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US Voter Roll Call!

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US Voter Roll Call!

CharlieSpencer
When did you vote? Before work, after, lunch time, early, absentee, etc.

How was the turn-out? Heavy, light? More or less than two years ago?

Any problems?

I arrived twenty minutes before the polls opened and was about 15th in line. By 7:00 there were probably 75 or so. That's about normal for this precinct, where participation is pretty good. I was out by 7:15 or so. The poll workers here had the voter rolls on laptops this year instead of the paper rolls they've used in the past.
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    DelbertPGH

    My wife went in at 7:30 and I a half hour later, and neither uf us had to wait at all. Makes me worry. Looks like a very light turnout. When decent people do nothing, crackpots rule.

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    cmiller5400

    In my precinct (2/10 mile from my house) it was packed at 7:00 this morning. I usually vote at night and pick up my Mom and Dad as well so they can vote too.

    Edit: Dang keyboard left out a letter. Time to clean it...

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    PSer

    Took off of work so I could be in my 14 month old's Montessori School's yearly wagon parade. Parked right in front of the Courthouse (small town). My wife and I both voted after the event was over. People flowing in and out the whole time we were downtown. Had to wait for a booth to open (about two minutes), there were six. Other than that ... very quick process.

    I heard this morning, on the news, the early voter numbers were quite a bit higher than past elections. Good to hear ...

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    maecuff

    before work.

    No line at all. In and out in 10 minutes.

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    robo_dev

    (North Atlanta Suburb)

    About 150 people in line, took around a half hour at 9:30 EST

    No problems, machine and check-in setup was exactly the same as it was last time.

    Only problem I had was having to hold my nose while working the touch screen, as here in Georgia the choices all stink to high heavens.

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    jck

    I can't be bothered to wake up early to go vote.

    Plus if I go early and the line is too long, I have to leave before I can vote because I drive 45-50 mins to work...

    So I just wait and go right after work.

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    Oz_Media

    Don't you just wander off and say you are going to vote?

    Damn, I've done that and I can't even vote here!

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    jck

    I can't take a day off to do 3 medical appointments without getting grief from the boss.

    How am I supposed to go vote 40 miles away from my office?

    I'm in talks with another job right now, so I might be solving this issue.

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    Ed Woychowsky

    <a href="http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-web-election-polls-20101102,0,6807746.story">Turnout running higher than expected</a>.
    <p/>
    I'll be voting after work.

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    GSG

    I voted as soon as the polls opened this morning. The parking lot had no lights, and there were potholes everywhere. I almost snapped an ankle walking in, and noticed that a lot of people were having issues.

    They were complaining to the people running the polls, but they had no idea where the lights were. Several said that they were going to complain to the election authority about it as that could be considered a barrier to voting, especially for the disabled and elderly.

    It went a lot better because they've automated the check in process. We used to have to stand in 4 lines depending on the first letter of our last name, and then they'd find our name in the list and we'd sign. They always accused me of trying to vote twice as my name is one letter off from my Dad's name, and they had trouble reading the list.

    This year, they scanned our license, which checked to see if we'd already voted, then printed a sticker to go on the sign in sheet. I'd say the new processed saved a good 20 minutes waiting in line.

    We had a heavy turnout. The only time I saw it heavier was during the election 2 years ago.

    Edited to add: They have a lot of high school kids that work in my precinct who help the retired people who run the thing. I think it's great to see them taking part in the process and learning how important it is to vote. Voting isn't a right, it's a responsibility!

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    CharlieSpencer

    Was this at a church or school (two common polling locations here in SC), or some other structure? Sounds like everyone needs to complain to the county election office and get the location changed.

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    GSG

    It used to be at the school, but then the kids wouldn't get a school lunch because it took up the whole cafeteria.

    So, they moved it to the church.

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    Oz_Media

    Voting is something you do if you actually care who runs the country.

    While I can appreciate the importance of voting to US citizens, it's one extreme or the other for you guys, in Canada fewer people seem to care. Sure people ***** on payday when they see the taxes taken off, they whine about immigration when the shopkeeper doesn't speak English, but that happens no matter who's in office here.

    I think all Canadians simply accept that 'government' is all just a bunch of crooks, liars and cheats, nobody would place a wooden nickel bet on any of them.

    We get sick of the Liberal party and vote in Conservatives, then we get sick of them and vote in Liberals again etc. People here flip flop but are expected to, CHANGE is change, especially when their main focus is all pretty much the same, no radical left right extreme really, compared to what you have to face anyway.

    So voting here is more one of those things you do if you fee like it, if not someone else will vote and it makes no real difference who's elected...again until you see taxes taken from a paycheck, immigrants who don't speak English but want your money etc. Then whoever is in the captain's chair is the problem and vote the other way next time.


    I'm sure for people out East or people who involve themselves in politics, such as JamesRL, it is important and matters, and that's just fine. Nobody minds if you care about your vote.

    In BC, we just get on with our lives, f*** government, they just don't matter. It's sunny and warm (for November) and I'm off to suck down a few cans of Boddingtons with friends on the beach.

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    CharlieSpencer

    went at noon and saw only 15 people. She was out in less than 10 minutes.

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    maxwell edison

    HA! Just kidding.

    I did, however, break one of my rules, and I cast my vote for a third-party candidate. (Any guesses as to which one?) That's something I haven't done since my 1992 vote for Mr. I'm all ears Perot.

    To answer your question, I hand-carried my mail-in ballot and dropped it in the box. I saw no lines, but apparently there was a steady flow of people.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I went third-party in the Senate race here. DeMint is too far right for me, and seems more interested in what's good for the party than what's good for the country. Democratic joke Alvin Greene wasn't even a consideration. That left Green Party candidate Tom Clements.

