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International Politics RAND's analysis focuses primarily on U.S. role to end the war in Ukraine based on what is primarily in the interest of the United States and not Ukranian territorial integrity. RAND seeks avoidance of a long war. Under what conditions, if any, can Ukraine find such a negotiated solution palatable?
The debate in Washington and other Western capitals over the future of the Russia-Ukraine war privileges the issue of territorial control.
RAND's analysis suggests territorial debate is too narrowly focused on one dimension of the war’s trajectory. Territorial control, although immensely important to Ukraine, is not the most important dimension of the war’s future for the United States.
RAND concludes that, in addition to averting possible escalation to a Russia-NATO war or Russian nuclear use, avoiding a long war is also a higher priority for the United States than facilitating significantly more Ukrainian territorial control.
Furthermore, RAND acknowledges that the U.S. ability to micromanage where the line is ultimately drawn is highly constrained since the U.S. military is not directly involved in the fighting. Enabling Ukraine’s territorial control is also far from the only instrument available to the United States to affect the trajectory of the war. RAND highlighted several other tools—potentially more potent ones—that Washington can use to steer the war toward a trajectory that better promotes U.S. interests. Whereas the United States cannot determine the territorial outcome of the war directly, it will have direct control over these policies.
The alternative, RAND asserts, is a long war that poses major challenges for the United States, Ukraine, and the rest of the world.
Under what conditions, if any, can Ukraine find such a negotiated solution palatable?
The 30-page Rand analysis: Avoiding a Long War is available in Pdf link below and can be downloaded for free:
Should Governors and Lieutenant Governors Run on the Same Ticket? (OPINION!)
In primary elections do you think that it should be required for gubernatorial candidates to pick their own lieutenant governors? What are the pros and cons? Is there no harm? will is reduce future conflicts?
Political Theory What impact, if any, will ChatGPT and other rapidly developing AI software's have on our political systems and political stability?
So, with the release of ChatGPT in the past few weeks, it has rose immediate and serious concerns over the impact of more sophisticated AI systems will have as they become more prominent in everyday life. More specifically, such AI systems are feared to represent a direct automation threat to many jobs and industries, which will ultimately have consequences on our society and politics.
I am making this post to ask the following key questions:
- ) What impact, if any, will AI have on society?
2.) Now that such AI systems have arrived and are currently developing rapidly, how should governments respond to this new presence in society?
International Politics Why did the Chinese government implement the "three red lines" policy the way it did?
TLDR: Why did China nuke its own (probably inflated) real estate market?
As many of you will know, the Chinese real-estate market has been in crisis for almost a year now. China Evergrande, one of the largest builders in China, defaulted in Dec 2022, despite multiple attempts at intervention throughout 2021.
As a quick overview, the Chinese property market has been insane over the past decade+. China invests 20-30% of GDP in property and infrastructure. Unfortunately, China also stores 70% of wealth in real estate for a variety of reasons. This has led to a housing bubble of mammoth proportions. In Shenzhen, for example, housing is priced at 700x monthly rent. Shenzhen apartments are 20% more expensive than NYC, and if you don't understand how insane that is, consider that NYC cost of living is otherwise ~3x that in Shenzhen, and indeed renting an apartment in the city center of New York is 393.9% more expensive than in Shenzhen.
Such pricing has funded a boom in real estate, where developers regularly charge customers for apartments which are in the process of being built. Recently, due to a slowdown in migration to cities, companies like Evergrande have also taken on additional debt in order to build their presold apartments.
Which gets to the root of the matter. The situation looked bad, and super fragile. I completely understand why policymakers would want to fix the situation. What I don't understand is the extremely blunt "three red lines" policy:
- Liabilities not to exceed 70% of assets
- Net debt not greater than 100% of equity
- Money reserves 100% of short term debt
This policy led to the near immediate collapse of Evergrande, with wider contagion effects which are not totally clear, but also probably not good. Home buyers have started to refuse to pay their mortgages, other real estate developers are in danger of default, etc. China refused to publish economic figures (GDP, etc.) for the first time a few months ago, which probably means they aren't good. I think it's safe to say that things are going significantly worse than the CCP thought they would.
This leads to my main question: Why? Did the CCP not understand how leveraged companies like Evergrande were (despite being closely intertwined with the real estate industry)? Did the CCP not understand that real estate companies are highly interconnected with Chinese GDP? Did the CCP overestimate the resilience of the Chinese economy? What was the CCP envisioning the effects of the policy would be?
