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  1. Johnson, I at least imagine would be relatively supportive if only because he was governor at the time of WIPP’s opening and has been supportive in general of that project.

    As for Jill Stein however, I’d say be careful what you wish for. Here’s her response on an “Ask Me Anything” forum on Reddit:

    Nuclear energy currently depends on massive public subsidies. Private industry won’t invest in it without public support because it’s not a good investment. The risks are too great. Add to that, three times more jobs are created per dollar invested in conservation and renewables. Nuclear is currently the most expensive per unit of energy created. All this is why it is being phased out all over the world. Bottom line is no one source solution to our energy needs, but demand side reductions are clearly the most easily achieved and can accrue the most cost savings.
    Advanced nuclear technologies are not yet proven to scale and the generation and management of nuclear waste is the primary reason for the call for eventual phasing out of the technology. Advances in wind and other renewable technologies have proven globally to be the best investment in spurring manufacturing inovation, jobs and energy sources that are less damaging to our health and environment.

    Obviously, this statement could easily be picked apart by the likes of you or I. But there you go.

    1. Certainly these third-party candidates (the ones on Democracy Now) would not use the “N” word except to call for an immediate phase-out, like John Edwards did.

      In fact, if these folks are examples of what third parties look like, I’m rather glad that we have just two major parties.

      1. I would vote for Gary Johnson over Obama or Romney. I really don’t see a hell of a lot of difference between those two anyway, at least Johnson brings some real difference of opinion. What I heard last night was two fairly similar candidates arguing over who can spend more on medicare and how many decades they can ignore our debt and keep deficit spending going.

  2. For what its worth, here are some links to the candidate’s websites that address nuclear energy.
    Obama is taking an “All of the Above” approach to energy production. He supports the new nuclear projects that were approved during his administration.
    http://www.barackobama.com/energy-info#!/nuclear

    Romney wants to streamline the NRC’s approval processes for new nuclear projects. See page 5 of the pdf. I doubt anyone in the Romney camp has any idea how difficult it would be to make major changes in the way the NRC does its business in reviewing new licenses.
    http://www.mittromney.com/sites/default/files/shared/Energy.pdf

    All in all, neither candidate seems to put new nuclear power development as a high priority.

  3. Yes, yesterday’s debate was pretty thin soup in the energy department. I hate having to try to interpret code-speak to see who’s the better candidate on nuclear power. But I liked Romney’s criticism of the $90 billion utterly wasted on wind and solar, and I didn’t like how Obama touted those totally useless sources. He is still listening to the green zealots, in spite of common sense and empirical examples like Solyndra. That is not good. The phony greens have no business anywhere near political power, but they’re in like Flynn with this administration. I believe that as a constituency they could be safely ignored, especially now that their advice has been followed and proven to be embarrassing and dangerous, both politically and economically. But I’m not a professional politician so what do I know.

    I guess that is why you’re calling for third party representation.

    1. There was definitely not any good rebuttal to that criticism from Romney.

      Ironically enough, one comment I saw from a Facebook friend was something to the effect of “Romney only speaks in numbers”. I have to say that ignoring numbers is pretty dangerous.

      Numbers favor nuclear power (once the present domestic/North American gas oversupply runs its course within the next 5 or fewer years, as I expect to see).

    2. Realistically as solar and wind require Gas for supplemental generation they are far more responsible than Romney’s embrace of coal.

      Depending on the instal they are also not always a waste. Where do you get that impression? Thats incorrect.

      Are we being a bit passive voice here in argument ignoring Coal’s role in last nights debate?

      1. “$90 billion in breaks to the green energy world.”

        “These businesses, many of them have gone out of business — I think about half of them — of the ones that have been invested in have gone out of business,” the former Massachusetts governor said. ( http://www.cnn.com/2012/10/04/politics/fact-check-green-energy/index.html?hpt=hp_t2 )

        Total green stimulus spending has been $51 billion.

        Of 28 funded projects – four involve businesses that were either sold or are not in operation.

        So at best Romney grossly misled.

