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The Reporters: US mid-terms

The Reporters

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This blog will cover the 2006 US mid-term elections, featuring contributions from reporters from across the BBC, along with your comments and questions.

Comments on this blog will be moderated. When you submit a comment, we will read it and decide whether to publish it. We aim to include as many comments as we can, but we won't publish any which are abusive, are inappropriate on the grounds of taste and decency, or which appear to be part of a concerted lobbying attempt. There's more on our moderation policy in these Have Your Say House Rules. Comments should be based around the original post and subsequent discussion.

For comparison purposes, here are links to some of the rules applied by our contemporaries - ABC News, NBC News, and CBS News in the USA, and Sky News and The Guardian in the UK.

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  • 1.
  • At 08:46 AM on 08 Oct 2006,
  • Elizabeth Wyant wrote:


I am afraid I agree with your grim prophecy that the Democrats will find a way to lose since they have no clear plan for winning. The Foley scandal will hurt however. This scandal seems tailor made to prompt some undecided voters to jump to abandon the Republican party this time around. The real question is whether or not he Democratic party can find a way to appeal to the conservative South and West in the future.

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  • 2.
  • At 06:34 PM on 09 Oct 2006,
  • Janet Nelson wrote:

With the Foley scandel. The republicans have set themselves up for this downfall by peaching family values and that they are only party that in in touch with God. This has bothered me for years and personally Bush and his party has to learn in the school of hard knocks like the rest of us mere mortals. It is coming full circle and thank heavens it has happened. I hope by this that ALL Parties will come togetter as one for the common good. For America and the world

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  • 3.
  • At 06:20 PM on 13 Oct 2006,
  • J.K LIAN wrote:

Hello eveybdy, I am from Singapore. Is it true that the elections in the states
are decided only within the last 20 days before polls? From the book titled " Bush Brains", Karl Rove was the Lee Attwater of BushJR. If Karl Rove is really powerful or influential, why does'nt he seem to be able to stem the opinion polls tilt towards the democrats? Unless, He is springing up a
trap in 08?? My take is that congress will fall to the democrats. Can anyone, pls,no bashing,paint a plausible scenario of Bush surviving his last two years in the white house.

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  • 4.
  • At 03:46 AM on 21 Oct 2006,
  • Andrew wrote:

Justin: As far as your observation on republicans not wanting to "talk politics" - for quite some time, the political climate in the US has been becoming more and more acerbic.

Most liberals think republicans are evil, as opposed to people who think differently and have valid points. Whereas the converse, is not really true. Most on the right believe that liberals are somewhat infantile in their beliefs and hopeful against what is generally accepted reality. This disconnect has caused some pretty poor treatment and general lack of civility from the left to the right, thus most republicans don't like to open themselves up to that.

I might remind you that before the '04 election everyone thought Kerry was going to win too. I expect the Demo's to take some ground, but not enough to make a majority for Pelosi.

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  • 5.
  • At 12:37 PM on 21 Oct 2006,
  • Andrew Stone wrote:

The most interesting part of any US election is the near total abscence of any political discussion.

Americans pay more in taxation per capita for health care than the British do for the NHS.

That's an awesome fact, that in a politically free society would be hot subject of discussion. It's barely mention by the US media or politicians.

Similarly, if we go to Florida we find that if you have 3 British 'A' levels, you are exempted from the first 2 years of college.

Or we might discuss why the US has the worst poverty rates in the developed world or why Americans work longer hours.

All major political issues you'll see little or no mention of.

The BBC seems to be following the 'US censorship rules' in not mentioning politics when discussing US elections

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  • 6.
  • At 12:52 PM on 21 Oct 2006,
  • Andrew Stone wrote:

Or to put it another way, the BBC seem to be following the agenda set for them by the Republicans and Democrats and are not asking the questions the US public are prevented from asking.

For most Americans affordable health care is the number one issue. It's hardly ever mentioned by politicians (of both parties) particularly in comparing the USA's performance with the rest of the world.

The whole political and media system depends on the US not being compared with other nations as the abysmal performance of the US in almost all sectors becomes immediately apparent.

It should be the job of the BBC to tell the US public the facts that are suppressed by the US media.

