Politics...discuss

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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby jotabe » Fri Oct 12, 2012 8:05 am

3rd parties are only left the ideological fringes.
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Ok, the problem with that poll, from what i see in the page http://reason.com/poll/2012/09/26/reaso ... l-typology" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is that they divide the political spectrum in 4 quarters, and the central area for "centrists" is not accounted for as such. With this division, someone who ended up as "communitarian" could become "libertarian" with only a couple of answers changed, if he was very near the geometrical center of the chart. If you could find a chart that included the "centrist" division, i'm fairly sure that's where most people would be.
It's a shame that asking a battery of questions to identify an ideology then they just settle for 4 tags. They could at least plot a chart showing with dots each individual result!
The drug control spending... what does it include?
Federal spending on drug control policies. (There's more at the state level.) It includes a ton of stuff. Prevention programs, international investigations of cartels, trafficking interruption, etc. But the biggest share goes to domestic law enforcement. Investigating people, arresting them, trying them, and putting them in prison. (This also includes doing SWAT raids on dispensaries that (a) reduce the market shares of dangerous cartels and (b) are authorized by state law to operate.)
I see... well i guess that the only way to get rid of that expense would be to actually legalize it... but how complex would be the legalization of drug to make it work? Because i know that theoretically is a good solution, but the transition might be complicated, and it would necessary to be prepared for a short-term spike of the number of addicts.
Another thing... swat raids on the dispensaries? aren't they legal? what's the point then?
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:03 am

A similar typology from Gallup including the "centrists":
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Another thing... swat raids on the dispensaries? aren't they legal? what's the point then?
They're authorized by state law. Federal law still prohibits them. It's thus left to the executive office to prioritize their resources. President Obama promised that his administration would stop the raids on dispensaries. He said that they had more important things to be doing than going after businesses that reduce cartel market share and are authorized to do business under state laws. He said they had finite resources, and they would put them to use on more important matters. And then he ordered the biggest crackdown on dispensaries in the nation's history, going far beyond Bush's policies on medical marijuana and the drug war.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Oct 12, 2012 9:10 am

And another Gallup result:

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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby jotabe » Fri Oct 12, 2012 10:53 am

And another Gallup result:

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See, there's the problem, how the question is worded, quite unspecifically.
I was asked that question i would honestly reply 1.
What is fundamental for some is not fundamental for others. For me it's fundamental a public health care system, a public education system, quality control of the commercial goods and law enforcement. That makes me closer to a liberal than to a libertarian, but i gave the "libertarian" response.

I know it looks like i'm moving the goalposts, but bear with me. Very often these questions are too unspecific, and that's when the ideological bias enters. For example, compare these two sets of results:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/143624/Major ... erful.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
In here they just ask "is the government too big or too small? is it too powerful or too weak? should do more or is it doing too much?" With that kind of question, without an objective parameter to compare, those who reply default to their (self-identified) ideological bias.

So compare those results (and the last result you posted) with this:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/143636/Ameri ... tions.aspx" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
Most people assign a high degree of responsibility (4-5) for the government to take, on many areas (employment, health care, quality control, discrimination...). In fact, the majority give the government a moderate to high (3-5) responsibility over all items except bailing out corporations.

So, most people in the US think that the Government has too much power and too many responsibilities that should be overtaken by private initiative instead. But when you ask them about which topics should be the government's responsibility, then the majority says that most of them should be!
What i mean with this is that polls that rely on self identification and unspecific questions are bound to give erroneous results when polling the political beliefs of the citizenship. Give the program of the libertarian party to a statistical sample of voters, and ask them about the specific points, and see what they say.

In fact, the first poll result you showed had the right idea (the questions were not the best ones, they were too focused on the tax distribution and medicare/medicaid matters: http://reason.com/assets/db/13481953038600.pdf" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;), only that they decided to simply divide the political plane in 4 sections.