    The 'Straight Party' option should be outlawed. It encourages not researching the candidates, gives additional false mandate to those running unopposed, and causes voters to overlook those races where candidates don't declare a party (such as school board races here). Since eliminating it isn't in the parties interests ...

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    maxwell edison

    This especially holds true with candidates to the House or Senate, either on the national or state level.

    Why? Because, like it or not, for better or for worse, one of the two major parties (Dems or Repubs) WILL hold a majority in their respective chambers. Not only is a vote cast for an individual, but also one of the parties that WILL control the chamber. As such, they (the party) will control ALL of the committees, through which the decision is made regarding what legislation may or may not be brought to the floor for a full vote. Minority party legislation ALWAYS - I repeat ALWAYS - gets killed in committee votes, and majority party legislation always dominates.

    Moreover, the majority party controls ALL issues that require a simple majority floor vote: judges, cabinet appointments, and so on. As evidence, just look at the two newest Supreme Court justices - appointed by a very liberal president, and confirmed by a very liberal Senate. If you don't want liberal judges, then you should cast a vote towards having a conservative Senate. And vice-versa if you don't want conservative judges.

    For those reasons, I would NEVER NEVER NEVER vote for a third-party candidate (or a Democrat) for either a House or Senate seat. (That should be a hint as to which third-party candidate got my vote!)

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    DelbertPGH

    They were the third party then.

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    maxwell edison

    ..... of actually replacing one of the two major parties.

    There is no such third party currently on the verge.

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    maxwell edison

    On the state level, the congressional session following a census year will re-evaluate congressional districts, based on the growing, shrinking, or mobile population trends, and they will redraw congressional districts accordingly. The governor of said state will be in a position to approve or oppose how the congressional districts are redrawn.

    Can you spell gerrymandering?

    It always has happened, and it always will, regardless of how much we try to avoid it.

    Have you ever looked at the maps of congressional districts? With rare exceptions, like the entire state of Wyoming being one congressional district in itself, the boundaries look like no others, with scores of otherwise nonsensical twists and turns so that neighborhood voting trends are either included and/or excluded to favor one party over another. That's why there are so many congressional districts that are always "safe" for one party over the other.

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    DelbertPGH

    That's pretty much my sole reason for voting for Onorato instead of Corbett for governor. Corbett's actually pretty okay, but Pennsylvania has Republican majorities in its legislature, and if given an unrestricted hand in drawing Congressional districts would put half the Democratic representatives out of a job. Speaker Boehner would get an extra half dozen votes out of this state, without one actual voter having changed his preference.

    I'd like to introduce an amendment that says all Congressional districts have to be bounded by lines of latitude and longitude, with no more than six sides to them (exception being made for actual state borders.) That way, no district could have a shape more complicated than that of the state of Utah. Your Federal representatives would be much more likely to be responsible to an electorate that was typical of the actual population, and would have to govern in a way that encompassed everybody's interests, rather than just that of a preselected demographic that is already in the tank for them.

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    JamesRL

    Who used to represent "my" party on the committee to draw boundaries in Canada.

    They highly encourage reusing existing boundaries where possible - city boundaries, county etc. If that fails, rivers are good. If that fails, major streets.

    In my province of Ontario, we had a decision almost two decades back that made things simple. The province would have the same seats in its legislature as the country had seats from Ontario in federal parliament. They would have the same names. Easy peasy. So instead of 2 different names and boundaries, we have one.

    The only real variance is a historic one. For example rural consituencies tend to have much smaller populations than big cities, because its impractical to have consitutencies that are so big it takes a day to cross it. Prince Edward Island has the same number of seats its always had, but the population, as a percentage of the whole country's population, has shrunk.

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    maxwell edison

    However, as much as I like the idea of simple borders - county lines, city limits, etc. - doing away with the political maneuvering, it couldn't be done by national mandate and/or constitutional amendment; at least I don't think so.

    Each state would be responsible to determine its own rules. We wouldn't want the feds or people from Colorado, for example, telling people in Pennsylvania how to conduct their own business, would we?

    Being a states' rights kinda' guy, I'd have to rest on that, and just let the chips fall where they may.

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    _Papa_

    I found that district lines are often drawn around individual property lines, In spite of the federal mandate.
    I had to vote (until I moved) at a church four and a half miles away although the county area office is only two blocks away. It wasn't until after I moved that I learned my neighbors were voting at the courthouse.

    Political etiquette proscribes me from saying why.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I don't have a problem with the behavior, it's the enabling 'Straight Party' punch hole / button / check box / other ballot mechanism that hangs my chads. We vote once every two years; we only redistrict every ten. Is it that much trouble to check for the 'R' or 'D' beside each of the candidates' names?

    Still, it beats walking dozens of miles in the sun to the polls, getting shot along the way.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    to draw up the districts.

    ...the boundaries look like no others, with scores of otherwise nonsensical twists and turns so that neighborhood voting trends are either included and/or excluded to favor one party over another. That's why there are so many congressional districts that are always "safe" for one party over the other.

    I much prefer the <a href=http://rangevoting.org/GerryExamples.html>shortest splitline</a> method over the current system.

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    AV .

    I'll take a guess. It has to be Tom Tancredo.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    And for good reason!

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    AV .

    I didn't know he was seriously running. When he was considering it, I never thought he would go through with it. That would be really something if he won.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    I've seen nothing like it in my entire life.

    And he just might pull it off. In the latest polls, he's within the margin of error of it being a toss-up.

    Win, lose, or draw, he's make a very impressive run.

