Winter Sunlight

Untitled political fluff

Fandom: SGA
Word Count: ~900

Falling asleep last night, I was amusing myself by contemplating the political affiliation of various people on Atlantis (hey, I'm easily amused) and this happened as a result. Gen, John and Rodney bickering, no plot to speak of.

"I can't believe you're a Republican."

Rodney sounded personally affronted. John spared a moment to smirk at him before trotting up the stairs to the transporter. "That's what you get for poking around in other people's personal files, Rodney."

Rodney didn't deny it, just continued to glower as he caught up. "Seriously, I thought you had more sense than that."

"Rodney," John said patiently, "we're on a military base. I'm a ranking officer in the U.S. armed forces. What, did you expect me to be a member of the Green Party or something?"

"It's a civilian-run operation," Rodney sulked, as John tapped the infirmary on the city map.

"With a huge military presence. Besides, take a look at your side once in a while. Have you talked to Simpson about politics lately?"

"That's completely --"


"Okay, I'll grant you she might be, but --"


"What? Now you're totally pulling this out of your ass!"

"Kavanagh?" John winced at the look on Rodney's face. "Okay, forget that one."

"See, him, I would have guessed. But seriously," Rodney whined as he trailed John into the infirmary, "why?"

The other two teammates looked up; Keller was just removing the blood pressure cuff from Teyla's arm, finishing up her physical. Keller rolled her eyes and slid in the direction of her tray of supplies.

"I'm not gonna want to know about this one, am I?" Ronon asked quietly.

"No," Teyla said with a sigh.

The argument carried on without a break as John hopped up on the nearest gurney and rolled up his sleeve. "What do the Democrats want to do, Rodney? Cut military spending."

"Yes yes, I'll take your word for it, being as I'm Canadian and all, but your country spends far too much on its military as it is."

John snorted. "Yeah, and what's the biggest unexplained chunk of pork on the military budget right now?"

"How should I know? It's not my country. Iraq?"

"This, Rodney, you nit." John poked him in the forehead. "Us. Atlantis. You actually expect me to cast a vote that's going to get me sent home?"

"Are you even voting at all?" Rodney asked suspiciously, swatting him away.

"Well, probably not, but it's the principle of the thing. Two words, Rodney: gun control." John mimed firing a handgun into the middle distance.

"I can't believe I ever bothered speaking to you," Rodney snapped, turning his back. Unfortunately this gave him no choice but to meet the eyes of his other teammates. Ronon looked bored. Teyla looked as if any Earth human so much as mentioned the word "election" around her again, they'd have two broken arms. Rodney hastily looked away.

"Your people take this very seriously," Teyla said, with a clear subtext of Because they lack real problems, such as enemies who use them as a food supply.

"I just can't believe I actually respected you," Rodney informed John over his shoulder.

"Rodney, if you don't shut up about it, I'm putting you on Lorne's team and we'll see how you like dealing with four heavily armed Republicans instead of one."

"You're not a Republican, are you?" Rodney asked Keller morosely as she came back to draw John's blood.

Keller stared at him. "What? God, no; what do you take me for?"

"At least someone has some sense." Rodney projected an air of cheerful smugness, loudly, in John's direction.

Keller wiped down John's inner elbow with an alcohol swab. "Lifelong Democrats, my entire family, back three generations."

"You know, Doc, I hear your condition's curable," John said, grinning, and winced as she jabbed his arm for the puncture a little harder than necessary. "Ow. And while we're on the subject, I suggest you have a gurney waiting on standby for Rodney, in case he tries to discuss politics in the mess with the entire military contingent present."

"Not everyone in the military is a Republican, you know, Colonel," Keller said, briskly capping tubes of blood. "You never discussed politics with Carter, I take it."

"I try not to discuss it in general, if I can help it," John said, shooting a glare at Rodney, who was radiating little smug rays again.

"See, Sam has excellent political taste, like her taste in all other things."

"Such as her purely platonic interest in you?" John shot across his bow.

Rodney folded his arms defensively. "We're friends. Platonic friends. We have a respect that transcends mere physical attraction."

By now, Keller and Teyla were both rolling their eyes. John decided that a change of subject was probably wise, considering that one of them had a sharp object stuck in his body and the other kicked his ass on a regularly basis even without provocation. "So! Who's ready for lunch? Tuesday is fishstick day in the mess, you know."

"As soon as I get your fasting bloodwork samples drawn. Both of you," Keller announced sternly, descending on Rodney.

Rodney rolled up his sleeve, but his attention was still fixed on John. "Don't think this is over, Colonel. I plan to grill you on every one of your country's issues until you admit that you're utterly, irrevocably and in all other ways wrong."

John closed his eyes briefly in despair. Two months until the election, but it couldn't get here soon enough for him. He didn't care whether Hayes won re-election or not (it was still Hayes, wasn't it?) if certain people would just shut up about it.

"Your people really need more hobbies," Ronon said.

Considering the mess of the election coverage these days? Yeah, this was a fun insight into what they might be thinking. :)

Besides, do the Canadians even do repubs vs. dems? I have so lost track.... (not like studying Canadian govt structure was ever covered in any class I took, because, hello! Stuck smack dab in the Midwest here. *laugh*)

Cute, I liked it and I loved Keller being a Dem in all this madness.

Thanks for the laugh, I needed it tonight! :)
Thank you! :D

Besides, do the Canadians even do repubs vs. dems?

