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We need your questions!

  • Oct. 1st, 2008 at 1:57 PM
Hi this is Anita. We will be covering an event in New Delhi hosted by Democrats Abroad where the vice presidential debate between Palin and Biden will be screened. We're looking forward to talking to the crowd there before and after the debate. Do you have any questions for them?


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adamwolf wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:15 am (UTC)
I'm just curious, in general, whether the vision on foreign policy and diplomacy of the Republican team is recieved differently in the US and with US citizins abroad.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 01:37 pm (UTC)
I think that's a really great question!

I'd like to know how important people elsewhere perceive the VP to be, and what their duties encompass. I think it is interesting that you're organising an event for the VP debate, so I'd like to know what the expectations of the VP are.
gregorykennedy wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:04 pm (UTC)
I would be curious to understand their perception of what role religion takes in US politics.
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 03:50 pm (UTC)
Questions for Delhi Democrats
show of hands, How many of you have ordered your absentee Ballots? Why not?

I live in the State of Oregon. Here the ballots are mailed to each registered voter by their county three weeks before the election date. Still many choose not to vote. Maybe these Americans living away from the United States will see things in a different light.
1trackmind wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 08:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
Do you like the mail-in system? King County, Washington is about to do the same thing and I have to say I'm not a fan. When it's a mail-in thing it feels more like paying a bill than doing your civic duty. I much prefer actually going to a polling station and having a day set aside to vote. Now I realize that has its own problems. It's easy for 9-5 workers to vote but not necessarily for others.
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
I came to Oregon from Illinois, I have been active in elections for over 40 years in all 6 states where I have lived, I love the mail in system. Everybody receives a complete booklet about the candidates and the issues with comments pro and con on the ballot measures and you have three weeks or more to study the issues. In all the other elections many of the local issues were surprises and you just checked the ballot blind. but what surprises me is the lack of response we still see in many elections. How can people not take the time to study and vote on the issues that will affect them for years to come? In Oregon we do have a better turnout than the standard state though so it is better still not perfect.
1trackmind wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 10:08 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
We're mailed a local election booklet too, and it includes the local issues. I feel like with a mail-in system you're likely to get a lot more uninformed voters and with a traditional polling place you only get the people who care enough to put a little bit of effort into it. Then again, I love the primary and loathe the caucus system but that's partly due to do with the way it's been grossly mismanaged ever since we switched to that system and I'm also not a fan of the political parties' grab for power. We're going through a transition period right now with how our votes are cast and counted and there's definitely a struggle between the voters and the political parties.
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 04:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
The struggle comes because the politicians are in the back room and the voters are not even taking the time to know what is happening. We want instant correct choices made for us by our representitives in congress and executive offices. When people do not communicate how feel and what they believe 'should be', and then vote to show they really mean it. Well the politicans tell the representitives how to vote and controll them with power and money.

Our job, as aware and concerned citizens is to debate, make our elected officials aware that we are concerned and how we would like then to vote.
Politicans are very good at close-up magic, they distract the people with something big so they can do something else while we are not looking. What has been going on in South America for the past say ten years? we have not been looking in our own back yard because we are distracted. we do not debate enough we are too busy watching American Idol and Lost. It is amazing we know our own names.
1trackmind wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 11:10 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
The struggle comes because the politicians are in the back room and the voters are not even taking the time to know what is happening.

I assume that's in reference to the primary/caucus voters/party struggle I mentioned. I don't think your assessment is accurate in this particular case.

We had a blanket primary, also called an open primary, for close to 80 years in this state. The parties hated it because you weren't required to register for a particular party and you could vote for whoever you wanted on the primary ballot regardless of party.

Then SCOTUS struck down California's very similar method and we've been struggling to find a new system ever since. California's law was struck down because it apparently violated the party's right of free speech where free speech was defined as picking their own party nominee.

The first election after that we had to register for a party and could only pick candidates from that party. I recognize that's how most of the country does it, but it's not how Washington State had been doing it and the voters were furious, myself included. We actually did like voting for the person not the party.

So after that an initiative was passed saying that candidates could list a party preference, but there wouldn't be an official candidate of any given party and the top two vote getters in the primary would advance to the general election, regardless of party and you could once again vote for whoever you wanted.