        1. The $50 is just stimulas spending. It is my understanding that DOD money, and not Stimulus money, is being spent on the Military installation of wind/solar for the military to meet their 20% “greenenergy” requirements. The massive solar installation at several AFBs were not mentioned in the on-line stimulus bill spending spread sheet. In addition, there is also the same “scam” going on in the State Department. U.S Embassies are installing Solar panels, etc. to “decrease their carbon foot print” using State Dept. money. Google “army, navy, or air force and wind or solar. Many billions more have been spent “under the radar.” The US Senate website http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&C appears to support this belief. Obama knows how to hide the spending.

          1. @Rich Lentz

            One of the reasons I retired from the Navy when I did was my extreme disappointment with its “green fleet” program. I could have served for another four years before hitting my mandatory retirement limit of 28 years of active duty commissioned service.

            I was in the office that was told to reprogram money from our operating fuel budget to pay for algae based fuels that cost about 20 times as much per unit as the diesel fuel we bought for our ships and aviation fuel we bought for our planes and helicopters.

            I pushed back as hard and as loudly as an O-5 can push – even to the point of directly asking the CNO during an “all hands” staff call why we were not more aggressively pursuing nuclear powered ships and submarines. We knew from detailed analysis that those ships were not only cost effective, but they produced no pollution and they offered substantial tactical advantages. The analysts assigned to determine the cost effectiveness, however, were not even allowed to include any measures of better value due to the tactical advantages; the analysis was forced to be done on a strictly dollar for dollar basis. Even so, nuclear came out ahead with any reasonably predictable fuel price and operational tempo scenario.

            Unfortunately, my boss was rather “ambitious” and had a black mark on his service record. He had apparently determined that a brown nose was a more useful attribute than brutal honesty in the politically charged atmosphere. He jumped with both feet onto the alternative energy bandwagon and directed his staff to move operational money to fund such silly choices as algae and polywell fusion. His choice was rewarded; the last time I checked he had been awarded a third star. I am not sure how he can look in the mirror, but, oh well.

      2. Many consider coal in all its forms a thing of manifold hatefulness.
        There is a no-hype genuine “clean coal” technology that actually makes coal less environmentally impactful, including having lower GHG generation, than natural gas.
        DIRECT CARBON FUEL CELLS (actually demonstrated/proven to produce 80 percent conversion efficiency from chemical energy from coal to electricity – a better conversion efficiency than any thermal technology producing electricityfrom heat using turbine-generators).

        https://www.llnl.gov/str/June01/Cooper.html
        DCFC technology was developed at Lawrence Livermore National Lab. The technology worked in actual DCFC cells but is now sidelined technology and uncommercialized.

        1. Well let me be the first to jump on board – where has this been successfully demonstrated on a large scale? And no appreciable CO2 ?? What about mining impact – or does it use in-situ gasification ???

          1. @John Tucker – DCFCs were successfully built and demonstrated at LLNL on a Lab scale. Industrial Scale Cells were designed, but funding from DOE was not forthcoming. The construction of a 1MWe scale DCFC sample industrial sized cell could probably be undertaken in a college Laboratory for a project cost of less than $1 million dollars.

            Unlike most Fuel Cell technologies, DCFCs do not require use of precious metal electrodes (the electrodes in the cell are graphite) so the cells can be scaled to large size practically and without huge expense.
            The bottom line is that with DCFCs you use half as much coal to produce the same amount of electrical energy without having to burn the coal and invest in 100 million dollar turbine-generators to convert heat into electricity. DCFCs convert chemical energy into electrical energy directly inside the DCFC cell.
            The mining impact of DCFCs is you have to mine only have (or less) the amount of coal to produce the same amount of electrical power. Your production of GHGs is also cut in half. DCFCs outperform natural gas fuel cells (like Bloom Energy Bloom Box) even in the natural gas fuel cells most efficient configurations.

            Some drawbacks of DCFCs –
            DCFCs tend to be large in physical size (about 4X in volume) for a given power generation power output capacity compared to more familiar PEM hydrogen fuel cells.
            DCFCs operate at elevated temperatures around 750 degrees C. Some heat energy must be added to the DCFC fuel cell to initially get it started (although once started the DCFC will produce enough heat to maintain operation – barely). Maintaining operating temperature requires careful insulation and is a bit more difficult than normal because the cell is so efficient (a very high 80% of the chemical energy in coal is being converted into electricity leaving only 20% of the energy available to produce waste heat which can be used to maintain the operating temperature of the cell).