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    Oz_Media

    It would be cool if it actually was like The Amazing Race, put them on a worldwide race, eat crap, shovel crap, wade through crap etc. The best part is they would actually find out where places were and what other people and cultures were like too!

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    AV .

    Politics has lots of crap, so there is no shortage. I can't believe anyone would ever want to serve.

    AV

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    DelbertPGH

    It stinks often and badly, but it's how we identify issues, what to do, and how much to do.

    Power is never without politics. Even in North Korea, there's a lot of politics going on, secret alliances based on agreements, ambition, and payoffs. Here, we just get to see a lot of it, and vote somebody down when they get too corrupt or ineffectual.

    One of the most important elements in a democracy, what keeps the political system working and effective, is for the public to pay attention.

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    Oz_Media

    Nice, but do you REALLY think they see themselves as Serving the public and not just playing politics for money?

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    Oz_Media

    Right, or reelect them to do their worst.

    As for "One of the most important elements in a democracy, what keeps the political system working and effective, is for the public to pay attention."

    It brings to mind a Journey song, Don't Stop Believing. You just keep telling yourself that, whatever makes you feel like the public has some control still.

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    maxwell edison

    Public servants or serving the public or any other such nonsense is one of my pet peeves - because it's a bunch of crap.

    We actually have an ever-growing political and/or governmental class in this country. It's huge, it's powerful, and it's profitable.

    Every election cycle we might hope this one will change government, but it never does. Politicians get extremely wealthy, if they weren't that way already, and they wrestle more and more power and control over others.

    Government workers and bureaucrats, who are never elected and have positions that are very protected, are growing in numbers and earn much, much more than those in the private sector. And now they're unionizing in droves, having become the largest sector of union members - more money, more benefits, all on the backs of the taxpayers who are working more, earning less, and serving those in government more and more. In reality, it's government, its elected officials, and its workers who are actually the ones being served.

    What's puzzling to me, however, is to see how so many people acknowledge this to be true, but they then turn around and espouse more and more government! And I'm the one criticized for wanting less government! I just don't get it.

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    Oz_Media

    Agreeing on politics is not becoming of us.

    On more government, I don't agree that tighter reigns should be imparted on citizens, if that is your definition of MORE government that people keep pushing for. However, when people push for things like subsidized medical, welfare etc. That's where the grey area seems to come in and where you seem to have difficulty accepting it, as you see it as MORE government.

    Most other democratic nations have deemed social welfare and medical, just as essential as police and fire.

    So if these social services (yeah, that's right, I said it)are actually essential services, then all the other seemingly "frivolous" spending is what others deem too much government.

    You, on the other hand, seem to see welfare and subsidized medical as being frivolous and unneeded government but other spending essential.

    I think America still has slapped arse syndrome over having such a weak military after the attack on Pearl Harbour. You were teetering on the point of, get it together REAL quick or be invaded and speak Germ-anese (like that, German/Japanese?).

    As a result, it has been vital that it never happens again, which I can fully accept of course, one bitten twice shy.

    But the constant focused on military, war, war budgets, TRILLIONS in debts etc. just takes it to an extreme. As always, US politics goes from one extreme to the other.
    YOU never seem to find a nice, comfortable balance and begin maintaining an even keel.

    It is the nature of American people too, that's why they are so easily spotted in public when in other countries, EXTREMES in every way. Even FOOD there is an EXTREME, must be the biggest bag/box/bottle/serving, must be cheapest. Extremes.

    I my eyes, you REALLY need to find some middle ground, find a comfort zone. then you can relax, enjoy living prosperous lives in a country that sees to equalize wealth (not necessarily in the form of redistribution but moreso opportunity).

    I know, let ME run your freakin' country for a term. I'll fix it, nobody will give a toss about politics, everyone will be healthy and happy, you'll become the world's greatest exporter of marijuana for use in clothing, replacing paper products, plastics renewable energy etc. not the stuff that you smoke but the stuff that creates a renewable industry.

    I'll give it back to someone in four years and they can give it a go, but I am sure that once people see their lives just become EASIER and less cluttered with BS, they will be much happier.


    EDIT: Just read all that and it seem to be a lot of rambling thoughts about nothing, but I think there's a few points buried in it somewhere and I didn't bash anyone, well accept Bush but that's allowed.

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    DelbertPGH

    There are no reasonable alternatives to professional politicians handling politics. Politics will always be about money and power, and the corrupting potential of those elements will never be far in the background.

    Also, don't forget, because money and power are always there, corruption will always serve as an explanation of what you don't like in goverment. If what's bad can be equated to what's evil, then you have a smug pundit with an explanation he can sell. A politician can always look vile and crooked in the imagination of someone opposed to him.

    This is the age of bigness, where large companies make immense undertakings that engage a large part of the country, or several countries. Big players create lots of jobs and lots of wealth, and their activities make possible our prosperity. It's the unavoidable outcome of big-scale ops that politics must serve the interests of these powerful and rich companies, while concurrently serving the interests of "the people." Politicians have to keep the notion of "the people" alive, because it is easy for a people to break up along divisions between rich and poor, eastern and western, workers and investors, rural and city.

    Some of those politicians are serving us, and others are just stuffing their and their friends' pockets. You can call them <u>all</u> crooks if you want, but what they do and our civic ritual of arguing and voting on them keep us together.

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    Oz_Media

    Also, don't forget, because money and power are always there, corruption will always serve as an explanation of what you don't like in goverment.

    Correction: ...because money and power are always there, corruption will always be there too.

    Explanations and reality are different

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    AV .

    They get paid better than the private sector and they have the best of benefits, all paid for by the taxpayers. I want to be a public servant! I don't have a pension, just a 401k, yet I have to pay for public servant pensions in my taxes. WTF!

