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Another interview has come and gone. This one stands out in many positive ways. If anything the takeaway from it was, “determination.”

My interview was scheduled from 2pm to 5:30 at the company’s main location. We’ll call it George Way. I’m staying about 30 minutes outside Toronto at Ann’s place. I decided to take the metro rail which around the TMA (Toronto Metroplitan Area) is outstanding. The web site even has a trip planner that tells you which and when the trains are that you will take.

The morning was COLD. It was just below freezing out; but the winds where about 10-20 mph with 25 mph gusts. Throughout the day, my fedora blew off about 3 times. So I started by running to the local superstore for a pair of gloves. Sadly, I couldn’t find a scarf. (I realllllly could have used a scarf). From there it was off to the station.

The local station wasn’t a far drive; but you really got a feel for how much traffic was generated. I parked in lot 4 (which was numbered by distance from the station). It was a good half kilometer walk to the station proper. I think there was room in covered lot 1 which was connected to the station; but I didn’t discover that lot until I was walking to the station.

I purchased the metro card which would make instant “On and off” far easier and wandered up to the track. My timing karma was doing well and I got a train within about 4 minutes. The GO rail is a beautiful train. It is a double decker train car with nigh-comfortable seats that is first and foremost CLEAN. The upper level is noted as a “Quiet Zone” which means that conversations and audio from devices is not permitted.

The view was heavenly. On one side of the train I could watch the towns and the highway heading into the city. On the other I has a view of Lake Ontario. I truly look forward to this ride in the spring when the trees and flowers have come back to life. There was only one other person in my car as there were at least 8 cars on this train and as it was after rush hour… the load was in general very light.

After about 20 minutes my day’s challenges began to present themselves. The train came to a stop in the station 2 before the first destination, Union Station. And we sat there. As it turned out, the next train up the line had had a fire and there was smoke coming out of it. So we were stuck wating for something up the line. After 20 minutes I sent the recruiter an email explaining my odd situation and explaining that I could always contact LYFT if things got too close on time.

I wandered to the next car and discovered the two train monitors working the ride. I was in a tie for the interview and they asked me if I had any further information. I smiled and said, I don’t work for the transit system; I’m not even from the country. I listened as they chatted about other stoppages they’d experienced. After about 5 minutes they got the go ahead to proceed to at least the next (my penultimate) stop.

The train was held again, so now it was time for me to take a Lyft. I rode one station to Toronto’s Union station. Looking on the GoTransit site there were 3 locations for the street that I could get rides to. One was in Toronto, one was in Hamilton, and one was … much further. I chose the one in Toronto and it led me to another train that was leaving in 40 minutes. I wandered around the food court and had a late Tim Horton’s breakfast.

By the time I got off the train 2 stops out from Union, the snow had started and I was freezing. I was told it was less than a km to my destination which would be about 20 minutes. My interview was now in 45 minutes. I checked Apple Maps and it told me it was a 30 mintues drive to my destination!!?!??! Go Transit managed to send me to the Toronto Street that wasn’t the one I needed to be at. Lyft #2. With 10 minutes to spare… I’d finally reached my destination. Perserverence and determination.

The interview itself was rigourous but good and complete. For the first time in my career I was asked about why I listed my hobbies on my resume and how they fit into my job. (I’ve been hoping someone would ask that.) One interview included a question to architect a series of UIViewControllers. And one asked some more algorithmic questions. One consistant question which we’ve discussed on the podcast… what are solutions for preventing UIViewControllers from becoming MCP-esque monotlihic monsters.

Everyone was encouraging and most felt badly for my experience on the metro pointing out that it was rare and not likely to happen often. My last stage was to talk with the recruiter. Making an educated guess at salaries for Canada’s larget city, in Canadian money, etc… not the easiest thing. I estimated a salary of X and suggested that I’d seen a range of 60-115% of X.

It was a long day and an even longer walk back to Union Station from the office (which is happily next to a Tim Hortons… as common in Toronto as Starbucks is in Seattle.) The ride back during rush hour was crowded but not so much that the train was SRO. At my stop back where I was staying I’d parked in probably one of the furthest spots from the station. By now the temperature had dropped well below freezing and the winds were around 25-30 mph.

