Alejandro 10/14/2004.21:25:13
"It is my personal opinion that Bush is obviously a president for the corporations and the rich, and agains the hard-working American. He's a president for Osama Bin Laden and for his Arab allies, to which Saddam Hussain was a threat to. He's a president for the oil industry and against the ecology. He pretends to be for the Catholics, for Pro-Life, but he's not fooling me. So... is this obvious to anyone else? To what extent? I'm not saying Kerry is perfect, but he's a fairly decent candidate, and, most importantly, he's not Bush. Attack me please (hehe)."

Jorge 10/16/2004.23:53:14
"Yeah, Kerry's no Bush. I think it's time for a change - maybe the world SHOULD be allowed to vote since our presidents (especially in the last 4 yrs) have such a large impact on the world. But then again, it wouldn't make it as close as it currently is in the U.S. - it would probably be a landslide win for Kerry."

Edgar 10/17/2004.04:27:13
"Jorge and Alejandro, I agree with your comments, and I am a Democrat myself (I should be, coming from New York, a state that has been Democrat for quite a while now). However, at least from the debates, Kerry does not put out a strong plan of his own. All he does is criticize Bush's policies (which is quite easy to do, right?) but never is quite sure about what HE is going to do. This election is, in my opinion, one of the most important one of our lives. Notice how the French students entered "Bush" under the United States word association. Obviously, Bush has made a big impact in the world, but not necessarily a good one. This was evident in the debates, when Kerry attacked Bush for alienating our allies, and when Jim asked Bush about that, he said "We have England strongly on our side...." (and then thought for a while), "... oh, and don't forget about Poland." Meaning he did not have many people to mention as allies. I don't know what the economy is up to, but in my home state of NY, it has been hit pretty hard. We crave the days when a gallon of milk was $3.00 (it's up to $4.50 now) and a train ride was $1.50 (it's going to be $2.50 as of January 2005--think about people that commute to work everyday). In the meantime, people's salaries are not going up. Times are rough."

Evans 10/17/2004.12:09:38
"Let me start this economic tirade by letting everyone know my family, nor my family's business was effected by the tax break that benefitted only the top n% of Americans...blah blah blah. I hear whining about tax breaks for the rich from the same place I hear whining about corruption (not particularly you alejandro, but in general). I just want everyone to see that you can't have both, and understand why I think tax cuts for the rich are necessary. So let's say 45% of my billions of dollars in income each year goes to support the economy. Now let's say that you're "donating" 20% of your $50,000. Clearly, my opinion of how the government is spending my money should be more important than your opinion, because my money is far more important to them than your money. So you have that sort of inherent "corruption" that really isn't corruption at all; it's a backlash of a ridiculous tax burden that gets much more money from each rich person, but claims all people will be treated equally (I'm a sucker for equal rights). Anyways, my 2 cents is we should not have such a discrepancy, and so the tax break is a good thing. Also, did you imply that Hussain was a threat to Bin Laden? Have you any evidence of this, or is this more of a "since Hussain was a threat to the entire world, and Bin Laden is part of the world, therefore Hussain was a threat to Bin Laden" type thing? So far as pro-life goes, he's on the verge of being an extremist (see his stance on stem cell research). ok, I feel like my position is probably less popular, so let the arrows fly."

Lauren 10/17/2004.17:51:35
"Hussein, not Hussain...unless that's the spelling in french. I agree that we shouldn't have descrepancy in tax burden. the quickest way to fix this is to put limits on how much (< 1 billion) and how little people can earn (< $1 billion and >$5.5/hour) and then redistribute all the wealth so everybody has the same amount. Then we can all pay the same taxes and have the same rights!! it's perfect, no?"

Andres 10/17/2004.20:29:01
"I think that invoking principles such as "equal rights" in spite of the damage that they might make on society is not always the best way out. Furthermore, I could say that if the rich do not pay the same PROPORTION of their income (rather than the AMOUNT), then they are being benefitted and we have no equal rights again. So the whole "equal rights" thing boils down to which VARIABLE you are using and is thus RELATIVE. So what is the right thing to do? I say everyone should pay the same proportion of their income. You cannot expect a poor person to pay exorbitant amounts of money when he can't even help himself. Meanwhile, a multimillionaire can still live more than confortably if he pays a couple of millions. And, to state the obvious: even after paying proportional amounts of money, the rich people will still be richer than the poor. Going back to the elections: since I am not American, my main interest is on foreign policy, where I believe GW Bush has failed terribly. Even in Britain or Spain, whose governments supported the Iraqi war, the common citizens were angered by the war. The world is not safer than it was before the war (you can't just say Saddam=bad, Saddam is gone, world=good). In other aspects, I don't see major accomplishments by the current administration, and it is too obvious to me that most people in office today are insincere. John Kerry: I think he's not the ideal candidate. I already have several disagreements with him. However, I would vote for him, without a doubt, I think that in general he's pretty good. Edgar, I think you could not expect him to give detailed plans in debates where each intervention lasted 2 minutes at most. Most probably (I don't really know this) you can find more details on his website. In my opinion, the candidate with the best ideas is clearly Ralph Nader, he has things very clear and does not seem to be the usual politician who betrays his principles to get a political career. HOWEVER, I think he has no chance and should quit, as sad as this might be. So for those of you who vote, don't vote for him, please. Make your vote count if you can. And realize how stupid the American electoral system is. To our friends at Paris II, are you following closely the presidential campaign? Any comments on the candidates?"

Marie 10/17/2004.20:43:33
"Well, my stance on this election is important to me, but no one else will be affected by it, since I am only 17 and will be for almost another year. So, no vote for me. I have been disgusted by Bush's performance in office since the very beginning. Issues that I find important are the environment, stem cell research, racial profiling, and global relations. The Kyoto Treaty went no where with Bush, stem cell research has been seriously restricted, and preemptive strikes did not create any new allies for us....or kept many of our previous allies, either. However, the Patriot Act may be the issue that angers me the most about the Bush administration. I cannot understand how so many people can believe that we are being protected by an act that takes away their civil rights and discriminates against such a large percentage of the American population. I am quite irritated that I cannot vote. I believe it is very important for all American citizens to vote, as it is almost their only way of having a say in America."

Alejandro 10/17/2004.20:45:18
"Ok, so first the business with Saddam Hussein and Osama Bin Laden. (by the way, it's Hussain in Spanish, not English, sorry). Hussein was a threat to the Arab world in general because 1) he was not doing business with them, nor with the United States (for extreme capitalist countries like Saudi Arabia and the United States this is a real threat, but not much to other countries in the world). 2) Saddam's government was secular, not Muslim. Iraq was simply getting in the way of Arab unification and economic control in the Middle East. Rich families like the Bin Ladens were not happy with Hussein there. On another topic, I did not specifically mention tax cuts in my previous discussion, but while we're at it, I'll try to rephrase what you just wrote about, Evans. I think you're trying to say that the government rewards the rich because they're the ones giving the U.S. most of the money anyway. It's a little oversimplified, but I think if we made a more in-depth analysis the essence would be the same. I strongly disagree with this justification to tax cuts for the rich. I think the reason the rich give more is because they have more at their disposal. In that sense, then it is truly at the heart of the matter of equality that those who have more should give more, that those who are less affected by taxes should get taxed more. Hence, I think it is a big display of inequality when the government decides to treat the rich better by giving them tax cuts. I do understand what you're saying, that this idea is a utopia because in the real world the government does treat the rich better, that's business, but I don't think the reality of the situation makes it right. The effects of inequality could be reduced further than how the United States is managing it. At least in theory the same problem happens in other countries too, there's nothing special about the United States as opposed to other countries that applies in this analysis or yours, but it is a fact that the problem is currently bigger for the U.S. than for many other countries."

Tufool 10/17/2004.22:28:11
"I'm from the middle-east, and no, i don't the the arabs were angry at Saddam Hussein because he was getting in the way of Arab unification. We didn't like him as a leader in Iraq because he was bad to his people, but we didn't feel in any way threatened by him, because we knew that Iraqis (after the two wars they had) had nothing, especially not nuclear weapons. I think by going to war especially when most of the world and many amricans were against the idea was wrong, and also violated the american definition of a free country, where the citizens have a say. Too bad i can't vote..."

Megan 10/17/2004.23:45:53
"I used to agree with Andres in that voting for Nadar is throwing your vote away, but after discussing this with some friends, I think I might. By voting for "the better of two evils", we're going against our civic duty by failing to vote for our preferential candidate. I still might vote for Kerry though because I do think that Kerry will be better regarding the environment, stem cell research, international relations, etc, etc. As far as this whole tax cut thing, no person should have more than a few million and the rest should be taxed off -- as Americans we are already consuming more than our share of the world's resources, and when you look at all of the resources consumed by the incredibly wealthy it's disgusting."

Brian 10/18/2004.00:12:10
"I'm kind of confused on why there haven't been any French students joining in on this conversation. Personally, I'm a republican - socially and economically, and that's why I'm voting for Bush. No, he isn't perfect, and he definitely made some mistakes, but Al Gore would have done the same thing, Kerry voted for the war in Iraq, and he also voted for the Patriot Act. All in all, there isn't enough about John Kerry that will change if he's elected - so I'm sticking to my social and economic beliefs and voting along party lines, which is what most people are going to do. Of course, I'd be really interested to see what the French think - I mean most Parisiens don't even like Chirac, because he's too Conservative. We think he's too liberal, and lord knows Bush is pretty conservative. What do you guys want to happen?"

Esther 10/18/2004.00:44:40
"Generally, I'm an independent, and I'm pretty conservative in my views. I did not agree with many of Bush's policies, especially with the war in Iraq. Right now, I guess I am leaning towards Kerry, but I can't imagine being fully satisfied with either candidate's policies on many issues."

Aparna 10/18/2004.05:13:02
"I agree with Andres about John Kerry. I don't think he's the ideal candidate, but I will probably vote for him. I feel that Bush is serving his own interests and not the country's."

Frances 10/18/2004.09:43:26
"I don't think that it's fair to say that those who are extremely wealthy should have their money limited to "a few million" and the rest taken in taxes. Many people work very hard to become wealthy, and though there are people who also work hard and don't become rich, it's unreasonable to say that the wealthy shouldn't be able to spend their money the way they want. I agree with Andres in that it seems more reasonable for everyone to pay the same proportion of their income in taxes. Currently, it seems that the rich are paying more than their fair share at least percentage wise, and even though it doesn't mean they aren't able to live more than comfortably, I tend to agree with Evan that if they are paying more of their money to the government, they should have correspondingly more say over what happens to said money. Realistically, I'm not sure that there's any way that limits are going to be put on how much/little people can earn anytime soon (in response to Lauren's comment)."

Robert 10/19/2004.02:54:55
"My main concern with George Bush is the feeling of dishonesty and stubborness that I get from him. Why can't he just say that we had bad intelligence, and that they were wrong about WMDs, and that had they known there were no weapons, they wouldn't have invaded. I think if he had done it far enough before the election, he could have recovered from saying that we made a mistake, but need to finish the job, since we can't leave Iraq as is. He can call Kerry a flip-flopper all he wants, but it seems to me that admitting you were wrong and realizing there is a better alternative to your previous opinions is what educated people should do. Also, I feel like Bush is hurting the Republican party with his over-the-top consevatism. There is definitely something to be said for Republican social and economic ideals, but a lot of that gets lost because of the party's seemingly blundering leader."

GERSENDE 10/19/2004.08:42:41
"Evans, à propos des élections américaines, tu parles beaucoup d'argent et de taxes. Tu a l'air trés énervé contre ton gouvernement ."

patricia 10/19/2004.09:00:52
"J'aimerais savoir si vous avez vu le film de mickaël Moore s'appelant Farenheit 9.11? Est ce que cela a modifié votre point de vue sur la famille Bush. Il me semble qu'il a été censuré aux états unis? non? Pour ma part, j'ai vu ce film et je dois admettre qu'il m'a ouvert les yeux sur beaucoup de choses notamment sur la guerre en irak, et depuis que je l'ai vu je m'interresse beaucoup plus à la politique américaine."

S 10/20/2004.12:32:48
"Je pense que George Bush est l'homme de situation! Il est soutenu par tout le congrès (ce qui est significatif puisque depuis bien longtemps un président n'avait pas eu aussi la majorité au congrès je crois). Il a su réagir après le 11 septembre et jamais homme d'Etat américain n'avait eu une telle côte de popularité depuis Franklin Delano Roosevelt. D'autre part, les arguments comme quoi Bush a commandité les attentats du 11 septembre je pense qu'il faut arrête la cocaïne! Michael Moore est un jaloux, râté qui fait des calomnies et qui ferait mieux de réellement trouver un travail! Bush a éliminé 2 dictatures dans le monde et pour cela il faut lui rendre hommage. Vote for Bush!"

ChaLing 10/20/2004.19:59:41
"I am pretty apathetic about everything right now, and not beccause I don't have an interest in any of the political issues right now; it is because I don't feel satisfied with our political system. When it comes down to it, we only have two parties. I'm not satisfied by two parties! I'm generally conservative, and I'll end up voting for Bush, but I don't have a middle ground that actually counts for anything. Our Republican/Democrat battles leave too many of us dissasitisfied with the final output. This seems like a situtaion that will never be righted though.... how will good mid-ground parties emerge if noone votes for them? And nooone will vote for them unless they have more power, except a few of the moral idealists out there, which I'm not one of."