Did you know the British ruled the whole of 19th century India with 15,000 British troops. .. . how many Americans does it take to run Iraq?

How much does the US spend on health, defence,education and prisons? What are the results? How do they compare with the rest of the world?

These are the questions the American public want to know, these are the questions the US media NEVER ask.

One day at press conference someone will has that killing questions

Why can the British have a free at point of delivery health care system that covers everyone for less than the cost of Medicare and Mediaid?

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  • 7.
  • At 07:41 PM on 21 Oct 2006,
  • Zemed Alemu wrote:

If the two historical parties fail in governance way below the expectations of the people why not dump these and choose Greens, Peace and Freedom instead>

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  • 8.
  • At 04:09 PM on 24 Oct 2006,
  • peggy bishop wrote:

People just don't seem to understand there is more to the Iraq war than the war itself. The out of control costs associated with the war have taken a toll on America. The states now have to fill in where once they had matching Federal dollars for highways, health care, social services, etc. This means higher state and city taxes all around. The infrastructure across America is crumbling. The interstate highway system is in shambles. Bridges are unsafe. The war is being partially funded through the Social Security trust fund, Civil Service Retirement Fund and what else that we, as middle class citizens don't even know about? America will not recover from the ravages brought on by the Bush Administration's ignorance, corruption, and quest for complete power.

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  • 9.
  • At 11:09 AM on 25 Oct 2006,
  • Dan wrote:

Could Bush survive the next two years with a Democratic Congress? Absolutely. Even if the Dems win massively in the mid-terms they still won't come close to the majority required for impeachment. Thus they would be foolish to chance an impeachment process in such a partisan environment as this would set them up for a big fall in 08 as their frontrunning candidates are all (except Edwards) in the senate. If they go after Bush and fail they will have nothing to show for two years of legislative power and they will most certainly have trouble in 08. A more likely situation is Bush tempering his policies, working with the Dems much like the pre-Lewinski Clinton days. Quite possibly the White House has already accepted defeat in 06, which is why you are now hearing that a major Iraq policy shift is imminent post-election, probably to pre-empt the Dems. Also look for Cheney to step down if the GOP takes it hard, this would allow the republicans to position a candidate as VP to counter Mccain who seems to scare conservatives.

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  • 10.
  • At 04:41 PM on 25 Oct 2006,
  • Miguel wrote:

Elections or not america(usa)will continue to be a super power bully,as well as a country bent on imposing it so call culture over others.The Republicans are in a bind,however,they are so powerful(thanks to conservative democrats),the any elections giving democrats power will be academic.
American war history is only for those people who value it,for others it is shameful,disgusting,and full of so many tricks,cleaverness,and pre-arranged speaches that are pre-writen by very expensive professional in the knowledge of language as a tool for lying etcs..for

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I'm an optimist by nature, so this side of me says that the Republicans are going to be punished by America's voters for an incredibly inept, even venal, period of governance. But being a professional journalist, there's also the realist in me. Democrats are famously said to find ways to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. So who knows what verbal gaffe awaits us before the Tuesday election, or some loud rattling of skeletons in a Democratic closet? American voters notoriously stay home during midterm elections, and I wouldn't be surprised by a low turnout ensures a Republican victory in both houses of Congress. Republicans have proven much better at getting their party faithfuls out to the voting booths than Democrats.

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  • 12.
  • At 02:16 AM on 07 Nov 2006,
  • Yasmin Khan wrote:

I thought Iraq was not about the oil? But what did Bush say on this in Arkansas?

"They would like to control energy resources.

Imagine a world in which these extremists and radicals, bound together by a hateful ideology, was able to say to the West, to the United States, for example, if you do not abandon your alliances, if you do not withdraw, we will run the price of oil up to the point that chokes your economy."

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  • 13.
  • At 08:33 PM on 09 Nov 2006,
  • Abdiweli Elmi wrote:

It is a moment of success for the failure of repuplicans. I mean the American policy towards the world changes as Bush can not now approve from the congress unplanned issue. Democrats will learn Bush the world diplomacy. I prever clinton to be the instructor.

Abdiweli Elmi Afrah

Mogadishu,Somalia

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Great job BBC thanks for the coverage.

Regards,

Prayukth
www.prayukth.co.nr

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