Welcome to Trump town

 
  bingley hall Minister for Railways

Location: Last train to Skaville
So the man most likely to be the next to have his finger on the button appears to be one step away from being a certified nutcase - how did it come to this?

Or is it all a beat up by the commie loving media and Donald really is just a nice guy who has been simply misunderstood and misquoted?

It makes me wonder?

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  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
I see something along these lines happening here in Australia as so many people have had such a gut full of our current politicians, both State and Federal. With the posturing/arrogance/incompetence/corruption/whatever of our politicians at least some people are becoming increasingly cavalier (or suicidal) with their vote in the valiant hope that they may get better government 'by accident'.

This also seems to be how some of the fringe people got into the Senate as a form of protest vote.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
Is Australian politics any better?
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
We can always hope (pray) for a viable alternative - not that one appears even in the infinite distance.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
It's looking increasingly likely that he'll win the Republican nomination, he's been backed by the former front-runner Chris Christie (ABC News). I'm reasonably confident that he will beat Hillary Clinton - she's too much a representation of establishment politics backed by billionaires and investment banks.

Here and in the United States, ordinary people are sick to death of the bipartisanship of the traditional party system and they're crying out for change. Trump is a symptom of a broken system.
  lsrailfan Chief Commissioner

Location: Somewhere you're not
Does one think that he will actually do the things he says he will? or is it all just bluff and bluster, like most polly speak is?

Kind Regards
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Does one think that he will actually do the things he says he will? or is it all just bluff and bluster, like most polly speak is?

Kind Regards
lsrailfan
Who knows about the USA but we can be sure of the two parties that we have in Australia.
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

The Donald is popular because many people are angry and feel betrayed.  Just look at how the American middle class has drastically shrunk over the past 15 years.

Another factor is that they want a leader who speaks with authority - a Putin-like leader to "Make America Great (or Grate) Again".  Some recent polling suggests that Trump voters come from a wide spectrum of society with one thing in common - a positive view of authoritarianism.

An good read here:
http://www.theamericanconservative.com/dreher/caleb-stegall-prophesied-the-trumpening/

Personally I think Trump is a nutcase who will wreck the joint.  It'll be interesting who his running mate will be.  Perhaps Christie has thrown his hat in the ring?
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

So the man most likely to be the next to have his finger on the button appears to be one step away from being a certified nutcase …
bingley hall
Nutcase perhaps, but unless you know something we don't then Hillary is not a man!

Is Australian politics any better?
bevans
Yes - thanks to compulsory voting*. We have other issues (no system is perfect) but the partisan polarisation seen in US politics is not so much a problem here.

Across the whole of Australia, the Coalition has a party base of about 45% while the ALP has a party base of about 40% - very few of those will ever consider voting for the other major party. That leaves the ~15% in the middle to decide the election. Even the "anyone but Howard again" election of 2007 and the "anyone but Rudd/Gillard/Rudd again" election of 2013 only had two-party preferred results of 52.7% and 53.4% respectively, well within the +15% margin from each party's base.

Because just about everyone (93.2% turnout in the last election, only 5.9% consented to the decision of the rest of the electorate by casting an informal vote for their House of Representatives division) votes in Australia, major party candidates (both leadership candidates and local candidates) here have to appeal to the non-aligned voters in the centre and to the moderates among those who would normally count themselves among the supporters of the opposite major party.

In the USA it is the opposite. Similarly to Australia, each party has a supporter base of roughly 45% who would almost never consider the other party and there's about 10% independents. However, it is optional to vote there and the last presidential election in 2012 had a 54.9% turnout of the eligible population. Barack Obama won that 2012 election with 51.1% of the vote which corresponds to only 28.1% of the eligible population voting for him, while both of Bill Clinton's wins had less than a 25% vote once corrected for turnout.

When a campaign only needs 25-30% of the eligible population to win an election, winning an election is correspondingly about pushing enough partisan rhetoric and extreme policies to 'get out the vote' from the party base. A candidate with more centrist policies might do well at getting some of the 10% of independents to vote, but fail to get certain elements of the party base motivated enough to get out of bed on election day.