Edgar 10/20/2004.22:33:37
"In response to Patricia. Yes, I did watch "Farenheit 9/11" and it did change my views about the Bush family. And no, the movie is not censored here. It changed my views dramatically--I guess that's exactly what Michael Moore wanted. It is not strange to see mainstream media used as political attacks on a person (or political party), and Moore thought film would be good. However, I just urge you to watch it with caution, as some of Moore's statements don't necessarily use that much evidence to back them up. What IS censored, however, is a lot of the political stuff going on in the "back rooms" of the White House. Many things happen in the government that the public NEVER gets to know. That's how politics work."

Angela 10/20/2004.22:46:26
"A few words on the taxation argument, from an economic standpoint. Evans and Omeleye, your arguments for a flate-rate tax are very nice and fair-sounding. However, even from a purely economic standpoint, there is a very valid reason for progressive taxation (i. e., as you get richer, not only do you pay more, but you pay proportionally more - the very poor pay 0%, the middle class pay 30%, the very rich 45% for example). This is because the value of a dollar is not the same for everyone. This is intuitively obvious - if you have a very small income, you will count each dollar more. (This is the law of diminishing marginal returns - each additional dollar you get is worth less) Applying a flat proportional tax means that those who are very poor are getting, relatively, more taken from them, because the value of one dollar is worth much more to them. Thus, 20% of a paycheck for someone making 1000 dollars a month is a much bigger hit, relatively, than 20% of someone making 1 million a month. Evans, you say that we shouldn't complain about corruption because taxing the rich more means that the rich will naturally have more say. While it is definitely true that the rich have more say in the political process, I see no evidence that this is because of taxation. If that were the case, that would imply that taxation is optional - if a rich person doesn't like the government's policies, they can simply refuse to pay. This is of course not the case. Rich people weild influence through campaign contributions. Thus, by your argument, we should tax everyone to the same level of income, so they all weild an equal amount of power when it comes to influencing policy! Also, Omeleye, you say that many people work very hard to become rich, and this is undoubtedly true. However, I would note that many people become fantastically rich without working hard, or not proportionally that hard. Witness the ballooning in corporate CEO paychecks - these people are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and at the same time are getting censured for low performance and corruption. This is a new phenomenon, of the 90's - ceo incomes are proportionally MUCH higher than they would have been in the past. Meanwhile, real minimum wage is the lowest it has been in i think 30 years or more. The gap is widening, and it didn't use to be this way. One last economic note. Compared to all other industrialized nations, the US has the highest amount of income inequality. I think most people would intuitively guess this. However, what has suprised me is that not only do we have the richest rich people, but we have the poorest poor people. Thus, the rising tide, our relatively strong GDP, does not raise all boats. Our poor people are poorer than the poor in countries like France and the rest of Western Europe, Canada, and Australia. They also receive less help and benefits than any of those countries. Is this the best we, the richest nation in the world, can do? Finally, in response to Megan - your argument about voting for Nader might have held water in 2000. However, Nader has completely betrayed his cause - his funding comes almost entirely from the Republican party and rich republicans, and he has tried to illegally gain entry onto the ballot in several states by collecting signatures illegally, or shadily. This is not a man of principle. Nader does not represent anything but his own ego, and this is why the Green party has not chosen to run him again and his running mate from 2000 has endorsed Kerry."

Alejandro 10/24/2004.18:36:37
"Hi everybody! First I'll quickly reply to an old comment. I should have been more careful and noted that the muslim **governments** were the ones threatened by Hussein, not the muslim **people**. Governments obviously desire total control of parts of the world, at least much more than individual people. I'd like to point out that I am very liberal, and I was very confused when I got an e-mail where they clearly stated each candidate's stand on important issues: Gay Marriage - opposed by Bush, Kerry favors Partial-Birth Abortion - opposed by Bush, Kerry favors Restoring voluntary player in public schools - Bush favors, Kerry opposes Mel Gibson and The Passion - Bush supports, Kerry thought it was anti-semitic Boy Scouts' belief in God and not allowing Homosexual Scout Leaders - Bush supports Scouts, Kerry opposes them Asking for God's blessing on America - Bush often does, Kerry criticises Bush for that Judges - Bush wants "common-sense judges who believe our rights are derived from God", Kerry wants secular judges An extra comment on the e-mail: Kery is the most liberal senator in 03, even more liberal than Ted Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. So... This e-mail was probably aimed to those puritan voters in the midwest that could decide the elections, and who see every of Kerry's stands as evil, but I have to say I completely embrace every one of Kerry's stands. What's wrong with America? Isn't this the Land of the Free??? Or maybe something's wrong with me. Another thing I want to point out was about USA's mission of liberating the world. In a way I do agree powerful countries should try to help countries where injustices are happening. Yes, this means it would be good if the UN would have done something about Iraq, North Korea, Sudan, etc. But what I don't like about the US is that it did not go to Iraq to free its people, like Bush constantly claims, but they went there to take over the multimillionaire business of oil, and in the process the Iraqi people have seen more death and suffering than during Hussein's government. Yes, in principle it was good that there is one less genocidal dictator in the world, but it seems to me that they traded one form of evil for a worse one. Go Sox!"

Juan 10/24/2004.22:49:29
"I'm also a liberal, so I also oppose Bush on all issues. I don't care much if he likes The Passion, but I agree that his pro-religious policies are disturbing, as are the withdrawing from the Kyoto treaty, the small nuclear weapons initiative, withdrawing aid to population control programs around the world, the tax cuts and additional tax cuts for defense industry, the lowering of environmental standards (arsenic in the water, "clear skies" act, old coal plants, to name a few), the support of the NRA (think assault weapons ban, however ineffective), a constitutional ammendment to ban people from marying whomever they want, the unilateral, preemptive attack theory of international relations, including the undermining of the UN and traditional alliances, the galloping deficit and extending federal control over individual states (both of which should irk economic conservatives), the replacement of scientists for politicians in scientific advisory comitees, etc, but mostly the "I don't need to listen because God told me I'm right" approach to decisionmaking (a.k.a. leadership). However, I don't like Kerry much. Which brings me to a question for all liberals out there: The existance of a third party candidate (whether Nader or Cobb) might help Kerry not to steer more to the right, as he would likely do otherwise to attrackt undecided mildly republican voters (because it might cost him votes to the left). However, it increases the horrifying prospect of a second term of Bush, now with a tacit approval of his policies, which might make him even more of a loose cannon. Is it worth the risk? Until we get instant-runoff voting, are we stuck with the lesser of two evils?"

Xiaojie 10/24/2004.23:23:30
"s_redslob's comments surprised me. Do the French support Bush or Kerry?"

ChaLing 10/24/2004.23:24:34
"A question to the French: how involved are you guys in your own country's politics?? Here in the US I think that students as a whole tend to be very vocal, and often there are student-run protests. Is this the same in France? Is there alot of student-solidarity in politics?"

Andres 10/24/2004.23:38:32
"In response to Megan: any decent electoral system should include a second round (otherwise, in a tripartite election, the most different side will always win, as the other 2 split the votes of people with similar ideology). The American electoral system lacks this feature, and so, the only thing Nader does is to take away votes from Kerry. Now just imagine there was a second round: clearly the finalists would be Bush and Kerry. In the first round, I'd agree with you, if you voted for Nader. But this "second round" is inevitable and your "civic duty" is again to express your preference, only this time with limited choices... which is what we effectively have. Farenheit 9/11: poor as a documentary, good as a political movie, it was very biased and its arguments were unidimensional. I thought Moore's Bowling for Columbine was much more solid. However, I'm kind of glad the movie was made, just to expose ideas from the left, in a time when most people think you shouldn't attack the "Commander-in-Chief", thus giving him carte blanche to do what he wants. The content of the movie didn't change my opinion on the Bush family, since not much came as a surprise, but I'm sure it can be an eye-opener for many. So I encourage you to watch it if you haven't, but being critical about it, just as you should be critical of the Bush administration."

Aparna 10/25/2004.20:30:30
"I am interested in knowing more about French elections? How many parties do you have? What are some of the key issues that are discussed? Are they similar to the ones in the US?"

Megan 10/25/2004.22:59:08
"As far as voting for third party candidates, I still think that voting for Nadar if you agree with his policies more than the Democrats' is beneficial in that you are forcing the Democrats to listen to your voice, even if Nadar doesn't get elected. As far as the French liking Busy, although we saw from the statistics in classes that more French support Kerry in Bush, I think the following statistic is more interesting -- in a poll this September questioning whether the French's opinion of Americans has deteriorated or improved over the past three years, 70% said deteriorated and 14% said improved. Although I have not looked this up yet, I would hazard that the Bush administration has hurt our image on a much larger front."

Alejandro 10/26/2004.01:08:23
"Gallup, a leading American pollster, announced that most first-time voters in this election are younger than 30 and prefer Kerry to Bush. First-time voters are 12% of the registered voters, which is a very significant number. I wonder what kinds of correlations can we come up with. For example, are most young voters predominantly liberal? I think this makes sense. I feel like older, more mature people tend to be more conservative, and this is a comment that I feel is true intependent of this election's candidates. Will the young voters make a difference in this election? I'd say probably. Are young voters smarter (or dumber)? (that was a question for fun, by the way, cause I've noticed some people don't get my sarcasm)"

Evans 10/26/2004.01:30:29
"It is interesting that the younger generation is now liberal with the older generation being you think the roles will reverse when this younger generation gets older? In general, children rebel against parents, and perhaps this is part of the correlation."

Robert 10/26/2004.03:27:50
"I think this trend with young voters has several reasons. Older people have more respect for the office of the president, while young people are more likely to be influenced by rock stars campaigning for John Kerry, Michael Moore films, and the like. Older generations are somewhat likely to be offended by these attacks on the president. Also, older people tend to make more money, and thus will benefit more from Bush tax cuts, while young people benefit more from government spending designed to improve education and create jobs. Evans has an interesting point, when our generation becomes the "older" voters, will we shift more conservatively, or will the next generation be more conservative?"

Robert 10/26/2004.03:38:32
"The latest gallup poll has Bush leading Kerry 51 to 46, and many experts are undecided as to who will win the election. Does anyone have any educated predictions as to who will win?"

S 10/26/2004.07:15:03
"En France, aucun média ne sait être partial. Les français ne savent que donner leur avis sans se regarder. Pendant les élections américains, je n'ai entendu AUCUN média soutenir Bush. Tous sont ligués contre lui. Pour l'instant ils soutiennent Kerry mais que pour les élections, ensuite, comme d'habitude on crachera sur la politique extérieure des américains. Je suis un peu déçu de tout ça..."

Audrey 10/26/2004.07:25:37
"Je ne comprends pas comment Bush a pu rester au pouvoir alors que les résultats des élections n'étaient pas en sa faveur. Comment pouvoir voter pour un président sortant alors que son mandat n'est pas légitime? Peut etre que ceux qui votent en sa faveur aiment qu'il intervienne dans les pays ou il y a des interêts économiques américains, peut etre qu'ils aiment le voir décider pour des pays ou il ne devrai pas agir."

gregory 10/26/2004.07:34:09
"Je pense que tout comme la France, les Etats Unis connaissent de gros disfonctionnement au sein de leurs organisations politiques. Ce qui a pour conséquence directe de créer une incohérence totale entre le peuple et les pouvoirs publics. Rappeler vous les élections 2001 en France, la défaite de la Gauche et la montée de l'extrémisme. Et finalement tout le monde s'est rabbatu sur le moins pire, c'est à dire Chirac. Je pense que cette situation s'est mis en place en raison d'une incompréhension des français vis à vis de leurs correspondants politiques. Vous parler d'une bataille entre deux clans (Republicains et Democrates) et des deux a une incapacité à vous satisfaire. La question se pose alors ainsi, "Peut-il et doit-il exister une troisième voie politique: celle des citoyens??""

Marie 10/26/2004.07:39:25
"I also watched Fahrenheit 9/11, and I was intensely interested in it. It led me to think a lot about this election. There were revelations that surprised me, but I was not as surprised as I wish I was. I guess I have already been disgusted by Bush's decisions, so I was not too surprised to learn about his signing benefit cuts for soldiers, and the like. However, I do agree with Andres that the movie needs to be taken with a rather large grain of salt. I regard myself as pretty liberal, but I realized the movie was very biased and one-sided. I could have done without the constant ragging on Bush. I like to form my own opinions with just the facts. In regard to our generation and to the older generations. I do not believe we will become more conservative as we grow older. Though I have been told this by my grandma, who is very conservative: "You'll get wiser as you get older," I think we received a very different education than our parents and grandparents did. Our schools are more ethnically diverse, environmental issues have developped into much larger problems, and I even think today's children are encouraged to watch the news and be more aware of their surroundings than in the past. From a poll in USA Today, students of our generation rank education as their greatest concern in the upcoming election with 76 percent of the students polled citing education. Health care, gun control, and the environment were also major issues."

Delphnie 10/26/2004.07:39:40
"Edgar, je suis parfaitement d'accord avec toi au sujet de "Farenheit 9/11". J'ai également vu le film documentaire que j'ai trouvé passionnant et très instructif. Mais en effet il ne faut pas oublier que Moore est de parti prit contre Bush. Celui-ci est régulièrement ridiculisé car ses propos sont replacés en dehors de leur contexte - c'est un détail à ne surtout pas négliger -. Il est donc difficile d'avoir un véritable avis sur le personnage à partir de ce film, même si certaines caractéristiques flagrantes en ressortent."

