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Virginia Senate, or how to turn a tie into a Republican majority in one easy step

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Posts

  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    Except there is actual precedent for tie votes not passing, so your view doesn't really hold in governance. Also, Bolling's vote wasn't the problem; had he been there, he still wouldn't have been able to vote, because the tally was 20-19, not a tie. The Senate bypassed the vote of an actual senator who was at the inauguration to pass something that would never have managed it otherwise. I call that scummy, not just 'unusual'.

    SammyF
  • TenekTenek Registered User regular
    Except there is actual precedent for tie votes not passing, so your view doesn't really hold in governance. Also, Bolling's vote wasn't the problem; had he been there, he still wouldn't have been able to vote, because the tally was 20-19, not a tie. The Senate bypassed the vote of an actual senator who was at the inauguration to pass something that would never have managed it otherwise. I call that scummy, not just 'unusual'.

    If ties just fail outright, then we're back to the filibuster problem: you can't implement your agenda.

    I guess it makes more sense if you include the LG in the majority (in the 20-20 case). :\

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    It honestly seems, Tenek, that you just fundamentally don't understand the system or what happened. It isn't designed for this kind of crap and nobody could see it coming unless they were wizards.

    Lh96QHG.png
    SammyFMan in the Mists
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    Yes. Exactly. Ties fail, so you have the Senate President break them. Wiggling around that problem when you don't have the Senate President's vote by bringing up legislation that the other side unanimously opposes when one of them is out for the day is jackassery.

    SammyF
  • TenekTenek Registered User regular
    It honestly seems, Tenek, that you just fundamentally don't understand the system or what happened. It isn't designed for this kind of crap and nobody could see it coming unless they were wizards.

    Facing complete Democratic opposition and a tiebreaker who intended to kill the bill, the Republicans waited until one of the Democrats was away to make the vote 20-19 and denying the tie required to have the LG decide. I guess we call this loophole exploitation. Still having a hard time getting super upset about it though. :\

  • TheCanManTheCanMan Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    If I understand things correctly, the GOP have majority status even though it's statistically a tie because the LG gave them that status.

    I wouldn't take the argument as far as Tenek is taking it (and I'm far more outraged at the blatant audacity of this move) but I do see the logic in laying the blame for the actions of the majority party at the feet of the guy who decided which party got majority status.

    TheCanMan on
  • DehumanizedDehumanized Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    The Democrats didn't even know that they should be opposing it. They introduced the amendment on Monday morning as soon as they saw only 19 Democrats in seats, gave it 30 minutes of debate, then passed it.

    Prior to the amendment, it was just a routine bill to fix some technical issues with the boundaries defined in 2011. The amendment "fixed" them by just redrawing shit all over.

    Dehumanized on
    SammyF
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    Tenek wrote: »
    A bill that gets the vote of everyone in the majority should pass. If this doesn't happen, then you get the same problem as with the filibuster: You're nominally in charge but you don't have actual power.

    No! No, it doesn't! Because in this case, "majority" is a nominal term! They still only get 20 votes! We get 20 votes, too! A bill that gets the vote of everyone in the majority caucus can become law if Bill Bolling happens to agree to it, if a Democrat happens to agree to it, or if someone tries to rig the system to take advantage of an absentee Senator.

    This is not a case of the minority party having fewer members elected to a legislative body but still being able to impede the legislative process on bills that garner a clear majority of support. They couldn't win a majority vote on the matter before the whole body of the Senate. 20 would have voted yes; 21 would have voted no. Even if you factor Marsh's absence into the equation, they didn't even have a majority of support in the room at the time; 20 were in favor, and 19 + 1 were opposed. It just happens to be that the rules were gamed so that in this case, that 1 couldn't vote. This is the exact opposite problem of the fillibuster: it's a minority of all decision makers in a legislative body pushing through a piece of legislation that a majority of decision makers don't want.

    Don't just take my word for it! Just about every single large circulation daily newspaper in the Commonwealth is saying that this is a terrible, terrible precedent to set. The Governor is incensed because he knows that if we get angry enough, we can shut down his entire agenda just by refusing to show up. Even a former communications director of the Republican Party of Virginia is calling it "dirty, dirty pool." And I hate Shaun Kenney! I wouldn't throat-fuck him if he were choking on a peach pit! When even he agrees, it's time to just go ahead and say that this is not the way that the legislative process in Virginia is intended to function.