            FAQs on DCFCs by Dr. John Cooper –
            http://www.osti.gov/bridge/purl.cover.jsp?purl=%2F15011582-M5wXbp%2Fnative%2F

        2. @Robert Steinhaus

          Actually, there are coal processing and combustion processes that make it at least as clean as conventional natural gas and actually cleaner than gas from shale resources.

          The Polk County, Florida demonstration plant uses coal gasification (IGCC) to remove pollutants before combustion. There are also several techniques for coal treatment that remove the contaminants without gasification – I wrote about one a number of years ago called CENFUEL, but there are others.

          As Cal Abel has described a number of times on the Atomic Show and in the comment threads here, it is also quite possible to use nuclear fission heat and water to upgrade coal to a high quality diesel fuel that burns at least as cleanly as natural gas or distillate fuel oil.

          Of course, all of the techniques for cleaning coal require some amount of investment that is not considered to be well spent in a time of artificially low natural gas prices.

          What were some of the cost challenges faced by DCFC?

          1. @Rod – There is significant advantage in a high efficiency process that extracts the chemical energy in coal while producing electricity without burning the coal. DCFCs are such a technology which achieves energy conversion (~80%) efficiencies which are double the efficiency achieved by traditional coal fired power plants.

            Turbine-generators costing 100s of millions of dollars must typically be used in traditional coal-fired power plants to transform heat into electricity, but the need for turbine-generators (and cooling water) is completely eliminated when using DCFC fuel cells to extract the chemical energy in coal. A DCFC cell and its collection electrodes directly collect the electrical energy without requiring expensive turbine-generators with their attendant need for cooling water (or air) to achieve high thermodynamic efficiency.

            Colorless, invisible, industrial quality purity CO2 is emitted by DCFCs, but only one half the amount as from traditional coal-fired power plants. DCFCs emit no ash or particulates into the air to foul local air quality (and no particulates containing Uranium or Thorium which are traditionally emitted by coal-fired plants). DCFCs do prefer processed coal that has small particle size (powder) and low sulfur content, as sulfur forms a poison inside the DCFC which lowers cell efficiency.

            LLNL designed a 1MWe industrial DCFC cell designed to be installed underground in the vicinity of an industrial spur of a railroad track.

            With the retirement of Dr. John Cooper at LLNL, DOE did not go further to push to commercialize DCFC technology. DCFCs worked well in the Lab. While plans were drawn up for industrial DCFC cells, none have so far been built. LLNL felt that it would cost ~$1 million dollars to construct a 1MWe DCFC to prove that all of the Lab scale demonstrated technology scales to industrial size.

            Today there is a tiny DCFC program at DOE NETL funded at a level that it is unlikely to produce anything other than a few additional academic papers over the next 25 years.

            Question(s): If you have in hand successful technology (DCFCs) that economically extract the chemical energy in coal without producing air pollution (only a much reduced clear odorless stream of CO2 gas) why not offer a small $1 million dollar ARPA-e grant to commercialize the technology and see if DCFCs can scale to industrial size without any problems?
            DOE spent in excess of $3 billion dollars on carbon capture and sequestration schemes since the Obama Administration came into office and Dr. Steven Chu became DOE Secretary. Rather than trying to pump CO2 into the ground, would it not be preferable to economically produce only half the CO2 to start with when producing electricity from coal without causing local air pollution or reducing the natural beauty of the countryside with dirty smoke stacks?

            Picture of and LLNL designed Industrial sized DCFC fuel cell – http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=3096815785817&l=4c1de9edeb

          2. Rather than trying to pump CO2 into the ground, would it not be preferable to economically produce only half the CO2 to start with

            Why not both/and?  The low-grade heat from a bottoming-cycle engine driven off a DCFC ought to be able to operate most of the CO2 capture cycles proposed thus far (thinking amine loops here).

            One of the problems I can see with DCFCs is that slashing coal consumption by half… slashes coal sales by half.  If you want to avoid the opposition of the coal industry, you need to give them another market.

            Since you’re here and seem to have dug into DCFC’s more than I have, I’ve got a question:  is the waste heat from DCFC’s hot enough to do thermal processing of coal to chemicals?  A polygeneration plant which produces electricity and gasoline while capturing all its own sulfur and CO2 could be a complement to nuclear while displacing shale gas and petroleum in general.