Pascal 10/26/2004.07:40:39
"Les élections américaines sont bizarres. En effet ce n'est pas celui qui a le plus de voix du peuple qui l'emporte mais celui qui a le plus grand nombre de grands électeurs pour lui.Ne faut il pas changer le système électoral?"

gregory 10/26/2004.07:42:09
"Ah, j'oubliais, deux questions: 1) J'ai regardé le journal télévisé français et on raconte que tout comme aux dernières élections, la validation des votes a posée quelques problèmes. Résultat, beaucoup d'américain ne savent pas pour qui ils ont votés? 2)Un journaliste français a fait des recherches sur la famille Bush et les attentats du 11 septembre. Il expliquait qu'il y a toujours un gros silence concernant les attentats aux Etats Unis. Bien que les médias aient tendance à grossir les choses, je m'adresse à vous: " Cela ne vous fait rien d'être ignorant de ce qui s'est réellement passé ce matin du 11 septembre et pour quelles raison s'est arrivé?""

Vincent 10/26/2004.07:52:07
"Il est vrai que en France personne ne soutient Bush, même si je ne soutient pas ce candidat je trouve cela dommage. En effet, nous français n'assistons pas à un réel débat. Lorsque les débats, sont analysés, ils sont toujours en faveur de Kerry. Si nous souhaitons voir un réel débat il faut regarder les chaines américaines du cable. Il est difficile par conséquent pour un français moyen de se faire sa propre opinion."

a 10/26/2004.07:52:48
"Le débat Bush-Kerry m'impressionne énormément. En effet, je ne comprends pas pourquoi est ce que l'on parle autant de ces deux personnes.C'est ridicule de les comparer sans arrêt. Le plus important c'est de résoudre les problèmes que rencontre les Etats-Unis : économiques, la guerre en Irark,la santé, la pauvreté, les impôts, et non d'analyser le comportement de chacun d'eux."

GERSENDE 10/26/2004.07:52:51
"Je trouve lamentable que certains d'entre vous ne parlent des élections que pour satisfaire leurs petits besoins personnels ! C'est un état d'esprit de petits bourgeois égoistes qui ne pensent qu'à leurs investissements et se fichent pas mal des milliers d'enfants qui sont en train d'agoniser sous les balles américaines. Je ne comprends pas vraiment votre manque d'ouverture par rapport à l'implication de votre pays à l'étranger."

marie 10/26/2004.07:55:11
"Cela semble un peu utopiste cette solution sous pretexte d'une égalité de traitement, c'est un peu marxiste!!!! C'est normal que les charges fiscales dépendent du revenu. Mais je pense que tu ne le penses pas réellement tu dis cela pour faire réagir tout le monde???"

Adil 10/26/2004.07:57:34
"Moi, je propose que le monde entier vote pour l'élection américaine. C'est normal, après tout! Vu que les Etats-Unis doivent "conduire le monde" (phrase de Bush), nous sommes tous concernés. Le problème c'est que le choix n'est pas vaste. Il y a deux grands candidats et les autres ? Un écologiste, une star du X... Waw!! L'avantage de voter pour cette dernière, c'est que je ne suis pas sûr qu'il y aurait une guerre en Irak. Plus sérieusement, moi, ce qui m'effraie (plus que Bush), c'est le système de démocratie aux Etats-Unis et la communication pour les élections. Bush et Kerry vendent un programme comme on vend de la lessive, avec des campagnes de publicité! Je trouve ridicule de voir des hommes politiques faire des "yeah", "yoh" et jouer au base-ball devant les caméras! C'est un cirque! Il est bien loin le temps où, dans la Grèce antique, les hommes politiques opposaient leurs arguments. La communication a-t'elle dépassé la politique aux Etats-Unis ? Je vous rassure en France, on deviendra bientôt comme vous, surtout quand on voit Sarkozy (ministre de l'économie) aller dans "On ne peut pas plaire à tout le monde" (une émission people). Si c'est ça la démocratie et la politique, je suis pas sûr que les pays du tier-monde soient attirés par ça! Ahhhhhhhhh!! O rage, O désespoir, O élection ennemie! J'ai trouver un site assez drôle et plutôt contre Bush!"

pierrehokayem 10/26/2004.08:12:54
"la politique de president bush mondiale et interne a echoué dans plusieurs secteurs et personne ne peut nier cette verité ,bush n'a pas reussi au niveau de la guerre en Irak ,ni au niveau de l'economie de son pays ,ni au niveau de la confiace mondiale; mais ce qui m'etonne vraiment c 'est que Mr Bush garde pour lui une tres grande popularité et il est le candidat le plus favorable pôur etre réelu,ce que j'aime bien savoir pourquoi ?est ce que le peuple americain a été seduit par le pouvoir de la publicité qui supporte bush ? est ce que les americains ne s'interessent pas à ce qui se passe dans le monde ? est ce que les americains n'ont pas vu le film de Mikeal MOORE Fahrenheit 911? est ce que c'est le Basket et l'american football qui poussent les americains a oublier le monde et ce qui se passe à IRak ,à Israel ,a l'inde ,au Liban ?ou c'est le lobbie juif qui domine les elections et qui supporte Mr Bush j'aime bien avoir une reponse qui repond à mes doutes ,de toute facon je pense que BUsh ou KERRY ont la meme politique au niveau mondial surtout au niveau de la guerre en IRak a mon avis ,l'election americaine ne vaut rien pour moi ,ca regarde le peuple americain. et ca eux de choisir un bon president qui peut leur proteger au niveau de l'economie de la securité."

William 10/26/2004.10:31:54
"This is in response to Pierre's questions about why polls show so many Americans supporting President Bush. I think it is important to remember that Americans have a different view on what they want from our President than foreign, in this case French, people want from our President. For many Americans, social and economic issues are the most important factor in the election. It might be reasonable to guess that our domestic policies have little effect overseas. However, our foreign policies have a direct effect on many parts of the world, including France. Thus, while many of the French may disagree with the President's foreign policies, they are only looking at one issue among many. This is just one of the many reasons why Americans decide the outcome of American elections, and I am glad that few people have taken seriously the absurd idea of foreign citizens voting for American politicians."

Alejandro 10/27/2004.16:39:20
"Wow, there's so many comments I wanted to make, but after reading 11 or so messages I forgot about most of my comments. First, yes I think the electoral college should be destroyed, and the elections should be decided by popular vote. It's going to make political advertisement harder for candidates, cause now they'll have to try to convince all the country, not just a few swing states, but it should be fairer. As Piquet mentioned, I was also surprised by the debates. It showed to me how so many of Bush's arguments were flawed. For example, he tends to turn one argument upside down by using a "false dilemma" falacy, like whey Kerry said he disapproved of the war, Bush concluded that Kerry must have prefered Hussein to stay in power, but that's not the only alternative. In this case, Kerry suggested we could have fought a better war, or procede more diplomatically at least. Bush's arguments are plagued with logical falacies, but most people in the world probably don't know what "logical falacies" are, so there goes that. By the way, in those same debates I noticed Kerry used logical falacies too, but in a much lesser degree than Bush. About Fahrenheit 9/11, when you watch it you have to consider the movie is a little artistic and not 100% factual. I think most people misinterpret the movie as telling lies to the public, but it is art. The movie represents mostly Michael Moore's thoughts about Bush and the war, and these thoughts are exagerated or humorous at times. It is a movie about opinion anyway, and there's no such thing as having a right or wrong opinion, so as far as that goes, I think Moore made a great job expressing himself through the movie, and I would have done it almost the same way if I knew anything about making movies. All of the important facts mentioned in the movie are true, anyway. Otherwise Bush would have already eaten Moore alive. I'm not sure if it should be called a "documentary" exactly, it's more like 90% documentary and 10% opinion. The online petition Adil posted is great! It was entertaining, but unfortunately gifts don't have to be returned. I can't get a link to this news, but apparently the LA Times published today an article that talks about why this election is so much passionate than the others. I got the following quote from which is one of my favorite sites for following the election: "The real divide seems to be between deeply religious lower income, lower education, voters living in small towns and rural areas who have conservative values on abortion and gay marriage versus higher income, higher education, secular, urban voters who have progressive views on cultural issues." I think this is a very interesting comment we can debate here. I can start by saying that I agree. I feel that Bush gets a lot of midwestern votes from issues like gay marriage and abortion, rather than the war and tax cuts, which is what concerns me the most actually. Maybe this complements what Will was saying about why Americans like Bush so much more than the French or Europe for that matter. The French are obviously not moved by the decisions this country makes on gay marriage and abortions, but France cares about the war. I think I've written enough. Thanks patient readers."

Megan 10/27/2004.21:23:56
"This is also in response to some of Pierre's comments/questions. As far as why people would support Bush -- although Bush may not have succeeded in accomplishing many positive things as president, a lot of people feel more secure in re-electing an incumbent because a change of president does bring insecurity and instability to some extent. Plus, like Adil mentioned, Bush and Kerry are both trying to sell themselves, which makes it difficult for the American public to tell what Kerry will actual do as president. As far as Americans being interested in what's going on in the world, I think the media can be partly to blame as far as what it emphasizes."

Evans 10/27/2004.22:51:38
"I'm glad to finally see some French action on the election board. First, to Pascal, I would like to explain the electoral college, and why it absolutely must exist. Some states are more populous than others, so they deserve to have their opinions weighted proportionally more, but an election that is strictly by population ignores the opinions of the less populated areas. For instance, New Hampshire, Montana, South Dakota and the like would cease to matter very much in an election of the popular vote, and candidates would only have to appeal to people in the big cities. Thus I think the current form of republic is much better for the union than a pure democracy, as it can accomodate the opinions of all the states. Secondly, Gregory, and some others, have made a very good point about the American two party system. It absolutely must be changed, because I'm pretty sure that at least 20% of America doesn't want to vote for either candidate, and is just choosing the lesser of two evils. Thirdly, and relatedly, as Adil said, our political process is a circus. I saw a Bush advertisement tonight that made Kerry and his supporters out to be wolves. Literally, the entire ad was a pack of wolves roaming ferociously through the forest looking mean. Are you kidding me? Finally, I'd like to ask all of you, French and American students, whether or not you think either candidate would make an ideal president? I don't."

Angela 10/28/2004.00:26:16
"Re: the electoral college. Evans, you argue that the electoral college is necessary because otherwise, people in less populous areas would be ignored. This doesn't make any sense. The electoral college originally got started because *states* were considered to be distinct entities - a north carolinian and a virginian were two separate beings, kind of like the EU is becoming now. This system takes into account both population and statehood as a salient factor in weighting votes - this is represented in the house of representatives and the senate... in the house, we care about population, but in the senate, members of states are all represented equally... this assumes that I, as a north carolinian, might have some inherent conflict of interest with a virginian. this has absolutely nothing to do with whether i am rural or urban. This assumes that rural north carolinians and rural virginians have less in common than rural north carolinians and inhabitants of raleigh. I think this is silly in today's society - the rural population in general has much more cohesiveness than all the members of one state. Take two identically sized cities, one in california and one in new hampshire. The urbanites in NH have more of a say in our democracy. Likewise, a californian rural person has less to say than a farmer in new mexico. As we have it now, candidates are best not to focus on the big cities, but the big cities in *certain states*. Thus this system is even more unfair than the one you say abolishing the electoral college would create. While when the electoral college was founded the system made sense because a state itself would have its own self-interests, i think this is largely antiquated. There are likely to be inherent discrepancies in any democratic system, but the electoral college promotes the tailoring of policies to people in swing districts in swing states, while the rest of the country is largely ignored. There is a large body of political thought which addresses how a majoritarian, district-based system influences a country.... you're much more likely to get policies focused on a few under our system, and without it you would find policies that benefit many more people because politicians would begin to need a broader base."

Henri 10/28/2004.17:44:49
"Apparemment les élections américaines font beaucoup parler d'elles aussi bien du côté des Etats-Unis que chez nous en France. Je trouve cela très instructif et je suis certain que les Américains vont aller voter en nombre même s'il reste des indécis et c'est ceux-là que Bush et Kerry essaient de séduire. Je trouve aussi que le système électoral américain n'est pas très démocratique et qu'il faudrait le changer. Les choix sont de plus restreints car les Américains choississent entre deux candidats. Le système en France offre un plus large choix même est-ce mieux ? Ce qui est sûr, c'est qu'au moins en France chaque voix a la même valeur. La voix du Président Chirac est égale à celle d'un chômeur...Il y a aussi des inégalités en France mais peut-être qu'elles sont moins exacerbées qu'aux Etats-Unis."

Brian 10/28/2004.23:53:47
"One thing of major concern for me: the electoral college in this country actually keeps this country more democratic than most "democracies." This is in our constitution, and anyone who understands fundamental American politics can see why it would not be abolished. I understand why French people don't get it, and why there were so many comments about Bush not having a "mandate." I assume you are referring to the loss of the popular vote. I suggest everyone read the following article that was posted on the MIT homepage a few weeks ago. Maybe it will clear up some issues about the electoral college."

S 10/29/2004.10:39:06
"La différence entre les systèmes politiques français et américains se situent dans les idées. Pourquoi un tel mal être en france? Parce que maintenant, il n'y a plus d'opposition droite/ gauche, on est dans une sorte de système consensuel où l'intérêt personnel passe en premier! Regardons le cas de la Turquie! A gauche il y a des pour et des contre, pareil à droite. Où est l'électeur? Le cul entre deux chaises, il ne comprend plus, il est perdu! Aux Etats-Unis, quand on regarde els programmes de Kerry et de Bush, les deux s'opposent (comme en 1988 en France avec Mitterand qui voulait nationaliser et Chirac privatiser). Aux Etats Unis donc, il y a des divergences sur la politique intérieure (environnement, sécurité, peine de mort, baisse d'impôts, port d'armes...) et sur la politique extérieure (Irak principalement). En France, des gens d'extrême gauche ont voté Chirac en 2002, d'acord dans un contexte particulier mais c'est à ne plus y rien comprendre. Les hommes politiques français privilégient leurs intérêts (regardons le futur duel Chirac/Sarkozy en 2007 ou à gauche entre Hollande/Strauss Kahn/Lang/Delanoe/ Fabius! Un duel de repris de justice! Elle est belle la france!"

