Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2012 November 7

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November 7[edit]

senate gavel[edit]

Is it possible to buy replicas of the us senate gavel? Its very distinctive — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:20, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

For the curious, see Gavel#United States Congress gavels. For the OP, I'd imagine that one of the gift shops in the Washington, DC area would carry one. Dismas|(talk) 03:12, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Number of polling stations in America[edit]

How many total polling stations are there in the United States for this election? --superioridad (discusión) 03:02, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

According to this report there were 113,754 polling places in 2004. I couldn't find the equiivilent report for a later year, but you might be able to find it at RudolfRed (talk) 03:22, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Since I became old enough to vote, quite a few elections ago, I have never found a long line or had to wait more than a few minutes to start voting. But in the last 2 presidential elections (at least) I've read about voters, typically in urban areas, having to stand in line for several hours due to too many voters assigned to a polling station and too few voting stations. This has been called "voter suppression" as a tactic in states with one party in charge of conducting elections trying to keep down the number of votes cast in areas likely to favor the other party. The Help America Vote Act helped get rid of punchcard machines after the 2000 Florida fiasco, and provided funding for states to buy modern voting technology and to provide handicapped access, but apparently it did not ensure that a voter could actually get into a polling place in a reasonable fashion, nor did it ensure equal access to a polling place throughout a state, since voting stations can be "rationed" in opposition areas. Has there been legislation to ensure equal access to a voting station, avoiding the appearance of intentional suppression of voting access, and how far did it get in Congress? .Possible remedies are early voting, mail-in voting, fax voting, or computer voting. Early voting similarly is subject to "rationing" as a suppression technique, while the other methods are not Secret ballots, since precinct workers in a big city machine or other bosses might insist on seeing how the person voted, or might pay for desired voting. Edison (talk) 19:13, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]


What type of government is described as one where there are no parties, and legislative decisions are made based on recomendations by independant experts, instead of running a poll on what the people want? Plasmic Physics (talk) 05:22, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Technocracy. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 05:25, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I was going to say Fantasy. Someguy1221 (talk) 05:35, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Has it ever been trialed? In the leading paragraph, it excludes economists, but isn't economic science a legitimate field which would be beneficial to this system.
A democracy is annoying, for instance: Here in New Zealand, people don't want GMO to be researched or traded in New Zealand, because of misconceptions.
In a lot of cases people want to have their cake and eat it too, and they hold the government hostage. The government ends up damned if they do, and damned if they don't. Plasmic Physics (talk) 06:46, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
More on economics: you can make all the legislature you want, but it will do you no good if you can't manage you finances? Plasmic Physics (talk) 06:50, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Is that genetically modified cake? -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 06:53, 7 November 2012 (UTC) [reply]
If that's a joke, I don't get it. Plasmic Physics (talk) 08:13, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Technocrats = scientists = folks who can genetically modify things. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 23:41, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It's simpler than that. GMO takes me to Genetically modified organism. If that wasn't what Plasmic meant by GMO, they'd better fess up now. Add that to the cake reference and bingo. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 00:06, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I meant genetically modified organisms. What's with all the cakes? I don't get the allusion. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:18, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Ooooh. You're refering to my metaphor. I forgot I posted that. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:21, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
You may now laugh. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 19:09, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Some anti-GMO opposition can be annoying, as when some well-fed do-gooding Europeans in 2002 pretty much advised the governments of Malawi and Zambia to let their citizens starve rather than accept U.S. food aid in the form of modified corn (maize) which Americans themselves were eating in large quantities. However, one thing which is true is that existing GMO seems mainly designed to benefit the Monsanto corporation, which is far from an ideal corporate citizen (to say the least)... AnonMoos (talk) 10:14, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
What about the practice of Hydraulic fracturing? Over here, people are suffering severely from confirmational bias, not helped by the media. Or oil, we can drill offshore for oil in our teritory, but because people are afraid of the worst case scenario, they are polling against it. Goodness, I could get run over by a bus when I cross the street, but that doesn't stop me. Don't get me started on the impact of groupthink on mainstream society's decision making ability. Plasmic Physics (talk) 10:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
You might find the government of Maria Theresa of Austria interesting. A very conservative Catholic, she appointed a range of experts to run various areas of her government. The result was weirdly mixed - some of the most progressive serf-law reform of the era, a number of other reforms, but increased anti-semitism and the deportation of sex workers. AlexTiefling (talk) 09:24, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Interesting, even though it was only a pseudotechnocracy, it did have some success. What are the reasons why it's not used today, is it just to radical? Perhaps, people are just afraid of the unknown. Plasmic Physics (talk) 10:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
More usually described as enlightened despotism about which, we have an article. Alansplodge (talk) 12:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The main problems are lack of accountability and lack of succession security. On the first point - when things go wrong, the people who are affected can easily become dissatisfied, and want to hold decision-makers to account. Despotism can work very well when the going is good, or when misfortune is obviously the product of external malice, but when the cause appears internal, people want answers. Louis XVI and Charles I of England paid the price for trying to exercise absolute rule, and James II & VII came off quite badly too. Democracy may only rarely deliver a highly-tooled government of experts, but it provides a regular mechanism for accountability. Succession security is a related problem - if your despot is very effective (Charles II of England, Maria Theresa, Augustus) then whoever replaces them is likely to be a disappointment. Either you have rigid rules for succession (in which case the successor might be a baby, a foreigner, or someone unwilling or unable to govern) or there's some kind of unseemly semi-legal contest, possibly involving civil war or assassination. That sort of thing is bad for national security and individual prosperity. AlexTiefling (talk) 12:31, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
How about one head of state, seven personal advisers, and 49 decision-makers. This head of state would not have any real power, other than communicating with the public, and proposing ideas to the decision-makers for consideration? It would really be 49 who would be held accountable. The whole system would be independently checked at every tier. The 49 would be fed concerns by local representatives in contact with the public. The decision makers are elected from qualified representatives, by an external group of experts. The succession of the head of state would be irrelevant, since he is only a figurehead. I don't think veto power is a good idea, look at what UN vetoing gave Syrian rebells - a whole lot of nothing. Plasmic Physics (talk) 22:16, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
These days, I think people would regard that as insufficiently accountable. But I see the point. Next week, people here in the UK will elect police commissioners; I want the police to be run by the police. But I'd also like them to be accountable, both to politicians and to some kind of genuinely independent overseeing body. I'd be interested in moves to increase independent oversight of public services and media, whilst moving to a wholly elected legislature and executive. AlexTiefling (talk) 00:15, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Accountability is annoying as well. I remember recently, a news item about flights grounded because of bad weather - in the desperation of pointing fingers, would-be passangers blamed the airpot for their misfortune. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:26, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The current government of Italy could be seen as an example of this, though our article describes it as a 'government of technocrats', rather than a technocracy. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 13:11, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think "government of technocrats" is probably a mistranslation of governo tecnico, more literally "technical government". The better translation into English is probably "national unity government" or something like that. Technocrat is a very unfortunate word to use for this; there is no connection with the ideology of technocracy. --Trovatore (talk) 00:15, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Actually it's a government composed mainly of non-political figures who are subject matter experts, so "technocrat" is the correct term. --Xuxl (talk) 10:49, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
No, it isn't (although I do have to amend my statement; from the article, it does look like they had technocracy in mind). But it's an error. Technocracy is a particular ideology, anti-democratic and anti-capitalist. See technocracy movement. Monti specifically is a little bit anti-capitalist, but a governo tecnico in general does not have to be, and it's not even supposed to matter whether it is, because such a government is not supposed to undertake any major reforms; those are supposed to be left for the next governo politico. --Trovatore (talk) 19:17, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well that sounds like the next best thing to a technocracy, if only it was independently moderated, then 'that guy' would have been sorted out pretty quickly. Plasmic Physics (talk) 12:30, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Mmmm. I think what they have in Italy is genuinely a democratic government run by technocrats, as opposed to a technocracy, which seems like it would be closer to what we would recognise as a dictatorship. By 'that guy', do you mean Silvio Berlusconi? He's no longer a part of the government - indeed he may soon be going to prison. - Cucumber Mike (talk) 19:21, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I really do object to calling them technocrats. That would be as though, every time you temporarily reconfigured a cabinet to work formally the way the Soviet ones did, you started calling its members "communists". --Trovatore (talk) 19:32, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Hha. Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yes do mean him, and I did use past tense to recognise the fact that he's no longer part of the government. My point was that he did not get sorted out quickly. Plasmic Physics (talk) 21:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