  4. Also of the 150 billion authorized for clean energy :

    The Section 1703 DOE Loan Guarantee Program is authorized to guarantee up to $22.8 billion in total loans to the nuclear sector, including both new power plants and
    “front-end” fuel cycle projects, of which the DOE has committed $10.3 billion to date. ( http://www.brookings.edu/~/media/Research/Files/Papers/2012/4/18%20clean%20investments%20muro/0418_clean_investments_final%20paper_PDF.PDF )

    Which IMHO isnt admittedly a fraction as high as it should be to combat pollution, climate change and acidification – but there is still unclaimed money available. meaning the government is going to need to become even more aggressive in carbon/pollution regulation and funding to persuade new construction.

    I dont know where you all are seeing the prospect for this in the Romney campaign. But I would like to.

    Also there is no third party candidate that would support a effective nuclear expansion IMHO, that I know of – given the current environment – quite the opposite even.

  5. There is not a single nation with a powerful fossil-fuel industry where any significant political party will support nuclear energy. Hope for any top-down answers to the nuclear question therefore is dreaming in color. The only thing that will motivate policy under these conditions is then necessarily going to have to be bottom-up. Without meaningful grassroots support nuclear will languish in the background indefinitely. Our focus needs to be on creating such a movement.

  6. Obama’s long standing ties with those in the nuclear industry, going back to his days as a State Senator working on regulatory issues in a State that gets 50% of it’s electricity from nuclear, are pretty well known. So much so, the GOP seems to think it’s even a pretty good attack line in the campaign, charging bias and special-interest in favor of the industry.

    http://www.gop.com/news/research/obamas-exelon-connections/

    The dividing lines are pretty clear between the two candidates on energy issues. At least in so far as the money is concerned. Romney is big oil and coal, and Obama is for modest new spending in science, technology, and environmental control technologies (in so far as their is any difference in their approaches). The main problem with nuclear is that its very expensive, and usually involves some share of public investment. This is currently a non-starter in Washington (if you’ve talked to anyone concerned with the “deficit” … i.e., “Paul Ryan”). We’ve raised little capital over the past 11 years, and we’ve funded two wars and withstood the worst of recessions (fueled by a massive credit and mortgage crisis).

    I have no doubt if Republicans (and their zealous fringe) weren’t so recalcitrant on new taxes and economic stimulus (public spending that returns a benefit in new investment, jobs, future revenues, and meeting current and future infrastructure needs) we be building a lot more Gen III+ plants than we are today (and retiring many of our older plants). Obama has proven he’s interested in moving the ball forward on nuclear issues (licensing the first new plants for construction in 30 years). The real question, why aren’t we doing more (and what are we likely to see should we decide to double down on “austerity” and the “private sector” as the primary driver of the economy in a Ryan and Romney administration). I think the answer is clear. We’re going to see a heck of a lot more coal and oil (and minimizing environmental regulation to promote new exploration on public lands, ending public subsidies for competing sustainable technologies, lots of new pipelines, and fossil plants with fewer emissions controls). Indeed, they have even told us as much (which is pretty good for a campaign that has been tight lipped regarding many of their specific plans). If you think you don’t have a clear choice in this election (particularly regarding nuclear and energy issues in general), you haven’t been paying any attention.

    1. @EL

      I hope you are right. I think we agree pretty closely on the issues of “austerity”, government investment, taxes, dislike of fossil fuel industry, and personal freedoms.

      I am, however, disappointed in the current Administration for its apparent reluctance to make the case that clean nuclear energy is far more real than “clean coal” or “clean natural gas”.

      Pointing out the President’s relationship with Exelon is not entirely reassuring; that company is not one of my favorites in terms of its vision for future energy production systems. If you dig through the Atomic Insights archives, you will find plenty of posts about Exelon and my opinion of its leadership.

      I was a big fan of Corbin McNeill and the company under his influence; that is when they invested in the PBMR project and had people asking hard questions about why the company had not taken a more visionary approach to restoring Zion to operation when natural gas prices started rising in 2000.

      I am starting to get a better vibe from Chris Crane; the company’s stance about the PTC is refreshing.