Personally, I think this system is even more ripe for abuse than the blanket primary. Because the parties don't determine their own nominees, anyone can claim to be affiliated with any party. I can easily imagine Republicans in this area saying they're Democrats (because this is a very heavily Liberal area, if it were a Republican area the opposite could be true) and if voters don't pay attention they won't know the difference. We're already seeing a bit of that with a good number of candidates claiming they aren't "Republicans" they're with the "G.O.P. party," including the man running against our governor. The sad thing is, an awful lot of people don't seem to realize the Republicans and the G.O.P. are the same party.

Which is all a long way of saying on this issue I don't think it's that voters are not informed or apathetic. In fact, they're very informed and still ticked off.

Our job, as aware and concerned citizens is to debate, make our elected officials aware that we are concerned and how we would like then to vote.

But do you believe a politician should always vote how the majority of his constituents believe he should vote? I think too often we forget that we live in a representative democracy, not a direct democracy. That, of course, has some if its own problems. But I think we elect leaders to use their discretion and just because the majority of the country feels it's right doesn't mean it is.

I'm an economic liberal and I think we needed a bailout plan. Unfortunately, most representatives apparently felt the bill needed "sweetners," which I think is unfortunate. It's like the Republicans who claim they were so offended by Pelosi's speech they could no longer vote on the bill. I call BS. Either vote for or against the bill based on its merits. But they, along with many Democrats, wanted an excuse not to vote for it because it's hugely unpopular. But I'm not convinced the fact that it's hugely unpopular makes it the wrong thing to do.
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 3rd, 2008 12:55 am (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
Well actually I was referring to the Representatives being handled by corporate and political "experts". But your observations are equally valid within our conversation. I was not aware of the unique elements of the primary process in WA State. I should read a little more, I have avoided most of the news papers to reduce stress.

I have posted a link to Peter DeFazio's letter about NO BAILOUT Act. I believe it is a viable alternative to the current bill coming up. Perhaps they do not have enough support to bring it into play maybe if enough people get it and write and call it can be brought to the table. here is the link

Time for the debate.
lilliebelle2007 wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
I really like the mail-in system as well. I feel like I'm more informed and can take some time before I cast my ballot to read through the information they send and look up things I'm curious about. It was especially great when I first stared voting. It set a trend for me of informed and conscientious voting.
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
This has been my experaince too. I have time to find out and make up my own mind. I also campaign for candidates and issues I feel strongly reflect my positions. we are supposed to be active with our government, that is the American Way. Those who say we should not reviel our stand are aftaid of the King and prince coming down on them that is the old European way.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 1st, 2008 11:36 pm (UTC)
hazelwindows wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 04:51 am (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
I've been mailing in for years in Oregon, and I like that method much better too. It makes me more likely to take the time to research fully and to be sure to vote. I don't think that people who mail votes in are any less invested in knowing what the issues at hand are then the people showing up at voting booths.
1trackmind wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 05:22 am (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
I just wish it were a choice to go to polls or do mail-in. I think people should certainly be free to choose which method they prefer.

I can certainly understand not wanting to vote in a church. I found that disconcerting myself.

To each his or her own, I suppose.
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 05:02 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
you know you could go to the county elections office and vote there. the important thing is that you vote and encourage others to vote too. maybe not how to vote, but to just make up their own minds and vote! and do not forget debate communication is a part of the process others do not have to participate. But why not try it on see if the idea fits.
1trackmind wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 10:51 pm (UTC)
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats
I'm not sure if that's an option when we go to all mail or not.

