So, you want to be a politician

A politician and a drunken sailor were asked what they had in common. We don't know because the drunken sailor walked away offended.

Only 17% of US voters want their child to grow up to be a politician.

  • 63% say 'no way'.

Democrats are more enthusiastic about having a politician in the family at a whopping 22%.

It seems 14% of republicans and 14% of people not affiliated with a party are ok with it.

Liberals are twice as likely as conservatives to want a child in politics.

Seventy-six percent of voters say their own congressmen put their own interests above the ones who elected them.

Members of Congress have now surpassed corporate CEO's to hold the least favorably regarded profession in the country among the nine major jobs that are periodically asked about.

Only 4% of voters say most politicians keep campaign promises.

Forty-five percent believe they deliberately make false promises to get elected.

Voters by more than two to one think high congressional re-election rates are the result of election rules that are rigged to "benefit members of Congress".

Fifty-three percent of voters find it unlikely that Congress will seriously address the most important issues facing our nation. That is the highest level found since July 2008.

Just 15% of voters now give Congress good or excellent ratings, while 53% rate them as poor.

(from Rasmussen Reports national survey)

Am I right in saying the main problem is the type of person it takes to want to be a politician in the first place? You have to love the camera, want to be center of attention, be vain to a point, be willing to compromise your soul to the highest bidder, and go to great lengths to achieve what amounts to fame and power, with few exceptions.

I know there are many capable, honest, intelligent, and hard working citizens, liberal and conservative, who could enter this service and do wonders for the country. They are quite honestly everywhere - and they are nowhere to be found.

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sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

I just don't see it. I see you creating Congress and getting the same problems you get with Congress. I'm not overly upset about any given decision the Supreme Court has bad either. They have the occasional fuck up some of them on cases that I'm not certain they should be deciding anyway. We have Congress for a reason.

superbozo said about 3 years ago ...

Just a note about the run off vote mentioned by Sean. I personally would like to see that changed a little. You can indeed list your preferences in an Australian election. So if you decide to vote for an independant you can then list a major party as second preference and so on. However most just vote for one particular candidate and do not choose their own preferences. In that case the candidate can decide where to allocate those preference votes. Seeing as most just pick one party or another it's up to that party where those prefernces go.

Labour (Democrat centre left) tend to preference the Green Party and visa versa. The liberals (Australian conservatives) tend to preference the nationals or any other right wing candidate they feel fit.

Trying to put that into American terms the Republicans could preference a tea party candidate into office over a Democrat. I'm not sure if the Democrats have a alternative party that they would preference.

Due to preferences the Green Party here in Australia now has a major say in politics outside of the size of voter support it actualy gets. The recent close election here has woken many peoples eyes to the importance of preferences. As many voted Green party as a protest to avoid voting for the big 2 only to see the Greens put Labour into power and with the help of Labour preferences gain the balance of power in the Austrlian senate.

I think the only time that a preference should be used is by the voter. If they decide that they only wish to vote for one party that should be it. Their lack of picking a preference shouldn't mean a losing candidate should be able to help the second placed candidate over the line just because whoever voted for them didn't pick a preference.

d6fer said about 3 years ago ...

superbozo....in the U.S. the Democrats hide their preferences, which are often closet Socialists within their own party....they campaign as if they are not that, but they are.

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

There are no socialists in America D6fer. There are people who think that people should get their fair share of the products of their labor and people who think if you own a company you're a god looking for slaves.

Superbozo: That sounds like people not caring and you can't fix apathy. As for what you said about voting Green and green putting Labour into power that sounds about what you'd expect to happen. The same thing basically happens in America. On the occasion that we get a third party candidate all they accomplish is drawing votes away from the side they have most in common with. So if you have a three way Tea Party, Republican and Democrat the Democrat wins because he gets 50% of the vote and the other two split the other 50%.

d6fer said about 3 years ago ...

Bernie Sanders

superbozo said about 3 years ago ...

@ sean....It most definately is voter apathy. However I do not see why the candidates should benefit from that and be allowed to allocate unallocated preferences.

I kind of think that if the voter is too lazy to allocate his preference then he deserves to lose it. Not have the candicates gain it and change close run election results, maybe not in their favour but turn the result against their main opposition by using preferences to get the second placed candidate a victory.

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

@D6fer: Sorry there is one socialist. Except wait. . .he's really not. He identifies as one because he's more educated than you are and he's using words you don't understand. It's fine. But if this is what you're afraid of if you're argument really is that if your company is failing so hard you need a loan but you still deserve a bonus and that's makes you a socialist then wow. I didn't know that living with in your budget was a socialist idea. I gotta get these bad ideas out, maybe you can help. As a Capitalist i'm supposed to spend more than I can afford on things with minimal returns?

@Bozo: At some very real point you have to accept democracy for what it is. It's flawed and it's a popularity contest. Does it suck at times? Yes, yes it does but that's just how things are.

d6fer said about 3 years ago ...

sean....I dont think they deserved the bailout in the 1st place....what does that make me?

sean_renaud said about 3 years ago ...

It doesn't really make you anything. We know from the Great Depression that government doing nothing didn't work that time. Now maybe enough has changed over the last seventy years that this time things would have been different but I don't see any reason to beileve it would have. If anything I think the problems that made the Great Depression so devastating would have been worse this time around. This falls under perhaps we should start a separate post to say and show our work as to what we believe would have happened had the alternative been taken.

dyingman said about 3 years ago ...

The Federal Government is where these stats apply.

Look at your county and state level and honest, good people win. Around my area, even at these levels, there's a majority of skunks, but you can find your heroes.

The good people willing to serve get money from the same sources. They split that money among them and it ends up as peanuts. The skunks assure the good sources of money that they'll be good too and if they don't get a share, why should they do anything good.

They end up getting some good money too.

THEN, they promise the real estate, tobacco, gambling, pharma, and weapons interests that they'll give everyone a "fair hearing" and get that money largely to themselves or split in with another skunk.

The only other contender is an independently wealthy person that can bankroll themselves. (This is the approach I plan to take.)

The skunks then strut about proclaiming the honest man with some cash is "trying to buy the office." Nevermind that the skunk is buying the office with money he's essentially borrowed with promises. Mind you, many skunks are independently wealthy too, so I'm not saying such people will be good..I merely suggest you should not dismiss wealthy people who run for office without hearing them out with due skepticism.

Want an honest person? Avoid the people with the five professionally produces, glossy brochures that end up in your mailbox the week before election day. Mailings are 50 thou apiece. How do these guys gets this money? Who owns them? Some nutjobs pass out black and white xerox papers with whole manifestos on them, but the honest, dutiful people that would be great in office will be nestled in among them. 2 cent xerox copies are what honest people can afford. Read their stuff.

Finally, give money and help campaign for local people you like. These will be people who might be your Congressman one day if they're given the chance to prove their stuff in the minor leagues of politics.

This poll also conflates elected officials with politicians. Many good politicians never get elected, for the very reasons we've covered here. Shouldn't we admire such people for offering their service? Why wouldn't we want our children to be among them? Or do all these cynics lack the confidence that their children would manage their government better than the crooks we have?

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