The UK has a similar setup, albeit not as obvious as in the US thanks to having a couple of non-major parties with enough significance to keep things interesting and keep the prospect of a minority government or coalition** government very real at most elections.

* Some argue that it's only compulsory to have your name marked off at a polling place or by returning a postal vote and you can vote informal if you want, but that's only a consequence of the secret ballot. If you attend a polling place, get your name marked off and then walk out without taking your ballot paper you are liable to have your name cleared from the roll and treated as a non-voter.
** here I'm talking in the context of the rest of the world where coalition governments result from no party winning a majority in an election, not the Australian exception of the permanent Liberal/National Coalition.

I see something along these lines happening here in Australia as so many people have had such a gut full of our current politicians, both State and Federal. With the posturing/arrogance/incompetence/corruption/whatever of our politicians at least some people are becoming increasingly cavalier (or suicidal) with their vote in the valiant hope that they may get better government 'by accident'.

This also seems to be how some of the fringe people got into the Senate as a form of protest vote.
"YM-Mundrabilla"
The main problem we have with Australian politics is the complete opposite to the main problem in the US.

Here, non-major parties and protest votes (not all non-major parties are protest votes) are a result of people being unable to tell the two major parties apart and needing someone different to shake it up. Where US politics has the problem of being too polarised and, Australian politics has the problem of the two major parties having such a small amount of difference that people can't tell them apart.

In my opinion this would improve if the House of Representatives had a more proportional representation using the Additional Member System - basically keeping the current divisions as they are, but having an additional 40 members allocated to the parties (using their highest-polling 'losing' candidates as the party list) as required to balance the representation with the national first preference vote. This would hopefully start a gradual shift away from the current adversarial system towards a more cooperative model as you would find in most parliaments in Europe, where a majority government is the exception rather than the rule.

Does one think that he will actually do the things he says he will? or is it all just bluff and bluster, like most polly speak is?
"lsrailfan"
Making the Mexican Government pay for a border wall certainly won't happen, and the US business community will speak out on his plan to launch a series of trade wars if it ever looks serious.

So yes, he is just bloviating.

I'm not sure that he'll get the Republican nomination, he has a strong chance of losing it once the rest of the field narrows down (e.g. if Cruz withdraws and allocates his delegates to Rubio) and superdelegates are factored in.
  apw5910 Deputy Commissioner

Location: Location: Location.
^^^ This is one of the clearest explanations of the difference between our two voting systems and their outcomes I've ever read. Thanks!
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
@justapassenger I'm pretty sure superdelegates are only applicable to the Democratic party.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
I see something along these lines happening here in Australia as so many people have had such a gut full of our current politicians, both State and Federal. With the posturing/arrogance/incompetence/corruption/whatever of our politicians at least some people are becoming increasingly cavalier (or suicidal) with their vote in the valiant hope that they may get better government 'by accident'.

This also seems to be how some of the fringe people got into the Senate as a form of protest vote.
YM-Mundrabilla
You should see some of the candidates for our upcoming Council election!
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

@justapassenger I'm pretty sure superdelegates are only applicable to the Democratic party.
"railblogger"
Superdelegates is an informal term for all unpledged (Democrat) or unbound (Republican) delegates.

The issue of the superdelegates in the Democratic Party gets more press because there are additional slots given to 'distinguished party leaders' (e.g. former Presidents, DNC Chair etc) and sitting governor/senator/representatives where the Republicans give most of the equivalent extra slots to the state parties as additional bound delegates. For all its faults, the Republican Party is a much more democratic organisation than the Democratic Party - or all the significant Australian political parties for that matter - as best shown by the troubles of Jeb Bush in this candidacy.