Totally not moving the goalposts :?
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 11:43 am

See where you actually place: http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


also,
this seems relevant: http://xkcd.com/868/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
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Also in the right quadrant are NFPA-compliant chemical manufacturers and Sir Charles Wheatstone. Sharing the top with the internet libertarians are Nate Silver and several politically-active kite designers.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Fri Oct 12, 2012 12:31 pm

See, there's the problem, how the question is worded, quite unspecifically.
I was just trying to provide multiple examples. Those results had a higher proportion of people in the middle than most of the other results, so I shared it. Most ideological typology polling ask a series of questions. But the point was that many of the beliefs that you call fringe aren't fringe at all. If you look at the typology results from Pew, from Gallup, from Rupe, from ISideWith, etc., it's practically impossible to come to any other conclusion.
they were too focused on the tax distribution and medicare/medicaid matters
Um... those questions weren't weighted into the ideological typology. They were just part of the regular polling on specific issues. The typology questions only included:
1. “The less government the better”; OR, “there are more things that government should be doing”.
2. “The government should be doing more to regulate businesses”; OR, “Too often, government regulation of businesses does more harm than good”.
3. “We need a strong government to handle today’s complex economic problems”; OR, “People would be better able to handle today’s problems within a free market with less government involvement”.
4. Some people think the government should promote traditional values in our society. Others think the government should not favor any particular set of values. Which comes closer to your own view?
5. Some say the government should do more to protect morality in society. Others say government is getting too involved in the issue of morality. Which comes closer to your own view?
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Fri Oct 12, 2012 1:45 pm

Yeah, the iSideWith polls (about 3 million people) indicate that if people voted based purely on their ideology, it would be a 2-way race between Gary Johnson and Obama at around 45% each.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Tue Oct 16, 2012 3:17 pm

The complete pre-debate agreement between Romney and Obama. What it says: "we promise not to talk about anything interesting."
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby jotabe » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:20 am

The complete pre-debate agreement between Romney and Obama. What it says: "we promise not to talk about anything interesting."
A debate is not the place to discuss anything interesting. It's a representation where the two main candidates duke it out to look good in front of their followers. Exercises of verbal pyrotechnics, if you will :mrgreen:
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby JohnPaulWiggin » Wed Oct 17, 2012 8:45 am

See where you actually place: http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
My red dot was right on the R in Liberal

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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Dr. Mobius » Wed Oct 17, 2012 3:11 pm

I scored 60/20 with a missing 20%, probably because those questions were so obnoxiously vague that I selected "maybe" for half of them.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby steph » Wed Oct 17, 2012 4:13 pm

To lighten things up....Here's some Jon Stewart. :)

http://www.hulu.com/watch/411108
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I see so much magic, though I missed it at the time." - Jamie Cullum

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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Wed Oct 17, 2012 6:53 pm

I scored 60/20 with a missing 20%, probably because those questions were so obnoxiously vague that I selected "maybe" for half of them
If you thought they were vague, it probably means you're in the middle of the two extremes it is scaling you between, and the maybe is the response it is expecting.

I'm dead-center and all the way up :)


http://www.isidewith.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is MUCH more nuanced, but it matches you against candidates rather than placing you on a political spectrum.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:44 pm

Shocking to absolutely no one:

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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Gravity Defier » Thu Oct 18, 2012 7:47 pm

Oppose taxes?

How would you all have emergency services, roads, national parks, etc. funded if not by having everyone share the "burden"? I love the idea of taxes and don't mind paying them.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:00 pm

Shocking to absolutely no one:

http://i.imgur.com/K8yAd.png
:thumbs:
Oppose taxes?

How would you all have emergency services, roads, national parks, etc. funded if not by having everyone share the "burden"? I love the idea of taxes and don't mind paying them.
The really long answer is that you should read this book: http://mises.org/rothbard/mes.asp" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

The short answer is that we believe taxes are unethical, and that for pretty much everything but the justice system and national defense, it's better done through charity or business or some other voluntary and privately owned option. The fact that you and I want to help poor people and build infrastructure, or preserve nature in parks, is, in my mind phenomenal, but I don't believe that gives us the right to lock up and take the home of people who disagree with us.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:09 pm

I oppose those government confiscations which are not necessary to pay for legitimate government functions. User fees may be one way to pay for some parts of legitimate government actions, but I nevertheless support limited taxation for those purposes.