Pascal 10/29/2004.10:50:46
"Que ce soit en France ou aux Etats unis la personne qui a le pouvoir se fait critiquer. En effet le président ne peut satisfaire tout le monde il y aura toujours des personnes mécontentes. On pense que s’il est au pouvoir il doit tout résoudre mais malheuresement il ne peut pas tout faire donc que ce soit Bush ou Kerry ils se feront critiquer un jour ou l’autre."

marie 10/29/2004.10:58:09
"William, tu as raison de dire que c'est absurde d'imaginer que les citoyens étrangers votent pour les présidentielles en amerique!! Il est normal cependant que tous les cioyens prennent des positions personnelles par rapport aux présidentielles américaines, car la politique intérieure américaine a des effets importants sur le monde entier...Nous en sommes tous conscients!!! Par exemple sur les taux de change, sur les investissements... Cela est du à une ouverture des frontières, à la mondialisation. Dans les élections présidentielles, une chose qui m'a paru étonnante c'est la façon dont les médias sont au service de la politique aux USA. Lors des débats présidentiels, les 2 candidats avaient 2 mns pour répondre aux questions du speaker. est ce qu'en 2 mns il est possible d'expliquer de façon précise sa politique???? c'est plus un exercice de communication qu'une réelle analyse de la politique."

S 10/29/2004.11:02:38
"Aparna, je réponds à un de tes messages sur les sensibilités politiques. En France, il faut savoir que dès qu'on s'engage dans la politique, c'est pour son propre intérêt, quelque soit le parti, ainsi, après toutes les mises en examen, les jugements, les peines... on peut décliner le paysage politique français. D'abord les deux partis qui se dégagent sont la droite et la gauche. Ensuite, il y a le centre, l'extrême gauche, l'extrême droite et les écologistes. Au seins de ces 5 pôles figurent encore des sensibilités. A gauche, le PS (parti socialiste) comporte économiquement parlant des libéraux (Fabius, Strauss-Kahn) et d'autres beaucoup plus à "gauche" (Dray, Montebourg, Emmanuelli). Ensuite il ya ceux qui sont "au centre" de la gauche (Hollande le président du PS, Guigou, Royal). Au centre, ce sont des libéraux qui prennent "les idées sociales de la gauche et économique de la droite" (Bayrou) mais soutiennent la droite. A droite, il y a ceux qui sont des centre droits (Chirac, Raffarin le premier ministre) et d'autres plus à droite pronant une économie très privatisée par exemple, une sécurité plus renforcée... (Sarkozy) A l'extrême gauche il ya encore des sensibilités, les communistes (et oui ils n'existent plus qu'en france! (Buffet)), les trotskistes (Laguiller, Besancenot) qui sont des révolutionnaires (renversement du patronnat, peine de mort pour les chefs d'entreprise! lol! Ils veulent tout "étatiser"...) A l'extrême droite, les gens qui sont patriotes, qui aiment leur pays et pointent les problèmes de la France sur le problème de l'immigration. Voilà en gros pour le paysage politique français..."

Pablo 10/29/2004.11:14:27
"Je ne crois pas aux elections américaines car je pense que les gens n'arrivent pas à comprendre la valeur de leur vote ,Alors je pense qu'il énorment de gens qui vont être manipulé par les candidats et par les médias. Pourquoi dans le pays de la "liberté" les gens ne sont pas vraiment librés de savoir qui est qui? Croient-vous connaître à Bush ?"

Yann 10/30/2004.06:50:09
"Une des problématiques de l'élection réside dans le fait de pouvoir voter en toute connaissance de vérité et des idées que partagent les candidats. A ce titre, j'ai l'impression que les Américains subissent, peut-être plus que les autres, un désinformation continuelle réalisée par les médias, sous la pression du gouvernement. De ce fait, les élections peuvent perdre tout leur sens."

Alejandro 11/01/2004.16:43:39
"I agree with Brian and Evans that the Electoral College gives more power to some individuals (I think this is their main argument for defending the system) but I strongly disagree that this makes the system good. In this election, the majority of the voters in the swing states are white and highly religious (I guess protestants, but they could be catholic) and they are going to decide these elections. What makes them so special? Why don't Hispanic Chatholics decide the elections, or northeastern liberals? I think the midwest does not fully represent the US and their opinions should be weighed in proportion of their population, not more than the rest. I do know Florida and New Mexico have some amount of hispanic voters, and there is a very slight possibility that they could decide the election, but I still disagree it should be done this way. I think the MIT article said that without the electoral college the candidates would have more freedom to move to the left or right, and this was stated as something we need to avoid, but I think it is actually good. I don't think we can move too much more to the right, and moving to the left would be good, again in my opinion. I feel Kerry is ridiculously trying to appear more conservative than he actually is because the undecided swing voters will not vote for him otherwise, but I feel most Americans would want him as liberal as he really is, and unfortunately we don't have a voice because of the electoral college."

Brian 11/01/2004.21:10:43
"I'm not quite certain that the electoral college has anything to do with discriminating against minority voters. First of all, much of the election is decided by northeastern liberals, but to answer your question, the election will most likely not be decided by Hispanic Catholics simply because there is not a large enough proportion of them in this country. It isn't some racist facet of the electoral college, it's just the way democracy works. There are plenty of Hispanic Catholics in Texas too - they're not all Democrats, believe it or not. Nor are all African-Americans. I feel bad being the one to point it out, but not all minorities are going to vote for Kerry. Not all Texans vote for Bush. Each candidate has 51 chances to "win." It's more fair than you realize - I mean, we haven't had a coup in over 225 years!"

Megan 11/01/2004.23:48:57
"In response to Marie Elisabeth's comment on the debates -- well, first of all, if the debates were a lot longer no one would watch them =) But in any event, it's really just a scharade -- like Alejandro said, Kerry is trying to appear more conservative, and each candidate is trying to convey certain images to the public which sadly enough may have more effect on swaying peoples votes than actual ideas. As far as the electoral college comments, very rarely has a president been elected that did not have the popular vote, and frankly, neither Gore nor Bush even received half of the popular vote in the last election, so neither one would have been representing the majority of people in the US. And Alejandro, as I do recall, WI, MI, MN, IL, and IA all were won by Gore in the 2000 election, and it was Florida that caused Bush to be elected."

S 11/02/2004.08:11:36
"En réponse à Adil, avant de se présenter aux élections, Bush a été président des Texas Rangers baseball team, 1989-1998! Donc il est légitime qu'il fasse yeah! Il l'a été dans les années 80! Ensuite je ne comprends plus rien sur les faux débats (donc le politiquement correct) qui règne dans ce débat! Kerry, s'il est élu sera critiqué par les français dans un mois, comme on a fait pour Bush, Clinton, Bush père, Nixon, Carter... En France, on s'occupe trop des choses qui ne nous regardent pas! Ce sont les américains qui votent! Et quand j'entends en France, tout le monde parle comme les médias! C'est fatigant, j'entends toujours Michael Moore et à bas bush! Ayez un peu d'esprit critique, allez voir ce qu'on dit de Bush aussi ailleurs plutôt que de rabacher TF1, Ardisson et Fogiel! Ptet vous comprendrez pourquoi des gens peuvent voter Bush en masse?! Faut arrêter les oeillères françaises c'est épuisant! :( Et en ce qui concerne le système d'élections! Delanoe est passé avec moins de voix que Seguin mais ça on n'en entend jamais parler! C'est curieux les prises de position quand même... "

Vincent 11/02/2004.08:18:23
"La video d'Oussama Bin Laden n'est diffusée que partiellement sur les chaines d'information (malheureusement). Cette video, je pense va faire basculer la balance du coté de Georges W Bush. Cette video n'a-t-elle pas des conséquences contradictoires ? En effet, L'administration Bush n'a pas réussit à capturer "The Public Ennemi No 1", et pourtant pour de nombreux américains l'Amérique est plus sure sous la direction de Bush."

patricia 11/02/2004.08:44:24
"je trouve surprenant que les américains ne soient pas au courant de ce qui se passe en Irak!!! J'ai regardé à la télévision un reportage sur la guerre qui montrait que tout est censuré. Même l'hopital aux états unis où sont tout les bléssés de guerre est sous haute surveillance et n'accepte aucun journaliste. Comment peut on voter Bush en voyant toutes ces images de pauvres soldats qui se demandent ce qu'ils font là bas."

Delphnie 11/02/2004.08:53:24
"Je suis parfaitement d'accord avec Adil. Je trouve le mode de scrutin américain assez "faux cul" en ce sens où les voix du peuple ne sont finalement pas vraiment respectées. Confère les dernières élections présidentitelles américaines... Et en plus de ça, il y a des confusions dans la comptabilité des votes... pas très reglo tout ça. Duc oup je suis assez sceptique sur la "légalité" des résultats de demain..."

Xiaojie 11/02/2004.09:51:09
"Happy election day! I agree with Pablo about how Americans are manipulated by the media and the candidates themselves. I think Bush is particularly effective at this. His popularity rating is essentially buoyed by people's irrational fears. But Pablo, do you think the French are not also manipulated by their media? I am interested in hearing how French elections are run differently, such that the citizens really get to know their candidates."

Edgar 11/03/2004.04:40:53
"Hello, hope everyone voted for the candidate they feel is going to lead America to a better future. As I am writing this (4:37 AM.... yes I know, I never sleep) the predictions have Bush winning. And like most of you guys said, the media is probably the strongest source for candidates (and Bush in particular) to show (or to hide) their messages. I know a lot of people out there in the world don't want Bush to win, and I feel their pain. However, he seems to be doing really well in the South and the Midwest. Let's hope for the best...."

S 11/03/2004.10:41:29
"Les soldats qui sont en Irak sont des volontaires donc ils savent pourquoi ils sont là-bas! Et ensutie, le secret défense existe partout! En Côte d'Ivoire, on ne peut pas accéder aux hopitaux où sont soigné les soldats français! C'est pareil."

Brian 11/03/2004.11:07:55
"So, looks like George Bush has won yet again. Furthermore, the Democrats lost even more footing in the House of Representatives and the Senate, and also overall state Governors. Oh the sun shines brightly over Boston - where the AP has just indicated that he will concede. How is everyone feeling in Europe?"

Jorge 11/03/2004.18:54:15
"So Bush has won, and anyone can see the electoral college at play. It all came down to Ohio, where even at 2AM it was too close to call. I hoped for another Florida, but it's all over and now come 4 more years of Bush. This time, however, he did win the popular vote, along with the electoral vote, so there's no denying that he won. Since there seems to be split opinions about the validity of the electoral college, anyone suggest a compromise? What if a president could only be elected if both the electoral and popular vote are won? In the case where he/she (yes, I said she...could happen at some point....Hilary's not that old :D) does not win both (like 4 years ago), it could then be decided by a majority vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate....what if he/she can't win those two either....? I don't know, but it's obvious that this year, even if an electoral vote tie had occured, Bush most probably would have won after all since there was much loss in the Senate and House, like Brian pointed out."

Marie 11/03/2004.19:50:57
"Hello all! It's been a rather strange day here. I think it just hit me that Bush will be our president for 4 more years. It makes me wonder where America will be at the end of his next term. Probably with fewer allies (is it possible?), more oil drilling, more racial profiling, etc... So, although I am angry and irritated with the results, I am also unhappy with Kerry's decision to concede. Riding home on Saferide last night at 3 AM, I heard him say that "every vote counts, and we (Kerry and Edwards) are going to make sure every vote is counted." So why isn't he waiting 11 days for the provisional ballots to be counted. True, there is a slim-to-none chance of his winning Ohio with this (I think he'd need something like 90% of the provisional votes,) but why kill my hope so early? Ahhhh. Oh well. In four more years, I will be able to vote! So it goes."

Xiaojie 11/03/2004.21:36:51
"Has anybody else noticed how Bush has polarized the country? Looking at the exit polls, I am surprised at how much people voted along party lines. It was also interesting to note voters chose their canditates based upon "moral values" and "faith," more than upon "intelligence" and leadership qualities. It is somewhat frightening to me that Bush has won again, particularly with the possiblity of some Supreme Court positions opening up in the next four years. There is a real possiblity that Roe v. Wade could fall. Can somebody who voted Republican please explain their rational for voting for Bush? Is it based upon his stance on moral issues, such as gay marriages and abortion, his economic policy (lowering taxes), or is it because you are pro- war?"

Alejandro 11/03/2004.21:47:31
"Brian, when I was talking about minorities and the Electoral College, I never suggested they were all Democrats. All I was saying was that the Electoral College creates this situation where only a few people are important and in this particular case minorities are not important, their voice is not heard whether they are Democrats or Republicans. Many people are not important thanks to the Electoral College and that is what I criticized, not whether it benefitted Bush or Kerry. In fact, the electoral college seemed to benefit Kerry a little more this year. The race in Ohio was close and Kerry could have tied if he had only 100,000 votes more in that state, but nationwide he lost by over 2 million in the popular vote. See? I still disagree with the Electoral College, and my arguments are not made to defent Kerry, I am defending the voices of those who are ignored thanks to the Electoral Vote."

Brian 11/03/2004.21:53:13
"Yeah I guess you're right about this election Alejandro - but I was also going to point something out that works about the elctoral college at least in America. If you look at a map of the states who voted for each candidate ( you can see that there are many more states who voted for Bush. The popular vote is definitely important, but I think what's equally important is to look at the geographic area that voted Republican this year. There has to be some balancing point between the importance of population and geography. Just because a lot of people live in one major city doesn't mean that they should have more political clout. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong, but government policies affect a lot of the rural areas of the country where there aren't as many people. To me I guess it just makes sense. I'd like to know how elections work in Russia though - cause it's an even bigger country and seems like there would be more headache.."