    What a deal for our public servants! I wish people would pay more attention and get out and vote out some of the old-time political hacks in Congress. We should have term limits to prevent any member of Congress from having more than 2 terms in office. It just lends itself to more of the same and political corruption.

    Voting them out isn't enough. Most people don't even care enough about politics to vote. It has to be the law so there is no question.

    AV

    Edited: Forgot the word "out" in "vote out some of the political hacks in Congress".

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    maxwell edison

    It's an absolute travesty the way they earn more, have better benefits, have early and cushy retirement packages, have 100 percent job security, don't have a bottom-line budget to meet, etc.

    I want to get rid of them - at least a good percentage of them. And the way to do it is to ELIMINATE their function by reducing the size, scope, and power of government. Any government function the private sector could do should be contracted to the private sector.

    I'll be working for fifteen or twenty more years (I'm mid 50s) while my government employee contemporaries are starting to retire with VERY GENEROUS benefits, which will be paid for by my continued working so I can pay taxes that will be applied to their cushy lifestyle! I see it; I know some of them; and it really pisses me off!

    ****, maybe I should apply for a government job so I can actually retire in fourteen more years. (My 6 years in the military would apply for time served.) But then I would have to acknowledge that future generations of workers will be paying a HUGE part of their hard-earned dollars to support me. My conscious just wouldn't let me do it, not to mention they could probably find some law to justify age discrimination against an old fart in his 50s.

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    DelbertPGH

    They have a pretty good retirement package, and a mediocrity who lucks into a decent government job will probably get better pay, benefits, and security than he would enjoy on the private side. However, government jobs top out at a lower level, and have a boatload of restrictions on gifts, expenses, and entertainment. If you're a big talent at a big bank, or in the sales department of any Fortune 500, you do way better than the government rats.

    Plus, you get stroked by characters like Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity, who convince the public that you're some prince of capitalism who needs all the good pay and low taxes so that he'll create more jobs and make everybody else able to afford their homes again. Ah, the irony.

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    maxwell edison

    B.S.

    Whatever you say, dude. I guess I don't know what I see with my own eyes.

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    PSer

    Government "Rat", I can assure you, the pay is NOT comparable to private sector jobs (at least in I.T.).

    In '05 the legislators passed H.B. 1516, an attempt to privatize/consolidate State data centers. It has been a HUGE failure (on every level) to the point that the original winner of the contract has been declined renewal and there is a new contract to be bid on, all over again. The contract company(s) employees make at least a third more than what a state employees makes at the same level. The amount of bureaucracy to get the slightest thing done is atrocious! Valuable data, involved in legal matters has been lost. It is a sad state of affairs, excuse the pun.

    The amount of money it was supposed to save the taxpayers has long been surpassed by the amount it has cost to keep things running.

    It is NOT, at all, as you think it is Max, I assure you that! Job security, not so much. There have been at least five large scale R.I.F.'s since I have been working here, and there will be another one shortly, as a huge budget cut has been issued and it does include even more F.T.E.'s. There has been changes increasing the cost of health care. Retirement benefits have been reduced or just flat out cut. The list goes on and on, sadly. I wish working for State Government was as you say it is but, it just ain't so.

    Look into what is happening in my State, maybe it'll make you feel better.

    PS - taxes come out of State employee's checks just as they do yours.

    Edit for links:

    http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/chronic-failures-threaten-ibm-contract-with-texas-807529.html?cxtype=rss_ece_frontpage

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/081710dntexibm.61f41d1d.html

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    JamesRL

    I don't have any knowledge of pay levels of US federal employees.

    My father in law is an engineer with the state of California. He does get paid less than he did in the private sector, but the private sector went into the tank so he took the job. He also has to put up with mandatory unpaid days off. His salary was frozen a long time ago, long before the economy tanked. All in all he doesn't feel lucky.

    I worked for a crown corporation, a Canadian federal government agency. Our pay levels were not as high as those in the private sector, but the pension was very good.

    My father was a municipal employee, and to be honest growing up we were working poor, at least until the group joined a union. Things did get better, and he does have a decent pension. My dad did a dangerous job for low pay as a hydro lineman, something many people take for granted. In the worst weather he'd be out there making sure people had power. He has a bunch of metal in his leg to show for it.

    I'm sure there are people in government jobs who are overpaid and underworked. I'm sure the same can be said for many in the private sector as well.

    As for politicians, like any other area, there are good ones and bad ones.

    I know one politician from my old days in politics who earned every cent she was paid, she worked 12-16 hour days every day. Her staff would burn out before she would though, she had a revolving door. She always won with a comfortable margin because she worked very hard for her constituents, and at the same time worked hard on committees and as a cabinet minister.

    Of course there are those who coast along not contributing much, and they should be kicked out no matter what party they belong to. But the trend in voting these days is less and less about voting for an individual and more about voting along party lines.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I've never understood how contracting a private firm to perform a government function was supposed to save money. The contractor is obviously interested in making a profit; the government isn't. It seems to me that alone means it's going to cost more to have the contractor perform the function.

    I also don't understand how the feds can afford to pay for-profit private security firms, but can't afford to pay our military personnel comparable salaries. That one really frosts my shorts.

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    AV .

    He did make an impressive run and thats whats important because it scared the **** out of both the Republicans and Democrats that a 3rd party could have a showing like that. If he had decided to run earlier than August, he could have won.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_gubernatorial_election,_2010

    Very impressive, indeed. I've always had a lot of respect for Tom Tancredo. Maybe next time.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    ..... can we have your governor? < insert smiley face here >

    (If T.T. would have won, I wouldn't have to ask for yours!)

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    AV .

