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Questions About US Politics I Can't Be Arsed To Look Up Myself
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Waragainstsleep
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Sep 26, 2017, 11:18 PM
 
1: Are there any circumstances where a presidential election can be called early? Has it ever happened? Will it?
2: If Puerto Rico were to become the 51st state, how many electoral college votes would you expect them to get (and why)? I understand they are considered anti-Trump, would they be generally expected to be a Dem stronghold? What effect would they have on future presidential elections?

I think I had another one when I started this thread but I've forgotten it. If I remember later, I'll add it back in.
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 27, 2017, 01:54 AM
 
1. No. If Trump is impeached the office would go to Pence. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United..._of_succession
2. They would get EC votes equal to their combined number of congressional representatives and senators. They are traditionally Dems, but Rubio also did extremely well there. Whoever can communicate with them the most effectively will likely get their support.
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Sep 27, 2017, 02:59 AM
 
I think it's 5 ECVs.

Lots of Latinos are Catholic. For that and other reasons, they swing more conservative than one might expect. It's not a foregone conclusion PR swings Democrat.

This is why (I imagine) the national parties tend to stay out of the argument. It's a wildcard.
     
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Sep 27, 2017, 03:03 AM
 
To expand on (1): No, there would be no new elections. There is a line of succession that goes very deep, and if the President dies, is found unable to fulfill his duties (e. g. due to illness) or is impeached, then he will be succeeded by the next person in line. That would be the Vice President, i. e. Mike Pence. If, hypothetically, Trump and Pence get impeached or Mike Pence becomes unable to fill the office, then the next person would be Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, then President-pro-tempore Orrin Hatch. There are some footnotes here, too: the person must be eligible to become President, so if Arnold Schwarzenegger were Speaker of the House and both, Trump and Pence are impeached, then he would be skipped as he is not a natural born citizen of the US and the next person in line (in this case Orrin Hatch) would become President.
( Last edited by OreoCookie; Sep 27, 2017 at 05:36 AM. Reason: Fixed small typo)
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reader50
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Sep 27, 2017, 04:47 AM
 
To expand on (2), it is not clear how many Rep vs Dem voters would be picked up. Puerto Rico has their own political parties, built around their preferred resolutions to PR's status. While they do have other concerns, I doubt any of the three main parties would perfectly match up to either of the major national parties.

PR would pick up 2 senators, and at least 1 representative. The representative count is proportioned based on census data.

The Senate would go to 102 members, while the House would remain at 435 - it's capped at that number. The size of the Electoral College would increase to 540, and the number needed to win would change from 270 to 271.
( Last edited by reader50; Sep 28, 2017 at 02:28 PM. Reason: forgot D.C.'s electors)
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 27, 2017, 05:03 AM
 
I was aware of the line of succession. Over here a PM can call a general election early if they think they will win it easily. May did this recently, it backfired somewhat. So once a party wins a presidential election, that party keeps the presidency for 4 years no matter what?

Does that House cap include the existing non-voting representative from PR? Presumably they would gain a vote if thats the case?

It sounds like PR would be potentially be another swing state. Yes?
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OreoCookie
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Sep 27, 2017, 05:43 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
So once a party wins a presidential election, that party keeps the presidency for 4 years no matter what?
No, because Vice President, Speaker of the House, President pro-tempore and cabinet members do not need to belong to the same party as the President. While I wouldn't know of any example from modern times* where the Vice President is from a different party than the President, it is quite common that Speaker of the House or the President pro-tempore are from different parties than the President.

* In the good old times, the person with the second-most EC votes became Vice President. Can you imagine what our life would be like if the outcome of the 2016 election were either a Clinton/Trump or a Trump/Clinton Presidency?
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 27, 2017, 09:48 AM
 
Thats a good one, who/what decides which party the speaker is picked from?
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Sep 27, 2017, 10:20 AM
 
I assumed it was always the majority party, but that isn't necessarily the case.

In modern practice, the Speaker is chosen by the majority party from among its senior leaders either when a vacancy in the office arrives or when the majority party changes. Previous Speakers have been minority leaders (when the majority party changes, as they are already the House party leader, and as the minority leader are usually their party's nominee for Speaker), or majority leaders (upon departure of the current Speaker in the majority party), assuming that the party leadership hierarchy is followed. In the past, other candidates have included chairpersons of influential standing committees.
     