(Anarcho-capitalists would disagree with me, based on non-aggression principles, but oh well.)

ETA: grammar stuff.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby jotabe » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:19 pm

http://www.isidewith.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; is MUCH more nuanced, but it matches you against candidates rather than placing you on a political spectrum.
Who's Jill Stein? it says i match 94% with her...
oh, green party candidate. I didn't know you guys had green party :D don't you just throw them tree huggers in prision? :angel:
j/k really :)

On the other hand, doing the test from http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false; i got:
Your PERSONAL issues Score is 60%
Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 40%
According to your answers, the political group that agrees with you most is... CENTRIST
Centrist prefer a "middle ground" regarding government control of the economy and personal behavior. Depending on the issue, they sometimes favor government intervention and sometimes support individual freedom of choice. Centrists pride themselves on keeping an open mind, tend to oppose "political extremes," and emphasize what they describe as "practical" solutions to problems.
So i'm a green centrist. Or maybe greens are centrist.
I "oppose" those government confiscations which are not necessary to pay for legitimate government functions.
Again, i think everybody, no matter their ideology, agrees with that. The difference will be on what each one considers "legitimate government functions" ;)
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby jotabe » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:28 pm

The fact that you and I want to help poor people and build infrastructure, or preserve nature in parks, is, in my mind phenomenal, but I don't believe that gives us the right to lock up and take the home of people who disagree with us.
I don't like that it's a crime not paying taxes. i much rather exclude them from the society they do not want to contribute to, and let them create their own country.

In fact, i'm a big advocate of putting the national states out of their misery, and create countries exclusively around ideologies. So, there should be a country for libertarians, other for rightists, other for fascists, other for anarchists, other for liberals, other for centrists... etc People would be so much happier when the way to rule their country actually matches their beliefs better. Also, it would be a nice experiment to see what works best.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Thu Oct 18, 2012 8:38 pm

I oppose those government confiscations which are not necessary to pay for legitimate government functions. User fees may be one way to pay for some parts of legitimate government actions, but I nevertheless support limited taxation for those purposes.

(Anarcho-capitalists would disagree with me, based on non-aggression principles, but oh well.)

ETA: grammar stuff.
I'm a minarchist libertarian, and I still believe in the non-aggression principle and believe that it conflicts with taxation, but I'm also not willing to compromise on an effective justice system (defense could ultimately be privatized through local militias, though I think the federal government has a legitimate role to play in defense in our current world). I'd like to think there's a solution out there somewhere, but for now the best compromise is as little government as possible, while still maintaining enforcement of property rights and contractual obligations, and making participation in governance as voluntary and as localized as possible.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:16 pm

It's really hard to take Obama seriously talking about Iraq when he negotiated for us to stay longer and got kicked out by the Iraqi government.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Tue Oct 23, 2012 8:48 am

It's really hard to take Obama seriously talking about Iraq when he negotiated for us to stay longer and got kicked out by the Iraqi government.
And then lied about trying to negotiate a new status of forces agreement to leave 8,500 to 10,000 troops beyond the 2011 deadline negotiated by the Bush administration?
MR. ROMNEY: Number two, with regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should have been a status of forces agreement. Did you --
PRESIDENT OBAMA: That's not true.
MR. ROMNEY: Oh, you didn't — you didn't want a status of forces agreement?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, but what I — what I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down.
ETA: I should probably note, again, that I think they're both pretty terrible on foreign policy. I was really hoping the moderator would ask them what sort of behavior will subject U.S. citizens to be killed by predator drones without due process of law.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Tue Oct 23, 2012 7:41 pm

It's really hard to take Obama seriously talking about Iraq when he negotiated for us to stay longer and got kicked out by the Iraqi government.
And then lied about trying to negotiate a new status of forces agreement to leave 8,500 to 10,000 troops beyond the 2011 deadline negotiated by the Bush administration?
MR. ROMNEY: Number two, with regards to Iraq, you and I agreed, I believe, that there should have been a status of forces agreement. Did you --
PRESIDENT OBAMA: That's not true.
MR. ROMNEY: Oh, you didn't — you didn't want a status of forces agreement?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No, but what I — what I would not have done is left 10,000 troops in Iraq that would tie us down.
ETA: I should probably note, again, that I think they're both pretty terrible on foreign policy. I was really hoping the moderator would ask them what sort of behavior will subject U.S. citizens to be killed by predator drones without due process of law.
:stamp:


The Free & Equal Elections debate is going on now. It's awesome. Check it out! :)
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby jotabe » Tue Oct 23, 2012 9:23 pm

Honest question: do political debates serve any other purpose than to make voters feel justified in their choice, and try to sway some undecided one through the use of verbal pyrotechnics?

I think it would be a much more informative practice for the news channels to go through the political programs of the parties, comparing and fact-checking each point.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Jayelle » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:17 pm

I keep seeing people online (including Alea today) saying they've already voted. Is this advance voting or do you guys not have it all on one day?
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:32 pm

It's early voting and absentee voting. These make up about 25-30 percent of all votes, which are counted with everyone else's votes after Election Day.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:32 pm

I keep seeing people online (including Alea today) saying they've already voted. Is this advance voting or do you guys not have it all on one day?
Me too! Absentee voting is big with us college kids. I just sent in my ballot! :)
Honest question: do political debates serve any other purpose than to make voters feel justified in their choice, and try to sway some undecided one through the use of verbal pyrotechnics?
Depends on the debate, and your definition of "verbal pyrotechnics".
I think it would be a much more informative practice for the news channels to go through the political programs of the parties, comparing and fact-checking each point.
On the subject of fact-checking, I just did some math to show how Romney might envision his tax plan to add up (and how it actually could given the right circumstances). The key question is not whether income taxes can be slashed across the board while remaining revenue neutral, or even revenue positive, because as I show here, they can. The question is instead do you buy the claim that Romney's election would bring about the right economic circumstances for this to actually happen (and whether you think that's the key issue in the election)?
http://sfgp.cemetech.net/romney_plan/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

For those of you who haven't taken probability and statistics, or some other class that takes about distribution functions, the important numbers are at the bottom under the heading: "And some income-tax revenue calculations based on our approximated real world compared with 2 possible Romney worlds. "

Personally, I think Gary Johnson's plan is a lot safer, and more assured. But it bugs me when people say "the math doesn't add up" without actually doing the math. The nice thing about math though, as opposed to science, is that we can invent all sorts of hypothetical worlds that don't have to match real world data.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:58 pm

I think it would be a much more informative practice for the news channels to go through the political programs of the parties, comparing and fact-checking each point.
I have absolutely no faith in "fact checkers" in the media.

Example: treatment of the Lily Ledbetter case. Here's how Politifact put it:
In 2007, the Supreme Court had ruled in Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. that the 180-day statute of limitations started from the day an employer made the decision to discriminate — making it impossible for employees who learned of such discrimination later to get relief, such as back pay.
The problem with this? It's not just a little wrong. It's entirely wrong. In fact, the Supreme Court expressly said that it was not deciding that.

The issue of whether someone who only discovers the discrimination later can sue was never before them (and thus they could not rule on it), precisely because Lily Ledbetter testified under oath that she knew about the alleged discrimination for several years, but intentionally chose not to file a complaint until she was retiring. The fact that Politifact didn't bother to read the opinion, which is very clear on this point, and the fact that it still refuses to correct it after the error was brought to their attention, gives me no reason to think relying on these organizations will make people more informed.
But it bugs me when people say "the math doesn't add up" without actually doing the math.
But it's easier to falsely assume that income elasticity is zero. (And pretend that several deductions simply do not exist.) There's a legitimate discussion over what the income elasticity is likely to be, or what the dynamic effects of bringing down marginal rates and deductions might be. But assuming an elasticity of zero is bush league.

ETA: Again, I should note that this doesn't mean Romney's tax plan is OMG-best-thing-evar! I'm not a big fan. (Though I'm still not convinced that Johnson's FairTax is the way to go, either.)
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby jotabe » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:41 pm

I think it would be a much more informative practice for the news channels to go through the political programs of the parties, comparing and fact-checking each point.
I have absolutely no faith in "fact checkers" in the media.