The worst part of the interview… Feeling good about it.. but now having to wait. If this one pans out… it’ll be a very new life for the family.

Wow, there is a lot that you can not do before you have a work/study visa or permanent residence. It is honestly surprising to me. The two that I discovered today is that I can not open a banking account nor can I purchase cellular service.

In consideration, the banking makes sense. Matter of fact, the general movement of money seems to be the big wall between countries. So, I should reason anything that requires a contractual financial agreement also falls into that purview.

So, to accomplish one of these two acts you need to be: A Citizen of Country, A permanent resident, or on an approved visa. Beyond that, legal photo id (a current passport from any country will do.)

This is really a short entry but it’s again mainly for my info as well as anyone else. On the flip side. Whjen I get that Visa… I have armed myself with Knolwedge and won’t be sitting around twiddling my thumbs.

It has been almost exactly a year and a quarter since I’ve posted anything to my poor little neglected blog. So much has happened, so much.

Somewhere in the last night/early this morning range, I published my first app to the Apple app store. I have to emphasis “my” because I have published no less than 10 apps to the store. They just weren’t mine. While the app isn’t really much more than a meager data viewer… It’s still something that I designed, wrote, finished, and published.

I think this is the result of finally finding a medication to treat a depression that was far more severe than I understood. Over the past month I have been far more focused than I have in years. And being as though about 3 years ago I took a rather hard swan dive into depression; this is a good reversal.

So… what’s with the Expatriate thing? Well, I am slowly making my transition to live the latter half of my life out in Canada rather than the US. This process is a LOT more difficult than I would have thought. There is so much involved and to understand that I simply had no idea what I would need to do. Also; I’ve discovered that even researching online leaves me often scratching my head. So, I’ve decided to write my experiences (as best as I write) in this blog; in the event anyone else decides to do this.

My situation is thus: I am a legally married polyamorous adult. I have a wife and a nigh-teenage child, I have one girlfriend who has grade school children, and I have one girlfriend who is the adult caretaker for a parent with cancer. The girlfriend with the children is a Canadian born European.

The plan is to get my girlfriend and her daughters settled and into life in Canada while my spouse researches returning to school for her Masters and I research getting hired as a 30 yr software engineer. Once one of those things happen, we move up with our son. Our other girlfriend is in a complicated situation but we do discuss it regularly.

So phase one is getting G1 settled. This already has been… difficult. To get a place to live you need to have Canadian or at least American rental/credit history. 90+% of landlords will not rent to you without this. We discovered this as one landlord dragged us through paperwork for 2 weeks until telling us he was going to consider someone else. It took another 2 weeks for me to be notified he’d signed a lease for someone else. The solution seems to be offering 6 months down.

So, why the house first? Well, everything depends on residency. And that means, ID card, insurance, banking, the whole lot. So today we begin checking…. what can you do without an address? Well for starters; you can pay about one months luxury rent on a hotel room. (Which we’re doing)… At least we have a roof (after living in the states for awhile)

To start this week, we need to make living out of a hotel a reasonable experience. I’ve started the process of unlocking our AT&T iPhones which should be easily old enough to be released from their network prison. Next up will be talking to someone at an electronics shop to get advise on SIM chips and other necessary comforts of home.

leuk[Friends Only] Difficult, personal, etc

For those that aren’t aware I am highly estranged from my immediate family. I have not spoken directly to my mother in decades. I interact only with my sister on occasions when she comments randomly on facebook that I should be in their lives. My mother saddled me with years of emotional and intellectual abuse as a child. She would have added physical abuse but I was too large by the time the abuse began.

My father had had a stroke at the age of 39 in 1979 and it devastated our family. I was 11, my sister 4. We lost everything; he lost more. My father had lost control of not merely have of his body but half of his brain. He had no common sense, self control, and even less ability to really do anything for himself. This is what pushed my mother over the edge. She became domineering, mentally abusive, and above all else utter paranoid that everyone was out to get her. Mentally, she was most abusive to my father. I would watch her humiliate him at home and publicly. At home he’d be often reduced to tears at her onslaughtght of his now being a ‘failure.’