US Politics Do you think a Cold War is happening between China and the US? Do you think a hot war will happen soon?
Given the current situation and actions between both countries, what’s your take on those questions? Companies are having massive layoffs which causes many Chinese employees losing their visa, many firms refuse to hire native Chinese, native Chinese in the US have been questioned by the FBI for potential “spy”. Feel free to share your opinion!
Though its premature and we don't know what can happen in the following 2 years. As we past on 2 years of a Biden presidency, where do you think Joe Biden will rank historically as a president or where is he on track to be ranked considering what his administration has accomplished and failed in the last 2 years.
US Elections What is the likelihood that the Midwest states of MI, WI and PA will remain swing states in presidential elections for the foreseeable future?
Whilst no means certain, it seems that the Midwestern states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania will be in swing states for many presidential races to come.
The three Midwestern states shifted from lean/safe Democratic states to swing states in 2016. It was unexpected as prior to 2016, Michigan and Pennsylvania voted for every Democratic candidate since 1992. Wisconsin voted for every Democratic candidate since 1988.
It was a shock to most political scientists when Trump won all three in 2016. It was likely down to his appeal to blue collar workers ‘left behind’ by globalisation as he campaigned on ‘bringing back the jobs’. Trump won them by less than 1 percentage point. Biden won them back by only 1 to 2 percentage points.
It doesn’t look like the demographics will significantly shift in the next few presidential elections or maybe longer. This is proved by looking at some of the recent US Senate elections in these states (excluding the 2018 blue wave). Gary Peters (MI) and Ron Johnson (WI) won their Senate race by less 2 percentage points in 2020 and 2022 respectively. Whilst John Fetterman (PA) won by 5 percentage points, it was against an exceptionally weak candidate.
It seems like these three states will likely decide the president for the foreseeable future.
Political Theory Would you vote for a party without leader, where every major decision is voted on by thousands of people of similar political opinions?
Do you think that there could exist a party that is independent of the personalities of its leader and other members? Party where transparent voting of the large mass of people decides all major decisions and representants in parliament are just experts obliged to follow these decisions. Or do you know of any that exists? Would you vote for it?
Over the last decade over 20 states have legalized recreational cannabis sales and many other states are at least taking cursory steps toward recreational cannabis. However, Congress has been unable to move even minor legalization related bills such as the SAFE banking act. At what point will Congress have to begin working on federal cannabis legislation? Or will it remain federally illegal while legal in over half the country?
Do you think it will be small steps starting with reforming banking and taxes on cannabis sales and businesses or just become a wave directly to federal rescheduling or legalization?
So as not to polarize this topic, I’ve seen amongst my friend groups that one side of the political spectrum seems to be much less susceptible to outrage fatigue, while the other is deep in it. Have you seen a difference in outrage fatigue from one side over the other? And why does one side seem more capable of extended, countless outrage, while the other gets easily exhausted by political outrage? Is it something in the ideology, or in how it is presented? Curious if others have seen this same thing.
International Politics Have we tipped the scales towards self destruction more then ever even at the height of Cuban missile crisis?
With the agreement of nato to send tanks to Ukraine, how close are we coming to nuclear fallout? Obviously we all want to think this is far fetched for the Putin, but it seems tensions are about to get real serious after this decision by the west. Everything is ramping up not slowing down?
Are we now at the highest level on conflict with the Russians ever in human history with the most destructive weapons invented or was the 60’s more frightening?
US Elections 1 out the last 5 presidents was born outside the 1940s. So the US has been lead by the same generation for 23 years. Time for a younger president??
Clinton, Bush Jr, Trump and Biden were all born in the 1940s. (Obama was 1961). These four are from the same generation and so will have a similar mindset on certain things. (Obviously Republicans and Democrats will differ in a lot of ways but there will still be some beliefs or ideas from that generation that they will share - Even if it is that everyone younger than them is just lazy and plays that hippy music too damn loud). They will approach issues from the same start point. Yes they will come to different conclusions but wouldn’t it be refreshing to have a president approach issues in a totally new way. Something good may come of it. Whoever the president is after Biden (Assuming he wins a second term) will likely be someone younger. Do you think it is time for someone a lot younger or should we stick with the Old Guard? Does Bernie still have it in him? Or is someone similar to AOCs age a better option. (Not necessarily AOC but someone of that generation. I think they will be old enough by then. I may be wrong) This is just a thought I had in the hope it would start a friendly discussion on the age of the president.