  7. @Engineer-Poet – The CO2 produced by a DCFC fuel cell is rather pure, sufficiently pure to consider for use in many large scale industrial chemical processes that would never consider using the CO2 generated from coal-fired power plants which, when it comes up the stacks, is mixed with fly ash and particulates. The CO2 from DCFC is pure enough to use as the working fluid in Super-critical CO2 turbines for power generation and many other large scale industrial processes. The CO2 in a DCFC is easily collected and segregated as a pure gas at one of the cell. The CO2 from DCFCs is probably not pure enough to be used in food manufacture without additional processing.

    It is certainly possible to sequester the CO2 produced by DCFCs. In my opinion, you get more from just initially cutting CO2 emissions in half but you could employ CCS following power generation to further reduce the release of GHG. DCFCs are quite efficient at producing electricity from coal (80% demonstrated) to the point they produce relatively little waste heat. Only modest amounts of heat are available to harness for additional multi-cycle processes (there is a little). Practical DCFC cells that operate at 750 degree C have to be carefully insulated to allow them to retain the heat they need to continuously operate.

    The established coal industry has not been in favor of DCFC commercialization and development possibly because a more efficient process for producing electricity from coal would reduce coal sales.

    DCFCs are the cleanest way to use coal to make electricity and they avoid requirements to burn coal or build expensive turbine generators. DCFCs reduce to zero the requirement for cooling water to produce power. DCFCs do not require exotic materials to construct (electrodes are graphite instead of platinum or precious metals). Metals or ceramics used to build DCFCs have to be able to stand up to continuous 750 degree C temperatures. DCFCs produce DC electricity which has to be electronically transformed to AC electricity before it is put on the power grid and distributed.

  8. @Robert Steinhaus. Just imagine what will happen when the economy revives how venture capital will benefit the kind of projects you are mentioning with DCFCs. Sounds exciting.

    My latest post is aimed at Canada’s newest Liberal Candidate – Son of Pierre Trudeau – Justin Trudeau

    I wrote a letter and decided to post it again with more links and some edits added with credit given to Rod’s blog as well as other sources for what a politician needs for reading up on
    http://deregulatetheatom.com/2012/10/a-letter-to-the-newest-federal-liberal-candidate-justin-trudeau/

  9. Oh…I’ll put in a quick word on energy democracy, parties, debates and elections.

    First of all. The United States, Canada, UK or France are NOT big ‘D’ democracies in other words they elect on the basis of what I call, ‘Illegal majoritarian rule” winner-take-all 50% +1 the other 49% have NO participation other than act as gov’t in opposition .
    Proportional Representation or PR-Democracy is more of consensus democracy or rule by ‘consensus majority’. I other words other parties and/or candidates based on votes they have garnered have the consent of voters to govern or true governing by consensus.

    As I noted there are systems like STV and MPP these are examples of proportionality most democracies in the world today use some form of PR-Democracy.

    I think what’s missing is to really identify the agendas of those who line up on different sides of the energy debate some are funded by the hydrocarbon, media, and IT industries besides the rich families like the Rockefeller foundation or Microsoft Bill & Melinda Gates foundation etc. etc.
    I line up on nuclear energy but the type of nuclear energy that is not isotope, or fuel cycle specific. I do favor scaled smaller multi-use NPPs all based on the local
    economics, energy requirements, and returning value price point prices to safe efficient NPP service operations to all levels of government industry and ratepayer public.
    I happen to think the ‘nuclear keystone’ to any nation’s energy policy is crucial, but other people disagree and that is the prerogative of any liberty free people to vote
    on how to manage their energy resources.
    I’ll throw out the idea that countries who subscribe to PR-democracy within the OECD tend to share energies like: Renewable-Hydrocarbon-Nuclear all go into public funding and portioned re-distributed to the various energy producer types for development. They also tend to benefit by coincidence as nations without huge population job income gap indexes.

    At some point N. America will need to rethink what money, gerrymandering and duopolistic majoritarian rule has meant to the U.S. during elections at one point in history the U.S. had some form of proportionality to its elections and direct democracy
    (Rep. by population/Rep. by area).

    The voting public will need to be given the chance to decide for themselves if as a people we chose how we want energy policy to be. It’s only fair.

    1. Proportional Representation is one of those ideas that looks good on paper but has its own issues, the most serious being fragmentation. This can and does lead to legislatures that are paralyzed by power struggles.