Juan 11/03/2004.22:03:45
"I'm very depressed by the results of the election, although it wasn't unexpected. An instructive bit of info on how this came about is the exit poll breakdown of votes versus main issues: Issue Bush Kerry Taxes (5%) 57% 43% Education (4%) 26% 73% Iraq (15%) 26% 73% Terrorism (19%) 86% 14% Economy/Jobs (20%) 18% 80% Moral Values (22%) 80% 18% Health Care (8%) 23% 77% So (if you'll pardon my liberal sarcasm), the election was not decided by taxcuts or foreign policy, but by people fearing homosexual couples in their towns and fearing a nuclear attack in Chetopa, Kansas. On a more positive note, Tabare Vazquez won in Uruguay, so it looks like we are finally coming back to where we were before all the dictatorships in South America. The argument about geographic area is sort of strange. Why should that matter? But also, it's just a historical accident. What if california wants to split in two? Do they get two more votes? What about DC? Why is this more democratic than any other type of division? Of course, it is unlikely to get changed and maybe it shouldn't, because psicology (how much people identify with their state, how big perceived differences are) does have an important effect."

Alejandro 11/03/2004.23:54:46
"This is an interesting map of the votes arranged by county (not by state, as it is traditionally done): I was too afraid to mention it before, without evidence, but it seems more clear after looking at the map that most of the cities in the country voted Democrat, while most of the rural areas voted Republican. It is weird, cause at first impression we all know the cities are denser in population and that's why they count more. But in this year in particular that balancing factor didn't play as much, suggesting that in fact a lot of Americans live outside cities. At least for me, it is pretty clear that the Bush campaign pleased perfectly every one of those rural voters. Mmm, well that's something to think about. I guess you're right Brian, the rural population is way higher than what I thought it was and it makes sense that the goverment increases attention in those areas. I'm used to criticizing Bush for doing things against the interests of Americans, but since just yesterday after much researching and comparing numbers I have been convinced that America really chose Bush, but an even bigger realization is that America isn't really what I thought it was. As Juan said, Americans chose Bush because they believe moral values are more important than what's going on in Iraq, even though the president has way more say in the war than in America's moral values. I feel like I don't belong in this country, simply because I don't see how a president is going to change my mind on my stands on abortion or gay marriage, but on the other hand my parents and my community (and priests if I went to church) would definitely influence me. But well, according to the map, most people in American cities probably agree with me. At any rate, now I feel more like criticizing Americans than criticizing Bush, because this time it seems like Bush was rightfully elected."

Megan 11/04/2004.00:08:28
""At least for me, it is pretty clear that the Bush campaign pleased perfectly every one of those rural voters." Wow."

Megan 11/04/2004.00:11:40

Xiaojie 11/04/2004.00:53:27
"Brian says that the votes of the rural people should have more clout. The fact of the matter is, the electoral college system provides the rural areas with fewer people per electoral vote than the cities. In other words, the votes of the people in rural areas is more heavily weighted in the electoral college. Just look at Alaska and Wyoming. Also, shouldn't our government represent the people? It doesn't matter if the majority of the people are clumped into cities. It's still the opinion of the majority. I think our electoral system does a more than adequate job of representing the voice of rural America."

ChaLing 11/04/2004.01:01:49
"I voted for Bush. Even though I am vastly dissatisfied with Bush and his past performance, I am not voting for Bush the man and his actions, but rather the party and the values/ideas that the party stands for. Just because I don't like the man and agree with most peoples views on him doesn't mean that I can just up and change all my political ideas and turn into a Democrat and vote for Kerry, like most of the people around here seem to expect me too. Given the two choices that I was given and the things that I believe in, the only thing I could do was vote for Bush unless I wanted to compromise most of my own values. What do the french think about the re-election of Bush? Are you guys surprised?"

Esther 11/04/2004.01:36:18
""The Dems lost because they are pro-choice and pro-gay marriage. Plain, simple, sad." What do you think?"

Evans 11/04/2004.03:28:22
"One thing that I'm surprised hasn't been brought up at all is the opening of several supreme court seats in the next four years. The older guys will be dying off, and I think that some of the best reasons to vote for Bush are for the future of legislation. For God's sake, kids can't even study the Bible in school, but there was no supreme court action when UNC made a class studying the Koran mandatory. Anyways, to me it's important that the US doesn't go the way of Rome, and I think the Republican system of values protects against that sort of moral decline. And don't get me started on the electoral college...Clinton was never elected with a popular vote. It clearly doesn't favor any party consistently, and the only thing it does favor consistently is parity among states, which is very important. I don't know if anybody noticed the sea of red with some blue islands that was the US on election day, but we cannot allow a popular vote to anger the farmers, hicks, and just plain good country folk of America. Trust me, they're the ones with guns, I lived with them for the first 18 years of my life."

Angela 11/04/2004.03:52:46
"I could jump into the fray and debate the electoral college (as well as someone who votes based on "values" as it seems so many did) but i'm frankly too depressed to have the energy. I can't say anything but that I am so disappointed with America and Americans. We have a republican president who now has a "mandate" (although only in comparison with last time), a republican house, a republican senate (both of which will probably be even more so next time) and we will have a republican supreme court. It's great that the checks and balances have vanished. We elected a senator from oklahoma who supports the death penalty for abortion providers. we elected another senator (forget from where) who is schitzophrenic, and he got elected just because he's republican. Pika has decided to secede and join Sweden."

Angela 11/04/2004.03:57:37
"Oh, and Evans - Clinton was elected with the popular vote. He had a plurality, i.e. he had the most votes. He did not have a majority, i.e. over 50%. But he had the most votes, so he won the popular vote (and the electoral college vote, obviously.) It is not at all uncommon for someone to win the presidency without a majority, given the usual presence of third parties. In 2000, Bush had neither a plurality or a majority. He had less of the total votes than gore, so he lost the popular vote. But, he won the electoral college vote. This is a fair and totally possible outcome given our system. Now, in 2004, Bush has both a plurality and a majority. He also won the electoral college. An interesting thought experiment. A candidate in our current electoral system, given a two-candidate race, can win with only 25.01% of the vote, while the other candidate gains 74.09%."

Frances 11/04/2004.06:46:51
"I have a question for the Paris II students. Is there much political involvment/interest by university students in France about your own country? What is the minimum age for voting? Do younger people (under 25?) tend to vote?"

Lauren 11/04/2004.10:37:42
"I agree with angela. I am too depressed to do much of anything. I fear my country isn't what I thought it was. I went to Faneuil Hall to see Kerry's concession speach as I didn't quite believe it. Kerry flashed a big thumbs up but it was so sad. I cried. I'm thinking about going out and getting an abortion and married to a girl today while I still can, but as I am neither pregnant nor gay I guess I'll settle for the subversive act of going to french class. although maybe we'll invade france next....see this editorial"

Brian 11/04/2004.11:38:03
"Well I think it's important to look at the map that Alejandro posted. There's a better one on page A33 of today's Boston Globe, but I guess our French comrades can't see that. You can really see how many of the big cities in the US (San Antonio, LA, San Fran, Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, New York, DC, Baltimore, Miami, Boston, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Philly, Memphis, Chicago) voted democrat. This produces a very large number of voters. In fact, in only winning 18 states and DC, he amassed 55.5 million votes. Bush won 31 states (IA still not counted) and he got 59 million votes. A similar situation happened in 2000, and we had a very similar map. So looking at it, you can see that well over 75% of the geographic area of the US votes Republican. Obviously in certain areas of the country Republican values mean more - maybe it's taxes since many of these people are poor. It's obviously moral values since many of these people are very religious. I think what's important about this map is to see that basically the same thing happened 4 years ago. The popular vote may not have been won, but the elctoral college prevailed and it prevented rich big-city dwellers from inappropriately effecting the election. I think that it's going a little too far to say that you want to go get an abortion and a gay marriage while you still have time, Lauren. Most societies in the world allow neither of those things. The right to an abortion has been upheld by the constitution, but marriage laws are controlled by the individual states. If Utah passes an anti-gay marriage law, big deal. The state is filled with Mormons. I don't see that as affecting too many people - but the fact is that this country is still a democracy. Focus here: If the majority of people don't want gay marriage, then it SHOULD be illegal. That's how democracy works. And John Kerry wouldn't have been able to do anything about it - it's a state right and certain states allow it, certain states don't. Sure it's weird, but once again, that's how the system works. As for Angela's comment, I don't want our French friends to actually think that's true. There is zero liklihood of that happening. In fact, Angela, someone can win the election without anyone voting for them - If Bush dies, for example, or if the government is overthrown. I'd say the latter has about the same probability of occuring as your 25.01% situation. Lastly, I'd like to point out that the President does have a verifiable mandate. It's not "in comparison" as someone pointed out last time. Percentage points mean very little, when we look at the history of American elections. Bush is the first person since his father to win over 50% of the vote. As mentioned, no matter how popular Clinton was he could still not do that. Also, Bush got more votes than any other candidate in the history of the United States. Sure that's a product of higher population and such, but interpret it as you will. Not to mention the fact that not only did Republicans maintain an equal number of seats in Congress, but gained considerably. Times they are a changin' - hang in there guys, we're all still Americans. And who knows, maybe Hillary can take it all in 2008."

Alejandro 11/04/2004.19:57:28
"I wanted to comment on something I kind of mentioned in class today. Do the republicans in this forum truly think Bush represents moral values? The Bush I know would kill a billion babies for oil. Hey, innocent Iraqis and American soldiers are dying as we stand in front of this computer monitor, and all for nothing! I feel that Bush faked (and pretty bad) him being deeply religious and his ideas about gay marriage, etc. Well, maybe not necesarily on gay marriage (he is Texan after all) but I thought he said everything the swing voters wanted to hear. Bush senior was never a fundamentalist christian, he was a pretty regular guy (regular to my standars) and if W didn't get so into religion from his family, I find it less believable that the ideas he sold America were sincere. On a related topic, an interesting article from the Boston Globe talks about how Bush and Cheney talked about those "Massachusetts liberals" like we were highly immoral and out to destroy the values of America, while in reality Massachusetts has the lowest divorce rate in the country, and the states that voted for Bush, the so-called "Bible Belt," they constitute the states with the highest divorce rate. I think divorce is as bad as marriage can go, and isn't marriage "sacred" to Bush and his followers? At least that's what Bush said when he opposed gay marriage. This is just something to think about. I see a little hypocrisy, but I'm sure democrats are hypocrits in some other way too, so I'd rather not go that way. Finally, I have been hearing rumors about the 08 elections. Hillary Clinton? Rudolf Giuliani? Senator McCain? I don't know too much about them, but it seems that the race will be centered on the left now... interesting, specially following the conservative revolution, hehe."

Brian 11/04/2004.23:00:25
"Giuliani and McCain are republicans."

Frances 11/05/2004.05:32:39
""if W didn't get so into religion from his family, I find it less believable that the ideas he sold America were sincere" In response to Alejandro's comment, I think that this is unfair to say. There are MANY people that practice religions devoutly in which they were not raised, and in some cases, practice religions to which their families are strongly opposed. I don't think that this in any way invalidates or lessens the strength of their commitments to their religions. I am not saying that this is/isn't the case with Bush, just that the comment is not really two things that can be put together. (On a fait l'amalgame, peut-être?)"

Marie-Sophie 11/05/2004.05:34:53
"pour ma part, je ne suis pas surprise de la re-election de Bush... je m'en doutais, malgré tout ce que nos medias français pouvaient nous montrer à propos des pronostics ou autre, il me semblait bien que Kerry ne passerait pas, peut -etre parceque je pense que les Americains avaient envie de voir la "mission" de Bush terminée, il lui fallait plus de temps pour pouvoir apprécier les résultats de ses investigations. Pour le reste de la France, j'ai eu l'impression que toutes les personnes contre Bush ont "retourné leur veste" une fois les résultats connus...Je suppose que tout cela est du politiquement correct..."

Andres 11/05/2004.08:50:03
"Although I was not really surprised by the results, I am somehow disappointed, on Tuesday I had some hope... There's no complaining now, Bush won rightfully, and I think Kerry's concession was for the best, he's right to say that challenging the results in Ohio would have polarized the country more deeply. On a side note, two remarks: one, I find it funny that in Washington DC (where the White House is!) Bush got less than 10% -- it seems he isn't the most popular neighbor. Secondly, and although I am afraid I don't have a link to refer to, at this point, I saw somewhere the correlation between states who voted for Bush and states with low average IQ is strikingly strong. When I find the source I'll post the address."

pierre 11/05/2004.11:31:26
"Malgré le Fahreinheit 911 et les grandes manifestations contre les politique de Bush qui ont eu lieu a l'Amerique et dans tout monde on a vu que Mr BUSH a gardé une tres grande popularité ,enfin c'est le peuple americain qui a decidé ,mais ce que je trouve tres drole que cette election etait plus facile pour BUSH en comparaison par l'election qui a eu lieu avant et on a vecu une grande concurrence entre BUSH et ELGOR . mais ce j'aime bien savoir si la politique de Bush a le pouvoir de financier les grandes depenses des guerres qui vont avoir lieu apres l'Irak comme l'iran ,la Syrie :est il logique de rentrer une guerre avec des grands budgets sans une identification de terrorisme au lieu de s'occuper de la politique interne et de repondre aux besoins du peuple ?"

