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  • Foreign involvement in American elections

    Should the current law be amended to prevent foreigners from participating in the American electoral process - even if it is unpaid volunteer labour?
    Canadians are flooding a foreign chapter of the Democratic Party with offers to help it defeat Donald Trump in this fall's U.S. presidential election.

    The head of the party branch in Canada, Steve Nardi, chuckles as he scrolls through his email inbox and describes the range of messages he gets, such as one note complaining that Democrats need better attack ads.

    "I get requests. I get emails almost daily … from Canadians saying, 'I want to help. How can I help?'"

    It's that last type of message that raises legal and ethical questions about what tasks foreigners are allowed to perform in a U.S. election.

    Interviews with U.S. election-law experts and officials in both major U.S. political parties produced a short, clear answer to that question, and a longer, murkier one.

    The short answer is: U.S. election law allows foreigners to do just about anything, as long as it's routine volunteer work.

    The U.S. Federal Election Commission says that foreigners can volunteer during election campaigns — as long as they're doing it in their personal time, not offering anything of monetary value, and not participating in planning election strategy.

    One prominent expert on U.S. election law said he was taken aback when he checked the rules and saw how permissive they were of foreign volunteers.

    "I was really surprised," said James Gardner, a law professor at the University of Buffalo.

    "That just seems quite inconsistent to me.… It sounds like someone can do phone-banking," he said, referring to the common practice of calling voters and urging them to cast ballots for a particular party.

    "It sounds like someone can do get-out-the-vote, as long as they're not compensated."

    Being allowed is one thing, but whether a Canadian should is another. Gardner's view is that it's morally wrong for people to volunteer during a foreign election because it erodes basic principles of democratic self-governance; he said the country's constitutional drafters in 1787 were deeply worried about foreign interference.

    Gardner said he feels the same way about people from one U.S. state getting involved in another state's election.

    "As an ethical matter I would say, 'Even if you can, you should not,'" he said.
    https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canad...2Ph?li=AAggNb9


  • #2
    Originally posted by Skoblin View Post
    Should the current law be amended to prevent foreigners from participating in the American electoral process - even if it is unpaid volunteer labour?
    I dont think foreigners should participate in any country's elections. Whether it be illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, or Russia.

    On a personal note; are you able to be involved in you host country elections?

    I need to check with my wife to she about her native country.
    "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Nichols View Post

      I dont think foreigners should participate in any country's elections. Whether it be illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, or Russia.

      On a personal note; are you able to be involved in you host country elections?

      I need to check with my wife to she about her native country.
      Why wouldn't legal immigrants be allowed to take part in elections?
      Wisdom is personal

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Nichols View Post

        I dont think foreigners should participate in any country's elections. Whether it be illegal immigrants, legal immigrants, or Russia.

        On a personal note; are you able to be involved in you host country elections?

        I need to check with my wife to she about her native country.
        That is a good question. I have not bothered to find out - primarily because as a non-citizen in Hungary, I do not feel it my right to intrude in Hungarian politics. That said, there are a large number of ex-pats in Budapest who do get involved in domestic politics in Hungary, especially in demonstrations.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Karri View Post

          Why wouldn't legal immigrants be allowed to take part in elections?
          Legal immigrants are not citizens. A country's citizens should be the only people that can vote in that country.
          "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Karri View Post

            Why wouldn't legal immigrants be allowed to take part in elections?
            I think the article was addressing the idea of foreign citizens in foreign countries participating in the US electoral process - not legal immigrants residing within the US.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Nichols View Post

              Legal immigrants are not citizens. A country's citizens should be the only people that can vote in that country.
              The article is not focused on voting. The article concerns canvassing, manning phone lines, etc.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Skoblin View Post

                I think the article was addressing the idea of foreign citizens in foreign countries participating in the US electoral process - not legal immigrants residing within the US.
                I think he asked that because I mentioned it. From personal experience, when my wife was a legal immigrant before she became a citizen..... she could work but not vote in elections.
                "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Skoblin View Post

                  The article is not focused on voting. The article concerns canvassing, manning phone lines, etc.
                  Good point, my opinion; only citizens should be involved in any aspect of a country's election process.
                  "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    On this board, I participate in discussions regarding issues that have an impact on myself, or Canada, but I try very hard to avoid outright criticisms of a politician, leader, or party. It's not my business who the citizens of the US vote into office.