      Looking at those places that have implemented such systems one is forced to conclude that improvements have been marginal at best, and in some cases markedly worse. While single-member constituency type systems are far from ideal, I cannot see that much improvement would follow from going over to Proportional Representation per se.

      1. @DV82XL

        “…This can and does lead to legislatures that are paralyzed by power struggles.”

        Are U describing the government of USA ??

        Because if U aren’t U just made my point.

        Multi-member constituencies are far superior look at the record:
        Q: Won’t proportional representation cause instability, constant elections, and endless minority governments?
        A: Since Italy reformed its voting system in the 1990s, Canada for example is actually now the most unstable of the major democracies, with twenty-one elections since World War II to Italy’s seventeen. We keep flip-flopping between false majority governments (a majority of seats without a majority of the vote) and unstable majority at the expense of our country’s long-term priorities, and our voting system is largely to blame.

        How many budgets has the U.S. unstable duopoly REP/DEM majority gov’t passed in the last 4 years ?? …None.
        I’m sorry to say that monetary finance, energy issues, fiscal budgets at all levels of gov’t is the life blood of good governance. Written in the U.S. Constitution this is government 101 none it is practiced today in the United States-sadly.

        6. Number of Parties
        Because their voting systems are designed to best reflect the range of political
        views within the electorate, countries using proportional voting systems generally
        have more political parties in parliament. But how extensive is this proliferation of
        parties?
        When comparing countries, political scientists consider the effective number of
        parties. For example, a party without seats is not included in the tally. Political
        scientists also give more weight to a party with more seats, because it will have
        more opportunity to have political effect, than a marginal party with very few seats.
        Lijphart describes the most widely used calculation, which considers the
        percentage of seats held by each party. In a nation where two parties each holds
        exactly half the seats, the effective number of parties would be 2.0. If one party
        held the great majority of seats, the effective number of parties might drop to 1.5
        or so. If a competitive third party won seats, the effective number of parties may
        jump to 2.5, and so on.
        Without going further into the mathematics, Lijphart’s findings based on elections
        between 1945 and 1996 were interesting. During that period, the effective number
        of parties was 2.37 for Canada, 2.40 for the U.S. and 2.11 for the UK. That
        compares to 2.93 for Germany with its mixed proportional system, and only 4.65
        for the Netherlands, which has the most proportional voting system in the world,
        and 4.55 for Israel.
        While proportional voting systems allow more parties to win seats, comparing the
        effective number of parties provides some much-needed perspective. It also
        provides a good context for the next topic: effective policy-making.

        excepts from:
        http://s.fairvote.ca/files/Lijphart_summary.pdf?q=files/Lijphart_summary.pdf

        So the issue is voter confidence in effective policy-making.
        Reality is as fed gov’t becomes more ultra regulatory, bloated and larger energy issues and the funds to resolve will not work. The only result is chaotic unstable government.

        This is direct result of 70 yrs. of winner-take-all political duopoly!!

        1. No I am pointing out that in terms of their history, countries with some form of proportional voting system don’t seem to to do so much better than those with single-member constituency type systems taken on a long perspective. One would expect that if proportional voting was so superior in creating the sorts of gains supporters keep claiming, the advantages could be clearly seen in practice, and that is just not the case. Often it seems governments formed by proportional voting are at the mercy of fringe parties that force legislation that is highly unpopular or highly impractical or conversely, block needed laws.

          The situation on the ground in Italy and Israel hardly suggest that there is any real improvement over what we have here. And your claim that Canada is now the most unstable of the major democracies is ludicrous on its face. The proof of any political system is not in the number of elections that are held, but in the quality of life that its citizens enjoy. Few could look at Canada today and claim that it suffers from poor governance with a straight face.

          1. You tend to cherry pick what U consider ‘better’. Governments like the ones I mention: England – France – U.S.- Canada tend to promote international intervention and the ‘Politics of Hydrocarbon’.

            quote by DV82XL October 5, 2012 at 1:46 PM :
            “There is not a single nation with a powerful fossil-fuel industry where any significant political party will support nuclear energy. Hope for any top-down answers to the nuclear question therefore is dreaming in color. The only thing that will motivate policy under these conditions is then necessarily going to have to be bottom-up. Without meaningful grassroots support nuclear will languish in the background indefinitely.”

