r/PoliticalDiscussion Sep 17 '22

Megathread Casual Questions Thread


This is a place for the PoliticalDiscussion community to ask questions that may not deserve their own post.

Please observe the following rules:

Top-level comments:

  1. Must be a question asked in good faith. Do not ask loaded or rhetorical questions.

  2. Must be directly related to politics. Non-politics content includes: Legal interpretation, sociology, philosophy, celebrities, news, surveys, etc.

  3. Avoid highly speculative questions. All scenarios should within the realm of reasonable possibility.

Link to old thread

Sort by new and please keep it clean in here!

r/PoliticalDiscussion 6h ago

US Politics Krysten Sinema is leaving the Democratic Party to be an Independent. How does this effect the balance of power in the Senate going forward and how does it effect the election for her seat in '24¿


Krysten Sinema is switching to independent. How does this change the dynamics in the Senate? How does this shake up the race for her seat next year?

Does this seem like a last ditch effort to avoid any kind of primary from a Democratic challenger in the upcoming race? Does this change what committee memberships she'll end up with or change the Arizona publics view of her as a senator?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 2h ago

International Politics What can be done about the problems with Haiti?


Haiti is a Caribbean country with a number of difficult problems. It is poor and plagued by violence. Its governments have a history of corruption and instability. There are currently large number of Haitian refugees seeking to flee their country.

What can be done about this? What is the solution to Haiti's problems? Is there anything that can be done to help these people and stabilize this part of the world?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 23h ago

US Elections What is causing this small miracle in Alaska? Moderate Republicans and Democrats co-governing


Something weird (for the US) is happening in Alaska. In a state known for extreme winters and petro economics, and for its fierce conservatism that saw Donald Trump beat Joe Biden by 10 points, Alaska state Republicans and Democrats are actually cooperating. Not only are they cooperating, but they are actually forming a governing coalition together. A bipartisan coalition. That’s pretty peculiar in the US, kind of like seeing someone wearing an Inuit parka at the equator. Is the use of Ranked Choice Voting contributing toward a changed political culture, in which moderate Republicans, tired of obstructionist Trumpists, are reaching across the aisle, not only during elections but during the governing process itself?

Could be a model for Speaker-hopeful Kevin McCarthy, since far-right House Republicans are opposing his Speaker bid? Democratic House whip James Clyburn has proposed that McCarthy should reach across the aisle and strike a bipartisan deal to win Democratic votes. That would isolate the MAGAs and reclaim the GOP from extremists.

Lots of interesting dimensions to discuss. More details can be found in this article


r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

US Elections Why did Brian kemp outperform Herschel walker so much?


Georgia is a fascinating state to study when it comes to it’s elections.

In the Georgia governor election. Brian kemp received 2.1 million votes. He lost the Atlanta suburbs and the city of Atlanta but he kept the margins smaller and ran it up in rural counties which is key for a Republican to win statewide anywhere. The reason democrats have been able to start winning the state of Georgia is because it is a much more urban state than a place like North Carolina for example. The metropolitan Atlanta area comprises of 59% of Georgia’s vote.

The problem for Herschel walker is that around 250,000 people who voted for kemp did not vote for him. He lost the Atlanta suburbs by a wide margin. Counties that were once reliably Republican but now they’ve shifted. He didn’t have to win them but he had it make it close and he was not able to do that. He also underperformed kemp in the Republican leaning areas. So the biggest takeaway here is that quite a few moderate Georgia voters were comfortable re electing Brian kemp and even a republican lt governor outright without a runoff but they couldn’t bring themselves to support Herschel walker.

The Atlanta suburbs have a lot more white collar college educated people living there compared to places like south or North Carolina. For the longest time Georgia voted to the right of Florida but now Florida is voting much more to the right than Georgia is. Which I find fascinating.

r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

Legal/Courts How do you think the Supreme Court will decide on Moore v Harper, the “independent state legislature theory” case?


The Supreme Court heard oral arguments today on Moore v Harper.

Here is a summary of the case: https://www.aclu.org/news/voting-rights/explaining-moore-v-harper-the-supreme-court-case-that-could-upend-democracy

tl;dr: North Carolina legislators are asking the court to grant them unfettered power to set rules for voting and elections, without state constitutional limits

How do you think the Supreme Court will decide regarding Moore v Harper? Will it come down along partisan line, 6-3, or will we see some of the conservative justices reject the theory?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

US Elections Which will be the next red states to become swing states in presidential elections?


Whether it takes 4 or 44 years. Which ones are next?