                    It's not appropriate for Canadians to be involved in another country's election process.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Nichols View Post

                      Legal immigrants are not citizens. A country's citizens should be the only people that can vote in that country.
                      Legal immigrants are not citizens, but they do often have a right to vote in local elections. I seem to remember you guys had an independence war for similar issues. Why shouldn't a tax payer have the right for representation?
                      Wisdom is personal

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Karri View Post

                        Legal immigrants are not citizens, but they do often have a right to vote in local elections. I seem to remember you guys had an independence war for similar issues. Why shouldn't a tax payer have the right for representation?
                        Legal immigrants do not have a right to vote in local elections. You are confusing progressive wants with rights.


                        Trying to tie in the revolutionary war doesn't help your cause. There is nothing stopping a legal immigrant from becoming a citizen....the legal immigrant by getting citizenship is declaring independence from their birth narion.
                        "I don't discuss sitting presidents," Mattis tells NPR in an interview. "I believe that you owe a period of quiet."

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          [QUOTE=Karri;n5207825]

                          Legal immigrants are not citizens, but they do often have a right to vote in local elections. /QUOTE]

                          No, Legal Immigrants that are not Citizens can not vote in ANY political election, even in local ones, can not run for political office and can not serve on a jury, those are the only things prohibited to a Legal resident.
                          Last edited by Trung Si; 15 Jul 20, 10:19.
                          Trying hard to be the Man, that my Dog believes I am!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Nichols View Post

                            Legal immigrants do not have a right to vote in local elections. You are confusing progressive wants with rights.


                            Trying to tie in the revolutionary war doesn't help your cause. There is nothing stopping a legal immigrant from becoming a citizen....the legal immigrant by getting citizenship is declaring independence from their birth narion.
                            You cannot speak on behalf of all local governments. There are cases where legal immigrants have the right to vote in local elections where citizenship is not required such as for school boards

                            https://www.dailysignal.com/2018/07/...ion-elections/

                            Noncitizens can vote in San Francisco’s Board of Education elections after the city’s Department of Elections ruled Monday to do away with citizenship requirements.

                            The new requirement comes after San Francisco voters passed local Proposition N, allowing noncitizens to vote in education elections. The proposal passed 54 percent to 46 percent and will continue taking effect until 2022, wherein the Board of Supervisors will have to decide whether to preserve or abandon the law.


                            So, sometimes progressive wants translate to more rights for legal (and illegal) immigrants

                            Also. a legal immigrant who gets US citizenship does not necessarily declare independence from the birth nation. There are many cases of dual citizenship.

                            Finally, there are cases of legal immigrants who do not have a clear path to citizenship. The type of visa they get when they enter the US as legal immigrants is important...
                            Last edited by pamak; 15 Jul 20, 12:34.
                            My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Skoblin View Post

                              The article is not focused on voting. The article concerns canvassing, manning phone lines, etc.
                              It makes sense to legally limit collusion between American and foreign citizens that is aimed to help any party We learned from the case of the Trump tower meeting that collusion is not a crime. But other than setting some threshold to combat the most obvious cases of foreign intervention, I do not see how one can craft a law that can be realistically enforced and completely deter voluntary activism by foreign citizens.

                              There is already some part of law which treats services such as manning phone lines for the benefit of a party as a form of donations since they provide something of a non-cash value. Right now, many of things of this nature can be overcome by having a domestic US company or branch of a global corporation becoming responsible for the service that is to be provided and then this company/corporation can use foreign citizens who work as employees or are hired as contractors to deliver the product.


                              Classic cases are the British company Cambridge Analytica which did data analysis for Trump's political campaign and Hillary's opposition research which used a British citizen for the opposition research project. Because everybody knows about the latter but fewer people know about the former. here is some general information about Cambridge Analytica

                              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambridge_Analytica

                              Cambridge Analytica Ltd (CA) was a British political consulting firm that combined misappropriation of digital assets, data mining, data brokerage and data analysis with strategic communication during the electoral processes.[5][6]

                              ...


                              The company was partly owned by the family of Robert Mercer, an American hedge-fund manager who supports many politically conservative causes.[9][11] The firm maintained offices in London, New York City, and Washington, DC.[12] CEO Alexander Nix has said CA was involved in 44 US political races in 2014.[13] In 2015, CA performed data analysis services for Ted Cruz's presidential campaign.[11] In 2016, CA worked for Donald Trump's presidential campaign[14] as well as for Leave
                              Last edited by pamak; 15 Jul 20, 13:06.
                              My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                              Comment

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