United States presidential election, 2016[edit]

Can Mitt Romney run away for president in 2016? What is the statement in the article means: "As former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney was not elected, possible candidates include:"? <--- this statement. If he eligible to run away then why his name isn't in the possible candidate section? (talk) 06:05, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

AFAIK, among natural born American citizens over the age of 35, only three people alive now are ineligible to run in 2016: Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. Literally every other qualified person is allowed to run. Also, I don't know that any actual reliable sources have speculated that he will run in 2016. There have been some names floated as possible candidates in 2016, but I don't believe that Romney is among them. He's certainly eligible, but there's been no one claiming that he is likely to run. --Jayron32 06:10, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Just wondering, in the UK I believe you can't stand for parliament if certified insane or if you are currently in prison. Would the insane and prison inmates also be inelligable to run for president in the USA? -- Q Chris (talk) 15:58, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Because it has become un-customary. I believe the last person nominated for the presidency by a Major Party after losing was Richard Nixon (lost in 1960, won in 1968). —Tamfang (talk) 06:14, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Am I the only one that's confused by the use of the word "away" in this question? That said, I don't know why Romney would have said anything about the 2016 election when the 2012 election is still wrapping up. On the other hand, news sources are saying that he's called Obama to concede. So he might have said to someone, "Just wait till 2016" or some such thing. Dismas|(talk) 06:18, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Presumably "away" was meant to be "again". StuRat (talk) 08:27, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think the pundits are deeming it unlikely Romney would run or be acceptable to the Republican Party next time. As was noted, Nixon was the last man to run for the presidency and lose in the general election, and subsequently win it. I believe he is the only president to do so since the Civil War (as I recall, Andrew Jackson also accomplished the feat). The only other repeat losers in the 20th century that I recall offhand are William Jennings Bryan and Thomas Dewey. I think the Republicans will move on and try again next time with someone else who will lack the matters (wealth, Bain Capital) on which Romney was successfully attacked.--Wehwalt (talk) 06:37, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
"Since Nixon, no one has been nominated after losing. Therefore Romney will never be nominated again." reeks of hasty generalization. A recent xkcd comic[1] was precisely about this sort of fallacy. A8875 (talk) 06:51, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Nixon wasn't terribly damaged by his loss to Kennedy, due to the controversy of the election, among other factors, such as having to defend everything that had happened in the previous eight years. He was also considerably younger than Romney.--Wehwalt (talk) 06:58, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Adlai Stevenson II lost in 1952 and again in 1956. Looie496 (talk) 07:08, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Forgot him ... easy to do.--Wehwalt (talk) 07:23, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Pretty sure Romney recently (or was it Ann?) came out and said that if he lost he simply wouldn't run again and would retire from politics. The Masked Booby (talk) 07:31, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
(ec)Romney's eligible to run in 2016 or whenever. Trouble is, he's 65 already. And I was hearing something today (maybe on NPR) that both of their wives informed them that this is the last time they're running for office. Even forgetting that, as noted above, winning after losing is very hard to do. Conventional wisdom in 1956 was, why waste a good candidate against Eisenhower, who's unbeatable anyway? ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:32, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Grover Cleveland. —Tamfang (talk) 07:50, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Cleveland, though he lost the electoral college in 1888, won a popular plurality, so he was not a rejected former president (to a certain extent he was after 1897), since he was fairly clearly rejected by his own party in 1896.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:07, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think, under the proper circumstances, a losing presidential candidate might run again and win. For example, if he ran against a really strong opponent the first time around, who was beloved by all, and the economy was great, then people wouldn't hold it against him for losing. In this case, though, there are plenty of people who dislike Obama, and the economy is rather weak, so not being able to win seems to indicate that there is something wrong with Romney as a candidate. To list a few things, he's flip-flopped quite a bit, he ran a Wall Street firm (Bain Capital) which took over other companies, he supported the Wall Street bail-out while opposing the Detroit bail-out, he's a Mormon, he comes off as unsympathetic to the poor (his "47%" remark, saying that anyone can go to college without government help by having their parents pay for it, etc.), he's boring, and he's getting a bit old. I'm not saying that those things are bad, just that they make him less popular with the voters. It's amazing the Republicans couldn't come up with a stronger candidate, in a year where the President was obviously vulnerable. StuRat (talk) 08:41, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Stu, for all the issues you listed, I recall a young somewhat progressive minded voter saying recently that Romney was "the least bad" of the 2012 candidates for the Republican nomination. He might be saying now that he won't run, but few of the persons eyeing a 2016 nomination want to come out and publicly announce their candidacy early. A "frontrunner" often falters. Nixon was seemingly burned out from politics when he gave what he claimed to be Richard Nixon's last press conference in 1962 and seemed depressed, embittered and possibly having a breakdown, snarling "You don't have Nixon to kick around anymore.". Then he came back 6 years later raring to go and won the Presidency. Romney will be too old because he's 65? Hillary Clinton is also 65, and is frequently named as a leading contender for the 2016 Democratic nomination, however much she denies it. Edison (talk) 18:51, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I agree that Mitt Romney was the "least bad" of the Republican contenders, but it was a pathetic slate. What they needed to win the general election was a charismatic moderate. Romney isn't charismatic, but could have run as a moderate, on his record as Massachusetts governor, specifically on "Romneycare". Unfortunately, the Republican party has moved so far to the right that a moderate could not win the primary. Thus, to win the primary, Romney had to move to the right, such as promising to repeal "Obamacare", which made him unable to win the general election. As for age, he would be 69 at the 2016 election, and about 70 when he takes office, if elected, and 78 when he leaves office, if he serves two full terms. Yes, Ronald Reagan was about that old, but did suffer from Alzheimer's, possibly in his last years of office. So, I think it's fair to count this as a strike against him. It's also a strike against Hilary Clinton, although women tend to live a bit longer, so not quite as much. StuRat (talk) 19:06, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
"Obamacare" is actually pretty unpopular among US voters, according to most polls. (talk) 01:16, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well, it certainly does need tweaking, as most people would agree. However, Romney's position that the Federal government shouldn't do anything at all to help the poor get insurance isn't exactly "moderate". StuRat (talk) 10:34, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
If he also held that government ought to do nothing to prevent the poor from getting insurance, that would be true moderation, though when the implications sink in it would be called extremism. —Tamfang (talk) 20:19, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Obama was actually pretty unpopular among US voters according to most polls, but it doesn't seem to have affected his popularity among US voters. I venture to say the popularity of Obamacare is pretty close to the popularity of Obama, and that "most polls" is less interesting than "most competent polls". Nate Silver and all that. Gzuckier (talk) 06:20, 10 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Romney could legally run again if he wanted to, but leaving aside the likely political difficulty he'd have getting the GOP nomination a second time, he and his wife Ann have made it pretty clear that they're not interested in going through yet another grueling campaign. Obama has said similar things, that this was his last campaign and he is glad of it. Bill Clinton must have enjoyed campaigning more, since after leaving office he said he'd have run a third time if he was allowed to. And John F. Kennedy while in office, supposedly envisioned running for his old Senate seat again after serving two terms as president.

