General Question

flo's avatar

Can Americans interfere with the democratic process of other countires in the name of satire?

Asked by flo (12974points) October 19th, 2015
Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

17 Answers

elbanditoroso's avatar

Sure, of course we can. And do. Except most Americans don’t give a shit about the politics of other countries.

Comedians are hardly ‘interfering with the democratic process ’- they’remaking fun of people.

(Keep in mind that Netanyahu, who is not a funny man, interfered directly in US politics during the last election)

stanleybmanly's avatar

Satire? What are you talking about?

msh's avatar

Yes. Americans appear with black overcoats and glasses. We interfere in everyone’s elections…. because that’s the easiest way to take over the entire world! Every last nook and cranny! We want it ALL! We ignore all other countries doings because…perfection doesn’t need to care. We are omnipotent!!!!

Seriously? :\ A broad brushstroke against all, isn’t it?

—- and Netanyahu was brought over on the behest of the republican cause.
A grave err in judgement. On both of their parts.
A review of the aid$ from the US to Israel should perhaps be reviewed. Humorously or not.

Pandora's avatar

Even the Canadians said this is not against the rule. Even Canadians, or people of other countries can express political opinions of candidates. I believe the law is to cover actual direct influence. Buying votes, or creating a huge slush fund from an unknown outside source, or maybe even stopping people from voting.

John Oliver was making fun I think of the fact that there is no way to actually enforce such a thing unless the person lives in the country and how easy it would be for someone with a lot of money to pay the fine.

I think they are talking about actual real influences.

jerv's avatar

There is telling someone how to vote, and then there is TELLING SOMEONE HOW TO VOTE. It’s a matter of degree, and it’s important to understand wher ethe line is.

Expressing and opinion or “telling” them in the form of a request or plea is not a crime. John Oliver advised, he pleaded, he requested, but he never threatened any consequences if we defied him.

What is a crime is coercion and/or extortion. If your boss told you to vote for [insert candidate here] or you would lose your job, that would be a crime. There are some clergyman that threatened to excommunicate any parishioner who voted for a Democrat. There are employers that do the same; “Vote Republican or you’re fired!”. Oddly enough, the authority figures who do that never force people to vote liberal; I wonder why… Those activities ARE illegal, and often pretty blatantly so; the people that do it love to draw attention to their jihad.

So tell me, @flo, how did John Oliver interfere? What did he threaten to do to those who voted for Stephen Harper?

@Any_Canadians_present. Did John Oliver threaten to nail your cat to your door, seize your bank accounts, and/or sodomize your waffle iron? Hell, did that skit even affect your vote, or did you mark your ballot the same way you would’ve had John Oliver not said a thing?

I believe that Harper would’ve lost the election fair and square regardless of anything an American comedian did/didn’t say/do simply because his platform was one that didn’t appeal to most voters, but his supporters refuse to admit that and it’s all sour grapes.

It is also worth noting that, historically speaking, court jesters have traditionally been allowed certain leeway in their behavior. Often that latitude was granted by decree! Now that we no longer have feudal courts, the jesters have moved on to become comedians of various types. Some are satirical, some are on TV, and John Oliver is both. But if we rolled the clock back a few centuries, he would be considered a Jester and thus given a pass if for no reason other than only a fool would take a fool seriously.

cazzie's avatar

Did you see the dancing beaver and the moose getting a thing up its bum? This was satire and humour. Not a political broadcast.

rojo's avatar

It is the only way we do it. Well, that and hypocritically.

flo's avatar

Thanks all.

@stanleybmanly Exactly. He is the one whoe call it that

@jerv Why bring up some of the worst senarios? Those are crimes of course.
People vote based on polls instead of figuring out whose platform is best, so satire or “satire”, is another way that people are swayed.

Dutchess_III's avatar

If people are swayed by satire, they’re dumb. Satire can be complete fiction, with only a grain of truth, and they’re supposed to be funny. They are supposed to have comedic value and that’s all.

flo's avatar

Except they are not funny, satire or not, they are just propaganda.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, people are free to interpret comedy any way they want.

jerv's avatar

@flo “Why bring up some of the worst senarios?”

Simple; to illustrate behavior that has happened and still does that the law was attempting to ban. And I wish I could say that I exaggerated for the sake of degree as the fact that you are asking this question impies that you don’t understand “degree” or “scale”, but I’m dead serious. (Well, except for sodomizing the waffle iron; those four words are the only hyperbole. Historically, they sodomize one of your loved ones instead.). But the fact that you recognize those as extreme scenarios proves that you do understand how magnitude might matter.