US Politics What are the long-term repercussions of states charging women crimes for getting an abortion in a state where it's legal? What happens to the woman in the state where it legal?
The sum of the question has to do with the growing pressure from right-wing groups to expand abortion bans until they can make it as restrictive as possible.
One of the suggestions is that women can be charged with a crime for having an abortion even if it's in a state where it is legal.
What happens if the woman refuses to return to the state where she is charged with a crime? My guess is that some legal battle happens that goes up to the Supreme Court.
What are the chances that the Supreme Court strikes this down as unconstitutional? If they don't and argue that states must return the women, what happens? What if the states no longer comply?
Effectively I'm trying to suss out a lot of what if scenarios based on things being post-Roe.
US Politics On balance, has the power of the American Supreme Court to strike Acts of Congress down for lack of constitutionality improved the United States or not?
It has vetoed some things that Congress has done which many might think they should have, such as certain equality of pensions in the 1970s, but it also has struck down ideas that could have been radical like the 1883 Civil Rights Cases which made laws regarding non governmental discrimination hard if not impossible to enforce.
Note I am not referring to state laws being struck down, just acts of Congress to which the Supreme Court is equal to.
Edit: This is about the actual experience of judicial review over federal laws, not its potential for use or the rationale or the exploitation in particular cases. Is it a net positive? Net negative? Neutral?
International Politics What is stopping a multi (or even uni)lateral invasion of North Korea and Iran due to the tremendous threat their nuclear weapons programs pose?
Please hear me out.
I know China exerts pressure on NK to cease its nuclear program as it is a threat to Chinese security. South Korea and Japan are deeply vulnerable. Iran poses a similar threat to neighboring countries, and especially Israel and the US. They appear to be clear and present dangers, as Saddam's Iraq was purported to be (hence the justified post-911 invasion).
These areas are major problems due to their ideological extremist views they also prop up their authoritarian governments.
I can understand that the world is hesitant to invade another country, but those countries can destroy the world. A world in which countries with such rigid and violent ideologies possess nuclear weapons is terrifying.
On the realpolitik side what are the limitations we are facing that prevent a decisive end to these countries' dalliances with nuclear weapons? And also as important, are current policies actually effective in stopping these programs?
International Politics Are there any countries where people are actually satisfied with their politicians?
I have the impression that politicians have a bad reputation everywhere. It is being said that they are corrupt, power-hungry, incompetent, criminal and so on.
But are there exceptions? Are there countries where politicians are being viewed positively?
US Elections Can a non-Trump Republican presidential candidate win the 2024 election focusing on culture wars?
It seems that potential GOP presidential candidates are focusing heavily on culture wars rather than 'bread and butter issues' such as the economy and jobs. Governor Ron DeSantis has signed which mainly involve prohibiting certain topics and books in schools. These topics include issues related to race and sexuality. He has signed laws on limiting abortion. Whilst these issues are favoured by the GOP base, it doesn't appeal to swing voters in battleground states. Issues based on the economy are the deciding factors in a presidential election.
In 2016, one factor in Trump's success was his appeal to blue-collar workers in rust-belt states of MI, OH, WI and PA. They felt left behind by globalisation as industrial jobs had moved abroad. They believed that Trump would be able to bring the industrial jobs back. These voters swung the election towards Trump.
It seems that potential GOP candidates are too focused on culture wars instead of economic issues which are more important to swing voters. However, it might also be tactic to win the GOP primary and then focus on economic issues in the general election.
After the stigma around Trumps presidency and the backlash he’s received, but also with the amount of die hard supporters he has accumulated, is there really a realistic chance he may win the 2024 presidential election as he’s planning on running again?
Generally democrats want tighter gun regulation. I’m trying to understand the party scenarios that would need to play out to have stricter gun laws (I.e no assault rifles). I understand that if reps control the house and dem senate or vice Versa it hard to pass a law, but how come it’s still difficult when the same party has majority of both?
I'm not talking about writing quality legislation that represents interests.
I'm talking about rule changing, deal making, tradition braking, etc. Ignoring the meaning of words and promises to get whatever thing done.
Like changing the rules of electing judges, changing filibuster rules, etc.
Is it good for the constituents when politicians do what ever necessary to get something done in congress?
US Elections It is conceivable that the Democrats will consistently win the presidency in the near future?
With the Republican Party shifting to the right, it seems unlikely that a moderate Republican can be nominated as the presidential nominee. More right wing candidates will win the primary. In the 2022 midterms, we saw that the more right wing candidates lost in battleground states. If this is reflected in a presidential race, that it is very difficult for a right wing GOP nominee to win in key states. The candidate must be able to win over conservatives and moderates.
