The Daily Banter

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This week's questions. Answers from me, Chez and Ben here.

1) I live in Australia and voting is mandatory here. In fact, my wife and I just had to vote this last weekend in council elections. It's not like they'll arrest you or anything -- they'll just fine you. Do you think mandatory voting in the United States could lead to viable third (or even fourth) parties in the future and what do you think it would take to institute mandatory voting? Do you think it would go down with difficulty among the populace? Do you think anybody would even TRY to introduce the concept?
-- Thomas

2) I'm a staunch supporter of Barack Obama and I've already cast my vote for him. My husband is a staunch Romney supporter and not only does he intend to vote for him but I get the impression he looks down on me condescendingly, as if I'm a well-meaning little kid who just doesn't understand how the world works, all because I'm not Republican and won't vote Romney. Any thoughts on how to handle my situation?
-- SB

3) Given the accessibility of information in our current times, in light of how disparate the two candidates, and yet with the election/polling this close, is it safe to say that Americans are as willfully ignorant as we have ever been in our history?
-- Jason

  • i_a_c

    We will never see a viable third party in this country. That doesn’t have anything to do with monied interests, it has to do with our system of government and how we elect our leaders. Third parties necessarily lose unless they fly under one of the two major banners. The two major parties may change or realign, but there will never be more than two for any nontrivial length of time.

  • Jimmy the T

    To SB: Withold. He’ll soon understand how the world works.

    • nicole

      HA! :)

    • Victor_the_Crab

      Especially if he loves receiving, if you know what I mean! ;)

  • KABoink_after_wingnut_hacker

    A staunch republican being condescending toward a woman?
    Now, whodathunk?

  • Razor

    I’m sure there are a ton of people who make it work, but I have no idea how you could be in a relationship with someone who opposes your political views, let alone in the condescending, prickish way described in the email.

    I’ve dated girls who had drastically different views than me: one was religious, one had rich parents (guess which party they donated to!?), and one didn’t care about politics. It played a role in each breakup. My wife is pretty much in line with me (although we both insist the other is more liberal) and politics is such a frequent topic in the house, I can’t imagine how it would work if we fundamentally disagreed.