By my count, the number of unbound delegates for the Republicans is 253, out of a total of 2472. If it gets to a contested Convention (i.e. nobody gets a clear majority of 1237 bound delegates), it can be expected that pretty well all of the superdelegates will vote against Trump on the first ballot. If no majority results on the first ballot, all delegates become unbound for the second ballot and it goes to Rubio.
  Aaron Minister for Railways

Location: University of Adelaide SA
Trump will be the next president of America, I am not sure that's a good thing yet, but certain to not be a bad thing.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Trump will be the next president of America, I am not sure that's a good thing yet, but certain to not be a bad thing.
Aaron
I had an American acquaintance who got caught up in that whole "Change you can believe in" hokum during Obama's election campaign the first time around - there were people who really got caught up in the whole evangelical zeal of the moment thinking that his election represented something tangible.

There's no doubt that the election of a black man to their highest office was a proud moment but then again there's no way the establishment would have let him in there if he was genuinely going to shake up the place. Not that I necessarily blame Obama personally, as we've discussed before there's only a limited amount of things that a President can actually do anyway - it's Congress that holds the real power. To his credit he did try and introduce a proper medical insurance safety net for the working poor even though it was politically sabotaged and weakened at every turn.

Trump on the other hand is a totally rouge candidate - the fact that he might get elected would prove that democracy actually works because everyone in the media and the Washington DC establishment have been totally against him right from the start and yet he just keeps getting more and more popular.

Interesting times.
  Graham4405 Minister for Railways

Location: Dalby Qld
Trump on the other hand is a totally rouge candidate
don_dunstan
He often does appear a bit red in the face... Smile
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Trump on the other hand is a totally rouge candidate
He often does appear a bit red in the face... Smile
Graham4405
And the hair is very discombobulating...
  RTT_Rules Dr Beeching

Location: Dubai UAE
The reason our two major parties are very close is because that's what the voters want, especially when you have as you say 15% swinging Look at Abbott, he was far right and got turfed in part because of his uncompromising more far right views. If the ALP was to put a hardline Left winger up, how long do you think they would last?

Australia wise I think at most elections many of the swing voters are looking at the credentials of who will better manage the economy and/or is better organised. This also drives both sides to be very similar. Australian's are also very conservative voters and won't take a  risks, hence why the Greens and other minor parties rarely get above 15% of the vote.

Very occasionally you get a popularist type like Pauline Hanson, but they rarely survive in the major parties and life outside a major party is limited as usually after time their initially fresh of breath air views sound increasingly wako. Or at best they create a minor party around a personality and eventually that person leaves and with it the party, ie Democrats, Pauline Hanson......

The USA Presidential electoral system is hard to describe how screwed up it appears to be. A system that takes a series of state based elections nearly 6mths with no rhyme or reason why sometimes there is just one or two states and other times lots? (I'm sure there is based on something that happened 200 years ago). This could all happen in one week and with TV and jet planes 90 days of campaigning preceding that. Then a final Presidential vote the following week.

Trump will win Republican, however I think by the time push comes to shove, Hillary will get over the line. Trump I'm sure will be like Pauline Hanson with time people will tire of his personality.

Trump will also run into the same problem every person entering politics faces, budgets are tight and not readily changed, the thousands of people who work behind the scenes who do the modelling on budgetary changes will show you your plans are not so great after all, contracts and agreements are in place and you cannot just go around pissing people off for long before they stop working with you and starting working against you.

Also interesting comment in Facebook. Proof you need immigrants to do the job Americans don't want to do, both his ex and current wife are Eastern European immigrants.
  mejhammers1 Chief Commissioner

It's looking increasingly likely that he'll win the Republican nomination, he's been backed by the former front-runner Chris Christie (ABC News). I'm reasonably confident that he will beat Hillary Clinton - she's too much a representation of establishment politics backed by billionaires and investment banks.

Here and in the United States, ordinary people are sick to death of the bipartisanship of the traditional party system and they're crying out for change. Trump is a symptom of a broken system.
don_dunstan
Goodness gracious me. So they will vote in someone who is basically a rich hack from the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. You are talking about a Billionaire and you are saying that Hillary Clinton is wedded to the Banks and Billionaires!! Go figure.  By any stretch of the imagination Trump is a major a..hole!!!