College for me was an escape from the hell that home had become. I was in college I was unaware that my grandmother was supporting my education. It wouldn’t be until years later that I’d discovered that he was draining both my grandmothers financially dry. I learned this at my paternal grandmother’s funeral. One of the few times I saw my father’s side of the family. His brothers treated him like a pariah. On one level he deserved it. By this time he wasn’t working anymore. He’d lost his license under accusations of sexual harassment in the workplace. A concept that I personally thought I understood.

Alcoholism ran rampant on my father’s side of the family. I sometimes thought that maybe we’d been lucky and missed the gene. I discovered that substance abuse or reliance doesn’t always require a drug of some kind. Some times it can be the support of others. Around this time I’d learned that my mother had divorced my father for “Financial Reasons.” The belief was that she could better take care of him if her earnings weren’t at risk. In truth she was trying to make sure she wouldn’t go down with a sinking ship.

I made the difficult decision to tell him to find help from a social worker. I was living in California. I was between jobs having been laid off myself. I didn’t have the means to get out East let alone offer any help. I told him how much I loved him but how he couldn’t just live off his mother-in-law. Amazingly and painfully, he took my advice. At first he was in a shelter. But they cared for him. Then they moved him to a Jewish Sr. Centre and his V.A. benefits paid for him.

But he was no longer capable of caring for himself. And heavens knows his wife and daughter who were local didn’t. He got an infection in his leg and had to be taken to a hospital. It was determined that he’d have to lose his leg. I was called by my girlfriend’s mother that my mother needed me back in town because my father was in critical condition. My mother needed me back in town because as an ex-wife, the doctor’s wouldn’t listen to her and she realized that she could order me to do what she wanted.

That visit was one of the most horrible experiences of my life. It was obvious that her statement my entire life was going to be the one she’s stand on. “You are not my equal, you are my child and will do what I tell you.” She wanted more tests run, I disagreed and signed off on the amputation. In the waiting room she told me how horrible a person I was. How I never did anything for the family. How I was the one responsible for my father’s health and condition. How his death would be on my head.

I lost it. I’ve posted about this in the past. I used language on this horrible person that should have had me committed. Decades of resentment and abuse. I just wanted to let her know how much I hated everything about her. I used words that I don’t use even at my angriest. The line had been crossed. I didn’t have a mother. I had an angry and disgusting person who I had to symbolically and biologically acknowledge an attachment to.

Six months later I found out from a great Aunt that my sister had informed her that my father had died. I was cold. I was hurt. It didn’t hit home for a very long time. A week later I contacted one of my father’s brothers to deliver the news. He told me that he’d chatted with my father a few days earlier. My sister had lied about our father’s death. A few months later he actually passed. This time it didn’t effect me.

My sister made unnecessary arrangements for my father and explained that his VA benefits would pay for them. I should have recognized that as one of the stories my mother and father would tell me about how things would be paid for. A month later I had the funeral home calling me as kin that I was financially responsible. I explained that they had no contract with me or any signatures from me and that my sister was the one wholly responsible. I did explain that I would attempt to reach her though I was not in touch.

For the next 2 months though the power of the internet my sister tried to convince me that she was being held against her will in a hospital by her mother for an attempted suicide. This whole story was a lie to distract from the fact that she was avoiding telling me that the Funeral wasn’t going to be paid for. I won’t even start with the other lies I’ve had from her in the past. But with this one. I’d be fairly publicly humiliated by trying to show that I did care. I was done.

Within a few years I was married and then with my own child. I was going to try to get right at least some of what my parents got wrong. Heaven knows I spend more than one day, evening, night, convinced that I am as big if not a bigger failure. That I’m ruining his upbringing. Time and time again I see my own problems buried in him and try to figure out how to help him with them before they become to defining.

I moved back to Pittsburgh. For a while I was 3 miles to the tenth from the house where my sister and her mother live. I haven’t seen them since I have moved back to the city 7 years ago. There are times when it is hard. I remember my mother always keeping me away from my father’s side of the family. She never had a nice word for any of them. I’ve always wished I was closer. I’m not. I barely know them. Facebook helps a little. I find myself wondering if I am doing the same disservice to Aiden giving him only one grandmother.