    I see that while I was inserting my links and deciding what Shaun would be choking on in my wildest imaginings, Carrot handled this pretty well. In any case, I see that you're "too cool for school" quotient is currently somewhere around a nine, so I'm done.

    SammyF on
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    Tenek, let me lay a scenario out for you. Say Bolling officially leaves the GOP, and is just generally pissed as fuck at Senate Republicans. Then one of the Republican senators' spouses dies, and while s/he is at the funeral, all 20 Democrats plus Bolling vote for a new redistricting plan that effectively eliminates a Republican seat, over the protest of the 19 Republicans there. Would that be fair, in your opinion?

  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    Tenek, let me lay a scenario out for you. Say Bolling officially leaves the GOP, and is just generally pissed as fuck at Senate Republicans. Then one of the Republican senators' spouses dies, and while s/he is at the funeral, all 20 Democrats plus Bolling vote for a new redistricting plan that effectively eliminates a Republican seat, over the protest of the 19 Republicans there. Would that be fair, in your opinion?

    Wouldn't happen. The lower house is R-dominated.

    syndalis wrote: »
    Apple is a terrible company.
  • TenekTenek Registered User regular
    Tenek, let me lay a scenario out for you. Say Bolling officially leaves the GOP, and is just generally pissed as fuck at Senate Republicans. Then one of the Republican senators' spouses dies, and while s/he is at the funeral, all 20 Democrats plus Bolling vote for a new redistricting plan that effectively eliminates a Republican seat, over the protest of the 19 Republicans there. Would that be fair, in your opinion?

    I think you need Bolling to oppose this one too, otherwise it's 21-19.

    That said, I think Sammy probably put it in better context: if Bolling breaks the tie, then he should be considered part of the majority and his vote (or any D's) should be required.

    So yes, that does mean this is unusually slimy. Thank you all for helping clarify that.

  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    Ah, it's so rare that political threads have a positive reaction to debate around here.

    Feels good, man.

    Lh96QHG.png
    Captain Carrot
  • lazegamerlazegamer Registered User regular
    For bonus class with a capital K, they then adjourned in the memory of Stonewall Jackson.

    Gotta love southern Republicans.

    I doubt it has anything to do with a Black president being sworn in on MLK day, right?


    But seriously, The South. Stop all the Confederate shit. Your great-grandparents didn't even know anyone from that war.

    This is a few pages back and mildly off topic. But I just wanted to note that two grandsons of President John Tyler — who was born in 1790 and served as tenth president of the United States — are still alive today. For reference, the civil war was declared in 1861.

    Surprise.
    - Spy
    lonelyahavaArdolGandalf_the_Crazed
  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    There are still (well, they may have died, its been a while since Ive checked) wives of Civil War soldiers alive today. Granted, they were really young when they married the soldiers and the soldiers were really old (I think the marriages happened in the early 1910-20s), so its not as far removed as we like to think.

    camo_sig2.png
  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    emp123 wrote: »
    There are still (well, they may have died, its been a while since Ive checked) wives of Civil War soldiers alive today. Granted, they were really young when they married the soldiers and the soldiers were really old (I think the marriages happened in the early 1910-20s), so its not as far removed as we like to think.

    If you were born in 1920 you'd be 93 this year.

    So, probably not.

    **Winner Softest and Most Comfy Hugs Award Summer 2018**

    Blueberrywerewlf on the Sony Anime Games Box | BluberryWerewlf on the BroBone
  • emp123emp123 Registered User regular
    Yeah, a quick google tells me that the last living wife of a Civil War soldier died in 2004 at 97. So 8 9 years ago.

    camo_sig2.png
  • lonelyahavalonelyahava Mortius is correct Move to New ZealandRegistered User regular
    Chanus wrote: »
    emp123 wrote: »
    There are still (well, they may have died, its been a while since Ive checked) wives of Civil War soldiers alive today. Granted, they were really young when they married the soldiers and the soldiers were really old (I think the marriages happened in the early 1910-20s), so its not as far removed as we like to think.

    If you were born in 1920 you'd be 93 this year.

    So, probably not.

    My grandma was born in 1913. She'd have been 100 in about a week and a half from now. her mom was born in 1888. So it's not that removed at all.

