Friday, September 26, 2008
Scoring the debate: McCain 1, Obama 1, America 0
We didn't get what we wanted. Jim Lehrer did a creditable job, particularly in his repeated pestering of these two about how the bailout will affect their spending plans. Neither candidate seemed to have given this matter any consideration at all. This is such a crucial and obvious issue that I can't imagine either is fit to be President. McCain finally called for a spending freeze, which I'd love to see, but it sounded as though he suddently thought of it...it certainly took a lot of arm twisting on Lehrer's part to get it out of McCain. I wonder if we will hear anything more of it. Obama had no idea what to say. Neither candidate budged an inch on tax cuts, and neither had budget plans that were in touch with reality even before the financial disaster. The federal budget is like a ship with a gaping hole in the hull, and water rushing in. The two would-be captains arguing about how to decorate the ballroom. I found it painful and depressing to hear them repeatedly evade Lehrer.
I guess sometimes one guy sounded better than the other, and sometimes they both sounded bad. Obama seems to be much readier to make attacks in Pakistan than McCain; I'm sure that Pakistanis will be delighted to hear that. McCain seemed to confuse preparations with preconditions in negotiating. Kissinger supports negotiations with Iran, but the McCain-Palin team seems to be having difficulty figuring this out despite repeated encounters with the question.
I could go on, but why bother. Both were shallow, and I didn't learn anything listening to them. It's very unfortunate, because America needs something much better than what it is going to get.
I suppose that this is why many Americans don't even bother to vote. To vote for one is the same as voting for a goose egg.
What is your opinion on Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)?
IMO, I believe this is the only way that the people's choice is the winner. Right Now, its the party's choice or the establishment's choice that gets nominated and elected.
I'm not familiar with IRV. But the mathematics of voting are such that there's really no system that gives the "truth," mainly because prefernces cannot be aggregated in a consistent fashion. That, plus the fact that any system we design can be gamed.
OTOH, our current system is clearly rigged, especially the primaries. It's obvious it could be improved. I'll have to look into IRV.