My sister routinely comments on my public facebook posts. Usually it’s not relevant but more a demand or plea that I just forgive and move on. How I’m horrible for not responding to family. How much dad would have wanted us to move on. I don’t know if I’m waiting to see if she’s actually apologize for anything she’s done (there has never been one) or if I’m just so numb to it all living in the fear that getting close will only open wounds that will hurt me again.

So why now. Why am I reposting this for friends.

About 2 weeks ago she made yet another one of the unrelated comments. This one was a notification that her mother has been diagnosed with Leukemia.

Everyone who’s already thought, “Well, she’s still your mother” has obviously gotten to this point by the TL;DR method. Those that have read and still don’t know why this situation isn’t anything beyond a no brainer haven’t realized that the above is only a snapshot of 50 years.

I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. All I know is that I can still believe that I am a terrible person who is no better than his father. I don’t know if this is a true report or not. All I know is that every fiber in my system is fighting against having my strings pulled. And it feels wrong no matter what.

Vietnam redux. The burning of registration cards.

Vietnam redux. The burning of registration cards.

When you attend the funeral
It is sad to think that soon o’ –
Later those you love will do the same for you.

And you may have thought it tragic,
Not to mention other adjec-
-tives for all the weeping they will do…”

But… Don’t you worry!

This past week, as we end the first week of May in 2006, the dust has settled on the news that financially, self-assessed Donald Trump became the presumptive Republican nominee for the 2016 Presidential Election. Needless to say, this has people concerned and confused on all sides of the ‘aisle’ and frankly the world. Things are no calmer on the Democratic side of this upcoming conflict. The war of words and ideologies between the supporters of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders becomes deeper, angrier, and more entrenched. Trust me, my spouse and I can no longer discuss the topic of DNC nominee.

There has been some strong rhetoric on all sides of this debate. Once the nominees are formally made. I personally don’t feel that will clarify the situation. It may will exacerbate issues and spawn entirely new developments. There are at least six different groups at play and many different ways this could play out. I’m going to cover the groups, the potential outcomes of the upcoming war of beliefs, and my preferred outcome.

Much of the first half is simply trying to objectively layout the groups. Some of it will seem like routine knowledge. With luck it sets an (at least hopefully) objective tone.

Of the six groups I want to focus on, three are easy, one was formed of a vacuum, one has continually been ignored, and one is entirely responsible.

In order I am talking about: The different supporters of the three remaining candidates, the RNC that lost all opposition to Trump, Voters registered as neither Republican nor Democrat, and of course MSM: Mainstream Media.

We start with Donald Trump and his supporters who effectively poisoned the well. I won’t spend much time on him or his supporters out of irony for the whole situation of the coverage already granted him. Coming from a realm of business based on the fervor and glamour of reality television; Trump seeks an audience. He is akin to Jerry Springer of the previous two decades. Sensationalism that primarily catered to the lowest denominator.

Trump’s supporters have taken up the flame of rhetoric to bring to forefront the most animalistic and territorial hatred in humankind. Violence begets violence. Continual incidents of protestors threatened, beaten, and in instances murdered. A demagoguery nearly repeating the Red Scare of Joseph McCarthy has motivated hatred against Muslims, the LGBT community, Mexicans and intellectuals while embracing religious extremism and mislabeling it as Christianity.

Trump and his allies have managed to quash all competition for the position of Republican nominee for the presidency. While Republican leadership have been honing their process, directives, and principles; Trump has become a rebel against the system. He has rallied the people that the Republicans have been moulding. Effectively winding up a child and then being surprised when Grandfather comes along to take them to a Toy Store and a Candy Store. Suddenly he is more popular. It becomes difficult when the child rebels against the parent because Grandfather understands them better.

The Republican party has perfected the union of the working class in the name of Patriotism and Religious Ferver with the upper class and large scale industry corporations under the mantle of partisan cohesion. They create the message and everyone supports the message. There is no reason for the Working Class to mistrust the upper class as they obviously share those ideals of Patriotism and Religion. Further, there is no reason for the upper class to concern itself with the working class because they have become very effective at portraying those ideals while painting their opposition as being opposed to them thus engendering hate and mistrust.

