facing this situation, I will get back to you. Fire his ass!! But that is what government does all the time. Inaction is the new policy. In Canada, healthcare has been a huge talking point for a long long time especially wait times. They had a huge consultation with Canadians a few years back headed by a former Premier named Roy Romanow. After a couple of years, the report was released with recommendations on how to improve the system, what was done, nothing and health care continues to be a major concern for Canadians. I expect the same thing to happen regarding climate change, lotsa consultations, followed by recommendations, followed by nothing cause the changes will be too damaging to the economy especially Alberta.


Yes, I am hugely cynical in my expectations now but until someone comes along with vision and the courage to implement the vision, I see little reason to anticipate any changes. Oh crap, another rant.
Wow, I could write exactly the same about the German politics of the last 20 years. This is frightening.

And you are right, the influence of the American President for the world is so strong, that the whole world should elect him.
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Old 02-11-2007, 04:34 PM   #18
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Yes. a global test, haven't heard that before...
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:04 PM   #19
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I don't disagree about Bush's abuse of signing statements, much less the war in Iraq, but unfortunately challenging these things isn't a simple cut-and-dried matter. The last several Presidents in general have gone hog-wild with signing statements compared to their predecessors, and existing Supreme Court precedent (Chevron v. NRDC) is that courts will defer to them unless they contradict some explicitly indicated Congressional intent...meaning, unfortunately, that they'd have to be challenged on a case-by-case basis. Senator Specter (R-Pa.) introduced a bill last summer which would require the courts to automatically disregard signing statements, but it expired when the last Congress ended; perhaps it will get reintroduced this time. As far as the Congressional authorization of force in Iraq, again, that was very much precedented; Congress hasn't actually declared war since WWII, and while the War Powers Act (1973) puts limitations on the President's ability to send troops into combat without an "authorization of force," it makes clear that an authorization of force (as opposed to a formal declaration of war) is adequate for that purpose. And no, there certainly isn't a "clause enabling us to overthrow the government" or anything of the sort. A "vote of no confidence" leading to dissolution of the government is not allowed in Presidential systems, where the executive's mandate comes directly from the voters; the only avenue to forced removal is impeachment followed by conviction, which has never before happened in US history and in any case, would only result in the Vice-President becoming President. Even in the pretty-much-inconceivable event that both Bush and Cheney would somehow be impeached and convicted (thus making Pelosi the President), it's clear that the Democrats themselves aren't in agreement about how to handle the Iraq situation at this point.
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Old 02-11-2007, 07:42 PM   #20
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Iraq is the 51st state of the U.S. You don't build military bases and the world's largest embassy in a place you plan on leaving any time soon.

Still, I would be freaking angry as hell about having my country spending hundreds of billions of dollars on a country on the other side of the planet while my own country is facing domestic problems of it's own. I am pissed off about Canada's involvement in Afghanistan, NATO is fighting the people responsible for 9/11 while the main US force is off trying to secure a oil resource for this century. Pakistan is getting a free pass from Bush despite allowing the Taliban to regroup and grow along the border with Afghanistan. So much for with or against us, but oh, they have the bomb. Wonder why others want the bomb too, great deterrence to U.S hegemony.

Too bad your mechanism for removal of your leaders is so complex. We have a thing called a non-confidence vote which removes a sitting government and triggers an election. It's been used once and been brought up a few times as an option recently since we have had two minority governments back to back. It would be difficult to use in a majority government but in Canada, it seems that our politicians sway with public opinion. Chretien refused to enter the Iraq conflict and recently even Harper finally embrace climate change as the main concern of Canadians despite recently having little regard for the issue. But he knows who butters his toast. Although, many Canadians are suffering election fatigue even though the Conservatives (really the Alliance party from Western Canada IMHO) are running ads against the leader of the Liberal party when there isn't even an election.

I doubt we will ever see the kinds of political displays of outrage in North America like you see in younger democracies around the world.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:13 PM   #21
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Hm, there are several US military bases in Germany







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Old 02-11-2007, 08:16 PM   #22
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It is going to be fun when China starts building permanent infrastructures in foreign countries.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:40 PM   #23
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It is going to be fun when China starts building permanent infrastructures in foreign countries.
I thought that's what the Walmarts were.
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Old 02-11-2007, 08:44 PM   #24
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good point

they won't have any need to occupy

they can just raise the rent
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Old 02-11-2007, 11:26 PM   #25
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This is about the best thread on Iraq this forum has had in a long while.
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