    His star is rising fast. He is so incredible. Just saved the taxpayers of NJ $3 billion of possible cost overruns by killing the coveted Hudson River tunnel project. People depending on it were extremely p*ssed. Taxpayers are happy.

    AV

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    DelbertPGH

    My wife went in at 7:30 and I a half hour later, and neither uf us had to wait at all. Makes me worry. Looks like a very light turnout. When decent people do nothing, crackpots rule.

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    cmiller5400

    In my precinct (2/10 mile from my house) it was packed at 7:00 this morning. I usually vote at night and pick up my Mom and Dad as well so they can vote too.

    Edit: Dang keyboard left out a letter. Time to clean it...

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    PSer

    Took off of work so I could be in my 14 month old's Montessori School's yearly wagon parade. Parked right in front of the Courthouse (small town). My wife and I both voted after the event was over. People flowing in and out the whole time we were downtown. Had to wait for a booth to open (about two minutes), there were six. Other than that ... very quick process.

    I heard this morning, on the news, the early voter numbers were quite a bit higher than past elections. Good to hear ...

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    maecuff

    before work.

    No line at all. In and out in 10 minutes.

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    robo_dev

    (North Atlanta Suburb)

    About 150 people in line, took around a half hour at 9:30 EST

    No problems, machine and check-in setup was exactly the same as it was last time.

    Only problem I had was having to hold my nose while working the touch screen, as here in Georgia the choices all stink to high heavens.

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    jck

    I can't be bothered to wake up early to go vote.

    Plus if I go early and the line is too long, I have to leave before I can vote because I drive 45-50 mins to work...

    So I just wait and go right after work.

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    Oz_Media

    Don't you just wander off and say you are going to vote?

    Damn, I've done that and I can't even vote here!

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    jck

    I can't take a day off to do 3 medical appointments without getting grief from the boss.

    How am I supposed to go vote 40 miles away from my office?

    I'm in talks with another job right now, so I might be solving this issue.

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    Ed Woychowsky

    <a href="http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-web-election-polls-20101102,0,6807746.story">Turnout running higher than expected</a>.
    <p/>
    I'll be voting after work.

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    GSG

    I voted as soon as the polls opened this morning. The parking lot had no lights, and there were potholes everywhere. I almost snapped an ankle walking in, and noticed that a lot of people were having issues.

    They were complaining to the people running the polls, but they had no idea where the lights were. Several said that they were going to complain to the election authority about it as that could be considered a barrier to voting, especially for the disabled and elderly.

    It went a lot better because they've automated the check in process. We used to have to stand in 4 lines depending on the first letter of our last name, and then they'd find our name in the list and we'd sign. They always accused me of trying to vote twice as my name is one letter off from my Dad's name, and they had trouble reading the list.

    This year, they scanned our license, which checked to see if we'd already voted, then printed a sticker to go on the sign in sheet. I'd say the new processed saved a good 20 minutes waiting in line.

    We had a heavy turnout. The only time I saw it heavier was during the election 2 years ago.

    Edited to add: They have a lot of high school kids that work in my precinct who help the retired people who run the thing. I think it's great to see them taking part in the process and learning how important it is to vote. Voting isn't a right, it's a responsibility!

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    CharlieSpencer

    Was this at a church or school (two common polling locations here in SC), or some other structure? Sounds like everyone needs to complain to the county election office and get the location changed.

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    GSG

    It used to be at the school, but then the kids wouldn't get a school lunch because it took up the whole cafeteria.

    So, they moved it to the church.

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    Oz_Media

    Voting is something you do if you actually care who runs the country.

    While I can appreciate the importance of voting to US citizens, it's one extreme or the other for you guys, in Canada fewer people seem to care. Sure people ***** on payday when they see the taxes taken off, they whine about immigration when the shopkeeper doesn't speak English, but that happens no matter who's in office here.

    I think all Canadians simply accept that 'government' is all just a bunch of crooks, liars and cheats, nobody would place a wooden nickel bet on any of them.

    We get sick of the Liberal party and vote in Conservatives, then we get sick of them and vote in Liberals again etc. People here flip flop but are expected to, CHANGE is change, especially when their main focus is all pretty much the same, no radical left right extreme really, compared to what you have to face anyway.

    So voting here is more one of those things you do if you fee like it, if not someone else will vote and it makes no real difference who's elected...again until you see taxes taken from a paycheck, immigrants who don't speak English but want your money etc. Then whoever is in the captain's chair is the problem and vote the other way next time.


    I'm sure for people out East or people who involve themselves in politics, such as JamesRL, it is important and matters, and that's just fine. Nobody minds if you care about your vote.

    In BC, we just get on with our lives, f*** government, they just don't matter. It's sunny and warm (for November) and I'm off to suck down a few cans of Boddingtons with friends on the beach.

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    CharlieSpencer

    went at noon and saw only 15 people. She was out in less than 10 minutes.

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    maxwell edison

    HA! Just kidding.

    I did, however, break one of my rules, and I cast my vote for a third-party candidate. (Any guesses as to which one?) That's something I haven't done since my 1992 vote for Mr. I'm all ears Perot.

    To answer your question, I hand-carried my mail-in ballot and dropped it in the box. I saw no lines, but apparently there was a steady flow of people.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I went third-party in the Senate race here. DeMint is too far right for me, and seems more interested in what's good for the party than what's good for the country. Democratic joke Alvin Greene wasn't even a consideration. That left Green Party candidate Tom Clements.

    The 'Straight Party' option should be outlawed. It encourages not researching the candidates, gives additional false mandate to those running unopposed, and causes voters to overlook those races where candidates don't declare a party (such as school board races here). Since eliminating it isn't in the parties interests ...

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    maxwell edison

    This especially holds true with candidates to the House or Senate, either on the national or state level.