There are signs of a serious shake-up brewing in the GOP due to yesterday's losses.[2] Their 2016 nominee may well be someone who is completely off the radar today, and their political and policy strategies may be a lot different than what we've seen over the past few years. (talk) 05:33, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

So who are the current front-runners for the Democratic and Republican nominations in 2016? Not asking for crystal ball gazing here. Just wondering who commentators are speculating about, if anyone. --Viennese Waltz 08:24, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well, for the Republicans, Marco Rubio of Florida is speculated about. Chris Christie of New Jersey is a possibility, but his bearhug of Obama last week may have given Obama the presidency and cost Christie his shot, it all depends on how people feel about it when all this sinks in. He also has a tough re-election battle next year, and would be in much better shape if he wins. For the Democrats, Secretary Clinton and Biden are spoken of, though I can't imagine Joe Biden winning the nomination. There are plenty of others, the Washington post has been pushing Governor Martin O'Malley of Maryland and Senator-elect Tim Kaine of Virginia among the Democrats.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:34, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I've just skimmed, so I apologize if someone has said this already, but I believe the phrase the OP was referring to just contrasts with a counterfactual. If Romney had won, there would be little to no speculation about the Republican nominee—he would run again. So the idea is, "As he lost, possible candidates include..." There's no legal reason Romney couldn't win again, but as others have noted, it can be hard for someone who has lost a previous election to shake the perception of being a "loser." --BDD (talk) 20:24, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Reason(s) for party majority difference between U.S. Senate and U.S. Governors?[edit]

As I write this the projected U.S. Senate will have 52 Democrats and 44 Republicans. Among the 50 states, there will be only 17 Democratic governors and 30 Republicans. If we double that number you end up with 52:44 Senate ratio and 34:60 Governor ratio, not only opposite that of the Senate but even more lopsided. Is there any clear reason for this reality? In theory both positions fully represent all constituents in that particular state, though I can accept that some fractious voting can occur with one state having two senators. Even then, I would expect the ratios to at least favor the same party... The Masked Booby (talk) 07:28, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Incumbent Congressmen and Senators tend to get re-elected unless they say or do something extraordinarily stupid. Governors are more directly vulnerable because their impact (or lack thereof) is more immediately observable. ←Baseball Bugs What's up, Doc? carrots→ 07:35, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Governors of 36 states and 4 territories are subject to term limits. DOR (HK) (talk) 08:17, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And senators have a 6 year term, while many governors have shorter terms. That make them more vulnerable to swings in the mood of the electorate than the Senate. StuRat (talk) 08:22, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Many of the present governors were elected in 2009 and 2010, both of which were generally good years for Republicans.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:07, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Governors are judge on how good an executive they are, and whether they balance the budget and the state economy is good. Senators are judged on how much pork they can steal from other states. μηδείς (talk) 16:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Additionally, some voters just like divided government, or else have different estimations of their state Democratic and Republican parties compared to their national organizations. When Scott Walker survived a recall attempt earlier this year, exit polling indicated a majority of Wisconsinites would have voted for Obama if the presidential election were held the same day. West Virginia is a prominent example in the opposite direction. There, Democrats maintain a wide registration advantage on paper, but the state has become a reliable Republican vote in presidential elections. Nevertheless, state Democratic politicians, such as Joe Manchin and Earl Ray Tomblin, remain popular enough for reelection. They generally take pains to distance themselves from the national party, however. --BDD (talk) 18:02, 9 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Puerto Rican status referendum, 2012[edit]