  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    Chanus wrote: »
    emp123 wrote: »
    There are still (well, they may have died, its been a while since Ive checked) wives of Civil War soldiers alive today. Granted, they were really young when they married the soldiers and the soldiers were really old (I think the marriages happened in the early 1910-20s), so its not as far removed as we like to think.

    If you were born in 1920 you'd be 93 this year.

    So, probably not.

    My grandma was born in 1913. She'd have been 100 in about a week and a half from now. her mom was born in 1888. So it's not that removed at all.

    Yeah, I'm not saying it's far removed... just that it wasn't likely someone who got married in 1920 would still be alive today.

    **Winner Softest and Most Comfy Hugs Award Summer 2018**

    Blueberrywerewlf on the Sony Anime Games Box | BluberryWerewlf on the BroBone
    lonelyahava
  • Solomaxwell6Solomaxwell6 Registered User regular
    Tenek wrote: »
    Republicans don't actually have a majority in the Senate. 20/40 is 50%, not 50%+1. And you seriously think passing bills without an actual majority because someone was out for the day is perfectly acceptable?

    I think someone needs to be in charge. I think that having the unanimous support of the 'in charge' group should be sufficient to pass a bill. I think that the Senate bypassing the vote of the not-an-actual-senator to get their bill passed is unusual but that's about all. So, yeah, I guess this is one of the weird ways that plays out in a poorly designed system.

    Wait, so who is in charge? The party with 20/40 votes, or the other party with 20/40 votes?

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    They've apparently joined the fuck democracy allocate electoral votes by district instead of statewide movement as well.

    Though there's significant pushback on that one. Especially because the guy who introduced was explicitly all "too many urban people getting represented."

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Chanus
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    They've apparently joined the fuck democracy allocate electoral votes by district instead of statewide movement as well.

    Though there's significant pushback on that one. Especially because the guy who introduced was explicitly all "too many urban people getting represented."

    As I often say in these situations, if only there was some kind of impartial tool which could group districts each year in a completely fair manner based only on attempting to produce the simplest possible map with equal numbers of people in each district. Oh wait, there is, it's called a computer

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
    fugacity
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    And then there would conveniently be no black representatives. Hoorah technocracy!

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Chanus
  • ChanusChanus Sugoi! ^_____^Registered User regular
    And then there would conveniently be no black representatives. Hoorah technocracy!

    Not necessarily true.

    In Richmond, for example, blacks are the majority.

    So, there'd be at least one.

    Totally legit.

    **Winner Softest and Most Comfy Hugs Award Summer 2018**

    Blueberrywerewlf on the Sony Anime Games Box | BluberryWerewlf on the BroBone
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    I should really finish this Senate lookup app so I can start working on my redistricting one.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    Chanus wrote: »
    And then there would conveniently be no black representatives. Hoorah technocracy!

    Not necessarily true.

    In Richmond, for example, blacks are the majority.

    So, there'd be at least one.

    Totally legit.

    Works out as long as the All-Seeing App doesn't decide in its infinite wisdom to draw half of the city in with Henrico and the other half in with Chesterfield.

    The benefit of a technological solution is that if you get unexpectedly fucked over, all blame can be attributed to a faceless databank and few lines of code instead of another human being. That's why everyone loved the BCS and never complained about it every goddamned year.

    Chanus
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    SammyF wrote: »
    Chanus wrote: »
    And then there would conveniently be no black representatives. Hoorah technocracy!

    Not necessarily true.

    In Richmond, for example, blacks are the majority.

    So, there'd be at least one.

    Totally legit.

    Works out as long as the All-Seeing App doesn't decide in its infinite wisdom to draw half of the city in with Henrico and the other half in with Chesterfield.

    The benefit of a technological solution is that if you get unexpectedly fucked over, all blame can be attributed to a faceless databank and few lines of code instead of another human being. That's why everyone loved the BCS and never complained about it every goddamned year.

    Most of the issues with the BCS lie in the human polls. Also artificial limits placed on computers due to humans (like margin of victory not being a factor).

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    Pick your technological metaphor, then. Diebold voting machines? Going into November a lot of otherwise sane, tech friendly human beings considered them the greatest threat to American democracy. Are computer apportionate algorithms going to be received any better when the Romney family buys a majority stake in whoever owns them?

    Six retired appellate judges. Three appointed by Democratic Governors. Three appointed by Republican governors. Majority and minority leader in each chamber appoints one. Governor appoints two that must be confirmed by the legislature. Committee holds public meetings. All documentation posted online within ten days. Five votes required to refer a plan to the legislature for an up or down vote in both chambers, no amendments. Entirely transparent with no bizarre conspiracy theories about who programmed the computer this year.