    Why? Because, like it or not, for better or for worse, one of the two major parties (Dems or Repubs) WILL hold a majority in their respective chambers. Not only is a vote cast for an individual, but also one of the parties that WILL control the chamber. As such, they (the party) will control ALL of the committees, through which the decision is made regarding what legislation may or may not be brought to the floor for a full vote. Minority party legislation ALWAYS - I repeat ALWAYS - gets killed in committee votes, and majority party legislation always dominates.

    Moreover, the majority party controls ALL issues that require a simple majority floor vote: judges, cabinet appointments, and so on. As evidence, just look at the two newest Supreme Court justices - appointed by a very liberal president, and confirmed by a very liberal Senate. If you don't want liberal judges, then you should cast a vote towards having a conservative Senate. And vice-versa if you don't want conservative judges.

    For those reasons, I would NEVER NEVER NEVER vote for a third-party candidate (or a Democrat) for either a House or Senate seat. (That should be a hint as to which third-party candidate got my vote!)

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    DelbertPGH

    They were the third party then.

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    maxwell edison

    ..... of actually replacing one of the two major parties.

    There is no such third party currently on the verge.

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    maxwell edison

    On the state level, the congressional session following a census year will re-evaluate congressional districts, based on the growing, shrinking, or mobile population trends, and they will redraw congressional districts accordingly. The governor of said state will be in a position to approve or oppose how the congressional districts are redrawn.

    Can you spell gerrymandering?

    It always has happened, and it always will, regardless of how much we try to avoid it.

    Have you ever looked at the maps of congressional districts? With rare exceptions, like the entire state of Wyoming being one congressional district in itself, the boundaries look like no others, with scores of otherwise nonsensical twists and turns so that neighborhood voting trends are either included and/or excluded to favor one party over another. That's why there are so many congressional districts that are always "safe" for one party over the other.

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    DelbertPGH

    That's pretty much my sole reason for voting for Onorato instead of Corbett for governor. Corbett's actually pretty okay, but Pennsylvania has Republican majorities in its legislature, and if given an unrestricted hand in drawing Congressional districts would put half the Democratic representatives out of a job. Speaker Boehner would get an extra half dozen votes out of this state, without one actual voter having changed his preference.

    I'd like to introduce an amendment that says all Congressional districts have to be bounded by lines of latitude and longitude, with no more than six sides to them (exception being made for actual state borders.) That way, no district could have a shape more complicated than that of the state of Utah. Your Federal representatives would be much more likely to be responsible to an electorate that was typical of the actual population, and would have to govern in a way that encompassed everybody's interests, rather than just that of a preselected demographic that is already in the tank for them.

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    JamesRL

    Who used to represent "my" party on the committee to draw boundaries in Canada.

    They highly encourage reusing existing boundaries where possible - city boundaries, county etc. If that fails, rivers are good. If that fails, major streets.

    In my province of Ontario, we had a decision almost two decades back that made things simple. The province would have the same seats in its legislature as the country had seats from Ontario in federal parliament. They would have the same names. Easy peasy. So instead of 2 different names and boundaries, we have one.

    The only real variance is a historic one. For example rural consituencies tend to have much smaller populations than big cities, because its impractical to have consitutencies that are so big it takes a day to cross it. Prince Edward Island has the same number of seats its always had, but the population, as a percentage of the whole country's population, has shrunk.

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    maxwell edison

    However, as much as I like the idea of simple borders - county lines, city limits, etc. - doing away with the political maneuvering, it couldn't be done by national mandate and/or constitutional amendment; at least I don't think so.

    Each state would be responsible to determine its own rules. We wouldn't want the feds or people from Colorado, for example, telling people in Pennsylvania how to conduct their own business, would we?

    Being a states' rights kinda' guy, I'd have to rest on that, and just let the chips fall where they may.

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    _Papa_

    I found that district lines are often drawn around individual property lines, In spite of the federal mandate.
    I had to vote (until I moved) at a church four and a half miles away although the county area office is only two blocks away. It wasn't until after I moved that I learned my neighbors were voting at the courthouse.

    Political etiquette proscribes me from saying why.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I don't have a problem with the behavior, it's the enabling 'Straight Party' punch hole / button / check box / other ballot mechanism that hangs my chads. We vote once every two years; we only redistrict every ten. Is it that much trouble to check for the 'R' or 'D' beside each of the candidates' names?

    Still, it beats walking dozens of miles in the sun to the polls, getting shot along the way.

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    NickNielsen Moderator

    to draw up the districts.

    ...the boundaries look like no others, with scores of otherwise nonsensical twists and turns so that neighborhood voting trends are either included and/or excluded to favor one party over another. That's why there are so many congressional districts that are always "safe" for one party over the other.

    I much prefer the <a href=http://rangevoting.org/GerryExamples.html>shortest splitline</a> method over the current system.

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    AV .

    I'll take a guess. It has to be Tom Tancredo.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    And for good reason!

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    AV .

    I didn't know he was seriously running. When he was considering it, I never thought he would go through with it. That would be really something if he won.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    I've seen nothing like it in my entire life.

    And he just might pull it off. In the latest polls, he's within the margin of error of it being a toss-up.

    Win, lose, or draw, he's make a very impressive run.

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    Oz_Media

    It would be cool if it actually was like The Amazing Race, put them on a worldwide race, eat crap, shovel crap, wade through crap etc. The best part is they would actually find out where places were and what other people and cultures were like too!

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    AV .

    Politics has lots of crap, so there is no shortage. I can't believe anyone would ever want to serve.

    AV

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    DelbertPGH

    It stinks often and badly, but it's how we identify issues, what to do, and how much to do.