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Sep 27, 2017, 10:41 AM
 
Yeah, back when things weren't quite so politically toxic, seeing a minority party Speaker wasn't unheard of. It would be all but impossible nowadays, however (with the exception of small gaps when the majority swaps, but recently they won't even conduct any House business when that happens).
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 27, 2017, 03:58 PM
 
OK so the only way a Dem could end up in charge any sooner than 2020 is if they win the house next November, then lock up, kill or otherwise incapacitate both Trump and Pence?
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Sep 27, 2017, 04:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
OK so the only way a Dem could end up in charge any sooner than 2020 is if they win the house next November, then lock up, kill or otherwise incapacitate both Trump and Pence?
I think the line of succession goes a bit deeper than just Trump and Pence. Have you not seen Designated Survivor?
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Sep 27, 2017, 04:32 PM
 
The Speaker of the House is third. If the Democrats take the House that would be a Democrat.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 27, 2017, 06:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
OK so the only way a Dem could end up in charge any sooner than 2020 is if they win the house next November, then lock up, kill or otherwise incapacitate both Trump and Pence?
Yep.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 27, 2017, 07:42 PM
 
So the Xth in command would then keep the job until the next election is due?
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Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 28, 2017, 12:28 AM
 
Yep.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 28, 2017, 07:08 AM
 
I can't imagine Americans would be thrilled to have someone unelected running things for 2 years.
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Sep 28, 2017, 07:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
I can't imagine Americans would be thrilled to have someone unelected running things for 2 years.


Over two years, with Nelson Rockefeller as VP.
     
BadKosh
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Sep 28, 2017, 08:20 AM
 
I remember laughing at the "Re-Elect Gerald Ford" buttons!
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 28, 2017, 02:10 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post


Over two years, with Nelson Rockefeller as VP.
What's really funny about Ford is that he was never elected to any political office, ever. (He did win a few re-election campaigns, however.) Meaning all of the offices he served were through appointments, by either a governor or the POTUS.
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Sep 28, 2017, 04:53 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
What's really funny about Ford is that he was never elected to any political office, ever. (He did win a few re-election campaigns, however.) Meaning all of the offices he served were through appointments, by either a governor or the POTUS.
According his wiki page, he unseated a sitting Republican in the 1948 house race. He held the seat for 25 years, until Nixon appointed him VP. He was Minority leader from 1965 until his appointment.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 28, 2017, 05:08 PM
 
I thought that was an appointment, but you're right. I retract that part of my statement. However, I still posit that he always seemed to be in the right place at the right time; luck, and the tendency to be conspicuously inoffensive, is more responsible for Ford's political success than any work he did. How does someone spend 24 years as a representative without ever writing a single piece of major legislation? That's just mind-boggling to me.

Oh, and how he got appointed to the all-powerful House Appropriations Committee (and the Defence sub-committee, at that) after only two years in office is a mystery for the ages. Crazy, crazy stuff.
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Sep 28, 2017, 07:21 PM
 
One does not have to "write" legislation in order to shape legislation. Mr. Ford served as House Minority Leader for 8 years. The Minority Leader is literally the leader of the minority party, and often directs cooperation and compromise in the House.

The Appropriations Committee is not an unexpected post for someone from a key industrial state like Michigan - particularly during his tenure in the House.

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Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 28, 2017, 10:45 PM
 
No, not unexpected... after 10+ years. He did seem to play referee quite a bit, between both parties. That had to suck, so I do give him props for that.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 28, 2017, 11:15 PM
 
So who will be the next Democratic nominee then? Will Bernie rise again or is he too old?
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subego
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Sep 29, 2017, 02:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
So who will be the next Democratic nominee then? Will Bernie rise again or is he too old?
Biden.
     
Cap'n Tightpants
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Sep 29, 2017, 08:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by subego View Post
Biden.
He'll be 80.
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BadKosh
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Sep 29, 2017, 08:46 AM
 
Oprah?
     