What happens now that Puerto Rico has voted to attempt to become the 51st US state? On what timeline could we expect them to become the 51st state? What are the odds that it will actually happen? Ks0stm (TCGE) 07:39, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I would expect Republicans to block statehood, since this would presumably give Democrats more votes. So, it would have to wait until Democrats control both houses of Congress and the Presidency. Right now they only control 2 of the 3. Another possibility is that Republicans might vote for it in exchange for something else, like abolishing "Obamacare". StuRat (talk) 08:48, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Basically so. The Constitution grants exclusive power to grant statehood to Congress. DC's been trying for years, though there are a number of reasons why it has been denied. And given the fact that presidents in their second term almost always lose seats for their party in the midterms, I would not count on getting a new flag soon.--Wehwalt (talk) 09:05, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
As per Political status of Puerto Rico#Republican Party 2012 Platform, the official Repulican Party platform is in support statehood if the people express a desire for it. Of course this doesn't mean they're going to proceed with it, but this is also the first time are referendum has came out with a majority seemingly in favour of statehood. Nil Einne (talk) 13:13, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
There are plenty of issues on which statehood can founder. Public lands, for example. I would not expect it soon. Maybe in the runup to the midterms, if either side feels there's a point to be made. If the referendum has passed, then I would expect Puerto Rico's delegate to Congress to get a draft bill written and present it.--Wehwalt (talk) 13:26, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Apparently Puerto Rican statehood would mean they would get 2 Senators and 5 or so Representatives (as a proportionate share of the 435 total), as well as 7 or so electoral votes, which would likely be solid Democratic in the present political climate. Logically, the Republican party would oppose this. In the 19th century, there were "compromises" wherein the South avoided an increase in Free states by adding a slave state.. So would it be more palatable to the Republicans if some new Red state were admitted, such as a split off from Texas? See List of U.S. state partition proposals for the history of proposals to split states. This has certainly been done in the past. If Texas were split along the Colorado River, as was once proposed, and if southern Utah were split, the new Republican states would balance possible new statehood for Democrat-leaning Puerto Rico and DC. Edison (talk) 15:55, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Splitting Texas wouldn't guarantee 2 extra Republican senators (and 2 extra electors) though. Worst case scenario it might actually deliver 2 senators (and 2 electors) to the Democrats[3]. NM is solid blue state, and I would expect the south-west half of Texas to be the same. A8875 (talk) 18:13, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
West Texas outside of El Paso and the Rio Grande valley is highly-conservative. New Mexico's Democratic leanings are in large part due to the particular circumstances of northern New Mexico, which might not have much relevance to southwest Texas... AnonMoos (talk) 00:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Maybe a split-off of South California? (talk) 01:10, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
StuRat -- If the congressional Republicans block Puerto Rican statehood in any obvious or petty way, they'll be giving themselves another public relations black eye at a time when they badly need an image makeover. They could remember that Eisenhower signed off on Hawaii statehood... AnonMoos (talk) 15:39, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Two points:
1) They can't do much worse among Hispanics than they already are, due to their immigration policy (even though the last President Bush actually had a reasonable policy). Their core, on the other hand, would be energized by the fight to "keep those damned foreigners out".
2) They wouldn't make it obvious they weren't going to admit PR, as that would be a PR disaster. They would instead form committees to study the details, which never reach a conclusion. Politicians are experts at not making decisions, while covering themselves publicly. StuRat (talk) 18:48, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Hawaii was initially Republican (Hiram Fong, for example) and Alaska rather Democratic, at least some of the time. It's been common in U.S. history to admit two states at about the same time to keep the balance.--Wehwalt (talk) 15:56, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
On the other hand, if the Republicans champion statehood for Puerto Rico, they might have a chance to break up the current Hispanic voting block held by the Democrats. Blueboar (talk) 16:04, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And if they champion the war on poverty (as opposed to the war on poor people), they will steal lots of votes from the Democrats, too. I won't hold my breath, though. StuRat (talk) 01:19, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Hawaii was admitted with Alaska. Such compromises are normal. It's funny to hear foreignors giving Republicans contextless political advice based on how Democrats will perceive them. μηδείς (talk) 18:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
How the other party perceives yours is important. One reason is that it can energize the opposition and increase their voter turnout if your party is perceived as up to no good. The other is that compromises between the parties can be made more difficult. StuRat (talk) 18:52, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Medeis -- I'm a born and bred United-Statesian, not a "foreignor"... AnonMoos (talk) 00:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, had you confused with somebody olse. But your point was still oof. μηδείς (talk) 02:50, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Whatever -- One of the most-commonly repeated themes in news analysis of the election results over the last 24 hours has been that there's not much future for Republican presidential candidates if the Republican party seems to go out of its way to antagonize and alienate (non-Cuban) Hispanics. Even some of those who don't think that there's anything very misguided or losing about the Tea-party movement, or the narrowing and hardening of ideology among Republicans in recent years, now admit that the party stand on immigration has overall been politically counterproductive (there was apparently something about this in the Wall Street Journal). In this context, blocking PR statehood would seem to be a step in the wrong direction... AnonMoos (talk) 04:18, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Republicans would definitely been seen as hypocritical and very unloyal if they tried to block Puerto Rican statehood. Nil Einne already mentioned the GOP's party platform. Furthermore, I doubt they would want to alienate those Puerto Ricans who participate in Republican Party (Puerto Rico) (the affiliate of the national Republican Party, and a strong supporter of statehood) and those who voted in the Puerto Rico Republican primary, 2012 (yes U.S. territories can still participate in presidential primaries). Rick Santorum's comments regarding statehood was a major factor why he lost to Romney in the primaries over there. Zzyzx11 (talk) 07:59, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Back to the OP's question: Let's not get ahead of ourselves here. After reading various news sources for the past day, and as others have updated Puerto Rican status referendum, 2012#Criticism, it seems apparent that opponents of the referendum are still questioning the validity of the results. Complaints are ranging from the wording of the questions on the ballot (in that it might have confused many voters), to the fact that about 25 percent of voters left question 2 blank (which effectively means that only less than 50 percent of those who voted on the referendum marked Statehood). Zzyzx11 (talk) 08:20, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I'm not terribly surprised. At least the English version strongly implied the Congress would be required to pass whatever Puerto Rico wanted, which is not the case. I don't know about the Spanish one.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:23, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Interesting interpretation, Wehwalt. The specific wording is
Congress would be required to pass any necessary legislation to begin the transition into statehood.
I had interpreted this to mean "For statehood to be achieved, it would be necessary that Congress pass any necessary legislation", which I'm sure is what was intended. But I suppose I can see how someone might interpret it as "Congress would have a legal obligation to pass any necessary legislation." Duoduoduo (talk) 14:37, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I would think that another objection would be this. 46% of voters prefer the status quo. For lack of any data to the contrary, assume that the pro-status quo and anti-status quo people voted in the same ratios as each other on question 2. The percentage of people preferring statehood over any other non-status quo option is 62% according to question 2, presumedly meaning the people advocating statehood are 62% of the 54% who don't prefer the status quo, or 33.5% of the electorate. Not a majority or even a plurality compared to status quo advocates. Duoduoduo (talk) 15:03, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Puerto Rican referendum question[edit]