    Power is never without politics. Even in North Korea, there's a lot of politics going on, secret alliances based on agreements, ambition, and payoffs. Here, we just get to see a lot of it, and vote somebody down when they get too corrupt or ineffectual.

    One of the most important elements in a democracy, what keeps the political system working and effective, is for the public to pay attention.

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    Oz_Media

    Nice, but do you REALLY think they see themselves as Serving the public and not just playing politics for money?

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    Oz_Media

    Right, or reelect them to do their worst.

    As for "One of the most important elements in a democracy, what keeps the political system working and effective, is for the public to pay attention."

    It brings to mind a Journey song, Don't Stop Believing. You just keep telling yourself that, whatever makes you feel like the public has some control still.

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    maxwell edison

    Public servants or serving the public or any other such nonsense is one of my pet peeves - because it's a bunch of crap.

    We actually have an ever-growing political and/or governmental class in this country. It's huge, it's powerful, and it's profitable.

    Every election cycle we might hope this one will change government, but it never does. Politicians get extremely wealthy, if they weren't that way already, and they wrestle more and more power and control over others.

    Government workers and bureaucrats, who are never elected and have positions that are very protected, are growing in numbers and earn much, much more than those in the private sector. And now they're unionizing in droves, having become the largest sector of union members - more money, more benefits, all on the backs of the taxpayers who are working more, earning less, and serving those in government more and more. In reality, it's government, its elected officials, and its workers who are actually the ones being served.

    What's puzzling to me, however, is to see how so many people acknowledge this to be true, but they then turn around and espouse more and more government! And I'm the one criticized for wanting less government! I just don't get it.

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    Oz_Media

    Agreeing on politics is not becoming of us.

    On more government, I don't agree that tighter reigns should be imparted on citizens, if that is your definition of MORE government that people keep pushing for. However, when people push for things like subsidized medical, welfare etc. That's where the grey area seems to come in and where you seem to have difficulty accepting it, as you see it as MORE government.

    Most other democratic nations have deemed social welfare and medical, just as essential as police and fire.

    So if these social services (yeah, that's right, I said it)are actually essential services, then all the other seemingly "frivolous" spending is what others deem too much government.

    You, on the other hand, seem to see welfare and subsidized medical as being frivolous and unneeded government but other spending essential.

    I think America still has slapped arse syndrome over having such a weak military after the attack on Pearl Harbour. You were teetering on the point of, get it together REAL quick or be invaded and speak Germ-anese (like that, German/Japanese?).

    As a result, it has been vital that it never happens again, which I can fully accept of course, one bitten twice shy.

    But the constant focused on military, war, war budgets, TRILLIONS in debts etc. just takes it to an extreme. As always, US politics goes from one extreme to the other.
    YOU never seem to find a nice, comfortable balance and begin maintaining an even keel.

    It is the nature of American people too, that's why they are so easily spotted in public when in other countries, EXTREMES in every way. Even FOOD there is an EXTREME, must be the biggest bag/box/bottle/serving, must be cheapest. Extremes.

    I my eyes, you REALLY need to find some middle ground, find a comfort zone. then you can relax, enjoy living prosperous lives in a country that sees to equalize wealth (not necessarily in the form of redistribution but moreso opportunity).

    I know, let ME run your freakin' country for a term. I'll fix it, nobody will give a toss about politics, everyone will be healthy and happy, you'll become the world's greatest exporter of marijuana for use in clothing, replacing paper products, plastics renewable energy etc. not the stuff that you smoke but the stuff that creates a renewable industry.

    I'll give it back to someone in four years and they can give it a go, but I am sure that once people see their lives just become EASIER and less cluttered with BS, they will be much happier.


    EDIT: Just read all that and it seem to be a lot of rambling thoughts about nothing, but I think there's a few points buried in it somewhere and I didn't bash anyone, well accept Bush but that's allowed.

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    DelbertPGH

    There are no reasonable alternatives to professional politicians handling politics. Politics will always be about money and power, and the corrupting potential of those elements will never be far in the background.

    Also, don't forget, because money and power are always there, corruption will always serve as an explanation of what you don't like in goverment. If what's bad can be equated to what's evil, then you have a smug pundit with an explanation he can sell. A politician can always look vile and crooked in the imagination of someone opposed to him.

    This is the age of bigness, where large companies make immense undertakings that engage a large part of the country, or several countries. Big players create lots of jobs and lots of wealth, and their activities make possible our prosperity. It's the unavoidable outcome of big-scale ops that politics must serve the interests of these powerful and rich companies, while concurrently serving the interests of "the people." Politicians have to keep the notion of "the people" alive, because it is easy for a people to break up along divisions between rich and poor, eastern and western, workers and investors, rural and city.

    Some of those politicians are serving us, and others are just stuffing their and their friends' pockets. You can call them <u>all</u> crooks if you want, but what they do and our civic ritual of arguing and voting on them keep us together.

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    Oz_Media

    Also, don't forget, because money and power are always there, corruption will always serve as an explanation of what you don't like in goverment.

    Correction: ...because money and power are always there, corruption will always be there too.

    Explanations and reality are different

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    AV .

    They get paid better than the private sector and they have the best of benefits, all paid for by the taxpayers. I want to be a public servant! I don't have a pension, just a 401k, yet I have to pay for public servant pensions in my taxes. WTF!

    What a deal for our public servants! I wish people would pay more attention and get out and vote out some of the old-time political hacks in Congress. We should have term limits to prevent any member of Congress from having more than 2 terms in office. It just lends itself to more of the same and political corruption.

    Voting them out isn't enough. Most people don't even care enough about politics to vote. It has to be the law so there is no question.