            Multi-member constituencies most certainly do better than single member constituencies in history. Try better than France, Italy, Germany, Austria, Hungary or even Russia in early to mid – 1900’s in fact all led to totalitarian regimes.

            Canada is by far not the pious model viewed traditionally as a paragon of democracy in the last federal election voter suppression was rampant its central bank has been warned by the IMF recently that it’s poised to commit the same errors the US housing market have committed. Both the U.S. and Canada politically are in a sensitive period the U.S. in particular since it hold the worlds reserve currency & has leveraged so much stands to be a very unstable democracy. Both nations follow a pro-war mantra.

            Presently compare Scandinavia nations, Iceland, Austria, India, S. Korea, Russia, Japan etc. to name a few most have developing balanced energy policies and still nuclear power plays an important role in these nations they all subscribe to some form of PR-DEMOCRACY.

            Your reasoning has a blind spot you absolve the glaring disparity we live with which is the politics of austerity, financial and energy cronyism. This poor governance comes directly as a result from a lack of what you call, GRASSROOT SUPPORT in fair consensus democracy.

          2. This is not the venue for this debate, or at least where we are drifting over to, so I am not going to continue to engage on this subject here. However I will close by reiterating that the track record of Proportional Representation is just as spotty as any other system of selecting legislators to the point where it is hardly clear that it is so overwhelmingly superior that converting would improve government in the U.S. or Canada, nor do your examples hold up under any scrutiny. In particular Iceland hardly serves as an example of good fiscal management and indeed was considering using Canadian currency as part of an economic rebuilding plan earlier this year.

            Furthermore regional and demographic (read: language) tensions in Canada at least would guarantee a Commons racked with deep divisions under Proportional Representation and it is unclear to me how this would be better than the current situation, which despite your claims to the contrary, comparatively has provided better governance than most for a very long time. Indeed it seems that more people chose to immigrate to Canada from those countries you mention than the other way.

          3. Presently compare Scandinavia nations, Iceland, Austria, … have developing balanced energy policies and still nuclear power plays an important role in these nations …

            You’re kidding, right? Out of the first six countries you mention, only two (Finland and Sweden) actually have nuclear power plants.

            The only role nuclear power plays in Austria is that its people and its government are vehemently opposed to it. The Austrians regularly protest along the Czech-Austria border in the hope of persuading the Czech people to close their nuclear plant in southern Bohemia. Fortunately, the Czech people not stupid enough to adopt Austria’s “balanced energy policy.”

  10. @DV82XL
    Actually in Iceland the record shows immediately after the 2007 Economic Crash the Icelandic people put their financial ruling class on trial w/ punitive results for perpetrators they let their banks fail in open market to sort out which survived. The measures taken by voting PR-democracy Icelandic peoples has insured their unemployment level stay lower than the U.S. unemployment level presently.

    Q: Do enough people really think there’s a problem?

    A: Millions of us (from all parties and regions) realize that voting our conscience in our home riding won’t elect anyone. Many of us vote for someone we don’t really like, and many more of us don’t vote at all. Voter turnout in Canada is dropping.

    Polls in 2001, 2002, 2003, and 2004 repeatedly showed a strong majority of Canadians (around 70%) believed that the portion of seats a party wins in the House of Commons should reflect the portion of the votes they receive. A February 2010 Environics Research poll showed that this is still true. It found that 68 per cent of decided Canadians support “moving towards a system of proportional representation (PR) in Canadian elections.”

    1. I am not going to continue this conversation in this forum as I stated above. Frankly I dislike it when threads are high jacked with off-topic subjects which is clearly the case here. Common courtesy, if nothing else, demands we at least make an attempt to keep comments within the bounds of the topic at hand.

  11. ACTUAL mentions of nuclear in the debate:

    Romney: “Look, I want to make sure we use our oil, our coal, our gas, our nuclear, our renewables.”
    Obama: empty chair

    While I wish Romney was more publicly passionate about nuclear energy, his North American energy independence plan NEEDS new nuclear plants to be built to be successful. My only guess is that since nuclear is not very popular right now, he is not making a bigger deal of it. WHICH IS A LOT MORE THAN OBAMA HAS DONE OR WILL DO FOR NEW NUCLEAR.

    1. Rod, are you going to respond? I know from your past admittance you are a democrat, but I hope you have the courage to support Romney on at least this issue.

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