From history, we can see that this matters. From 1968 to 1992, the Democrats controlled the president for 4 out of 24 years. The 1976 win was extremely lucky due to the Watergate scandal and Ford pardoning Nixon. Carter barely managed to beat Ford. 1972, 1980, 1984 and 1988 were Republican landslides. The candidates such as George McGovern was too far to the left for the American public. Mondale and Dukakis were fairly liberal as well. Carter lost due to his mismanagement of the economy and the Iranian hostage crisis. It was only until the Democrats embraced centrism then they had a chance of winning. Bill Clinton was a moderate.
It seems that unless the GOP nominate a moderate then swing voters will vote for the Democratic candidate. The only way a right wing candidate can win is if the Democrats nominate a far left candidate or if the Democrats mismanage the economy.
Trump’s win in 2016 was an aberration. He was unknown at the time and rode on a populist wave. Moderates in swing states disliked Clinton and were willing to give Trump a chance. The moderates turned against him in the 2018, 2020 and 2022 elections as they were disdained at his behaviour.
This won’t stop the GOP from winning the House or Senate but could affect their chance of winning the presidency.
I’ve finally done enough research to formulate a surface level opinion on military spending. Although, I want to hear some more perspectives to learn more.
Below are some questions:
How do we achieve a responsible budget, without losing too much capability to strike/defend around the world?
Where would the freed up capital be deployed instead?
Possibility of adversarial/rogue states pouncing on the opportunity to engage in more aggressive behavior?
I look forward to learning from the comments!
Political Theory The Republicans did worse than expected in the midterms. As a result, the Congress became more conservative. Are there any ways fix this system?
The Republicans did worse than expected in the midterms. As a result, the moderate conservatives were required to have the full support of the staunch conservatives. This gave the staunch conservatives greater bargaining power, thus pulling congressional leadership to the right.
This seems like the opposite of how things should ideally work. In an ideal system, one would hope that a divided congress results in the center left and center right electing a compromise candidate as speaker.
Ironically, if the Republicans had done better in the midterms, there would have been less need for support from the staunch conservatives. So, a bigger Republican win would have resulted in a more moderate congressional leadership.
One can imagine a similar dynamic playing out in other governments. In a system with many different parties, a narrow win by the center right party may force them to form a coalition with the far right party.
This system works the opposite of how you would expect. In a perfect system, a divided legislature should force the moderates to form a compromise coalition. A big victory by a party should lead to a more staunchly conservative or progressive leadership, depending on which party won.
Is there any way to fix this? Are there alternate methods of selecting the governmental leadership in the aftermath of an election? Or, would you argue that the system works fine as is? Thoughts?
Legal/Courts What is the likelihood that Biden nominates an Asian American to the Supreme Court if a vacancy arises?
Minorities have been nominated onto the Supreme Court. These include the first African American - Marshall. The first women - O’Connor. The first Hispanic - Sotomayor. The first Jewish person - Kagan. The first African American woman - Jackson. However, an Asian American has yet to be nominated.
Asian Americans are hugely underrepresented in the federal judiciary. There are only 48 Asian Americans federal judges out of 871 federal judges (5.5%) which is just under the % of Asian Americans in the country. Biden has appointed a significant Asian American judges onto district and appellate courts.
An Asian American Supreme Court justice may also improve Asian American political participation, this demographic seems the least engaged in politics. This is likely due to the lack of representation at all levels of the federal government. If there is more representation then Asian American will be able to help dictate policies beneficial to them.
Biden has already nominated the first black woman to the court, he could nominate the first Asian American. The difficulties could be that the pool of candidates could be limited. This is entirely dependent on a vacancy arising at all in his term which seems unlikely. Although, this could be equally applied to a future president.
US Elections Suppose Trump's 2024 campaign fizzles out, and DeSantis never announces a presidential run at all. Who is the next logical Republican candidate?
With Donald Trump's 2024 campaign being fuelled by nothing but indignant rage over his 2020 loss, it's becoming clear that a significant portion of the Republican party is preparing to turn to a different leader. Ron DeSantis has been touted as one possible successor to Trump, but has not yet made any official moves towards a presidential run. If Trump's once-iron grip over the party continues to wane, and DeSantis decides to wait it out until 2028 when he doesn't have to face an incumbent president, which GOP figure is the most likely to be the presidential nominee in 2024?