Alejandro 11/05/2004.15:43:56
"I know Giuliani and McCain are republican. But everybody (in America I should say) knows that McCain could well be a democrat (and he doesn't like Bush either), and I'm not sure about Giuliani, but he seemed like a nice guy, and he handled 9/11 very well when he was in NY. I don't feel entirely like a democrat, I liked Kerry better than Bush, but I wouldn't mind if either Giuliani or McCain were my president. But this statement could change in 4 years depending on what surfaces. As I said, I don't know them that well."

Edgar 11/07/2004.04:47:47
"Hello people. So, yes, I am dissapointed too, and I can't quite put my head on a sensible reason for these people to vote for Bush. Anyway, I am pretty familiar with the American reaction to the elections. I wanted to know what the French (and the rest of the European's) reactions were to the election. So from this website: This website has 5 comments by renown French politicians regarding the results of the election. The first comes from Chirac himself, and he sounds rather neutral with his comments. He just says that "...we must continue to develop our cooperation, our common combat against terrorism and the actions that we do together to promote liberty and democracy." To the French students: is this how Chirac REALLY feels about the results of the election? I thought I read somewhere (in the "Daily Mirror", an online British journal) that he doesn't like Bush too much. Yet again, I don't know how accurate some of these journals are. The rest of them are by several politicians, and they don't sound as happy about the results. These guys are unhappy. The two notorious ones are by Francois Bayrou and Jean-Cristophe Lagarde, both of them members of the UDF. They seem very unhappy with the election results, and want Europe (they didn't say France, but Europe) to grow stronger and have more of a say in world affairs. To the French students: what kind of a political party is this "UDF"? I take it that they're somewhat lefty, given their name ("Union pour la democracie francaise")."

Edgar 11/07/2004.04:51:14
"The second article comes from the website: Basically, every Western European country except for Italy is either angry or somehow has negative feelings about the results of the elections. To the French students: do you guys think that this is a sign that the European union is going to take an even stronger role in foreign politics, now that they don't agree with Bush?"

Xiaojie 11/07/2004.19:40:02
"Something along the lines of Edgar's question. There's an article talking about how Bush and Chirac are simlar, calling them "deux Texans." Basically, it says that the two leaders have very similar mannerisms, and Chirac is very friendly with Bush- he congratulated Bush on his 2000 victory before the elections were over, was the first foreign head of state to visit the white house, ect. Only, Chirac's policies are very different from Bush's. They article states they differ on their stance on the death pealty and the war on Iraq, for instance. The question posed at the end then is, is Chirac really a friend of Bush's or is he just nice to Bush on the surface because he doesn't want to anger the United States?"

Brian 11/07/2004.19:51:51
"I was reading Liberation ( - and I saw an article on the deterioration of Arafat's physical condition. What do you guys think about this over there? I guess I'm putting this in the election section because there's going to have to be an election when Arafat doesn't come-to. I know there's a certain degree of anti-semitism present in France, and that there are also anti-Arab sentiments. I don't know the proportion of them (over here I think we tend to lead generally in one direction over the other) but what does this mean for French people? Do you care too much about the situation in Gaza? Also, how does it feel to have to deal with treating him in a French hospital? I know a bunch of people in the United States would probably be upset if he were being treated over here. Just wondering..."

Megan 11/07/2004.21:41:55
"Although it's not directly related to the elections, I was surprised to discover that a quarter of the elecorate in the US was composed of evangelical christians, and I was wondering that, although France is a predominatly Catholic country, is this movement spreading at all in Europe?"

Jorge 11/07/2004.23:47:28
"I was reading the following article and found it interesting that they mentioned that if Kerry had been reelected, it would have been much more difficult to decide whether or not Europe would help the U.S. in the "war on terror." This makes me think Europe might dislike Bush as a person, since if there existed a different person impeling the war, they might support that person more:"

Angela 11/08/2004.02:22:39
"Going to respond to Brian's comments of a few days ago because they definitely warrant rebuttal. Brian, I'm sorry, but you should back up your arguments with facts. I will do so with mine below. "Electoral college prevents rich big city dwellers from inappropriately influencing the election." There are so, so many things wrong with this statement that I don't even know where to begin. Yes, 75% of the map is red, but that means nothing in the context of population! If two city dwellers inhabit half an acre between the two of them, and two country dwellers inhabit 100 acres between the two of them, should we just draw a map and decide based on land area? give me a break! The electoral college inappropriately weights one country vote more than one city vote in some cases - plain and simple, because of the proportion of total rural-biased states to total urban-biased states. Should amount of land inhabited (or owned) change how much your vote is weighted? Besides, you have completely ignored that the electoral college only weights one person's vote more than another on a state-to- state basis, not on an urban-rural basis. An urban californian's vote is worth exactly as much as a rural californian's vote. It is worth less than both an urban north dakotan's vote and a rural north dakotan's vote. Second, where in the world do you get "rich city dwellers from?" Most inner-city voters are poor, and many of them black. Many of them have a desparate need for the government services that semi-rural suburbanites would like to deny them. Look at DC, where Kerry won with 90% of the vote - DC area itself is full of the homeless and poor. The actual facts are that each party has a poor and a rich base. However, Kerry is supported much more by the poor on aggregate. I would refer everyone to the exit poll: There you will see that as income increases, support for Bush increases unequivocally (minus a tiny amount of variation in the middle class) For the poorest income bracket, 36% voted for Bush and 63% voted for Kerry. For the richest income bracket, 63% voted for Bush and 35% voted for Kerry. This result holds when you just divide the population by people below and above 50,000 in income. There is a continuum between the two extremes. Furthermore, if you scroll to the bottom, you see that Bush has support among the suburban and rural population, while Kerry the urban. This is what we are seeing on the map. So, in essence, you are completely wrong - it is the rich (largely suburban) population that is supporting Bush, alongside the poorer rural population (I am from rural North Carolina, just in case I'm to be branded as a "rich city dweller" who doesn't know the country). The urban population contains Kerry supporters, and they are largely poor, although you get some "rich city dwellers" as well. Your characterization is so inaccurate as to be laughable - the picture is much more complicated than "rich city dwellers vs. poor rural religious folk." Both parties have rich and poor supporters, but the Republicans have the larger share of rich supporters and the Democrats have more poor supporters. Brian, when you say "most societies in the world would allow neither a gay marriage or an abortion," I'm assuming you're including such countries as Iran and Liberia. Because when you compare Western democracies, i.e. compare apples to apples, 71% of countries in the developed world allow abortions under any circumstances, and all of them allow them under somewhat restricted circumstances or under no restrictions at all. see: (this is published 1999 and the best I can find for stats) Even when you include the developing world, 41% percent allow abortion in any circumstance, and only 25% have the most restrictive abortion laws. So, contrary to your statement, Lauren could go almost anywhere in the developed world and have an abortion. As to gay marriage, you say that it is a state-by-state matter. What you ignore is that this is the platform of John Kerry, not President Bush. The republican party and president bush want to pass a NATIONAL gay marriage amendment which would make it illegal in EVERY state, not just Utah. They would like to say to those activist mass. judges that they can shove their opinions... this is a national matter that republicans would like to force on every state. Now, focus here. Because this is the most important point I'm going to make. This country is a democracy, but it is a limited democracy. By your argument, if 51% of the country got lazy and decided that they'd like to enslave 49% of the country to do all the work, they could and would have the right to, as this is a democracy. That would be unrestricted democracy. Yes, this is of course an extreme example, but it demonstrates my point. Democracy always needs limitations where the opinions of the majority come into conflict with the rights of the minority. This is a no-brainer. The hard questions are to decide how to limit the rights of the majority in favor of the rights of the minority, and this is by no means easy. This is why the question of gay marriage is hard - some see it as a quesion of minority rights, while others see it as not a matter of rights but of social policy, the purvey of the majority. This is a difficult question and simply writing it off as "well, 51% of the country says that gay people should be not allowed to marry, so they shouldn't" is totally ignoring the fundamental conflict between individual rights and the opinions of the majority. I'm no libertarian - I think that there is a limit to broad fundamental individual rights, but once again, we do NOT live in unfettered democracy, we live in a LIMIITED democracy. The debate over gay m"

Angela 11/08/2004.02:26:04
"You know your message is too long when its truncated.... apologies to all. Some of this is pretty important stuff. The debate over gay marriage is not just one where the majority should just weigh in on their opinion - there are obvious implications for individual rights. Speaking of majority opinion, however, 60% of the country supports gay marriage or civil unions (see exit poll above) Now, in response to your clever rebuttal of my comment, I'd like to say that, of course, I was not suggesting that it would be likely that a candidate would win with 25% of the vote while the other had 75%. This was a thought experiment, and I labeled it as such. It was made to demonstrate that whenever you have a system with districts and within each district you have a majoritarian system, you can have some funny outcomes. While this isn't a hugely strong effect nationally, you do see manipulations of the system with redistricting in favor of one party or another. It has resulted in the gross under- representation of the democratic party in our new administration. Assume for the moment that 48% of the country is democratic and 51% is republican. We should have that kind of balance of power. Instead, in a three-tiered government, we have one branch 100% republican (presidential), one-half of a branch 55% republican (legislative-senate), and one-half branch 53% republican (legislative-house). Ignoring the supreme court (judicial), which will likely become more republican very shortly, and weighting it 50% (a very generous weight considering the near future) you get a figure of 68% when averaging all these numbers (counting each branch as one and averaging the house and senate). No matter how you feel this represents how things actually are, the central point is that 48% of the country is being vastly under-represented by our system of government, and we have (if we're lucky) about 30% of the say. That isn't the democracy I think most people think of. Finally, the reason Bush won over 50% of the vote is not because he's so great or so much better than in the past, but because of the very noticeable lack of a third party due to such a polarized electorate. In 1992, Clinton won 43/37 to Bush, because of a sizeable third party candidate, ross perot with 19% of the vote. In 1996, Clinton won 49 to 41% of the vote. These margins are much larger than this election, and Bush only won over 50% because there wasn't a third party which was drawing votes away from the primary candidates. The fact that this election was 51/48 means simply that very few people cast protest votes or votes for third parties- the electorate is extremely divided. Gives Bush less of a mandate, not more. Of course, saying George Bush has more votes than any candidate ever is ludicrous given population and voter registration growth, and you acknowledge that. And yes, republicans did gain in the house and senate, but that is a product of exactly the same messed up system i described above, and is particularly pronounced with the house, because of gerrymandering. only a very small number of house seats are even contestested anymore. the fact remains that currently, political power rests with the republican party in a much larger proportion than it should, given america's actual preferences. Our majoritarian system magnifies a small majority into a large one. It is thus inherently unfair. I really dont mean to be rude, but you should really check the facts behind what you're saying. Of course, some of our disagreements are opinion-based, but a lot of the things you said just flat are not true."

Aparna 11/08/2004.08:08:49
"Now that Bush also has a larger majority in Congress, how do you think that will affect national policy and the checks and balances between Congress and the President?"

Marie 11/08/2004.08:23:22
"I was reading some headlines yesterday and was interested in the article on the Ivory Coast. It's very sad that 9 French soldiers were killed by Ivory Coast air forces. How long have French forces been in Ivory Coast? Also, how do the French people feel about French forces being in the country?"

William 11/08/2004.09:18:02
"I think the most interesting result of this election is that many of the people who, during the election, claimed to be open minded are now condemning voters who supported President Bush as stupid or uninformed. Isn't accepting that others have different views than you a part of being open minded? Disparaging people who disagree with you seems to violate that principle. I am a conservative (economic and social) who generally votes Republican, and I find no shortage of "open-minded" liberals in Massachusetts who are quite ready to attempt to shove their views down my throat. So, maybe we should all be more interested in finding logical arguments for support of one candidate vs. another, and stop accusing people who disagree with us of being less intelligent. Incidentally, in this election I voted for Kerry for various, individually important reasons."

Brian 11/08/2004.12:42:19
"Suggestion: relax and have a cup of herbal free-trade tea before making arguments. They will make more sense. Yes, many urban dwellers are poor. Some are black. However, when indicating where the majority of the country's wealth resides, it is in cities. This is true in all societies. Cities are more expensive. You need money to live there. They also require a disproportionate number of unskilled jobs due to the high number of toilets to be cleaned, etc. This creates impoverished areas. But these "rich city dwellers" (who are just that) do not understand life outside of cities. Religion is practiced less in cities, family values take second place due to high stress jobs. (And there is such a thing as urban North Dakota?) Yes, their votes should count less. That's the idea of the constitution and the initial framing of the Congress. Why? Not because this is unfair and facist, but because there's no way that New York City's 20 million people have any idea whatsoever what is important to the rural parts of the country. So what you said about 51% enslaving the 49% of the country, while completely heinous and not taking into account how laws can be constitutionally challenged (which by the way is why the national gay marriage ban will most likely never happen, and why slavery was um.. abolished...) would actually more likely happen from democrats in cities, since we can see from the map that cities voted democrat, and even though there are way more rural areas, the number of votes is surprisingly close! Yay for the electoral college! Cause otherwise farmers in Idaho would get screwed over because the democratic party doesn't think it's necessary to provide economic incentives to american business like NAFTA. Or to have guns to kill bears and stuff. Of couse poor people vote democrat. If you understood my point you'd know I was referring to those who have money in cities. See, that's what I meant by rich city dwellers. I know it's tough, but let's continue. When i said most countries in the world, I meant _most_ countries in the _world_. Sorry if that wasn't clear. My point there was not to say that we're on par with the rest of western society, but was to say that we're not overly downtrodden with rights, globally. It is unconstitutional to ban abortion. So there is no law that can forbid it. See? Neat! And i like how you conveniently skipped over gay marriage. Cause we're just way behind on that one, since practically everyone in the world is cool with that. (indicate sarcasm for future response accuracy) also you can't combine civil union with gay marriage, because supporters of gay marriage don't like civil unions. They think they're unequal too. Or should I quote some kind of newspaper clipping here. The argument over the percentage numbers you posted is incredibly inept. You're averaging 100% executive and 53% congress/court to get sixty something republican. That's just freaking brilliant. Cause then no matter who was president we'd just get amazingly unjust levels of representation, right? Maybe we just shouldn't have a president then, would that be fair? Lastly, your final ridiculous argument was that 3rd parties ruin it for the democrats. Your clinton argument doesn't make any sense because Perot was a conservative and thus Clinton should have received a bazillion votes. And since you're a green party voter anyway, aren't you happy with third parties? Or maybe democrats should just have 100% representation - that would be a much better democracy. I'm not saying one thing is better than another. (See Will's post above) But this is the system, and the system works. I'm sorry that in 2004 there are more republicans. But guess what - it will change. That's how things work. So don't get angry at me, and don't get angry at yourself for not making sense. Just take it how it is - it's democracy. It's not unfair, it's not unjust, it's just America. If it doesn't sit well with you, I'm sure the French government would be happy to take you! But in the meantime, we're more than happy to have you - and we welcome dissenters. So long as the arguments don't go into "limited democracy" crap. 4 years ago there were democrats, and you didn't see me saying my vote was limited because there are so many damn hippies in california. Afterall, I'd be a hippy too if we had beaches like that. Damn."