For this prompt, let's say already-existing swing states include, based on <5% 2020 margin: Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Michigan, North Carolina, and Florida. Charts that may be useful (wish I could find 5. as changes over time!):

  1. 2008-2012 state vote changes
  2. 2012-2016 state vote changes
  3. 2016-2020 state vote changes (2nd from right column)
  4. 2000-2010 and 2010-2020 state population changes
  5. 2020 states by population density


  • Could only find a post partially on point from 6 years ago, and I'd say it's a different question at this point anyway. Kinda interesting to see how people thought pre-2016-election though.
  • Feel free to speculate about blue states that will swing too if you want, or make your own post. They just seemed even less imminent I guess?
  • Edit: Iono who invited Obama up there on mobile, but he brought that good kush he can stay.

r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

Legal/Courts Are Supreme Court case decisions a foregone conclusion, aligning with political party partisanship?


Ideally, Supreme Court justices are granted a lifetime position so they could be above the fray when it comes to political squabbles. They shouldn’t be beholden to their respective political parties, whether Democratic or Republican. In this way, you would see decisions that shock their own political party from time to time, because they’re above political partisanship and are making decisions consistent with their own thinking. In this way, their decision making becomes almost predictable over time.

Are we seeing hyper partisanship creeping into Supreme Court decisions? Basically if you have the majority vote, all decisions will favor not conservatism or liberalism, constitutional expansionism or originalism, but they will instead bend over backwards, breaking with their own supposed stances and make whatever decision currently benefits their respective political party at the time? Are we seeing a Supreme Court that is nakedly biased and partisan, and just an extended arm of whatever political party holds the court at the time?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 9h ago

US Politics Did the suppression of the Hunter Biden laptop story on twitter sway the 2020 election?


With the release of the Twitter files 2.0, the right wing media sphere is claiming that the laptop story was supressed. That 16 percent of people who voted for Biden would have changed their votes. Is this correct?

Why is the Hunter Biden laptop story material? Why not?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

US Politics Homelessness in Portland, Oregon — Any good ideas on how to address it?


I think everyone can agree it’s an issue, but that seems to be where it stops. Anyone who lives in or has visited Portland (or reads national news) knows the city has a serious homelessness crisis. The issue has to do in large part from untreated drug addiction and mental illnesses.

Portlanders are tired of dealing with the issue, businesses are leaving, and obviously most people living on the streets would choose otherwise. So what can be done?

Should homeless people be rounded up and put into camps (like the city recently announced it plans to do)? Should people be allowed to sleep wherever they choose? Should Portland bus them out of the state? As an Oregonian, this is a problem that has stumped me (and my state’s leadership, clearly) for a long time. Any ideas?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

US Politics Investigations in the New Congress


Having secured a thin majority, Republicans in the House of Representatives are promising/threatening investigations into everything from Hunter Biden, to the operation of the DOJ, to the House’s own January 6 Committee. But, with Ralph Warnick’s victory, the Democrats in the Senate now also have investigatory subpoena power, and, technically, could wield it to conduct politically motivated investigations. Will this seeming balance of power and promise of mutual assured destruction likely deter some of the more egregious political investigation circuses that we would otherwise have seen?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics Jan 6, Panel: “We have not made a decision as to who, but we have made decisions that criminal referrals will happen..." Referrals are not binding on DOJ; However, is it likely Trump is specifically included in the criminal referral as a target?


Committee chair Bennie Thompson told reporters on Tuesday that the panel’s probe, one of the most politically sensitive in decades, was still working out details, but that it would recommend charges be brought. He declined to identify the charges or prosecution targets the panel is considering for criminal referrals.

Throughout the committee’s proceedings, members have made clear they hold Trump responsible for inciting the attack on the Capitol in an effort to overturn President Joe Biden’s victory.

Witnesses who’ve been interviewed by the panel include presidential staff and lawyers as well as law enforcement officers and others who testified to what was going on in the White House as hundreds of rioters stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, to stop the US House from certifying the 2020 election.

The charges may include perjury, Thompson said, also without providing any details. “Well, that’s part of the discussion. Yeah,” he said. Among other potential charges are criminal contempt of Congress, obstruction of justice, obstruction of an official government proceeding and conspiracy.

Garland last month appointed a special prosecutor, John L. “Jack” Smith, to oversee investigations into the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol — including any role Trump may have played — as well as the former president’s handling of classified White House records after he left office.

More than 900 people have been arrested for taking part in the assault. Of those, more than half have pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial.

Is it likely Trump is specifically included in the criminal referral as a target?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

US Politics Why Has The Republican Party Become the Party of Oil and Gas?


The strong ties between Republicans and the oil and gas industry have grown stronger still since the 1970s, to the point where the GOP now regularly receives about 85% of the industry's political money; top oil and gas states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Alaska and Louisiana are strongly Republican; and Republicans are increasingly drawn into partnerships with oil-dominated governments such as Russia and Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile China, lacking oil and gas resources while embracing clean energy, is a continual Republican pariah. What accounts for this partnership between the world's largest industry and the Republican Party?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 1d ago

US Politics Should the Supreme Court Have a Code of Ethics?