    AV

    Edited: Forgot the word "out" in "vote out some of the political hacks in Congress".

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    maxwell edison

    It's an absolute travesty the way they earn more, have better benefits, have early and cushy retirement packages, have 100 percent job security, don't have a bottom-line budget to meet, etc.

    I want to get rid of them - at least a good percentage of them. And the way to do it is to ELIMINATE their function by reducing the size, scope, and power of government. Any government function the private sector could do should be contracted to the private sector.

    I'll be working for fifteen or twenty more years (I'm mid 50s) while my government employee contemporaries are starting to retire with VERY GENEROUS benefits, which will be paid for by my continued working so I can pay taxes that will be applied to their cushy lifestyle! I see it; I know some of them; and it really pisses me off!

    ****, maybe I should apply for a government job so I can actually retire in fourteen more years. (My 6 years in the military would apply for time served.) But then I would have to acknowledge that future generations of workers will be paying a HUGE part of their hard-earned dollars to support me. My conscious just wouldn't let me do it, not to mention they could probably find some law to justify age discrimination against an old fart in his 50s.

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    DelbertPGH

    They have a pretty good retirement package, and a mediocrity who lucks into a decent government job will probably get better pay, benefits, and security than he would enjoy on the private side. However, government jobs top out at a lower level, and have a boatload of restrictions on gifts, expenses, and entertainment. If you're a big talent at a big bank, or in the sales department of any Fortune 500, you do way better than the government rats.

    Plus, you get stroked by characters like Beck, Limbaugh, and Hannity, who convince the public that you're some prince of capitalism who needs all the good pay and low taxes so that he'll create more jobs and make everybody else able to afford their homes again. Ah, the irony.

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    maxwell edison

    B.S.

    Whatever you say, dude. I guess I don't know what I see with my own eyes.

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    PSer

    Government "Rat", I can assure you, the pay is NOT comparable to private sector jobs (at least in I.T.).

    In '05 the legislators passed H.B. 1516, an attempt to privatize/consolidate State data centers. It has been a HUGE failure (on every level) to the point that the original winner of the contract has been declined renewal and there is a new contract to be bid on, all over again. The contract company(s) employees make at least a third more than what a state employees makes at the same level. The amount of bureaucracy to get the slightest thing done is atrocious! Valuable data, involved in legal matters has been lost. It is a sad state of affairs, excuse the pun.

    The amount of money it was supposed to save the taxpayers has long been surpassed by the amount it has cost to keep things running.

    It is NOT, at all, as you think it is Max, I assure you that! Job security, not so much. There have been at least five large scale R.I.F.'s since I have been working here, and there will be another one shortly, as a huge budget cut has been issued and it does include even more F.T.E.'s. There has been changes increasing the cost of health care. Retirement benefits have been reduced or just flat out cut. The list goes on and on, sadly. I wish working for State Government was as you say it is but, it just ain't so.

    Look into what is happening in my State, maybe it'll make you feel better.

    PS - taxes come out of State employee's checks just as they do yours.

    Edit for links:

    http://www.statesman.com/news/texas-politics/chronic-failures-threaten-ibm-contract-with-texas-807529.html?cxtype=rss_ece_frontpage

    http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/dn/latestnews/stories/081710dntexibm.61f41d1d.html

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    JamesRL

    I don't have any knowledge of pay levels of US federal employees.

    My father in law is an engineer with the state of California. He does get paid less than he did in the private sector, but the private sector went into the tank so he took the job. He also has to put up with mandatory unpaid days off. His salary was frozen a long time ago, long before the economy tanked. All in all he doesn't feel lucky.

    I worked for a crown corporation, a Canadian federal government agency. Our pay levels were not as high as those in the private sector, but the pension was very good.

    My father was a municipal employee, and to be honest growing up we were working poor, at least until the group joined a union. Things did get better, and he does have a decent pension. My dad did a dangerous job for low pay as a hydro lineman, something many people take for granted. In the worst weather he'd be out there making sure people had power. He has a bunch of metal in his leg to show for it.

    I'm sure there are people in government jobs who are overpaid and underworked. I'm sure the same can be said for many in the private sector as well.

    As for politicians, like any other area, there are good ones and bad ones.

    I know one politician from my old days in politics who earned every cent she was paid, she worked 12-16 hour days every day. Her staff would burn out before she would though, she had a revolving door. She always won with a comfortable margin because she worked very hard for her constituents, and at the same time worked hard on committees and as a cabinet minister.

    Of course there are those who coast along not contributing much, and they should be kicked out no matter what party they belong to. But the trend in voting these days is less and less about voting for an individual and more about voting along party lines.

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    CharlieSpencer

    I've never understood how contracting a private firm to perform a government function was supposed to save money. The contractor is obviously interested in making a profit; the government isn't. It seems to me that alone means it's going to cost more to have the contractor perform the function.

    I also don't understand how the feds can afford to pay for-profit private security firms, but can't afford to pay our military personnel comparable salaries. That one really frosts my shorts.

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    AV .

    He did make an impressive run and thats whats important because it scared the **** out of both the Republicans and Democrats that a 3rd party could have a showing like that. If he had decided to run earlier than August, he could have won.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_gubernatorial_election,_2010

    Very impressive, indeed. I've always had a lot of respect for Tom Tancredo. Maybe next time.

    AV

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    maxwell edison

    ..... can we have your governor? < insert smiley face here >

    (If T.T. would have won, I wouldn't have to ask for yours!)

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    AV .

    His star is rising fast. He is so incredible. Just saved the taxpayers of NJ $3 billion of possible cost overruns by killing the coveted Hudson River tunnel project. People depending on it were extremely p*ssed. Taxpayers are happy.

    AV