Does anyone have the exact wording of the questions on the Puerto Rican referendum? -- (talk) 14:28, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

See page 7 of [4]. Duoduoduo (talk) 15:10, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

why weren't jews admited to moscow state university math programs?[edit]

I just read with great interest. I can easily picture such a thing happening in Israel today, of course an arab student would not be admitted, with very good reason. Namely, the fact that Israel lives in constant fear of suicide bombings and random acts of violence. My question is actually what is not mentioned in the story at all, which is what prompted Russia to take a similar position? Surely there were no jewish bombings and massacres happening? Were jews there responsible (or thought to be responsible) for any crimes that would justify this behavior? I am frankly simply perplexed. -- (talk) 14:42, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

It was really just antisemitism. Jews have always placed a very high value on education and therefore occupied a disproportionate share of academic positions, and lots of non-Jews were unhappy about that and favored setting quotas. (I don't think your statements about Arab students in Israel are correct, by the way -- the situation is more complicated than that.) Looie496 (talk) 14:57, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
But that doesn't make any sense at all, as all it would take is for the person quoted near the end of the article (the source of the policy) to fire all the faculty, or a percentage of them. It sounds like "0% faculty or students" was the new policy. So, the explanation simply doesn't make sense. -- (talk) 15:05, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think you appreciate the fact that this was not a legal or official policy. They had to have a plausible reason to deny an application, and far more reason to fire an established faculty member. From the article you could see that they tried to simply give him questions he couldn't answer, or distort his answers, but couldn't deny it when he got it completely right. I believe some people did succeed in getting through, if they made enough fuss or had friends on the faculty. It was much harder for students in humanities where they could simply always claim the answer was wrong and/or incomplete, harder for something like Math. Notice also that it often wasn't personal, the guy impressed his examiners very much, but they'd be in trouble if they didn't fail him. -- (talk) 02:52, 9 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
To Looie496: The most likely reason that the Russian government adopted anti-Semitic policies after World War 2 was because Israel started to lean to the West fairly early on, and Stalin (being the super-paranoid crab that he was) concluded that since Israel was an enemy of Russia, all Jews must therefore be potential subversives as well. How crazy can some people be?! (talk) 01:07, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It's that danged Israel Lobby again. An international conspiracy, I tell you!Gzuckier (talk) 06:36, 10 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Israeli Arabs are not denied entry to Israeli universities, although the figure of those actually attending is low. In 2001, 7% of all students in Israeli universities were Arabs.([5]) --Dweller (talk) 17:16, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I don't think antisemitism necessarily has a rational explanation but we have articles such as Antisemitism in Russia and Antisemitism in the Soviet Union. Also, the linked-to article reads: "...anti-Semitism was deeply rooted in the Russian culture".[6] Bus stop (talk) 18:14, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, see Pogrom. Alansplodge (talk) 13:37, 9 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
One cannot overlook the role of the Church in fomenting antiSemitism in medieval Europe, and Russia keeping medievalism going for longer than Europe did, the Russian Church got more mileage out of antiSemitism in more recent times. I mean Were jews there responsible (or thought to be responsible) for any crimes that would justify this behavior? Aside from killing the Son of God you mean? Plus, somewhat anecdotally, much as I love Russian people and their zeitgeist in general, their society celebrates a degree of Russian-supremacy (to coin a phrase) as normal which is comparable to some of the most white supremacist USA-first parts of the US. I've seen highly-educated, progressive, sophisticated, cosmopolitan Russians make casual statements in all innocence and with no malice intended that literally made me blink. Gzuckier (talk) 06:36, 10 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Not sure how to fix a statement about Politics[edit]

"Presidents who served two or more whole terms are bolded" Having Obama in bold makes this statement os inaccurate until the end of Obama's second term (talk) 16:19, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

I've dealt with it, remarking that if they haven't bolded McKinley or Lincoln, who at least embarked on second term (Obama has only just bought his ticket), Obama should not be bolded. Also removed 2017 and subbed in present, we don't predict the future.--Wehwalt (talk) 17:02, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Discuss it at Talk:List of Presidents of the United States by political affiliation. —Tamfang (talk) 17:20, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Could wiki communities ever be a "public policy" topic?[edit]

Hey Wikipedians,

I'm a public policy student, and as part of my graduation requirements, I have to write an undergraduate thesis on a public policy topic. I was hoping to write about how power structures (particularly oligarchies) form within wiki communities, focusing mostly on Wikipedia and one or two other Wikimedia websites. My professors, however, point out that studying the WIkipedia community is more appropriate for a sociology paper rather than a public policy paper.

