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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:26 PM

Can you imagine this sort of thing in the US?

I am currently watching a political broadcast on NHK, Japan's version of PBS. There are Lower House (House of Representatives) elections coming up, and NHK is currently broadcasting the resumes of candidates of all parties for all districts in the Yokohama area. Yesterday, there were broadcasts of short speeches by all the candidates themselves for races in Saitama (suburban prefecture next to Tokyo), as well as short speeches by the leaders of their respective parties. All broadcast as a public service, with no commentary by pundits.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Original post)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:29 PM

1. CSPAN live coverage of the Senate, etc.?

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Response to freshwest (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:38 PM

2. You have to be a cable subscriber to get C-SPAN

and as far as I know it doesn't broadcast campaign messages from candidates of local House or Senate races. You can only watch incumbents in action, and even then, it might be hard to catch your local representative or senator actually taking a stand on something in a congressional debate.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:14 AM

4. Usually our PBS and community access channels perform those funcitons.

Last edited Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:42 AM - Edit history (1)

They also have the League of Women Voters moderate those debates, if there are any on PBS. People mainly get information through online and commerical media.

Those of us involved with the Democratic Party can go to the Precinct office for information or the regular meetings. A lot of polltical candidates tell us their positions at community meetings.

I've never lived where such information wasn't available. I don't have cable, except for TWC and Community Access as part of the internet bundle I have to keep to the cheaper rate. CA has local city council hearings and also the floor of the capitol when they're in session.

I haven't been able to get broadcast reception for over a decade. It's interference, weak signal or mountains. As far as CSPAN coverage, I get that off of youtube channels that have it. There are CSPAN live coverage of everything online. It's not as good as cable, as you say.

Do you have good coverage in your area from PBS? Or can you talk to the nearest university to get this going there? If your community is lacking in information, perhaps they can help. Although I don't know if you are just speaking theoretically as a national system. And the GOP keeps on starving the public channels of information. It's getting hard to get any progressive radio. too.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:09 PM

10. Did you watch the "3rd Party debates" on any of those sources?

If not, then you missed a discussion of a variety of important issues that both Major Parties would rather you didn't hear about,
from the expansion of our For Profit Private Prison Industry to the damaging effects of "Free Trade" on America's Working Class,
not to mention the failed War on Drugs, the expansion of the extra-constitutional powers of the Unitary Executive,
and, of course, Global Climate Change.

Statement by the League of Women's Voters when they refused to sponsor the Presidential Debates in 1987:
"The League of Women Voters is withdrawing sponsorship of the presidential debates...because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter. It has become clear to us that the candidates' organizations aim to add debates to their list of campaign-trail charades devoid of substance, spontaneity and answers to tough questions. The League has no intention of becoming an accessory to the hoodwinking of the American public."


I believe this is the type of thing the OP is talking about.




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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #2)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:48 AM

8. Many areas have local community access channels that do just that.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 9, 2012, 11:45 PM

3. And I forgot to mention

Before an election in Japan, campaign posters of all local candidates of all parties are attached to special election signboards that are set up in neighborhoods a couple of weeks before an election. Instead of marking a space by the name of their preferred candidate, voters actually write in the name of the candidate they want on their ballot.

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Response to Art_from_Ark (Reply #3)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 12:22 AM

5. A lot different society than ours. They know each other better, like the UK.

Americans are disconnected except through their community groups. And many people don't want to get involved.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #5)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 01:03 AM

6. Japanese can be pretty disconnected, too.

Especially people who live in apartment buildings. In fact, it seems that people in apartment buildings here in Japan go out of their way NOT to meet their neighbors, by, for example, averting their eyes, or even hurrying into their apartment and locking their door, when a neighbor approaches.

People in long-established neighborhoods are different, that is, they tend to know their neighbors, but people in so-called "new towns" (major housing developments) tend to be strangers to each other unless they have kids in the same grade or same activities at school.

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Response to freshwest (Reply #1)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 03:05 AM

7. for some reason my antenna doesn't pick up cspan

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Response to Tunkamerica (Reply #7)

Mon Dec 10, 2012, 09:44 AM

9. You silly bird! We know that. But you're online, so you already have it, I hope.

Last edited Mon Dec 10, 2012, 02:27 PM - Edit history (1)

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Response to freshwest (Reply #9)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:34 AM

11. do i? doess cspan stream online? just looked and it does, really didn't realize that.

But, i'd guess that people who only go online at the library or in remote places with slow connections might have trouble with it.

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Response to Tunkamerica (Reply #11)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 11:56 AM

12. Yes they do. But it's not as complete as the cable version. Try one of these streams:

http://www.c-span.org/Live-Video/C-SPAN/

I watched the DNC in Charlotte there, and other things. There are also archived programs.

There's also their YouTube channel:


http://www.youtube.com/user/cspan

People in the library can't hog the computers, although I suspect most have broadband. And dial-up people are out of luck. I used to have it and it was slow to load message boards.

Didn't mean to imply everyone has broadband. Where I live, I can't get dial-up. Only one provider and they bundle landline, cable and internet. I had all but TWC and Community Access removed. I don't turn the TV on unless I'm converting a tape to digital on the computer.

Oh, and I was just teasing you, didn't mean offense. Sorry if it came off that way. I thought you were kidding me.


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Response to freshwest (Reply #12)

Thu Dec 13, 2012, 02:53 AM

13. no you came off totally cool, made me feel a little bad for being snarky

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