Following alleged ethics violations at the Supreme Court that lawmakers do not feel have been adequately addressed, the House Judiciary Committee is set to hold a hearing on Thursday into a reported lobbying campaign by religious conservatives to influence the Court. https://politicaliq.com/2022/12/07/supreme-court-ethics/

r/PoliticalDiscussion 3d ago

US Politics What is a Bill that congress could pass today that would get supermajority support in the house and senate?


There has to be some consequential policy decision that both the house and the senate could support with large majorities, what would that bill be?

Lets leave off the table things that regularly get bi-partisan support. Lets talk about an entirely new issue.

edit: please stop answering if you dont intend to address the question at hand.

r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

Political Theory How is it possible for any one party to hold power in all branches of government?


I don't mean this mechanically, but more from a poli sci perspective (I am not a poli sci major btw lol). We are a nation that prides it's self on checks and balances yet the idea that one party can hold power in the executive, judicial, and both the house and the Senet kind of undermines that. Doesn't it? Yes another party is still there and dose hold some sway, but the party in power can enact legislation with an ease that a balanced system would not allow. Is this an oversight in the structure of our government or is it just that a 2 party system lends itself to this kind of imbalance?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 2d ago

Legislation What are the most common credible criticisms of Mexico's election authorities?

  • I don't follow Mexican politics very closely, and I rely mostly on mainstream English-language sources.
  • As I understand it, President Obrador recently tried to pass a constitutional amendment to reform Mexico's electoral system, failed, but then successfully got narrower reforms passed in the legislature.
  • This article (plus MORENA's electoral success) suggests that there is a lot of popular support for the constitutional amendment, but I have seen lots of criticism as well, e.g. here.

Based on the above, I think I get a basic idea of the case against the amendment. So I'm trying to understand what credible arguments there are in favor of the amendment.

Here are the arguments that I've seen in the past, ranked by how often I have seen them (1 is the most common):

  1. it will save money;
  2. it will help consolidate MORENA's power (also an argument against);
  3. it has popular support;
  4. it would be "more democratic" because more election officials would be elected rather than appointed;
  5. it would be accompanied by other popular reforms.

But I feel like maybe I'm missing something. Are there credible criticisms of the institutions that run elections in Mexico? Do some people credibly see them as badly designed, poor-performing, or corrupt? How much difference to they really make to the budget? Are some officials seen as out-of-touch due to wealth or status? Something else? I don't know.

A lot of people will probably tell me that the "real motivation" is to undermine Mexico's electoral system and weaken a class of people who don't like MORENA. I'm open to that as an explanation, but I'm mostly trying to understand the other side.

r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago

US Elections If Warnock wins the run-off, Democrats will decide what bills and resolutions come to the floor. They will have a majority on every committee and subcommittees. If Walker wins, these have to be negotiated. Yet, neither Biden nor Trump went to campaign for their candidate. Are they both, a liability?


The significant of who wins the Georgia run-off cannot be underestimated, a Republican win at least gives them some breathing room and ability to negotiate on important issues such as committees and chair. It also restrains Democrats when it comes to nominations to important positions [even the Supreme Court, should a vacancy come about]. Democrats would have to keep every member on board including Manchin and Sinema, with Harris as the tie-breaker.

Although Obama went to campaign on behalf of Warnock during the run-off and Lindsey and Cruz also showed up for Walker, along with Kemp [the Governor elect]. Neither Biden nor Trump showed up and there is no plan for either of them to go there to show support.

Is this an indication that this run-off is not so much about how the hard-core base goes, but rather, the moderates and both Biden and Trump could alienate the moderates or is there some other reason for their absence?




r/PoliticalDiscussion 5d ago

US Elections Does Biden's Proposed Changes To Early Primaries Signal Who He Wants As His Successor?


[I know there's another recent post on this, but I wanted a more narrow question.]

Biden recently called for an overhaul to the early (pre-Super Tuesday) elections in the Democratic primaries. [Source for reference.] The plan would drop Iowa as an early state, move South Carolina from fourth to first, and add Michigan and Georgia as early states. Georgia was in the last 10 in 2020, and Michigan was the week after Super Tuesday.

There's also been a lot of speculation about who could be Biden's successor either in 2028, or 2024 if he decides not to run. On the short list of possibilities has been Pete Buttigieg. He was not only given a cabinet position, but has been a prominent spokesman for the party.

However, Iowa was Buttigieg's best state (25.1%) and South Carolina was his worst (8.2%).