Well, not as such - most democracies (at least AFAIK) have some sort of liberal-to-conservative or socialist-to-capitalist spectrum, but it's a little different everywhere. However, if most of the non-Americans that I know online seem to have a passing familiarity with the American political system and some sort of vested interest in its politics, it makes sense to me that Rodney would have definite and LOUD opinions on it. *g*
makes sense to me that Rodney would have definite and LOUD opinions on it.

I think especially since Rodney has lived in and worked for the States for YEARS, he actually has a rather invested interest in US politics, even more so than most other non-Americans (who, in my experiences, half the time are just as/more fascinated by American politics than their own anyways, so...*shrug*)
True. And he also seems to enjoy needling John about that sort of thing (like the death penalty crack back in ... whichever episode that was).
Yep, this is true.

As much as some of us hate to admit it, the US is the dominant world power, so yes, we have an opinion, even if it literally gets us nowhere.

I think if the world could vote in the US Presidential elections, Obama would win in an unprecedented landslide.
Yes, I rather think that the world should get some say in our president, if the USA insists on being the sole super-power! The US has more power than the UN, so...

(Being in Japan now, all the Japanese are watching the election like hawks, understandably so since the US has a major impact in Japan - what with us still running their military and all. And yet they get no say in our commander in chief. Bit unfair, what...)
Well, Puerto Rico, Guam and the Virgin Islands don't have any say in it, either, and we administer those directly. (Kind of bitterly ironic that two hundred years ago, we considered "taxation without representation" a perfectly legitimate reason for a bloody war, and now, O HAI THAR, look what we have here!)
...I always FORGET that PR etc don't actually have electoral college members. I know they don't, but I have a mental block that keeps me from remembering that very important fact, because I don't like to acknowledge that our nation can be SO DAMN STUPIDLY UNFAIR. >.>
AFAIK (though I'm not Canadian) they have a mult-parti system in their parliament, with currently five parties represented in it, the Conservatives, the Liberals, the New Democrats (iirc those are kind of like social democrats in Europe), that Quebec Bloc with the separatists, and the Greens.

In my experience (here we have several parties as well) it leads to there being more negotiations about issues rather than just candidates, and the drama is more about who does coalitions with whom. I mean in my city-state in the last election there was a huge kerfuffle because the Greens decided to form a coalition with the conservative Christian Democrats, because Social Democrats wouldn't have had a majority with the Greens due to both the Socialists and the (right-wing) Liberals also getting in.
German coalition-building got some press over here with Merkel's election, and the whole idea is completely fascinating to me; we have had a very deeply entrenched two-party system for so long that the whole system looks very different than what I'm used to. The end result is probably quite similar, though (i.e. infighting and gridlock).
Well, I think the underlying reason for the gridlock here aren't the actual coalitions and that they can't find compromise, but that it is a state-level/federal system, and that the upper house (made up from representatives of the states) can block certain things that are federal that passed the federal parliament, and the majorities often don't match and there is the bargaining for state-level issues with federal influence. Like for example the gay marriage law (well gay "life partnership" they couldn't call it marriage because there is marriage protection in the constitution that the highest court interpreted as only m/f), they had the majority for it in the parliament, but certain tax stuff would have needed a majority from the states as well, and in that house there was a conservative majority, so it got implemented unequal without certain tax benefits heterosexual marriage has. That kind of thing happens all the time.
Oh, that's really interesting - so, if I'm understanding you correctly, a bill can be signed into law in part, if it can pass just one of the houses, but whatever parts of it weren't under that house's jurisdiction wouldn't be law unless it could pass the other too? It's all-or-nothing here; every bill has to be passed in full by both houses of Congress and then signed by the President to become law. Though, if it fails in one of these (as it often will), they can cut out the most problematic parts, and then try to pass it again...
No, not everything has to pass in both houses (well, actually it is not technically a "houses", I guess, there is just one parliament and then the assembly of the state representatives), but it is a bit complicated.

When a bill is introduced in the parliament, and passes there, it goes to the state assembly, but they can't completely block bills in all legislative areas on the federal level, just in some that concern state powers and such (constitutional matters, federal things that affect state finances and powers). Those bills really have to pass in both bodies, in numbers it's about half of all I think. There is an institutionalized process for negotiation and compromise that has to be gone through too if both are at odds.

For the other bills the states can veto if they have serious objections and demand that it goes to the commitee that exists for negotiation between the two, and if that fails, it goes back to the parliament, there it can be passed over their objection, however if more than two-thirds of the states' representatives voted against it (ie. if there were large scale objections) the parliament also has pass the law not just with a simple majority but with a two-thirds majority of the cast votes and at least an absolute majority of the members to overrule them. So the overruling majority in parliament has to match the majority that vetoed for it to pass over their objections.

I don't think bills can become law in part, iirc from high school classes they are either of the one kind or another. In the case with the gay marriage I think it was reintroduced in a revised form (without the tax stuff) so that it didn't need the states' approval.
Of course on the bright side the fact that the process at arriving at a compromise that works on all levels is slow and needs lots of negotiations, also means that no government can wreck things as deeply and as fast as they could with more power. So considering that quite frequently people get elected who want to implement all kinds of horrid stuff I don't agree with, I don't mind gridlock in those cases. *g*

I mean, in the political rhetoric it's always unconstructive "gridlock" if others block your projects, but successful work if you manage to block others' projects that you think would be disastrous. Which is kind of hypocritical.