Trump however has come in with a scalpel and separated these two groups. What was created by the Republicans in the mentality of the Tea Party, spawned the darker side in Trump’s supporters. They have clung onto the new message of not trusting the government. Taking a people already conditioned to mistrust and hate; it was seemingly easy to expand that to the people that created them. This is similar to the success of cults in the 1970s such as Sun Myung Moon’s Moonies.

On the one hand the Republicans are faced with their own core philosophy of “We Stand Together” often regardless of the ways in which they do this. On the other there is a growing fear that Trump is pulling these supporters away in a manner that will fracture or even destroy the party as it is known today. Already these things have been experienced as Trump’s supporters are lining up to voice discontent with the failings of the Republican party. At the same time there are record numbers of life-long, mutil-generational Republican voters who are abandoning the party or worse (for them) converting to membership in the Democratic party. As the primary approaches although it hasn’t happened yet. High Republican leadership are distancing themselves. The living, past Republican Presidents, the last two Republican candidates for the President, and the Republican Speaker of the House have all stated that they will not attend their party’s nominating convention and have offered no or opposing support to Trump’s journey to the White House.

This has not merely affected the Republican Party, but the world watches with a combination of awe and terror. The growing Republican schism is growing to the point that it has added fuel to the growing wildfire on the other side of the aisle. Without a presumptive candidate and the Democratic convention approaching; things have become intellectually violent on the left side.

The two candidates in the Democratic arena are Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Both are experienced, trendsetters, and innovations in the way of American politics. Their supporters have tenaciously embraced them extolling their accomplishments and views while at the same time ignoring their faults and at worse misrepresenting the truth (or out and out lying) in a “Mine-Good, Yours Bad” manner.

Hillary Clinton is the visibly accomplished politician. To address the elephant in the room (which ironically is the symbol of the Republicans) Hillary is the first female nominee to the Presidency. And this is the second time she has taken this path. In history it is rare for a candidate to run twice over two ends of an eight year run. Her background includes being the First Lady to 42nd President Bill Clinton, where she was publicly known to have the executive ear in cases of legislation, New York State Senator, United States Secretary of State, among other positions.

Trying to be objective, fair, and balanced:

Clinton’s supporters see her muchly first and foremost as a sign of Feminine strength and accomplishment in an otherwise male “Old Boys Club.” As a result, she is viewed as having a thick skin and tough ability to stand to her beliefs and not be undermined for them. She keeps religion to herself, she has experience on Domestic as well as Foreign affairs, and has a judicial background advocating for children, women, and evolving on social justice issues. At core they see her as someone who can repair the Democratic party in government and mend the differences between the parties to get positive legislation moving again.

Clinton’s opposition see her as being part of the legislative downfall through lobbying and other financial incentives. As her political career is long, it carries more skeletons that her opposition views as sullying the wash. She is viewed as overly hawkish regardless of her gender. Clinton is viewed as someone who will not merely fail at uniting the Right and the Left, but more accurately seen as giving the Republicans cohesion in a stated dislike for her. She is viewed as having continually changing stances on issues and insincere of her treatment of groups that she speaks to. Finally, her opposition has lost respect and faith in her spouse, Past President Clinton.

Directly in opposition is Bernie Sanders, the incumbent and decade long US Senator from Vermont. With a US Federal legislation career spanning over a quarter century and a political career that extends over 10 years before that. Sanders elephant is that he is the second Jewish candidate for President after Joseph Lieberman. A self-proclaimed democratic socialist, Sanders has been “Independent” from the two main political parties for 35 years, but has caucused as a Democrat. His political alignment changed to being a member of the Democratic party in the past year. This allowed him to more easily run for President.

Again, in an attempt to be objective, fair, and balanced:

Sanders supporters view him as a revolutionary who has tired of the downfall of the American legislative and partisan system. They seem him as a defender of the middle class, global justice issues, and income inequality. He propagates strong rhetoric against lobbying and fundraising efforts that he perceives as tainting or worse controlling the efforts of politicians. His supporters are (for the most part) young and idealistic, and rallying to the battle cry for tenaciously needed change.