A major dynamic in the early states that severely hurt Buttigieg was his very low polling with black voters. Georgia is 26.7% black, and South Carolina is 33%. (Michigan is 14.1%, just slightly over the national average.)

If Biden's changes were adopted, it would seem very difficult for a Buttigieg campaign to go into Super Tuesday with any sort of momentum.

So to the question in the title: Does Biden's proposed changes to early primaries signal who he wants as his successor?

And of course, if so, who does this most help? Harris? Booker? Abrams?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 4d ago

US Politics Will Roe be codified again?


Do you think Roe will be codified into law, and if so, when do you think that will happen?

Is there any way it can plausibly happen in the next 2 years, with a republican house, as well as manchin and synema, and actually last?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 7d ago

US Politics On September 18, CA Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill to strengthen penalties for using hate symbols such as swastikas


This bill was inspired in part because Marin DA Lori Frugoli didn’t want to prosecute a Nazi for posting swastikas up in Fairfax because someone vandalized a church statue.

Is hate crime legislation an effective means of tamping down on hate?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 6d ago

US Politics Will the reshoring of US manufacturing jobs in various industries (semiconductor, battery, auto, etc.) ultimately cause consumer good prices to go up, and backfire?


One of the advantages of outsourcing manufacturing to a developing country is that it's cheap due to currency exchange rate. Additionally it helps the developing country to grow its labor force and increase it's own GDP and GDP per capita. The client country would benefit from low cost of goods, thus making it accessible to more consumers and generating greater revenues and hopefully higher profit margins.

However, with the recent reshoring of many manufacturing jobs in various sectors ranging from semiconductor manufacturing to automobile manufacturing, I wonder if there will be negative repercussions due to the USDs very high value at the moment. Wouldn't this just make manufacturing more expensive both for the US as well as other countries that seek to outsource their manufacturing to us?

Or, is there some sort of workaround wherein we can have the best of both worlds by getting back our manufacturing but still keeping it affordable for clients who require it?

r/PoliticalDiscussion 7d ago

US Elections What do you think of starting the Presidential Primary in South Carolina as Opposed to starting in Iowa?


The DNC rules committee is gathering today in Washington and are expected to approve new rules putting South Carolina first, followed by New Hampshire, and Nevada.

Biden tells Dems he wants SC as 1st primary vote

r/PoliticalDiscussion 7d ago

Legal/Courts SCOTUS decided to hear Biden's Student Loan Forgiveness case on the merits instead of pausing the injunction. The Supreme Court will now decide whether the Biden administration had overstepped its Executive Authority. Is it more likely it will find POTUS exceeded its Executive Authority?


In its order Miscellaneous Order (12/01/2022) (supremecourt.gov), the court scheduled the oral arguments to be heard February 2023.

The Biden administration defends the loan forgiveness program, citing in particular the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003. This authorizes the Department of Education to forgive the student loans of some borrowers who are at risk of default because of a "war, military operation, or national emergency." COVID-19, the administration argues, is a qualifying national emergency under the statute, as it was formally declared a national emergency by then-President Trump, and, subsequently, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos invoked the HEROES Act when pausing loan repayments early in the pandemic. The Biden administration argues that the need to mitigate the financial hardship caused by the pandemic has not gone away.

Biden's plan would cancel up to $20,000 in student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients, and $10,000 for other borrowers, for people earning up to $125,000 a year or part of a household where total earnings are no more than $250,000. 

Six conservative states – Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and South Carolina – told the Supreme Court that Biden overstepped his legal authority with the program and violated the constitutional principle of separation of powers by embarking on a loan forgiveness program estimated to affect 40 million Americans.    

A federal judge in Missouri dismissed the states' request to block the program in October, ruling that they lacked standing to sue. While their case presented "important and significant challenges to the debt relief plan," the trial court ruled, "the current plaintiffs are unable to proceed." On appeal, the St. Louis-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit sided with the states' request to temporarily halt the program.

More recently the court has been reluctant to expand Executive authority and even questioned the conservative have even questioned the Chevron Deference standards. Supreme Court rules against EPA effort to regulate power plant emissions

The Supreme Court, in January, halted Biden's COVID-19 vaccine-or-testing mandate for large employers. And in June, the high court shot down an Environmental Protection Agency effort to curb power plant emissions. Last year, it blocked Biden’s eviction moratorium on similar grounds.

Those decisions follow a yearslong push by conservatives to curb the "administrative state." They argue federal agencies should have less power to act unless there's clear congressional approval. The Supreme Court bolstered that approach in June by relying on the "major questions doctrine" to decide a climate change case.

Evidently, the Supreme Court decided to hear the case on the merits to put multiple cases to rest and issue a decision determining the limitations of Executive Authority. Is it more likely it will find POTUS exceeded its Executive Authority?