The US system though not perfect is not broken. Trump is a symptom of what people in the US want to hear. God help America!! I mean taking notice of a man who completely disrespects their Southern Neighbours. A man who wants to build a wall to keep out Mexicans. A man who thinks all Latinos are thieving, shifty neanderthals not to be trusted, a man who completely disrespects a war veteran. A man who was fighting for his country whilst this goon was being a playboy partying with young ladies far too bloody young for him. There are too many people giving this racist, disrepectful buffoon too much respect, waaay too much respect.

Michael
  x31 Chief Commissioner

Location: gallifrey
I blogged about this last summer, but since we live in an age where new information is hurled at us constantly, things like the Donald Trump butt plug are easily forgotten or become “old” within a matter of minutes. The Donald Trump butt plug really needs to make a comeback in your newsfeed. And the good news is, you can still buy one. Or more if you’re into that sort of thing (I’m not judging!)



  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

Goodness gracious me. So they will vote in someone who is basically a rich hack from the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party.
mejhammers1
The Tea Party wing hates Trump, he's simply not conservative enough for them and flip-flops on all of the issues that are important to them.

The Tea Party movement has mostly collapsed in on itself, but what's left of it is split between supporting Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio in this primary season.

The rank and file of the Republican base hate him too, which is going to hurt Trump in the closed primaries (i.e. only open to registered party supporters, not just anyone) and the general election. One friend of mine who lives in the US says his American wife is planning on voting Democrat in November for the first time in her life if Trump is the Republican nominee.

You are talking about a Billionaire …
mejhammers1
Many reputable business commentators think he's actually only worth about $150M, courtesy of all his debt and the failed businesses he ran into bankruptcy.

The US system though not perfect is not broken. Trump is a symptom of what people in the US want to hear. God help America!! I mean taking notice of a man who completely disrespects their Southern Neighbours. A man who wants to build a wall to keep out Mexicans. A man who thinks all Latinos are thieving, shifty neanderthals not to be trusted, a man who completely disrespects a war veteran. A man who was fighting for his country whilst this goon was being a playboy partying with young ladies far too bloody young for him. There are too many people giving this racist, disrepectful buffoon too much respect, waaay too much respect.
mejhammers1
Not to mention his antics on the weekend, accepting the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan and then tweeting a quote from Mussolini just hours later.
  don_dunstan Minister for Railways

Location: Adelaide proud
Not to mention his antics on the weekend, accepting the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan and then tweeting a quote from Mussolini just hours later.
justapassenger
Trump is a lightening rod for those dissatisfied with the current system and telling people not to vote for him because he's a flip-flopping idiot will not work... in fact it will probably only make him more popular.
  justapassenger Chief Commissioner

An interesting point was made to me this afternoon by an American friend - if Trump wins the primaries, the Republican National Committee could well decide that losing to a Democratic candidate they can work with would be better than having a Trump who they couldn't work with.

They could then formally disendorse Trump (i.e. have no presidential candidate on their party ticket in each state) or 'informally' disendorse him by simply opting to spend all their money on keeping their Senate majority (they need 21 of the 34 seats up for election this year, of which they currently hold 24 and the Democrats 10) instead of the presidential race. Even if Trump then did win despite the lack of party support, the party would still have a majority in both houses and therefore an iron grip on the real power.

Formally disendorsing Trump would have a significant effect in those areas with voting machines that allow voters to simply select a full party ticket instead of going through and individually selecting the Republican candidate for President, then the Republican candidate for Senator … right down to county-level positions.
  bevans Site Admin

Location: Melbourne, Australia
  Carnot Chief Commissioner

Looks like it's going to be Hillary vs Trump going by today's results.  Many Americans simply won't bother voting for either Presidential candidate in November....  They'll be lucky to get a turnout of more than 50% IMO.

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