His Democratic opposition holds a very low opinion of Sanders. Above all, his message is viewed simply as political theatre designed to rally troops rather than offer individual situational solutions. He is viewed as having an unrealistic view of financial situations and less realistic, insubstantial solutions. His age is considered a huge detriment to his potential success as a President He is viewed as not appealing to the social justice groups he represents. He is seen as at times offensive to minorities and women and often frankly insulting and counter to their needs. As a result, he is seen as a dangerous candidate for violent and angry rhetoric and behaviour by groups of his supporters.

Caught in the middle are Independents. A group that truly represents the middle of these four extreme corners. Their plight is made worse by having only a partial voice in the process of winnowing the set down to the inevitable pair of gladiators to rise to battle in the American Coliseum. As members who are registered neither as Democrat nor Republican, their voice in the nomination process is limited by the decision of the State that they are in. They also become the largest wildcard in the process.

Finally, there is mainstream media. There is no reason to focus on them further than to acknowledge that as a whole has done more damage to the process than any one candidate, party, or individual supporter can do. They have put a microscope on a boil and turned a blind eye to the suffering. The attention of all winds up further uneducated, oblivious, and entrenched.


And here we are. All the players on the field. Another silence before the next storm.


And of course… finally, the centre of this essay.


So, what happens next?

There are two key elements that set off these paths. First, how does the Republican leadership handle Trump now that he is presumptive with a large following that will take the party in a direction that they never wanted to travel? Secondly, how will the result of the Democratic convention affect the future of their side of the war for the executive office?

In all four cases there have been the same message, “My way or the highway.” There is admittedly a small group that hopes for party unity so that when there are two sides the crowds will have a fair voice (well as fair as it has been) in choosing one of two candidates.

However, when you break these groups into will vote for Trump, will not vote for Trump, will vote for Clinton, will not vote for Clinton, will vote for Sanders, will not vote for Sanders; you wind up creating a very scary Venn diagram for American politics that has not been seen for around a century. There is the very real potential for more than two parties to have equally strong representation. There is also the very real potential possibility for there to be four parties that have formed by the Mitosis of the two mainstream parties.

While the current Democrat and Republican party manifestations fundamentally disagree on nearly every debatable topic, there is one thing that they stand in true unity on. The absolute polarization of America with a Two party system. Upon investigation the requirements of a third party candidate to get representation, respect, media attention, or any momentum in the electoral process one discovers that law has formally been stylized to almost entirely prevent it.

However mainstream media has naively thrown a Molotov Cocktail into the system. With unprecedented coverage of Trump combined with unprecedented under-coverage of Sanders; both counter-establishment candidates have been given a strong backing against the two parties that they seek to change. On the one side Trump’s followers are reveling in a recognized state of, “Finally, we have the voice people don’t want to hear.” On the other Sanders has rallied a following of people who perceive they have ongoing truth that their voices are in fact silenced.

The voices whether one agrees with or disagrees with them both ironically say the same thing. “Change it, we feel you are doing it wrong and telling us not to believe what we do.” As the traditional parties both find themselves wondering whether backing the popular candidate or opposing their popular candidate will help or harm their party as a whole.

On the Republican side with Trump gaining the nomination presumptively, there have been examples of opposition on the Republican side with matched fervor of opposition to the Vietnam War. Quite simply, people are burning their registration cards. From a party to be known in support of war, for individual members to take a symbolic action reflective of those who opposed government and war is a very deafening statement. Further, if the Party changes the rule to push out Trump, his very wide support base will probably and actively move to take down if not destroy the Republican party as we know it. The GOP is in a “damned if we do, damned if we don’t” state. Ironically how our Congress is currently viewed.

On the Democratic side with Sanders ‘not’ presumptively gaining the Democratic nomination, there has been perceived favouritism played to his opponent. His supporters are matching the fervor of opposition, but for the opposite reason. While the Republicans are losing membership over who is getting the nod. The Democrats are being threatened to lose membership because of who is not getting the nod. The Democrats are being buffeted between the blessed and supported candidate and the upstart rival who’s very wide support base will probably and actively move to take down if not destroy the Democratic party as we know it. The Party is in a “damned if we do, damned if we don’t” state. Ironically how our Congress is currently viewed.

One could almost say that the major political parties are finding itself the victim of a touch of political and ironic Karma.

Of course, in the midst of all this there are the independents whose true voice is yet to be heard.