“People vote based on polls instead of figuring out whose platform is best…”

I think you have the laws of cause and effect mixed up there. While there is a little bit of “jumping on the bandwagon”, the majority of people vote based on their own opinion, and what those opinions are affect polls.

”... “satire”, is another way that people are swayed.”

Yes, but it’s a legal one. So is campaigning. Has your opinion on a candidate ever been based, even in the slightest degree, on any sort of advertising? Maybe some “working class citizen” stating a concern of their’s and why they are voting for [insert candidate’s name here]? Or maybe something they said at a public speech?

If one wished to extend this law far enough to ban political satire, they would also prohibit campaigning while simultaneously having a chilling effect on free speech in general, as well as commercial advertising. If you feel campaign ads and the right to publicly state opinions are legal, then tough luck; you cannot ban political satire or op/ed columns.

“Except they are not funny, satire or not, they are just propaganda.”

Many disagree. If you don’t think John Oliver is funny, don’t watch his show; problem solved! Don’t worry though. It’s perfectly legal to not like certain things. I don’t like eating seafood; show me the ordinance against that!

As for propaganda, no, not really. At least no more than many other things we do. Have you ever tried to sway someone’s opinion on anything before? If so, you’re spreading propaganda too.

ragingloli's avatar

americans interfere with other countries’ politics in the name of the almighty dollar.
and satire?
Try “staging coup d’etats to oust leaders and install puppet governments”

flo's avatar

@jerv The more you’re right the less you need long long long posts which include completely unnecessary statements like: “If you don’t think John Oliver is funny, don’t watch his show; problem solved!”*

Or illogical statements like “Have you ever tried to sway someone’s opinion on anything before? If so, you’re spreading propaganda too.”
Illogical because I’m not an internationally known TV personality, multimillionaire, influential person doing thr influencing on his show. It is like a billionaire donating tons of money and a regular joe blow donating $50.00

If it were satire he would have said things about
Trudeau having voted for C51 and for
http://www.canadianprogressiveworld.com/2015/10/17/justin-trudeau-voted-yes-to-harpers-zero-tolerance-for-barbaricculturalpractices-act/
and approving an environmetally unfriendly item something to do with t a pipeline.
Same as Harper.

jerv's avatar

@flo It depends on whether or not I feel I am getting through or not. And, to be honest, it seems that a lot of times you just aren’t quite connecting the dots, or that you outright misunderstood. There are plenty of things I misunderstand myself, and when that happens, I find slowing down and being more… long-winded helps me understand, so I tend to do the same when I want others to understand me. Yeah, I may be snarky, but I’m honestly just trying to help.

The law applies equally to all. And you don’t need millions of dollars or your own TV show to spread propaganda. You might be surprised at how effective grassroots campaigns can be. The fact that you think that statement is illogical is irrefutable proof that you missed my point, and were I in the mood, would actually prompt me to write at least a couple of paragraphs trying to break it down further for you. In that regard, you bring it on yourself. The more you seem to be confused or misguided, the more I type.

It’s funny that you complain of nonsense then follow that with a non sequitur, but I digress. Satire is not the same as finger-pointing. If you do not understand that, then it is no wonder that you do not find John Oliver (or, apparently, satire in general) funny. Myself, I find great amusement from clever use of language, though I consider puns to usually be amateurish, but I digress. Maybe you would indulge me and explain exactly WTF the point/relevance of that link is? It may make sense to you, but the fact that you and I seem to miscommunicate so often should be a sign that things that make sense to you won’t always make sense to those living outside your head. I’m extending the benefit of a doubt here; something I don’t often do.

Oh, and since you seem to be interested in the role of satire in society, like influencing foreign elections, maybe you’ve followed the South Park thing with Yelp? Because if it’s about American interference in foreign affairs, I’m sure @ragingloli could give you a long list of things that you should be more concerned about, so I’m going to assume that you’re more interested in what satirists can/can’t legally get away with.

@ragingloli Do you agree that if we really wanted to sway the Canadian election, we would’ve used means other than a skit by a TV comic?

Dutchess_III's avatar

This is getting a bit funny!

flo's avatar

@jerv “Yeah, I may be snarky, but I’m honestly just trying to help.”
One can be snarky and provide enlightenment. There is nothing in that long long post, again.

“WTF the point/relevance of that link is?” You’re bothered by that? And that much?

…..“Satire is not the same as finger-pointing” Yes it is. It is, exposing what may not be so obvious, using humor.

”...but the fact that you and I seem to miscommunicate so often, ...”
Hi-lie-ree-yes. One of us tries to intimidate.

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