But I agree, voting is important. I care enough to go to the horribly overcrowded and badly mismanaged caucuses in a major election year.
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats - kenbearhill - Oct. 2nd, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC) Expand
Re: Questions for Delhi Democrats - 1trackmind - Oct. 2nd, 2008 11:41 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 1st, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 11:35 pm (UTC)
Do you really think most of the Americans overseas are Military? There are many Ex-pats out there. Our corporations send out many people all over the world. Many live for years in their host countries and then come home to retire. Just like John Adams.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 2nd, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 3rd, 2008 01:00 am (UTC)
Sorry for the gentle poke. having been military and being related to others on deployment from the State Department and being a very liberal reactive person I sometimes say things that sound harsh. Sorry.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 3rd, 2008 04:50 am (UTC)
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 3rd, 2008 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: americans abroad
Generally I agree, the basic Colonial attitude is strong in American policy. We chose to overlook this as "Red Blooded Patriotic Americans". We should be appalled the people who make are shoes are paid $2 a day or less and we pay $200 for a pair of sneakers. We should be ashamed children, who's parents lived sustainable lives in jungles, now live on garbage piles where their village once stood.
The excesses of the Multi-National Corporations must be checked and we must review our ethical policy especially when it seems to hurt.
1trackmind wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
I'd be interested in knowing if they follow American political coverage (papers, websites, etc.) and if so how it compares to the media coverage at their current location.
1trackmind wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 09:01 pm (UTC)
Other question: how much do they think the VP matters? I think in 2000 there were an awful lot of people who were voting for Cheney more than Bush. There seemed to be an assumption that Bush was a nice guy, and Cheney would keep him from doing anything too disastrous. I think that had changed by 2004 when people were voting for Bush rather than Cheney. Initially it looked like Palin may have had the same effect.
india24x7 wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 09:46 pm (UTC)
Questions and clarifications from Arif
I would like to ask the following questions as to how what seemed to be like a certain victory for the Democrats in the US Presidential election is becoming like a long drawn struggle? I mean after enduring 8 long years of Bush's failed policies both on the domestic front as well as those concerning US's role as a Superpower in a unipolar world...now suddenly the American election scene is shifting and this churning is going to help the Republican party nominee Sen. McCain to a great extent in this election come what may..., be the financial crisis at the moment or America's engagement in Iraq and Afghanistan.
To be more specific my view is that the selection of Sen. Obama as Democratic party nominee instead of Sen. Hillary Clinton who won most of the big states and also the swing states in the Democratic primary and who suffered humiliation not only at the hands of Sen. Obama who even did not considered her qualified enough to be on his ticket (VP pick) and the bad press she got may ultimately be the reason for him to lose the battle for White House.
Why Sen. Obama ignored Hillary Clinton and did not pick her as his running mate?
The other question which pains me a lot concerns Sen. Obama's tough talk about launching an aggression against Pakistan thus violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of a friendly country which is the frontline state in it's war against terror.
Is talking about peace in Iraq and pursuing an aggressive policy against Pakistan even to the extent of launching full scale military offensive... not contradictory? Cant' he talk about reviewing and assessing all the failed policies of Bush administration once he gets into that position?
Last but not least is he qualified enough to be the Commander-in -Chief given the fact that he has no prior administrative experience? Looking objectively it seems that Gov. Pallin has more administrative experience than Sen. Obama.
In times of crisis he is seen to be cold and not giving out his opinion or point of view....is this a good quality in a leader who is aspiring to be the President of US?
Hope some of my concerns may be addressed in the event to be organised in Delhi which has been supported by Democrats Abroad.
With my kind regards
Syed Arif Ahmad
cnst wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:17 pm (UTC)
Matt Gonzalez?
I'd be interested to ask why they didn't invite any other major contenders for the vice-president position, like Matt Gonzalez of the Bay Area? Thanks, Constantine.
sophia_sadek wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:32 pm (UTC)
Sense of security
I'd be curious to hear whether they feel secure as Americans living abroad so close to the epicenter of opposition to American foreign policy. Would they see the election of either candidate as tending to improve or degrade their sense of being at risk of attack. If they were in India before the Bush administration, I'd be interested to hear if their sense of security has improved or degraded between the Clinton and Bush regimes.
laurasmagicday wrote:
Oct. 1st, 2008 11:46 pm (UTC)
Why did a bank want to place a 15 day hold on my cashier's check last week when I wanted to deposit it into a bank??? Cashier's checks are cash supposed to be like cash, right?

Edited at 2008-10-01 11:47 pm (UTC)
kenbearhill wrote:
Oct. 2nd, 2008 05:19 pm (UTC)
Cashiers Checks are easy to counterfeit and it takes time to make sure the check is real. Better this than being stuck with a counterfeit check and being forced to payback and fines.
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