Example: treatment of the Lily Ledbetter case. Here's how Politifact put it:
[...]
The fact that Politifact didn't bother to read the opinion, which is very clear on this point, and the fact that it still refuses to correct it after the error was brought to their attention, gives me no reason to think relying on these organizations will make people more informed.
Sure, i know that fact-checking in media is going to be biased. I was comparing it to political debates, and how useful they are to make an informed opinion on an election. Skewed information (specially when you already know what the bias is previously) on concrete and objective matters is better than verbal fencing any day. Manipulated information contains more information than entertainment.
It also makes the lies more transparent and easier to spot, as in the example you put.

I often think that media should be legally held to the standards of evidence and verifiability that science holds itself to. Even if it takes days to get a piece of news to the street. :twisted:
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:48 pm

It's not really a matter of whether they're "biased." They're just wrong. (When they're not trying to spin their opinions as facts, that is.) Who's fact-checking the fact checkers?

They're little better than the campaigns themselves. Indeed, they often use the very same language of the campaigns in their fact-checking. (And the campaigns then use the fact-checkers as "independent" analysis, when the fact-checkers are relying on the campaigns in the first place!)

I don't think the debates add much value on substance. But they do give voters the chance to see the candidates (a) make their best pitch to the American people, and (b) appear "presidential." Those two things are very important to some voters.

But the functional purpose is probably just to energize their respective bases and increase turnout.
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby wizzard » Thu Oct 25, 2012 12:54 pm

It's not really a matter of whether they're "biased." They're just wrong. (When they're not trying to spin their opinions as facts, that is.)
That's a pretty strong blanket statement, do you have examples? Time where the fact-checkers themselves are blatantly wrong?
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby Syphon the Sun » Thu Oct 25, 2012 1:15 pm

Time where the fact-checkers themselves are blatantly wrong?
Other than the example I gave above that started that part of the discussion?

ETA: I thought I was being clear about this, earlier, but I guess I should add that I'm not saying they're always wrong. Just that I have seen them be wrong on the facts enough (and peddle their opinions as facts enough) that, as I said earlier, "I have absolutely no faith in 'fact checkers' in the media."
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby wizzard » Thu Oct 25, 2012 3:07 pm

Time where the fact-checkers themselves are blatantly wrong?
Other than the example I gave above that started that part of the discussion?

ETA: I thought I was being clear about this, earlier, but I guess I should add that I'm not saying they're always wrong. Just that I have seen them be wrong on the facts enough (and peddle their opinions as facts enough) that, as I said earlier, "I have absolutely no faith in 'fact checkers' in the media."
Ah, sorry, I think I was taking it a bit more broadly than you meant it. I read it as "they're usually wrong", which would require more than one or two examples. If you're simply holding up the examples up as evidence that they do get things wrong, and therefore we can't trust them, then that's completely legitimate.

Which is a bit depressing, cause I have been checking those sites a bit, and I'd like to think there's somewhere to get unbiased facts. Are there any that are more reliable than others?
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby jotabe » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:57 pm

It's not really a matter of whether they're "biased." They're just wrong. (When they're not trying to spin their opinions as facts, that is.) Who's fact-checking the fact checkers?

They're little better than the campaigns themselves. Indeed, they often use the very same language of the campaigns in their fact-checking. (And the campaigns then use the fact-checkers as "independent" analysis, when the fact-checkers are relying on the campaigns in the first place!)
In the last decade (or two, at least in Spain) it's become increasingly difficult to tell the difference between media and political parties. In fact, the physical frontier between both is blurry with journalists becoming politicians and politicians becoming "political analysts". Press (including blogs), in my opinion has stopped being a counter-power, and it has effectively become a 4th power, not unlike the church used to be back in the day. This might not be terribly bad, but is added to press being merely ideology driven, the policies they defend don't need to pass a reality check (even the worst politicians know that they can't enact their wildest ideological dreams).
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Re: Politics...discuss

Postby elfprince13 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 11:35 am

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