I'm still very much interested in studying Wikimedia communities, and I'm determined to find a way in which it could potentially be a good topic for a public policy issue. However, I'm having trouble finding such a link, mostly because wiki-based projects usually are rarely connected with government programs. (The "public policy" article explicitly refers to the executive powers of a state, and WMF generally likes to stay out of politics or policy issues.) At the same time, I've also noted that a lot of conflicts on Wikipedia articles arise over controversial public policy issues, such as abortion, gay rights, drug legalization, and others. Unfortunately, I have a hard time looking for literature on how Wikipedians address these sorts of issues.

Therefore, since many of the contributors to this page have much more expertise on Wikipedia's history and culture than I do, I'm hoping if any of you could identify ways in which Wikimedia communities have strong relevance to a public policy topic? (Free speech and government censorship keep coming to mind, but I'm having a hard time narrowing them down to specific cases.) The academic literature on Wikipedia seems to be sparse, so I would also appreciate anyone's insights on which books or journals I should look through.

Ragettho (talk) 17:42, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

There are obvious possible angles relating to policies about new media, press freedom, participatory democracy... They are more about where Wikipedia and other wiki projects sit within the polity than about the internal "politics" of Wikipedia, but then you did choose to study public policy. Itsmejudith (talk) 17:52, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I'd focus on the WikiLeaks case and Julian Assange. Those papers largely led to the Arab Spring, and caused government public policy to change to catch up. In this sense, wikis are driving change in public policy. Also, in the future, governments can't count on secrecy, as they did before. StuRat (talk) 18:38, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Citation needed. I think the Arab Spring has much more to do with Arabs than with a blond Australian personality cultist bail-jumper. AlexTiefling (talk) 19:34, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Here's your citation: [7]. Note that Amnesty International doesn't list hair color as a cause. StuRat (talk) 21:50, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
You could do a comparative study: "Power structures in Wikipedia as compared to power structures in [name a public policy subject]". Could be interesting to see if power structures develop differently when it is on a volunteer basis as compared to how they develop when they are part of paid businesses or governmental organisations for example.--Saddhiyama (talk) 19:25, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Thanks for the advice! Over the past few hours, I realized that WP:SOPA would be a great example of a wiki community having to engage in a political process to decide how to react to a government policy. Are there any other examples in which the Wikipedia community has had to respond to a government policy? Ragettho (talk) 23:38, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yes - see Wikipedia:Redirects for discussion/Log/2011 April 17#Wikipedia:COPPA and links from within that discussion. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 02:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

You might visit meatball wiki both to look for relevant material already written there, and to ask for advice from its participants. I don't know if that community is still very active, but it used to specialize in the topic. The stuff linked from this slashdot post about gaining power in online communities might be relevant to you, though I don't think it's directly WP specific. Wikipedia's old meta essay m:power structure seems almost quaint today. (talk) 05:45, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Why is Florida taking so long to declare for Romney or Obama?[edit]

The state of Florida is the last state to declare. Obama has been re-elected. What is taking so long in the Sunshine State? Astronaut (talk) 18:03, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The numbers are so close that the result could potentially be changed by absentee ballots, which take a long time to count. Looie496 (talk) 18:15, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Plus it doesn't matter anyway, since Obama wins either way. Therefore, they might as well take their time. StuRat (talk) 18:31, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
That's irrelevant. They would never want a repeat of past events, and they'd be much more interested in accuracy than speed. This would apply whatever the result in the rest of the country might be. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 18:44, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
It's not irrelevant. Given the choice of paying all the employees overtime to work all night long to do the count, or wait until the next day and save taxpayer money, overtime seems like a foolish choice, when the results don't matter anyway. StuRat (talk) 21:44, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Well, of course they matter. Even I, an outsider, know that the poll was not just for the president. But even if that was all there was to it, there is still a formal process to be gone through. But even if that was not the case, can you imagine a scenario whereby the Florida poll was declared invalid due to some horrible technicality caused by too hasty counting, and the entire state had to vote again for their Electoral College electors, even though they knew it was gonna make no difference to who becomes president? I exaggerate, of course, but after the 2000 fiasco, I can well understand them being super-hyper careful about the count down there. It does matter, Stu. Egg on face is politically more costly than all the diamonds in the world. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 22:43, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Just because there are other items on the ballot doesn't mean that those items have not yet been decided. The Presidential race is only unresolved because it's very close. Also note that taking this long to count also counts as "egg on their face". StuRat (talk) 01:56, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Not really. Not when you add in the absentee ballot factor explained below by Mr 98. Some people might be, perhaps understandably, impatient and frustrated, but they should get real - it's been way less than 36 hours since the polls closed, and that's elapsed time, not even working hours. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 08:10, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think the underlying question is "Why is the State of Florida so consistently bad at organising elections?" DuncanHill (talk) 22:46, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
According to German magazine Spiegel (under heading "Wahlsieger in Florida weiter offen") this is due to verifying Provisional ballots. Also Florida is no slower than other states, According to CNN most states are only 90%-95% counted (Florida is 97% counted). However Florida is so close that those missing 3% could still swing it. (talk) 00:18, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I think they were worse. I read here that some people were still waiting in line to vote after midnight: [8]. Part of the problem might have been a Republican effort to suppress Democratic votes by reducing the days for early voting. Specifically, the Sunday right before the elections was scheduled as the day for many churches in Democratic areas to bus their members to polling stations for early votes. When Republicans heard about this, they cancelled voting on that day. However, rather than not voting, this seems to have caused many to vote on election day who had planned to vote early, resulting in long lines. (Those long lines themselves might have also been part of an effort to suppress the vote.) See this Need to Know episode: [9]. StuRat (talk) 01:32, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I don't think those factors have anything to do with the time it takes to count absentee ballots. And while there has been scuttlebutt on both sides of the aisle about voter interference, the fact that Florida would be a nearly 50/50 split is exactly in line with predictions made on the basis of polls done in the days before the election. Which is to say, there isn't any real surprise there. Florida is close, close enough that absentee ballots could make up the difference, and those are slow to count, end of story. --Mr.98 (talk) 03:26, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, I suggest we all avoid partisanship and just answer the questions informationally, without speculation.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:12, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Short answer--because it's close and there's a lot of absentee ballots left to count. Futurist110 (talk) 21:51, 10 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Presidents that never were[edit]