Looking at how this can play out there are the two obvious post primary potentials

  • Trump vs Clinton
  • Trump vs Sanders.

This then has the following possible complications:

  • Trump overturned for another Republican nominee
  • Clinton nominated under visibly suspect conditions
  • Sanders nominated ignoring the fact that he ends reasonably behind in pledged delegates.

In the cases above, both parties are left with extra need for culling back together a sense of party unity. In the case of Trump, we have already seen the seeds of anger, revulsion, and defection. In a party that has prided itself on having everyone fall in line with the message, finding party unity is somewhat foreign. In the case of the Democrats, the battle between Clinton and Sanders has been more verbally vicious that the primary between Clinton and Obama. In 2008 the party was afraid of being unable to unite the party. With Sanders we see disenfranchisement, revolution, and reformation.

In both camps there is a growing shadow of “We’re taking our ball and going home.” The advantage of having everyone down to two sides is that it makes it far easier to predict the path and compensate. Once the choices exceed two, the votes become a sacrifice from one side or the other. In the case of a third candidate appearing in the final race to the presidency, that third candidate is considered a spoiler. The candidate takes enough of the votes away from one candidate to give the third candidate the majority when otherwise the voting would have gone against them. It is through this that one can see how Ross Perot took Bush Sr’s votes from him giving Clinton a win for the Democrats while Ralph Nader did the same to Al Gore giving that Presidency to Bush Jr. Again… perhaps political karma.

All three candidates (and then adding the trasitional Republican party) all have a large compliment of voters that are saying “My person or else.” As a result, both parties are facing a distinct fear of not recapturing party unity. As is the nature in this, all parties are blaming the other for not ‘playing ball.’ Slogans such as “Trump or Bust” and “Bernie or Bust” have come to the forefront. A recent poll by politico in early April stated that even 15 percent of Clinton’s supporters wouldn’t vote for Sanders.

Is Trump spoiling the Republican vote? More than likely. Voting against Trump is one of the few things that Sanders and Clinton agree upon. Many independents are leaning in agreement with not supporting Trump as well as a large percentage of the Global community. This is a fact the Republicans are very aware of and are seemingly still looking for an answer. President Obama stated that we’re all waiting to see if Cleveland (where the Republican Convention will be) manages to ‘get out alive.’ One reporter described the convention as “The Mistake on The Mistake on the Lake” (Personal note, I am from Pittsburgh, so I am unashamedly unbiased and amused by this.)

Is Sanders spoiling the Democratic vote? Also, more than likely. With a fervor of skepticism over perceived irregularities in primary voting, a feeling of seemingly disenfranchising manipulations from the Democratic National Committee, and with a feeling that the opposing Democratic stands as a paragon for everything they want to fight against; Sanders supporters have stated a political intent to ‘go down with the ship should it sink.’ The same poll stated that 25% of Sanders’ supporters would not vote for Clinton. There are even numbers suggesting that a clear majority of Sanders voters might give their vote to Trump. Anger breeds anger.

Is Clinton spoiling the Democratic vote? And yet again, more than likely. With rhetoric that goes against Sanders supporters rather than finding common ground, the wedge grows and the number of votes she risks losing. She strongly embraces the system as it is and is more likely to work from the inside out. However, this is also the view opposed by both her opponents. Amusingly here, the otherwise Hawkish Clinton is stepping back into a position of peace. That is a pleasant piece of political irony to contemplate.

If the Republicans split the Party by blessing a non-Trump candidate, this will abundantly split the party and most likely the Democratic candidate will win the election. If the Democratic party can not find it’s way to unity against a Republican Party supporting Trump… The Republicans will likely win.

Typically, two is a balance and three is a tie breaker. In the case of a single spoiler this is not the case. However, the unique potential facing us is that both parties may in fact fracture giving us four parties.


Trump and his supporters move forth to become a “Totalitarian Republican” Party

Trump clearly stands for filtering out the masses and playing on their fears, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) to raise their anger and bitterness. While extremist, it has a huge following.


The GOP as we know it become the “Reformed Republican” Party

The GOP now with a free pass to have a “Rebuilding year” as termed in sports, would be able to migrate back from the brink of the Tea Party and false religious fundamentalism. Socially they could pull their platform back towards the centre while the economic views would still favour the legislators.