    If I was Saslaw, I wouldn't let anyone show up and constitute a quorum until the Governor vetoed the amended redistricting bill and the House sent me a bill that codified the above.

    I'd also demand that Watkins lose all his committee assignments because fuck him in his nostril.

    GethChanusCaptain Carrot
  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    I love you, too, Geth. I am sorry we could never work past our differences in Mass Effect.

    Robot Santa can eat a dick.

    Geth
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    That is, IIRC, basically how Arizona (of all states!) does it. Though it's 2-2-1 with a registered independent being the 1 or some such.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • FencingsaxFencingsax It is difficult to get a man to understand, when his salary depends upon his not understanding GNU Terry PratchettRegistered User regular
    SammyF wrote: »
    Pick your technological metaphor, then. Diebold voting machines? Going into November a lot of otherwise sane, tech friendly human beings considered them the greatest threat to American democracy. Are computer apportionate algorithms going to be received any better when the Romney family buys a majority stake in whoever owns them?

    Six retired appellate judges. Three appointed by Democratic Governors. Three appointed by Republican governors. Majority and minority leader in each chamber appoints one. Governor appoints two that must be confirmed by the legislature. Committee holds public meetings. All documentation posted online within ten days. Five votes required to refer a plan to the legislature for an up or down vote in both chambers, no amendments. Entirely transparent with no bizarre conspiracy theories about who programmed the computer this year.

    If I was Saslaw, I wouldn't let anyone show up and constitute a quorum until the Governor vetoed the amended redistricting bill and the House sent me a bill that codified the above.

    I'd also demand that Watkins lose all his committee assignments because fuck him in his nostril.

    I swear, if they try the redistributing Electoral votes thing, I will be pissed.

    torchlight-sig-80.jpg
    Captain Carrot
  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    I pretty much guarantee at least one of the blue/swing states that Obama won and Republicans control the state houses will pass that change. I'd bet on Wisconsin, personally.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
  • Captain CarrotCaptain Carrot Alexandria, VARegistered User regular
    The problem is, making that change means that while you'll have some Republican votes guaranteed, you'll also have much less reason for anyone to campaign there, and therefore give a shit about the people.

  • enlightenedbumenlightenedbum Registered User regular
    The problem is, making that change means that while you'll have some Republican votes guaranteed, you'll also have much less reason for anyone to campaign there, and therefore give a shit about the people.

    This is the Republican Party we're talking about.

    Herbert Hoover got 40% of the vote in 1932. Friendly reminder.
    Chanus
  • Knight_Knight_ Dead Dead Dead Registered User regular
    I really wish there was more outrage over distributing EVs via congressional districts. Specially since if that ever became widespread we'd be doomed.

    I'm scared for PA/OH since the congressional representation isn't even close to the votes.

    aeNqQM9.jpg
  • AManFromEarthAManFromEarth Let's get to twerk! The King in the SwampRegistered User regular
    The problem is, making that change means that while you'll have some Republican votes guaranteed, you'll also have much less reason for anyone to campaign there, and therefore give a shit about the people.

    And if no one campaigns there, it's easier for Republicans to win.

    Because when people care, Republicans lose.

    Lh96QHG.png
    Knight_Mill
  • fugacityfugacity Registered User regular
    edited January 2013
    SammyF wrote: »
    Pick your technological metaphor, then. Diebold voting machines? Going into November a lot of otherwise sane, tech friendly human beings considered them the greatest threat to American democracy. Are computer apportionate algorithms going to be received any better when the Romney family buys a majority stake in whoever owns them?

    Difference is that without a paper trail, you can't confirm whether votes got allocated correctly. You could even write a program that would mess the vote totals, then erase all evidence of itself afterwards.

    But with redistricting, anybody should be able to take the same data input (populations, maps, etc) and run the same code to the same effect. None of it would be messing with a secret ballet so it w/s/could be all out in the open.

    Edit: Too fast Geth. You missed my big typo in spelling "districting".

    fugacity on
    GethSolomaxwell6
  • MillMill Registered User regular
    My understanding with computers is that you can't ever really delete everything off anything that would store data. The only way you could get away with tampering with the electronic vote, is if you physically destroy anything that contains memory. I'd hope states with electronic voting machines had a set up where they A) don't lose any of those machines B) no one can pull out any parts without someone else being present and C) if things look fishy the parts that store data are sent to a trustworthy party that has the means to retrieve any deleted data.