I am aware of alternate history novels in which various mechanisms cause a different president to be elected (for example, in The Man in the High Castle, Giuseppe Zangara's successful assasination of FDR leads to a weaker US government through WWII). Has there been a more scholarly study of what might have happened if US presidential elections had gone the other way? For example: if Blaine had defeated Cleveland in 1884, if Nixon had won in 1960, or if Bush v. Gore had gone the other way in the Supreme Court and Gore had won in 2000? (this later one was specifically mentioned by a pundit on the BBC this morning). Astronaut (talk) 18:25, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

You might look at Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay, Daniel Webster, John C. Calhoun, and Robert La Follette who all might have been president under other circumstances. The scholar Niall Ferguson has written on counterfactual history. See various books on the "what if" topic including other presidents here at Amazon. μηδείς (talk) 18:42, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Some time ago, this board pointed me in the direction of this alternate history forum, which has since provided me with many happy hours. I am pleased to pass on the favour to you! --TammyMoet (talk) 20:46, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And, of course, don't forget Al Gore. (talk) 01:00, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
He's mentioned in the original question. Nyttend (talk) 01:31, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The type of study you're asking about is called counterfactual history and it is difficult to do persuasively. (talk) 06:54, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Since it is necessarily speculation, impossible of proof, such matters are generally cast as fiction. I've enjoyed some of Harry Turtledove's books, though not his long series.--Wehwalt (talk) 08:20, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Here's an article about how a change in our voting system might have caused Abe Lincoln to lose, and what would've happened. Called "Would the Borda Count Have Avoided the Civil War?" published in the "Journal of Theoretical Politics". Staecker (talk) 13:29, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Saura, Vérin, Mousey[edit]

Can anybody give me any biographical info on the authors Bruno Saura and Pierre Vérin? And what does the Ch. in Ch Mousey, editor of L'Année coloniale, stand for, please give some prove beside a guess at Charles?--KAVEBEAR (talk) 18:47, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

The first two have articles in the French Wikipedia. The third is actually spelled Mourey, Charles Mourey [10].--Cam (talk) 20:58, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Medieval titles of nobility in multiple kingdoms[edit]

The Norman conquest of England created a situation where a noble could have titles in more than one realm or kingdom, so that (to name an example) Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany became the duke of Brittany and the earl of Richmond. Aside from the Plantagenets, and not counting monarchs (such as monarchs of a personal union), how common was it in medieval Europe for someone to have noble titles in more than one kingdom? Did such nobles have trouble "serving two masters", so to speak? Thanks! (talk) 19:18, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

There is the case of the County of Flanders, which was a fief of both France and the Holy Roman Empire. Other examples from after the conquest that spring to mind are Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester and his son Waleran de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Worcester. Both also Counts of Meulan in France, but in that case their masters were the king of England and the Duke of Normandy (who was the same person). Some of the early crusaders ended up ruling two places; for example the Count of Toulouse (theoretically subject to France, but not really) was also the Count of Tripoli (theoretically subject to Jerusalem, but not really). Sometimes people could have more than one honourary title, or title over a money fief (i.e. not a territory they actually had to rule - like the Duke of Brittany and his honorary title to Richmond), but having title over two territorial fiefs is probably rarer, especially if you are looking for non-kingly examples. Adam Bishop (talk) 00:59, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The problem of having a fief belong to multiple kingdoms was what led, ultimately, to the Schleswig-Holstein Question. Much of the area was simultaneously a vassal to both the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark, the Dukes of Holstein-Gottorp owed equal allegiance to both. In regards to the France-England issues after the conquest, there were lots of situations where the same person held vassal titles on both sides of the Channel. Remember that, besides the fact that the early post-Conquest kings of England were also Dukes of Normandy (and thus nominal vassals of the King of France per that role), the next English dynasty, the House of Plantagenet also had many French fiefs, most importantly the Duchy of Anjou. Throw into the mix the inheritances of Eleanor of Aquitaine which passed to the Plantagenets, and larges swathes of France were controlled by the English king as a vassal of France. The Montfort of Brittany were prominent noble families in the independent Duchy of Brittany with titles in France (the county of Montfort-l'Amaury) and England (Earl of Leicester and Earl of Chester). There's also the interesting case of Richard, 1st Earl of Cornwall, who was also Count of Poitou and King of the Romans (German King). You can probably find hundreds of people who held fiefs in multiple countries. --Jayron32 03:03, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The dukes of Burgundy (cadets and vassals of France) acquired territories (most of Belgium) in the Holy Roman Empire. —Tamfang (talk) 02:57, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And the Hohenzollerns had several fiefs in Germany proper (the biggest being Brandenburg) as well as the duchy of Prussia in Poland. —Tamfang (talk) 20:29, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Tamfang, can you name any specific, non-kingly people as examples? Thanks! (talk) 15:01, 9 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Unsurprisingly, no specific non-kingly people have stuck to my mind. —Tamfang (talk) 21:02, 12 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Discussion about titles of nobility in multiple kingdoms beyond medieval times[edit]

From memory, this is not just a medieval issue; I seem to recall that in Elizabethan times, many of the Scots nobles also had English titles. I think their loyalties were fairly well understood, but they did have options if/when circumstances changed in one country or the other. --Dweller (talk) 12:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

To move it to a more modern era... During the Napoleonic Wars, Admiral Lord Nelson was made Duke of Brontë by the King of Naples (and the title came with land). Blueboar (talk) 14:27, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Wellington received Portuguese, Spanish and Imperial titles, too. AlexTiefling (talk) 14:46, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
And some land in Belgium. —Tamfang (talk) 20:30, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Here's an interesting detail: the Spanish titles could become separated from the British titles because Spain has legislated absolute primogeniture. The second heir apparent to the titles is now either a girl or her twin brother, Wikipedia doesn't know which! —Tamfang (talk) 20:35, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The seperation was possible even before the introduction of absolute primogeniture. Anne Rhys inherited the Spanish titles from her brother, while the English titles passed to their uncle. Rhys, however, ceded her titles to their uncle, and thus the present Duke of Wellington is also Duke of Ciudad Rodrigo. Therefore, I think the titles probably won't be seperated any time soon. Surtsicna (talk) 21:23, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Another Presidential Election question[edit]