The separation between these parties would break down the Right’s most treasured possession, Gerrymandered voting districts.


Moving towards the Left we reach the “Centrist Democratic” Party

In a huge blow to those who grew up before 2000, the Traditional Democrats and Republicans would move so close to each other than on occasion they would caucus as a block over legislation. The old lines would still exist on many topics… but they’d get resolved far quicker. Both parties would be in strong support of Lobbing efforts and slow on cases like Citizen’s United.


Finally, we have the the DLS: “Democratic Liberal Socialist” party.

With an eye for revolution and a seemingly unchallengeable ethical basis; the DSL would be the most unswerving in their ideals. This would be an interesting political rubber band to the Tea Party. One entrenched group against social freedoms, the other an entrenched group for social freedoms.

But the real question comes down to how this can all happen without making things worse. As a bi-partisan system breaks down… So does in essence the electoral college. The entire US voting process has been called by many domestically and internationally sufficiently and critically damaged that it needs to have UN oversight in the same way other countries do.

In my opinion, a manner in which to remove the threat of spoiler candidates as well as reduce disenfranchising voters would require a few steps that would be viewed as infinitely disastrous, an abhorrence, difficult to perform, and yet have positive benefits:

  • Complete US Voter rolls. Every US Citizen is on a role. They can send in a vote to a state or regional location. It carries a voter number. They can vote in person. Many people would prefer not to be on file with the government. This is of course most easily carried out in this country by not being born.
  • Election day is a Federal Holiday. Only essential responders should be asked to work and at that in overtime paid shifts to guarantee them a vote.
  • Voter assistance. Door to door assistance with pre-election day voting for often disenfranchised voters.
  • Voter education. Each citizen on voting rolls should receive a booklet. The book summarizes the positions and issues available for vote. Each vote should have either an objective description or the position or the proposed legislation. In the case of a position, each candidate should state their platform. Other candidates should then be able to make statements against the candidate. Finally, the candidate may offer rebuttal but only in self-defense. For legislation having a statement in support, against and rebuttals on each side.
  • The adoption of Hare-Clark voting.

Hare-Clark voting is designed to remove spoiler voting as well as to fill multiple vacancies without disenfranchising voters or causing one candidate to spoil the vote. The candidates are stack ranked. To illustrate let’s use an election where Jones and Brown are running on the Green and Yellow party Ticket. James who was in the Green Ticket with Jones decides to run under the Orange party. Jones may have been likely to defeat Brown. However now, James and Jones will likely split those votes and Brown will win.

With Hare Clark the voters rank their preferences. One can vote for any or all candidates in order of their preference to win. So one could vote: James, Jones, and then nobody else.

The voting count is reduced until the number of the candidates exceeds the number of positions by one and then the majority wins.

The reduction is done by giving the lowest voted candidates votes to their second choice.

The initial voting is:

  • 250 James
  • 300 Jones
  • 400 Brown

James is low vote, so we rule him out, but look at his voter’s secondary choices.

  • 175 Jones
  • 25 Brown
  • 50 (No second choice)

The votes still go to someone they choose. As a result:

  • 475 = 300+175 Jones
  • 425 = 400 + 25 Brown

James is not a spoiler candidate. People can have more faith voting on their candidate without initially voting for a ‘lesser of evils’ candidate and moreover.

This doesn’t assist ideological unity, but it reduces a feeling of being disenfranchised. Quite simply the idea of similarly aligned candidates cancelling out each other in favour for true opposition is removed.

In anything over a 2 member race, this is the most honest and transparent way to count an electoral vote.

This of course means that is very unlikely.

All of this comes down to how the parties will behave as their respective conventions come down to the wire. This also depends on how the parties progresses past the primary into the general election race. This leaves the public watching each party attempt to not lose the bulk of their support through concession and unification…

Amusingly, very few people are considering (at this point) if after the general election there will be any chance of federal unity, popular mandate, or further lack of faith in the government.

Granted it may be argued this has been missing for about 25-50 years, while others may suggest it’s been going on closer to 240 years.

To the candidates for the US Presidency in 2016:

Have fun storming the castle. It’ll take a miracle.

“We will all go together when we go.”