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SaveTheMackerel

Profile Information

Gender: Female
Current location: Boise, Idaho
Member since: Fri Feb 19, 2016, 08:42 PM
Number of posts: 37

About Me

I'm concerned about the polarization of our political system, lack of choices, and the feeling that if I vote for who I prefer, it will be futile and elect my least preferred candidate. I spend most of my time trying to figure out systems that will bring the greatest good. Most systems can easily be gamed by either side. I scrap many such ideas. When I come up with what I think is a good idea, I then need other political minds to bounce those ideas off of. That is why I'm here.

Journal Archives

What is a balanced solution to when a father discovers he is not the DNA father?

Suppose a man's girlfriend or wife suspects he is the father of her kid and tells him he is. He signs the birth certificate. Then a year later, he gets suspicious, has a DNA test, finds out it is not his, and then no longer wants the kid. What should be done in that case that balances his rights, the kid's and mother's financial well being, and is accepted by the tax payers?

In most states, he has to pay for the next 17 years. Even if no law says that, judges in all 50 states often set aside DNA evidence and say they have to rule in the best interest of the child, which is for him to pay. Most states have a 2 year or 60 day statute of limitations, or even make it permanent once the birth certificate is signed. If the husband checks the DNA only after his ex gets full custody, it is too late for him.

On the opposite extreme, some guys want to sue the mother for any aid they gave her, even though she clearly has no money.

A less extreme view is that if he ever finds out, he is simply free to go but should not sue. I think that could suddenly put the mother in a bad spot. She should at least be given up to a year or 2 of notice so she can alter her employment situation.

What do you think is a fair compromise in this case?

The Colorado legislature says that up till age 5, the father can bail, but the next day after, he is on the hook for the next 13 years if he bails. I don't like that sudden big jump, since guys will bail a day before, and women may act nice until the day after. That currently is the most generous state for men.

California temporarily had a law that let men escape at any point with a DNA test. It was on the books for about 4 years before being overturned. I think the real unstated reason was no one wants any single mom to be dependent on a guy for her next month's rent. That makes her too weak in the relationship. I think him having to pay for 18 makes him too weak. So I propose my sliding scale:

Here is my compromise, which I would like your input on:
1. Starting with 90 days of child support at birth if he calls it off then, she should be eligible for an additional day for each day he continues to father the kid. So after 4 years, he owes 4 years and 90 days past the date of ending it. He won't risk insulting her by demanding a test, but he will have opportunities eventually, and should only be responsible for the number of days he waited.
2. Maybe it should be capped at 5 years from the date he leaves the kid, so if he leaves at age 5, she is still covered till age 10 years and 90 days.
3. He can't sue retroactively. If he is so concerned, he should have got a test earlier. Also, she should not be able to sue retroactively either. She can only sue going forward.


Does that sound any fairer than the 3 status quo solutions?


I wonder in most court cases, if the judges are really one sided, or if they are just picking one of 2 extremes and would have agreed to a middle ground if asked.

Posted by SaveTheMackerel | Sun Feb 21, 2016, 01:25 AM (5 replies)

A good for reason for each demographic group to vote separately?

Suppose a particular minority does not vote much compared to a more fluent group.

If we know that 20% of the population, being a certain race or group, has 10% turnout, and the other 80% has 75% turnout, is it right to count their votes in total, 0.2*0.1 + 0.8*0.75? If the groups were separated and voted at different locations, then even if the minority had a low turnout, we could let those who show up represent those who did not. Their votes would still count for 20%, and those in the majority who showed up would still represent their group and count for the 80%.

This way, even if mail in votes are deliberately lost, it would not change the outcome by much.


If 100 Californians show up the polls, and a million New Yorkers show up, the electoral votes for the Californians still count for more. I'm thinking the same concept, but local, by demographic, and not winner takes all, just proportional.
Posted by SaveTheMackerel | Sun Feb 21, 2016, 12:59 AM (1 replies)

Which of these is the best ballot access policy?

A)
Candidates must collect signatures to get on the ballot.

B)
Political parties with a certain percent of the population may place candidates on the ballot.

C)
Let candidates get on by paying a fee.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
1)
Set a fixed standard high enough so that typically at most 2 are on the ballot.

2)
Set a fixed standard high enough so that 4 or some other are typically on the ballot.

3)
Set no standard. One signature is enough. If 100 apply, let voluntary conventions or the voters decide who they will vote for.

4)
Set no minimum standard, but only let the highest 2 or 4 get on the ballot, but the standard signature, fee, or party size.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Is the current ballot access system near optimal already? Is suppression of the vote our only concern? When democrats lose in gerrymandered districts, would running closer to the center help them? Do current primary systems make it too difficult for moderates to get nominated in such districts?
Posted by SaveTheMackerel | Sat Feb 20, 2016, 11:34 AM (0 replies)

Why are anti-choice voters perceived as male?

Most pro-choice rhetoric that hints at the sex of anti-choice people paints them as male. According to Gallup, abortion opinion is split 50-50 in each sex. Sarah Palin believes that abortion should be illegal at conception with only a few exceptions. However, the anger about anti-choice voters imposing their will on women either paints them as male or does not mention their sex at all.


If we want pro-choice men to feel safe in the Democratic party, is projecting hate at males in general a good strategy?

If pro-choice men feel that feminists hate them, they might feel afraid to vote Democrat, even though they don't like the Republican's hatred of women. Those men might just stay home on election day. Is that what we want?


The "admitting privileges" situation in Texas likely would have brought many pro-choice men to vote Democrat in November. Now that a court has overturned those laws, it makes the abortion issue look a bit less urgent to independent voters. Hopefully they still show up to the polls and vote Democrat.
Posted by SaveTheMackerel | Sat Feb 20, 2016, 01:02 AM (10 replies)

The problem with ranked choice voting, and even approval voting:

First, I'm a fan of voters having more choices. But I distrust computerized counters.

The appeal of ranked choice voting is that people can rank the candidates, and that if their 1st choice does not win, maybe their 2nd choice will, so that they can express their true preference instead of trust the media about who is viable.


All ranked choice voting takes much longer to count. If we have as much vote counting fraud as we do no with just single vote, how much more fraud would be possible with IRV?

With Condorcet, a 5 person race has 5+4+3+2+1 = 15 head to head runoffs. It is susceptible to burying, which could lead to an A beats B beats C beats A cycle.

With Instant Runoff, if your 1st choice does is eliminated your vote does not necessarily go to your 2nd choice, since your 2nd choice may have been eliminated first.

Approval voting seems simpler, but even it has strategic voting that can anger all sides except the lucky winners. 5 candidates also means 5x as many votes to count. I think it is better than single vote, for a 1 round race, but not by a lot, and maybe not enough to justify the extra counting. Most proponents of Approval voting want a box next to each name, which you can check or leave blank. What if the counter then checks extra boxes? The ballot would not look spoiled.
Posted by SaveTheMackerel | Sat Feb 20, 2016, 12:36 AM (4 replies)
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