Here in the UK, the serious TV news programmes are busy dissecting the election results, and attach particular significance to Mr Obama's support from the black and Latino communities. My question; how on earth do they know the ethnicity of a particular voter? Do you have to write it on your ballot paper when you vote? Alansplodge (talk) 20:30, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

No, ballots are anonymous. They make these estimates on the basis of exit polling. Looie496 (talk) 20:37, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Results are reported per precinct (at least in some states), as are exit polls. To the extent that Americans live in racial segregation, this gives a clue (for some places a strong clue) as to the votes cast by different social groups. If you compare a precinct result map like this one with the ethnic information collected by the census, you know quite a lot about who voted for whom. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 20:39, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
For example, put a Brooklyn ZIP code (say 11201) into this site to see the racial/ethnic data for that area. -- Finlay McWalterTalk 21:25, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Lest Finlay's comment cause confusion, I'd like to clarify that laws mandating racial segregation in the USA have been abolished in the 1960s, and any segregation that is observed now is due either to economic disparities (in most cases), or to the minority group self-segregating in order to feel a sense of community. (talk) 00:58, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
That's interesting. London is VERY multiracial, but you wouldn't be able to tell anything about the ethnicity of the voters in any given area, as everybody is jumbled in with each other. Alansplodge (talk) 02:05, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Would London (or the UK) actually have race based statistics? Not all countries bother as much with race as the USA. Such figures don't exist in Australia. HiLo48 (talk) 06:38, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Yes, it's in the census every 10 years. Alansplodge (talk) 09:19, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The Australian census asks a question about ancestry, not race. It includes Australian as an option, plus Other (please specify). That provides pretty meaningless results. HiLo48 (talk) 09:26, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
The American census has the same format regarding "race", which includes a space for "other" as well. See here question 9. Historically, institutions within the U.S. used the social construct of "race" to disadvantage entire groups of people. Thus, the U.S. Federal Government has an interest in gathering this data to ensure that it doesn't happen anymore. Without the data, it is hard to check on the progress of society in eliminating the current inequities and iniquities wrought on the American society created by such historical institutional discrimination. --Jayron32 14:03, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
I believe the British police, or a large proportion of them, are still required to fill out a form every time they "stop" someone (and presumably if they "stop and search" them or arrest them as well), and the main component of the form asks what ethnicity the person considers themselves to be. One presumes this is for approximately the same purpose as the one Jayron alludes to, namely being able to check by statistics that certain ethnicities are not being "stopped" unduly frequently. Personally, I further assume (without having bothered to check) this is either due to the 1980s difficulties with stop and search, or to the later allegations that a particular part of the British police was institutionally racist. That latter term deserves some further reading because the word "unwitting" is used with some emphasis in the definition of institutional racism in the UK - these were "good faith" racist policemen, but their apparently acting in good faith did not change the fact that their service was not doing its job properly. --Demiurge1000 (talk) 20:51, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Australia didn't have a history of institutional black slavery or the Jim Crow laws either, so there's that... --Jayron32 06:41, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Quite true. HiLo48 (talk) 06:56, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Really? When Bowie was making the Let's Dance video, he reported that ordinarily Aborigines were not allowed inside the rural establishment in which much of the first section of the video was filmed... AnonMoos (talk) 11:36, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Exactly when did Aboriginals get the vote federally in Australia again? As a practical matter, ignoring the few grandfathered at Federation.--Wehwalt (talk) 11:48, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
See Voting rights of Australian Aborigines. But this is not relevant to "institutional black slavery". Our social sins are at the other end of the spectrum, institutional black neglect. There are the Stolen Generations, but that's more akin to institutional abduction than slavery. Its only saving grace is that individual cases were well-intentioned under the attitudes of the time, which can never be said for slavery. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 19:04, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
No reporting of the votes from Tower Hamlets? -- AnonMoos (talk) 04:08, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Don't forget - Tower Hamlets does not have a non-white majority. It doesn't have an absolute majority of any single ethnic group at all; the only local authority area in the UK that does not have an absolute white majority. White people still form a plurality there. So it's a good example of how ethnically mixed London is, but it's also a reminder that compared to the USA, the UK is pretty white. AlexTiefling (talk) 12:37, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This morning's Metro in London had a detailed socio-demographic breakdown of the US vote, which it sourced from exit polling. --Dweller (talk) 12:46, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Who's inherited Agatha Christie's estate?[edit]

Rosalind Hicks, only child of Christie, owned £6 million at death. That seems as kind of little, considering all the novels, translations and film rights that her mother would have accrued over time. Intrakiu (talk) 22:15, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]

It's a mystery, but the clues are there. This BBC article gives details of her will (blue box on right) and states she "managed to dispose of most of her wealth before she died." Clarityfiend (talk) 23:45, 7 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Even so, history is full of cases of people who inherit great wealth and manage to blow all or most of it. Howard Hughes, for example. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 00:20, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
"I pleaded with Aggie over and over again to no avail," said Warrin Baffit, the last witness to see her fortune intact. "At least, switch to a firm with offices, not one that conducts business in clients' homes, I said. But she wouldn't listen to me. She was done in by Scarlet and Mustard Investment Advisors with junk bonds in the billiard room." Clarityfiend (talk) 01:08, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Odd choice, Jack. Hughes left a $2.5 billion estate. Clarityfiend (talk) 01:22, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]
Let me explain my allegedly odd choice. Intrakiu assumed (until you set him right) that most of Christie's massive earnings were sitting in the bank at her death, and that it all went to Rosalind. But all Rosalind left at her own death was a paltry £6 million, which would have been chicken feed compared to what Agatha Christie must have earned. If we did not now know (thanks to you) that Christie got rid of most of her money, we might be tempted to explain Rosalind's relative poverty by surmising that she was left far more than £6 million, but managed to lose most of it. Howard Hughes was an exactly similar case. He was bequeathed a fortune but lost it all, before getting his financial house in order and becoming a self-made billionaire. He did, as I said, "manage to blow all or most of" the fortune he was left by his father. What he made later had nothing to do with his father's wealth, because that was all gone. -- Jack of Oz [Talk] 08:02, 8 November 2012 (UTC)[reply]