    With redistricting, I'm pretty sure that would a fairly easy thing to move over to a computer program. I've listed out how one would set that up. Priority would make minority districts first, just make sure there is a criteria present that prevents them being counter productive, then try to keep cities in the same district and whatever is left is pieced together in a way that makes sense (for example you have to split two different urban areas between more than one district, so if what's left of those urban areas are geographically located in a way that it makes sense to include them in the same district, it should be done. So you get two districts comprised entirely of urban areas with another that is mostly urban with non-urban areas that happen to be between the two urban centers). At this point I like the nonpartisan board better because they can avoid the counterproductive minority-majority districts, where you could create one but you end up with a result that is more harmful than beneficial because you just went from having 3 competitive districts and 2 noncompetitive districts to five noncompetitive districts.

  • fugacityfugacity Registered User regular
    Mill wrote: »
    My understanding with computers is that you can't ever really delete everything off anything that would store data. The only way you could get away with tampering with the electronic vote, is if you physically destroy anything that contains memory. I'd hope states with electronic voting machines had a set up where they A) don't lose any of those machines B) no one can pull out any parts without someone else being present and C) if things look fishy the parts that store data are sent to a trustworthy party that has the means to retrieve any deleted data.

    With redistricting, I'm pretty sure that would a fairly easy thing to move over to a computer program. I've listed out how one would set that up. Priority would make minority districts first, just make sure there is a criteria present that prevents them being counter productive, then try to keep cities in the same district and whatever is left is pieced together in a way that makes sense (for example you have to split two different urban areas between more than one district, so if what's left of those urban areas are geographically located in a way that it makes sense to include them in the same district, it should be done. So you get two districts comprised entirely of urban areas with another that is mostly urban with non-urban areas that happen to be between the two urban centers). At this point I like the nonpartisan board better because they can avoid the counterproductive minority-majority districts, where you could create one but you end up with a result that is more harmful than beneficial because you just went from having 3 competitive districts and 2 noncompetitive districts to five noncompetitive districts.

    Writing once over memory with a zero pattern will destroy magnetic disks. You don't really need military style multiple wipes. And RAM doesn't retain memory unless you do crazy stuff like cryo cool the chips before you power them off.

    Now I'm not as familiar with flash memory (and I know you can retain data when cells are set aside as expired/bad), but I'd be fairly confident that you can erase those as well.

    As long as the program is small enough that it doesn't have to page back to disk it should be fairly easy (or if it's all done in memory like a virus insertion).

    It would be easy to write a trivial program to set up districts, but you'd likely have to deal with a lot of harsh realities of the math like a city being divided up into pie wedges or a street being assigned to one district or another as you go along it instead of staying the same or maybe only changing once. So it's the human heuristics that are the complication and what would cause strife as certain heuristics could favor one side or another.

  • SammyFSammyF Registered User regular
    As a recovering political operative, I will readily agree that human beings are indeed the source of all complications when it comes to politics. But that happens to be because politics is all about managing the competing interests of variously sized populations of individually complicated human beings. Mitigating the human element in politics is missing the point entirely.

    emp123fugacityshryke
  • SoralinSoralin Registered User regular
    Mill wrote: »
    My understanding with computers is that you can't ever really delete everything off anything that would store data. The only way you could get away with tampering with the electronic vote, is if you physically destroy anything that contains memory. I'd hope states with electronic voting machines had a set up where they A) don't lose any of those machines B) no one can pull out any parts without someone else being present and C) if things look fishy the parts that store data are sent to a trustworthy party that has the means to retrieve any deleted data.
    Nope, your understanding is wrong. Most operating systems, when you delete a file, simply delete that file's entry in the directory system, effectively leaving it still there, but marking the space it occupies as free to be overwritten, because it's faster than deleting the whole file. But there's nothing preventing a program from just deleting a file completely, overwriting the entire thing.

    There are some procedures to theoretically recover deleted data that's been 0'd out with the right equipment and a lot of work, at least with some magnetic storage, since a bit that just flipped from 1->0, and one that went from 0->0 might have some slight differences. But even that can be easily defeated simply by overwriting your files a few times with random data first, or all 1's then all 0's, etc.

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