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Sep 29, 2017, 03:01 PM
 
The dems don't really have a good, moderate candidate right now (Biden is too old). Plenty of time to find one, but Bernie, Warren, etc are too far left to win a general election. The dems need a moderate centrist in the mold of pre BJ Bill Clinton if they want to win in '20. Alot can change between now and then, however.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Sep 29, 2017, 09:01 PM
 
Originally Posted by BadKosh View Post
Oprah?
Thats not a ridiculous shout.
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subego
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Sep 30, 2017, 02:10 AM
 
Originally Posted by Cap'n Tightpants View Post
He'll be 80.
He's young at heart.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Oct 5, 2017, 07:03 AM
 
What are the rules regarding elected members switching party allegiance? Is it possible that if enough Senators or Representatives decided to quit the GOP and sign up as Democrats that the majority party would switch without needing new elections to be held? I realise its highly unlikely but just an interesting theoretical.
Probably more interesting in the UK right now given how slender the Tory/DUP majority is right now. I confess I don't know how that would play out over here.
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Oct 5, 2017, 07:41 AM
 
Several Senators have switched parties after being elected, some to no party. Ben Night Horse Campbell changed from D to R. Joe Lieberman from D , to none. Jim Jeffords from R to none. These are the ones I remember off the top of my head. I'm sure there have been House members that have changes parties as well. Before Jeffords switched it was 50-50 with Cheney the tie breaker. When he went I, he "caucused with the D's" giving control to the Democrats. Campbell switched after the R's took control of the Senate.
     
Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Oct 5, 2017, 09:45 AM
 
Now I'm wondering if we would have to change our PM if a party switch destroyed our current Tory non-majority deal.
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Chongo
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Oct 5, 2017, 11:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Now I'm wondering if we would have to change our PM if a party switch destroyed our current Tory non-majority deal.
I don't know a lot about parliamentary government. My understanding it would require enough parities to form the largest coalition. Whether it could be done without an election is unknown to me. Do they call for a no confidence vote, then form the new coalition government?
     
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Oct 5, 2017, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Chongo View Post
I don't know a lot about parliamentary government. My understanding it would require enough parities to form the largest coalition. Whether it could be done without an election is unknown to me. Do they call for a no confidence vote, then form the new coalition government?
I guess they could try for a minority government. While labour don't have the seats to force a vote of no confidence by themselves the situation is such that the other parties would surely pile in, so the Tory govt loosing it's (slim) working majority would probably trigger a general election almost immediately, as all the other parties are united on the desire to have another go at the Tories while they are weak.
Labour could in theory try to form an almost even more minority government but that looks pretty impractical. The only possibility would be the Tories not pushing another confidence vote and letting Labour govern for a bit but that seems vanishingly unlikely.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Oct 5, 2017, 09:59 PM
 
Their current effective majority is only 1 or 2 isn't it? If all of a sudden they lost that, they'd be out of options altogether since the DUP was their last and only hope last time around. I have to think we'd end up with another general election.

Either way, makes you wonder if someone couldn't persuade a Tory or two to quit. If its just the one required, how funny if Boris and TM really fell out and it was Boris who jumped ship? I'd have to laugh a lot.
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Doc HM
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Oct 6, 2017, 07:59 AM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
Either way, makes you wonder if someone couldn't persuade a Tory or two to quit. If its just the one required, how funny if Boris and TM really fell out and it was Boris who jumped ship? I'd have to laugh a lot.
I thought the Tories had a working majority of 8 thanks to the DUP.

There's a general trend to less by elections per parliamentary term as MPs get younger and people live longer. It's unlikely that there would be enough to erode TMs majority before the next GM.

I can't see Boris jumping ship either. Throwing the existing captain overboard yes but bailing on the party, no.

I would say it's vanishingly unlikely that TM will get another shot at an election so a leadership challenge is when not if, she seems to be self deluding enough not to quit so it will be a putsch not a clean challenge. Whoever wins it will be PM until the next election.
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Waragainstsleep  (op)
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Oct 6, 2017, 06:04 PM
 
There are 650 seats, the Tories have 316 and the DUP have 10.

So they can lose their majority very easily, but Labour couldn't form one without getting basically every one else on board. That would include Sinn Fein and the DUP, so never going to happen.
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