Marie 11/08/2004.15:24:25
"I am interested in how big a problem alcoholism is in France. I read an article on a new campaign to promote "zero tolerance for alcohol during pregnancy." Do you think most mothers in France take heed to this warning? Also, are some of your peers what you would consider alcoholics? Do you think the younger drinking age contributes to problems of alcoholism?"

Henri 11/09/2004.07:26:40
"Esther Yu, je suis d'accord avec toi, je suis également pour l'avortement. Le droit à l'avortement doit être normal partout dans le monde. La femme a le droit de décider si oui ou non elle veut garder l'enfant. Car les conséquences d'une grossesse non désiré peuvent être catastrophique. En effet, il ne serait pas très drôle de porter l'enfant de son agresseur sexuel par exemple...Donc oui à l'avortement. Concernant les mariages homosexuels, c'est partagé en France. Noël Mamère, un homme politique français du parti des Verts (écologie) a par exemple prononcé un mariage dans sa mairie mais risque des sanctions pour cela. Personnellement je n'ai rien contre les homosexuels, ce sont des gens très gentils qui font partie de la société et qu'il faut les accepter. La question des homosexuels est donc une question devenue politique au fur et à mesure, et ils sont de plus en plus présents dans la société française (tous les samedis à 19 heures sur TF1 il y a les Queers et Pink TV chaîne gay). Voilà mes réponses Ester Yu. Cordialement, HT"

Audrey 11/09/2004.07:32:18
"En réponse à Marie Y Thibault: (réponse de Audrey Nicod et Pascal Héritier) Il y a actuellement des campagnes de prévention contre l'alcool au volant et au quotidien. Il n'existe toujours pas de tolérence zéro. Il ne faut pas dépasser 0,5g/litre de sang lorsque l'on conduit. Pour les jeunes, il est conseillé de ne pas boire lorsque l'on conduit ("Celui qui conduit c'est celui qui ne boit pas" , celui qui conduit est aussi appellé "un Bob"). Des campagnes de préventions communiquent sur les dangers liés à une consommation excessive d'alcool (probleme de foie...). C'est aux parents de faire prendre conscience à leurs enfants lors de l'éducation des dangers liés à l'alcool. Les Américains que nous avons rencontré à Paris nous ont paru bien contents d'etre en France, car aux EU ils n'ont pas la majorité pour boire alors qu'en France cela leur est possible."

a 11/09/2004.07:43:44
"En réponse à Lauren Gayle Kroiz. Je te comprends, surtout que cela se jouait à très peu de points entre Bush et Kerry. Il faut se dire que les prochaines élections sont seulement dans 4 ans. Encore 4 ans à supporter les républicains. Bush ne vit pas avec son temps, je comprends ta déception. Il ne faut pas être triste pour autant."

S 11/09/2004.07:46:57
"En réponse à Evans, je suis d'accord avec toi. On n'a pas beaucoup parlé de l'importance de la nouvelle nomination des juges de la Cour suprême. Il seront sans doute républicains. En ce qui concerne la carte des Etats-Unis, si on dit que Bush a gagné d'une courte tête, c'ets totalement faux. Il a eu beaucoup plus d'Etat et il a quand même réussi à gagner sans la Californie. Il est vrai que le discours de Bush a séduit notamment les valeurs morales qu'il défend. L'Amérique a jugé qu'il était tout à fait crédible. Kerry a attiré les votes de la gauche caviar. Bush a su rassembler les votes populaires. Par ailleurs j'ai noté que les latinos américains ont plus voté Bush que Kerry, les valeurs chrétiennes ont sans doute enthousiasmé cette classe! Je pense que la différence s'est faite dans le discours et dans la décontraction affichée par Bush au contact du peuple."

Pablo 11/09/2004.07:47:32
"En reponse tardive à Xiaojie Hu, à propos de tes questions date du 2 nov. "do you think the French are not also manipulated by their media?" Pour repondre à tes questions je me suis reinsginé auprès de mes collegues françaises. Je suis argentin et durant l'année 2002, peut-être comme vous, j'ai été surpris lors de les derniers elections presidentielles en France en 2002 avec le tremblement de terre du 21 avril de 2002. En cet époque les médias ont joue un rôle fondamental en mettent en avant la violence ce qui à favorisé les vote à l'extreme droit. Vous vous avez FOX NEWS, en France ils ont TF1, la prémier chîne du pays. "How French elections are run differently, such that the citizens really get to know their candidates?." A propos cette question, je pense que la majeur partie de citoyens ne connaissent pas bien les programmes electoraux. La France ne pas la seule,car en Argentine aussi les citoyens ignorent la plupart du temps pourquoi ou pour qui ils votent."

Vincent 11/09/2004.07:54:20
"Pour répondre à Jorge L Alvarado... L'Europe a principalement soutenu Kerry pendant les élections. Maintenant que Bush est réélu, la plupart des chefs d'Etats Européens ont félicité Bush après sa victoire, à l'image de Chirac. Cependant, les européens vont avoir plus de mal à se faire entendre sur le problème de la guerre en Irak. Par ailleurs, je pense que, parfois, les pays développés ont tendance à vouloir imposer leur vision. En effet, les US sont en IRAK principalement pour des intérêts personnels, mais la France ne fait-elle pas de même en côte d'Ivoire... Je pense aussi que les US se sont embourbés dans une guerre sans fin. En effet, quoiqu'il arrive les US n'auront jamais gagné completement cette guerre. Comment un Etat peut-il être légitime lorsqu'il est mis en place par une puissance étrangère ? N'est-ce pas là une forme de colonisation par personne interposée ?"

pierrehokayem 11/09/2004.07:58:42
"réponse à EDGAR j Terrero j'ai lu l'article ecrit par «Daily Mirror» qui publie une image de Bush en une, titre à l'adresse des gens qui ont voté pour lui: «Comment 59.017.382 personnes peuvent-elles être aussi bêtes?» ce que je pense que le peuple américain ne s'intéressait pas à la politique avant ,mais après le 11 septembre et avec la politique de BUsh tout est changé , je pense que Bush a bien pris le role d'un sauveur pour l'amérique ,il a impressionné les medias et le peuple à travers la grande crainte qu'il a crée dans leurs pensées , à mon avis Bush est reelu car le peuple américain a une grande crainte de l'avenir et de ce qui leur attend , BUsh avec sa manipulation pour les américains a pu reussir d'etre president. j'ai constatu que les allemands sont inquiets,les espagnols sont resignés,les belges sont pessimistes ,tout ca ne m'étonne pas , je pense que les relations americaines européennes vont pas avancer beaucoup , pour les européens Bush n'est pas le president idéal de l'Amerique pour le monde vu le reculement economique partout et le recul de dollars et les hausses prix du pétrole et les mauvaises relations entre l'Israel et Palestine et la Guerre en Irak etc....."

Adil 11/09/2004.08:09:10
"Où est Brian J Mullins? J'aimerai lui répondre sur Arafat et parler d'Israel. Je vais pas te mentir, je suis plutôt pro-arabe. Bien sur, Arafat est mort même si on le garde dans artificiellement en vie. Dans l'Islam, on doit enterrer le musulman le jour même ou le lendemain de sa mort. Or, si on annonçait la mort de Y-Arafat, où va t'il être enterré? A JéruSalem, a Gaza, a Naplouse ? Le problème est important car Arafat a toujours dit qu'il voulait être enterré à Jérusalem. Les israeliens ne veulent pas. Je trouve leur réaction injuste car Arafat vivait en Palestine avant même la création d'Israel, pourquoi n'aurait il pas le droit d'être enterré où il veut? J'aimerai que vous compreniez vraiment la situation en Palestine. Aujourd'hui, il y a un Etat reconnu par tout le monde et un peuple sans pays reconnu. Il y a des millions (et oui des millions!) de palestiniens qui vivent dans des camps en Jordanie et en Syrie. Gaza est un immense camps de concentration où les habitants sont surveillés par des miradors. Le territoire de Cisjordanie est de plus en plus petit et un mur est entrain d'encercler le territoire. Les palestiniens ne sont aidés par personne: les pays arabes s'en moquent, l'europe est trop timide et votre pays, les Etats-Unis aident Israel. Je trouve triste de voir un homme qui s'est battu toute sa vie pour l'indépendance de son pays et qui est mort exilé, à la fin. Sharon a réussi son coups! Son plus grand ennemi est mort sans voir vu son pays libéré. Mais, le monde vient de perdre le dernier dirigeant arabe qui pouvait contrôler la rue arabe. En Palestine, il va y avoir un chao car personne ne va pouvoir maitriser les groupes extremistes comme le Jihad Islamique ou le Hamas, la guerre vient de commencer. Oh, une dernière chose! Pour la femme d'Arafat, c'est une peste! Elle refuse que les dirigeants palestiniens voient son mari car ils sont venus à Paris pour récupérer les dizaines de millions de dollar qui appartient à l'Autorité Palestinienne. Elle souhaite partir l'argent car elle s'est toujours moqué du sort de son peuple, elle préferait faire du shopping dans les grands magasins parisiens pendant que son mari était enfermé en Cisjordanie. Finalement qui était Arafat ? Un ami du général de Gaulle qui avait dans la main droite un olivier et dans la main gauche un pistolet. J'aimerai un jour qu'on me dise pourquoi le monde et en particulier les Etats-Unis qui voient l'injustice régner dans cette région n'interviennent pas. L'ONU a crée contre l'avis des Palestiniens, l'Etat d'Israel, qu'il prenne aujourd'hui leur responsabilité."

Marie-Sophie 11/09/2004.08:12:07
"En réponse à ChaLing C O'Connell, je me demande ce que signifie pour toi les valeurs du parti Républicain. Comment peux tu voter pour une personne en qui tu ne crois pas, mais qui représente "juste" un parti?... D'autre part, un article du Figaro du 29/10/04 a annoncé les origines (lointaines) françaises du Bush... Cette information est parue dans le livre : "Histoire de l'Amérique française" de Gilles Havard et Cécile Vidal. Ils ont listé des patronymes d'émigrants français qui furent américanisés. Ainsi Bush, ne viendrait pas de "buisson" mais du nom : Boucher... Et oui, son ancêtre était gaulois, c'est pour cela que les biographes ne remontent jamais sa généalogie au delà de 1850. Peut-etre est ce à cette époque que le Boucher de l'ancien monde devint le Bush du nouveau?... Etant donné que ces origines françaises ont porté du tort au candidat Kerry (son état-major a déployé des ruses pour qu'il n'apparaissent pas pres de produits français, pour éviter les journalistes français, etc...), pensez vous que les américains étaient au courant pour Bush et qu'en pensez vous réellement? Est-ce vraiment une tare d'avoir des origines française à vos yeux?"

Lorrain 11/09/2004.08:12:36
"En réponse à Brian (106), je souhaite répondre sur quelques points : Votre système est très différent du notre : des lois aux niveaux des états et des amendements au niveau national. L'avantage que vous avez sur nous est qu'un amendement ne passe que si celle-ci fait vraiment l'unanimité au 2/3 ! Celà me semble très important d'avoir une majorité : en France nous avons des lois qui passent toutes seules sans aucune approbation ! Seulement une question : depuis quand date le dernier amendement ? Quand est-il de l'égalité des droits que nous avons ? Je trouve certaines choses interessantes dans votre système mais vous n'avez pas beaucoup de souplesse au niveau des amendements !!! Pat"

Adil 11/09/2004.08:20:23
"J'aimerai juste répondre à tout ceux quoi parle de l'élection américaine. Faut arrêter d'être hypocrite. Bien sûr que l'Europe (France , Allemagne en particulier) était rassuré de savoir que Bush avait gagné! Si Kerry avait gagné, l'Allemagne aurait été obligé de s'engager en Irak, il y aurait eu des tensions entre la France et l'Allemagne. L'implication de ces pays aurait eu des consequences sur les réactions des citoyens européens. Excusez-moi du mot: mais cela aurait été la merde! Avec Bush tout est plus! Il est pour la guerre et il veut faire la guerre seul, il n'aime pas la France, la France ne l'aime pas. En Europe, France et Allemagne font bloque ensemble. Tout est bien. D'un point de vue économique, Kerry était pire que Bush pour l'Europe car trop protectionniste. Bush est sans doute le pire président américain qu'on est vu (après Ford) et ce qui affaibli les Etats-Unis ravient les européens."

Pablo 11/09/2004.08:28:46
"Bonjour à tous, Hello everybody, Hola como estan todos, Pour ce que j'ai pu lire, pas toutes les messages encore,ma question est comme peut-on avoir choisi un president que pour ces valeurs? Je pense qu'un president est fait pour tout le peuple. Et qu'il doit diriger un pays respectant les diversités existantes. Je pense aussi que l'intérêt nationale doit être plus fort que l'intérêt individuale."

marie 11/09/2004.08:32:07
"En réponse à Brian datant du 7 nov, pour 43 % des Français, Yasser Arafat représente le héros d'une résistance nationale, alors que 27 % le voient plutôt comme le chef d'un mouvement terroriste et 10 % des Français pensent qu'il est à la fois l'un et l'autre. (d'apres une enquète de libération). Le fait que la france accueille yasser arafat dans un hopital militaire démontre que la france est plutot accueillante peut etre un peu trop pour un montre son soutien à un homme, qui en septembre 1993, a reçu le prix Nobel pour avoir préparé la voie à la signature d’un accord de paix avec Israël. c'est contradictoire un dictateur qui recoit le prix nobel de la paix??? Je crois que yasser arafat a la 6eme plus grosse fortune du monde alors que son pays est dans une extreme pauvreté. peut on parler d'un pouvoir corrompu???"

Quentin 11/09/2004.08:39:45
"Yasser Arafat qui lutte contre la mort dans un hôpital militaire parisien est considéré comme "un héros d'une résistance nationale" par 43% des Français tandis que 27% le qualifient de "chef d'un mouvement terroriste", Un sondé sur dix estime qu'il est les deux et 9% jugent qu'il n'est ni l'un ni l'autre. Les sympathisants de gauche sont plus nombreux à trouver qu'il est un résistant (52% contre 21% qui le qualifient de chef de mouvement terroriste) que ceux de droite (41% contre 33%). Seul un Français sur dix (12%) juge que le président de l'Autorité palestinienne porte la responsabilité principale dans la violence au Proche-Orient, une proportion en baisse par rapport à un sondage précédent d'avril 2002 (20%)."

Pablo 11/09/2004.09:01:14
"En reponse à Megan G Sherkow - 09:41pm Nov 7, 2004, je pense qu'il y a aussi une forte presence du catholicisme dans les representants politiques, mais ça n'a pas le même poids quand on compare ce que represent pour l'amérique."

Brian 11/10/2004.00:40:01
"Lorrain - You're right about the amendment process. But that also occurs elsewhere - in order to turn over a presidential veto we also need 2/3, and to pass any law there must be a majority. But the amendment process is actually more complicated than that. Aside from a 2/3 vote in the congress, 75% of the individual states must also ratify the amendment (which is why very conservative christians will most likely never possess the power to federally ban gay marriage or abortions.) For Adil and Marie - The issue of Palestine in the United States isn't as clear cut as the arab world sees, and I'm certianly not an expert. But let me give you a little insight into our thought process. We see Arafat more as a terrorist leader than a legitimate one, and Palestinian militants more as terrorists than an army. This is why the country is not recognized. Simply put, palestinian militia, whether endorsed by Arafat or not (although the American government tends to think they are) use methods like suicide bombers to make their point. This is unacceptable to us, and thus we refuse to aid a country that propogates these kind of attacks. When a school bus of Israeli children is blown up, we find it difficult to find a reason for that. And it isn't as if there is a missle strike that misses its target, or another accidental situation. Young palestinians are often outfitted with explosives and sent to kill civilians. If the Palestinians wish to wage war with Israel, and they want to be recognized as a legitimate government, their attacks must be directed at the Israeli military. Anything else is considered to be terrorism. Now granted, Israel hasn't been wonderful in the matter either, and I understand the condition of Gaza, but that most likely stems from there being a higher percentage of Jews in America. Predominately Arab countries likewise support Palestine. And yeah, he's very wealthy, which is scandalous. Especially because apparently French support money is just sitting in his bank account, which will be transferred to his wife if he dies. Frankly I'm not impressed with Arafat in general, and his bank accounts should be raided to help the people in Palestine. Not with weapons, but with food and education. he has something to the tune of several billion dollars, and it should be put to good use."

Evans 11/12/2004.02:01:13
"I heard in a class here that in some places in Europe it is legal for doctor's to prescribe placebos. I tried to look up a poll to confirm this, but all I got were a whole bunch of references to Placebo the band, which is apparently very popular. Given the recent Vioxx findings ("Le Monde" Article publié le 05 Novembre 2004 "L'affaire du Vioxx relance le débat sur les risques médicamenteux") I was wondering if: 1- the French students had any opinion on this medical usage of the placebo effect (or perhaps my professor and/or classmates were wrong in that other class) 2- do American students think that, if a doctor knows there is no medicine that is able to save you, he should be able to prescribe you a sugar pill nonetheless?"

Juan 11/12/2004.15:00:24
"My excuses to our French colleagues who don't seem interested in our lengthy political discussions, but I hate letting arguments that I disagree with stand uncontested. Plus this is actually teaching me a lot about American mentality. So this is mostly a response to Brian's posting (106) in response to Angela's (101) Quoting Brian "Yes, their votes should count less. That's the idea of the constitution and the initial framing of the Congress. " I really don't get this. I thought the idea was that everyone gets one vote. It seemed to me that how much one group understands the next or how big an area a group occupies in the map was not a part of it. As Angela said before, the idea was to preserve the independence of states as political entities, not protect the country-folk from the city-folk, no?. "...though there are way more rural areas..." again, why should area matter? "the democratic party doesn't think it's necessary to provide economic incentives to american business like NAFTA" I am confused again. I thought the FT in NAFTA meant free trade. A major hurdle in the negotiation of NAFTA is that South American countries don't like the governmental support of the agricultural sector in the USA, as they consider it protectionism. But democrats and republicans agree that they want to keep it, in spite of it going against the general idea of unfettered free trade, which seems high in the republican list of values. . "Or to have guns to kill bears and stuff." Are wild animal attacks a major concern in rural US? I'm really out of touch. " I was referring to those who have money in cities. See, that's what I meant by rich city dwellers." So when you say rich city dwellers you mean the people who live in cities, not the rich ones (as Angela showed the correlation between earnings and voting republican) but those who have any amount of money. Maybe the unskilled workers that clean toilets you mentioned before. But don’t worry, as you said they can't impose their will on the rural south dakotans, as their votes count less. It seems Angela understood fine when you said "most countries in the world". Your initial point was that Lauren was wrong, which was countered by Angela's argument. Remember, it's more productive to argue on a point by point basis than to attack your interlocutor in general. For example, your pint about lumping gay marriage and civil unions is certainly valid. The criticism of averaging over branches is valid, but even if you don't, the percentages don't match. Just averaging house and senate, you would get 54% republican. Angela had assumed 51% republican, and the breakdown by registration is more like 37% for republicans and democrats. Of course, the number of seats is small, so it could be explained by other factors. But where I disagree with both of you is in how much say the other groups have. Angela's estimate said 30%, I would say it is 0. Right now, the republicans can pass any law they want, up to constitutional limits, and then again, you can push that quite a bit with the current breakup of the superior court. And there's not a thing the democrats or independents can do about it. That is what strikes me as a funny feature of the current US system. On third parties, I don't think she was saying that third parties spoil it for the democrats, she was saying that the mandate is overstated. It was also pretty clear from her argument, since she did mention Perot, so it seems that you chose to distort her argument to make it seem nonsensical. You are again reading what she is not saying with respect to "limited democracy". You interpret it as a complain (" 4 years ago there were democrats, and you didn't see me saying my vote was limited because there are so many damn hippies in california."). What she is saying, (pretty clearly) is that it is a good thing that it is limited ("Democracy always needs limitations where the opinions of the majority come into conflict with the rights of the minority. This is a no-brainer.") as opposed to unfettered (the enslave example). You chose to read it as a crazy claim and a pointless complaint ("don't get angry at yourself for not making sense"). She was giving an extreme example to show the difference between what an unfettered democracy would go (what you seemed to be advocating) and how it is here. Perhaps you should calm down and drink some scotch while reading these postings and assume that your interlocutor is not dumb. (especially Angela, it seems arrogant to use "...anyone who understands fundamental American politics..." when you are arguing as a manager with someone who is a political sciences major.) "But this is the system, and the system works." "Just take it how it is - it's democracy. It's not unfair, it's not unjust, it's just America." Interesting as these comments might be as insights into your way of thinking, they don't add anything to a discussion. If you are saying that the system works better than any particular alternative, prove it. Democracy works in many different ways, including direct election. So saying that a particular instance of democracy is "how democracy is" is quite a stretch. Perhaps since what you are arguing for "is America" I must be an unpatriotic America-hater. I apologize if the tone of this posting is rather personal and sarcastic, but I hope it is taken in good spirit."

pierrehokayem 11/14/2004.16:26:31
"je voudrai juste vous faire savoir mon point de vue sur la mort du Arafat . a mon avis Arafat etait une grande obstacle pour l'Israel . c'est vrai que Arafat etait un grand Leader pour les palestiniens et il est mort sans avoir libérer son pays , et je pense que les isrealiens ont tués le Leader palestinien en lui empoisonnant car les medecins francais n'ont pas pu detécter sa maladie jusqu'à maintenant,le Mossat a travaillé d'une façon tres professionlle car on sait bien que Arafat a un support mondial et surtout Européen . mais ce que je voudrai savoir si Arafat durant les 40 années comme étant un president a vraiment travailler pour avoir la liberation de son pays ? à votre avis est ce que Arafat etait un homme propre et honnet envers son peuple et le peuple arabe ? comment vous expliquer l'invasion des troupes palestiniens en 1975 pour le Liban ? ce que je veux vous dire que les palestinies ont été manipulés par les politiques du Arafat , qui a massacré des milliers des innocents citoyens libanais pour l'envahir ; Arafat etait la cause de la guerre au Liban ( lebanon). pensez vous bien , pourquoi Arafat n'a pas reussi à faire la paix avec l'Israel durant presque 40 ans ? comment vous expliquer la grande fortune de Arafat ? vous ne pensez pas qu'il y avait des accords sous la table entre Arafat et Israel ? je sais bien que ce message va etre dur pour les uns mais ce que je viens de dire est une realité car moi je viens du Liban ( lebanon)et j'ai vecu la guerre la bas , la verité a savoir que tous les présidents arabes sans aucune exeption sont des traitres pour leurs pays et pour leur peuple . j'aime bien avoir vos commentaire à ce que je viens de dire ."

Adil 11/16/2004.07:40:34
"Brian J Mullins Je ne comprend pas ta réaction... Je pense que : 1 mort israélien = 1 mort palestinien. Tu trouve normal qu'on puisse tuer un palestinien avec un tank mais "inhumain" de tuer un israélien avec un kamikaze. C'est une réaction bizarre mon ami. Je te rappelle juste que les palestiniens sont chez eux et qu'ils n'ont pas de pays reconnu. Ce sont sans doute des terroristes mais des terroristes à qui on a volé leur terre. Please! arretes d'être naif! Israel a l'une des plus forte et moderne armée du monde, les palestiniens ont à peine de quoi mangé!!! Ils se battent comme ils peuvent et bien-sûr ils s'attaquent aux civils. C'est lâche peut-être... mais je te rappelle que pendant la seconde guerre mondiale, les résistants en Europe avaient les mêmes méthodes."

Brian 11/17/2004.16:09:41
"Adil - I agree with you that it doesn't make much sense. But you asked how America feels about the situation - and that's pretty much how the American government feels about it. From a military standpoint, it's difficult to support a country that uses as its primary offensive terrorist attacks. The United States, as well as many other nations, has a policy of not negotiating with terrorists. It is well known that Arafat has personally supported terrorist attacks against Israel, including the attack on Israel's Olympic atheletes. Even you must admit that's a little insane. Additonally, although the Israeli army may be more modern, Palentinians have no shortage of weapons. But regardless of the situation, we find no excuse for purposely killing children or civilians. While I am saddened by the plight of the Palestinians and while we do donate money to help those without food and medical care, the United States Government as a whole sees the death of Arafat as something that can only help the Palestinians. We all want peace - I guess we just go about it in different ways. Finally I just wanted to say that I don't believe you can say that 1 dead Palestinian = 1 dead Israeli. It goes deeper than that, Adil, and I think you know that. Yes, 1 dead Palestinian militia member = 1 dead Israeli soldier, but that's because these people are aware of the potential harm they will undergo. When a soldier dies, yes, it is sad, but that is what they were prepared for. That is what soldiers do - they kill, and they are killed. When a child or defenseless civilian dies, that means something else. If I were to shoot someone who poses no threat to me that's murder. If someone is pointing a gun at me and I kill them that's self-defense. Am I wrong?"

S 11/21/2004.10:37:37
"J'ai relevé 2-3 incohérences dans les discours de certains. Vincent l'Europe ne sotenait pas du tout Kerry : ça c'est ce qu'on t'a fait croire en France! L'Italie, la Russie, l'Espagne, l'Angleterre et beaucoup de pays de l'est soutenaient Bush! Ensuite, Adil j'ai pas du vien comprendre mais il ne me semble pas qe les résistants s'attaquaient aux civils, c'était aux soldats allemands qu'ils s'en prenaient. Ils ne suicidaient pas! es premiers kamikazes humains ont été les japonais..."